14 Things You Never Knew About Your Hair ‘Down There’

Ileana Paules-Bronet

We all have it, but none of us like thinking about it or discussing it. That’s right, I’m talking about pubic hair.

If you just cringed at the word “pubic,” don’t worry — you’re not alone.

Pubic hair makes most of us uncomfortable, but it’s an important part of our body — and it’s there for a very specific reason.

Usually, when we read about pubic hair online or in magazines, it’s about how to remove it, which “styles” are best, and what celebrities do to their own “down there” hair.

But many of us don’t actually know much about pubic hair apart from how to groom it.

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering, “Why are my pubes a different color than the hair on my head?” or “What’s the purpose of pubic hair?” or “How should I groom before going to the gynecologist?” — this article is for you!

Keep reading to find out 14 important facts about your pubic hair!

1. Your Pubes Will Eventually Go Gray

gray pubes

Dr. Sweta Singh, ob-gyn, told LittleThings that, just like the hair on the rest of your body, your pubic hair will eventually turn gray.

What this means is that gray pubes are nothing to worry about — if they bother you, you can dye your pubic hair with a safe pubic hair dye.

2. Pubic Hair Protects Against Chafing During Sexpubic hair protects

If you’ve ever played around with grooming your pubic hair, you might know that sex feels a little different when you have hair compared to the times where you don’t.

One of the things pubic hair does for our bodies is protect from chafing.

When your body rubs together with another’s, your skin may stick to theirs and cause painful chafing — pubic hair acts as a barrier between the skin that rubs together most during sex.

Nasimeh Yazdani, MD, told LittleThings, “I’ve always felt pubic hair should not be stripped down to nothing, because it helps with friction during sex.”

3. Pubic Hair Protects Your Body From Infections

pubic hair infections

Just as pubic hair protects your skin from chafing, it also protects you from potential viruses and bacteria.

Dr. Yazdani explains, “More importantly, it enhances the microflora (healthy, helpful microbes) as it absorbs sweat and moves harmful particles out of the way of entering the vaginal and urethral areas.”

Unfortunately, if you have any small cuts on your skin, it could make you more susceptible to bacteria and infections.

4. Your Gyno Doesn’t Care How You Groom Down There

gynecologist pubic hair

Lots of women worry about what their pubic hair looks like before going to the gynecologist, but there’s no reason to think twice about it.

Your gynecologist has seen every type of pubic hair, and as long as you have good hygiene practices down there, your gyno won’t care at all what your pubes look like.

They’re way more concerned with making sure everything is hunky-dory on the inside.

5. Pubic Hair Regrowth Can Be Painful

pubic hair regrowth

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Most women who shave, wax, or pluck will not find this surprising, but pubic hair regrowth can sometimes be painful.

Dr. Singh says, “Regrowth hurts because of ingrown follicles.”

Having stubble in your groin region can be uncomfortable, itchy, and even sometimes downright painful.

6. Hair Removal Is More Painful Around Your Period

pubic hair removal

According to a study published in the journal Clinics, women have a lower pain threshold during the premenstrual and menstrual phases of the menstrual cycle.

Dr. Singh also explained, “Hair removal is more painful during menses because of increased vascularity.”

This means that it will hurt most to wax, pluck, or shave while you’re PMSing or while you’re on your period.

7. Your Hair Doesn’t Grow In Thicker After Being Shaved

pubic hair shave

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Many people believe that if you shave your hair, it will grow back thicker afterwards. This is a myth!

When hair grows in naturally, it’s shaped like an arrow — meaning it’s tapered at the end.

When you shave, you cut the hair directly across its diameter. Thus, when it grows in, it looks thicker because it isn’t tapered anymore.

8. Pubic Hair Is Often A Different Color Than The Hair On Our Heads

pubic hair color

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

If you’ve ever heard the phrase “does the carpet match the drapes?” you might be wondering if your pubic hair should perfectly match the shade of hair on your head.

The truth? Your pubic hair probably won’t be the exact color of the hair on your head.

Dr. Wendy Askew told Women’s Health that it’s usually a lot closer to the color of your eyebrows!

9. Your Pubic Hair Can Thin Or Bald With Age

pubic hair thin

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Like the hair on the rest of your body, your pubic hair can thin or bald as you get older.

According to the Mayo Clinic, some women will experience more severe thinning or balding because of menopause.

If you’re young and notice your pubic hair is thinning or balding, it might be because of a medication you’re on or a medical condition you have — this is something you should bring up with your doctor.

