HIM: Max seemed to be silently fuming as I stood beside him in the door to our family room. By the fireplace was a massage table, and lying on that massage table was his wife, Melissa, naked and clearly in a state of bliss. You were looking pretty happy yourself, baby, as you and two male accomplices rubbed Melissa down with hot coconut oil. I asked Max if he and Melissa had discussed their boundaries for this type of scenario in advance, and the lid popped off his simmering rage — quietly, but unmistakably.
“No,” he replied, “we didn’t at all. In fact, we had one of the biggest fights of our marriage just this afternoon. I don’t see how she can magically become a totally different person so quickly.” I asked him if he wanted me to go over and diplomatically put an end to it. He told me not to bother. “She’s free to do what she wants,” he said, with a note of bitter resignation, “but that doesn’t mean I have to stand here and watch it.” As he walked away, I worried that we might have inadvertently made their already rocky relationship worse by inviting them to this party.
HER: Before we go on, we should provide the backstory of the characters of this drama. My entrée into my own bi-sexuality, and the lifestyle in general, was having threesomes with Melissa. I loved her raven hair and soft skin, her round ass and big, gorgeous breasts. And her playful sensuality. But all that stopped when she met Max. A wonderful man, but he just wasn’t into sharing, so we didn’t play for years. That’s why we were pleasantly surprised when they agreed to stop in to a pool party we hosted last summer. They bravely played our ‘guess your partner by their boobs/cocks’ game, and were titilated, but they didn’t stay long, and we weren’t completely sure how they felt about returning. When they enthusiastically accepted the invitation to our Valentine’s party, it seemed like maybe they didn’t hate the last one.
HIM: Why do you do that?
HER: Do what?
HIM: Assume everyone hates you and anything you’re involved in. Don’t you get that people actually think you’re awesome?
HER: Oh God, that’s a whole other article. Let’s stick to Max and Melissa today.
HIM: Right. It’s true, their relationship has been pretty strained lately. Their sex life kind of dropped off after they had a baby, and he felt both sexually and emotionally neglected. We love these guys, and we think they’re right for each other in so many ways, so we hoped that a little sexual re-boot might help them reconnect.
HER: One of the rules you’ll hear most often in the lifestyle is that couples who are struggling in their relationship should not try swinging. The intensity that makes it so exciting for strong couples can destroy a fragile bond. But we knew that lack of sexual desire and connection was at the core of Max and Melissa’s conflict, and that is something the lifestyle can help with, so we wondered if they might be the exception to the rule.
HIM: The night of our party started well, with everyone enjoying the lock-and-key ice-breaker and mingling seamlessly. But, once things started to heat up, Melissa and Max encountered a classic lifestyle snafu: not discussing their boundaries in advance. That’s where we rejoin their story.
HER: I have to take some responsibility for upsetting Max. I, as usual, was the first person to get naked. I lay on the massage table with two handsome men rubbing me down, one of whom took his cock out so I could suck it while he ran his hands over my breasts. That was the scene when Melissa ventured over and started rubbing my legs. I knew she loved being touched and pampered, so after a while I asked if she’d like a turn on the table. It didn’t take much convincing. We swapped positions, and that’s how she ended up as the naked object of our attentions. The two guys were very respectful, avoiding her nipples and pussy (and having put that cock away). At one point, she motioned to me and whispered that she was a little worried about Max. Could I go find him and ask if he was ok? She obviously was aware this was doing something they hadn’t discussed. Just then, I heard a crash.
HIM: Right! When I heard it, I thought Max had finally reached his limit and smashed something.
HER: It turns out another guest had accidentally knocked a picture off the wall, which I discovered in my search for Max. In spite of what he told you about not wanting to watch, it seemed like he couldn’t stop: when he walked away from you he had merely looped around through the kitchen to watch from the other entrance to the family room. While I could see that he was upset, I hoped that would change when he found out Melissa had asked for him. And sure enough, when I said she sent me to find him and suggested he join us, Max actually agreed and took a place at the head of the massage table. Even more surprising, when Melissa undid his pants a few minutes later to replicate my mid-massage blow job maneuver, his cock was pointing straight at the ceiling. I’ve never seen someone go from irate to aroused so quickly (ok, except for my ex, who managed that trick on a semi-regular basis, but he was an ass). They continued this way for a while: Melissa blowing him while a couple other people rubbed her down. Seeing that they were alright, I slipped away and lost track of them.
