Rules (agreements, understandings, arrangements, or whatever you want to call them) are an integral part of a successful experience in this lifestyle. Rules have been an essential part of ensuring that K and I have successful encounters that leave us feeling satisfied and happy. This post is going to discuss (1) the reasons we have rules (2) dealing with other people’s rules, (3) equality of rules, and (4) our rules, including how those rules have changed over time and why. I have spent almost four hours trying to write this post now and I am still struggling with exactly what I want to say and how I want to say it. This topic ended up being much more difficult to write about than I anticipated so please bear that in mind as you read this post!
The Reasons We Have Rules
The primary reason that K and I have rules is to ensure that we have a satisfying experience with every person we encounter, that we are clear with other couples about what we want, that everyone is able to enjoy themselves to the greatest extent possible, that we are safe, and that no one is left feeling jealous, insecure or upset about a situation. 
K and I try to keep our rules general so that they can be applied to all situations equally, but the sort of behavior that we are open to is different with every couple depending on the level of physical and mental attraction felt by both K and I and by the other couple. With some couples we almost immediately “click” and we are comfortable being very intimate early on. With other couples we may not feel immediately physically and/or mentally attracted but the more we get to know them the more comfortable we become with the idea of playing. This is not to say that K and I strive to reach a point where we feel comfortable playing with another couple. However, because K and I view sex as an added bonus to already fun relationships with “sexy friends” we like to always maintain sex as an option for our relationships with “sexy friends” just in case the proper chemistry ever develops!
K and I have rules to clearly inform other couples about what we are looking for and what we hope to gain by having an encounter. When a couple has rules that they are able to clearly and effectively communicate to K and I, we can make sure not to violate those rules which ensures that everyone has a great time and nobody is left feeling angry or disrespected. Just as we are respectful of the rules of other people, we expect them to be respectful of our rules and understand that we have our particular rules in an attempt to ensure a positive experience for all involved. Our rules are meant to protect us from having an encounter that is unsatisfying or upsetting; by clearly and effectively communicating our rules to couples we meet ensures that they understand exactly what we are looking for and what we expect from a situation.
Dealing With The Rules of Others
It is for all of the same reasons that we have rules that we are always respectful and understanding of the rules communicated to us by other couples. We merely ask that a couple always communicate their rules to us openly and honestly before any intimate encounter. So long as a couple’s rules have been clearly communicated to us prior to an encounter, we have the ability to decide for ourselves whether or not we want to play with a couple with those particular rules.
While we respect that all couples have different boundaries and comfort levels and we always abide by all rules that are clearly communicated to us, we have noticed that we are often skeptical about the motivations for particular rules.  Specifically, K and I are often wary of getting involved with couples with particular rules if they are being used as a means of mitigating jealousy issues.  If a rule was created as an attempt to mitigate jealousy issues we often are skeptical about whether that rule will actually suffice as a means of mitigating jealousy or whether it is merely a Band-Aid on a much larger issue. 
For example, we have met couples that have a “no penetration” or “no kissing” rule and that, to us, often demonstrates insecurity issues that should be addressed by that couple before continuing in the lifestyle and it often raises a red flag for us in terms of whether or not we should become involved with this couple. (I just want to pause here and say that we have also met couples who have who have similarly restrictive rules but the motivations are entirely different- in those cases we are still completely open to the possibility of playing.  For us, it is about understanding the specific rule and the reason the rule was created.) The reason that we are cautious to become involved with a couple with restrictive rules that were created in an attempt to mitigate jealousy is because we have a fear of overstepping other, potentially less-obvious, boundaries that may spark feelings of jealousy and insecurity which generally ruins the mood and makes the encounter less than satisfying. We have learned from personal experience that we are only able to relax and have fun when everyone involved is able to completely relax and enjoy themselves; when someone involved in a situation is experiencing feelings of jealousy, there is the potential for the encounter to be miserable for all involved rather than a positive experience.
Equality of Rules
