21st Feb2014

Rejection Sucks

by St. Juan and Marie

Whether you’re the giver or the receiver, rejection just sucks.  For those with a fair amount of insecurities, the sting sometimes lingers long after the bite. I tried to ignore dealing with rejection for quite some time. I hated telling people “no” and I limited my interactions with others because I was terribly afraid of being told “no”. On the other hand, my husband seemed to have very little issues with being rejected. He also didn’t have issues telling people no, but I always joke that he’d sleep with anyone who had a pulse so he really didn’t have to tell anyone “no”.  However, as consenting adults, we should aspire to dealing with rejection in a way that respects everyone’s feelings, no matter what end of the rejection rainbow we fall.

“I am good at walking away. Rejection teaches you how to reject.”
― Jeanette WintersonWeight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles

The more you practice being rejected, the easier it becomes to accept rejection. The first time it happens, it’s rather ego deflating and you ponder on it for quite sometimes. (Well, I did. I over analyze. It’s my super power.) Subsequent times, you shake it off faster and move on, beginning to realize it may not be you after all. You can’t be everything to everyone no matter how much you want it. It doesn’t matter how beautiful and amazing you think you may be, everyone has distinct tastes, desires, and needs that may or may not include what you have to offer . If you’re yellow, you can’t be red. If you’re a giraffe, you can’t be an elephant. You just are who you are.

I have also recently discovered that being the Rejecter also helps you accept rejection even more than before. I absolutely abhorred telling people “no”. It made me feel so bad. I’m more comfortable with it now that we’ve had practice doing it. It was frightening the first time we told a couple we weren’t interested. Getting over that initial hump is the first step on the road to escaping the fear. Soon after the experience, the fear subsided and I felt quite liberated. I don’t expect everyone we approach to be into us, so why was I feeling so bad about not being into everyone that approached us? It was a nice feeling to know I actually honored what I wanted.

We recently had a date. As always on first dates, I was skeptical and quite nervous. Imagine a scarred, snippy Chihuahua and that pretty much sums me up. (Of course, my husband is the only one whoever sees this. It’s “game on” when we actually meet people.) I knew within the first 30 seconds of meeting them that playtime was most likely off the table. After dinner was over, I was fully certain. They were very interesting people and had an allure, but not anything that was alluring me, either physically or mentally. I thought maybe if we went out again and hung out, perhaps. St. Juan and I had a long conversation the next day and it helped me realize that I had ZERO interest in another meeting with them.

At first, I felt bad about this and tried to think of all the ways we could avoid talking to them again so we wouldn’t have to tell them “we think you’re nice but………”. (I know, it’s pretty shitty. Sometimes that scared little 14-year-old girl comes out and I have to remind her she’s an adult now and needs to grow up.) I could easily just take the pussy way out of this and make St.Juan take care of it. However, I’m the one that is pulling the cards off the table so I feel inclined to be the bearer of this uncomfortable news. (At this point you may be thinking “how do you know they wanted to even play with ya’ll???” Well, because they told us in so many words and I just avoided eye contact because I don’t like that kind of pressure. See reference above to 14 yr. old girl)

So, I’m still at a crossroads on how to do this. Text message? Email? No way in hell I’m doing a phone conversation. Do I write a lengthy message explaining my four point thesis on rejection and how I am using this as an opportunity for growth? Do I just be blunt and risk hurting feelings?

 

Dear Alluring People Who Aren’t Alluring Enough For Me:

It’s not me, it’s you…..Wait! It is me, not you?!?! Why does this sound so weird and awkward? We don’t fit. This isn’t going to work. I know ya’ll have all kinds of cool stories and stuff, but I wasn’t feeling it. There was no chemistry. Sorry. Why am I sorry? I shouldn’t be sorry, because then I’m apologizing for my feelings and that’s lame. What I’m really sorry for is that I suck so much at rejecting people without making it super awkward for everyone involved. (Super Power #2, btw)

Good luck in life. If you ever see us again, let’s just act like old friends and pretend this never happened. Okay, Peace Out,

