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Sam the Tikiphile's wife came out as bisexual but one thing led to another and soon this vanilla one-man-one-woman guy started dating his wife's lover and while the marriage didn't last, the lifestyle stuck.
EP 20 – From Vanilla to Fun
Leyna: Hi everyone, and just like that it is almost mid December 2020 Wow, what a year it has been. Hey, before we get to today's episode, I wanted to give a shout out to Sam BTC 5150 on Twitter, who goes by J labels k g on Apple podcast. Thanks for leaving us a great review and rating for us also. Thanks to Craig stern 1968 also leaving us a great review on Apple podcasts. He added that he loved episode five with Elsa Ramon, the former TV personality here in Los Angeles and other markets as well so if you missed Episode Five go back and listen to it, we talked about, oh, everything, and also wanted to give a shout out to a new follower that we have on Twitter, Mr swing and Cajun. Now we have other new followers as well but I'm calling you out because you're from Louisiana, my husband is also from Louisiana. So Mr swinging Cajun Welcome to Consenting Adults. Okay, today's guest was a monogamous person, aka in the lifestyle, vanilla, until one day his wife came out to him as being bisexual, and as they say. One thing led to another.
My wife would go off and have a date with her girlfriend, and, you know, eventually the girlfriend and I got to talking and we kind of went out on a couple dates also, and it was never like we all were in a big pile together you know having sex, it was mostly just like, you know hey I'm gonna go out and do this thing, or we would all go out and do a thing together, you know, and it was, it was always just sort of an ongoing conversation. Get ready. This is Consenting Adults.
(Podcast Show Open)
Leyna: My guest today is a 53 year old motion graphics designer and animator. Sam is divorced has two adult children. Now, you know, after I've done a number of these interviews, I'm more familiar with the lifestyle. I'm more familiar with the terminology, but when Sam told me he was a tikiphile. Yes, I had to I had to look it up, and ladies and gentlemen, when you look something up and the only definition you can find is under the Urban Dictionary, you know it's going to be an interesting conversation. Can you tell our listeners what that is.
Guest: That basically it just means that I am a lover of a lot of things that in that are that are considered Tiki now Tiki is a sort of a broad category. It's it's essentially it's a sort of an appropriation to Polynesian culture, started in the 50s because all the people coming back from World War Two were stationed on beautiful islands, and then came back to whatever you know, middle Midwest City they were in and we're very sad because they didn't have that that tropical influence that they'd gotten to love. So they brought some of it to them and a lot of them built built Tiki bars and Tiki themed motels and all sorts of things so yeah it's, it's, it's just a, an enjoyment of that sort of culture and lifestyle but essentially,
Leyna: when I saw on urban dictionary because you know now whenever I hear the word lifestyle, I have to actually think, what do they mean lifestyle, or do they mean lifestyle. So, does it have anything to do with the lifestyle as we know it for this program.
Guest: Not really, no I mean I know that there's, I mean if you were to draw a Venn diagram, I'm sure there's a lot of a lot of crossover there but I couldn't exactly tell you what that number would be so it's I mean, for the most part it's just a very relaxed, you know, enjoys a lot of tropical cocktails and very loud shirts and you know, I have a collection of wonderful Tiki mugs and things that I can drink out of and. So, so yes it's it's basically that's that is the that's, I mean that's at least my definition I'm sure everybody you know there are people who have their own. Sure. Okay so then sex really doesn't have anything to do with it, however,
Leyna: Does your love for all things Tiki make its way into your love life Your sex life.
Guest: I've definitely met other people who were into both of these things but I don't know if I would say there's necessarily. I wouldn't say that it's certainly not a sexual fetish let's put it that way. Okay. Speaking of sexual fetish Do you have any, um, no really, I enjoy it and definitely enjoy it with, you know, with people but that that I wouldn't say there's anything particularly weird, other than the obvious what we're talking about today, which is somewhat outside of mainstream.
Leyna: Let's talk about this thing that is outside of mainstream, although I'm finding out that, you know maybe it's not so outside of mainstream, except for the fact that not a lot of people are that open about it publicly. Okay, so what kind of a lifestyle, do you leave as it pertains to your relationships and your love life.
