HER: The English language does not have an adequate word for that emotional place between ‘like’ and ‘love’. You know, that vast territory between I like my neighbor and I love my husband. Colloquially, we talk about feeling butterflies, crushing on someone, catching feels, or being ‘twitterpated‘ (thanks to Bambi). You and I dealt with the exact same issue early on. When I was struggling to express the intensity of how I felt about you a mere three weeks into our relationship, you came up with the best explanation I’ve heard yet. You said, “I get that there’s still lots to learn, but I love everything I know about you so far.” It isn’t as succinct as I would like, but it comes close to describing how I’m feeling right now about the new person in my life.
HIM: This is surprising to me. You aren’t one to get carried away with your emotions. In fact, I think of you as a pragmatic person, even when it comes to relationships, so that’s a big statement. Let me see if I can sketch out the timeline here: in May, we are introduced to Scott and April in Miami, and you barely exchange two words with her. Six weeks later, we finally have a real conversation with them in Antigua. You have some memorable moments with her in a group sex setting there, and suddenly you are infatuated. So much so that we immediately book a trip to New Orleans so you can see her again two weeks after that at Naughty in N’awlins. And that’s where things really went to the next level.
HER: I know it sounds crazy. It felt crazy! I spent the two weeks between Antigua — where I first felt the spark — and New Orleans trying to talk myself out of this sense that something special had happened. We only hooked up once! But I couldn’t stop thinking about her. In the messages we exchanged after Antigua, April admitted that she had been watching me all week. She described being drawn to my free spirit, saying that she found me ‘mesmerizing,’ and had butterflies when she thought about seeing me again. It was reassuring to know I wasn’t alone in feeling this chemistry. Maybe I wasn’t crazy after all.
HIM: You definitely weren’t alone. The men saw it too. Scott called me the week before New Orleans to share his excitement about what he saw happening between you. He wanted to see if we could arrange an outing for you and April in New Orleans so you could have some time alone together. Ultimately, we decided that you were both highly competent women who didn’t need men engineering your connection for you.
HER: I appreciate you trying to keep the male influence at bay, but, honestly, it would have been a relief to let you two just make the plans. I was way too nervous about imposing on her time or assuming too much. The four of us did plan to have dinner and a play time the day after we were scheduled to arrive (which happened to be my 45th birthday). Unfortunately, the travel gods intervened. Through a series of screw-ups and delays, we arrived 24-hours after we had planned to, completely missing our reservation and kind of fucking up my birthday.
HIM: Hold on now. All was not lost. After our very late, sub-par dinner on Bourbon Street, we met them at the end of the ‘Dress to Impress’ party at the main hotel, the Crowne Astor, and eventually made it back to their room. That first night the men stepped aside and let the women play first.
HER: You took seats on opposite sides of the bed while April and I reconnected. And, holy shit! That woman is the most passionate, expressive, enthusiastic female lover I’ve ever had. I used the strap-on and a variety of toys on her, but my favorite thing — the move she does better than anyone — is good, old-fashioned upright scissoring (or ‘tribbing,’ as I learned recently from the Sapphic Swingers). The heat and wetness of us grinding together is so intimate and feels better than any toy. But like the first time, it wasn’t just hot sex. I couldn’t get enough of watching her and kissing her and touching her face. She’s so fucking beautiful, it takes my breath away.
HIM: I think Scott and I both realized there was something unique going on between you, and we didn’t want to interfere with that. It was certainly beautiful to watch. I don’t know if we’ve mentioned this before, but you recently bought some LED lightbulbs that can be programmed to cycle gently through every color in the rainbow. We carry two in our swinger bag and swap them for the bulbs in any hotel’s bedside lamps. Your passion and your bodies, glowing in that mystical, ever-evolving light, were breathtaking. So I had a serious internal debate going on: should I shoot some video of the scene playing out before me, or would that be a distraction? It was hard, but, ultimately, I decided to honor the magic what was unfolding by staying out of the way.
