Many women have a hard time keeping up in a man's world. Mass-market culture offers a feminine standard that is far too hard for most to match. Not only are they expected to be free of blemishes, as thin as they are busty, and otherwise attractive, from their styled hair down to their painted toenails, they're usually also expected to be charming, witty, compliant and well employed.
It's a hard enough icon to emulate when women are young. But, as they age, it becomes even more difficult. Once a woman is past the mid-thirties, our culture generally denies that they have very much sex appeal remaining. The mirror view they get of themselves consists of streaks of new wrinkles, weight that just won't go away, and strands of gray hair.
Sure, the same thing happens to men, and there are words for this - distinguished, mature, noble. But women seem to go from "young" straight to "elderly."
But wait! Lots of guys are attracted to mature women. Many men prefer women that are not too skinny, women who defy the norm with their hairstyles or makeup and women who have reached an age where they've forgotten how to giggle.
So, is this a view thrust on women, by men? Or is this a view that women incorporate, regardless of how they are treated? Most men would probably agree, that this feeling that women have is not reflective of how men truly view them. Though, it is a view reinforced many times daily, with newspaper and television advertisements that feature too many thin, young blondes.
But, luckily, there is a cure for this - the lifestyle.
Our own relationship provides a startling transformation. Lara was in her early forties when we began playing. We'd spoken about it for years, but she was hesitant, if not downright petrified, by the idea.
We'd been together for a dozen years or so. We still had great sex, though it was more of a weekly affair that had turned somewhat predictable. She'd grown shy as she'd aged. She rarely undressed unless she were alone. She locked the bathroom door when she showered. She took to wearing baggy jeans and blouses that did much to hide her form. We made love with the lights turned off.
Slowly but consistently, the direction our life was taking became clear. We were turning into our parents.
Eventually, Lara agreed to try some soft play with others. And her transformation began from there.
We started placing on-line ads and soon began hearing from interested couples and single men. We moved slowly from there. We got to know people through e-mails, chats and phone calls, before meeting. After meeting, we normally moved even slower. Our first few encounters barely had enough action to make a monk blush. But, she was discovering an amazing thing, men, all kinds of men, found her to be very sexy. While Lara is an extremely intelligent, knowledgeable woman who, if given half a chance, can quip and banter faster and better than a morning disc jockey, being considered physically desirable was something she'd given up on.
Entering the lifestyle was a difficult process for her. And, since I was new to it as well, I wasn't able to guide her along very well. But soon, given the circumstances we were putting ourselves into, other men were enjoying her, and she, them. Unless you've been through it, the intensity of the emotions we both encountered are impossible to describe. "Nervous" just isn't enough of a word to explain how you feel while driving over to meet new and potential play-partners. "Excited" can't encompass the feelings just before the first foreign touch. "Satisfied" would do an injustice to the feeling of contentment one has the day, or week, afterward.
The first indirect change for Lara was with her wardrobe. She couldn't well be meeting people for sexual play in the intentionally frumpy outfits that filled out her wardrobe. Suddenly mini-skirts, garter belts, nylons and tall, leather boots started showing up in the closet and dresser drawers.
Then, her shyness with me rapidly vanished. It had to. How could she be stripped naked in front of near strangers and then deny me the chance to see her the same way in our own home? How could she handle another man's hard-on, and not lend me a squeeze on her way by? She stopped wearing panties and a bra with every outfit. Rather than locking the bathroom door, she began inviting me into the shower with her. Whenever the weather allowed, she'd sleep in the nude, and hum all night long.
And sex with each other? Hot damn! Like it has never been before. Only now are we even able to realize how stale our sex life had been prior to the lifestyle. We seek out new experiences with each other - just to be sure we are able to try them together before we are caught sharing them with others. The foreplay of soft touches and gentle smiles can last from noon until midnight. I never know when, suddenly, she'll admit that she's been trapped in an erotic fantasy, and proves it by being wet to my touch. At times, we make love until the alarm clock beckons us to work.
Sex between us is more frequent, more intense and more satisfying. While Lara used to have multiple orgasms, they pale compared to the enduring chain of climaxes she now experiences. She used to beg me to stop when her coming overtook her rationalism. Now, she begs me for more.
When the kids aren't around, and the windows are closed, all we talk about is sex. When we'll have it again. How great it was last time. Who's next.
So, in the end, the lifestyle experience has had as much to do with convincing Lara that other men found her attractive, as it did with her to realize that I, her mate, her lover, her partner, have always thought of her that very same way.