Five Things I, a Swinger, Hate About the Swinging Scene

I consider myself a swinger, in that I’m in a committed Primary, living-together-as-married relationship wherein we have sex with other people outside of our relationship together. (We’re also polyamorous and form independent romantic/sexual relationships with other people – yes it is possible to be both, but that’s a topic for another day.)

There are a lot of things I love about swinging – the opportunity to play with all different people with all different kinds of bodies, the voyeuristic fun of watching my partner playing with someone else, the exhibitionist joy of being watched, getting to indulge in different kinks and fetishes, the fact that swing clubs are more accessible to me in a variety of ways than ‘normal’ nightclubs ever were, the social aspect of meeting lots of new and interesting people, and much more.

But the longer I spend in the swinging scene, the more problems I see with it too – and that saddens me. Mr CK and me don’t intend to stop swinging any time soon, but we’ve certainly become choosier and choosier about the kinds of behaviour we’re willing to accept and the kind of venues and events we feel comfortable frequenting. So here are five things I see all too often in the swing scene which I do not love.

The racism.

I’m white. Mr CK is white. However, we’ve made a policy of blocking and not engaging in anyone who has any variation on “white people only!!” or “no blacks or Asians” on their swinger profile. (We are not looking for ally cookies here. This is basic fucking human decency, not some awesome selfless act of deigning to not fuck racists.) Our block list is ENORMOUS from this alone. Swinging has always been, and sadly still is, largely the realm of upper-Middle class white people. Unfortunately, huge swathes of this group seem to think it’s entirely reasonable to make a snap judgement on every single potential partner of certain races. It’s not “just a preference,” people. It’s racist.

The body shaming.

I keep my body hair fully natural and have done for a good couple of years at this point. My partners love it but, much more importantly, I love it. However, the number of people whose profile includes a line along the lines of “we’re clean shaven everywhere and expect the same” is astonishing. And it’s not just body hair – fat people, disabled people, men shorter than 6ft, men without big muscles, and non-gargantuan penises also get hate piled on them from people screaming “just a preference!!!!” all over their profiles. We block those people too. Are you surprised our pool is diminishing every time we log on?

The heteronormativity.

Holy shit, the heteronormativity! The assumption is that if you’re a swinger, you’re a cis person married to another cis person of the opposite binary gender. People who break this mold are few and far between, and often treated as some kind of exotic curiosity. Similarly, it’s often expected that women will play with other women, but only if their bisexuality is performed in a way that’s centred around men’s visual enjoyment. And as for the men? It’s still taboo at best to be a bisexual man in the mainstream swinging scene – some clubs even go as far as banning man-on-man action (we won’t go to those clubs.)

The vanilla-normativity.

At our first swing night, we asked about kink rules. The club owner, who knew us from fetish events we’d attended in the same venue, was hesitant. “Um, well, I guess light kink is probably okay. But don’t scare my regulars.” So, spanking? Floor-work bondage? Nope and nope. Turns out “light kink” translated to “sex that is maybe a tiny bit rougher than missionary-with-the-lights-out.” Okay then. When we did engage in a bit of rope play in a semi-private room at the same club, we gathered a crowd of sweet-but-clueless gawkers who thought they’d never seen anything quite so weird in their lives before. Obviously not everyone has to be kinky, and I understand vanilla swingers might not want blood being drawn in their nice clean clubs or bullwhips flying everywhere, but being treated like a sideshow because we like something a little different gets wearing really fast.

The toxic masculinity.

My above point about male bisexuality being taboo is relevant here – many of the men I meet through the swing scene are not just straight but aggressively straight – the idea of even being in proximity with another penis is terrifying and some couples even go as far as to say they won’t play with a man who has ever had sexual contact with another man. Bisexuality isn’t catching, y’all! But it’s more than just this. Comments about being/only wanting “a real man” abound. Aggressive hatred piled on men who cross-dress or otherwise don’t live up to masculine stereotypes. Excessive boasting about penis size and/or sexual prowess (honestly, I don’t care if you have a 12″ dick and love “eating pussy” (ew) if you can’t hold a conversation.) Borderline-rapey comments about “just knowing” what women want. It’s all there and it’s all gross.