HER: I wish you had gotten it on video, actually.
HIM: Well, I always keep in mind that a camera is a relatively late invention in human history. We were designed as a species to preserve our most meaningful moments in our memories, so I put my faith in that. Eventually, you called me and Scott over. We were both ready to go, but we stuck to parallel play, each of us with our own spouse. Remember: even though you had had sex with Scott in Antigua, I hadn’t played with April before. I didn’t want to assume anything with her. and add an awkward endnote to a fantastic night.
HER: That’s your over-caution again. She clearly really liked you. But I wasn’t even thinking about that because my time with April had confirmed what I was a little afraid of: I was obsessed. Everywhere we went the next day, part of my brain was looking for them. I actually bumped into them on my way to the bathroom at one of the Bourbon Street bar parties, and Scott pulled me and April into a three-way kiss. I confessed, in our little circle, that I normally treat these lifestyle events like a buffet where I sample a little bit of everything. But, this time, I had found my favorite food and I wasn’t interested in trying any other dish. They agreed. That night, though, we had arranged to have dinner with another couple, so we would have to wait an extra 24 hours for the sequel.
HER: The next day, I was hoping we could just focus our remaining time on connecting with Scott & April. We live 900 miles away from them, and I wanted to take advantage of every second we were in the same city. At the same time, I was nervous about being that cling-on couple — you know, the ones who like you more than you like them, but you just don’t have the heart to tell them? It was a weird position to be in. I usually feel very confident in the lifestyle, because it’s all just light-hearted fun. Any offer I make is pretty low-stakes because there are lots of people to connect with. But this time, real feelings were on the line. I felt vulnerable to rejection in a way I haven’t since you and I first started dating.
HIM: We didn’t have the luxury of time to waste on being coy. This was the third time we’d been at the same event with Scott & April this summer, and we had wasted too many days not connecting thanks to our faulty first impressions. You two had just discovered this beautiful connection and I didn’t want to miss out on exploring it as fully as possible in the time we had left. I also really wanted to shoot video of you and April the next time you were together.
HER: That morning I bumped into them at their hotel. April agreed that you could make a video of us together, and told me that she really wanted to connect with you, asking for advice on how best to engage you.
HIM: I so appreciate that.
HER: That night, they came to our room at The Saint Hotel down the street. I answered the door in my sheer pink lingerie set that you love so much. April was wearing a tiny, cute pajama combination because — get this — she doesn’t own any lingerie. Who would have guessed there was a beautiful woman in the lifestyle who doesn’t own a single lacy underthing?
HIM: There’s definitely a story there. Let’s face it, that’s not just an oversight. ‘Woops, I forgot to buy lingerie…ever!’
HER: Well, it didn’t matter to me — April would look hot in a hazmat suit. And lingerie never stays on very long anyway.
HIM: Very true.
HER: Anyway, she and I started kissing right away (I love kissing her perfect lips!) until I couldn’t wait anymore. I knelt in front of her and pulled off those little pajama shorts. We took turns going down on each other for a while, and then she got on top. I was so looking forward to this part that I actually said ‘yay!’ when she straddled me There’s something intensely intimate about having the same body parts come together. I mean, I don’t really know what it feels like to have a penis, and you really don’t have first-hand experience with a vagina. But when two women come together like that, it’s like I could feel what she felt. My body knew how her body was responding — like we were one erotic being. Her shuddered breath when she came resonated with everything in me.
HIM: While you were going at it, I was moving around the room trying to get all the best angles. And, with two stunning, enthusiastic women, there were so many! Scott said it best the next day: it was like watching two angels at play.
HER: When April and I finished, we invited you guys onto the bed. This time, Scott came directly to me and you went to April. In all of my excitement over her, I haven’t mentioned that Scott is one of the best men I’ve ever played with in the lifestyle. He’s very assertive and athletic while maintaining a gentle, intimate connection between us. That’s a rare combination in my experience. And I was thrilled to see you fucking April. You were great, matching her athleticism with your own and pounding her from every angle. It’s not often that you have such success on your first time with a new woman. Or any time with any woman. What was working for you (other than her being so fricken gorgeous)?