10. Having Pubic Is More Hygienic Than Going Bare

pubes hygiene

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Many women think that it’s more hygienic to groom down there, but it’s actually the opposite — having pubes is more hygienic than not having them.

If you’re concerned about the hair holding onto odors or bacteria, just make sure to practice good hygiene.

The hair is an easy part to clean; it’s the labia and folds of skin that are more likely to hold onto odors and bacteria.

Just practice good hygiene habits and your pubic hair will stay pretty clean!

11. People With Thick, Curly Hair Are More Prone To Ingrown Hairs

ingrown hair

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

The Mayo Clinic describes ingrown hairs as the result of tweezed, shaved, or waxed hair growing back but into the skin. They are uncomfortable, and they happen to all of us.

Unfortunately, people with curly, thick hair are more likely to get ingrown hairs because the hair has a harder time poking back through the skin.

“Because curly hair is dense, there are more ingrown follicles,” explains Dr. Singh.

Many people have thicker, curlier hair in their pubic area than they do on their heads, which makes us more prone to ingrown hairs in that region.

12. Plucking Can Be Worse Than Shaving Or Waxing

plucking pubic hair

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

According to the Daily Mail, you might think that plucking is gentler than waxing or shaving, but plucking thick hairs can actually cause more harm to the skin.

Plucking your pubic hairs can also lead to more irritation and ingrown hairs, as well as increase your chance of infection.

13. Pubic Hair “Splinters” Are A Real Thing

pubic hair splinter

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

It’s a little scary, but it is possible to get splinter-like ingrown hairs in your pubic region.

Basically, hair splinters occur when the hair grows out of the skin, curls back downward, and goes back into the skin, continuing to grow under the surface.

If it sounds horrible, don’t worry — it’s easy to deal with.

LiveStrong recommends that you just clean the area and use a hot wash cloth as a warm compress on the area, then pull the hair out of where it’s grown back in.

14. Your Pube Habits Are Totally Up To You!

happy pubes

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

No matter what you read about pubic hair styles, what men want, or what’s popular, your pubic hair habits are entirely your choice!

Whether you want to remove everything or go full-bush, it’s totally up to you.

 

 

11 Things I Learned On My Trip To A (Mostly) Naked Swingers’ Resort

Kat Stark, Blogger

11 Lessons From A Swinger Lifestyle Couples' Retreat

A whole new world is an understatement.

I’m back from an incredible week in paradise at a retreat for swinger, kinky, and polyamorous couples, and although I’m deep in the drop that happens following an intense, transformative experience, I thought I’d share some thoughts on what I learned this year.

Here are 11 things I learned during my sexy get-a-away at a (mostlynaked) swingers resort:

1. Always reject the tyranny of the “or.”

I don’t have to be a top OR a bottom. I can be both.

My main resistance to topping up to now has been a fear that if I did it, that’s all I’d ever get to do going forward. After some great discussions with multiple swingers and my own exploration through the week, I realized I can explore both and don’t have to slot myself into a rigid role forever.

I got to love the floggings I received AND also love guiding a woman through her first anxious time with a woman wearing a strap-on AND introduce another woman to the wonders of my dear friend, the njoyEleven.

2. “Switching” it up is HOT.

If both of you are Switches, you can switch mid-scene, which I did during an incredibly hot encounter with Will.

He beat my ass red with amazing recycled tire rubber petal flogger until my legs couldn’t hold me anymore. Then I topped him, using him as my toy to do with as I pleased, investigating every inch of his body with my hands, hair, skin, lips, and sending him into subspace while I investigated how different parts of his body reacted to different sensations that ran the range from delicate to edging on painful.

I had no idea how much zing I’d get from the ‘Yes, Ma’am’ he gave me as I walked out of the room to use the washroom, instructing him that I expected him to be on his back and ready for me when I returned, despite his shaky limbs.

3. It’s NOT lonely at the top.

I like Topping much more than I thought (which maybe shouldn’t be such a surprise to this control freak, but there it is).

Much of what I like about bottoming is that I don’t HAVE to be in control, it’s nice to give that up, but I realized that I can be a top and have the bottom drive much of the scene. Topping isn’t just taking on a bunch of extra responsibility (other than consideration and care, which I do anyway with all my partners).

I was also surprised when a sadistic side I didn’t know I had popped out, leading to me bite Wes hard in a tender area. When he yelped and asked why I’d done it, I snarled, “Because I can and you like it!” His groan was all the affirmation I needed of how right my instinct was.