Sometimes it makes us despair and makes us want to withdraw from the whole game for a while. But just occasionally, we do meet awesome, genuine people who are on the same wavelength as us, and then it feels more worth it. But the mainstream swinging scene still has a lot of growing up to do.

I want to keep slutting it around with lots of lovely sexy people and share these experiences with my partner, but we want something a bit… more body-positive. Queerer. Kinkier. Different. Even if it takes longer to meet our people and build our sexy little community.

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“Pretty” is Not My Success: On Being a Swan

I grew up ugly.

Well-meaning family would probably tell you otherwise, but by conventional western 21st century societal standards of attractiveness, it is objectively true. I tried not to be, of course. In a rough secondary school in the early 2000s, “ugly” was just about the worst fate to which one could possibly succumb. But whatever I tried, it didn’t work. I would always be too fat, too frizzy haired, too hairy, too unfashionable, too this, not enough that, to be anything other than a perpetual joke.

The words people said to me for the first seventeen years of my life were so vicious and cruel that even now, I can barely bring myself to repeat them. I still feel the sting when I think back, like an old injury that still twinges from time to time.

Growing up, The Ugly Duckling was my favourite fairytale. I used to dream that one day, maybe I could wake up and be pretty. Then everyone would realise I’d been a swan all along!

I very much painted this hypothetical scenario in my head as a kind of justice, perhaps even revenge. When I was pretty, I thought, the bullies would realise they were wrong about me. They’d see I had never deserved all the cruelty they threw at me.

I actually got my wish. Okay, it wasn’t quite so sudden, but sometime between seventeen and nineteen I got hot. It’s taboo for a woman to love herself at the best of times. Typing these physical attributes that I like about myself is surprisingly difficult, but here goes: I have a pretty face, hourglass figure and an ass to die for. I’m pretty fucking cute.

For a good couple of years after I finally escaped the constant bullying for being ugly, I would frequently comfort myself with the thought that I’d got the best possible revenge by becoming pretty.

Being pretty affords me certain privileges. Of that I am absolutely certain. It is well documented that people perceived to be “beautiful” are often treated better by society. It also comes with some downsides, which Emilie Autumn described better than I ever could.

But you know what? The Ugly Duckling is fundamentally a lie.

Growing into my looks and becoming hot wasn’t the thing that saved me. It sure as hell wasn’t what made me happy. And it absolutely wasn’t what made me grow into the amazing, worthwhile human I am today.

We shouldn’t be reading a story to kids where the moral is “don’t be mean to someone who isn’t pretty because they might be pretty some day”. How about, “don’t be mean to someone who isn’t pretty because looks are 99.9% genetic, and seriously how decorative they are is literally the least interesting and important of a million awesome things about them?”

I’m a success despite the intense trauma I experienced as a child and young adult. I’m smart, I have a killer work-ethic, I put myself through two grueling degrees. I have a job I love that makes a real difference to people’s lives. I’m indulging my passions for writing and sex education and starting to build a name for myself in those worlds. I have amazing partners who love me. I generally strive to be kind and compassionate and make a positive difference in the world.

If I’d stayed ugly, I would still be absolutely everything else on this list.

My “fuck you” to the bullies wasn’t growing up to be hot. It was growing up to be a hundred awesome things that have absolutely no bearing on whether I’m hot or not, and that will make a positive imprint on the world long after my looks have faded.

Pretty is not my success. Beauty is not my justice. “Hot” is an accident of biology lining up at least somewhat with arbitrary societal standards.

It’s not true to say that I didn’t deserve the cruelty I received because I was a swan all along. I didn’t deserve it because I’m a goddamn person and don’t deserve to be abused because someone doesn’t find me aesthetically pleasing enough.

