Opening Your Relationship: An Exploratory Dialogue

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A few weeks ago I posted an article (on Facebook) from Huff-Post, “My Husband and I Have an Open Marriage,” detailing one woman’s experience of an open relationship with her husband. While it was certainly promoting pro-poly sentiment, I was left with the palpable feeling of imbalance that seems to mark all alternative relationship configurations. This reflection isn’t meant as a criticism, imbalance is life…rather I mention it as an additional voice to what is a complicated and yet extremely attractive alternative relationship choice.

A close friend chimed in on the topic and I thought I would share our exchange:

Her:

I found the personal insights and article so interesting! I personally cannot wrap my head around how the hell a third person would fit into my marriage. I’m the first to admit that I’d be far to jealous of another woman getting time alone with my husband when we already lack the time we’d like.

Ed and I take great pleasure in dating each other and do every chance we get, to share that little time would make me green. In that same breathe, we’ve enjoyed swinger parties and found them to be so blissful, overwhelming and hot as fuck! We’ve never split off from each other at a party though, we’ve had people watch, people join, I’ve even cleared a room once by squirting. lol I think it put a few people off.

Ed has always said that if something’s worth the trade off, it’s worth it. This article and insights in a way made me feel a little sad. I suppose all relationships do hold us back to a certain extent, but they if they are worth the trade off, we stay in them. For instance, I’d love to get into natural medicine, but have accepted that now is not my season to do so. The trade off of putting our kids in school and being distracted from our business and family to get a degree and a full time job is not worth the trade off – my days with my family are everything to me, it’s my season. By the time our kids are older, I may not have any interest in pursuing a natural medicine career, if I do, I will. To think that I could be holding Ed back, in part makes me sad, though I do believe he would open up if he felt he needed to act upon something he was being held back from. At least I would hope he would.

Regardless of relationship choice, I believe that clear communication of all emotions and desires is key! It’s when we don’t honor our voices that we feel the need to sneak. Even though I don’t speak from experience, I’m assuming that many of these open relationships can’t last forever as our seasons in life and trade off values change in time.

Me:

I share your feelings completely…and as I age…it seems that along with the feelings of true deep happiness, confidence, connection…there is also a lingering melancholy…for those things I wish I had…children, a family…I went the career root…and at 40 am JUST now feeling the effort come to fruition…maybe when we are young we are too dumb to understand what we are missing…lol.

As for swing-life…I have been ALL AROUND, only to arrive right where I began, enjoying my time with one man…so strange…so happy…so simple. Yet there is still that melancholia…I say melancholy and not regret purposefully…because I don’t regret my choices…I only am acknowledging my choices in the midst of “other” choices…there is a difference with the article…the sentiment feels sad almost…grasping for happiness a bit…trying too hard…one thing I have learned in life…as I age…is to sit still…and really feel what’s going on…let it soak in, understand how it impacts you and those around you…before you do ANYTHING…and most of the time…change/decisions…will occur organically…meaning life changes…decisions…etc…that’s kinda happening right now for me.

Perhaps this leaves us with more questions than answers, as honest exploration often does…Looking forward to continuing the dialogue…Dr.NB.

(Image credit: Shutterbug Boudoir)

Fantasy…sometimes it’s never meant to be a reality.

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Sexual Fantasy and Reality have often merged in my life…or maybe criss-crossed is more accurate. In my experience when fantasy-made-real mirrors the landscape of my actually reality, it truly lives up to expectations; however, when the realization of fantasy skips too many reality-boundaries…it leaves me…disappointed. And not for the reasons you assume…

A Realized sexual fantasy leaves me disappointed because, now…it can no longer be a fantasy again…it must necessarily be retired from fantasy-rotation to become…just…a fading memory.

Strange…maybe. But, maybe not.

Making fantasies into actuality is complicated business. Fantasies are necessarily fluid, they float across our consciousness with unlimited options for malleability..not so, in real life. Real life is tethered to another’s (or multiple others) desires/wants/feeling/expectations…your fantasies are all yours.

Some welcome that unknowability. I think it allows for too many unintentional complications. It’s a fantasy. It’s simple. It’s deviant. It’s downright disgusting! And…maybe…Sometimes, it’s best to…Keep it that way!

I will never forgive myself for making the fantasy of a threesome, reality…not because I feel guilty…or because it was a bad experience…neither apply…rather…because…I can NEVER have that fantasy, again.

