The Softest of Soft-Swaps

GCondo_2010_reclining nude forms
George Condo ‘Reclining Nude Forms’ 2001

HER: Recently, we had what turned out to be one of the most erotic weekends ever. Were we dancing half naked at the club, hooking up with our old threesome buddies, or full swapping with some hot new friends? Nope. Not even close. Merely flirting with the idea of having sex with other people got us so hot we could barely leave the bedroom.

HIM: It was weird – in one sense you could say it was a series of missteps and outright fails, yet somehow we ended up having so much sex we had to take a couple of nights off just to let our tender parts cool off.

HER: We really went overboard with the online dating thing, like kids in a candy store. Basically, if we had a free night in our calendar, we filled it. It all started on the Wednesday evening, when we met for dinner with that tv producer and his wife who is in public relations. They had been in the lifestyle for nine years but didn’t seem jaded or mechanical about it. In fact, she said at one point that swinging was her religion, and she wasn’t being ironic. She really does take a spiritual approach to her own sexuality and her connection with her partners. They were very interesting, but he had to leave early for a board meeting he had forgotten about. We talked about them the whole ride home, wondering what more we might have learned had the night not been cut short. And, although we hadn’t felt especially turned on over dinner, we had great sex when we got home.

HIM: Oh, I remember. As we were getting ready for bed you suggested something new – that I take some nude pictures of you for our twitter feed. Which was recklessly perverted of you, but then again, your reckless perversion was one of the things that made me fall in love with you in the first place.

HER: Two nights later, on Friday,  we had another get together end early. This time, it was a couple from out of town who follow our blog and had originally gotten in touch months ago to discuss one of the articles. We had met them for coffee on their way through the city a few weeks later. We thought of it simply as a  social connection but they let us know they were interested in more, and we agreed we’d like to see them again. We quickly made arrangements for them to come over to our place for dinner.

HIM: Everyone seemed to be having a great time until she suddenly got up from the table and asked her husband to join her in the next room. We couldn’t imagine what the problem was. Had I said something offensive? Was she so turned on that she wanted to get her husband’s consent before mounting me between the main course and dessert? Not quite. They came back to the table to announce that she was feeling sick and that they would have to leave immediately. It seemed pretty genuine, since they later asked about getting together again, but you never know if it’s a case of nerves or even ‘buyer’s remorse.’

D&D sex on the couch mar2016
“Wish you were here”

HER: Either way, we were so turned on by the anticipation of what we thought was to come after dinner that we were fucking on the couch five minutes after they left. We sent them the picture on the right so they’d see what they were missing and be enticed to come back! And we were still so horny the next morning, you bent me over the kitchen counter for another round while the eggs boiled.

HIM: I know – I was really fired up by what might have been, and the whole picture thing was driving me crazy.

HER: The next day, on Saturday afternoon, we had yet another first date with a very cool couple. We met them online and were intrigued by the fact that they sounded literate, a bit geeky, and stated in their profile that they were bloggers. Our people! We had a really wonderful three-hour conversation full of laughs, interesting story-swapping, and a little shop talk. However, we didn’t exactly feel sparks flying in the moment. Of course, we may have been completely out of touch with our bodies, because when we got home, we did it again on the family-room sectional (sorry, kids) and thought seriously about going to a sex club a few hours later until exhaustion vetoed that idea.

HIM: As we were settling in to bed on that Saturday the couple who had gone home early on Friday night proposed they come back for a second chance at getting naked on Sunday afternoon. We were glad to hear she had gotten over her illness, so we spent some time Sunday morning getting ready for their return visit.

FullSizeRender 2
Over-the-counter sex, while the eggs boiled

HER: Just as we finished tidying up, however, they wrote to say they wouldn’t be coming after all because her nausea had come back. Coincidence? Probably not. Like desperate addicts, we actually spent the next hour checking the booty call section on Cafe Desire – a place of quiet desperation we had hoped never to visit. Wisely, I think, we decided against contacting any of the couples, and instead headed upstairs for another incredibly satisfying fuck session.

HIM: Can I just say something here: if my ex-wife had ever used the ridiculous phrase ‘fuck session’, I might never have gotten divorced. You’re amazing! Anyway, don’t forget that, before going upstairs, we were exchanging flirty texts with our other friends who had been out of the country that week. That got pretty intense, considering it was just words on a screen. If they had been around we definitely would have paid them a visit, but we knew that was impossible.

HER: You know, all of this makes me wonder if we don’t actually have to be swingers to get the full sexual benefit out of swapping? Could we just meet people to talk about sex and imagine fucking them? It would certainly be the safest sex possible.

HIM: We might have stumbled onto a new lifestyle category – platonic promiscuity, maybe?

HER: Sure. Let’s put that one out there and see if it catches on. Buzz words aside, though, it is interesting to look back on those few days and try to understand what was going on.  I think, as we’ve found at sex clubs and with swapping in general, the fantasy and anticipation are very often better than the real thing, because the scenario we envision is so idealized. There’s never any bad breath, discolored teeth, inconvenient condoms, or erectile issues in our imaginary world. It’s a guaranteed good time. But when you throw real people with real imperfections into the mix, it can be a let down.

HIM: Well, the great thing about actual human beings is also the not-so-great thing about them: they’re so unpredictable. You never know for certain what they’ll do, or what they’ll bring out in you. Sure, sometimes the results are disappointing, but the potential for something unforeseen and spectacular is what makes the risk worthwhile.

But it’s never going to be as good as what you and I have created together. Think about it: we’ve spent years exploring each other’s bodies, learning how to most effectively please each other. We’ve got our game figured out. All we’ve ever wanted from our experiment with swinging is to accent the great sex life we’ve built together. Adding other people into the mix is really just a different way of enjoying each other.

HER: So, you don’t think it might just be better to be pretend swingers, if we get so much out of mere anticipation? We were in a whole new orbit sexually, in spite of the fact that there was no nudity or physical contact with anyone else. It was nothing but words and imagination. Forget about ‘full swaps’, or even ‘soft swaps’ – is it possible that old-fashion flirting itself, the ‘softest of soft swaps,’ is all we really need?

HIM: I don’t think so. The power of those close calls was that we really believed something would come of them. If we turn it into a game of tease – a pantomime – I think the magic we experienced disappears with it. Which reminds me: that couple with the cottage and the hot tub finally got back to us this morning. I really think there’s some potential there.