So fuck that story for teaching me that I’d eventually become pretty and then it would all be okay.

Can we have a realistic version where the “Duckling” wakes up as a swan and then spends ten years in therapy to overcome the horrific lookist bullying he suffered in his formative years?

Or better yet, a version where the Duckling goes “oh fuck this shit, these people are petty bullies and pretty is only surface deep” and whether he becomes a swan or not is totally immaterial because he’s off curing cancer or flying to the moon or becoming a badass sex educator and saving the world with dildo reviews or some shit?

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Can the Concept of Foreplay Just Die in a Fucking Fire?

Controversial opinion time: foreplay is not a thing.

There’s a big problem with the concept of foreplay. I don’t mean the acts it entails – fingers, tongues, mouths, toys, making out, massages, undressing each other and more. All of those things, and many more, are wonderful and valid expressions of sexuality.

But those things? They are not foreplay. They are sex.

Let’s break this down. “Foreplay” implies that it comes before something – namely, of course, penis-in-vagina (hereafter PIV) sex. And this is problematic on a number of levels.

First of all it’s heteronormative as fuck. Not everyone is straight and cisgender. Not every sexual pairing consists of one penis and one vagina. The implication here is that only heterosexual, cisgender people have Real Sex (TM) and everything else is “merely” foreplay.

Secondly, and this may come as a shock – not all straight, cisgender people like PIV sex! Even pairings of one penis-owner with one vagina-owner does not necessarily imply that PIV will be their favourite sexual activity or even part of their sexual repertoire at all.

Personally, I love PIV sex. I come really fast and repeatedly from g-spot stimulation and Mr CK’s cock hits that sweet spot just perfectly. But there was a time – a long time – when it wasn’t my favourite sexual activity, because earlier in my development intense g-spot pounding did very little for me.

I’ll let you in on a secret – even though I love it, loads of the sex I have isn’t PIV focussed. Plenty of the sex me and the Mr have together doesn’t involve penetrative fucking – just last night, for example, he caned my ass then watched and talked dirty to me while I got myself off with my Doxy. And it was a wonderful and fulfilling session. For various reasons relating to non-monogamy agreements, the Ace spectrum and people’s boundaries, I’m only quite rarely having PIV sex with anyone other than Mr CK right now. The sexual relationships I have with other people are still amazing, hot and fulfilling. And sometimes, this queer girl even fucks other people with vaginas! (Shocking, I know.) Those sexual encounters with other vagina-owners are not, I promise you, any less amazing than those with penis-owners.

When a guy bends me over his lap, spanks me until I’m dripping and then fingers me hard while telling me what a dirty slut I am? That’s sex. When I pin a girl down while Mr uses the Doxy on her until she comes and he doesn’t even take his pants off? That’s sex. When I’m playing with another woman and I go down on her and she finger-fucks me until we both come? Sex. When he holds me and reads a filthy story to me or talks me through a hot fantasy while I wank? You guessed it… sex.

That’s why I want to kill the idea of foreplay forever. It places PIV as the pinnacle of sexual experience and everything else as something lesser, something not quite real, something before.

There is no such thing as this thing called “foreplay,” because there are a million things under this amazing, huge umbrella that we call “sex.”

This was my final post of #Smutathon2017. If you’ve enjoyed it, please donate to the amazing charities.

“Creepy Fuckery” (or: “Niece Jackie”) – Amy Watches You Me Her, S1E5

You may recall that episode 4 ended with Izzy’s roommate (edit: her name is Nina!) catching Izzy and Jack making out, moments after crashing into and breaking Nina’s grandmother’s antique lamp. Well, episode 5 begins with Izzy and Jack sitting at the table looking sheepish while Nina tells them off.