May all your fantasies…cross the barrier into reality…and back…again, xxx Dr. NB.

(image by exphoria inc. for nudephotobasics.com)

Dazed & (not so) Confused: A Contemporary Sex Survey

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Recently (September 2014), Dazed (a digital arts and culture magazine) published the results from their large scale (114 countries, 10,500 participants) sex survey exploring:

“What you want, who you want and how you do it from the screen to the bedroom.”

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Suspending my need for scientific rigor, there are some fascinating findings from the study, which focused primarily on today’s youth, dubbed, generation swipe:

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  • Men are twice as likely to lie about their identity online.
  • 50% of us send naked selfies, but if you like sex when you’re high, or have had sex with more than one person in a day, you’re notably more likely.
    • 40% of you like having sex on drugs, and 36% have had sex with more than one person in a day. If you’re that way inclined, you’re more likely to be the type to send over a naked picture to a significant other

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  • Gay men use apps to get laid will surprise no one, but still, the numbers were striking – more than 50% primarily use apps to hook up, compared with the heterosexual 10%.
  • 28% of Americans felt that technology made their sex lives more neurotic, less erotic.

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  • Consumption and viewing of porn has been transformed:
    • 25% of respondents never watch pornography, 59% watch it one to five times a week, and 16% six or more times.
    • While the majority of women indulge at least once a week, only 4% do so six or more times a week, compared with 60% of men who watch it nearly every day or more.

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“Straight women’s consumption of lesbian porn outstrips men’s: only gay or bisexual women watch more girl-on-girl. The fact that twice as many girls chose “other” as their favorite porn type than guys, for example, suggests that mainstream porn does not cater for women’s needs as well as it does their male equivalents.”

  • >50% of all respondents have never had sex on camera, 34% have: about two thirds of this group regarded it as positive experience which they’d like to repeat, and 9% of all respondents – said they would never do it again.

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HEALTH

  • 44% use protection all the time, 46% some of time, 10% never.
    • Gay men are the most careful demographic, with half always using a condom, and less than 5% saying never, the lowest of any demographic.
    • Gay women, alternatively, use protection the least, with over two thirds never using protection, and under 20% using it always.

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LOVE

  • 1 in 5 of us see polyamory as the perfect set-up.
    • Straight guys are bigger fans of multiple-partner relationships than straight girls.
  • Bisexual people of both genders are least likely to identify with monogamy as the perfect domestic set-up, and the most likely to favour a poly relationship.
  • 8% say that love is “everything”, while 32% said that it meant nothing.
  • A resounding 75% said that sex was important or very important, with only 3% saying it was unimportant.
    • sex was more essential to women than men – with more gay and bisexual women rating it as “important or very important” than their male counterparts.

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While we can wonder about confounding factors, or the soundness of the study design, etc…we cannot discount the interesting nature of some of these findings or the fact that they reflect some real shifts in our sexual realities…some good, some not so much…but, overall it’s striking (and pleasing) to see that we are becoming much more open and accepting when it comes to variant sexual expressions and our responsible enjoyment of…it ALL! 😉 xxx Dr. NymphoBrainiac.

In Praise of Underboob!

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An analysis of underboob.

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I have always carried a fascination with underboob…it’s altogether different from cleavage. Cleavage is warm…inviting…you just want to dive-in…On the other hand, underboob is best viewed from beneath, which gives the “exhibitor” a position of dominance.

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Still there is a submissive element to underboob as well…you are viewing “what lies beneath,” the “underbelly” if you will…Maybe that’s why I adore underboob with such ferocity: it encompasses duality…like all of the greatest pleasures in life.

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Salute to underboob…and of course, Happy Friday!!!

Dr.c.

Do Friends Fuck Friends?

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This was shared on a Facebook status:

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I have got to air this out cause it’s just eating me alive. Friends don’t kiss friends, friends don’t fuck friends, friends don’t get jealous when their friend is talking to somebody else unless the situation is different, friends don’t cuddle with each other, friends don’t call each other babe or baby. Basically if you’re treating your friend as if he or she is something more than that then guess what then that’s what you really want stop over using the word friend cause friends you are not. That’s just misusing the word & that’s how shit gets fucked up. Smh I had to man! 