Sometimes rules appear unequal and unfair from outside of a relationship, but that is okay so long as both partners are in agreement about what their rules are. Each partner must feel that their needs and desires are taken into account by their partners during the negotiation/creation of the rules and that the rules that are created are a product of negotiation stemming from both partner’s desires and needs. Both Opening Up and Ethical Slut address the idea of rule equality and are in agreement that rules for partners do not have to appear to be equal so long as both partners are happy with the rules that are created. 
K & I have come across the topic of rule equality in our own rule making and we have dealt with the possibility of having rules that would appear “unequal” to someone not involved in our relationship but in reality this rule still served both our interests. (This will be explained below)
Currently K & I have the exact same rules for one another so our rules are, in a sense, “equal.”  However, there was a point when K and I were discussing the possibility of separate play and K expressed the sentiment that she may not be okay with separate play as an option for me. I responded by informing K that I would still want her to be able to play separately even if she were unwilling to afford me the same opportunity. My reasoning for this was that, merely because K didn’t want me to play without her, it did not change the way that I felt about her playing without me. I actually encouraged K to play separately if it were something that she desired because that gave me the ability to opt out of potentially uncomfortable situations without taking away K’s possibility of playing. I saw this as a win-win situation because it allowed K to play separately which saved me from the pressure that I may put on myself to engage in a situation that I may not be completely comfortable with, simply so that K could do something (or someone) that she really wanted to do. Even though this rule would not have appeared “equal” to an outside observer of our relationship, it was still the product of negotiation and would serve both of our interests.
Our Rules
1) No Taking One For the Team: This rule developed very early on in our swinging experience. This rule developed as a result of me feeling left out in certain situations because the man and woman from the other couple were both very into K but nobody was into me. I began to feel like I was merely there as extra baggage that had to come along in order for K to be able to play and I did not enjoy feeling that way. Because of this, K and I developed this rule and the option to play separately. For K and I this rule is not so much about the level of physical attraction that we feel with our potential playmates; instead, it is about whether or not we anticipate the experience will be a positive experience overall for each of us. This rule means more to us than simply not feeling physically attracted to our playmates; it is about having an experience that is satisfying and fun. If one of us expects that the experience will not leave us feeling happy and satisfied then we will either (a) opt out of the situation entirely or (b) choose to play separately so that only the partner who is desirous of an encounter need be involved in the encounter. 
2) Separate Play as an Option: This rule developed out of our strict adherence to our “no taking one for the team” rule. We reasoned that it would be better to have our partner play when they want and allow the other partner to not play when they do not want to rather than hold back the other one from partaking in a situation that they expect will be enjoyable. The other reason we created this rule is because we did not want to inadvertently put pressure on our partner to play when they were not feeling like it was something that they wanted to do. The final, and perhaps main reason, we created this rule is because, in our experience, four-way chemistry is extremely difficult to find. There is often good chemistry between two partners but not between the other people; in these situations we want our partner to be able to take advantage of the connection that they feel to another person and enjoy that connection. 
3) Knowing our Partner’s Partners: This rule developed as a result of being able to play separately. We have this rule as a way of mitigating our own jealousy and security issues around potential separate play. While we wish that we had no jealousy or insecurity issues (and we are constantly working on them), we do. The purpose of this rule is to take away the jealousy associated with our partner having an intimate encounter with some “faceless” person and instead be able to know them as another human being with both positive and negative qualities. I personally like this rule because I cannot imagine finding someone that I would be so physically and mentally attracted to that K would not also like. K likes this rule because it ensures that she has a second person (me) to help her vet potential playmates which is important to her as she has had some less-than-great encounters with men in her “vanilla” time.
