Pandemic playtime

Jo and I have been very cautious since the start of the pandemic. N95 masks when we go to the store. Maintaining  6+ feet of distance from others. Packages and other things which come into the house are wiped down with sanitizing wipes or sprayed with isopropyl alcohol.

We did and do miss the playtime with other couples. And although we have been invited to a few house parties since last March we declined them all. Those parties were pretty carefully planned for safety such as self-isolated for 10 days to two weeks before the party or getting tested a couple days prior to the party. But still, with a dozen couples and may of the people, including us, flying to the party it seemed risky. Did we really trust all of these people that well? And what about the risk of the airport and plane?

Looking at the risk versus reward we decided we weren’t going to take the risk. If one or both of us got sick and were dying you’d be calling yourself incredibly stupid.

That said, we did get together with one couple twice and different couple once. In both instances both couples self-isolated for a full two weeks. It turned out well for us. Everyone was safe and we got some much welcomed pandemic playtime.

The science is settled!

A few quote from Swingers And Polyamorists May Have More Satisfying Sex Lives Than Monogamists:

A recent paper published in the Journal of Sex Research reviewed dozens of studies focusing on three different forms of CNM: swinging, open relationships, and polyamory. The results of these studies were then compared to data on people in monogamous relationships.

In the end, the authors concluded that “the majority of research suggests that the psychological well-being and the quality of the relationships of consensual nonmonogamists is not significantly different from that of monogamists.” It didn’t matter what outcome they considered—from overall relationship adjustment to jealousy to relationship stability—there just wasn’t evidence for the idea that monogamists are necessarily happier or better off.

That covers the quality of the relationship issue. And now the satisfaction with their sex lives:

two studies were conducted in which people practicing one of three forms of consensual non-monogamy (again, swinging, open relationships, and polyamory) were compared to persons practicing monogamy in terms of their sexual satisfaction, likelihood of reaching orgasm, and how recently they had sex.

The results revealed that polyamorists and swingers reported more satisfying sex lives than monogamists and were more likely to have had sex recently with their primary partner. In addition, swingers (but not polyamorists) were more likely to have orgasmed the last time they had sex than were monogamists. Just to be clear, it was not the case that monogamists were dissatisfied with their sex lives. They were satisfied overall—it’s just that consensual non-monogamists were more satisfied on average.

I found the part about swingers being more likely to have orgasmed the most recent time they had sex interesting. And, of course, it raises the questions:

  • Is there a cause and effect?
  • If there is a cause and effect, did they become swingers because they were highly orgasmic? Or did they become high orgasmic because they were swingers?

And here is another twist:

Interestingly, unlike polyamorists and swingers, people in open relationships didn’t differ from monogamists in terms of their sexual satisfaction, orgasm frequency, or recent sex. This finding highlights the importance of distinguishing between different types of consensual non-monogamy because they don’t all appear to be equal in terms of sexual outcomes.

So… if of all the relationship types studied the swinger lifestyle is the one which tends to have the happiest outcome.

Can we call this a “Happy ending”?

Or should we just say, “The science is settled”?

It made me feel alive!

The topic is, “Why do happy people cheat?” The phrase “It made me feel alive!” resonated with me in regards to swinging. I’m skeptical the rest of her analysis. I think she probably has some good data but may have come to the wrong, or at least incomplete, conclusion.

But just questioning the underlying assumption as she does is a really good start.

The Sunday School teacher and the new bed

Until the COVID-19 shutdown Jo and I had been pretty active in the lifestyle. It was mostly house parties and dates with other couples at their house or ours. However, we did attend one hotel take-over and had a great time.

While at the hotel take-over we met a great couple that were really clicked with. One of the more interesting things about them is that they remained virgins until they got married (about 20 years ago). They were very heavily involved with their church including being Sunday School teachers. About three or four years ago they decided to live out some of their fantasies and gradually got into the lifestyle. They are loving it and couldn’t imagine going back to a monogamous relationship. And also of note is that they don’t see any problems with their lifestyle conflicting with their religion.

They live over a hundred miles away so we haven’t gotten to see them since then as often as we would like. They came to our house once and we went to their house once.

The visit to their house was one of my most memorable lifestyle experiences ever. They were in the process of moving into a new house and were going to rent out their old house as a Airbnb or some such thing. So, they were buying new furniture for the new house. The evening we came to visit their king sized mattress for the master bedroom was still in the downstairs living room. It was too heavy for them to move up the stairs and they asked me to help. Of course I did.

After dinner Jo and the husband retired to one of their children’s bedroom. The wife and I retired to their new king-sized bed. After doing the usual stuff one does with a playmate in at a playdate in their bed we talked for a long time. Among the other things we talked about she commented about how remarkable, yet normal, it was to have initiated their new bed with someone other than her husband.

I am honored to have shared that experience with her.

Research on casual sex

Sex researcher Justin Lehmiller posts:

much has been said and written about gender differences in casual sex, with the longstanding assumption being that women aren’t really into it—that they naturally dislike casual sex. However, Conley’s research suggests that women do very much want and enjoy casual sex—they just don’t want it under the circumstances under which is it commonly offered, in part, because those circumstances often fail to prioritize female pleasure.

