By: Dr. R. Lindsey
Every journey begins with a first step. For "newbies" (a new couple) entry into the LifeStyle may begin through many different doorways. These doorways include but are not limited to: the Internet, personal ads in magazines, introduction by friends, going to an off-premise club, visiting an on-premise club, attending a house party, vacationing at a LifeStyle friendly resort, and attending a convention. This article will examine each of these "doorways" and explore the benefits and challenges of each.
The Internet The Internet is by far the fastest and least expensive way to explore the LifeStyle. There are free and fee-for-service sites that provide educational information, calendars of events, chat rooms, and the ever popular personal profiles. The internet has expanded and connected our world in so many ways and has truly brought the LifeStyle out of the closet. Benefits of the Internet are that it provides a simple and safe way to learn about the LifeStyle and meet other couples. However, the reliability of Internet sources and the large volume of information may be overwhelming. In researching this article I randomly selected a free local Yahoo Group for "swingers." Upon examination it had over 1500 profiles with members from 32 states. Sifting through all the choices is a daunting task. In addition one must also maintain a "buyer beware" attitude when deciding to "internet date." My wife and I have encountered couples whose photographs were ten years out of date, manipulated, or just posted under false pretenses. We have been "stood up" on more than one occasion and we have prepared to meet a couple only to encounter a single male or female. One must always take steps to ensure personal safety. Never go alone and always meet in a public venue.
Chat rooms and message boards are other methods of meeting singles and couples via the Internet. Most LifeStyle sites offer these services to get their members talking, answer questions, promote events, and sadly to gossip. One could spend all day writing messages, responding to email, and chatting on line. Don't allow yourself to be sucked in to this. Use the Internet as a tool. Do not let it replace direct communication and face to face interaction with others.
Personal Advertisements Personal advertisements are the forerunners to Internet dating. Personal ads may be found in many LifeStyle focused magazines and periodicals. Typically the personal ad is more direct and to the point because you pay by the line. Personal ads may include photographs, physical descriptions and social and sexual preferences. This helps the reader pick and choose who to contact in a more deliberate fashion. However, the same benefits and challenges apply here as with Internet dating. The Internet and personal ads are mass media approaches to learning about and entering the LifeStyle. Remember to use your head and be sensible in using these doorways.
Introduction by Friends Many couples have told me that they "stumbled into the LifeStyle." Often, they became aware of a couple that was in the LifeStyle, became curious, asked questions, and began to explore. Typically, one's "friends" would not have brought it up if they didn't feel that the novice couple was tolerant, open minded, and had the potential to enjoy the LifeStyle in a healthy manner. Sometimes these initial conversations prompt invitations to small intimate gatherings, house parties, or trips to a local club. Having friends assist you as trusted tour guides can be very helpful in taking your first steps. However, finding friends like this are rare. Most couples keep their LifeStyle activities private. In fact, it wasn't until we entered the LifeStyle that we became aware that many of our friends, neighbors, and relatives were part of the club. In addition, if you have had a long-term relationship with another couple, entering this territory may be stressful and could change the nature of your relationship. We have found that some friends will "just be friends" and some will be "friends with benefits." Ultimately, knowing someone helps in any new endeavor. Finding another couple to mentor you is a great way start. You can adopt this strategy in a deliberate fashion if you decide to. Let people know that you are "newbies." Look for friendship first. Look for couples that share common interests in addition to sex.