There’s a knock on the door, and in comes pdeudo-boyfriend Andy. “Ooh, this is gonna be interesting,” says Nina. No kidding. Jack awkwardly introduces himself, calls Andy “dude,” then apologises which just makes the whole thing that bit more excruciating. Jack says he’s Izzy’s uncle but they’re “more like cousins because we’re so close in age.”

  1. Who are you kidding, Jack-Not-Fred?
  2. If Andy is buying this for even a tenth of a millisecond, he’s the biggest idiot in this entire show populated by total idiots.

Izzy asks to move their planned lunch to cocktails later. Andy leaves after throwing a snarky “dude” remark in Jack’s direction.

“Yes, I’m a client,” Jack says, answering both Nina’s question and mine. “There’s your tip,” he adds to Izzy, leaving money on the side and walking out. Nina pockets the money, which is kinda fair given that Izzy and Jack just broke her expensive heirloom lamp.

Later, Izzy and Nina walk across campus and Nina asks Izzy why she kissed Andy in front of Jack. Izzy says it was to keep Andy “on simmer” (um?) but Nina knows it was to make Jack jealous and calls her out on it. Here’s a thing: if purposefully making your partners (who don’t even officially know about each other!) jealous is your game, you’re not ready for non-monogamy.

Nina asks Izzy if she’s okay breaking up a marriage. Izzy confesses her feelings about Jack and Emma. “Oh yeah, it would be so tragic if all three of you didn’t live happily ever after,” says Nina, ever the sympathetic friend. I mean, I can kind of see her point because we all know this is heading towards a trainwreck of epic proportions, but at the same time, triads CAN work and can be happy and functional. Just not when they start with both members of a couple cheating on each other with the same sex worker, the SW inexplicably catching feels, and no-one having a clue how to do even the most basic communication.

The phone rings and it’s Emma. Only apparently she’s “Em” to Izzy now. Emma is with Carmen, who is obnoxiously trying to get her attention – I think to tell Emma to break up with Izzy. Izzy pretends Andy is on the other line and about to take her on holiday, and hangs up. Emma is upset and shouts “FUCK,” despite the fact that she’s in the middle of a public park and there are children around. This leads to this amazing exchange:

Emma: “Sorry, sorry! Hey kids, don’t do drugs, stay in school!”
Random Mum: “They’re toddlers, dumbshit!”
Emma: “Dumbshit!? Oh yeah, well I bet those snotty little brats aren’t even vaccinated!”
Random Mum: “I’ll vaccinate your ass!”

And then Carmen pulls Emma away, Emma professes how much she “HATES ANDY,” and Carmen demands that Emma not bring any of the Izzy drama into “HER neighbourhood” or around “HER children.” Hey Carmen, Emma might be acting world-class foolish, but she lives in the neighbourhood too and can invite whoever she damn well pleases back to her own damn house. Step off.

Later, Emma and Jack are having drinks. Emma confesses to phoning Izzy, and Jack confesses to visiting Izzy during his lunch hour. In a moment of surprisingly rational and adult conversation, Emma admits to being “scared and nervous and excited.” Next thing we know, they’re actually communicating! Jack asks what happens next, and Emma points out that there’s a third person involved who should probably get a say. I suddenly find new respect for her until…

…the bitching about Andy begins. “I hope he has low self-esteem!” says Jack. “Does he hate puppies and poor people?” Emma counters. Wow, guys. Really?

We cut to Izzy and Andy, who are eating pizza – because of course when a skinny, normatively attractive woman loves pizza, it’s OMGSOCUTE #Keepingitreal. I bet if Izzy was fat, this scene would get a very different response from viewers. Andy wants Izzy to “decide.” Decide what?

Back at Jack and Emma’s house, they’re fighting about the “niece” thing (remember when Jack told his boss’s daughter, whom he inexplicably felt he owed an explanation to, that Izzy was his niece “Jackie?” Yeah.)

