The Swingers parade is over, the seminars on jealousy and fear are complete, the stay up all night parties have been put to bed, but the memories from 2016’s Naughty in N’awlins will live forever.
John and I had the wonderful opportunity to not only attend the 2016 Naughty in N’awlins convention in New Orleans, but to participate in some of the seminars and panels as well. The convention is the brainchild of Bob and Tess Hannaford, who have been bringing swingers together in the Big Easy since 1998. Each year, New Orleans opens its heart to this open- minded expression of love, and over the years, we have watched the convention grow as more and more couples (and singles) curious about the lifestyle join and become part of this great movement. We have also seen the number of long-time swingers increase as they become mentors, so to speak, and add a validity to this deep-bonding lifestyle.
I cannot tell you how many new people I met this year. Some traveled a few miles to participate, while others made the trek all the way from Australia! It is so encouraging to see countless couples (and singles) have the courage to be open about who they are and share a relationship model that works for them. They are the reason this convention is so successful year after year. The confidence and assurance of the attendees was contagious. Every night during the convention, our club colette was bustling with new and seasoned swingers cherishing each other and proving without a doubt how phenomenal a swinging relationship can become.
I was also touched by the unbelievable partnerships so many in the industry developed with each other. I believe those of us within the swinging, open, poly, BDSM, or any of the numerous alternative lifestyles, need to strengthen our bonds and stand together. Standing up against societal norms is difficult enough; we cannot afford to alienate those who are in the same boat. A united front makes for a much stronger platform. I am so proud to be a part of this comradery.
For John and I, being asked to conduct a seminar was the ultimate compliment. We chose the topic of jealousy and fear, as we have found this to be a subject which confronts any relationship, swinger or not. We were touched as couple after couple began filtering into the conference room. How refreshing to see couples who want to grow and build the best possible relationship. These couples want to throw away the confines of an antiquated thought pattern and embrace a more compersion based way of viewing their partner. They were intent on breaking out of the old stereotypes kept in place by a society who wants our sexuality to be restricted into a tiny little box.
John and I spoke to dozens of couples who were making some real life decisions. Some were finally deciding to “come out” about the lifestyle to their families, and others said they did not care if their supervisors and co-workers at their job found out—they were all prepared to stand firm in their belief in the lifestyle and become part of this crucial movement. They knew the only way to show others the benefits of swinging was to support the very cause we all believe brings us such peace: to stand together and let the world know the truth and appreciation we have found in being swingers!
I have never been more proud to be part of such an incredible collection of couples and singles. I am invigorated each time I take off my Naughty in N’awlins lanyard after a week of festivities, relishing that once again the convention was a success. I am encouraged by everyone in attendance. I am in awe of the number of people who set aside a week out of their busy schedules to share in the lives of so many others. I am inspired by everyone’s commitment to the lifestyle, which is exhibited in their support of events like this. I am energized to continue doing what I can to educate those who are curious about swinging and am already looking forward to the 2017 convention. I know that as long as we all work together we can build a strong and secure life for all.
If you want learn more or attend next year’s Naughty in N’awlins, click on the images below!
John and Jackie Melfi are in a consensually non monogamous marriage. They have been featured in ABC News Nightline Special Report “Getting Naughty In N’awlins”, Inside a New Orleans Swingers Convention, and CNN “This Is Life” with Lisa Ling. The Melfis are the force behind the industry famous colette swingers clubs in New Orleans, Dallas, Houston, and Austin. With over 20 years of combined experience, this powerhouse couple coaches thousands of singles and couples through their award winning blog Openlove101.com.