4. Sex is all in my mind.

I can come copiously and repeatedly from visual stimulation, or tactile stimulation unrelated to my genitals. I didn’t always have to be primed with having had prior orgasms, though if I was …*extra sploosh*.

Eleven times I came at Desire without genital stimulation (you may notice a common theme in this list).

  • Kissing Ophilia
  • Fingering Ophilia
  • Doing people with my strap-on
  • Having someone else’s juices sucked off my dildo
  • Watching Flick suck Ophilia’s dildo in the hot tub
  • Watching GingerSnap peg Cooper
  • Watching GingerSnap do Ophilia
  • Watching Flick and Eliza having sex on the bed next to me
  • Having Flick come all over Eliza and me while Wes and Raina watched
  • Hearing Raina and Ophilia orgasm next to me on the bed
  • Having my ass beaten with a rubber flogger

5. There’s no need to visualize everyone naked because … wait … they totally are!

I am capable of walking around the resort naked, even though I had regular moments of panic thinking, “Should I be doing this?” — especially when I saw others wearing clothes.

Last year I could only be naked once I was in a location, but always put clothing on to walk around. Small victories.

6. Take every opportunity available to learn from professionals.

Being flogged on a St. Andrew’s Cross by a virtuoso top is an extraordinary experience.

I loved my public flogging and even though my eyes were closed, I got so much extra thrill knowing there was a person on the other side of the dual St. Andrew’s Cross having something similar done to them simultaneously — hearing their breath catch and the smack of the flogger hitting their skin in harmony with the impact on mine.

When I had the inevitable endorphin-release laughing/crying jag, I wasn’t even that embarrassed to be doing so publicly.

7. I’m not an extrovert, but I can play one on TV.

After I do something super extroverted and performative, such as leading the Speed Meet and Greet or helping Belle with the squirt demo, I need to lie in a dark room for about an hour to weep and recover.

But holy hell, the wave I made at the demo would take it out of anyone …

8. My credit score is safe (for now).

Trying out the Sybian isn’t the life-changing experience I expected it to be, though I fully admit that context and newness/unfamiliarity was likely part of that.

Kneeling on the tile floor, even with towels under knees, etc., wasn’t ideal and I’m sure it takes a while to figure out which positioning, attachments, or combinations of attachments work best. Since we were borrowing and there was only so much cleaning and disinfecting I felt like doing, so I only tried one of the attachments.

I definitely had an orgasm, but it wasn’t the chorus from the heavens orgasm I’d anticipated, which is for the best because now I don’t feel the need to spend 2k on a toy.

I would definitely try it again, though.

9. Apparently, I’m still doing this jealousy thing.

I have not conquered jealousy.

Another year into non-monogamy and jealousy is still a thing in the right (wrong?) situation. And this year’s issues were an uninspired remake of last year’s issues (I could really use a new plot, brain): A person I don’t get to spend much time with focusing his time and attention on someone younger and (to my perception) more interesting than me. Then several of my other people, including my husband, Flick, doing the same.

I was left feeling sick and abandoned and extraneous though I tried really hard to combat that feeling and be all Compersion BarbieTM: “Yay! They’re having a great time!” *stomach clench*

But why don’t they want to have that great time with me?

And it was definitely jealousy, not its healthier cousin envy. Waves of those feelings continue as I process the week.

10. Double-ended dildos are the latest in hot tub accessorizing.

Wearing a double-ender ‘strapless’ strap-on dildo in the hot tub is super-fun.

The currents dragged it around in a way that moved the internal portion quite pleasurably inside me, plus I could wear a glow bracelet as a cock ring. I could have tug-of-wars with a giant glowing ball with Ophilia wearing a similar dildo.

And when Cooper decided to give us both simultaneous handjobs, it could get pulled out of me in a way that caused me to inadvertently raise the water level in the hot tub with squirt fluid.

Twice.

11. You can get your salad tossed right here.

I give varsity level rim jobs.

That one’s straight-up “explanabrag.”

 

*I received no financial reward for attending this event and paid for the entire cost of the trip out of my own pocket.

Doctors warn women against putting wasp nests in their vaginas

nestWomen are being warned against trying a bizarre new trend that suggests using ground-up wasp nests to tighten and rejuvenate their vaginas.

Some online retailers have been selling oak galls, which are nests that house wasp eggs before they hatch, and touting them as a natural way of cleaning female genitals.