4) 110% Comfortable: This rule was actually suggested to us by a family member very early on in our experience after we explained to her some of the issues that had been coming up for us while we were playing. One of the main things that was coming up early on in our experience was that neither one of us was able to fully relax and enjoy the situation because we were constantly concerned whether or not our partner was comfortable with a particular situation. The rule here is that both of us will always assume that our partner is 110% comfortable with the situation; otherwise our partner will immediately put a stop to the situation by using our “secret gesture.” The purpose of this rule is that it allows both of us to simply relax and enjoy the situation knowing that our partner is completely comfortable.  This rule is not nearly as important to us now that we have been doing this for a while and with people who we know we are comfortable with but it was very important when we were just beginning. This rule has been violated a couple of times by K and it was extremely frustrating to me when this happened. We had created this rule for a particular reason and violations of the rule caused me to second-guess whether K was actually comfortable with a situation. These violations put all of my attention back on K during encounters and made it so that I was unable to relax and simply enjoy a situation. Because K knows how upset I was when she violated this rule she has agreed to do her best to never violate this rule again and I have been able to reestablish my trust in her ability to follow this rule and always let me know when she is not 110% comfortable with a situation.
5) Close Encounters: The rule here is that we do not travel great distances to meet couples that we have met online since it is so difficult to find a couple that we will potentially play with. This rule developed after our first in-person meeting with a couple that we had met online. We drove about 35 minutes to meet this couple only to realize after less than 3 minutes that these people were a terrible fit for us! We had been deceived by their pictures, they were not our type at all, we had nothing in common, and we were not attracted to them at all. We endured the evening and as we drove home we crafted this rule, which is that we would never travel more than approximately 10 minutes to meet with a new couple because the chances of a successful encounter are so slim. Since this first in-person encounter we have become much better at determining whether or not we will likely be attracted to a couple by reading their emails, looking at their pictures, asking them the right questions, etc. I am including this rule because it is an example of the importance of being flexible with rules and occasionally breaking rules. . . I am writing this post with a grin on my face because we broke this rule last night by driving an hour to meet with a new couple and. . . WE ARE SO GLAD WE BROKE OUR RULE! We were really confident that we would like this couple because we could tell from our emails that they were very cute and that we had a lot in common with both of them. This rule is an example of a rule that was important to us early on in our experiences when we were still learning how to determine through emails and other electronic forms of communication whether or not we would likely be attracted to someone. However, this rule is less important to us now that we have gotten better at this. I think we can safely say that after having broken our rule for this couple we will once again feel confident trusting our intuition about whether or not we should bother traveling very far to meet a new couple.
6) STI Protection: This rule seems like common sense to us but we still want to include it because it is something that we are very serious about. K and I are both STI free and it is important for us to take all reasonable steps to minimize our risk of contracting an STI. Before playing with another couple we always speak with them openly and honestly about our STI status, when we were last tested, what steps we take to ensure that we remain STI free, and the fact that we always play with condoms. We also always offer to show our most recent STI testing results to a playmate so that they can verify for themselves that we are being completely honest about our STI status and when we were last tested. Another way that we ensure our safety in this area is to play with couples who are drug free and maintain a healthy lifestyle so that we can trust they are not taking extreme risks with their health and well-being. While we understand that we are taking a risk by engaging in this sort of behavior, we have come to the conclusion that it is a risk we are willing to take so long as we take all reasonable precautions to minimize our risk.
7) Physical and Mental Attraction: This rule is not a “rule” like our other ones but I am including it in this section because it is something that is important to both K and I. We have found that for both of us it is important to feel both physically and mentally attracted to our potential playmates. Because K and I both like ongoing “relationships” where we can enjoy both sexual and non-sexual activities with our playmates it is important to us that we have both types of attraction to the people that we play with. If we are only mentally attracted to potential playmates, then we usually prefer to just add them to our list of “sexy friends” and share stories, hang out, give and receive advice, and have an awesome time with them! Because these experiences are in addition to an already excellent sex life, we are generally unwilling to compromise on the importance of having both physical and mental attraction with our potential playmates.
In Summary
Our rules, while constantly in flux, have served us well up to this point in our experience. We are constantly reevaluating our rules to ensure that they are reflective of the experience that we are seeking or whether or not we would be better off by tweaking and/or changing our rules. Thank you for getting through this whole post as it was a very long and complicated one. Please feel free to leave a comment with any questions you have or anything that I should clarify!

