What’s in a name? (Why polyswingerish?)

Great question, really.  When we started talking about this blog as a concept, I (Mr. Polyswingerish) immediately started thinking about names.  I mean, every blog has to have a clever name, right?  Uh, right?

Well, clever or not, I was trying to think of something that embodies where we are as a couple in this journey.  But that’s like looking around in the middle of the ocean trying to pinpoint your location.  Without landmarks, it’s impossible.

As we’ve drifted further and further from the safety of our vanilla life shore, we have felt adrift on more than one occasion, and rather rely on a GPS that we don’t know how to use and don’t feel like we can trust, we’re mapping our own course as we go.  I’ve realized that there is land in every direction, and that we just have to get there.  That takes patience, work and persistence.

If you’re not familiar with the term poly, it refers to Polyamory.  Don’t bother looking it up in the dictionary.  Chances are, it’s not there.  Essentially, it’s a form of ethical non-monogamy in which people base their interactions on establishing relationships based on love.  The physical aspect may or may not be there.  Basically, sex isn’t the focus.  But it’s a possibility.  (note:  this is a ridiculously simplified definition of polyamory that may or may not embody what that lifestyle is all about.  If this offends you as an acting polyamorist, I apologize)  These relationships can be long term, or fleeting.  Oftentimes people in the poly lifestyle tend to refer to others as their boyfriend/girlfriend, or even a 2nd husband/wife.  It’s not totally unheard of for couples to live and rear children together, though the more I read, the more it becomes apparent that this is a rare situation akin to the highly sought after “unicorn” in the swinger world.  Anyway, you get the gist.

Swinging, on the other hand, tends to refer to a sex based interaction among consenting adults.  (See my apology above if you are a swinger and this offends you)  The interactions don’t have to be exclusively sexual in nature, and often relationships do evolve, but the focus isn’t on finding a long-term extra partner.  The word “love” in the swinger world is as terrifying as STD’s to some.  It’s taboo.  We do not speak of it.  But it happens.  In our relatively short time in this LS we have seen multiple married couples split, only to later marry other people they met through the LS.  Much more common than I had anticipated.

So, short story long, I’m not sure where we fit into either of the aforementioned lifestyles.  Mrs. Polyswingerish (hereafter referred to as simply Mrs. P) tends to lean more toward the poly ideology.  I won’t tell her story, or speak for her, because it’s not my story to tell.  But suffice it to say, she’s not terribly comfortable being intimate with someone of that intimacy doesn’t involve some emotional component.  Immediate sex with a random partner?  Not on her to do list.  It’s how she’s wired.  Ultimately it becomes a matter of what she needs in order to feel fulfilled, and isn’t that what this is all about anyway?

As for me, I think I tend to identify more with the swinger mentality.  Although I’m not opposed to an emotional connection forming during the process of getting to know someone, it’s not a necessity.  I do just fine without it.  Just met you?  Hey, if I’m attracted to you and you’re attracted to me, I’m good with taking it to the next level.  However, I’m not as shallow as that statement makes me seem.  There is also an “it” factor.  There have been women who, by all accounts, I should be attracted to, and I’m just not.  Something is missing that I can’t explain.  Conversely, there are other women who don’t seem to be my type physically who I am drawn to for reasons that defy understanding.  I can’t figure it out, so I stopped trying.  I can tell you this, if I sleep with a woman, I won’t act like I don’t know her immediately after we finish, which seems to be the M.O. of some of the people we’ve met.  It pisses me off, it hurts my wife when it happens, but that is a different topic for a different day.

One thing I don’t want to happen is for this blog to become a repository for the work of other people.  I have no problem sharing articles or websites that I find interesting or relevant, but I have my own perspective that I find unique and that I would like to share, otherwise I wouldn’t be pounding the keys like I am.  So I’ll share other resources, because there are people out there far more experienced than I am, but I won’t let this become a bucket of links without my own personality and perspective coming through.  It’s just not my thing.

With that disclaimer clearly stated, there is an article I found last night that I really liked.  It was a very practical look at the differences and similarities between the poly and swinging lifestyles.  There are some interesting case studies provided, and it just reinforced what I already knew:  you can’t categorize everything.  This is a fluid and ever-changing journey, and just about the time you think you see land, it might just be a mirage.  So hunker down, do the work, and have fun!

Swinging and Polyamory: The Great Divide

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