The product reportedly is crushed into a paste and applied topically, with one listing on Etsy, which has now been removed, claiming it can improve a woman’s sex life.

They are also being advertised as helping to “heal episiotomy cuts, rejuvenate the uterine wall and clean out the vagina” after childbirth, though there are warnings that it can “burn” when applied.

sosNow, gynecologist Jen Gunter is warning women not to get sucked in by the new trend after branding it “dangerous” — saying the practice is using “drying agents” to tighten the vagina.

Writing on her blog, she said: “Drying the vaginal mucosa increases the risk of abrasions during sex (not good) and destroys the protective mucous layer (not good).”

‘Here’s a pro-tip, if something burns when you apply it to the vagina it is generally bad for the vagina.’

 – Dr. Jen Gunter

“It could also wreak havoc with the good bacteria. This is a dangerous practice with real potential to harm.”

“Here’s a pro-tip, if something burns when you apply it to the vagina it is generally bad for the vagina.”

But it’s not the first time the gynecologist has warned against using herbal remedies for the vagina.

Last year, she spoke out about the womb detox trend — which claimed to help women with endometriosis, ovarian cysts, thrush and fibroids.

Bags of perfumed herbs, known as Herbal Womb Detox Pearls, were being promoted as a health boost and women were being told to insert three of the balls into the vagina for 72 hours.

But Gunter explained: “Leaving a product that is not designed for prolonged vaginal use (and these are not) in the vagina is a risk for toxic shock syndrome. Just don’t do it.”

Sun Online has contacted Etsy for comment.

There’s A New Threesome Dating App To Find Swingers Who Wanna Get WILD

PHOTO: 3SOMER

threesome app, 3somer

Shannon Ullman, Editor

Yep, there’s an app for that.

Yup, there sure is. Even threesomes.

For all of you couples out there who are desperately looking for a sex unicorn, OR a sex unicorn desperately looking for a willing couple, this dating app has come to the rescue.

3Somer is a dating app for threesomes, open-minded couples, singles, and swingers. Essentially, it’s like Tinder but for those that want to get freaky with more than one person at a time.

And while you could technically use Tinder to facilitate threesomes, 3Somer is for the dedicated swingers, the ones who won’t flake out. The app allows you to have a profile so that other users can learn about your lifestyle, tastes, and what you’re looking to get out of the experience.

Joining this community is one of the best ways to finally make that threesome happen. While it’s a fantasy for a lot of us, it actually seems harder than one would think to actually get a threesome underway.

With so many emotions involved, unsure partners and perhaps the sway of alcohol, it can be confusing and frustrating to try and have a successful threesome. With this threesome app, all of the guess work is taken out of the situation and you are left with real people who are totally down for a kinky three-way.

The app has tons of filters too so that you can find exactly what you want. Choose from relationship status, gender, and sexual orientation to ethnicity and religion. Oh, and the app is up and running in cities ALL over the US and even the world, so your chances of finding someone near you are high.

All photos: 3Somer

Most recently, the dating app has gotten on the radar of threesome enthusiasts as it put out a study showing which American college campuses were having the most threesomes.

Curious? Here’s the list they came up with:

  1. Kent State University
  2. New York University
  3. University of Michigan
  4. Florida International University
  5. NC State University
  6. University of Alabama
  7. Temple University
  8. Michigan State University
  9. University of Central Florida
  10. Arizona State University

If you’re still in the process of looking for colleges, you might want to take this into consideration during your next search.

Why Millennials Should Swing With Older Couples (According To A Millennial)

Trey Lyon

It’s not only single Cougars who are HOT AF.

As a now-32-year-old swinger who’s been in the lifestyle for a decade, I’ve always found it incredibly curious and frustrating that I was often either one of very few — or the only — “young” person at swinger events. And hilariously, I often still am.

The same thing seems to even be the case in nudism, for which I’m also an advocate, only in nudism it’s even WORSE. The age gap in American nudism continues to increase as the Millennial generation, whose helicopter parents raised them in a constant state of fear of “stranger danger” and the natural human form, resist these kinds of activities, lest they grow up with any semblance of a confident perception of self and others. But I digress.

It has been my experience that many twenty- and thirty-somethings suffer from irrational delusions of physical grandiosity and infallibility.

And I state this as a decently fit male who has undoubtedly benefitted quite a bit from my own “body privilege.”

I’m writing about this because I hear these kinds of things said to me today ALL the time from young people. So much so, in fact, that many times in the past when I’ve attempted organizing groups of people my age to take weekend trips to swinger and nudist resorts or events, I have always received negative feedback and pushback from people my age.