St. Juan and Marie (who’s as picky as hell and makes EVERY THING real awkward when she has to do stuff she doesn’t like)

One day, I’ll be much better at this. I think we all have to realize that most people are doing the best they can. Most of the time rejection has nothing to do with the person being rejected, but more about the person that is doing the rejection. How they approach rejecting people also says a lot ABOUT them and how they value other’s feelings. If they are ambivalent or assholes, that’s their actions to own and has nothing to do with you. They don’t have to explain themselves or their reasons on why they “don’t want you”. Once again, it really has nothing to do with you. Pick up, move on and as cliche as it sounds, “there are a lot of other fish in the sea”. Really, tons!!!! Cast your line again and your will eventually make a fine catch 🙂

There are a lot of factors to consider when creating a four way connection. More often than not, we aren’t going to connect with every couple we meet. We aren’t in this for the numbers and friendships are higher on our list of wants and needs. I’m goofy as fuck and although I seem tough as nails on the outside, I’m a sensitive mess on the inside. I need to be with other couples that understand and are cool with this concept, because in addition to being a phenomenal lays, we really do make even better friends.

I’m ending this, because I’m really rambling now. ~M

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13th Feb2014

St. Juan and Marie

by St. Juan and Marie

Who are St. Juan and Marie?

This is us. This is our story, in less than a 1,00 words ;D

For the most part, we are your normal, average married couple. Happily married 17 years, two kids, two full time jobs, house in the suburbs, and Cleaveresque family portraits all over our walls. No one would ever suspect our “alternative lifestyle” activities.  Actually, we only have one family member (my sister) that is aware of what happens when we go out with “friends”. For the most part, I’m pretty sure she’s done hearing the details, throwing it aside as a piece of our life she just can’t comprehend, just like the rest of the general monogamous population.

Our open marriage fails to fit in the square box given to us so many years ago. We technically only identified with being open for the last couple of years. During the summer of 2007, we started dipping our toes into the swinging community and enjoyed fully diving in during March of 2011. Yes, we took it slow, up until that point. Then we got caught up in a whirlwind fucking frenzy.

Amazing doesn’t even begin to describe our experiences.  Even mediocre encounters gave us new perspectives and different ways to define our wants and needs. Despite the fun we were having, not everything was rainbows and butterflies.

My sister has asked why we do this if it’s not always fun or the least bit stressful. For me, I have lots of reasons. The most important being the personal development and self-realization it has created within me. My marriage has reaped the benefits because it has caused a complete and utter revaluation of trust, security, and reliance on each other.

What really threw a kink into our perceived reality of swinging was a couple that actually became very good friends with us. Things progressed with them to a place I had no business being. At that point, what I didn’t understand was swinging could be anything you make of it. One person’s definition of it doesn’t necessarily have to match up with another’s. Not realizing we could modify and adjust how we managed our relationships with others, I shamed myself for actually developing feelings for another man, but I will refrain from rambling and stay focused. That is another blog topic entirely.

My inherit nature has always been to shut down and not share when things get too difficult, because if you ignore it, it will just go away, right? Apparently, not so! My husband actually wanted me to talk about things and tell him how I was feeling about all the new and exciting changes that were happening in our relationship. I know, this is kind of a chick thing, but we role reverse A LOT in our relationship.

It was right around this point I thought it would be a good idea to try out single dating (which again is another blog all in itself), but we weren’t communicating properly so it turned out to be quite a challenge for us. So much that I realized we needed help. If we were going to “open up” like this I needed to do some serious personal work and we needed to learn to communicate differently with each other. Our old ways weren’t working with this new relationship format.

A couple of years of ago, a friend of my referred a family/marriage counselor to me for a girlfriend and her husband. I kept the number in my phone. Was it for “just in case” or perhaps because I’m lazy and I never clean out my phone? I don’t know, but it was still there. My girlfriend wasn’t impressed because she claimed the counselor was too unconventional and “different”. Those who go against the grain always impress me, so I called her to set up a phone appointment. It was the best decision I’ve made in long while. She took us in that very evening and for almost two years has been our relationship coach. There are no guidelines, no rule book, no user manual for this open lifestyle and I’m not very good at figuring things out on my own.

