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In this episode of Consenting Adults, host Leyna Nguyen chats with actor David Marciano (Shield, Homeland, Due South) who talks openly about cheating and his quest to be ethically non-monogamous. After his 52nd birthday, he decided he no longer wished to live a "traditional" consumer-lifestyle and wanted to make sure he lived life to the fullest. He talks about what changes he made in his life to ensure that his life was lived more vibrantly -- with other sensual beings.
EP 2 – David Marciano talks openly about cheating & his quest to be ethically non-monogamous.
Leyna: Welcome back everyone to episode two of consenting adults, I'm so glad you came back for more, you know a lot of the guests who go on the show will ask to remain anonymous, which is completely understandable because outside of their private lives they still live seemingly normal, traditional, maybe even vanilla lives, like so many other people. And while they're willing to share what goes on behind closed doors, they're not quite ready to let everyone know who they are, but not today's guests. He's a known actor who is at a point in his life where he's ready to let the world see Him for who He really is.
I no longer wanted to live the lifestyle I was living, marriage, kids, college funds, house, cars, and what kind of changes did you make, I got divorced.
so let's get to it.
(Podcast Show Open)
Leyna: We know you may recognize the voice of my guest today, although if you're watching on video it's very likely you would recognize him because he is an actor who has been on shows like The Shield, where he was Detective Billings. He played Virgil, opposite Claire Danes in the homeland. He was on do South Sons of Anarchy Bosh just to name a few. Ladies and gentlemen, David Marcy ongo is joining us from Jersey today right,
Guest: I am in Jersey. I'm down at the Jersey Shore and Bradley beach I don't know why I was surprised to find this out, you're 60 That's right baby. How did that happen. Hey, are you ready, this is so exciting. I was born in 1960, which is the year of the rat. I am 60 years old, and 2020 a year of the rat,
Leyna: you know what Asians say about that. When it's your year is either going to be really good or really bad.
Guest: Oh no no it's amazing momentous yes it's already, it's been the most fulfilling year of my life.
Leyna: Wow, I'm glad to hear that because 2020 is a, it's tough for a lot of people,
Guest: people who are on the hamster wheel people who are beholden to chasing the mighty dollar, people who have are dependent upon the material and physical world for their welfare and well being. But for a guy like me who's an artist and a poet and an actor, it's my life hasn't changed,
Leyna: you're going with the flow.
Guest: Yeah I fly on the wings of time, I go where my heart tells me to go I do what I'm compelled to do what I'm inspired to do. My life's in open books. Has it always been an open book. Yes it has. I didn't know that that's what I was doing you know oversharing people would call it, you know, TMI. I was just telling them the truth, my truth
Leyna: as it pertains to this show because, in talking to people, I've come to realize that, you know you're not dead when you hit 40 When we were younger we thought 40 was old, now you're I'm 50 You're 60, and I kind of feel like, man, I've actually never been better than I am right now. I don't know how open you've been with your personal life, which is why you're here now because we're going to talk about it. But with age comes wisdom and you've had all this time to make mistakes and to be able to allow yourself to be taken care of the schooling stuff and the kids and any marriages or marriages that might have failed, and now you're finding yourself and just doing what makes you happy, which I hear you've been trying to do, or kind of like always right. Yeah, like you making that turn even though someone else is telling you don't turn that way, you're still turning.
Guest: Yes, I've always followed my heart. I've always done what I've been compelled to do or inspired to do. Now just to go back a bit on what you talked about turning 50 When I turned 52, which was eight years ago, I no longer wanted to live the lifestyle I was living, which, which was what a traditional lifestyle, marriage, kids, college funds, house, cars, a material lifestyle. Right. Everything that you see that the media presents or everything that your parents did, I had gotten tired of living in this energy, this hamster wheel energy. You know the consumer lifestyle. Even though I was very free and I was an artist and I was doing what I love to do but at 52 I looked at my life and I said wait a minute. I have 20 vibrant years left I may live longer but I have 20 vibrant years left. And the first 10 or more vibrant than the second 10. So it's time to start living. You've heard the expression in America, we live to work in Europe, they work to live, so I just want it to live, and what kind of changes did you make, I got divorced. The first change I made, which was the last thing I wanted to do ever in my life.
