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.

Club successes

As I have mentioned before Jo and I have frequently been disappointed when going to clubs. However there have been some fairly recent success stories which I haven’t reported here.

In June a couple we met via Adult Friend Finder, met at a restaurant for conversation, then a week or two later met at Club Topaz to play together. It was a convenient meeting place for play about an hour from their home and 20 minutes from ours. We barely interacted with anyone else.

In July we went to Club Topaz and the club in line to check in ahead of us was someone from out of state we had met via Swing Lifestyle on a “Hot Date” almost a year before. We had invited them home to play with us and we had a good time. This was their first visit back to the area and we just happened to bump into them at the club. We again played with them.

Tomorrow we are going to an out of state club and expect things will turn out well also. We were invited by a couple we met at a meet and greet to a party. We expected it was a house party but then found out everyone invited, several couples, were meeting at a local lifestyle club.

We’ll see, but the point is that clubs still do have a place in our lifestyle adventures.

Becoming mainstream

I have been “in the lifestyle” for several decades. I also have been sort of a hobbyist researcher. In the early 1980s it was believed that about eight percent of the U.S. population had tried “swinging”, as it was called at the time with about two percent active at any given time.

It appears the numbers have increased significantly:

Approximately 20 percent of American adults have engaged in consensual non-monogamy: polyamory, threesomes, swinging, and group sex.

This can’t happen fast enough. I would love to be more open about our lifestyle and to also have a wider variety of potential playmates.

Flakes

Jo and I have a busy life. Work, kids, hobbies, vanilla friends, vanilla vacations, and finally the lifestyle. When we make plans to meet with another couple (or occasionally a single woman) we consider it a rare treat. It’s very disappointing when someone has to cancel at the last minute but we have done it when one of us became sick, or a family emergency happened. Fine, we get that. What goes beyond disappointment into irritation is when people just “go dark”.

Twice in the past week we had people agree to meet and as the final plans were being agreed upon (location with a new couple and time with a single woman) they just stopped answering messages. How can they think this is appropriate behavior?

We cannot accept this as appropriate. We write them off as flakes.

Clubs aren’t worth it to us

Jo and I went Club Topaz last night. We went there a month ago as a place to meet some new friends and had a great time. But we didn’t have eyes for anyone else. We couldn’t meet at either of our homes because of kids. It was just a place we could meet and play. It worked out well.

Last night we were hoping to find some new friends or maybe have some play time with existing friends. We spent over two hours watching the people come in and didn’t see anyone we were interested in and apparently weren’t that interesting to anyone else either.

As we drove home we talked about all the disappointments we have had at the club scene. We are so much happier going to house parties and getting together with another couple at home.  Our club attendance is going to be very carefully scrutinized from now on. Are we meeting someone there or are we hoping to find someone new? It’s a very poor investment of time and money if our intent is to find new friends there.

Research on lifestyle relationship quality and STIs

Via Justin J. Lehmiller.

Interesting:

Relationship function, satisfaction, commitment, and passion were about the same in both consensually non-monogamous and monogamous relationships. Furthermore consensually non-monogamous couples had lower jealousy and higher trust.

But what about STIs?

STIs appear to be less frequent in consensually non-monogamous relationships than those which claim their relationship is monogamous. The suggestion in the video is that condom usage is more frequent and STI testing is more frequent in consensually non-monogamous couples and that this accounts for the less frequent STIs. I don’t have a data set of sufficient size without bias that could be useful in answering this question but I have a couple points that make me wonder.

A lifestyle woman in her 50’s told me that she estimated she has had sex with 600 men in her life. I asked about condoms usage and STIs. She claimed she didn’t use condoms and that the only vaginal infection she sometimes gets is bacterial vaginosis. But that she also sometimes gets this even when she has not had a different partner in quite some time. This website agrees, “Bacterial vaginosis is more common in women who are sexually active. But it can occur if you are not sexually active as well.”

Jo and I were somewhat shocked at this woman’s claim. A few months later a friend and I were discussing our mutual sexually prolific friend on a closely related topic and I mentioned the estimated 600 men. My friend said, “That’s nothing!” She went to suggest she herself had sex with far more than 600 in her ~65 years. I didn’t ask about STIs but she does have a condoms required policy.

Further personal research revealed other women with large numbers of partners, low condom usage, and STI infection rates that would appear to be similar to “monogamous” couples.

I could have a bias in my thinking because I’ve been reading An Epidemic of Absence: A New Way of Understanding Allergies and Autoimmune Diseases. This book claims that because we have created a much more sterile environment to live in than that which we were originally evolved we have a much higher rate of autoimmune disease. And in fact, infection with certain diseases at a relatively young age gives us immunity for dramatically different diseases much later in life. When infected with the same organism later in life the infection is quite detrimental.

The base hypothesis is that humans had a symbiotic relationship with parasites, bacteria, and viruses for 100s of thousands of years then in a (evolutionary) blink of the eye exterminated as many of them as possible. Some needed to be exterminated, such as small pox, but many, while exacting a cost, performed an important function. Minimizing contact with all microscopic organisms may not be the best game plan.

Could it be that somewhat frequent exposure to low levels of STIs, such as kissing and oral sex with a wide variety of people, cause an immunity to such bacteria and viruses?

Domestic violence in lesbian relationships

I found this fascinating:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey reported on the lifetime prevalence of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner, focusing for the first time on victimization by sexual orientation. In their study, there was a victimization prevalence of 43.8 percent for lesbians, which made it the second most affected group after bisexual women (61.1 percent), ahead of bisexual men (37.3 percent), heterosexual women (35 percent), heterosexual men (29 percent) and homosexual men (26 percent).

I find it odd that lesbian relationships have such a high rate of domestic violence. But that bi-sexual women have over a 60% incident rate is just mind boggling.

My impression of women in the lifestyle is that there is a very large population of bisexual (or at least “bi-situational”) women. My “pull a number out of the air” guess is something on the order of three fourths of the women enjoy playing with both men and women.

I have to wonder if permission, and even encouragement, to access both genders reduces the incidence of DV.