Very much so! Plenty of people think they can just enjoy sex and that this weird idea of sex without emotional connection exists — it does not, not for anyone, really…porn actors fall in love, prostitutes fall in love, sex workers fall in love, I mean, we’re all human, at the end of the day. Then, they become surprised when their so-called sex partner turns out to be someone they fall in love with. I used to think that polyamory was crazy and that swinging was probably more sensible because it’s less risky, but it’s the opposite, we shouldn’t try to stifle natural emotions in the name of sex, that’s bad, bad business. Again, what separates poly for swinging in my book is commitment, because the lines between emotions and sex are instantaneously blurred when we have a new encounter and we never really know how we’re going to react emotionally.

In a sense, this is why I think of swinging as sex-predicated relationships. The “closed” aspect of my relationship isn’t the remarkable part, to me, it’s the commitment aspect which is, the financial obligations, the love and support, the willingness to sacrifice and help one another try a new career, etc. I mean, if I’m being honest, this is the stuff that relationships are all about, not just hedonistic pleasures and good times, but responsibilities, too, something that the married-and-opening-up crowd tend to miss. Sexual relationships are predicated upon convenience and pleasure, not depth, caring, sacrifice, and a willingness to compromise. Again, probably not you, but I think that separating these two worlds is very important.

(For the younger people needing to be cautious, I meant for the naivete, even my early-30s self is very well learned compared to my 20-year-old counterparts who might not be so good at spotting the red flags in sex communities that pretend to be about relationships)

I have no idea which model your relationships look like nor do I care to judge, but I’m going to say that people who mostly just have sex, especially as groups, are very different from people like us who are helping one another pay for college. Not everyone has to be that extreme, but a relationship that’s based on group sexual encounters alone, to me, isn’t a real relationship, it lacks independence, it lacks the symbiosis that comes from two people being alone together and not existing upon the foundation of another, previous relationship’s enjoyment or a sexual encounter. To me, relationships are a lot deeper than sex, I suppose, and that depth is more than just a feeling, it’s about action, because, as anyone who’s been abused in one of the swinger communities can tell you, talk is pretty cheap.

We’re not much in disagreement, here, if anything I just feel like your perspective is (understandably) biased towards older people who are married and there’s nothing wrong with that, speak towards your perspective to your heart’s desire! but I think that we younger people who are trying to build a life rather than enjoy it should be able to speak our piece as well. I also do not at all want to consider “polyamory groups” parts of actual relationships, if polyamory groups are relationships, then sexual harassment courses at our corporate jobs are deep, lasting friendships. lol. Real relationships don’t take place in a specific scene with onlookers and then magically go way until the next meeting, they’re independent, alive, growing, adapting, etc.

From Los Angeles, California. Life isn’t a series of many moments, but one moment that is always changing. Buy me coffee here: https://ko-fi.com/joeduncan

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