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In this episode of Consenting Adults, host Leyna Nguyen chats with Andi and Dave, a married couple that has been in the lifestyle for 5 years and they are not shy to talk about it! They opened up to Leyna about how their "traditional" marriage evolved into the "lifestyle" and how they meet other couples who are are looking for the same type of experience.
EP 4 – Are Swingers Really Normal People?
Welcome to Consenting Adults everyone, I'm your host Leyna Nguyen. I have to thank everyone because we just launched last week, while the DNC was going on and all this other news was going on, and yet you guys really tuned in, which tells me that people enjoy having something not political, to listen to, right, something not controversial. Well, maybe a little controversial for some but something that's a polarizing to listen to and talk about. So thank you for that in fact find us on Twitter @consentadults, join the conversation, let me know what you liked about each episode or what you didn't like, Or tell me what you want to hear about and I will go search it out. Okay, let's get to today's episode, I have to admit that when I heard Swingers, I had this image in my mind that was not flattering, you know, creepy sleazy dirty corny maybe. And if you're listening to this and you're in the lifestyle you know that's not true. But think too, before you got into the lifestyle I think the majority of people have this perception in their heads of who swingers are. And it ain't pretty. But today's guests may change that the picture you see on this episode. That's really them, they're super open about their lifestyle. They tell us how they got into it, how they're enjoying it, and why they think most people in the lifestyle, are still in the closet. People can't comprehend why would you let your wife has sex with another man. And because of that misunderstanding of why we do it, they judge us. This is Consenting Adults.
(Podcast Show Open)
Leyna: My guest today are a married couple. Somewhere in middle America somewhere exotic like Tennessee. Andi is 43 married to a younger man. Dave who's 36 They've been married nine years, been in the lifestyle five years, and in fact they loved it so much. They've created a lifestyle dating site called double date nation.com Now you guys when I look at your picture you look like normal people. Yeah, we're just your average everyday, cuz you are beautiful, and I think that people who aren't familiar with the lifestyle, kind of have this thing in their head about, you know, creepy people, right, who are swingers. And so I am here to just tell our listeners that you guys are far from creepy.
Guest: Thank you.
Leyna: So let's talk about how this all came about I mean you guys used to you guys still do run a digital marketing agency, yes,
Guest: yes we do. We've actually had a digital marketing agency for almost nine years now, we kind of opened it up right around the time we got married,
Leyna: and then now you're running this new lifestyle dating website which you launched last year, why did you decide to start that, I mean, there are a ton of websites out there for the lifestyle right
Guest: right there are, so Dave being more technical and having that gift and maybe more creative. I actually imagined a lot of the profile sites that we were on prior to creating double date nation, and I just came up to him one day and said you know this, there's not a lot. There's not a lot of options as far as anything, modern so let's let's just, hey why don't we do this and it just kind of grew from there it was kind of bizarre took us about a year to develop so it was a, it's been our pet project, for sure.
And another thing that kind of goes along with what you're saying as far as the creepiness style of the lifestyle on, we wanted to create a site that had something called a double date on it, we just wanted people to be able to go out, have a dinner or drinks with other Swingers, or people in the lifestyle and just talk and hear their experience without any expectation of sex or any activities afterwards,
Leyna: right, and you know in my research and I swear, is just research of all of these websites, it's very sex-heavy like when I look at it it's like, oh, all these people want to do is just like go screw everybody. So it looks like yours is more like a dating website like you know like your regular dating website, except it's for lifestyle people.
Guest: Yeah, yeah exactly and I think the biggest thing is the common misconception of the lifestyle is said it is 100% Sex and it's not a lot of the people that we've met in the lifestyle were genuinely just friends with we haven't had any acts with them or anything, but there's such amazing people and you can be the type of person you really are around them without being judged or misunderstood,
Leyna: before you guys got together, we're either of you ever active in any kind of lifestyle ish stuff.