Izzy is in a cab after Jack texts her telling her to come over but take a “slightly different route.” The cabbie is hitting on her and asks if the drop-off spot – in seemingly the middle of nowhere – is where she really wants to be. She essentially tells him to fuck off, gets out of the cab and wanders into some nearby woods, muttering, “damn fucking aunt and uncle bullshit. Fucking JACKIE!” Meanwhile, Jack and Emma are freaking out waiting for Izzy to arrive (apparently they just said “come over” but didn’t specify a time or anything, because obviously people do that,) and right on cue she arrives. Her first words are “if you don’t have something that makes sense in a shot glass, I’m killing everyone but the pug.” On balance, I’m voting in favour of this idea.

Lori, across the street, is spying on Jack and Emma’s house. Because of course she fucking is. Because she’s not only the nosiest busybody in existence, she’s also Jack’s boss and has no sense whatsoever of professional boundaries. If I found out my boss was watching my house, neighbour or not, I would literally take out a restraining order. Lori’s kid (“Ava,” apparently) comes outside and says, “we both know there’s something weird going on with them and that niece.” They then quickly realise “Jackie” is “in there.”

Jack, Emma and Izzy are all drunk, but Jack stops them getting stoned before they talk about Serious Adult Things. Meanwhile, back in the bar, Andy is talking to the bartender, who is also the cabbie from earlier who dropped Izzy off. Sure, why not? Also, he’s played by Patrick Gilmore, who was adorable David Mailer in Travelers, if you’ve seen that. (If you haven’t, you should. Gilmore is wasted in this nonsense.) Ooh, Bar & Cabbie Guy (“Shaun” is apparently his name) has recognised Andy as Izzy’s boyfriend and is about to reveal where he dropped her off.

Our intrepid “throuple” (fuck me I hate that word) are talking. Apparently Andy was a ploy all along to make Jack and Emma jealous and see if they “feel the same.” Also, Izzy is all “I MET YOU FOUR DAYS AGO BUT I CAN’T STAND THE IDEA OF YOU HAVING SEX WITHOUT ME.” For fuck’s sake, Izzy. Firstly, they’re married. Secondly, as you correctly identified, you’ve known them ten minutes. Third, and very important, even in non-monogamous arrangements the individual dyads do tend to have sex 1-on-1 at times. We’ve established that all three of them are super jealous for various reasons. This is not a problem in and of itself, of course, but I just know they’re not going to handle it in a constructive fashion.

In the bar, Andy is putting two and two together. In the house, Jack asks “where do we go from here?” “Well the logical question,” Emma replies, “is, has anyone in this room ever… had a threesome?” They establish they haven’t. In the bar, Andy gives Shaun $80 to tell him exactly where Izzy is. Creepy. And credits.

Are we FINALLY going to get to see some hot threesome action in episode 6 of this “SUPER HOT THREESOME SHOW?” I will be very angry if not, but based on what I’ve seen thus far, if this lukewarm nonsense can pull “hot” out of the bag I will be stunned.

If you’re watching, feel free to tweet along with me! If I’ve saved you from this nonsense, you owe me a coffee something that makes sense in a shot glass.

“Is That a Vagina Joke?” (or: “Check a Box”) – Amy Watches You Me Her, S1E4

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, for I watched episode 4 of this travesty three weeks ago and have only just gathered enough fucks to write it up.

Episode 4 begins with Jack and Emma fucking. Jack says, as they finish, “it feels like we just gave orgasms to everyone within a two-mile radius!” Um. What? The pillowtalk that follows consists entirely of them congratulating themselves on how sexy their performance was. [Spoiler: it wasn’t.] Emma reveals she used to feel relieved after sex was over (poor woman!) and wonders if this new spark is “all Izzy.”

Jack goes jogging with Emma’s friend Carmen’s husband, Neighbour Dude. [Edit: his name is Dave!) Dave is interrogating Jack in a “he blatantly knows” kind of way. Not one to mince his words, he tells Jack “I think you’re a fucking moron” and lectures him on keeping fantasy as fantasy, then admits he’s jealous and asks how the rules work.