Guest: Well, I mean. Currently we're obviously in the middle of a global pandemic so that makes dating multiple people a little more difficult. Obviously, I mean I'm currently, I'm currently living with a girlfriend. We are, for all intents and purposes monogamous because you kind of have to be right now but, but, but, you know, that's not that's not, that's not necessarily what we're going to be long term I mean hopefully this will not last forever. So,
Leyna: when things were nice and normal. I hate that word these days,
Guest: good friend of mine once said normal sister setting on the dryer.
Leyna: So when things were normal. What kind of arrangement, do you when your girlfriend have
Guest: we actually only started dating, right before everything went entirely pear shaped in the world so, so it's a little harder for us to really get a good barometer on that, I mean, you know, it's, it's, it's something we've talked a lot about but we haven't, you know, because of the obvious, you know, Corona concerns and there's not really any, any plan and around that, you know, this is a relatively new relationship, yes yeah this is this is a fairly new relationship. Exactly.
Leyna: Okay so before the current girlfriend. What relationship were you in
Guest: the last relationship that I was in was a, I'm gonna say it was a fairly monogamous relationship. But the caveat that by saying that we had always talked about having a more open relationship but she came at it from more of a swingers perspective and I came at it from more of a polyamorous perspective and so those two perspectives never lined up, and there just was no way to sort of square that circle in terms of making that work for the two of us. Okay, so
Leyna: the difference being, you know, she was all for like sex with other couples and sex with other people, but it was just sex.
Guest: Right, exactly, exactly, she wouldn't have she would not have been okay with there being a relationship there but she was okay with there being sex there, and I was more interested in there being a relationship there are a larger relationship there, and how long, how long were you guys together. We were together for about five years, four years, I think it was about four years basically,
Leyna: was there a lot of conflict because you had such a difference of opinion on Poly versus just non monogamy.
Guest: Not really. I mean it was, it was always one of those things that we talked about but it was not there was never really any argument about it, it was always, it was always just that the the viewpoints didn't line up and so there really wasn't any way to sort of make that, you know, work for the two of us essentially.
Leyna: And then before that relationship. Were you in another poly relationship.
Guest: Well, I was in a poly marriage for out about five years, and that was the that was the, that's the the woman who I, as you mentioned earlier mmm divorced from. She is also the mother of our two children. I am not biologically their father I'm married into both of them but they are both amazing young ladies who I absolutely adore and am so incredibly proud to see what lovely women they're becoming in the world now where you Polly before the marriage. No, actually that's the the funny thing about that was I really wasn't, I didn't even really know what polyamory was, I was married to my wife for several years and basically, at one point in our relationship she came out to me as polyamorous, and sort of said, this is the this is the relationship this is the lifestyle that I need. Are you okay with that and I really had to do a little bit of soul searching, because I had always been monogamous before that. So I had to kind of go, Okay, I'm not sure if I'm 100% on board for it or not, but our relationship was, was having its own trials and tribulations and I kind of went okay you know what if, if this could potentially help that I'm interested in trying. I mean, again, I don't know if that's gonna be necessarily for me but I'm certainly willing to try it if that means that the relationship might get might be better, you know, how did you step into this lifestyle. Well, she actually, when she came out to me. She told me that she had a friend of hers who she was interested in dating, and we met with her she was in a couple also they were also already poly they had already had several other relationships. And so essentially, my wife and I started dating another couple, she was dating, the woman in the couple and the man and the couple that I was dating the woman in the couple so it was, we became sort of a, whatever they call it molecule we became a little, a little closed. We're not not really close to try quad basically. And it was. And it was, I didn't know there was gonna be math there there are diagrams, and you have to you have to keep track of this stuff, both of our children were young at the time so we kind of not really moved in together but we would spend weekends hanging out at their house and you know everybody was kind of you know everybody knew what was going on but we didn't do anything in front of the children, obviously, but it was, you know, it was like, basically we came, we became sort of a larger blended family for a time when she started dating the woman and the couple that was really the first sort of foray into okay now I kind of understand how this is working basically.
Leyna: Do you think that that helped you, because as we know so many men have this fantasy about their woman being with another woman. Do you think that helped you kind of ease your way into this lifestyle.