Leyna: While some people may see divorce as a failure. I actually know a lot of people who are much happier now that they've been divorced.
Guest: Yes, yes, a divorce is a loss, getting losing your job is a loss but I always tell people is, first thing I say is, I'm really sorry. Congratulations, right, because this is gonna be the best thing that's ever happened to you this is a wonderful opportunity for you. Did you feel alive after that. Oh yeah, I got a shot out of a cannon, like a gorilla lead out of a cage, which, which is a good transition into what this topic is about because that's the first place I went. The first place I went was to call upon all those lovely ladies who were sort of dancing around my energy field, but because I was married and I made a commitment to monogamy that I, I had to decline. And I got tired of declining sensual experiences with other sentient beings.
Leyna: So you're saying you're like a male whore for a short time. and I say that with the utmost respect.
Guest: Hey now…I kind of look at myself as like a bull in the harem.
Leyna: Yeah. So you let yourself have some fun.
Guest: yes, I didn't deny myself any experiences that the universe presented to me when I was married, I had to deny all these experiences, all these experiences, how many times we've been married just once before you now ask me how many times I'm going to be married, just once.
Guest: we got that right. Today I have no interest in being married again today. Yeah. In this moment, I have no interest in being married again, doesn't mean a moment from now or you know, but,
Leyna: well that's true. I mean you could meet someone and just head over heels and that's you're done. Yeah. And actually, who wouldn't welcome that feeling, right. Okay.
Let's talk about, let's talk about that feeling.
Guest: All right, That fleeting feeling, that feeling of I've heard someone call it. There's a psychologist that calls that initial Cupid shot with the arrow feeling as limerence where it's this. The in love stage of the relationship, the romantic stage of the relationship where you're it's infatuation, right, it's not, it's not love. We call it love. We call it being in love but what it is is being infatuated, or being, what was this one, this one woman, this said about me. She saw me with this girl, and she told this girl, you better get away from him because he is smitten with you, right so smitten. We love that feeling was very romantic, it is and it's blissful and it's, it's, it's, it's an illusion. It's short term, news, and then you have to get down to the everyday exchanges of having a partner. I had to learn that. Love isn't a feeling love is an action, right, and that action is service so, so, God is love, love his work I love his work. Well, it is, it is. But it doesn't have to be, because someone also said well Love is Love Stinks. No, the absence of Love Stinks. Right. The work about love is hard, but love. That's love shouldn't be hard. Love should be free, it should be non possessive, which will get us back to our topic. Right, sure, love should be freely given. Love should be altruistic, like if you and I were in a committed relationship, and we loved each other, and you said, David, I love you very much, but I can't keep my eyes off in Joey. I need to go away with Joey for a week and just be who I am if I truly truly loved you, I would allow you to do that,
and David would you guess. Oh, if I say no, you're probably going to go and Joey anyway.
Leyna: Yeah, but what I'm asking you is would you be okay with it, like, really. Would you be okay.
Guest: I'm learning how not to be jealous. To know if Joey is if Joe is going to make you happier. Leyna, then I want you to be with Joey, if you think that you're going to have a more fulfilling existence with Joey then I want you to go with jelly, because I don't want you to be with me if you're unhappy. That's not love, that's possessive, that means I because I'm possessing you, I'm keeping you here against your will and I can't do that anymore.
Leyna: So then really at the end of it, it's, it's not about me or Joey, it's you.
Guest: Who do you mean, I think I know what you're saying but expound,
Leyna: it's whatever is going on inside you, it's do you take it personally. Do you think I'll love you less if I go with Joey, it really doesn't have anything to do with me or Joey, Joey could be anybody.
Guest: Joey's “X” and I tried to explain this to my ex wife. She would blame this she'd blame she blamed so and so and I said no no no, you can't be mad at so and so so and so's x. Right, exactly.
Leyna: So then it comes down to just then me and you.
Guest: Yes, and our understanding, it comes down to our arrangements our understanding. Right. And I know I'm a great guy I know I'm an amazing guy. I know I have so much to give, emotionally, spiritually sexually I do. But if it's not fulfilling for you, and I truly love you. I really would love Go enjoy. And look, if you, if you ever want to come back, come on back.
