Visiting a Swingers’ Club

Ask John & Jackie: Consensual Non-monogamy and Trust Issues 

I have a question about the lifestyle and how to know your partner is not just doing it to be with other women. My husband is really wanting me to step into it but there have been trust issues in the past. I want to make him happy and I really wish I was all he needed. But I have read how marriages are ruined because one partner uses it as a means to be with other women to make it seem like it’s all ok.

Need to know


Dear Need to know,

Trust issues you say? Well if it were me, I would want to make sure my husband and I had resolved those issues before moving forward into any type of consensual non monogamy.

As for being with other people, well to a degree that’s what consensual non monogamy is…being with others. I understand what you’re saying though, you are talking about using the guise of non monogamy in order to satisfy a need outside the relationship, whereas those in swinging, poly, or any other consensual non monogamous relationship model, actively work together with their partner when engaging with others. This consensual platform can even be used if the couple agrees to play separately.

It sounds as though more conversation and understanding of intent are in order between the two of you.

As far as marriages being ruined, we can all agree that no matter what relationship model you adopt, whether it be monogamy or consensual non monogamy there are no guarantees. The success or failure of a relationship rests solely on the shoulders of those individuals within the partnership.


Dear Openlove101,

My husband and I have gone to a few parties. We’ve had one experience with play partners and it was with two other men plus my husband and I were very drunk. The hardest thing that I’m struggling with is seeing my husband feel better with another woman than with me and having to swap with a woman when I’ve never been with a woman. The thought is a turn on but I’m VERY inexperienced in that area.



Dear Newbie,

Yes, while opening up a relationship to include consensual non monogamy can have its joys and celebrations it can also have its share of trials and tribulations. Stepping outside the socially accepted relationship model of monogamy can leave those searching for something different with very little information from which to work with.

First and foremost, make sure when you and your partner are out that alcohol doesn’t end up affecting your ability to make conscious choices. Being confident in your decisions with a clear head will make for a much better overall experience.

Next, don’t confuse better with different. For instance when John or I are with a play partner, we enjoy the variety and difference they bring to our bedroom, we aren’t looking at our play dates as something better, just different…and different is okay. You might want to consider asking your partner what thoughts and feelings he had while watching you engage with play partners. This can help in seeing the situation from another vantage point. If your partner says he enjoys watching you with others, you can ask what it is he likes and how it makes him feel.

Last but not least, don’t ever feel you “have” to engage in anything you’re not comfortable engaging. Since you’ve never played with a woman, you have no frame of reference as to whether or not you’ll like the interaction or not, who knows you might enjoy the interaction, then again, this may be an area of little interest for you. Either way, be sure and speak with honesty and self assurance. Be patient with yourself and with each other as you navigate the newness of opening up the relationship.

1 thought on “Ask John & Jackie: Consensual Non-monogamy and Trust Issues ”

  1. Renee Baldaccini

    Hi Jackie! My name is Renee and my husband and I have been considering putting our toes in the water with the Lifestyle for about a year. But I must tell you, I am intrigued and very much wanting to dialogue with you because I had. Ritually the same upbringing as you. I too, was raised in the middle of Kansas, with church twice on sundays.. very traditional,, conservative, Christ centered values. However, after 25 yrs of Marraige and 4 almost grown kids,, my husband for about a year has been dialoging about it with me.. we are 100% committed to each other and our Marraige, but we both agree it’s time for us and a little fun.. what in the world do we do next? Also, my Favorite Sexpert is Susan Bratton,, I find her so amazing and fascinating .. I’d like any of your comments and thoughts on where we go from here. We’re Chicago area based, so no Collette clubs here I believe. Sisterhood from Kansas,, I’d like to know how to move forward .

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