We’re Tim and Crystal. Tim is 52, and I’m 62. We’re slim, athletic types, active in so many different groups including Naturists, Burners, Human Awareness Institute, Lifestyle, snow and water ski clubs, church group, and cannabis activists!
1. How was swinging introduced in your relationship? Who was the first partner to bring up the topic?
A: Neither of us, weirdly! We’ve always been naturists, so we attend nude events regularly. On a nude weekend camping trip in 2007, a good friend and his girlfriend mentioned the LS, which we had not heard of. They said we could come by their cabin later and they’d give us an introduction to it!
2. How long have you been in the swinging lifestyle?
A: Since 2008, so about 11 years, eight years after we got together. We were married in 2005 and have been together since 2000.
3. What has been your greatest hurdle to overcome in the lifestyle?
A: Jealousy was, and still can be, an issue, especially when we’ve agreed to try NEW things together first, and then I find him playing with someone in a sex swing that we haven’t tried together yet! Also, guys who want to bareback are a hurdle—they have little consideration for a woman’s need to use them.
4. What has been the biggest benefit of being in the lifestyle?
A: Learning new tricks and sharing with my partner. I ask women Tim’s been with what they’ve done with him that he likes, and have asked Tim to show me how that particular pleasure was performed!! Also, I love the variety of new partners and seeing how other guys can pleasure me with their skills!
5. How open are you about the swinging lifestyle? Do your family and friends know?
A: My 28 year old daughter knows, but not my 25 year old son. Some friends know, but not family. I’m retired and don’t worry as much as I used to about people knowing, but Tim’s still working and so he can’t be as open as me. We’re in several Burning Man groups, plus naturist events, so we have to remember which HAT we’re wearing and what we can say! We’re also in a church group!
6. How has the lifestyle affected any religious beliefs you have?
A: I’m an ex-catholic and struggled with CNM, but in my heart I believe if it’s consensual, it can’t be a sin.
7. What is your favorite form of play? Example: couple/couple, threesome, group setting.
A: We like group parties. We play in separate rooms for the most part, sometimes together if the couple works for both of us. Usually we find I have a connection with the other guy, but the woman is too tall (my husband is 5’7″ and weighs 135) or too big for him, so we play separately. Threesomes are ok, but he doesn’t play with men, so we do a BBQ so he isn’t too close to the other guy. I don’t play with women much, so a FMF doesn’t work well for me.
We like parties because we don’t really like spending a whole evening with one couple. You chat some, do some flirting, have some foreplay, and finally have sex. Then what? It’s 8:00 pm and we have another 2-3 hours with these folks? Sorry, I don’t want to know everything about their lives, children, work, and hobbies. We’re not into making lifelong friends—we’re into having some sexy fun and then going back to the social room and seeing if there’s someone else we’d like to play with. We really like the ability to have fun with someone, then return to the social area to rest and have a break from playing (and chatting), get a drink, and check in with each other. We don’t do dinner and drinks. Hell, we don’t even do private dates! We don’t want to be “stuck” with one couple all night!
8. What does consent mean to you?
A: It means the person is ecstatically giving you the “yes” to play together.
9. Do you ever experience jealousy? If so, how do you handle this?
A: YES! As I mentioned above, we have an agreement to try new things together first. When we saw the sex swing during the house party tour, I nodded to him and said I’d like to try that sometime that night as a first for us. Then later upon walking into that room and seeing him playing with someone in the swing, my heart just dropped. And to make things worse, Tim’s play partner came up to me and said, “Your husband is so hot and I just LOVED playing in the swing with him, I had so much fun with him pleasuring me!” This put me over the edge. I had to find him and tell him that I was upset and that wasn’t cool. He did apologize, but they just don’t get how that hurts you in your soul, especially when you had a prior agreement about it!
Now I’m better, and he understand our agreement, but seeing him across the room with his “Big O” face still throws me. What sometimes bothers me now is when I see a gal doing something to him that I know isn’t my strong suit, and she’s doing it “better” than me. For example, I’m not the best at blow jobs, partly because it’s not my favorite thing to do, and partly because I have trouble keeping my teeth out of the way! So I do it for a while, then quit in hopes my partner has had enough to move on to other things! So when I see my husband getting a great BJ and his “Big O” face is going, I do get jealous.
