My dear husband Spike and I talk.
Because of changes in our lives over the last six months or so, we’re in each other’s back pockets pretty much 24/ 7. Until, that is, when I send him toddling off to the supermarket grocery shopping. I hate grocery shopping. Spike hates paying bills, so we came to an arrangement.
This past week we met two absolutely wonderful people who are committed Lifestylers. They’re open about their choices, and they are so vivacious that a room lights up when they enter it. They are as positive advocates of the Lifestyle, as Matt and Amanda are here.
I believe that the world truly needs more people like our new friends, more people like Matt and Amanda.
Which, got me thinking about how issues of sexuality are still so deeply in the closet in the vanilla world. (Please note: I use the term vanilla more as a term of convenience. I define vanilla as adhering to conventional standards. I’m not being pejorative when I use the term. Just sayin’.)
Spike and I have vanilla friends and family members who are incredibly dear to us. We share Holiday celebrations, birthdays, graduations and other events that shape and define our lives. With our friends, we talk about everything.
Erm… almost everything.
None of our vanilla friends know that Spike and I are Lifestylers. Not one.
A perfect example is this past New Year’s Eve. Instead of going to the one or two celebrations here at home we were invited to, we decided to spend it in Toronto with our closest Lifestyle friends at the O Zone. Obviously, we had a blast—so wonderful, I wrote a novella about it!
Not only could I not share my book with my vanilla friends (they don’t know a thing about my writing), I couldn’t share my fantastic experience at the club with them either.
It’s Just Not Done, you know what I mean? I suspect many of you do.
Just what would happen were we to disclose our participation in the Lifestyle?
One thing I’m confident of is that our vanilla friends would look at us differently. I’d be concerned that they would become afraid that we were either hitting on them, or perhaps trying to recruit them in some way or another. Even if I’m mistaken, I nevertheless believe that they would in some way not view us at the same level of positive regard they now hold us in.
In many ways, alternative sexuality is still buried in the closet. Despite the legal acceptance of gay marriage in so many jurisdictions, there are many LGBT people who prefer not coming out. Let alone people who play in the BDSM world. And, sadly, couples (and yes, singles) like us who play in the swinging world. We keep it under wraps, well Spike and I do, because we don’t want to deal with negative fallout. Who needs the complications?
Upon reflection, I’m both puzzled and annoyed.
I’m puzzled because our sex drive is a fundamental human trait. We’re hard wired to get laid people! Seriously, we’re as hard wired for arousal and orgasm as much as we’re hard wired in other areas. Our brains want to satiate other desires of course. Our desire to satisfy hunger and thirst, a need for shelter and a bond with others is built in.
As is our need for sex.
From a media perspective, things have come a long way. I do realize that there is programming available across all media—not just online. The infamous Dr. Ruth Westhiemer was cutting edge back in the 80’s with her radio program ‘Sexually Speaking’. Here in Canada, Sue Johansson and ‘Sex With Sue’ was available on both radio and television. On cable TV, there’s a lot of interesting programming, of course.
However, this is what I’m thinking about. Yes, sexually oriented programming, whether it’s ‘how to’ sort of stuff, or just downright entertainment is available much more so today than ever in history. I get that. The number of available programs are dwarfed by the number of cooking shows, do it yourself renovation shows, or even decorating shows.
And there’s another aspect, and this is the annoying part.
The HBO series ‘Game Of Thrones’ just finished its fourth season last week. It had millions upon millions of viewers (including yours truly who is so hot for both Jamie Lannister and Jon Snow). The chatter on the internet, or even at checkout counters at stores was noticeable. Water cooler discussions I’m sure abounded. People had a lot to talk about.
And when friends at work, or friends at home were finished discussing this topic, they’d go off on other topics. Such as cooking, decorating, sports or dealing with the kids.
But not about sex.
It’s the 21st Century. And not only did we NOT get the flying cars, our society at large is quite hung up on being open about sex. It’s a taboo subject between friends for the most part.
And what do we lose in this environment?
I think a lot.
We trade opinions, insights and tips about recipes, car repair, sports events without hesitation. I have learned and shared knowledge, insights with my vanilla friends in so many areas that have enriched my life. In this sharing, our friendships in the vanilla world has deepened, no question.
I wonder just how improved would marriages and other committed relationships be in the vanilla world become if friends could share aspects of their sexuality as easily?
What if guys could talk about Erectile Dysfunction as easily with their buddies as they are able to discuss a golf swing or analyze the shellacking the Rangers sustained from LA in the Stanley Cup?
What if women could discuss vaginal dryness during intercourse with their co-workers with the same ease as they can share recipes for baked ziti?
I truly believe that when such an environment comes into being, the world will be a better place. Primary relationships will have another source of support. Friendships will become even more meaningful and deep. The shade of love we currently share with our friends in the vanilla world will become richer and more complex in its texture.
And I’m annoyed.
With myself–that I’m too chicken shit to be a part of that growth.
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