Leyna: Oh, wait a second, why do I even have to go, you don't. Why can't I stay with you and still hang with Joey.
Leyna: and you would be okay with that,
Guest: I don't know, it depends on Wednesday night of Joey Zhu and I want to do on Wednesday night we might have a little problem I don't know. I don't know the ramifications of it, you know what I'm saying,
Leyna: right so then let's take a look at the situation when it's the other way, when it's you wanting to go with someone else. Now, when you love somebody, and yet you can still be attracted to someone else and want to spend time with someone else does it subtract from whatever you're feeling whatever you feel with this one person.
Guest: Your part is the hard part. Yeah, that's the hard part right.
Leyna: So, does it does it subtract.
Guest: Not if you live in the moment. So, there is no past, there is no future, there is only this moment. And right now, nothing else exists except for you and me in this moment, nothing. It's a dream, it's got just like a dream, right, right here, right now it's just you and me and if I can learn to live in this present moment, then therefore, it should not affect anything past or future. Yeah but that's, that's not easily done no right, no because we've been conditioned, because we've been conditioned otherwise right.
Leyna: Oh, I absolutely agree on that. Do you think people were made to be monogamous.
Guest: I think it's a cultural construct monogamy. Yeah, I don't think by nature. We are monogamous. Do you agree with it, do you believe people should be monogamous, I believe that if a couple chooses to be monogamous. Then, I agree with it for them, I support that. I support that decision for them. If a couple chooses not to be I support that position for them.
Leyna: But what if one person believes in monogamy and the other one doesn't have you been in relationships like that.
Guest: Yeah, I can't be easy, no, no, I've had a, I've had a difficult time with monogamy my whole life.
Leyna: So then did it turn you into a cheater, or did it
Guest: that's the word. That's the word I knew was going to come up today because it's, it's, it's such a. So yes, okay, so say yes right, for lack of a better term.
Leyna: So, if… well without the other person's knowledge, that's what you are right.
Guest: Okay, so you were the birther lie or a liar right because you deny, right. You lie, unless you hide it, then you didn't deny it. Right. But and to me, withholding truth is the same thing as lying Yes I agree 100% So the easiest thing to do is, is to get consent. Right. Hey honey, I'm down at the bar and I'm hanging out with Mary and Mary wants me to go home with her. Is that okay with you. Oh, fuck no. Do you want to come to. Okay, what does marriage look like. You know, I mean, so if you're honest about it, you're not a cheater right, I guess. Well the now we're talking semantics, I know I know that's why I don't like the word because it's very hard it's,
Leyna: well it's not the, it's the same thing as using the word normal, there's, like, you know, I agree.
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Leyna: So you've been in situations, you know, your whole life and relationships where there have been times where you didn't want to stay monogamous, how did you deal with that, because I would suspect that most of those women wouldn't allow you to play.
Guest: No, I've had sensual experiences, unbeknownst to my partners.
Leyna: And have you ever been in the situation where you just came out and told them, or asked for permission.
Guest: No, no, yeah. Okay, so you've never been in a situation where I'm looking for that. That's what I'm in search of, ah, do you know the difference and I dipped my toe, go ahead. Yes.
Leyna: Oh, you did. No, wait a second. Oh, first of all, and I know this is gonna sound kinky but it's not. You've got great feet.
Guest: I do, I do. How do you know that, how do you know that,
Leyna: because you had your toenails painted once for a poker party.
That whole sock thing and our feet.
Guest: Oh yeah no right yes thank you I do yeah I do.
Leyna: All right, that's another show. Yeah, so you dipped your toes, what does that mean,
Guest: what you do, went on to this. I went on to this website.
Leyna: Oh god, that's how it all starts David that's how it all starts.
Guest: Yes, yes, my wife claims the technology and the internet for our, our problems. If she does acknowledge his fault. Like, come on, like, I wouldn't have found another way, I mean, come on,
Leyna: smoke signals you would have done it.
Guest: Yeah, exactly. Thank you very much.
