I wrote this in a document at work, so I apologize for not including “reply to” names!
The transition happened extremely slowly over nine years, really. When I say baby steps, I’m talking microscopic. The first few times we went to the clubs, we largely watched and got turned on by watching other couples. My husband and I have always been really into porn (individually and together) – what’s better than porn? How about some live porn!? It was fascinating to us. We would get turned on, touch each other and then either go in a private room and have sex or wait to have sex when we got home. It was mind blowing either way. After a few of those times, I was okay with having other women touch me, but I didn’t want other men touching me and I didn’t want the women touching my husband. It was basically a girl-girl situation – many couples in which the wife is bisexual only do girl-girl, and that’s what we did for some time.
During a couple of those encounters, body parts would inevitably intertwine and there would be a touch here and there (usually inadvertent) of either the man touching me or the woman touching my husband. I would immediately stop and we would leave, because it would make me upset. But one of you guys asked why I stuck with it – and the reason was that I genuinely enjoyed myself. The environment in those kinds of places is extremely sexually charged, electric and super sexy. I enjoyed being there, and I enjoyed our play with other couples, as long as my rules were followed.
Why did I not want my husband touched, and why didn’t I want to be touched by another man back then? Because I was scared. I was terrified, actually! I had every doubt about what and why we were doing because it wasn’t my, up until then, idea of “normal.” I had grown up in the most vanilla household in the most vanilla town in the most vanilla way, ever. Was it normal that my partner wanted to touch another woman’s breasts? Did that mean he didn’t love me? Was it normal that I sometimes did want another man’s hands on me? Did that mean I didn’t love my partner? What impact would it have on our relationship? Was there turning back, or were we doomed if one of us wanted out? These were things I and we wrestled with. The discussions we had about these issues and scenarios were lengthy and took a long time to work through.
As I’ve said, the rules have slowly changed, because my husband and I and our relationship has changed. When we began dating, I was quite young and scarred by a prior relationship that had left me very broken and hurt. It took me a very long time to trust my husband, or should I say, it took a long time for my husband to earn my trust. Over the years, he did just that by never giving me a reason to doubt his love for me and by letting me grow at my own pace. He never rushed me, not for a second. He never tried to get me to do anything I didn’t want to do and always said we would do whatever for as long as I wanted. I called the shots from day one, and I still do.
I slowly got more comfortable. I told my husband one day that I really wanted another man touching and kissing my breasts while he and I had sex and he was thrilled about it. We did it and I enjoyed it immensely. He loved my enjoyment. It made him happy to see me explore that side of myself and to actually enjoy it. And my wanting that (and having that) did not lessen the love I had for my then-boyfriend, I realized. If anything, it was fun to talk about our fantasies and our desires and how we would make them come true.
We took a long break from the lifestyle for a while during my last year of med school and my boards, and he was in law school. We didn’t do anything for over a year. When we went back to it, our relationship was on a whole ‘nother level. We had been together for several years at that point; I trusted him explicitly and I had no doubt of his love and commitment to me. With that shift came a shift in my thought process; I was no longer insecure about myself or about my relationship. And I knew by then, from personal experience, that sex and love were two very different things. I could enjoy having another man pleasure me without it confusing the love I had for my partner. When I stopped doubting or questioning myself, and accepting that maybe our “normal” wasn’t the same as everyone else’s “normal” was when we really started having fun. We shifted to being an “everything –but-intercourse” couple for a few years, or being what’s called “soft swap.” We definitely had a lot of fun times doing that and never felt we had to step it up to the next level to enjoy ourselves.
While all this was going on, my husband was the constant. He never changed his behavior toward me and showed me frequently how much he treasured me and our relationship. He was still the guy who would kiss the back of my neck when he spooned me while I drifted off to sleep at night; he still would drive my car to the gas station on Sunday nights so I would always have a full tank of gas for the week; he was still the guy who would buy me flowers on Tuesdays for no reason. He always made me feel beautiful, integrated me into his family and always made me his number one priority. Always. I credit him 100% for making me feel so secure in our relationship.
After we were engaged and married was when I was finally able to be okay with intercourse with other people. This was very recent (early 2013). My hold out up until that point was that I wanted to hold on to something special that my husband would only do with me. One day, we were hooking up with another couple and things were getting heated when I told him that if he wanted to have sex with the wife, he could. I wanted him to enjoy himself and I didn’t want him to be held back my selfishness or my lingering insecurities. We had an amazing time. And I realized that watching him with someone else was a turn on for me, too! No one turns me on the way he does – I mean, I get turned on watching him sleep sometimes. True story.
Having said all that, I understand that my normal is unconventional and that it wouldn’t work for everyone. I couldn’t imagine being in the lifestyle with someone I didn’t trust; I would always be worried about him doing something behind my back or thinking that it’s a free for all, or that I would allow cheating (I wouldn’t). I am also really grateful that I had a very long time to grow into it and with my husband. Realizing that sex and love aren’t always the same thing and that we are able to enjoy sex while still cherishing our marriage has been an awesome experience for us, whether or not it’s understood and/or accepted by “society.”