Guest: We were not actually had never even crossed our mind. In the past, so it was just something we kind of just came up with together, kind of talking about fantasies and opening up a little bit more. And that was kind of an evolution in itself, and there you go we just started being a little more honest with each other so
Leyna: can you go back to that timeframe, like how does this stuff come up. I hear a lot of people say it's you know started as sex talk, you know, kind of just fantasies while we were having sex and then it became a, hey, what would it look like if we actually did this.
Guest: Actually that's exactly how it happened with us, we went on vacation, while back and while we were on vacation. We started having a conversation about sexual fantasies, and me being a guy, you know I'm concerned that, what my sexual fantasies are going to deter her I mean she's my wife I'm scared to say these things. And I started discussing with her and she wasn't opposed in my mind was blown that we have gotten this far in our marriage and haven't been able to have these kinds of conversations, and then we just really took off from there.
And to there was a while we were on vacation. We got a little tipsy and got a little kinky and so we turn on some porn, and it happened to be a scenario where the couples were swapping out, and so it was kind of like, Hey, would you ever do that, would you know and kind of just filling it up. Are we in a safe place here or am I going to totally offend him if I say, so it was, it was actually, it was very mutual interest, we just didn't know what the other was thinking until that point.
Leyna: So from that conversation on that vacation, how long did it take you before you actually, you know, started to dabble.
Guest: Oh that's funny so we when we came home from our vacation. One day after we were working I had kind of looked around at different sites online and I set us up view profiles on a couple of sites and so I kind of approached him and said, don't be mad, but I kind of did something and you know you were around me when I did it but we're on a couple of dating sites, and I like satellites far from man I was amazed I was like are you serious laughing and so from there, that was kind of our journey and, you know, we went on a few dinners and cocktails and a lot of people and
Leyna: can you guys tell me about the first time, first experience in the lifestyle.
Guest: It was a total disaster. Well, not in a not in any. It wasn't damaging.
It was amazing experience, but we just walked away with it laughing at each other like what were we doing what just happened we just flubbed up we didn't know there's no playbook, you just kind of make it up as you go and we try it and I thought it was a decent it
was very sexy. Remember, fun, and to this day we are, those are dear friends of ours who we've had much more. I don't know what would you say, personal and real life interactions with yeah but we've had more successful Playstations necessarily our very first one, they were just very understanding that we had, we were very clear you know we've never done this before, so they were very, very gentle.
They were the one thing I did like that they did was we were having drinks with them, and they stepped away and they said we're just going to give you guys a few minutes to talk, which was amazing because you know you want to have those like personal conversations with each other before you commit to something right, and we got to talk and we're like yeah let's do this. And then we ended up going back to their hotel room.
Leyna: I guess maybe the Fantasy was better in your head than, then the way it played out the first time.
Guest: Well it not necessarily so we went into our first play session with a laundry list of rules and boundaries, like what like was so we were not going to full, full swap with with them. So it would only be like sexual play kissing oral sex that kind of thing with the other partners but then we would come back to each other for to actually have sex. Also we had, We had this bizarre rule that neither one of us could orgasm with the other person, whether it be oral or otherwise,
Leyna: okay, maybe you guys aren't so normal, maybe you're not so normal after all. Guest: It's so that the thing is is that went down the drain. After that experience because there were too many boundaries, we just put too many restrictions on it and it's just not realistic so that got flushed away very fast so trying to accommodate those boundaries in that play session, became a disaster.
Leyna: Okay. So during, you know, whether it's that session or or the, you know, the earlier ones, Did you ever feel jealous either of you.
Guest: We have had that yeah I know specifically me, so I got came into this, being like, Oh, I'm not a jealous guy whatsoever. And there was a particular experience that we had that I was envious of like I saw her, doing what she was doing with another man and I almost felt like I was being replaced. And then I held that in. That was my mistake and I didn't talk to her about it, and then eventually we did talk about it, about a month later, and it was completely cleared up and I wish that I had brought it up the next morning, so that it kind of opened our way of communicating with each other, and Andy, how about you.