These are some of the common judgmental responses:

  • “Well, how many other people our age will be there?”
  • “We’re going to be the hottest looking there, which means everyone will attack us and we don’t want to be around any fatties.”
  • “I don’t want to be around all those ugly old people.”

In this day and age, when not only mainstream entertainment but also pornography horribly depicts flawless bodies with perfectly-proportioned parts as the norm, and where websites and apps have turned us into some sort of dystopian society of mindless judgmental jerks accustomed to “swiping left” or “swiping right” on a human being after mere seconds based solely on someone’s image, it’s no wonder we’ve become a seemingly much more disconnected, polarized people who prioritize glitz, glam and a six pack over heart-centered connection and bonding with our fellow human.

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” — Carl G. Jung

We rush into relationships to fill a void within us that is only our job to fill, and then we project our bullshit back onto our partners when they don’t match up to the projections we unfairly place on them while they’re on that imaginary pedestal we place them on early in the relationship. We are a mess.

And at our core we are insecure, wounded children who unconsciously continue to project our shadows onto other people by harshly judging them about everything that’s really begging for healing within us.

One of my heroes, Swiss psychiatrist Carl G. Jung, suggested that everything we feel about (or see in) another person is comprised of about 75% of our own bullshit — our infamous shadow (that is, the unconscious aspects of ourselves) — which we project (in either positive or negative ways) onto others.

“The shadow is, so to say, the blind spot in your nature. It’s that which you won’t look at about yourself. …You can recognize who it is by simply thinking of the people you don’t like. They correspond to that person whom you might have been — otherwise they wouldn’t mean very much to you. People who excite you either positively or negatively have caught something projected from yourself … I don’t know whether you’ve had similar experiences in your life, but there are people I despise the minute I see them. These people represent those aspects of myself, the existence of which I refuse to admit to myself.” — Joseph Campbell

Writer Bernhard Guenther elaborates:

“All of us can engage in shadow projection at any given moment, without exception. Ask yourself, how many times have you looked at photos of a person and projected qualities (good or bad) onto her/him that are actually completely off-base? How often have you been ‘attracted to’ or ‘infatuated’ with — or ‘repelled’ and ‘offended’ by — a person, based solely on the content of his/her posts or their appearance in pics? How often do we project emotions and ‘tone’ onto other people’s posts that are not really there in the context of the content, but are merely arising out of our own unconscious shadow?”

So what does it say about us when we look at something in another person (positive or negative) and judge them for it? If that which we are judging THEM for wasn’t also present in ourselves, would we even be able to perceive it?

Back to applying this to swinging and nudism, I say it’s these millennials’ loss.

Some of my VERY best experiences in the swinger lifestyle have been with folks not of my generation. Not only have I found most (read: not all) of these “older” people to be much more laid back, kind and generous in personality and pleasure giving, but their experience and wisdom have proven incomparable.

There was a time in our culture when it was cool to hang around older people and gain knowledge from their insight and wisdom.

But in today’s TMZ, reality-TV, youth-idolizing, often materialistic society, we’ve not only lost that, but we glamorize and prioritize the antithesis.

Nevermind the fact that the stereotype of swinging events being mostly attended by older, unattractive, and out of shape people is demonstrably untrue, but if more of these judgmental “young” people would just simply get over their shit, take the plunge and be a little adventurous, they’d see that truth for themselves.

Not only that, but they’d help CONTRIBUTE to the tide turning and there actually being MORE young people at these events.

But for some reason, it’s much easier for most people to shirk personal responsibility and remain judgmental of others.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you’re a body shamer or if you have issues with “old people,” “fat people,” or “unfit people,” then you probably shouldn’t go anywhere near swinging or nudism … OR public pools, shopping malls, theme parks (and DEFINITELY not shopping at Wal-Mart) or any social gathering that challenges your paradigm.

If you did, I guarantee you’d find several sure signs you’re dealing with some less than healthy self-judgment that you’re not wanting to look at critically — and everywhere you go will likely cause someone to trigger this discomfort in you.

Porn is fantastic, but it’s important to understand that this. shit. is. FANTASY, you guys. That isn’t real life.

So many of us aren’t even cognizant of how we’re being programmed by the entertainment we constantly feed to our minds, which instructs us to prefer certain races, body types, looks and ages.

Consider (and mind) your programming.

