Exposing My Swinger Lifestyle

Swinger Lifestyle

John and I were recently featured in a news article titled, “Swinging Gran Says Threesomes Make Her Marriage Stronger and Sex With Strangers is Empowering.” It was originally posted in a UK online news feed and within hours the story was global. It reached places like Australia, Hungary, Ireland, Albania and Taiwan. Within a 24 hour period we had been featured in over 40 publications and had even made the television news in China.

But I really sat up and took notice when the story made its way into the Daily Mail.

The article garnered hundreds of comments, some of which were incredibly supportive and understanding about the swinger lifestyle (others not). Here are just a few:

“The great thing in life is we’re all different. My wife loves sleeping with other guys and I love watching. It makes us happy and we’re very much in love. Doesn’t make us worse than you, just different.”

“My wife and I’ve been swingers for about 5 years and met some lovely people who’ve become good friends. It was a mutual decision to start and took about eighteen months before we actually met another couple, and anything we decide to do is again by mutual consent. The social side is just as important as the sexual interaction, and we never play with anybody unless there’s a mutual attraction from all involved. On any swingers site, probably 3/4 of the members never actually meet anybody and are just there for the fantasy or to play games. It’s not for everybody and many regret they ever started, but most people dream of doing it but never do. Oh, my wife and I are 64 and still very sexually active.”

Other comments were from those neutral about couples embracing a relationship model that works for them and wanted to take the opportunity to remind society how important it is to be more accepting of people who choose to walk a different path:

“I just saw your story on the Daily Mail and wanted to leave a message to hopefully undercut the closed-minded comments. I think it’s sad that people conform to our preconceived standards of love and marriage because we’re indoctrinated into it against our natural instincts via Bronze Age fairy tales of sky wizards, regardless of how miserable it makes many people. We’ve accepted miserable marriage situations to such an extent that we have sitcoms such as “Married with Children” that revolve around it. We’re expected to laugh along with these shows believing that as long as you’re happy, nothing else matters.”

“It’s absolutely astonishing how these “godly” people judge. If it doesn’t involve you… why do you care? BRAVO to you, Jackie! In your 50’s and loving life! Continue to do what makes you happy! Your adult children have made their own lives…..you’re teaching them to follow their own path and own it!”

I silently read through each and every one of the hundreds of comments:

“Sorry but I feel if you want to go and sleep around with other people then you should not get married or be in a relationship. And if you do swing then it should be kept private, not plastered all over a newspaper.”

“Animals!”

“If you’re really not at all bothered by your partner being so intimate with someone else then you cannot really love them.”

And my personal favorite:

“I’ve always dreamt of having two men at the same time… one is cleaning and one is cooking!!”

But seriously, it was hard not to become frustrated at the lack of knowledge out there about the swinging lifestyle. There were so many comments about how John and I must not love each other if we swing, or that we have no respect for each other or that we don’t take our relationship seriously. The more I read, I began to see a common theme in the critiques, a repetitive stream of baseless phrases derived from hearsay rather than experience.

Oddly enough, the comments were having the opposite effect: the more I read the more energized I became. Instead of making me feel bad or upset about speaking out, I felt inspired! It was producing a “nobody puts Baby in the corner” kind of moment for me. Sure, it would’ve been easier, I suppose, to not to do the article, but I’m impassioned by this lifestyle and I believe in what the lifestyle can do for a relationship. Besides, if I only spoke to those who agree with me, then I would never have the chance to learn, nor the opportunity to teach.

What if I had dismissed the notion of getting reacquainted with my husband John because of his swinging lifestyle or business? I’m so thankful that I didn’t let preconceived notions about what he was involved in control my decisions. I’ll be forever grateful that I took the time to see life from another point of view and took the time to listen, to really pay attention to what he was saying about the lifestyle.

I know how easy it can be to think we know something when in reality our knowledge stems from years of instruction rather than finding out for ourselves whether something is true or not. Thank goodness I gave John the benefit of the doubt; otherwise, I would’ve missed out on the most loving, caring and nurturing relationship I’ve ever experienced.

What would I say to the naysayers? Well it depends. Sometimes I think there are those in life who simply appoint themselves “the official naysayers,” and take issue with just about anything. To those people who feel the need to try and put people in their place, I wouldn’t say anything… they aren’t who I’m trying to reach anyway. But to those who seem to be posting a question deep inside their doubt, those standing on the outside looking in, the fringers, I do have something to share.

I want them to know that, yes, it’s possible to love your partner and be in a committed relationship while having sex with others. I would tell them that an outside  sexual encounter won’t have a negative bearing on your relationship but could actually be beneficial.

I know this.

I know, because I’ve seen it and experienced it.

I’ve taken that deep breath and looked outside the teachings of my youth, put those teachings to the test and found that not all of them ring true. I’ve debunked my own theories about how life is supposed to unfold or what a successful relationship is supposed to look like. My relationship with John looks nothing like what I was taught was supposed to work in a partnership. But it does work. It is working.