Of course, those of us in the lifestyle have known this since, well, we got into the lifestyle. Still it’s nice to see others catching up with us:

The way it should be all the time

Last night we visited Calvin & Jerri. We picked up a large pizza on the way to their house. They supplied a salad, vegetables, and something to drink. We sat on the couch together, ate our food, and watched a football game as we cuddled with someone else’s spouse. At half-time we put away the food and cleaned up. After the game was over we went into the bedroom and had sex with them. When we got home we had sex with each other.

It was all just so… comfortable. No stress about making a nice dinner and entertaining to make an impression. There was no tension between them. No tension between us. No tension about the possibility of being left out. No tension about being stuck with someone you really didn’t want to be with. No tension about “Are they just stringing us along as a backup plan if they can’t find someone else?” No tension about is someone going to try and have sex without a condom. No tension about someone doing something that their partner didn’t want to do.

We’ve known them for nearly four years. It makes a difference.

It was just really, really nice. As we drove away we talked about it. “That’s the way it should be all the time”, we concluded.

Sex robots

I wonder if this will affect the lifestyle:

Male sex robots with unstoppable bionic penises are coming this year

Up until now, it looked like women would be missing out on the exciting opportunity to make love to the cold, lifeless bodies of machines.

But don’t despair, ladies – RealDoll (maker of those alarming plastic sexbots for men) is making one for women too. And he’s quite a hunk (as well as coming with a bionic penis which never, ever tires), the makers promise.

It might be that people will be more likely to explore seeing their spouse with “someone” else and then “graduate” to the real thing. But there is also the possibility that people would see this as a safer alternative to “the real thing”.

My guess is that robots will be more of a “gateway” than an alternative to the lifestyle.

USA Swinger Statistics

From Sex by the numbers – USA Swinger Statistics:

Our rankings are based on research conducted using the largest swingers dating site in the United States, AdultFriendFinder. We tabulated the total number of swingers, per state, seeking either a single male, single female, or couple. When then compared these results to the population of each state, resulting in a per capita ranking of each state.

Table: States ranked by number of swingers per
capita

Rank State Population AFF Swingers % or Population
1 Wyoming 586,107 5,786 0.99%
2 West Virginia 1,844,128 17,852 0.97%
3 Arkansas 2,978,204 28,040 0.94%
4 Oklahoma 3,911,338 36,522 0.93%
5 Alaska 738,432 6,866 0.93%
6 Nevada 2,890,845 26,423 0.91%
7 Maine 1,329,328 12,022 0.90%
8 Kentucky 4,425,092 39,237 0.89%
9 Missouri 6,083,672 53,782 0.88%
10 Indiana 6,619,680 55,698 0.84%
11 Montana 1,032,949 8,330 0.81%
12 Alabama 4,858,979 38,973 0.80%
13 Tennessee 6,600,299 52,573 0.80%
14 North Dakota 756,927 5,960 0.79%
15 Idaho 1,654,930 12,949 0.78%
16 Kansas 2,911,641 22,396 0.77%
17 New Hampshire 1,330,608 10,168 0.76%
18 Georgia 10,214,860 77,701 0.76%
19 Colorado 5,456,574 41,336 0.76%
20 Louisiana 4,670,724 34,462 0.74%
21 Oregon 4,028,977 29,606 0.73%
22 South Carolina 4,896,146 35,527 0.73%
23 Mississippi 2,992,333 21,697 0.73%
24 Florida 20,271,272 144,486 0.71%
25 Washington 7,170,351 51,008 0.71%
26 Michigan 9,922,576 70,076 0.71%
27 Ohio 11,613,423 82,010 0.71%
28 Vermont 626,042 4,406 0.70%
29 Arizona 6,828,065 47,608 0.70%
30 Iowa 3,123,899 21,648 0.69%
31 New
Mexico
2,085,109 14,321 0.69%
32 North Carolina 10,042,802 68,732 0.68%
33 Texas 27,469,114 184,920 0.67%
34 Utah 2,995,919 19,210 0.64%
35 Nebraska 1,896,190 12,157 0.64%
36 South Dakota 858,469 5,388 0.63%
37 Delaware 945,934 5,922 0.63%
38 Virginia 8,382,993 51,793 0.62%
39 Rhode Island 1,056,298 6,403 0.61%
40 Pennsylvania 12,802,503 75,686 0.59%
41 Illinois 12,859,995 71,472 0.56%
42 Columbia 601,723 3,259 0.54%
43 Connecticut 3,590,886 19,387 0.54%
44 Hawaii 1,431,603 7,384 0.52%
45 California 39,144,818 201,275 0.51%
46 Minnesota 5,489,594 28,207 0.51%
47 Wisconsin 5,771,337 29,631 0.51%
48 Maryland 6,006,401 30,788 0.51%
49 New
York
19,795,791 97,876 0.49%
50 Massachusetts 6,794,422 33,270 0.49%
51 New
Jersey
8,958,013 41,561 0.46%

Obviously, this is not all the people who identity as swingers. Lots of people we know in the lifestyle don’t have an online presence. And many of those who do don’t have an AFF account.

It, almost for certain, includes some people who don’t identity as swingers. But it does give us a rough minimum of the numbers and perhaps some clues to the density. I’m suspicious of the density because more rural states are near the top and this could be because they have fewer clubs.

Still, it’s interesting.