January 4, 2017
HER: Believe it or not, I am an incredibly shy person by nature. When I was young, I hung back when others were having fun because I always imagined my presence would somehow ruin it. I never wanted to be the unwelcome third wheel, and I haven’t completely gotten over that feeling. For me, the world of swinging opened up a new avenue to connect socially: I could use my sexuality — something I feel confident about — to make friends — which I find difficult. But my insecurities over not being able to read the social signals and feeling unwelcome all came back to me last night here at Hedonism.
HIM: We’ve been talking about it all morning. Basically, we got ditched last night. Double-ditched, to be precise. It went like this:
At dinner a few evenings before, we spotted a South African ‘virgin’ couple on their first night at the resort. We thought they were attractive and sought them out the next day. We made a nice social connection and agreed to meet with them that night in the playroom.
You and I got there first, and I started right away spanking you on a piece of apparatus I can only describe as a ‘wooden spanking horse’. Without any clear instructions about how to use it, you lay face-down on it and straddled it (God, I love the word ‘straddled’ in a sexual context).
HER: I really enjoyed it. If you were any kind of handyman I’d ask you to make me one.
HIM: We were both really turned on when the South Africans arrived not much later and settled onto one of the mattresses. We somehow ended up with you and him having sex while I touched you and she caressed him.
HER: His pacing was a little fast for my taste. I wasn’t able to get into a good rhythm because he was all quick thrusts and no time for the kind of build up I need to come. He was such a nice guy, though, that I just chalked it up to ‘different strokes for different folks’.
HIM: After the two of you left to clean up, she started casually stroking my torso, and then my cock, and I got very hard. Not a surprise, I guess, since it’s usually easier for me when I’m one-on-one with another woman. She was short, in her early 50s, with a sunny disposition and a quietly impressive body – large, natural breasts, curvy hips and a smooth, gently rounded tummy. After a while I put on a condom and we had sex. I wasn’t concerned about coming, just about what I’ve come to call a ‘gentlemanly fuck’ – showing a woman that you find her desirable without making a spectacle of yourself. I believe I acquitted myself admirably.
HER: Sometimes you sound like you were born in the late 18th century.
HIM: I know. I’m stubbornly uncool.
HER: Anyway, we played it cool the day after we hooked up with them. We didn’t want them to think they had to stick with us. It was early in their week at Hedo, after all. I didn’t want them to feel restricted, like they couldn’t connect with other people because they owed us anything. That old fear of being an unwanted third wheel was at play. Maybe our being aloof was the beginning of the problem.
HIM: Maybe. But I don’t think we gave them any negative vibes, because they introduced us to an American couple they had befriended, and within the course of 48 hours, we had formed a group of six: hanging out at the pool, eating meals together and taking the sunset cruise to Rick’s Cafe. There was much laughter, flirting and sexual innuendo. We were loving their company, and it seemed the feeling was mutual. It felt inevitable to us that we would all eventually end up naked in the playroom. We were pretty sure the launch pad for that would be Hedo’s weekly foam party.
HER: After dinner, drinks, and dancing, not to mention my first real experience with getting high (I’m a late-bloomer), the six of us headed down to the courtyard where the giant inflatable pool was already overflowing with bubbles. We took off our clothes and jumped in, each of us dancing with our partners. At one point, we noticed that we hadn’t seen the South Africans in a while, and we joked with the Americans that our friends might be suffocating beneath the bubbles and that we should send in a search party. About ten minutes later, we spotted the Americans towelling off in the change area. It seemed strange that they hadn’t said anything to us, so we thought perhaps they were just taking a break. We kept dancing.
HIM: Neither couple returned, however, and eventually you and I agreed we had had enough of the foam. As we got dressed, we debated what to do next. You were feeling wobbly from the weed, so I suggested going back to our room and having sex there. However, you were clearly still excited by the idea that the evening would end in a blissful six-way with these two great couples. I was certainly not against the idea of looking for them if you were feeling up to it.
HER: Even in my weedy haze, part of me realized that if they had wanted us to join them, they would have let us know they were leaving. Still, another part of me felt confident in our connection. I guess that’s how these things happen: on one hand, you have their objective actions, and on the other hand, you have your subjective certainty that you’re so right for each other. That’s when the rationalizing starts. I tried explaining to myself why they might leave without telling us. Maybe they just wanted to finish the joint they had been smoking earlier and they were going to come back. Or maybe they had given us a signal that we had missed in the bubbles. I suggested we go to the playroom. What if they were waiting for us there, wondering where we were?
HIM: As soon as we entered the playroom I saw the four of them playing on a bed in the far corner. I knew right away that we had absolutely misread things. I suggested we leave before they saw us.
HER: Which would have been the right thing to do, but, of course, I was still pretty high. Like you, I now realized it wasn’t an accident that they had left us behind, but I still kind of hoped that, if they saw us there, they might join us or invite us over. And I needed to lie down. We took the only available bed, which happened to be near them, and I gave them a little wave when they noticed us.
HIM: I guess our presence was a distraction, because, within a few minutes, they packed up and left.
HER: It was pretty embarrassing. I’ve never felt sexually rejected before. And I hated that I had ruined their party. I felt stupid and hurt.
HIM: So did I. At least you were high. What was my excuse?
HER: Well, as with every tough experience, there’s something to be learned here. I guess the first lesson (beyond the obvious: don’t make decisions when you’re really stoned) is TAKE THE FUCKIN’ HINT! If people give you the slip, it’s never an accident. No matter how solid you feel the connection is, they may not feel the same way, or they may like you but have different plans at that specific moment, and you’re not always going to get a clearly worded memo from head office.
HIM: We can certainly relate to their side of the situation. There have been people we like a lot socially, but just don’t connect with sexually. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and sometimes find ourselves trying to subtly maneuver our way out of situations where sex might be expected with them. But we’ve never been on the receiving end of a subtle maneuver before, at least at this level. Of all people, though, we should recognize our own tactics when they’re used on us. It’s up to you and me to bow out graciously as soon as we pick up even a hint of reluctance. We were 100% to blame in this situation.
HER: Rejection hurts. (Duh!) I don’t know if there’s anything they could have done or said that would have made it easier on us. I suppose if they had been clear, I would have avoided feeling dumb about misreading the signals, but that’s probably asking too much of anyone. They owed us nothing. They were just four people trying to have fun together. And besides, no amount of clarity would have eliminated the sting of knowing we weren’t the object of their desire on the night of the foam party.
It’s funny. In the world of swinging, you always have the security of knowing you’ll go home with the partner you love at the end of the evening, no matter how things go with your playmates. So you’d think that would eliminate a lot of the vulnerability. But no amount of security or love can completely erase that deep-seated high school pain of feeling just not cool enough for the cool kids.
HIM: On the positive side, though, one of the things I’ve enjoyed most about the lifestyle since we’ve been involved are the little moments of grace that happen without warning. This morning, as the American couple headed home, they stopped by the table where we were finishing breakfast. They came up behind us, placed their hands on our shoulders and we had a nice little chat about their return home. They could easily have slipped away without saying a thing, and we never would have noticed. Their warm farewell, however, was clearly meant to say ‘we value you, and we’re glad we met you’ without getting into the awkwardness they must have felt the night before.
HER: I’m very glad they stopped by. I liked them so much, it would have been a shame to end things on an uncomfortable or sour note. I had secretly hoped to see them before they left, but I wasn’t going to chase them down. I at least learned that lesson the hard way!
Liam & Kate are a married couple, very much in love, writing honestly and insightfully about their adventures in the world of non-monogamy.