The Elusive FMF- Is it really all it is cracked up to be?

K and I recently had the chance to experience an FMF thanks to a willing and adventurous woman from a couple that we have become close with recently.  First of all, I want to thank that other woman for being so adventurous and willing to hop right in and try something completely new despite being fairly new to all of this.
So, to put the FMF in perspective for our readers it is important to know that for K, this was all about my pleasure. 🙂  K, while comfortable playing with other women and occasionally turned on by those experiences, is primarily straight.  This meant that her motivation for inviting another woman to join us was primarily about turning me on and allowing me to have the experience of two women who were both there and interested in playing with me. 
In my imagination (yes I have thought about this before. . . a lot) this scenario sounded awesome but as this scenario started to seem more like a real possibility, I began to question whether this was something that I was really even interested in.  Since the option to play with other women is already available to me through couple play, group play, separate play, and other types of play, it meant that the only benefit of an FMF was literally having two women pleasing me at the same time.  Because, if I just wanted to be with other women, I could experience that through couple play or single play with other women in a one-on-one type setting. 
When I actually thought (realistically, not just fantasizing) about the logistics of the scenario I realized that I am always more than satisfied with just one woman in the bedroom.  I cannot recall a single time in my life when the woman I was with was completely drained while I lay there wanting more. This is especially true with K who is always more than willing to make sure I am satisfied by using her hands, mouth, toys, etc. in order to make sure that I am completely satisfied!
So, while the FMF sounded fun as a new experience to try (because, after all, you have to try something once to know whether or not you like it) I was not entirely sure how the logistics of the actual scenario would work out.
Not to sound completely ungrateful for the chance to try out this experience and for these two beautiful and open women who were willing to make this happen for me but. . . I am not sure that the reality of the situation really lived up to the fantasy.  To be perfectly honest, at times it felt like twice as much work without a lot of added benefit.  Throughout the situation I felt like it was quite difficult to just act naturally and follow my urges because I was constantly worried about a variety of things such as: whether or not I was giving equal time to both women, whether both women were satisfied, and if there were jealousy issues coming up. Even with the Hitachi Magic Wand as my partner, I was constantly trying to make sure that both women were satisfied, getting enough attention and enjoying the experience. It became somewhat overwhelming to keep track of all of these different factors and I sort of wished that I was alone and fantasizing about the experience rather than actually in the situation.  I think that as I feel more comfortable with K and more trusting of her ability to honestly communicate when she is having feelings of jealousy, an FMF experience will be more satisfying.  However, at the point we were at when we had this FMF, I was unsure about whether or not K was honestly communicating with me about her desire to have this experience.  Because of all of the emotional complications of this particular FMF, the sex was not quite as spectacular as there is likely potential for.
Besides all of the mental turn offs of attempting an FMF that I learned from my first attempt at an FMF, I confirmed that one woman is more than enough to satisfy me.  In my relationship I am almost always ready to be done with sex and to fall asleep before K.  Adding in a second woman who also needed physical attention, penetration, and kissing was simply more work than I was able to handle physically while still ensuring that both women were physically satisfied.  Thank goodness for the Hitachi Magic Wand because without that amazing device, these women would have been expecting way too much out of me.
While the FMF was overall a good experience, due in very large part to the wonderful women who made this experience possible, it was not everything that I imagined.  Perhaps I simply built up this situation too much in my mind.  The reality of the situation was that there were twice as many women in the room all expecting to leave the situation physically satisfied and there was a huge potential for emotional issues that left me feeling overwhelmed.  I look forward to trying this situation again in the future as it was overall a good experience but if it never happens again, I am just thankful for the opportunity I had to explore this with these two women.