Let all that judgy shit go. Life is MUCH too short to mess around and miss out on the potential you have for immeasurable fun now. By the time YOU are in your 40s, 50s, and older, you’ll be sitting around complaining about how you wish you had done all that wild and crazy stuff back in your younger days, “when you had your youthful body.”

Trust me, I hear it from older people ALL the time.

Hindsight’s not only a bitch, but it’s 20/20. Don’t be “that guy” or “that gal” who wakes up one day in middle-age and realizes you wasted your youth away being judgmental of all the “old, fat, ugly people,” only to realize … you’ve become one.

Project LOVE and tolerance onto others and that is what will greet you everywhere you go.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”Mark Twain

I Spent a week at a swingers resort and learned way too much about ‘the lifestyle’

By MATT MELTZER

swingers resort

JASON HOFFMAN/THRILLIST

 

Tired of the ‘Same ‘Old, Same Old’? Get to Know Your Alter-Ego

By Warren Peace

You’ve all by now heard of 50 Shades Of Grey ad nauseam, the best-selling book by E. L. James and sadly lousy major motion picture. With over 100 million copies sold worldwide and translated into in 32 languages it has opened up the masses to the BDSM—bondage and discipline, sadism and masochism—world, albeit in a Danielle Steele-inspired romance novel setting. We only hope that Part 2 will be a better movie.

That being said, as a self-proclaimed Fetishist, I have educated myself for more than a decade and lived a D/s relationship for four years and am well versed in BDSM lifestyles, from 24/7 relationships to power-exchange relationships. By pseudo I mean we still had a “vanilla” life, too, so the D/s dynamic wasn’t around the clock.

Having read the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy by EL James, it’s a great attempt to popularize a still difficult subject but, still, there are some things best learned from the real BDSM community.

BDSM is about so much more than sex and, if your curiosity is piqued, then educate yourself first. Discuss your fantasies with your partner, be open and set limits of what is acceptable in a scene, but challenge yourselves, too. That’s key. Straying a bit out of your comfort zone—together—will be thrilling. Learn the rules and etiquette and always be respectful of the other person’s limits. For those who get into extreme play, always use a “safe” word. The importance of that cannot be over emphasized. Let’s say your partner, who’s on the receiving end of a single-tail whipping (punishment?) session, has just reached their emotional or pain threshold on the last strike. One more crack and you can quickly ruin a great time. Now, if it’s a part of “real” punishment in a 24/7-type relationship, then the Dom, Master, Domme or Mistress should be experienced enough to know when to stop and not cause lasting harm. If not, then you need to stop and learn, too.

BDSM is similar to extreme sports in that we challenge our own ability to overcome pain, endurance and enjoy the chemical reactions our brain produces with the added benefit of sexual excitement. It can be both an aphrodisiac and something deeper psychologically and a combination of both. And let’s face it, the outfits are H-O-T.

And if you think you’re too old to start, well, think again. Jane Fonda has been quite vocal this past year about having the best sex of her life and she’s in her 70s. The owner of one of the largest fetish clubs in Chicago says more than half their members are older than 50. I’ve attended many events with the bulk of the attendees were well into their 60s. Everyone is welcome in Kinksterville.

Whether in private or at fun fetish parties, take the opportunity to experiment and challenge your norms. One of the benefits of parties is meeting like-minded people, making friends and learning from others where you’ll be able to explore your more daring alter ego for a night. Open up the hedonist in you. Sex doesn’t end at menopause, or man-o-pause. The key to lasting great sex is truth, honesty, no shame, no guilt and fearlessness. If you need help “breaking the ice”, I highly recommend the best game for initiating a threesome/group sex which is Couplicious. These people really nailed it and it was focus grouped and tested over three years by some of the leading lifestyle party planners in the swing world. They plan on releasing a card set for BDSM as well and the game has so many variations it never seems to get old and is a ton of fun for laughter to getting busy later on. You can really have fun with this game! It’s also great for couples getting to know each others likes sexually.

Share your fantasies with your loved one—it may just turn out to be 50 shades of awesome.

If you would like to learn more, I recommend a book on BDSM (Amazon) or join the free site FetLife.com that’s a great place to start and meet like-minded members from all continents, find local “munches” (public meet ‘n greets) and parties. Just ask anyone a question. Almost everyone is there to support your interest.

The BIG Difference Between Poly People And Swingers Is Smaller Than You’d Think

The Major Differences Between Polyamorous Relationships And The Swinger Lifestyle

Because it can be kind of confusing, even for the people involved.

