Swinging: an insider's perspective (plus how it differs from polyamory!)

I've been seeing lots of awesome posts about polyamory and ethical non-monogamy. I wanted to offer some thoughts on a variation that I haven't seen talked much about yet: swinging.

Swinging or, "the lifestyle," as we often refer to it with each other (sometimes indicated by a black ring on the right ring finger for those who like to advertise their proclivity), is one subculture among many with countless variations and expressions. Here is my personal perspective…

A reminder in difficult times: Love is an extraordinary and beautiful thing

Each person expresses and feels love in many ways. We love people in our lives with different kinds of love — the love for a child, a parent, friends, and lovers. Each love is defined and felt in personal ways depending on who receives it. I have loved many people in many ways in my lifetime. Loving someone is a selfless endeavor. To love someone is to bare your soul. To trust that person with the deepest parts of you. Love is gentle and selfless and kind.

Here's a reminder about love in these difficult times…

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Let's talk about talking about your "sex number"

The number of people I have slept with is higher than most women I've asked. At the end of the day, I'm not going to lie about my number — I am not ashamed. But I do wonder how I should talk about it in future dating scenarios.

Anyone else with a high sex number want to give me advice about talking open and honestly about it?

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I've been married for three years and I still can't pick a married last name

It happens all the time. Someone will look at me, ask for my name, and I'll panic. What is my name here? My doctor and my library know me as Ms. My-Last-Name. Our dog groomer and favorite restaurant know me as Mrs. His-Last-Name. My bank knows me as both. And at some point, my gym changed my name to match my husband's, but I forget and give them the wrong name every time. Who am I this time?