Guest: Yes, no, I mean I, it certainly to me wasn't like the fantasy that you kind of allude to it was basically like, I mean, like I said we kind of became more like a big family and we would you know it's like we would hang out on the weekends together and we'd spend time at their house or they'd spend time at our house and you know, it was more like, it was more like a tribe or a village and in its own way, and yeah there was definitely sex involved but, but it was not, I don't know that wasn't really the main draw, I think, certainly to my wife, but I think also to me it wasn't like it was like oh yeah this is gonna be so sexy it's like you know it's like, Hey, this is kind of cool, we have this larger relationship this larger structure this larger support network these other people that are important that we care about in our lives.
Leyna: It progressed to that because I can't imagine it started that way. Right, so it's just like any other relationships. Right. How do you make that jump I mean, how do you get into a relationship with another couple.
Guest: It was more like my wife would go off and have a date with her girlfriend, and, you know, eventually the girlfriend and I got to talking and we kind of went out on a couple days also, and it was never like we all were in a big puppy pile together you know having sex, it was mostly just like, you know, hey, I'm gonna go out and do this thing, or we would all go out and do a thing together, you know, and it was, it was always just sort of an ongoing conversation, you know, and there's always this specter of like jealousy, you know, of like, well, if, if my wife is with this other guy, you know, this is sort of poly theory one on one, you might have heard this before, I'm just gonna go ahead and spout the spending anyway but it's the thing about like if you had a slice of pie in the fridge and you came home and your roommate had eaten that slice of pie, of course, you'd be angry because you really wanted that slice of pie, but if you had a whole pie, and you came home and roommate had eaten a piece of it, you still have pie. So it wasn't like, and to me it was always you know as long as everyone in that circles needs were getting met and everyone was communicating openly, there really wasn't any jealousy there it was more like an three for this term conversion where you are able to find joy in the joy that your partner is getting or pleasure in the play in the pleasure that your partner is giving as the case may be
Leyna: right, but very often the people that I've talked to said they're turned on by actually watching so there's voyeurism in that, so it's, you know, being in the same room, but it sounds like what you're talking about is going off on separate dates meaning. So it's actually a very different from from anyone I've talked to so far.
Guest: Well I mean, I, I've also, I mean, after my wife and I split up. There were other relationships where that was the case, but that wasn't really that wasn't really part of that relationship to be entirely honest it was no mean the affection that we showed between each other, publicly or in front of each other was the same sort you would show publicly with a boyfriend or girlfriend, You know, a kiss on the cheek a kiss on the lips, you know, hugging somebody, you know, holding them close, it was never like a group thing where we would all where, you know, one of us would be watching while the other two had sex. It was more. It was more like a, it was more like a family, you know and and the love was clearly there and was clearly present but it wasn't. I mean especially because we had kids, you know there wasn't, we weren't having sex in the middle of the living room with the children watching this and that's not appropriate that wouldn't be inappropriate in a heterosexual couple or an inappropriate in a, in a, quote unquote normal relationship, right,
Leyna: talk to me about jealousy, surely you must have experienced it at some point
Guest: in that particular relationship, not really. I mean, again, we we we blended really well and that that grouping lasted for about two years I'm trying to remember now, but it was it was eventually my wife and the woman in the couple, got into a fight and broke up. And then she and the guy and the couple got into a fight and broke up and then it was just the woman in the couple and I in that we're still together. And it was that thing where it's like something is spinning and the more points of connection there are, the easier it is to hold together. You know, it became more difficult, as we as those other relationships fell away, especially because there was some animosity, there were still some some hurt feelings and some you know some difficulty there. So it became more difficult to hold that those two relationships at the same time and eventually that relationship also broke out, but there wasn't, it wasn't ever really about jealousy.
Leyna: You said that you and your wife, kind of, you know, had trials and tribulations and then you thought that something like this might help it did it?
Guest: in its own way. For a time, I would say yes, I mean if I if I'm being entirely honest what we ended up doing was sort of outsourcing the intimacy that we should have had in our primary relationship. Please that there wasn't there wasn't like a jealousy, but it was like, okay this is what I want with this relationship, and I'm not getting it, I mean, I'm getting my needs met elsewhere in terms of the intimacy and the basic needs, but it was because it wasn't in the primary relationship that primary relationship was having its own problems and that wasn't, that wasn't fixed by it, let's put it that way.
