What counts as sex?

I found this blog post fascinating:

It turns out that different people have very different definitions, and they make all kinds of interesting distinctions. For example, some people only think that intercourse “counts” as sex if they have an orgasm. Further complicating matters is the fact that who’s participating in a given behavior influences what counts. Specifically, we seem to hold ourselves to different standards compared to other people.

For example, several studies have shown that people are more likely to label a given behavior as sex to the extent that their significant other did it as opposed to themselves. In a study of 839 college students (96% heterosexual) who were asked whether oral contact with another person’s genitals counted as sex, it turned out that just 36% of women and 39% of men said it did when they imagined themselves doing it [1]. However, when asked to imagine their partner doing the same thing with someone else, 62% of women and 63% of men suddenly viewed it as sex.

That was refreshing

Recently Jo and I have been consistently disappointed when we went to club parties and most meet and greets. The people didn’t match our physical criteria and weren’t a good the personality/social-economic match for us either.

But about a month ago we met a couple at a meet and greet which lives about a mile from us, both are tall and in good shape, and it seemed to be a good match. We exchanged contact information and with the expectation they would get in touch with us for a “vanilla” party at their home the following day with some of their family and friends. That didn’t happen and we gave them a pass on it. It was a little early in the relationship to know if we could be trusted to keep our hands off of people and not bring up lifestyle things in front of people they didn’t want knowing.

But nothing further came from them and so we reached out to them last week to see if they would like to have dinner with us at a local restaurant. They agreed and we had dinner with them last night. It went really well. We talked and talked about a number of things both about the lifestyle and non-lifestyle. We got along great and they invited us to another vanilla event at their home and verified we are all going to the same exclusive sex club party a couple weeks from now.

I’m really looking forward to it.

Progress in HIV research

STIs are a major concern for many people in the lifestyle and HIV is probably the most feared. After several years in the lifestyle my ex-wife and I had our last sexual contact with others at a Memorial Day weekend party in 1983. We stopped because of the concern about HIV. Once or twice a year we cautiously, with condoms, played with others who had also “taken a break” for a long time. It wasn’t until 1995 that lifestyle things sort of returned to normal. Condoms were required except for “closed communities” of select couples who also restricted themselves to playing within our “community”.

Now there is some significant hope for a HIV vaccine  and perhaps cure:

Scientists have engineered an antibody that attacks 99% of HIV strains and can prevent infection in primates.

It is built to attack three critical parts of the virus – making it harder for HIV to resist its effects.

The work is a collaboration between the US National Institutes of Health and the pharmaceutical company Sanofi.

The International Aids Society said it was an “exciting breakthrough”. Human trials will start in 2018 to see if it can prevent or treat infection.

Free ranging

One of the couples we know well attends a lot of club parties. They have been doing this for about 20 years and Jo and I started observing them in action. While they do interact with others as a couple while chatting they never play with just another couple in the same room at the same time and frequently don’t play with another couple. They do a lot of what Jo calls “free ranging” with frequent checks with their partner.

They end up playing with others far more frequently at clubs than we do. It sort of makes sense. Finding another couple where Jo likes the guy and I like the gal is more difficult than finding just a guy or gal that each of us like.

That is basically what we did at the house party a couple months ago. And a couple weeks Jo had a similar experience where there was a hot single guy who was interested in her and there weren’t any couple or single women available for us or me by myself. She had a great time with the young stud and then we had a great time together when she got home.

This free range then appears to improve our chances of getting some play time with other people. Jo had to “break some new ground” in regards to feeling comfortable with me being with another woman when she was without someone. She says she is entirely comfortable with it, so maybe learning from the pros is working.

It’s about the people

Jo was seriously considering giving up on meeting people via swinglifestyle.com. We have had a long string of disappoints topped off with one couple that became “the head of the rude list” and other couple that made the “head of the weird list”.