So I have had that, a different scenario. But I, we met with a couple that were very very attractive, and she was very energetic and she was very into Dave and I kind of felt like, like I'm being kind of overpowered or it was just an internal is just a female thing, it really is women always size each other up. What I found though with that feeling I had, I wouldn't really say jealousy, but it was just something was kind of provoked within me is that I actually liked that. I liked the feeling of being that envious because our. I hate the word jealous but feeling that I have to kind of reclaim Dave. So we went back home and I mean I think for four or five days straight, it was just kind of like a sex marathon between David myself because I realized that that feeling I had actually was what turned me on the most, so I actually liked watching him. Can I just say I love it when you claim me to do that every time, that'd be great.
Leyna: Anytime you know I had a conversation with another couple and I was trying to explain the very thing that you're talking about. I asked them, Is there a difference between being turned on by watching your partner with someone else, and feeling like a little twinge of jealousy and actually feeling joy, that they're enjoying themselves because one is a very sexual thing, you know, lots of sexual energy while the other one is like more caring and emotional are. Do you know what I'm talking about.
Guest: Oh , I was gonna say I do exactly, whenever we have an experience like we always play in the same room, will never be separate, but I love watching her. And I think the biggest thing is I think my wife is the most beautiful person on the planet. And I like watching her in action, and it's the views that I never get to see when I'm having sex with her, and I just think it's amazing to see her have a great time and it turns me on all the hell.
Leyna: Andi if we could go back to what you were talking about because I don't think I've ever talked to anyone else who understood this, and that is for a person who is normally not jealous, to then be able to feel a little twinge of that is actually very energizing and kind of a turn on. Does it somehow make you feel like, Oh hey, I know this sounds awful. Does it somehow make you feel like, well then he's worthy of your affection. When you see that other people want him. I don't know if that makes sense.
Guest: It does. yeah it does it's, there's, there's truly a psychology behind it, and you're, you really nailing it. So that little twinge kind of gets me going, like I said, and seeing him appreciating him with somebody else and having somebody else just crave him cuz makes him Santa you're right, maybe sexier to you right, I don't want to be I don't want to take him for granted, because look how hot he is I don't need to just be like oh you know it's like I want to I want to one up that
right. Most people tell me no jealousy is not a turn on is an awful emotion is an awful feeling I don't like it I don't want to feel it you know.
Leyna: Okay so as you progressed in the lifestyle. These rules that you had obviously started crumbling right like you had to just get rid of them.
Leyna: Did you end up doing anything that you didn't think you'd be into. Are either of you bisexual.
Guest: No, no, you're actually not which is rare in the lifestyle most women that we have seen and met. That's how a lot of people get into the lifestyle is there. The wife is bisexual and some they want to kind of just bring a third person in being a woman. So now we are not.
Leyna: Okay, so then when you guys play it's always with another couple and it's always straight sex,
Guest: right, yes, there's some light play between myself and another female, but that is not the, That's not my main turn on, or draw to Dave.
Leyna: Dave, Dave, are you the typical man who would like would love to see your woman with another woman.
Guest: No, actually I'm not, that's not really my thing. I prefer seeing a man and a woman. Yeah, we're the, we're the unusual yeah I think we are stuck because a lot of men say they love the girl long girl and that is just that, just maybe I'm just selfish, I just want to be a part of it.
Leyna: Okay, so other than like full swap with another couple. What else do you guys enjoy the lifestyle. Does it ever get more, more than just another couple.
Guest: Oh yeah, there's, I mean, there's been a few couples we've, we've had kind of a group play with friends that we know we, we never go into a club or to a resort or anything, and meet people straight on and have a play session that's never happened everybody that we've ever played with is somebody we've met with first gone back kind of collected our thoughts and then gone to phase two and second date, what have you. But resorts and things like that is something I'd say that we didn't think we would have ever done, going to the lifestyle resorts are the nude resorts and walking around completely nude, that is not something I thought we would ever do, but we actually love doing.
Yeah I was gonna say I'm, I never thought I would walk around a beach but naked and I love it, like if I could stay at the beach naked I would, yeah, yeah.