Even though there are those who are judgmental on both sides of the swinger vs. polyamorous fence, I think there is a lot of overlap between the two and personally feel perfectly happy keeping a foot in both worlds.

That said, I do understand why there is some confusion between the two because it isn’t always clear when something is poly and when it’s ‘play.’

There are various types of swingers living the ‘swinger lifestyle.’

There are plenty of swingers who are very clear about the fact that the primary boundary in their relationships is to avoid catching feelings for, as Naughty By Nature called it, OPP. For those who are emotionally monogamous, this makes the line in the sand simple to understand. If it’s not your married partner, then it’s play. You might get butthurt by rejection, but being offended is a long way from being broken hearted.

Then there are swingers who prefer their sex come along with friendship. Maybe they like to be friends first and foremost. Maybe they like to have sex first and foremost and consider friendship with sexual partners secondary. In either case, these swingers are slipping down the slope towards starting to behave like poly people whether they want to embrace that term or not.

 

There are also levels of friendships. Some people really just acquaintances, some are besties, some are f*ck buddies, and some are closer than family. You may hang out constantly if the sex is great or if they are just fun people.

But at what point does “like” become “love”?

I love my good vanilla friends and would be there for then for anything. That love still isn’t the same as it is with my partners, but then I’m not having sex with them. So at what point does that type of love cross the line?

On one hand, it doesn’t matter.

As long as you are with swingers with a common understanding of how this game works then it is fine to have strong bonds with the people you swing with. Even if it’s unspoken, experienced people know the deal — you can be good friends … but only up to a point. For many, if you cross the line and are seen you as a threat to a primary relationship, you are likely to be dumped, cut off from sex and friendship and never spoken to again.

Maybe that sounds rough, but that’s the way it goes.

Then there are the pure polyamory people.

Some of them argue that any close intimate relationship falls under polyamory, even if there is no sex. By this view, people who you are good friends with would count as a polyamorous relationship. And if you cuddle or have sex with them, then it is definitely a relationship, and since you have multiples then it is considered polyamory.

Trouble can ensue if you cross poly-leaning people with swingers — especially if said swingers are also poly.

If poly people are crossed with regular swingers, they will learn the ropes, even if it is the hard way. And if poly-leaning people start hanging out with swingers who like friends with benefits and have a history of being poly, they sometimes assume that what is going on is also poly.

Assuming is always an especially bad thing in both swinging and poly, as everything needs to be based on clear communication.  

So my answer to the question, “When is it poly?” is this:

It is poly when all parties involved have clearly communicated and mutually agreed it’s poly. It’s poly when you discuss the nature of the relationship and the level of commitment. Without that, you may very likely be mistaking a good swinging friendship for a polyamorous relationship.

Here is a partial list of things that may be viewed as crossing the line for those who are strictly swinger or may confuse you into thinking you’re in a poly relationship when the other person doesn’t see it that way at all.

  • Cuddling
  • Kissing
  • Kink/Fetish play
  • Spending the night
  • Spending the weekend together
  • Spending lots of time together repeatedly
  • Vacations together
  • Showering together
  • In general doing vanilla things together
  • Getting together to hang out and not having sex
  • Separate dates (if you are a couple)
  • Referring to it as a date
  • Separate room sex
  • Bareback sex
  • Agreeing to be fluid bonded
  • Talking about mundane vanilla friendship topics like work or your childhood
  • Talking about polyamory in a generic sense
  • Meeting their kids
  • Getting birthday gifts
  • Getting Christmas gifts
  • Getting Valentine’s gifts
  • Loaning money
  • Saying “I love you”

You may not agree with that last one, but some people use if a lot more freely than others.

Some will say it in the heat of the moment.

Some will say it to people they still just view as friends.

So if you want a poly relationship and are playing with swingers, use your BEST communication skills to ensure everyone shares the same view of what each relationship is about.

 

Listen now: Non-monogamy is riding a wave. Recently CNN had a positive article about the fact that more and more young people are choosing some flavor non-monogamy over traditional relationship forms. Awareness continues to grow exponentially, but with that comes the desperate need for a place to go to ask questions. Like us, our guest on this episode of ‘Life on the Swingset: The Podcast,’ the polyamory pundit Andre Shakti has submitted herself to the often scary world of giving advice.

 

Loud Carnal Sounds Interrupt Tennis Match

An outdoor professional tennis match in Florida came to a brief halt amid sounds of loud sex.