HIM: I have to say, when a woman is unambiguous about her interest in me, it makes all the difference. For my personality type, even the remotest possibility that my attention might be unwelcome is paralyzing. The anticipation of sexual success never outweighs my fear of embarrassment. Since I’d rather be safe than sorry, my default is to hold back. But the fact that April initiated a conversation with you about how to connect with me removed all that uncertainty. And like you, I think she’s an amazing human being. Admiration is an erotic precursor for me. In fact, they’re both fantastic. Add on to that that I love seeing you so happy, and you have a picture perfect scene.
HER: We walked away from that night feeling like nothing could top this experience. It was, far and away, our best, most fluid four-way connection ever. Which is funny, because we just wrote an article a few months earlier called Our Best Foursome Ever. Had we topped ourselves again so soon?
HIM: Well, fortunately, it’s not a competition. They were both amazing in different ways.
HER: waking up the next morning, I was instantly aware of the ticking clock. We had one more day in the same city, and I had a couple of things I still wanted to do. One of them was to go on a real date with April.
HIM: The image that stood out to you and me when we first talked about you finding a girlfriend was two women walking down the street holding hands. It would be intimate, casual, and, most importantly, public. I wanted to make sure you had that experience, so we all decided that Scott and I would have lunch the next day while you and April went out for cocktails.
HER: I had not felt this nervous and awkward and giddy since high school. We met them at the Astor and then split up. April and I walked, hand-in-hand, to the famous Carousel Bar at the Monteleone Hotel, nervously giggling the whole way. Every time oncoming people on the sidewalk would force us to drop our hands, we’d eagerly reconnect on the other side of the traffic. When we arrived, we had to wait for a spot to open up at the bar. Fortunately, two hot women making an entrance together always gets some attention, so a pair of men who were settling their bill waved us over to take their seats. We ordered drinks and talked about our past relationships and kids. I had a feeling I was talking a little too much, which is what I do when I’m nervous. Afterward, we went to find you two, again, holding hands the whole way back. I kept skipping. It was ridiculous, but I couldn’t help it. At one point, we were on a quiet side street, having gotten a little lost, and I stopped and pushed her up against a wall on a narrow sidewalk. We kissed and I pressed my hips into hers, the alcohol and giddiness and her irresistible smell making me forget we were on a public street. When I came up for air, there was a mother and her son stopped at the end of the block waiting for us to finish before they squeezed by.
HIM: I loved hearing about your time together. Remember, your date with April was a fantasy for me, too. Among all the other details, you told me that the two of you had planned something special for that night. You had brought some MDMA with you on the trip, and the idea was to use it with them that night to create a different kind of sexual scene.
HER: Yes! I had had such a great experience on M at Desire with Jay and Kay from That Couple Next Door, that I wanted to try it with April. I had already felt such intense energy with her and Scott, that I knew this would make our last night together mind-blowing.
HIM: I was less enthusiastic about your plan for a couple of reasons. First of all, I’m just not open to trying MDMA: not because I think it’s wrong, but because I’m concerned about how it would interact with my susceptibility to anxiety. Therefore, our little gathering would be one sober person and three high people, and I didn’t want to be a drag on the proceedings. Secondly, I was still feeling triumphant from my performance the night before. Everything had gone perfectly. I was afraid that if things did not go as well the night after, that I would be ending our time with them on a defeated note.
HER: That’s your fear of embarrassment thing again. It really seems to hold you back.
HIM: True, but it’s so ingrained at this point that I think it’s better to work with it than against it. I’m very comfortable having some of the fun and not worrying about missing out on all the fun. So we decided that you would join them in their room that night as a single woman — a unicorn — while I went back to our hotel.
