She thought they were meeting friends. She didn’t expect those friends to have their clothes off and swapping partners.
The “Alternative Lifestyle/Swinging” is a practice from the sixties and the Sexual Revolution. Obviously, it has not ended. It’s not just in the areas you would expect to find it–it is hidden quietly in middle-class suburban neighborhoods throughout America. And possibly, coming to a channel near you as reality TV show.
Yes, as I was flicking through the channels, I came upon a commercial for a new reality show about living the “Alternative Lifestyle.” As I shook my head in disbelief, I wondered why would anyone ever think of making a reality show about this subject?
Not only did this commercial make me cringe, it brought on a deja vu moment in my life that involved my ex-husband, which, unfortunately, exposed me to this lifestyle.
Normally there would be a conversation between spouses before introducing a spouse to the Lifestyle and brought to a party. Well, my ex-husband decided we did not need to have that conversation with me. He just dropped it in my lap on a cold, rainy, fall, Friday night, by bringing me to a party, assuming I would just participate.
After introducing me to the group, he went on his merry way to mingle with the others, leaving me alone standing near the front door. As I stood there, I began watching every movement of each person in the room. They were downing drink after drink, popping pills and hanging all over each other. As I continued to watch, I realized I was slowly backing up towards the front door.
To this day, I can still hear the jingling of the car keys hitting the bottom of the glass bowl, wondering why were they putting their keys in a bowl? I can still see all the liquor bottles lined up on the bar and the mixture of drugs on the coffee table.
I was scared, nervous and overwhelmed by the scene I was watching. It appeared as if everyone was purposely getting high and hammered, and I did not know why. All I knew was that something was not right! This was no ordinary party.
Again, this was a completely new scene that I had never been exposed to before. I noticed couples starting to pair up–that I knew were not married to each other–heading off to other rooms in the house. All I wanted was to get out that front door before someone noticed me in the corner. I had to get myself out of whatever was about to happen and fast. I slipped out the front door unnoticed, into the dark, cold, rainy night and ran as hard as I could to a friend’s house.
No, I never did partake in this Lifestyle or even went to one of those parties again. However, I did find out it was a Lifestyle my ex-husband had been heavily involved with for many years prior to our marriage. How he kept it hidden from me the entire time we dated, and the first six months of our marriage, I will never know. Obviously, if I had I known I never would have married him.
For the short time we were married, he continued to partake in these parties without me. He kept trying to convince me about all the wonderful benefits of swinging, and how safe it was and the rules that went with it. Yes, this Lifestyle of breaking the rules had a set of rules! However, all I could think of was if I wanted other sexual partners, then I would never have married you.
Of course, there was a price for sneaking off that night and for rejecting the Lifestyle, but it was my body and morals, so I did not care about the consequences. I wanted nothing to do with this Lifestyle or the man I had married. In my eyes, it defeated the purpose of us being married, and it made a mockery of our marriage
Obviously, this Lifestyle was the major reasons why we divorced, But, I have always wondered what the people who partook in this Lifestyle gained? When they were not at their parties getting drunk and high, they were miserable.
6 Reasons Why the Alternative Lifestyle is Not as Fabulous as it Sounds
1. Swinging can lead to domestic violence. If a partner disagrees with this Lifestyle, there is a price to pay for it. Sadly, some partners are bullied and shamed into it and have no choice but to give in and partake in this practice; against their will.
2. Physical sex will lead to an emotional connection with another person. Eventually, it will lead into an extramarital affair. This is against the rules, but it does happen.
3. One spouse can become dissatisfied with their spouse’s sexual performance and begin to compare them to other partners. This leads to a dissatisfied sex life with their spouse.
4. Not all participants follow the rule of using protection. There is a risk of catching an STD.
5. The divorce rate is high and also is the substance abuse rate. Most people who partake in this Lifestyle need to get drunk or high to partake in the party.
6. Eventually, and especially woman, begin to use alcohol and drugs to numb the pain. They become ashamed of their actions. They try to get the images out of their head of the orgies and the multiple partners they have had. They become ashamed of themselves and cannot cope. Some even commit suicide.
In my opinion, the bottom line is that even with your partner’s permission, sleeping with another person is cheating when you are married! In my opinion, marriage is between two people, not a group.
Photo: Flickr/ Eric Parker