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Ask John & Jackie: How To Deal With the Fear of Rejection

By June 3, 2019 July 25th, 2019 Swing Lifestyle Articles
Visiting a Swingers’ Club

Hi John and Jackie, I am in a relationship that is fulfilling and happy and my boyfriend and I are discussing enjoying a swinger lifestyle. I am extremely interested in this, however, I suffer from psoriasis (a skin condition that covers my body in dry scaly patches). I am terrified that I will be rejected by prospective ‘others’ and that this will also cause insecurity which I have suffered from in the past. How can I overcome this anxiety?

Initially I was hesitant to answer your question. Being neither a doctor nor a licensed therapist, I felt as though what you were asking was above my “pay grade.” I kept looking at your question from a medical standpoint. Then I remembered my breast augmentation and my own medical conditions (I suffer from athlete’s foot) and realized that all of us in some way or another suffer from a self described laundry list of personal “imperfections.” How we can take those things we don’t like about ourselves and amplify their existence?

For me it was my boobs and my feet. I had myself so convinced my small breasts were a hindrance and needed correcting. I focused so entirely on this one body feature that I forgot to see me as a whole. Do I regret going under the knife to change my body? No, as Maya Angelou says, “When you know better…you do better.”

Today, I can look back all those years ago and see a powerful lesson.

I’ve grown to see that my body was perfect just as it was. I only saw my “flaws” when I was comparing against an imaginary standard.

The first time I met an almost completely flat chested woman in one of our clubs, a woman who was rocking a teeny tiny club dress, unashamedly owning her tiny breasts was an “aha” moment for me.

You see, it wasn’t the size of my breasts that mattered. It was the size of my confidence and self acceptance. At the end of the day, it didn’t matter if I had big boobs or microscopic ones. It didn’t matter if I had athlete’s foot, was too skinny, or any other fill in the blank “fault.”

What mattered was whether or not I loved and accepted me in all my flaws as well as all my glory. Because you see, I couldn’t cherry pick my self esteem. If I hated one thing about me, how was I ever going to love any other part? I had to own what I was offering the planet.

Besides, wasn’t I doing a disservice to those who wanted to love me for me? Those who would take my “imperfections” and lean into my strength?

I also realized that not everyone on the planet is the same. We are this amazing mix of diversity. A plethora of options and thoughts and beliefs and physical differences that others will gravitate towards. This diversity also means we are going to run up against those who will not be understanding of us nor will they be interested in looking past the physical. I learned long ago that I am not going to appeal to everyone…and that’s okay. The only person who needs to be 100% in my corner is me!

Does it hurt when others are critical or flat out cruel?

It can.

I get sandblasted almost daily on our YouTube channel.

In the beginning, I could get pretty upset and down on myself. We all want to feel included because we are creatures of community after all. Being singled out and ridiculed can feel very isolating. While it could be easy for me to focus on all the haters, to nestle into all the negative, I also knew how important it was to stay focused on the good.

My differences are what make others feel included.



  • Though I have been getting your emails for a while, this is the first blog of yours I ever read. I LOVE how you address this topic. It’s an important topic and your solution to the problem is spot on.

    As a society we are conditioned to seek outside of ourselves for solutions, not within: Don’t feel good, go to the doctor and take a pill. Not having enough sex with enough people make it a fact that there are no sexy and sexual people in your area and blame it on that. Not making enough money and after the boss won’t give you another raise, just forget about your dreams and ambitions rather than look within to explore, discover and develop the genius that is within each and everyone of us and is discovered on the way to creating a better you, your true authentic best self who embraces your differences seeing them not as your obstacles but as your opportunity.

    Yet, it is from within that most of the true solutions come. I help people see and deal with that by teaching people to liberate themselves from conventional wisdom as I work with Sexual Freedom Seekers helping them to increase their abundance and freedom in health, sex and their quality of life.

    Through out my monogamous years I gained 105 pounds over 25 years. When I began living an ECNM (Ethical and Consensual Non-Monogamous) lifestyle, I also became a nudist. Being in my 50’s then, I was a fat old guy at the nudist resorts.

    I lost some weight and was about average for my age keeping a belly that I hate. In the last 5 years I decided to take responsibility for my life and do something to get rid of my belly so that in my 60’s people will look at me and say ‘Damn he looks good.’ My female partner already looks amazing and I want people to look at us both seeing us equally attractive.

    Over the past 5 years I failed to reach my weight goal each and every year. Two years ago my goal was to lose 45 pounds, I failed and lost 15. Last year my goal was to lose 30 pounds. I failed again and lost another 15 pounds. Now knocking on the door of being 62 I know by failing my way to success people will be seeing how good I look in by my mid 60’s and be amazed.

    It is from seeing the positive rather than the negative that we keep moving forward. There are women whom turned me down as a fat old man and would not have sex with me. Sure, that made me feel bad but rather than allow myself to get negative only making the problem bigger I focus on the positive that person is missing out on by being so shallow seeing me only as a fat old man. Subsequently, I have incredible relationships with those women who do not see me that way and love me for the amazing man I am and they not only see all of me, they benefit from all of me.