Leyna: Okay, so what kind of site was it like swingers site or
Guest: yeah, we've had a bunch of different non traditional relationship, couples, all different kinds. And what were you looking for, I was just looking to explore, just to see what that what that world was like, I went to a nudist beach party. I'm sorry pool party. So this is so crazy right so I'm reaching out to all these women on the site and like nobody's getting back to me, nobody's getting back to me because they don't like single men on the site. If it's a married man with a woman, there's a lot more opportunity, because there's other women who want to get involved and there's other men who want to get involved and they don't look at that as like a pariah or someone who's just looking to, you know, have sex with.
Leyna: Right. Well you seem safer when you're part of a couple.
Guest: right, right, right. So, one of the questions in the site was, you could, you could use this community to promote your business. So, I put in acting teacher right because I'm an actor. And I got a response from this one guy, he says, I've been in the music business for, You know, my whole life but I want to start acting. I saw that you know I know who you are, I saw that you know you. You teach acting. I'd like to get together with you and oh by the way here's a picture of my wife. And he just sent me all these naked pictures of his life in like various interesting positions. Wow, that's a different Pay Pal, yeah, yeah, so it was a barter system. You know, he said I could pay you or you know, you could, you know, enjoy yourself, you know, one afternoon, my wife,
Leyna: and you did.
Leyna: And how was it.
Guest: I kind of bandied about in that arena for about three to six months. And what it lacked for me was intimacy. So everyone was having sex with everyone else. But it wasn't intimate it wasn't connecting it was just how crazy can we get, you know what I mean how.
Leyna: So then, it's not just a sexual thing for you then.
Guest: No. That's why I've been having a challenging time, but finding, getting my needs met. Right.
Leyna: Do you know much about polyamory,
Guest: a little bit that was my first introduction was with an actress who came to do a guest star on due south. This was in, like 95-96 and we had amazing chemistry. I mean, we would have had sex in my trailer if I wasn't married, you know what I mean it was just nuts. And we stayed in contact over the years and it turned out that she was part of a polyamorous community. Soon as I separated from my wife, because we kept the universe kept bringing us together as soon as I separated from my wife she was one of the first people I called and she said, What are you doing I said, My wife just got separated so she goes so what you coming over to fuck me. I said, Yes,
Leyna: you knew you already had chemistry. Oh, so there was already a connection that wasn't pure, in fact of anything it's kind of been pent up this whole time,
Guest: I told her I'm coming over, she said are we fucking I said, Sure, sure. I wasn't, I didn't know that that's why I was going to come, I mean, there's always a hope in the back of every man's mind when he goes to visit a woman that is going to lead to sex, I think,
Leyna: and did it.
Guest: Yes. And the Fantasy was better than the reality really
Leyna: oh that's a disappointment.
Guest: It was, it was very disappointing,
Guest: don't know, because so many years later,
Leyna: meaning what she's older.
Guest: Not that she was older just that the, I don't know, it was the fantasy,
Leyna: kind of like the firecracker that was supposed to go. Right.
Guest: Yeah. Yeah.
Leyna: And did that turn you off on the whole idea or did you continue to eventually seek out the stuff that you were looking for,
Guest: um, I would go on these dating sites. And when I would meet somebody for coffee and they say, What are you interested in I would say I'm interested in romantic companionship. I said, I'm just coming out of a 25 year marriage. Today I don't want to be married again and I'm not looking to get into some kind of committed arrangement that's like a marriage. I said, I'm looking for something that has all of the fun of a boyfriend and girlfriend, without the emotional complexities, he will be treated like a queen. We will have a great time. I will be one of the best companions you've ever had, And I just don't want to be possessed. See in a marriage of your, you become almost like a possession, right, because you belong to someone, right, right, with time to come in home where are you going, you know, when you come in back, you know, Hey listen my buddies and I are gonna go play some golf Is that okay with you, which is just being respectful right I would do that even but if I had a roommate, right, I would be respectful, you know because dinner, whatever, but I just don't want to be beholden. I don't want to be tied down,
Leyna: was your ex wife a very jealous person.
Guest: Yes, extremely jealous.
Leyna: And are you a jealous person.