Also this just in: when two women have sex, apparently their vulvas just “smoosh together.” Well then.

Jack admits he thinks he has “never found a fucking G-spot in my life.” I have two comments on this:

  1. This is literally 5 minutes after “OH EM GEE WE JUST REINVENTED SEX.”
  2. It’s, like, a couple of inches inside and on the front wall in most vaginas. It’s not hiding!

Dave mentions that Carmen thinks Emma is in love with Izzy. No she isn’t, they barely know each other. She’s infatuated at best.

Next scene, Jack is at work (he works in a school, remember.) A teenage girl comes in who turns out to be Lori’s daughter (Lori is their nosy neighbour, who is also the Dean of the school and therefore in charge of basically Jack’s entire career.)

Lori’s Kid: “Who was that chick at your house?”
Jack: “Why do I have to tell you that?”
Me: “You don’t, Jack! You’re the fucking teacher here! Tell the brat to mind her own business and throw her out of your office stat!”

Lori’s kid is acting inappropriately sexual and Jack tells her to stop with the “Lolita act.” Ew. (Also LOLITA WAS A FUCKING TWELVE YEAR OLD ABUSE VICTIM, READ THE FUCKING BOOK FOR FUCKING FUCK’S SAKE.)

Jack says Izzy is his niece, leading Lori’s kid to say he must be “old as shit.” Okay why isn’t this kid in detention yet? Jack finally gets rid of her, gets Emma on the phone, and they decide no more Izzy at the house. Lori comes by and Jack goes into full-on Kiss Ass mode, and invites her to a party. Smooth, Jack-Not-Fred. Very smooth.

We cut to Emma and Carmen, who are drinking juice on a pier. Carmen is giving Emma a much-needed reality check re. Lori and the future of Jack’s career. She lectures Emma about ruining her life with the “Izzy” situation and the spectre of waking up one day “with saggy tits, wondering where your awesome life went.” Nice. She steals Emma’s phone and threatens to dump Izzy for her if Emma won’t do it herself. Emma grabs the phone back and runs off.

Meanwhile, Creepy Pseudo-Boyfriend Andy is pissed that Izzy has been booty-calling him and breaking dates for 3 months. Fair. Izzy is vegging out on the sofa in jeans, comfy booties and… a lacy bra!? Fuck me sideways, I don’t even wear lacy bras to go out in, never mind on the sofa at home. There’s a knock on the door and…

…surprise! It’s Jack! Izzy scolds him for coming round unannounced. He points out she did the same a couple episodes back. I guess mutual stalking is okay?

Jack: “Why aren’t you dressed? It’s like 12:30.”
Me: “STUDENTS, Jack. Students.”

He makes a show of dumping her – apparently they won’t be “requiring [her] services any longer.” These people have no fucking clue if this is a sex-worker/client or a love relationship and they really need to make their minds up. Izzy calls his bluff, stating that Emma had no part in this decision and he’s unilaterally decided to duck out. Yeah, no shit.

He tells her to keep away from his wife. She calls him a “misogynistic dickbag.” I suddenly like her a lot more! She makes a bet he’d call her again within 2 weeks. He says, “stop acting like you’re irresistible.” “You don’t think about me?” she asks, taunting him. They make out. Her shirt is off. They crash into a lamp.

“This counts as our date, right?” he asks amidst the making out. Then right on cue, Izzy’s roommate walks in. Roomie is pissed – apparently the lamp was her grandmother’s and is an antique, and also Izzy broke the eminently sensible “Rule #1” – never tell clients where they live. She calls Jack “Clark Griswold,” a reference which is lost on me.

Roomie asks if Jack is a client or “something else.” I’m glad I am not the only one wondering this. Izzy goes, “umm…” and we fade to black.

Goddamn, even for this show, that episode was inane.

Please for the love of God buy me a gin if you want me to keep doing this.