In the days following the birth of my first child, I silently cursed my girlfriends for withholding valuable information. Things like: “There is no silent farting postpartum, it’s impossible,” and “You will pee your pants, more than once,” would have helped me feel more normal as I struggled to keep my baby alive with my boobs.
Much like the first days of motherhood, my early forays in social sex came with some surprising challenges. My partner and I didn’t have a Lifestyle community yet, and with only each other and some good books as guides, we hit some bumps. Bumps our guidebooks didn’t cover.
So that you won’t silently curse me as you begin your sexual adventuring, I offer my Wish-I’d-Knowns.*
Here you are, living your ultimate sex fantasy. It’s happening – look at this, there’s a girl, and a girl, or a guy and a guy, and oh my God this is amazing. What. The. Hell. Penis? Hello? Penis?
No matter if you’re 23-years-old or 63, your cock will have its own ideas about performance in a social setting. When – not if – this happens, attitude is everything. This is not the time to get defensive. Nor is it timely for your ego to go unchecked. Anger, embarrassment, and/or disbelief aren’t helpful and will surely erase the goodwill that got you in to this hot sex pile in the first place.
What to do? “Hey, my dick isn’t cooperating with my brain. How may I pleasure you?” is a perfectly acceptable turn of phrase. “Show me how you touch yourself,” is also an alluring invitation that puts the focus on your partner, and off of your uncooperative penis.
Be humble. This happens to everyone. Ask your swervy male friends about performance anxiety. Connect!
Finally, there are a number of fine over-the-counter and prescription erectile helpers out there. Find one that’s right for you.
Now that you’re in the intimate company of more people, you have availed yourself to the occasional cold, quite possibly the flu, and, yes, sexually transmitted infections.
HPV (Human Papillomavirus) is as virulent as its name suggests. I won’t mince words: I’ll be shocked if you DON’T contract a strain of HPV during your social sex adventure. Everyone’s a carrier, there are many strains, and it’s a virus. Don’t freak out, educate yourself.
Same goes for HSV (Herpes Simplex Virus) I and II. This virus is amazing: a person can be an HSV carrier and never test positive! Wow, biology, that’s impressive. For those who are HSV-positive, the suppression drugs are incredible these days, thanks for using them.
I urge everyone to chill-the-heck-out about HSV and HPV.
Ellacy Dawson: STI’s Aren’t a Consequence, They’re Inevitable
Now, if you test positive for a bacterial STI, hop on the antibiotics and tell your friends who’ve been exposed. It’s that simple. If you had strep throat and exposed your friends, you’d tell them, right? Right.
Let’s normalize the conversation around STI’s, for goodness sake. Shame has no place here.
If I was to add a warning label to alcohol it’d go something like this: “If you’re swervy, you are already on a powerful, endorphin releasing drug: sex.”
I will speak personally here, and I hope it resonates. I don’t want to have sex with anyone who’s stumbling drunk. I like good, memorable sex, with people who are present.
If you’re new to the swervy lifestyle, take it slow with the alcohol. Enjoy the incredible highs that come with simply being around sexy people. Tempering your drink leads to better judgement, memorable memories, and not-so-many regrets! Sex is so much damn fun, diluting your sexual experience undermines the whole reason you’re here.
Never leave your drink unattended. Ever.
Antidepressants don’t mix well with alcohol, please be careful.
Pot, now legal in my fabulous state, can have deleterious effects when used with alcohol. Please be careful.
A word about illegal narcotics: if you are compelled to experiment, do so with someone who has experience with that drug. This is the “Pro or No” move. Also, take half of whatever is offered. I do not condone the use of illegal drugs for people who don’t have any common sense.
Fear of Missing Out
You will make friends, and you will make them fast. Nothing makes for immediate intimacy like sex. Sometimes the sex is great and friendship follows. Sometimes the sex is great and you never hear from that person again. Whatever scenario unfolds, it’s likely that you’ll see past and present lovers on social media or around town doing things with other people.
Fact: people do things with other people.
Fact: when swervy people do things with other swervy people it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re having (or ever had) sex with each other.
Feelings around missing out are painful and are certainly exacerbated by social media. If you find that you’re sensitive to social media, it’s time to keep in touch with friends in a more personal way. If you are feeling lonely in this new lifestyle, connect with people and activities that you loved before the heady days of social sex. Friends, family, or interests that have lain fallow will give you much-needed perspective.
* You will encounter a plethora of emotions and situations as you explore non-monogamy. Jealously, boundary setting, and conflict resolution are huge topics. Please see my Resources Page for advice from very smart people.
We swing with another couple who are much more active than we are and you are absolutely right about the feelings of being left out. We each had a reaction to not being invited to play more frequently; we easily overcame these feelings when we discussed this as a couple (just among ourselves) but we did NEED to discuss it as it would have festered.