Sex Party Etiquette

Cecily Brown Untitled 2013

Cecile Brown, UNTITLED, 2003

HER: Summer is the season for backyard barbecues and pool parties. So, if your friend group includes people who like to get naked together, it also means it’s the season for swinger parties. Thanks to the suggestion of our podcasting friends, Bed Hoppers UK, we’re going to outline some of the rules of etiquette for house parties based on our experience as both party hosts and guests.

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Pool Party IV: Perfection

Franco Fontana PISCINA 1984

Franco Fontana, PISCINA (SWIMMING POOL), 1984

HER:  If you’re a member of the lifestyle community, you may have attended events and fantasized about being the one at the centre of it all. You may even have looked around and thought, ‘If I were the host, I’d do it better’. Well, we were arrogant enough to believe that of ourselves, but, along the way, we’ve discovered that it isn’t as simple as inviting a bunch of swingers and feeding them. No, there’s definitely a learning curve. But after recently hosting our fifth Sexy House Party in three years, it now feels like we’ve perfected the recipe for an all-fun, no-drama event.

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Unprotected Sex

B Tompkins Fuck Painting no52 2014

Betty Tompkins, FUCK PAINTING no 52, 2014

HIM: The subject of unprotected sex is an open and closed case for most lifestyle commentators. Just never, ever do it … except with your long-term, exclusive partner. The risk of an STD is simply too great. It’s an easy, one-size-fits-all approach that is criticism proof. But like most easy answers, the reality is somewhat messier. Continue reading

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Niagara Hotel Take Over

Ingres Turkish Bath

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres ‘The Turkish Bath’ 1863

HER: There we were: three couples on two beds in our poolside hotel room, playing and swapping, with a growing audience of appreciative onlookers watching through the large picture window. It was one of the hottest experiences we have ever had in the lifestyle, and definitely the highlight of our weekend in Niagara Falls.

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Are Lifestyle Friendships Real Friendships?

Two Sisters_John Graham_1944

John Graham (Ivan Dombrowski), Two Sisters, 1944

HER: A Twitter friend recently posted a comment she found in an online forum. The contributor basically said that lifestyle people are some of the most enjoyable people she has been around. But in the end, these people have only one thing on their minds. And because it’s all about the sex, it’s hard not to see the friendships as superficial. When I read this, my immediate reaction was are you kidding? As strange as it may sound, I think the lifestyle is just as much about friendship as it is about sex. Continue reading

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Hedo Diaries: An Older Woman

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Alice Neel, Self Portrait, 1980

HIM: The other day I accidentally pushed the wrong button on my phone and the forward facing camera clicked on. The image of an old man suddenly appeared on the screen. My immediate thought was that I looked pretty good for a 70 year old. The problem is, I’m just 56.

HER: Oh, baby, I’m sure it was just bad lighting. And maybe a bad angle.

HIM: Probably, but it seems to me like good lighting and good angles are getting harder and harder to find these days. Oh well. Continue reading

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Men and Affairs

Nighthawks_by_Edward_Hopper_1942

Edward Hopper, NIGHTHAWKS, 1942

HIM: In the April 6th edition of The New York Times, I read an impressive article by Karin Jones entitled What Sleeping With Married Men Taught Me About Infidelity. First of all, simply writing the piece under her own name (The New York Times does not allow pseudonyms) required a rare level of bravery. Being the ‘other woman’ is no one’s idea of a heroic role, Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary notwithstanding. Secondly, her thesis, although somewhat ambivalent, is that many men who have affairs are not the selfish bastards they’re usually made out to be. Instead, they are often individuals trapped in very difficult circumsances who feel they have few options. While I don’t agree with everything she has to say, hers is a voice not often heard that should be listened to carefully. Continue reading

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How to Write a Great Online Profile

AAA-Murakami, My Lonesome Cowboy 1998_2

Takashi Murakami “My Lonesome Cowboy” 1998

HER: Ten years ago, people would cringe when they admitted they had met online (if they admitted to it at all). Today, it’s surprising when new couples actually meet the old fashioned way: in person, by accident. With so much of our lives lived on the internet, it makes sense that we would look for a partner there, too, whether you’re a single or a swinging couple. But, with everyone searching online, how do you stand out? And how do you make sure you’re attracting the right kind of people? Well, we’ve learned a few things after perusing hundreds of profiles, and we’ve got some useful tips.

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Dealing with Jealousy

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Pipilotti Rist, EVER IS OVER ALL (still from two-channel video), 1997

HER: “We are jealous animals.” That’s how Dr Helen Fisher explained her belief that open marrriages don’t work when she was interviewed on a Canadian radio documentary called ‘How to Survive the Dating Apocalypse’. She said she would never entertain the idea of an open relationship herself because she is just “too jealous.” Clearly, claiming we are jealous animals across the board was universalizing her own tendency, treating her socially conditioned response as if it was a biological inevitability. But what if we aren’t actually wired to be jealous? What if we could overcome what our culture has taught us and share our partners — not fearfully or begrudgingly, but enthusiastically and lovingly?

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Unleashing the Swinger Within

Colville couple on beach 1957

Alex Colville ‘Couple on Beach’ 1957

HER:  The question our readers ask us most frequently is how to help their partners become more sexually open. More often than not, it’s men who pose the question, although I know there are lots of women who are wondering the same thing. So, as the representative of the gentler sex (ha!), I’m going to take over this post. But I’ve set myself a difficult task, because the questions is almost impossible to answer. This is really the question for all time: how do you get people to do what you want them to do? Forget about sex – how do you get the boss to give you a raise? How do you get your kids to try harder in school? How do you get Donald Trump to give up on that ridiculous comb-over? Honestly – you’re not fooling anyone!

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