Leyna: So then if I asked you, being in this poly relationship situation. Did it help or hurt your marriage, would you be able to answer that.
Guest: I mean my honest answer is I don't think it really did either. I mean I think it helped for a short term but I think that the the structural problems in that relationship, were not going to go away. You know that became more obvious basically. Right. How old were you at this point. Oh gosh, I was probably in my 30s I think
Leyna: well that's pretty young to be in something like this, don't you think
Guest: having met poly people from every walk of life, I would say that that's not necessarily true. Yeah, I feel like there are some, I mean, maybe, maybe it does skew older demographically you might have a better broader view but based on the people that I know, it's, you know that it's, it's, we there was, there was a group of us that were all sort of hanging out together we came in, sort of like a, like a poly community at the time and it was a lot of people who were in their 20s their 30s some of them were their 40s It was you know, it wasn't an older crowd. From what I recall. I mean, they've all, they've all become an older crowd as well.
Leyna: Okay so then your your marriage ended, and you moved on and continued in the poly lifestyle, yes.
Guest: Yeah I mean sporadically I've had I've had both monogamous and polyamorous relationships after that. And it was mostly just dependent on the people that I was in the relationships with. You were talking about jealousy and I'll tell you a relate one story that I can, can tell you because I was, I was dating a woman who already had a primary relationship, and the secondary relationship so I was, for want of a better description sort of a tertiary relationship was the best way I can describe it. And I always told her I said look, I'm okay with that and I'm okay with, you know whatever time I can get of yours because obviously you're going to be busy. As long as you never make me feel like I'm less important than anyone else in this relationship. And that worked, worked out great for a few months, probably, almost a year I don't remember exactly, but then she went back to graduate school, and it became very obvious that I just you know months would go by and I would never see her and that became really difficult to the point where I finally, you know, called it off and said, Look, this was literally what I was talking about, I feel like I'm not in any way important in your life, and I don't want to be that so you know I will I will step away and that was what I did.
Leyna: The deciding factor on whether you were in a poly relationship was whether the other person would be open to that.
Guest: Right. Sometimes, I mean, there were in the intervening years after my divorce, there were several women who I got to know very well, and the subject would come up, you'd have you'd have to have that talk with them about, you know, the fact that you, you know, had been in polyamorous relationship, this was sort of what you were, you know, I mean, again, I would never necessarily identify myself as poly but it was definitely something that I had been in relationships like that before. And, you know more than one time I've had women, women who said to me you know I am not interested in being in that kind of relationship, one of them used to say she's like I don't want to be the one waiting at home. I couldn't hold it against them because I understood that well enough,
Leyna: because there are some people who, that's who they are and they don't think that they can be with the person who wouldn't allow it, You're not like that
Guest: I'm really no, I'm sort of situationally polyamorous, you know, I again I'm, I'm open to it, but it's not a, for me it's never been a need, you know, I would rather have a good relationship than more relationships I think is the best way.
Leyna: Now have you ever been in anything that was not traditional but not poly. Have you ever been a swinger, have you ever had an open relationship?
Guest: Not really i mean, like I said that was that was with the, with my last girlfriend that was one of the things that was the cause she was more interested in the swinger lifestyle and and in terms of open relationships I mean, aren't polyamorous relationships in there, I mean, unless you're unless you're in a closed unit, you know, then it's, it's, you know, I've been in, I've been in open relationships but they've been in relationships, basically. Does that make sense.
Leyna: Yeah, when I say open relationship I would say for instance, let's say you and your wife are in an open relationship so you can date someone else, and she can date someone else. But the two people you're dating don't even necessarily have to know each other.
Guest: Yeah, I mean we definitely there there was some of that even after the initial relationship the initial my first poly relationship broke up, we still continue to date other people, you know she had people that she had been dating previously and she continued dating them and I had people that I've been, you know, interested in and we started, we started dating or continue dating. So there were, so there were definitely other other relationships after that even, even while we were still married and you know I mean again, I've also been in relationships, after my divorce and our separation that we're, you know, I'm, I'm dating this person, and I'm also dating this person and both of them know about it but, you know, they don't necessarily know each other.