MFM- The Good and The Bad

K and I have continually been working to figure out exactly what it is that we want out of this “lifestyle” ever since we got into it.  We continually discuss our ideas about what we would like to see happen, what works for us, what we have had the most fun with, and what we would still like to try. 
Recently K decided that she would really like to try an MFM so we asked a friend of ours from a couple that we play regularly with to join us.  He, after some conversations with his own partner, agreed to try out the situation with us.  Because I (J) am not bisexual this meant that all of the focus would be on K; a situation that K thought sounded absolutely perfect!  Before getting in to this sort of “lifestyle” the idea of an MFM threesome was not a turn-on for me at all but after talking with K and hearing how excited she was about this sort of scenario, I was completely turned-on!  It helped me to realize that I get really turned on when K is really turned on (something that I had already suspected); so even though an MFM really doesn’t do anything for me personally. . .I was completely on-board with the idea because K was so excited about it!
So K and I had an MFM with this friend from another couple we play with frequently and the experience was awesome.  He is a really great guy and very respectful and polite; the three of us have a pretty good friendship and K has an especially good connection with him.  The experience was awesome and I was able to explore a whole new aspect of stuff that turns K on that I had never known about before!  (I am thinking here about the fact that K loves giving and receiving pleasure at the same time with two different men!) Overall the experience was really great because everyone got what they wanted; K got to have twice as much attention on her, J got to see K completely turned-on, and our friend got to be an integral part of making a sexual experience an awesome sexual experience for everyone involved! (Thanks J!)
While that MFM was a great experience, not all of them go so well. . .
After that MFM (and drawing on her experience and everything we have learned up to this point) K decided that what she really wanted was to meet some men that she thought were attractive and have primarily sexual relationships with them.  She is not comfortable meeting men alone (and we have a rule that before we play separately, we need to meet one another’s partners) so we decided to post an MFM ad on Craigslist and be very specific about what we were looking for.  The ad required people to write in complete sentences, use paragraphs and punctuation, come across as intelligent, and generally seem appealing.  Despite these requirements. . . most people (50+) failed miserably.  However, among the crowd there were a few standouts.
We went last night to a local microbrewery to meet with one of the standouts.  He was very polite and we had a good time chatting with him while we ate.  Despite his generally nice demeanor, he still had some characteristics that were a bit of a turn-off such as seeming a bit arrogant and not being willing to express a whole lot of emotion (smiling, laughing, etc).  When he walked away to use the restroom K and I had a rushed conversation about what we should do.  K really wanted my opinion about how to proceed but it was difficult for me to give advice in a situation that was primarily about her pleasure, not mine. After our discussion K decided that she wanted to invite him over and go through with the “MFM.”  I suggested that we merely invite him over to hang out and if it led to more, we could cross that bridge when we came to it.
So K invited him over and we watched some of our favorite television shows while chatting with him.  After about 20 minutes of hanging out, I remembered that I had told some friends that I would be online that evening to chat so I told K that I was going to sit at the table for a little bit and chat with them.   During the time that I was chatting with friends online, K asked me a few times if I wanted to do it (while she made out with this M) and I responded that I was still chatting with our friends online.  After about 10 minutes K and (the other M) got up and told me that they were going into the bedroom and that I should come in as soon as I was done chatting.
This was a huge turn-off for me.  I felt like I went from being the MF inviting an additional M to being the M invited to join an MF.  I was very put off by the situation so I stayed at my computer and continued to email people because I was not feeling up for joining in on that situation.  K came out to get me after about 15 minutes, which was exactly what I needed in order to not feel left out and I proceeded to join in on the fun.  As soon as I got in the room I was confronted with another issue that we have not yet come across since being involved in “group play” situations. . . the other M was particularly well-endowed (like a horse).
I have never before felt insecure about that aspect of my body but coming into this situation, I felt particularly bothered.  I was not immediately bothered by the situation but I did lose my confidence for a minute and felt unsure if I would be able to perform.  Most of the issues around this particular M’s “equipment” came up the next day when I talked to K about the situation.
K has often told me when I ask her about this aspect of our playmates, “I didn’t notice anything different.  They seem like they are pretty much the same size as you.”  Her response in this case was not the same at all; she merely looked flustered and embarrassed and said, “Well, it didn’t work for me.”  For some reason, this response only frustrated me more, it didn’t feel honest when she said it because it just seemed like an attempt to make sure that I would not feel insecure about the situation.  We continued to discuss this aspect of the evening throughout the day and it just seemed to get worse the more we discussed it. 
I just want to pause here and say, “Yes, I realize that it is completely irrational to feel like someone is going to be more satisfying just because they have a horse penis instead of a human penis.  Yes, I know about the studies of woman who are partnered with men who have micro-penises (less than 3”) actually report being more satisfied than woman partnered with average to well-endowed men.  Yes, I understand that it may be uncomfortable to have something that is particularly large going inside of that space.  YES, I get it all!”  OK, now back to the post.
As we were talking about it K made the comment that she could only handle sex of that intensity so often because it is just so intense. This comment only served to irritate me because I want her to describe sex with me as intense, not with some random M.  Apparently this was just a misinterpretation on my part because she meant “intense” as in. . . not good.
Anyway, that was only one issue that we ran into throughout the night.  Since K covered the other issues pretty well in her post, the only other issue that I am going to discuss is the blunders that I think this particular M made.
1) This M was attempting to have an MF scenario but settled for an MFM.  It was particularly stupid of K and I to allow this M to join us after learning that he was primarily looking for NSA (no strings attached) sex but settled for MFMs because it was easier to find NSA sex in that sort of scenario.  When we learned this about him I was immediately turned off because I thought that this may lead to trouble but K was not bothered by this aspect at all so I let it slide.  Looking back on this, it was a mistake to not point this out to K.  The situation would have been greatly improved if we had merely excused ourselves at that point in the evening.
2) This M did not offer to buy his own drinks at dinner.  It was annoying that he did not even reach for his wallet when the bill came.  Enough said.
3) This M almost left our house that evening without even saying goodnight to me.  I had gone to use the restroom (gone 60 seconds at most) and when I came out he was just about out of the door.  I didn’t think too much of it at the time but this really bothered K and it meant a lot to me that it bothered her even when I didn’t think much of it.  I think this final blunder was really the biggest mistake this guy make.  It merely confirmed that this guy merely wanted NSA sex in an MF scenario but that he had to settle for an MFM.  Not even saying goodnight to me or that it was nice to meet me was rude and inappropriate and it was probably the main reason we will never see this person again (oh yah, and his horse penis. . . just kidding 🙂 )
So, while the MFM can be awesome with the right people, it can also be a major disaster.  Haha, that sounds so obvious when I put it into writing because it is just like everything else in life.  So, this most recent MFM was not great but I am looking forward to another MFM in the future when everyone is excited and respectful and K can have twice the attention and action!

