Welcome to Gang Bang The Mailbag TRIPLE X (plus 1)! We're recording tonight with a live (and muted) studio audience! As always, questions have been edited for content and clarity. As usual, answers have not been edited for content or clarity! If you have a question for a future listener mailbag, please give us a call at 573-557-9464 and leave us a message, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tonight, Dr. Liz Powell, Mike Joseph, Cooper and Dylan gang bang the mailbag!
As you listen, don't forget to tweet at #sspodcast!
We're sponsored by Castle Megastore, a one stop shop with everything you could want, from wand vibrators, to harnesses, to lube and condoms, to a complete suite of BDSM equipment including sex furniture. If you use the promo code SWINGSET at check out you can save 20% on your order.
Tonight we answer the following written questions:
My road into non-monogamy has been a twisted and challenging path. My 13-year marriage ended last year partly because of an incompatibility around the potential for opening our marriage.
When I started dating I tried to be very open with women about my desire for non-monogamy and live a polyamourous life that includes swinging and sometimes a little kink and BDSM. Through dating apps like Tinder I have met many wonderful women and had some great relationships develop. I have tremendously transparent conversations with these women. Most run for the hills after to non-monogamy talk, some are intrigued and go along with it for a while, but in the end these relationships mostly follow the same pattern. The woman is okay with other partners in the beginning, but as time passes she always has a difficult time with the non-monogamy and it ends or goes to the friend zone. Otherwise the woman wants a “don’t ask don’t tell” or “friends with benefits” approach, which to me is just single dating rather than ethical non monogamy. It is impossible to have intimacy without transparency.
Where does one go to find women who are already there in the poly/swinger community who are looking for other poly/swing single partners? Are there any better strategies for finding women more directly who already share these values?
Aaron from Canada
My brief backstory: 50ish male, married for twenty-something years. I have always struggled with attraction, crushes, and even feelings for, and from, others. Monogamy isn't actually what I want, and, in the spirit of a good mid-life crisis, I'm not getting any younger.
Being aware of the trauma that this might cause my wife, I have introduced the topic gently and slowly. She has reacted... well, it's hard to say. There has been no screaming and crying, which I guess is a good sign. The best description of her reaction is "ninja-level avoidant", as she deflects my every attempt to explore this in depth.
An example: after a recent talk she said "you've given me a lot to think about".
I realise what I want most is to have the relationship communication skills that are necessary to be non-monogamous in the first place. To have the openness that I hear others describe in their relationships. It's not even principally about the swinging anymore. I have communication envy!
So how do I learn to communicate like a non-monogamous person? And how do I teach someone else to do this? Is it possible?
My husband I have been in the swing lifestyle since we first started dating 6 years ago. Along the way, I have developed more romantic feelings for some of our partners, while things remain mainly about friendship and sex for my husband. I've tried to hide my feelings which has resulted in a lot of hurt. We are trying to figure out how to move forward when I feel more poly and he still feels more like a swinger and isn't interested in developing romantic relationships. I'm having trouble finding resources that talk about how to successfully move between the two.
Today I found out, in a convoluted way, that a long-term male partner of mine sexually assaulted someone. I don't know the any details. I don't know when it happened, or what happened afterwards. I do know that women don't lie about sexual assault. I also learned two others say they witnessed him pushing boundaries or putting women in uncomfortable situations , and that he's seen as a "missing stair" in some subsets of our local kink community.
This is someone I love. Someone I've only ever had positive, affirming, respectful experiences with. Someone I trusted with my life (and I'm an angry, suspicious, mostly-lesbian hardcore feminist killjoy who rarely trusts anyone).
What should I do?
Oh, and just to make things even more complicated, this partner's live-in partner is also my partner. We're a triad. Do I tell her? How?
In answering this question, Dylan lamented not reading the question before he read it as he wanted to have a more prepared answer. Dr. Liz on the other hand was able to respond quickly and effectively on ways to address members of the community to who have violated boundaries and support people who have had their boundaries violated, and how to both repair and grow the larger community after. Visit a compilation of resources Dr. Liz put together here.
We took a little time at the end of the episode for business. Dr. Liz put out a new video on Youtube titled "What's the 'Friend Zone' Anyway?"
Mike Joseph has been speaking lately on behalf of the Jed Foundation, a NYC based organization empowering teens and young adults with the skills and support to grow into healthy thriving adults. Visit them at www.jedfoundation.org.
You can Cooper’s novel about swinging, A Life Less Monogamous, at alifelessmonogamous.com or his memoir My Life on the Swingset: Adventures in Swinging & Polyamory at mylifeontheswingset.com as an ebook, paperback, or audiobook and if you buy them from his sites, use promo code SWINGSET to save 10%!