    This woman can see her condition as a limitation or she can see it as an opportunity. For me my opportunity was, and is, to be in my mid 60’s and be in better shape than I was in my 40’s. My opportunity was, and is, to turn my health around liberating myself from conventional wisdom that says when you turn 50 it is all downhill. As a result, today I am not on a single prescription medication and my wife and I purchased new bicycles last October and took them on our first bicycle tour riding a little over 200 miles.

    • Veronica says:

      Learning to love ourselves and all our imperfections is a huge step and in turn can be and is an enormous turn-on to anyone who is beyond shallow. I myself prefer NOT to be shallow‼️ Otherwise I might miss out on a really good thing 😉

  • Lori says:

    Love your detailed answer. I have similar concern what about fifty something women who are very large chested who when dresses feel great but like this woman in this lifestyle have that concern with clothes off. You know gravity happens they are far from what they were not up and perky and at that size you compare yourself to others , when you would never normally do that. How do you get over that one and feeling of partner wven though they love your body you feel what if they are or what if others are ?

  • John says:

    Another member of the club here — mine was prostate cancer. Five weeks ago I had an open radical retropubic prostatectomy. That’s the old fashioned by-hand method, another complication ruled out the new robotic procedure. I was lucky to find a surgeon still willing to do it, mine was the first in the LA area in five years. I’ve got a nice new five inch scar from navel to penis that I can show off at parties…. 😉

    Step one in the recovery is incontinence. The doctor says I’m doing really well, and should regain almost complete control. Worst case, still losing a couple drops on heavy exertion, but that could also happen without the surgery. I’m doing Kegel exercises four times a day for that.

    The jury is still out on erection and orgasm. But if they do come back, there’ll be nothing that comes out. The prostate and seminal vesicles are completely gone, so no seminal fluid aka cum. The doctor says that the plumbing works just like a female.

    We’re so lucky to be in this lifestyle. My wife can have play dates with friends we’ve known for years during my down time. We still go to parties, I just make it known that I’m going to be hands and mouth only for a while. You’re welcome to try playing with it, but don’t get your hopes up.

    The strange thing is, at 71 I don’t feel old at all. I think I’m in great health and great shape. It’s just that when I get up in the morning and look in the mirror, there’s this old guy looking back at me. Who the fuck is he?? Why’s he in my mirror? Ah, but I have to bear in mind, he’s the reason some women turn me down….

    — J.S.

  • michelle denman says:

    I love your reply here. It’s so true and so honest. Your words are positively inspi ring and caring

  • Kyra says:

    Thanks for this, it’s really spot on. I’ve been in this lifestyle a while now, and a 40-something woman at 220 lbs (yes, see, I’m not shy about it) it’s all about confidence. I am who I am, I rock who I am, flaws, and greatness all. Some people love me, some people do not. And that’s ok. Cause you know what, even if I were a 20-something svelte-whatever, I would still not be everyone’s cup of tea. I’m me, battle scars and all, and I rock who I am. (Athlete’s foot, too!)

    So yes, we ALLLLLL have flaws, imperfections, BATTLE SCARS, and we need to rock who we are. Confidence and self acceptance. It’s easy to say, not as easy to do. Take the little steps, and we get there 🙂

  • Chris says:

    “Besides, wasn’t I doing a disservice to those who wanted to love me for me? Those who would take my “imperfections” and lean into my strength?”

    There was a time when my wife answered any compliment I gave her with, “My, but you have a vivid imagination.” -or- “It’s good to see you have a good fantasy life.”

    This was exactly how that made me feel. Like my honest appreciation of the woman I loved was being dismissed. It took me a while to realize that it was her problem, not mine.

    • Luana says:

      Chris – Keep telling your wife how beautiful is…even if she dismisses your comment. She still needs to hear it. There are some women (like myself) who have some very, very deep seated negative body image and low self-esteem issues that began when we were very young. Now, I’m not talking about childhood sexual abuse or anything like that. That is a very special situation. But people don’t realize that sometimes even a minor, off handed comment said to a young girl can stay with her and basically re-wire her brain so that even now (35 years later at age 51 for myself) our body image and self esteem is in the toilet.

      But growing up, you learn how to push those feelings way down and “fake it” to get along in the world.

      My husband and I have an open marriage and have been swingers. The swinging lifestyle is horrible for those of us with low self esteem/body image. I learned to fake it and find reasons to keep my clothes on or make myself busy in the kitchen while the other ladies are standing around naked comparing boob jobs. Losing weight helped a little as I could wear cuter, single digit clothing for once. But that didn’t last long as I still wasn’t comfortable in my own skin.

      Sorry this reply is so long! But I wanted to write this so the other women out there who feel the same can know they are not alone.

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