Guest: I was for a long time. Yeah. And it still I still have twinges of it.
Leyna: Well sure, there are actually people who are polyamorous, in a polyamorous relationship who would not want their partners then to be with other people, you know, no one is here to talk about what's fair or not because we can't really control what we feel. So it's possible for you to want to be able to see multiple people, and at the same time, not want your girlfriend's to be seen multiple people.
Guest: Correct. But I'm okay, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.
Leyna: Are you sure or are you trying to get there.
Guest: There's only one way to find out.
Leyna: Right. So you haven't found out yet.
Guest: No, I haven't haven't haven't been able to find the right partner.
Leyna: Maybe you need to be looking in polyamorous communities where
Guest: I spoke to my friend who was in a polyamorous community. It's just eluded me. Leyna: What are your thoughts on swinging
Guest: like being in a room with another couple and interchanging partners.
Leyna: Yeah, you know, it runs the gamut, it could be just sex in the same room. Yeah, it could be soft swap where you're messing around, but when it comes to intercourse, then your with your own partner would be full swap, yeah, yeah, it could also be swapped different rooms I mean, there's you can it's a spectrum,
Guest: I'm, I'm open to it,
Leyna: but you just have never done anything like that since college,
Guest: but college that was more of like an orgy I mean it wasn't like an adult, kind of decision, you know, and we were just high young and stupid. We're just having fun, you know, and I mean it was four of us in a room and you know, two guys and two girls and you know, we were just banging each other.
Leyna: They're doing that these days but as adults like making smart decisions, and having consent.
Guest: Right. Yes they are.
Leyna: Could you see yourself in a relationship where let's say you meet someone, you guys are boyfriend, girlfriend, you are committed, but you have this other thing that you do, I mean a lot of people describe it as a hobby, where on weekends when you feel like it, you go to the sex club, or maybe the girlfriend gets turned on watching you with someone else, right, where there's no lying and cheating, it's just, like, extra curricular sex yeah
Guest: yeah yeah exactly, that could be fun. I'd like to try it. No harm, no foul you know if there's a way to do it where no one's feelings get hurt. Why not. You only live once. I mean come on,
Leyna: being an actor, and not just an actor because people recognize you. Does that make it more difficult, like if you were a nobody like no one would recognize you, no one would know your face, your name, your voice. Do you think it would be easier for you to kind of really jump into this.
Guest: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, I'm not famous enough, that's the good news.
Leyna: You're not so famous that it would be completely scandalous
Guest: Exactly. But isn't there some sort of, I don't know, some, some sort of attraction in being totally anonymous for you're not so accountable for what you want to do. Yeah. Yeah. Leyna: What are your thoughts, David, are you like most. Like most typical men who, you know, the thought of two women together that's like hot fantasy.
Guest: I had a threesome once with two women and myself and yeah it's that we have kissed like more than one person like three people are kissing at the same time.
Leyna: No, no,
Guest: it'll blow your fucking mind. Just blow your fucking mind.
Leyna: Oh, wait a second. Were they all female though,
Guest: it was. Yeah, it was me and two females yeah
Leyna: okay so let me ask you, if there was a male involved, do you think it still would have been that incredible.
Guest: I'm not there yet.
Leyna: Are you have the mindset that it's okay for women to be together, sexually, we just think of them as lesbian or no,
Leya: Okay, but what about two men,
Guest: no same
LEyna: good really. So you think it's possible for two men to be sexually intimate with each other and not be gay.
Leyna: that's very open minded.
Guest: I've had a couple of homosexual experiences and how were they wasn't for me I like vagina, I like to know not, not, not only do I like vagina, I love vagina, I think the vagina is the most beautiful organ in the human species it's unbelievably beautiful, and I like I like I like a meaty vagina I like a vagina with an enlarged clit, like a little larger clit.
Leyna: Wait a second, have you seen those like really big ones, have
Guest: I got one on my phone, I got one on my phone right now,
Leyna: your phone out right
Guest: now I go into my photos. Yeah, my cousin's and, oh, my cousin fence, it's not a real live vagina in my phone that would be a hell of a phone to tell you something if I can get a phone that had like a real life vagina did I.