HIM: It must have been a short while later that I saw them having sex on our bed upstairs. I was pleasantly surprised, because I missed the whole reconcilliation on the massage table that you were part of. When I poked my head in the door to see how things were going, I also noticed there were three people, a man and two women, on the massage table at the other end of the room. They were doing something I’d never seen before. Let me try to paint a picture: the two women were lying on their backs with their heads at opposite ends of the massage table, one with her legs draped over the other’s. The man was leaning over them with his arms crossed in front of his chest, elbows bent, fingers pumping into both women simultaneously. It was like an ergonomic solution to a challenge I had never even considered before.
HER: Like a human double-dildo?
HIM: The world’s sexiest pectoral workout.
HER: So Max and Melissa had the best of both worlds: a chance to reconnect sexually while being treated to a live porn show from a safe distance.
HIM: That was the last I saw of them that night. They must have left while we were in the basement playroom with other people. So, naturally we were dying to debrief. The next day we checked in with them. It turned out they were as surprised as we were about the positive end to an otherwise negative day. When we asked what they thought the secret was, they were both at a loss. All Max could venture was that they hadn’t had sex in such a long time that even his anger couldn’t keep him from getting turned on when he saw Melissa naked on the massage table.
HER: I really think he was over-simplifying. They hadn’t had sex for months, sure. But he must have seen her naked plenty of times in those months. Yet it wasn’t until she was naked and surrounded by strange men touching her that suddenly the obstacles they’d experienced at home evaporated. So while he might not have been aware of the impact of having other men around, it seemed an obvious factor in what made our party different for them.
HIM: It’s interesting to see a phenomenon I’m very familiar with play out in someone else’s experience. When I see you with another man (or, better yet, other men!), I am very conscious of the effect it has on me. Yes, I feel that little pang of jealousy, but it’s combined with the arousal of seeing the woman who turns me on more than anyone else in a hyper-sexual situation. I’ve somehow managed to blend the jealousy and the excitement into a perfect erotic cocktail. For Max, the two ingredients were completely divided: the jealousy was operating on the conscious level, while the arousal was relegated to the sub-conscious. Afterward, it was almost impossible for him to see how the two were connected.
HER: But hold on, it took you some time to get to this evolved state. Remember the first time you watched another man have sex with me? You quietly freaked out. It took a lot of talking, processing, and further play sessions with other men for you to understand how to make that scenario work for you. Max just hasn’t had the benefit of those years of experience yet.
HIM: That’s true. While I have a pretty good sense of what’s going on within me in our lifestyle adventures, I don’t even completely understand everything about them. Fortunately, you don’t need to know exactly how something works to enjoy it.
HER: And the transformation wasn’t only happening in Max. I think having those men touch her awakened something that had gone dormant in Melissa. As a woman, being the object of sexual desire outside the domestic roles we fall into is liberating. She got to feel sexy in a setting that was disconnected from her identity as mother and domestic life partner. She reconnected with her purely erotic self that night, and it didn’t end there.
A few weeks after the party, I got a text from Melissa. She was excited about a new lube she had discovered and wanted to let me know about it. I was thrilled. I didn’t care about the lube, but I loved that she both needed lube and was excited about using it. Things were clearly changing in their relationship.
HIM: In a way, this is a dangerous story, because it goes against two fundamental rules of the lifestyle. We would never advise couples in trouble to throw caution to the wind and jump into a high-risk sexual situation hoping for a relationship-saving miracle. We would also never advise couples to try things in the spur of the moment that they hadn’t discussed in advance. Those rules are there for very good reasons. Yet breaking those rules is exactly what Max and Melissa did. They somehow managed to do the right thing, completely by accident.
Rules are seductive. They promise to make things easy, because they take the guess-work out of complex situations. We in the lifestyle are social rebels by definition, but even we feel tied to our self-imposed regulations. The interesting thing about rules, though, is that there are always exceptions. They just can’t cover every situation perfectly. In the end, you have to follow your instincts. You have to remember that the rules work for you; you don’t work for the rules.
HER: While they might not have understood exactly what transpired that night, some kind of intuition brought Max and Melissa to our party. Maybe a subconscious genius was at work when Melissa decided to say yes to getting on the massage table, something she hadn’t exactly cleared with Max. I guess the lesson is to pay attention when that voice in your head urges you forward, even when you don’t know what the destination is. Yes, sometimes you’ll crash and burn (that’s why forgiveness is so important in the lifestyle), but sometimes you’re going to get to an amazing place you couldn’t have found any other way.
Liam & Kate are a married couple, very much in love, writing honestly and insightfully about their adventures in the world of non-monogamy.