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This is a meaningful and interesting point…well articulated even…as someone who has chosen to be a part of a lifestyle where these lines are slightly blurred (e.g., friends DO sometimes kiss friends, etc.)…this brings up the all important point of establishing well-defined boundaries in ALL of your relationships (e.g., this has to be “ok” with ALL of us involved)…I wonder if others have had similar experiences…?

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Curious as to your take readers…xxx dr.c.

Welcome to Modern-Day SwingLife…or Not: When Social Media & Private Sex Lives Collide

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I have been more or less a part of the alt-erotic party scene, and the swinger/lifestyle nightlife scene specifically, for the past 10 years; during that time I have witnessed a complete shift in attitude and acceptance regarding what is considered “normal sexual behavior”. This change has been so complete in fact that the swinger/lifestyle-scene, at least in the traditional sense, has been rendered almost non-existent.

Now before you jump all over me, I think the more explicit events (e.g. private, where actual sex occurs as part and parcel of the experience) will continue to exist albeit underground (where I am sure those who indulge in such decadence prefer it).  No, here I am referring to the parties that gained popularity around 2000 or so, those offering, “swinging light” if you will. These events were held in public venues, semi-private affairs that catered to those:

“Wishing to explore sexuality with their (heretofore) monogamous partner.”

I should add here that attendees were most typically straight couples.

I stumbled upon these events in my late 20’s, always a part of the nightlife scene, they seemed a natural extension and a means to explore what was becoming a very pressing urge to explore my own (bi)sexuality and what, at the time, were considered more deviant expressions of that sexuality (polyamory, exhibitionism/voyeurism, BDSM, pornography, eroticism). These parties were, to my limited knowledge, my only option for such exploration.

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And explore I did, I have been: guest, promoter, host, and performer at one time or another throughout the last decade at some of the most of the established “erotic parties” in NYC. And for the most part I can report a positive experience…if not particularly satisfying, as I quickly learned my desires weren’t particularly aligned with any of these mainstream sub-groups (an oxymoron I realize, but apt one). I was not a swinger, a don, or a sub…I was somewhere in between all of these “labels”, which at the time wasn’t readily accepted; however, I think much of that has changed. Actually, I think EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED.

BUT HOW…WHY?

I didn’t notice until I took some time off from the nightlife scene to focus on my career, maybe a year. When I returned to nightlife, I began also promoting in mainstream (“vanilla”) clubs, upon their request, on regular club nights. In the beginning we would be the most outrageous bunch in the club. The “we” mostly being those who like me were comfortable with exploring and expressing their sexuality in the nightlife scene but perhaps not comfortable with any of the established alternative “labeled” events (e.g. swinger, etc.). During the five years or so that I worked for both alt/sex parties and “vanilla” parties…things definitely shifted…most notably, previously unacceptable behaviors became acceptable and even common in these “vanilla” parties…behaviors like:

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Expressed bisexuality, homosexuality, polyamory

  • You no longer only saw just the “straights” making-out…now it was same-sex, group-sex, the more the merrier!

Partial nudity

  • I can remember the day when Pastease (brand pasties) would have never been allowed in mainstream clubs, they are now considered a viable outfit-option; not to mention, burlesque is performed and promoted at all the top notch venues!

Alternative sexual practices

  • “S&M” themed parties have become the norm…and while they don’t offer perhaps the depth that a “real” BDSM event would, they are by no means tame!

And finally…something else changed, something that I think provides a clue as to the motivation for all of the aforementioned changes:

Photos of all of the above…shared, across social media.

  • Ten years ago, cameras were even allowed at these events, such was the stigma associated with those who attended them. At the very best, maybe the promoter would allow you to post photos on MySpace…WITH HER FACE BLURRED OUT.

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You only have to peruse the social/entertainment/news media to see that as a culture we are moving toward a less conservative (sexually), albeit more exploitative (see social media), world. And this shift (I believe) is responsible for the move from sexual expression as private to expression as public. In other words, this observed change described here isn’t about us “as a culture” becoming more open and accepting, it’s really about becoming more exhibitionistic in reaction to our recently adapted “need” to over-share our lives through social media and by extension to indulge in others’ lives through that vehicle…lives that were, before MySpace and Facebook, largely private.

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This is a case where the end doesn’t directly correlate to the means…however, I will take it…the “end” (being more sexual freedom of expression) is pretty sweet.

Xxx

Dr.c.