Leyna: Oh my goodness.
But you see the ones I'm talking about where it's almost like a small piece. Wow I am finding out things about my friend I've never knew.
Guest: Well here's the good news. If you tell people what's really going on, and who you really are and maybe they'll tell somebody else, and then that person might tell somebody else and then somebody might come along to fulfill your, all your wildest dreams. Well that's one way to look at it. Well, that's what I'm hoping for from the only reason why I'm doing this conversation with you, that hopefully you're going to tell somebody about it and you know as you know, someone's gonna come knocking on my door.
Leyna: Have you tried more of these websites.
Leyna: because a lot of people that I'm talking to their suggestion is to go on as many websites as you can join as many of those as you can be completely honest about what you're looking for. which is really what you should be doing on on any dating app, but especially when you're looking for something alternative like this. Just to weed everyone out. And then, you know, expect that you're going to get people who are not truthful, like you know they're using pictures from 20 years ago, it's very true, it's gonna happen anywhere. Yes, it's got to be frustrating to be at the age where you are ready to go out there and have fun. You're single, you can do this now. And yet you can kind of just not finding the fun you were looking for. Do you feel like it doesn't exist, like it was just better in your head or do you just feel like you just haven't gotten to the right people yet.
Guest: I'm starting to think it may not be in my cards.
Leyna: I don't understand that because you really haven't had a lot of experience of you've only been on one website.
Guest: Alright, right, like I said it lacked intimacy, right. It lacked into me so I never really,
Leyna: I see what you mean. So it's actually a lot harder, just like in any monogamous or regular relationship. If you're just looking for sex, that can be found,
Guest: I think so, yeah, yeah, I do,
Leyna: but that's not, you're looking for connection during the sexual experience.
Guest: I don't want to be just to get off, I want to exchange it's an exchange of energy. It's not to people masturbating right, I can do that by myself I don't need to be in a room with someone who's, you know, at home or just trying to get off, I want I want I want our energies to come meld together in this, in the, in the sexual experience, it's just, it's unbelievable. You know, sex should be a spiritual experience. not some, you know, dirty little, you know, peeping tom sex show masturbating and that's not what I'm looking for.
Leyna: I imagined that it can feel frustrating but at the same time to be at that age, and still feel this want for something. Does that still feel at least like that part of me is not dead yet.
Guest: It's great, isn't it. It's I'm 60 years old and like, amazing.
Leyna: Well now it's gonna be out there so
Leyna: So maybe some will become knocking at your door.
Guest: Well, I look forward to it. How about some last words on growing older, and that part of you that that part of you that I think so many people lose because you know they've dealt with jobs and children, spouses and maybe divorce and whatever other changes we all go through as we go, grow older. Do you have any kind of final parting words about aging and being that's been that sexy old guy David, the sexy old guy.
Guest: Someone asked me once. How do you experience joy in your life. And I said, by practicing present moment awareness. As if this experience is the first last and only time that we'll ever get to share it with childlike innocence. That takes some mastering to get there, you have to lose all shame and all guilt, they don't exist.
Leyna: By the way, you're out there the Jersey Shore, are you ever going to come back to the West Coast.
Guest: I don't know, I mean, I asked the universe every day, where do you want me to be, when do you want me to be there and with whom do you want me to be there with. And if you just sit and wait it'll let you know. Because I asked the universe, where do you want me to be when you want me to be there with whom do you want to be the width and you sent me a Facebook private message. And you told me to be here today with you.
Leyna: And here you are.
Guest: Let's go, let it all hang out baby let it all hang out.
That's actor David Maricano, you can look him up on social media @DavidMarciano on Twitter, he's also on Facebook. And while you're at it, look us up as well. We're @ConsentAdults on Twitter and on Instagram where consenting, underscore, adults, underscore show. Thanks for listening. I'm your host Leyna Nguyen. Next time on Consenting Adults, an intimacy coach, talks about the different arrangements that couples have. she doesn't care if he has sex with other people, part of their arrangement is that he's only with sex workers because she doesn't want there to be any possible feelings involved is just sex. And she wouldn't recommend anything she hasn't tried herself. That's next time on Consenting Adults.
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