Leyna: Are you guys how are you guys meeting people now, I mean are you meeting them on your own website.
Guest: We are, yeah we have met a couple of a couple people off our website and then we have had people that we met before that we still talk to occasionally
Leyna: so how open are you with your non lifestyle friends and your family,
Guest: very open. We've had to be because of our the website we created where our faces are out on social media, you know, promoting that website, so we had to be open and honest and just have that talk. Some friends kind of turn more tacit turn and oh yeah sure I accept you, but I'm never going to talk to you anymore. You know, which is fine, but we found that most people have said you know I understand. I don't necessarily want to jump in and, you know, become, you know, a member of the lifestyle or you know, have that kind of life for myself but we get you we respect you. And let's just not talk about. And then there are a few that asked a lot of questions yes they know.
Leyna: how big is the lifestyle community where you are in Tennessee.
Guest: It's rather large. There's a lot of people, of course discretion is huge so it's an ever people you would think of, but you know it's a, it's, there's quite a few in our area, going back to you know how people who aren't familiar with the lifestyle, have this creepy image of like 70s porn stash type people.
Leyna: Can you talk about the kinds of people, the types of people who are in the lifestyle have you've come into contact with.
Guest: So you think it's kind of funny when we first got an ice I think we, we had that same kind of concept we didn't know what type of people were in the lifestyle, and being in it, we've learned I mean you have people all the way from have lawyers you have doctors, I mean it's everybody is, is in the lifestyle so it's it's actually quite interesting to find that people join the lifestyle is especially when they're having great work. Great work times because it's kind of like a reward for them.
Leyna: What would you say is completely necessary to successfully get into the lifestyle or stay in the lifestyle.
Guest: My first one would be trust you, or you have to have full trust and know your partner because I mean Jealousy is a big part of it you want to make sure you're not going to get jealous and I trust my wife I love my wife I know at the end of the day, she's going to come home to me
well and to another aspect is this is not something for a couple that wants to repair something if somebody has had an affair or they're trying to keep things together or one person agreeing to it, only because they're afraid they're going to let the other spouse down or partner down. That's not going to work that's a recipe for disaster. So, you have to have a solid foundation, a strong relationship, wide open communication. It's not for everybody.
Leyna: How often do you do lifestyle activities.
Guest: It is actually pretty rare. It's been quite a while for us especially with the pandemic going on. We really haven't been out since February because of COVID We took a, we were taking extreme precautions with regards to that.
Otherwise I would say in a normal year, probably we would play four to six times a year, so it's not as often as some people right just working so much in the lifestyle and events and so forth and so we can't really combine the pipe work and
Leyna: has it changed your marriage,
Guest: who I can take that side. So going into our marriage, you know, I was scared to talk about certain things just in fear of, you know, saying the wrong thing to my wife, And now we have a relationship to the sensor I can say literally anything now I can say wrong things and get shamed for it, of course, but she's my wife and I love being able to talk to you about every dirty little thought inside.
Leyna: What about you, Andy. How's it changed your marriage.
We're just wide open, it's a wide open book and like, like he said, the shame factor of, you know, I've thought about this but I don't want to say anything for fear that he's going to look at me differently or judge me, and we don't have that, I'll throw things out. What about this and he may not necessarily, necessarily be into it, but I don't feel any kind of pressure that I'm going to get the wrong answer, well I'll likely try it because I want you to have a great time.
Leyna: Right, yeah. Now, are there any activities that Dave is into Andy that you're not into that he can do in the lifestyle, and vice versa,
Guest: so much. I don't think there's anything, again, I, I am. Another kind of the rare one that I could actually sit off to the side and not have part in any play and watch days, play with another woman. That's very rare that we've done that, but that's something I could do so if I, if I truly understand that what he's doing turns him on it, in turn, turns me on. No matter what, if it's something physically that I would do that would not turn me on. I know that he's getting off on that, so that's what gets me going.
Leyna: And Dave I'm Dave I'm just going to go out on a limb and say there's nothing that Andi wants to do that you wouldn't do.