There ARE Good People on Craigslist!

Tonight – Began on 9 July 2011 and Finished on 24 July 2011!
So, it has been so long since I have written a post but I am trying to get back into this and I am planning on posting more regularly starting. . . .NOW! This first post, as I am getting back into the “swing of things” (PUN intended) may be a little stream-of-consciousness. 
The reason that I have not been posting as much as K is because usually when I have free time, I like to spend it trying to meet new couples by sending emails, reading ads, checking out profiles, etc. Writing a blog post about my experiences sometimes feels too distant from the actual fun of meeting new people! However, tonight I am excited to write (this is not actually tonight anymore because I didn’t get around to finishing this post until later) because K and I are about to head out to our local club with a really great couple that we met two weeks ago through Craigslist. 
That’s right, we met an amazing couple on Craigslist. I know that you probably have a look of shock on your face because you cannot believe that any decent human beings actually put ads up in the “casual encounters” section of Craigslist but, it’s true. Dan Savage got it wrong when he said, “Just because you want to meet new people it doesn’t mean that you have to do it on Craigslist.  You don’t have to climb into the sewer with all of the crazies!”  🙂
Anyway, we met this couple about two weeks ago and we have been having so much fun getting to know them. They are brand-new to swinging so we were really unsure what to expect. (I don’t think we have yet written about our experiences meeting new couples, but it is always an adventure and we never know what to expect- probably best saved for the subject of a different post)
So, we showed up at a restaurant very near our house where we like to eat anyway, (again, because we aren’t willing to risk driving too far or eating bad food to meet complete strangers); we were both dressed very casually and we were not nervous. We have had so many of these casual meetings that we don’t really get the “butterflies in my stomach” feeling anymore. Right when we met them we knew that they would be a great couple for us; they were both really cute and so bubbly and exciting!
We had a great time talking with them and getting to know them over dinner and we found out that we had so much in common with them and we really loved their personalities! So. . . we stepped away from a minute because we wanted to check in with each other about how we were both feeling about the situation. After stepping away we decided that we both really liked them so we decided to just go for it and invite them over!
They gladly accepted our invitation to come over and they were so cute! They had actually brought a cute little basket with wine, chocolates, and wine glasses! We had a great time hanging out with them, playing Banagrams, and. . . PLAYING!
That is right, we played on our first date. We generally tell people that we don’t play on our first date but. . . we pretty much only say that so we have an easy “out” in case things don’t go well at our first meeting. We figure there is no reason to wait on playing if we already know that we are comfortable with a couple and excited to play with them. We are already “sluts,” so we may as well have some fun!
After playing it was about 3:30am so they left (and actually got to see the beginning of the sunrise on their way back home that night). Overall, it was a great experience and we have felt so fortunate to continue to get to know them, cycle with them, and hang out with them over the past few weeks. We are so glad to have met such wonderful friends and we look forward to continuing to get to know them and share our adventures and hear their adventures!
Now, I am only really writing this post because I wanted to finish this one before moving on to the post that I actually wanted to write this evening. . . check back soon!