Leyna: So you're practicing ethical non monogamy.
Guest: I do try, I do. Absolutely.
Leyna: Talk to me about love after 40, I mean you're 53 Now, when we were both much much younger.
Guest: I have no idea how old you are.
Leyna: I'm 50.
Leyna: you know, when we were younger we would look at people who were 40 and think, I mean think that they were all right you don't think of them as sexual beings having gotten here now. Do you think that your sex life or your love life is any better or worse, now that you're more mature.
Guest: I would say significantly better to be entirely honest in what way. I'm still a very sexual being. And I have, I managed to find, you know a person who is equally as, as sexual as myself so I feel like as you get older you start to sort of start to get to know yourself a lot better and you have a little better understanding of what you like and what you need and what works for you and you know so it's, it's, I guess that's the best way I can describe it is when I was in my 20s I had no clue who I really was and as I've gotten older I've, I've figured myself out a lot more,
Leyna: you know, people say that all the time. And I wonder, does it have to do with not settling, meaning, knowing what you need and knowing what you want and really going for it.
Guest: I would say it's one of those things where, I think, in your 20s in your 30s it's easy to just sort of date, what's available and what's in front of you and I'm not gonna lie, I've made some, I made some poor dating choices in my life and you know I mean I would like to think that I have learned a lot from those experiences and I'm not making those same mistakes. I used to say and I said this once, and wants to my own detriment, but I said to Said I wanted to make new and more interesting mistakes. That year I certainly did, you know, they were new and they were more interesting they weren't good, but they were new and more interesting. What kind of age range, do you like to date in, um, I, my, my ex roommate. One time I was on some dating site and I want to I want to say it was like a Tinder or one of those. And I found myself looking at people and I went, I don't understand why I'm getting so many of these really, really old people into it you know you can set the age range and that you can, but I hadn't realized that you could actually set what you were looking for, right, because I have daughters I mean I also, I don't want to date anybody who's their age that's just not not okay that doesn't work, you know, I want someone who knows themselves fairly fairly well so I mean, I have a tendency to date, people who are at least around my age, again, I'm not saying I haven't made some poor choices there there I definitely have but you know
leyna: what, what's the bottom range, because you know when you're on those dating websites, you're right, you can put in a range. Okay so what's, what's your minimum.
Guesy: Well, again, I'm 53 So I don't think I want to date anybody less than, at least, you know, 35 to 40 Somewhere in there
Leyna: really well that sounds very responsible if you say them very responsible.
Guest: I'd like I said, I do try, I've definitely dated people who were wildly inappropriately young for me and it was, It was fun, and I had a guy friend of mine asked me one time what that was like and I said, it's a little like buying a tiger to ride to the office, you're not going to get there on time you'll show up scratched up because you're like, Wow, that was a hell of a ride.
Leyna: What do you think about women your own age,
Guest: it really it really depends on the woman because honestly, every woman is different, just like every person is different, and I am also a big believer that people really age from the inside out, because I've met people who are my age or older who look younger, feel younger act younger than me, and I've met people who were considerably younger than me, who feel older and act older and just say they've they're older on the inside you know they were already old and I know that I'm chronologically 53 I also don't feel like it, I feel like I'm still alive in ways that there are people out there that just aren't and that's. That to me is more important than a number, because I would rather have somebody who's really alive and really, you know, like, like living their life to the fullest, you know, it's what is it, what was it that, that, how to suck the marrow out of life, you know, it's like, like that's that's that's what I look for more than a number, really, you know,
Leyna: so then when you are looking at a woman, because as men age it's the same thing with women as we age out what we deem important or what we deem attractive changes, name of some of the qualities that you think are really attractive and a woman.
Guesy: Well, I like to say they have to be crazy and all the fun ways, you know you want someone, you want someone who's willing to, I mean I have gone to Burning Man and you know it's like, or several other, you know, festivals and events and things. So you want somebody who's willing to go on those adventures with you you want someone who's willing to, you know, dress up like a dragon and go out and run around the woods. I also spend fire and I still walk and I fire breathe you know it's like you want somebody who's going to be as much fun as you are, you know as much fun as you'd like to be you know, adventurous, yeah, yeah. And also, and also, you know someone to sort of push you and try and make you, you know, be the better person that they know you can be kind of thing and for someone, there are some, there are someone who you can do the same for you know,
Leyna: talking sexually, is there anything that you draw the line that like you're not gonna, you know because you sound like a very open-minded person but at the same time you say that you're also very normal.