I would tell these people that it’s okay to test what you think you know. It’s okay to change your mind. You’re not wrong and someone else is not right, nor are you right and someone else is wrong. Your relationship isn’t about being wrong or right, it’s about what works for you and your partner, whatever that is.

John and I have decided that swinging is something that works in our marriage. That’s the bottom line, not whether it works or doesn’t work for someone else. You have to find what works… you! That’s the beauty of learning and exploration; the quest, the search, the knowing. Those who never give up the search are the people who will succeed in their relationships. They’re the couples who have prepared and packed for the long haul.

Last but definitely not least, to those who took the time to comment in support of swingers or those in open relationships, I applaud you.

Thank you for your loving reinforcement of the lifestyle.

12 Comments

  • Eli says:

    Beautiful article. Thank you for sharing!

  • Thomas says:

    I’m so happy for you both. It’s great to see some couple at our age has enough confidence to put yourself out there like you have with honor and respect for one another to try out a new way of life with an open mind and after the dust settles your both still standing tall with no regrets with dignity intact. Bravo, Bravo……..

  • Byron & Lee says:

    Good for you. There are sooo many people that feel that they have the right to judge people.

  • Oshtkosh says:

    Have read a lot of what you have written and agree with nearly all of it. My wife and I tried the lifestyle for a bit over a year. I loved it, my wife could not deal with it so, for now, at least, we are back to a monogamous relationship. Note that it was not a matter of jealousy or my wife not wanting me to enjoy myself. It was simply that she did not enjoy the attention of anyone but me (not for want of trying). But keep doing what you are doing Jackie. It’s a positive thing.

  • Lowell says:

    Yes Jackie. I believe you mediated this onslaught of commenters in a very wise way. By not establishing an “us” vs “them” “front” for people to side with, or to move against, you have gone against the current and avoided tangibilizing a potential rift between groups; whereby with grace, stating that the choices you have made are experience-based, and through learning that you have accrued by taking a risk in someone you love, these experiences have lead you down this fulfilling path in the LS.

    On one other point: remember your audience here; by raising your visibility to a broader media, you must expect the comments to take on a cross-section that reflect the attitudes and beliefs of the masses. I dont know how useful or effective that will be for the LS, or for you in a quest for effecting change. It’s similar to trying to beat City Hall in a metropolis like NYC. It can not be done in any reasonable amount of time, or at all.

  • Another outstanding sex-positive blog-post you two! BRAVO!

    Since there are no monistic monogamous Natural/Universal laws extant in the world — except in extreme radical nations/tribes by a few humans — everyone has the freedom to express their love to others AND receive more from others! Expressions of love should never have limits. Compersion, lack of jealousy and ever decreasing insecurities are the only 3 ingredients required! (wink) One of my favorite quotes is apropos here…

    The prude is in fact the libertine without the courage to face their naked soul. — A.S. Neill

    Many thanks John and Jackie for all you two do!

  • Caliana says:

    As always Jackie, you have a way with words. You are able to respond in a non-confrontational manner and in a way that all but makes it impossible for anyone to say anything against it.

    I know my wife and I are very grateful for everything the two of you do and how much effort, love and energy you put into spreading the word in a classy and intelligent way.

    While there may be those who attack you, remember that there are much more that are so appreciative of everything you guys are doing and how positively you have impacted our lives.

    All the love in the world to you guys!

    • Jackie Melfi says:

      Hello Caliana,

      I always find such encouragement in your posts. Thank you for being such a great supporter of the swinging lifestyle and for being so outspoken in sharing your thoughts about this outstanding lifestyle option. It is because of couples like you and your wife that make OL101 such a joy and renews my passion for spreading the word about swingers.

      Keep on being wonderful and keep on sharing

      Jackie

  • Stacey says:

    Handled with the utmost class as always Jackie! I just love your heart & soul!! I miss your infectious laugh and your sense of humor!!! Keep being Royal AF MRS. MELFI!
    All my love
    Stacey

    • Jackie Melfi says:

      Hello Stacey,

      Thank you, thank you, thank you! You know, I can’t think of anything that brings me more joy than having the support of such wonderful friends! Just knowing I have that little extra backing brings me such courage and strength.

      Miss you too!
      Jackie

  • Tanja says:

    Once again, intelligent and insightful words. Unfortunately there is still that preconceived idea of what being in the lifestyle is all about. You and John are hopefully reaching these people that need to be informed and educated . Like you say – each to their own – one day hopefully people will stop judging each other.

    • Jackie Melfi says:

      Tanja,

      Thank you for such encouraging words. I too, hope that those of us (all of us) in the swinging community will continue to stand firm in what we know to be true and will approach those who question our lifestyle with empathy and with the tools of a teacher. If we can help someone see the beauty of our lifestyle through our confidence and not anger than those who doubt might be more willing to hear what we have to say.

      Thanks again,
      Jackie

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