The Beginning (Written by J)

So K & J were a very happy couple up to when all of this began and we were completely satisfied with the state of our relationship.  However, we had never really considered the infinite possibilities for our relationship.  We had always simply taken it for granted that when you are in a relationship with another person, then that person will be the exclusive person with whom you are partnered with for the rest of your life.
This all changed when we purchased a book at the bookstore called “Sex at Dawn” by Christopher Ryan, Ph.D. & Cacilda Jethá, M.D. Essentially this book argues that humans did not evolve as a monogamous species but rather that monogamy is a culturally constructed idea.  The book argues this using 1) historical evidence 2) cultural evidence (from different cultures) 3) cultural evidence (from our own culture) and 4) biological evidence.  I am going to give you a couple of my favorite arguments from each category!
1) Historical Evidence: My favorite argument in this section was the simple fact that humans evolved in bands/tribes with other humans rather than as paired off couples.  This argument can essentially be summed up with the famous old adage: “It takes a village to raise a child.”
2) Cultural Evidence from other Cultures: One of the most convincing arguments in this section (for me) was the idea that there are many cultures around the world that still do not practice (or purport to practice) monogamy.
3) Cultural Evidence from Our Culture (Western Society):  This is where the book really began to get interesting for me.  The arguments in this section of the book really resonated with me because all that I had to do was look around me in order to see the evidence.  One of the arguments was the simple fact that our society is obsessed with sex but at the same time we repress sexual expression. This can be seen by looking at nearly any advertisement (which will almost certainly play on people’s sexual desires) and comparing that to the ridiculous battles regarding sex education curriculum in public schools. (My opinion not the authors of Sex at Dawn).  Another important argument (made by the authors) here was the rampant cheating that is so prevalent in Western Society in which over half of married partners admit to cheating on their spouses at some point.
4) Biological Evidence: In this section the authors of the book speak to homosexuality and how homosexuality, bisexuality, and the whole gamut of sexual preferences can be much better explained when we think of sex as a bonding activity among humans rather than a strictly reproductive activity.
While I was intrigued by the arguments in the book (primarily because I had never even considered the idea that humans were anything other than monogamous) I was also very critical of the ideas being put forward in this book.  It was difficult for me to wrestle with the idea that humans did not evolve as a monogamous species when that is what seems so “normal.”  By the end of the book I was convinced that the authors had made a solid argument but, as a law student, I realize that this argument could be completely picked apart and destroyed by an academic who cared to take the time to refute every point made by these authors.  So why was I convinced???
I was convinced by the authors’ argument because it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders.  I felt like the authors of Sex at Dawn had finally explained why even though I am completely in love with K, I still had sexual desires directed at other individuals.
The authors of Sex at Dawn end the book with the three options that they believe many Western couples find themselves facing:
1) Be Depressed: Be depressed because you are constantly repressing your true sexual nature, slowly lose interest in sex and your partner, and cope with this through the use of anti-depressants and erectile disfunction medications,
2) Serial monogamy: Continually divorce/break up with your current partner when sexual desire fades and find a new partner in order to get that feeling that comes with having a new sexual partner.
3) Cheat: Cheat on your partner and hope you do not get caught.
These three options are not especially uplifting and they are probably not appealing to most couples.  So, if this is where one sees themselves, what is the solution?
Well, for K & J the solution was to begin a journey that involved hours and hours and hours of discussions about our relationship and other potential options that may be lead to a more satisfying relationship.

Some Background

Welcome and thank you for coming to our blog!  Over the course of this blog we hope to share our personal experience as a couple that has decided to take the plunge away from monogamy and explore other potential options open to us outside of monogamy.

This is the first time either of us have ever blogged let alone about such a “sensitive subject” so please hang in there as we get the hang of this!

First of all, we should start by telling you a little bit about ourselves.  Because we are not yet “out” to everyone, we will leave out some details about location but we will tell you enough so that you can get a sense of us!

We met our first year in college (at a very large and prestigious university in California) when we were 17 and 18 years old (respectively).  From the first time we met, we immediately hit it off and were soon dating exclusively.  We fell in love and continued dating throughout college.  We are now 22 and 23 and have been dating for nearly 5 years.  We recently moved to a new state in order to begin graduate school. This is where things begin to get more interesting!  See second post!