We’re in a good place right now. At this time, we stick to couple-couple play. Our time together is limited as is, so we use the weekends to reconnect and hangout with old friends and new couples. Separate room play is not an option, as I feel it blurs the lines for us way too much. We are very go-with-the-flow, laid back sort of folk. We want to have fun and enjoy our friends in any given situation.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s OK to actually like someone you’re fucking. A mental/quasi-emotional connection doesn’t scare me away like it initially did. In fact, I prefer that. I’ve come a long way, and I’m proud of that. We’ve got issues, and that is normal, not shameful. I want to share with others about our marriage and how we manage our friends with benefits relationships. Although I would like to converse with others about our experiences, sometimes I really just need to get things off my chest, out of my mind, and on to metaphorical paper. Apparently, I’m game for all kinds of therapy.

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07th Feb2014

Ripping Off the Labels

by St. Juan and Marie

Whatever the label is, it carries a specific connotation along with it. Sometimes it’s positive. Other times it’s positively awful. I suppose labeling is a form of categorization. Categorization is also a form of boxing/storing. I don’t want to categorized, lumped together with others. I, like everyone else in the world, am an individual with special qualities, needs, wants and desires. I’m as guilty of labeling people as anyone. I’ve lived a large part of my life trying to determine who people are based on their labels. Perhaps through age/maturity, it’s become increasingly apparent to me I have to actually rip off the labels in order to see who the person is underneath. Even with my own self.

Our entrance into the “lifestyle” years ago was clouded by numerous labels and like a lot of others, I bought into wearing them. I wore the Swinger name badge loud and proud. What I failed to realize was while wearing that label, I also tried to epitomize the definitions society tacked on to it. That was my fault. That was me trying to be what I thought was expected of me, and not me being my authentic self. (Honestly, I’m still trying to work on figuring that out.)

On the surface, it seems the larger part of society defines swinging as a sexual activity between couples with no strings attached. A purely physical connection, void of feelings other than those generated in your nether regions. I took that seriously, especially when we ran into many other couples who also were in this to “just have fun”. I wasn’t trying to make friends. I was trying to get laid. I’m stubborn, obstinate and had to figure out on my own that wasn’t me. The label I was making myself wear wasn’t who I was; however, keeping up the facade was a lot easier than ripping it off and figuring out who and what I really wanted to be in this “lifestyle”.

[quote]I wonder how many other newbies start off this way?[/quote]

I wonder how many couples want the thrill of fucking but have ignored/forgotten emotions and feelings are attached to this most primitive of act? Most likely the initial feeling created is lust, overwhelming lust when you’re really attracted to someone. That’s a confusing feeling for someone who’s been in a monogamous relationship for almost 20 years. I’d go out on a limb and say it’s generally a confusing feeling for most mono-normative thinking couples on a whole. “WTF am I feeling” kinda shit. I love my husband, why can’t I stop thinking about fucking this other guy (or girl, whatever)!?!? Idk, maybe it was just me. Perhaps I was the only emotional moron in the swinging universe who felt like this. I was embarrassed, ashamed, and at a total loss when I realized my husband had been feeling the same way towards someone else.

So what to do when this happens??? Well, there’s lots of options depending on your level of relationship and emotional security. You could revel in it. You could bail and pull out of swinging altogether. You could start with open, honest dialogue with the opposing couple. You could be a train-wreck and passively aggressive sabotage your most meaningful relationship. Unfortunately, my preference was for the latter. As you’ll hear frequently, swinging will amplify the best and most likely the WORST parts of your relationship. I’m not sure a lot of the people I run into are ready for that. I sure wasn’t. Luckily, I had a spouse whose emotional maturity superseded my own ten-fold. His love and concern for my well-being brought us through the toughest of times. That’s one reason I happily refer to him as my St.Juan. It’s a nickname that suits him quite well. I’m glad we endured and I’m equally as impressed with the “new me” that has emerged. I’m not wearing any labels, nor am I placing them on anyone else. This is just me, take it or leave it. I’m finally ok with that. ~Marie

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