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Friday, December 21, 2012

SL Letter of the Day: Swap Meat

Posted by Dan Savage on Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 10:29 AM

I'm on hiatus while working on a manuscript for a new book. In the meantime, please enjoy these classic Savage Love letters pulled from previous columns. I will be back when the book is finished. —Dan

Originally published December 21, 2006:

My wife and I have been married four years, and we both are bi. We've been propositioned by—and played with—a number of sexy friends heteroflexible enough not to want/need full swap. So our play with others has been limited to oral and light petting.

We've now been approached by a very sexy couple, a straight guy and bi female, who want to do a full hetero swap. The male is not interested in any bi play. He is also borderline overly intense about his attraction to my wife. His wife is very hot, and playing with her could be fun. Thing is, unlike cuckolds, I have a hang-up about another guy doing the full hetero swap with my wife. Light petting and oral is fine, but I feel that saving something "just for us" gives us an anchor in this sea of swingers.

Am I insecure? Should I open myself to the idea of another guy screwing my wife? If we ever do the full swap, how can we avoid the pitfalls of insecurity and jealousy? Will you please advise?

Swap Curious

My response after the jump...

Sure, SC, but the first bit of advice I wanna give you is rhetorical. Only pre–Vatican II nuns and modern Mormon virgins use the phrase "light petting." People are going to have a hard time taking you seriously as swingers—hell, they're going to have a hard time taking you seriously as nonvirgins—if you insist on saying "light petting" instead of "mutual masturbation" or "manual stimulation."

As for "full hetero swap," well, that's pretty clunky, too, but it is a phrase that actual swingers use so I'm going to let it slide. In the Swinging Sea, "soft swap" means you only do oral and manual with others; "full swap" means you do vaginal intercourse. So you're soft swappers contemplating full swapping, SC, not light petters.

Okay, on to your question...

Not all swingers seek to avoid insecurity and jealousy. Gently or aggressively manipulating those feelings is, for many swingers, an intrinsic part of the thrill. But all swingers want to avoid the pitfalls of insecurity and jealousy. And how do they do it? By having frank, honest discussions and setting clear, mutually acceptable boundaries. So long as you know what you're comfortable with, you and the wife should be able to safely navigate the potentially treacherous emotional dynamics that are an unavoidable aspect of swinging.

Up to now your boundaries have worked out well: Manual stim and oral—soft swap—is okay; some other guy's dick pounding away at your wife's pussy—full swap—is not okay.

Should you now abandon boundaries that have served you so well up to this point? Well, you wouldn't be writing me, and you wouldn't be signing off as "Swap Curious," if you weren't, you know, curious. (Insight like that is why I get paid the big bucks.) But it sounds to me like, as much as you might want to give full swap a try, you're not sure you can wholly trust this guy. You describe him as "borderline overly intense" about his desire to fuck the living shit out of your wife. But at the same time, you seem attracted to his energy and, of course, to his wife.

So what do you do?

Test them. Suggest to this other couple that, at first, you would like to play under your current rules: soft swap only, but no bi play, since he's not into that. If this other guy really wants your wife that badly, he should be thrilled to get a crack at her even if he doesn't get to fuck her. If after agreeing to a night of oral and manual this other guy verbally suggests upgrading to full swap midscene, well, he gets an F. If he physically attempts to upgrade to the full hetero—if he attempts to initiate vaginal intercourse—he gets an F-.

But if this other couple demonstrates that they can respect your boundaries before you agree to shift them, well, then they might be good candidates for satisfying your curiosity about full swap.

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