I’m the girl who has had to overcome self-comparison and insecurity and put aside her initial reservations and fears.
The girl who a few years ago was so insecure in her relationships that she used to deny herself what she craved out of fear of upsetting her partner.
The girl who used to be so jealous that it became almost debilitating within pre-existing monogamous relationships.
Identifying as Bisexual
When I was about 12 years old, I had a feeling I was different to other kids. I was at an age where many of my friends had started to have playground boyfriends and were spending time at weekends doing what teenagers did and were going on ‘dates’ to the cinema.
Dates with boys. Girls had dates with boys. Although I joined in with this, I soon realised that I didn’t want to choose between spending time with boys and girls. I liked both, for different reasons. But due to peer pressure and the fact that I was a teenager who just wanted to ‘fit in’, I never thought to question why I felt this way and instead grew up with a feeling that I couldn’t quite understand.
It wasn’t until I was about 17 that I realised I was attracted to both men and women, and it took me a further five years to speak up about it whilst in a monogamous relationship.
Where do I go from here?
It wasn’t telling my boyfriend that I identified as Bisexual that was the problem; the ‘where do we go from here?’ was the first hurdle to overcome. I had a vague idea that ‘swingers’ existed but how it worked and who did it, and what it was like, was something I had not the first clue about.
It was incredibly frustrating, wanting to explore this side of my sexuality but being terrified of what that may entail.
When my boyfriend suggested swinging, my initial reaction was to be hostile! Even though I myself wanted to discover more!
The fear of opening up our relationship and potentially jeopardising what we had was overwhelming. The last thing I wanted to do was ruin a great relationship.
But I knew something had to be done. After all, was I happy knowing that there was a whole other side to me that, up until this point, had stayed hidden away?
And this predicament, coupled with the fact that I was pretty insecure and most definitely the jealous type, meant that I had to teach myself a lot before I could even contemplate getting involved in the lifestyle.
The transformation didn’t happen overnight.
Like so many people do, the first thing I did was look online. But this was wayyy back when Instagram wasn’t a thing, and there were only one or two swinger dating sites. I did find some blogs helpful, but most of my knowledge came from reading books about human sexuality and human behaviour and then applying what I had learnt to my situation.
I realised that what I was experiencing, was in fact, completely normal. And by verbalising my needs and then seeking ways to have these needs met, together, without jeopardising our relationship, we could discover another way to live.
I remember the first time we loaded up a swinger dating website; I was so nervous, I was convinced it would be full of porn, and my boyfriend would be dragged away from my clutches by a woman I could never compete with.
You will be pleased to know that the reality was quite, if not entirely different.
Couples, lots of like-minded, young couples with regular jobs and regular lives. Couples, who, like us were frustrated and curious in equal measure and were all tentatively dipping their toes in this brand new lifestyle.
My boyfriend and I began to draw up a list of rules to follow when talking to other swingers and began to have more open conversations about sex and our relationship. We found we had to be honest; we had to share and be vulnerable.
We had to say ‘I’m not ok with this’ or ‘actually, I liked that.’
The biggest thing I still had to overcome was jealousy.
I was convinced that the minute we introduced another woman or couple into the mix, he would leave me for her. Even though I wanted to have sex with her, my jealous nature was proving difficult to turn off. So again, I educated myself and discovered where my jealousy stemmed from.
Once I learnt where it stemmed from (self-comparison) I began to get a handle on my emotions. We had more and more conversations. I told him how I was feeling, what I feared the most and what I thought would happen.
By the time we met the first couple we swung with, I still felt nervous, but it was a different kind of nervousness. It was excited anticipation, and when I confided in the woman that I had been feeling jealous, she confided in me that she had been feeling the same way. She, like me, was terrified of her partner running off with someone else; she was excited to be in the lifestyle but was apprehensive about what might happen. We soon realised that both of us were frightened of the same things and had no intention of running off with someone else partner and just wanted to enjoy the freedom of having sex with others whilst maintaining the core bond with our partners.
It was from here that I began to work on self-comparison and my approach to handling jealousy when swinging; which forms a large part of what I teach people today.
Why I believe monogamy Is Not The Answer
I used to believe that my journey started ten years ago, but in reality, it started a lot earlier than that.
Over the last ten years, I have discovered how to navigate the lifestyle and overcome many obstacles and difficulties, to the point where I can now confidently say, ‘I know a lot about Ethical Non-Monogamy and open relationships, let me teach you.’
But it’s the process that I went through prior to the last ten years that was the starting point for everything that followed.
I now want to share with people like yourself that having the desire to open up your relationship or explore other types of relationships is possible. Not only will I teach you how to do this successfully whilst keeping your relationship intact, but I will also help you understand why you feel this way in the first place.
A large part of the journey starts with acceptance. Acceptance that we are responding to our bodies natural urges and that placing all expectations on one partner for the rest of their lives is very unrealistic.
What’s the one thing that ruins most relationships? What is the one thing that men and women are scared of the most? What’s one of the most concerning issues I hear from my clients as a relationship counsellor?
Cheating and being unfaithful in your relationship.
Let me ask you a question: if we are meant to be monogamous, as society dictates, then why do so many people cheat on one another?
Why is it that fear of their partner cheating on them or leaving them for someone else means that for many people, a large proportion of their relationship is spent anxiously worrying about their partner’s behaviour?
That niggling doubt is playing on their mind, whilst all the time, in most cases, they too have those urges to be intimate with other people.
I was raised in a monogamous household. Growing up, I was taught that you find a partner, get married, make a family home, and live happily ever after. And for so many of us, this is the norm. We allow for this to become our normality simply because it has been ingrained into society for hundreds of years.
You need to understand that we humans were not built to be monogamous. Sure, monogamy is great for some things, such as raising a family, where both partners are working together to create a loving home to raise their young, but other than that, it isn’t actually very useful. Monogamy does lead to pair bonding, which leads to love, which is an important ingredient when we talk about creating a lasting relationship, but that urge to have sex with others remains.
It doesn’t simply slip away and disappear. Many people choose not to address it and can then become frustrated at their situation, and for others, they act on it but end up jeopardising their existing relationship without any intention of actually wanting to leave their partner.
They don’t cheat because they are unhappy; they cheat because they are responding to a natural urge that they don’t know how to talk about with their partner out of fear of rejection or conflict.
And imagine if you like me, identify as Bisexual? Is one person going to be able to fulfil all those needs for you? Emotionally? Sexually? No, of course, they aren’t! So what are you to do? Never discuss it out of fear of rejection? Or cheat and hope you don’t get caught?
What if I told you there was a way to enjoy all the fantastic physical and emotional intimacy that comes with being in a relationship whilst exploring your sexuality in a way that doesn’t jeopardise your existing relationship?
Those desires you keep hidden away from your partner, those fantasies you have felt unable to share with them out of fear of rejection or shame.
I want to show you that there are other ways to have relationships.
Ways that allow you to have all the emotional intimacy and security that monogamy offers but the ability to explore other possibilities whilst maintaining your existing relationship.
Think it can’t be done? It really can!
I’m here to help people talk about their sexual needs openly so they can have meaningful and satisfying relationships built on trust and honesty.
Let’s banish the stigma about Ethical Non-Monogamy and Swinger Lifestyle together!