Frances Tiafoe was about to serve Mitchell Krueger during their Tuesday night match in the Sarasota Open when he paused and flashed a smile of disbelief over the sound of a woman moaning in pleasure. Broadcaster Mike Cation initially described the sounds as coming from someone playing a pornographic video in the stands, but later said they were coming from an apartment nearby.

Both players had fun with the situation while the crowd laughed. Krueger hit a ball sharply in the direction of the sounds, and Tiafoe screamed, “It can’t be that good!”

Cation later saluted the responsible couple on Twitter, writing “Sounds like you guys had a good time!”

I May Love The Swinger Lifestyle, But I Still Get Jealous

And I’m working on it…

greeneyes

Before I met my wife, I didn’t think I was a jealous person. I was never the type to have a problem with close male friends, time spent with others or friendships with exes. I always thought I was very secure and confident in what I had to offer and in the fact that she chose me — and if she later chose otherwise, that was her loss.

But when my wife and I started dating, that proved no longer to be true. She had one close male friend I very much disliked and whose friendship with her put me on edge. I never told her to stop spending time with him, but I was open with her about my feelings. My personal dislike of him meant that she, almost by necessity, spent less time with him, and their friendship faded.

When we first began exploring non-monogamy, seeing my wife flirting with the wrong guy would sometimes send my stomach into knots.

I didn’t like feeling like a jealous person — and not just because “jealous” is a four-letter-word in this community. It just didn’t jive with my mental image of myself.

There must be something else going on, I thought. Sure, I love my wife in a way, and to a degree, I’d never felt during previous relationships, but could that really be all there was?

Over time, I was able to recognize and work through some of my other fears, particularly my concerns about being replaced as my wife’s “favorite” and “best,” but there was clearly another distinct feeling I could not understand.

I found another piece of the puzzle during a swinger party we attended with a close female friend of ours — a woman whom we’ve gotten to know very well and who we now consider a close friend even outside of the non-monogamy sphere. Watching her flirt and play at that party elicited many of the same “jealousy” feelings in me I’d previously had with my wife.

This doesn’t make sense, I thought. Of course, I care a great deal for his woman, but my feelings for her were not on a par with those for my wife. Why, then, was I having the same, and new, “jealous” response?

This all finally clicked when I realized there were several guys at the party who elicited none of these feelings in me when they flirted with her.

“What makes these men different,” I wondered.

One day, after watching my wife flirt at a party and feeling those hallmark stomach knots, then later watching her go down on a different guy and having no problems at all, it hit me:

I’m not feeling jealous when men flirt with my wife and this woman we both care about — I am feeling protective of them.

The difference comes from the fact that I want these women treated with respect. I want their safety and consent absolutely guaranteed and I want them to be eager and active participants who are well taken care of. If those things are true, then I’m totally fine with them being with other men.

A guy who goes slowly, behaves respectfully and shows he’s interested in more than just “gettin’ some” is going to be someone I’m totally OK with. If I don’t feel like these basic things are true — if a guy comes off as sleazy, presumes consent, or seems like he’s trying to push her limits — that’s what triggers my stomach-in-knots reaction.

For the record, sometimes the woman in question agrees with me, but often it’s clear their tolerance is much higher than mine.

You might say that this is some kind of patriarchal, anti-feminist response I need to get over. These are two brilliant, well-educated, and responsible women who don’t need me making their decisions for them. And of course, that’s right.

But my reaction is also partly based on my knowledge that they both have trouble saying ‘No.’ They’re people pleasers who don’t like to rock the boat. They’re both working on that, and again, it’s not my place to turn their ‘Yes’ into a ‘No.’ But I will not hesitate to check in and give them another chance to change their minds or offer to be the bad-guy who can verbalize their ‘No’ even if they wouldn’t.

It’s often said that the things that we hate about others are the things we hate about ourselves.

That’s definitely at play here.

I am uncomfortable with the idea of “seduction” (even if I will toot my own horn and say that I can be pretty good at it). I’d rather live in a world of explicit, verbal consent. But I have pushed my luck more than a few times, and the reason I make such a point of emphasizing consent, in my own play and in theirs, is because it’s something I’ve had to make a conscious effort with. I expect the same kind of effort, and frankly an even higher level of success at it, from men who want my approval to be with women I care about.

Do those men need it? No.

Do these women need to care about it? Definitely not.

But being honest with myself and with them about my feelings is vital to this kind of non-monogamy, and to the self-knowledge I’ve been able to glean from these experiences has been crucial to that communication.

This article was originally published at Life On The Swingset. Reprinted with permission from the author.