When this happens, I do two things: I mentally make a note to ask him what she did differently (maybe I can learn), and I usually leave the room. I try to fully engage with the partner I’m with, so as not to look at him, and when we’re done I leave the room if he’s still there. Just removing myself from the room is a good way to get my jealousy under control. I wish I could be like a cuckold man who enjoys watching his partner be pleasured, but it just doesn’t work for me. I know my limitations and adjust accordingly!
10. What advice would you give to those curious about the swinging lifestyle?
A: Go to a house party. Don’t try and meet a couple alone. Watch, observe, and see what you like and what makes you nervous. Start by just meeting a couple at the party, talking, and flirting. See how that makes you feel and how it makes you feel watching your partner flirt. If you’re comfortable, start by going into a room with the couple and try to take some clothes off, maybe a soft swap (oral/BJ, etc.). Do NOT try to fuck with your clothes on. This should be an intimate experience. Try going topless or in your underwear before getting fully naked. And if you should make it to full swap, use CONDOMS!!
I would NOT recommend starting out by going on a LS cruise, NIN, or other large event. They are overwhelming to newbies!
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11. What are some ways you can politely say no if you’re not interested in playing?
A: I’m so sorry, but I’m just not feeling chemistry with you. It’s been a pleasure to meet you though!
BE SURE not to lie!! Don’t say “maybe later,” or “it’s probably my fault that we don’t click,” or “I only play with my partner,” if that’s not true. They’ll see you playing with someone other than your partner and know you lied. That’s the fastest way to hurt someone’s feelings and maybe not get invited back to a party if people find out you’re not telling the truth.
If you say, “I’m taking a break right now,” be ready for that person to come back to you later and ask again. If you really think you’d play with them later, then that’s ok. But if you’re going to have to say “no” again, rather than having to do that, don’t say it in the first place!
Also, NEVER take one for the team! If your husband is hot for the lady, but the man doesn’t fit your bill, politely say “no,” or tell your mate he’s free to “go for it” alone, but that you don’t want to be involved in a foursome. Never play with someone you don’t feel a connection with!
12. Do you have any special stories or experiences that you would like to share with our readers?
A: We’ve had some fun LS experiences! We’ve been on two Couples Cruises with Bob and Tess, Naughty in L.A. (also B&T) and Naughty Beach (yes, it’s Bob and Tess again… we like them!). The cruises are fun, but it’s hard to connect with folks (and find them) on a boat with 3,900 folks and long hallways. It takes time to find their cabins, then they’re not there… there’s no cell service…. we can’t find the folks we saw on day one… all types of problems. We loved Naughty in L.A. because within the three days at the hotel we met and found everyone and exchanged cabin info for the four day cruise to follow. We also loved Naughty Beach because it was a small group of 50 folks, we were land locked, and everyone was easy to find. Plus B&T planned some really fun events!
We haven’t gone to NIN (and we watched you in the live parade on youtube!) because New Orleans is just too dang hot in July. And because we’re naturists, we don’t really love all the costume stuff, we would just rather be naked! And it’s HOT!! So you’re probably not going to see us there, but we’re dying to MEET YOU and have a nice convo.
We also just went on a nude cruise, by Bare Necessities, called the Big Nude Boat (every February). It was not LS, and we didn’t play, but it was SO nice to have everyone (2000 folks) naked all the time (except for the dining room). We really like how that puts everyone on the same playing field, no judgement about who has the coolest or sexiest lingerie. We were hired as models for the photography classes on board, so we got a free cruise for working, which was a blast! And because Carnival owns one of the Keys, we got to go naked on the whole island, what fun!!
13. If you’re in the swinger industry or have a site or club you would recommend please do it here…
A: Nope! We use SLS and just joined quiver, which is run by women. But because we don’t go on separate dates, we use it to look for parties.
We also started hosting our own house parties called “Crystal’s Palace” in San Jose, CA. Having house parties ROCKS!!
John and Jackie Melfi are married swingers and in an open relationship. They were featured in an ABC News Nightline special report “Getting ‘Naughty in N’Awlins’: Inside a New Orleans Swingers Convention” and are the force behind the industry famous colette swingers clubs in Dallas, New Orleans, Houston, and Austin and the award-winning blog Openlove101.com with over 20 years of combined experience in open relationships and coaching thousands of couples.