Guest: I mean normal again just the setting on the dryer, I mean, there are definitely lines that I have, I mean, I've had this conversation with many women in my life I'm like nope no shit no PIs No, you know, no, no blood, no, no, no children, no animals I mean again these are hard lines as far as I'm concerned, and you know, and consent is a huge thing for me, I'm fine with most things, as long as there's informed sober consent around them as long as everyone is agreeing that everybody's okay and everybody's had the conversation and you know it's like, I, I'm straight but not narrow.
Leyna: Is there anything that you're into that you think, you know, again we're using that awful word normal, regular, traditional person might think is kinky.
Guest: um I mean, a little like BDSM here and there but for the most part, I mean, again, I, I like to I like to have somebody to cuddle up with and have the sex with you know, it's, I wouldn't I wouldn't say that there's anything particularly earth shattering I don't know I mean, I own a dinosaur costume but it's not for sex. Are you a trisexual meaning, I'll try anything once. Yeah. I'm very heterosexual I've never, I always tell people, like if I wanted to play with a penis I've got one, it's right there and my arms are exactly the exact right length, you know, I don't I don't I don't even know when I'm good, you know, but but that doesn't mean I haven't you know haven't haven't experimented with things I mean again I like I said, I feel like I've gotten to the age where I know what I like,
Leyna: moving forward. Sure. Do you think you can ever go back to just having the traditional monogamous relationship for the rest of your days.
Guest: I've never been opposed to it. For many years of my life that was really my default setting, you know, and so it's, it's not something I'm opposed to it's just it has to be with the right person. Do you think humans were made to be monogamous. You know I've read a lot of research, I don't I don't know, I'm sure you're doing the interviews that you've probably read things like sex at dawn or things like that where they talk about the beginnings of our species and how we were more egalitarian and there was more of a tribe mentality. And it wasn't until people started like cordoning off land and going this land here is mine, that people had that concept of, I want this person to be mine, and the progeny that comes from this person to be mine so that I can ensure my lineage going forward, you know, I don't, I don't know if we were necessarily designed for that
Leyna: at 53 years old. Knowing what you know now, if you are talking to a young man who is struggling with understanding women. Is there anything that you would tell them any advice that you would give them. Oh gosh, well do you feel like you understand women yet.
Guest: I wouldn't say I understand them, I've definitely have a lot of experience with them. I like to say that I've made almost all the mistakes I'm going to make in my life at this point, I've learned from most of them. I mean if I had any advice to give to people to to feel like a young man trying to figure out women in the world. First and foremost, listen more. Not just to what they say but what they do and what they, you know what, what you perceive about them. One of the best pieces of advice I ever got and I this one stuck with me for years was especially when you, when you have a woman in your life, and she's complaining about something or has some sort of a problem going on in her world. Ask that woman at that time. Do you want me to fix it, or do you want me to listen, because I can do either, but I want to know up front which one you want because most of the time they just want you to listen and then it's it's almost a genetic imperative for us, you know, when we see a problem we want to try and find a way to fix it, we want to find a way to, you know, we, we see a nail that's out of the all that's sticking out of a board and our nature is just to grab a brick and talented back in, you know, it's like, You know you want to fix the world when you can, when you see something that you go okay that clearly looks wrong, maybe I can help, but not all the time, can you help and sometimes they just need to be heard.
Leyna: And that, ladies and gentlemen, it is a man who speaks from experience, Sam, thanks so much for sharing your story with us. All right, next time on Consenting Adults, if you haven't heard episode eight yet, you should go back and listen to it, because they described their first swinging experience during COVID, with this incredible couple. Well, we're going to talk to that incredible couple.
Guest: They were ready to jump in. So, the gift. Oh, I mean that like, once we walked in, like, they were just like, Okay, you're here you're real, like this is really happening.
Leyna: That's next time on Consenting Adults.
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