My job is pretty cool. I get to travel to exotic places, interact with some very interesting characters and hear all about the sex lives of total strangers. To top it off, I host PlayboyTV’s reality show, SWING, which gives me (and all of the viewers) a glimpse into the bedrooms of couples who are willing to share their partners!
Not only are my travels entertaining and exciting (in more ways than one), but they’re also packed with educational moments. Working with people from such a diverse array of backgrounds offers me insight into a broad range of desires, hang-ups and relationship arrangements. Having just returned from shooting season 3 of SWING, I thought I’d share one relationship lesson I learned working on and off-air with the amazing cast:
When it comes to sexual expectations and relationship rules, assume nothing.
In so-called monogamous relationships, we tend to make a lot of assumptions about sexual exclusivity and the lines of being faithful are often blurred by personal subjectivity. Is flirting cheating? How about bumping and grinding on the dance floor? Obviously, there are no universal answers to these questions, so the only way to know what your lover desires and expects is to ask. Unfortunately, many of us don’t discuss these particulars with our partners and the results of this communication deficiency can be disastrous.
Lifestylers (or Swingers) make great efforts to avoid making assumptions. Many will discuss their rules for partner swapping in detail and each couples’ rules are unique. Some will even write them down to ensure that they’re perfectly clear and safeguard the most important part of the swinging experience…their primary relationship. It may seem contrived or tedious, but when you value your relationship above all else, the awkward conversations are worth it.
Consider taking a page out of the unwritten Swinger manual and try this out for yourself: sit down with your lover and discuss a range of potentially sexual or intimate scenarios. From flirty texts to sitting on a sexy friend’s lap, how would you react to your partner’s behaviour? You might be surprised to learn that you have more…or less leeway than you might have assumed…
To avoid making assumptions, some activities you might discuss could include:
Facebook chatting with an ex
An extra long hug with someone you find attractive
Getting a lap dance
Giving a lap dance
Grinding to a slow jam with a random dance floor partner
Talking about your sex life with friends
Flirting with an office mate
Having after-work drinks alone with a co-worker
Flirty touching (of arms, legs, hands, etc.)
Discussing your boundaries not only helps you to avoid making inaccurate assumptions, but may also offer a gateway toward revealing and exploring some of your sexual fantasies in a positive manner. And remember that sexual agreements need not be perfectly equal. Just because your partner is comfortable with your engagement in a particular behaviour doesn’t mean that you have to reciprocate with the same offer of flexibility.
Until next time, have fun, experiment and keep talking S-E-X!