Guest: That is correct. I will try anything at least once. So, if you want to try it, I'll try it with you.
Leyna: What is the difference then between the lifestyle that you're living and then being polyamorous Have you guys talked about that
Guest: we have, have not. I think the emotional factor is not what we're drawn to, at all, so it's just sex for you guys, right, it is it's just what we take from an experience and take back to our bedroom what that's what we get from it. Now we have extremely close friends that I could say we both dearly love, and even then it wouldn't that doesn't lapse into that kind of feeling.
Leyna: And now that you've been in the lifestyle, because you're not what I would say the regular swinging couple who do it a lot more than four to six times a year. Do you see yourself doing this for the rest of your lives or would you be okay going back to being monogamous.
Guest: I think we can both speak for you, Dave. But I think we can both if this for some reason didn't work out or one of us became uncomfortable with it, this is not going to feel like there's an empty part of our life, if we're not swinging or swapping with other people. This is just an addition to what we already had that was good. This is I do think this is something we will continue doing for a very long time.
But if it ever came a time where either one of us said hey I don't want to do this anymore. I mean it wouldn't be a problem for us to back out.
Leyna: Do you guys have kids, we do not, if you did have kids do you think you'd be as open with them.
Guest: I do, I think now, young children, no. Obviously, and that's the case with most people our age, that are in the lifestyles they do have school aged children. Clearly that's not something you're gonna have a conversation with them about. Now I do have a grown child. David I don't have child, children together, and I have talked to her about that she's in her 20s So, if she's, you know, and she understands, and she's not, you know, interested in, you know that being her choice for her life. But yeah, I think that potentially if you want to talk to them about that that would be fine. But on the other hand, I totally see where people want to be discreet for religious reasons community reasons, and, and just don't want their kids to know I mean, most people don't talk about what they do in the bedroom with their kids. Speaking of religious reasons are you guys religious. We have kind of a Buddhist mindset, so not really. Yeah, not, not so much as far as attending church now.
Leyna: Do you feel that there's a place for the lifestyle for people who are religious. Guest: Absolutely, absolutely, yes, we've, we've met many people
now there's a lot of people in the lifestyle that will state they are religious and they we have nothing against them, they have nothing against us, I mean it's again an environment where everybody's accepted.
Leyna: Why do you think so many people are still like in the shadows about this though.
Guest: That's a great question. As far as not knowing about the lifestyle
is no no I mean as far as just not being open about it to their non lifestyle friends and family, I mean you know their co workers don't know, it's gonna be based on judgment, I mean a lot of people don't want to be judged by people because I don't. It's hard to understand the lifestyle, people can't comprehend why would you let your wife has sex with another man. And because of that misunderstanding of why we do it, they judge us, and that would be the biggest fear to have.
And also people have high profile, jobs, you know, in the community, teachers, what have you and they, it's just not an option and that kind of information got out that, and I know of people that that has happened to that they've lost their jobs because they were outed, which is quite a shame because this is a sexual preference, and it's consensual and there's everybody's in agreement through the whole process so I don't know why that would be any different than any other sexual preference.
Leyna: That's a very good point. What about the, the age group of, of people in the lifestyle, are they do, they kind of are they older,
Guest: you would be surprised, actually we, we see people anywhere from their early 20s all the way up to the early 80s, so their age is not a discriminating factor and by lifestyle that's amazing in their 80s Oh yeah.
Leyna: How about performance issues, Dave.
Guest: Oh, those are real, it's a conversation that a lot of men in the lifestyle don't like to talk about. I've had instances where I've had issues performing, and it's not a degrading thing because at the time I was just in my head, I was somewhere else that wasn't in the moment. And I think if men are able to talk about those issues, then it becomes less of a problem because they were open about it.
Leyna: How do you suggest they handle it when they're actually in a play session, and suddenly they can't perform, how do you handle that then?