After seeing their “hot date” notice on SLS on Wednesday morning Jo sent them a message. They responded positively, there were a couple more message via SLS, then a couple more via normal email before exchanging cell phone numbers.

They were coming in from out of town for a few days for a local, non-lifestyle, event and were interested in meeting us to see if there was a connection.

Last night, we exchanged a few text message to arrange a meet at a local restaurant for dinner. They arrived on time, we ate dinner together, had a great time talking over dinner, and they followed us home for some play time.

It all went well. They were very pleasant in all respects and they invited us to visit them in their town sometime.

SLS can work out. It’s the people, not the venue.

Breaking new ground

Jo and I went to a “house party” last weekend. It wasn’t what we really think of as a house party. There were probably 30 or 40 couples at a large house rented for the weekend. It was a very nice facility and we enjoyed hanging out in the sun next to the river.

Due to various circumstances we drove separate cars and arrived at the same time. We hung out, visited with people, and ate dinner. Jo didn’t see anyone of interest. And the one woman that drank too much and vomited on the living room carpet was a real mood killer. Her date should have taken her home as soon as it was clear she had way too much to drink which was long before she vomited.

We chatted quite a while with Jack and Danielle who put on their own house parties which Jo and I really like. We all agreed the planners for this party didn’t do all that great of a job. It was too small to be a party where everyone could find a good match and there was no vetting of those who attended to make sure they were “all on the same level” as Jack put it. At their parties everyone is very “frisky” as Jo puts it. As soon as everyone is at the party and the doors are locked people pair off (or join a group) and start having sex. There is virtually no hesitation. Everyone has been in the lifestyle for many years, all are about the same age, all are in decent physical condition, and we all know what we are there for.  It’s a very advanced “level”. This party had a wide range of “levels” in all dimensions and it was tough get a good match.

But there were a couple women I was interested in who also showed an interest in me. After we had been there four or five hours Jo decided to go home and told me to stay and see if I could play on my own. Jo really did seem okay with it so I stayed and played with one of the woman.

Jo had some errands to run and we ended up getting home at almost the same time. She asked how things went and said this was breaking new ground for her. She felt entirely comfortable with it. Nice.

She did add that she probably would need to attend the party and see who I was playing with. Just going to a party by myself while she was at home probably wouldn’t work out well. I would much rather she go with me anyway and I doubt I would be interested in leaving her at home to go play on my own. But it’s good to know that she is comfortable with me playing with someone at a party even if she doesn’t see anyone of interest to her.

Party park

Hmm… this could lead to something interesting:

In 2008, sexual activity was decriminalized in the most famous and popular park in all of Amsterdam, Vondelpark (which receives 10 million visitors per year). However, to avoid problems with the police, it’s important to know that, under this law, sex is restricted to nighttime and, further, making excessive noise and/or leaving a mess behind (like used condoms) can get you in trouble.

There are house parties, party houses, hotel takeovers, campouts, and now it appears possible to have a party park.

Casual sex enhances psychological well-being

From Social Psychological and Personality Science:

Casual sex has become a normative experience among young people, raising concerns regarding its well-being consequences. Prior findings on main effects of casual sex on well-being are mixed, suggesting possible moderating factors. Using longitudinal and weekly diary methodologies, this study examined the moderating influence of sociosexuality, a stable personality orientation toward casual sex, on psychological well-being (self-esteem, life satisfaction, depression, and anxiety) following penetrative (oral, vaginal, or anal) casual sex among single undergraduates. As predicted, sociosexuality moderated the effect of casual sex on well-being on a weekly basis across 12 consecutive weeks, over one semester, and over one academic year. Sociosexually unrestricted students typically reported higher well-being after having casual sex compared to not having casual sex; there were no such differences among restricted individuals. Few gender differences were found. Findings are discussed in terms of authenticity in one’s sexual behaviors.

I suspect that if they did the study for older people they would find similar results. I know I find “casual sex” enhances my psychological well-being.