HER: After the dancing was over at the final party and we said good night to you, Scott, April, and I went back to their room. She and I shared a half dose of MDMA each, while Scott took a full one, which turned out to be perfect. The next three hours were the most spiritual, sexual, intimate, passionate hours I’ve ever had in the lifestyle. In my whole life, if I’m honest. The seamless sharing between the three of us was loving and generous. April and I spent so much time luxuriating in each other’s bodies and lips, exploring, breathing each other in. We then turned our attention to Scott, pampering him indulgently. He had at least four orgasms in three hours, moving easily between me and his wife. One time he came partially on her face, and I licked it off her, something I would normally never consider. I was so full of love for them both, I just wanted to consume them. The way they feel for each other is so beautiful, and I felt enfolded into it: both a participant and privileged observer. We each felt the undeniably magical thing that was happening, and the previous few days had proven that it wasn’t just a trick of the drugs. There were a couple of times I got up off the bed to just watch them together from a remove before slithering back in between them. I know Scott did the same thing. I think we were each trying to take a mental video to hold on to the beauty of the night. As 4:00 am approached and things wound down, we all got emotional knowing that we might not be able to do this again for a long time. We reluctantly got dressed, and they walked me down the street back to our hotel, the three of us holding hands and grinning the whole way.
HIM: Anyone feeling sorry for me in this situation should forget that notion. I actually stayed awake for those three hours, my mind moving back and forth between the book I was reading and images of what might be going on in their room. When you returned, you were still buzzing with excitement, eagerly telling me about everything that had happened. I got especially turned on when you described the things you and April had done for Scott. As you demonstrated them for me, I felt like I was experiencing his sensations in my body, an intoxicating kind of disassociation. You teased me mercilessly, unhurriedly, until, finally, we fucked with overwhelming intensity. My orgasm was so powerful it was almost painful.
HER: Unfortunately, my joy was bittersweet. I was feeling a deep connection not only with April, but with Scott, too. The natural hope after such a fantastic experience is to do it again as soon as possible. We discussed it by text the next morning, but with the distance and our schedules, it didn’t seem like we would be able to stage a repeat performance until the new year, which felt intolerable. I guess that’s the way it is with strong feelings: you make yourself vulnerable to new kinds of hopes and disappointments.
HIM: So tell me: did you find what you were looking for? Do you think of April as your girlfriend now?
HER: You know, I actually asked her at the bar if she would be my girlfriend, like a starry-eyed middle-schooler. She simply laughed and said, “I thought I already was!” So I guess the answer is yes, but what exactly that’s going to look like given that we live in different countries, I don’t know. What I do know is that I’m more excited about this woman than I have been about anyone else in a decade of non-monogamy. I want to tell everyone about her, to proudly show her picture to my friends and kids. And nearly two months of being apart hasn’t diminished my enthusiasm. But I’m very aware that, as significant as our feelings were in those few days together, the bigger experiences of life could very well make our little encounter seem like a triviality. A beautiful dream always seems less vivid when you wake up, and there’s a danger you will forget it entirely. Without the ability to see each other in person regularly to reinforce our connection, it might not survive. But you and I have always been prepared to take risks in order to experience all of the beauty life has to offer. This chapter is new and terrifying and wonderful, and I’m here for it all.
HIM: Well, I’m very excited for you.
HER: I am too. But I have to admit that I feel a little bit guilty expressing my enthusiasm around you. I’m having these big feelings, but you don’t really have anything similar going on. It doesn’t feel fair.
HIM: That’s fine with me. It would be an unbelievable coincidence if we had identical experiences at the same time. We’re individuals, with different personalities and different opportunities. Someone has to go first, so why not you? Ultimately, I think it’s about more than just you and April. This whole thing unfolded in the context of a strong four-way connection. I feel very much a part of it, as I’m sure Scott does too. I’m just happy to be along for the ride.
Liam & Kate are a married couple, very much in love, writing honestly and insightfully about their adventures in the world of non-monogamy.