Going to at an Off-Premise Club
Going to an "off-premise" club is another way to begin to explore the LifeStyle. Off-premise clubs include many features typical of a private club with a more of an adult oriented LifeStyle friendly environment. Many have dancing, dining, and a bar. Some offer game rooms, contests, and the obligatory cover charge or member fee. Off-premise clubs offer a sexy environment with no sex. Hence the term off-premise (sex happens elsewhere). These clubs are a good place to meet others in a sexy yet safe environment. However, you will encounter the same challenges one has when trying to meet people at "vanilla clubs" (non-LifeStyle). Clubs can be loud and smoke filled and you still must overcome the typical anxieties that we all face when meeting new people. You are strongly encouraged to limit your use of alcohol for reducing anxiety. It is important to be clear if you truly want to meet others and learn from your experience. When you go to a club for the first time relax and get to know the surroundings, be friendly and patient. Smile, say hello, and take time to observe, and let people know that you are new to all this. You will find that honesty and manners go a long way. Remember, basic LifeStyle etiquette should always be employed. You may also encounter groups of people that appear to be cliquish. Most often they are just friends that are comfortable with one another and are not intentionally trying to exclude anyone from the conversation. Try not to be offended or angered if you feel ignored. In addition, many off-premise clubs admit single males and females at inflated and reduced rates respectively. Therefore you may encounter the advances of single club attendees. Many find this is uncomfortable and unwanted. Some see singles as being "on the prowl;" others view this as an opportunity to make a new friend. Either way, prepare for this type of interaction so you may handle it in a manner that is direct, respectful, and right for you. If you do meet others that you are interested in it is best to be ready. You may consider making special business cards with contact information (email address, screen name, phone). Some couples go so far as to print their photograph on their cards. Exchanging information is a great way to express mutual interest and begin communicating with other couples. Visiting an On-Premise Club If you are brand new to the LifeStyle and begin your adventure at an on-premise club prepare for nothing less than "WOW." Most on-premise clubs have become very upscale with membership fees and cover charges to match. Many offer fine dining or extensive buffets comparable to cruise ship cuisine. They also provide entertainment with many of the best deejays in the business and celebrity guests. Dress well and dress sexy. Many clubs offer changing rooms, lockers, and shower facilities. Get ready for a sassy and classy night out. On-premise means that the club provides space for patrons to engage in intimate behavior. Many on-premise clubs offer themed rooms that are designed to meet the needs of private parties, semi-private groups, and open groups of playful people. Voyeurism is often encouraged and enhances the experience of those being watched. This is a feast for the senses. The sights, sounds, smells, and energy may be extremely arousing. For new couples this may be a bit overwhelming. Be assured that you do not have to do anything and never allow yourself to be pressured. Know that these clubs represent the glitzy, high energy aspect of the LifeStyle. The club scene isn't for every couple and there are other options and venues for you to explore. Attending a House Party House parties are a great way to enter the LifeStyle and meet and greet new couples. Invites to house parties may come from friends, online groups, or people that you meet in clubs. House parties are more intimate than clubs. Many hosts serve light food and may provide a bar or ask guests to BYOB. Often guests are invited to spend the night. Well planned house parties have a mixture of couples that have already developed friendships/ relationships and new couples. There is also a range of experience. This diversity adds to the excitement of the gathering. Many house parties begin with an ice breaker activity. House parties offer the opportunity to talk, play party games, and move at one's own pace into more intimate activities. However, finding time to plan a party, family responsibilities, personal expense, space limitations, and nosey neighbors limit the size and frequency of house parties. If you are invited to a house party know that hosting a house party requires a lot of energy. Be gracious and thankful to your host and do not commit to attending a house party if you cannot or choose not to go.
Vacationing at a LifeStyle Friendly Resort Vacationing at a LifeStyle friendly resort is another way to begin your adventure. These resorts cater to open minded singles and couples, many are all inclusive, and most are clothing optional. However, you must remember that not all nudists are swingers and not all swingers are nudists. These resorts are adult oriented and sponsor activities and parties that promote sexy fun. Many couples travel to these resorts unaware of the LifeStyle and observe their first experiences at these resorts. Although these resorts are full of sexy fun they are also full of other activities typical of vacation destinations. This is great for newbies because there is always something to see and do. Similarly, there is a degree of anonymity and distance in exploring the LifeStyle far away from home. It parallels the mentality of "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." This feeling of freedom combined with the erotic atmosphere is a seductive combination. However, these experiences do require time away from work, money to pay for it, and are not designed for the family. If you can work around these challenges, you can expect to have a great time at a great price with memories to last a lifetime.
Attending a Convention Convention attendance is an excellent way to enter the LifeStyle. In fact, it is how my wife and I were introduced (a story for another time). Conferences offer a wide range of activities to attendees, many of which are designed with newbies in mind. Most conventions offer seminars which are great opportunities to learn the ropes, meet people, dispel myths, and reduce one's anxiety. Serious topics often include: "An Orientation to Lifestyle Etiquette," "Rule Making and Breaking," "Coping with Jealousy," "How to Meet and Greet," and "How to Say No and Still Be Friends." Fun topics may include: "Intimate Massage Classes," "Sexy Photography," "The Art of Mutual Masturbation," and "How to Strip for Your Man." Most conferences offer packages that include rooms, meals and activities. They sponsor contests, pool parties, and evening events such as dances and other entertainment. Conventions provide a great venue to meet a large number of other couples. Conferences come in many sizes. Some are large with over 3000 attendees and cover many venues. Others are more intimate, restricting their numbers to around 300-400 couples and take place in a single venue assuring privacy and safety. Newer, more progressive conventions have taken the most attractive aspects of the internet, on-premise clubs, and vacation resorts and combined them into a 3-4 day stateside experience. Many conventions have their own Yahoo group with member profiles, email and chat. They sponsor great parties with great entertainment, food, and dancing. Some create beautiful and elaborate theme rooms for late night sexy fun. Remember, if you come to a convention, don't arrive with expectations but expect to have a great time. The Time Is Now The time is now, or maybe later. Either way I hope that you will consider the various doorways to the LifeStyle described in this article and when ready consider the door open and yourself welcome.