Guest: well the time that I had it happened to me first. I was panicked, and it's one of the things when you, it starts not working you panic some more it's never going to work right. What I learned after that experience is just talking about it, like just looking over at Andy and saying, Hey, I'm kind of having some issues here. And then if that issue does arise, she comes back to me and I, we get everything going on ourselves, so she just needs to help me get out of my head and that I'm good.
Well I also, it can affect the female play partner you're with because women tend to internalize things and say oh my gosh I'm doing something wrong, he doesn't think I'm sexy. So there's that factor to where I took you to communicate and say it's in, it's in my head I'm kinda in my heads you explain that to them as well. Yeah.
Leyna: Do women ever have any issues,
Guest: of course women can hide it, and where men cannot. I think there are some issues where women will necessarily not not really be into the mojo of what's going on, and can fall into the category of taking one for the team just because everything else is kind of up and going, she's not really feeling it, but she'll kind of go with it anyway. That's not a good idea if you're not into something you need to just back off and say you know, either we need to x, this, this isn't gonna work, you know Abort mission or done, or I'm good with sitting back and just kind of letting other things take place just depending on your personality, but absolutely it's sometimes I've gotten into a play session, and something just went sideways, it just wasn't working, it could be down to how the person kisses me and it's just a total turnoff or where I didn't think it would be initially. So yes, It can definitely happen.
Leyna: Let's talk about some turn ons and turn offs, is there anything in particular that really turns you on, or really turns you off
Guest: course Bad breath is terrible cockiness with men sometimes and I mean, I haven't had this happen with women. But some men tend to put their, they want to convince you that they're worthy or that they're, this is why you should be impressed by me. So they drop, how wealthy, they are what they've accomplished, where I'm looking for the Savior sexual you know if you can make me laugh, you can make my panties drop like quick witted, let's have a good time. I don't need to know about your financial statements or your, you know, how good your business is doing as far as turn offs go turn ons go, somebody that is gentle and complimentary and smells nice, and takes their time, just kind of a slow process. That's, that's kind of my cue.
Do I just need to get my top five turned on. I don't think we have time to go through the list. No, I think my biggest turn ons would be, oddly enough I do like women with a little meat on their bones. I like something to kind of grab on to another huge turn on, is seeing, Andi,
doing anything with another man, I mean you could do anything and I'm just like dying over here so if I'm doing something like I'm performing oral sex I'm going down on a man I'm looking at you, yeah,
if you're looking at me or giving oral sex that's, that's pretty good for the turnoffs I don't think I've really run into a turnoff I mean breath is one thing. I think that's, I mean, she makes sure I don't eat any like garlic or onions or anything like two days. But ya know, I don't think I've come across anything,
Leyna: any last words on the lifestyle, what it's done for you what it can do for people.
Guest: I'd say it is definitely not what the majority of people will assume it is like you said, it's not the 70 swinger, put your keys on a ball and it's just a sex fast for us we've made closer friends in the lifestyle that's out numbered our regular vanilla friends. It's something that I can't imagine not sharing with people like I love to tell people about it but are interested, just to give it a try. It's just it's takes you way out of your box to a place you didn't think you could be, and it makes a relationship stronger as strange as that sounds, and to experience that it's really hard to truly understand.
I think the biggest thing about the lifestyle is everybody thinks the lifestyle is just sex. It's actually relationships, we have people that are called Social swingers that don't even have sex or do anything sexual with other people, they just love being in a sexual environment where they can be themselves. I think that's the biggest thing the lifestyle is not what was assumed back in the 70s where people just meet in a room and start having sex, it's, it's a lot bigger now, and the relationships that you can build you'll have for the rest of your life and we love our friends and lifestyle because we can be 100% ourselves, and so can they. So it really is a friends with benefits situation.
Leyna: Thanks for listening, everyone. I'm your host Leyna Nguyen coming up on the next episode. A familiar face and voice in TV news talks candidly about her love life. I don't know if this would be considered really a fetish anymore because there's so many lies. Now, what is it I like tying up. You like being tied up. Yeah, I like to be the subservient one also Ramon, is the top story. On the next episode of Consenting Adults.
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