I knew for a long time that monogamy wasn’t for me, but I was scared to broach the subject with my husband. What if he said no, he didn’t want to open up our relationship? Then I would have a decision to make, but I knew I didn’t want to end my marriage. I love my husband and the family we’ve created with our son. When I finally asked him two years ago, he agreed, saying what do we have to lose?

In a sense, he was right. We had already grown apart, and our sex life wasn’t much of a life. He figured if our relationship wasn’t going to make it, at least we could have some fun as it slowly dissolved. It wasn’t exactly the answer I had hoped for, but at least he didn’t say no.

I had always read that in order to successfully open up a relationship, it is important to start from a strong and healthy place. That there must be trust, love and mutual respect. Opening up is not going fix what’s broken. In fact, it could make the chasm deeper. I had waited for years for us to get to that stronger place so that we could consider this. Then, I gave up waiting.

We both knew it was a risk, but we were motivated. I felt I had no choice. This was what I needed in order to feel fully alive, to have the option to explore my erotic feelings with others. My husband felt he had no choice but to let me explore since, as he is fond of saying, I’m going to do whatever the hell I want anyway. Plus, he figured he might get to have some fun along the way. (Read another writer's story about swinging in How I Became a Swinger.)

Starting Out as Swingers

We decided to start off doing the swing thing. We played as a couple with other couples or in other group settings. Thankfully, so far we have defied the conventional wisdom about starting from a place of strength and security in the relationship. Opening up has brought us closer, forced us to communicate about our feelings, and most definitely brought our sex life back to life. Now, just two years later, it is hard for me to remember what it was like before we had sex with other people.

Yet, our success has not come easily. There have been hurt feelings that turned into arguments. But, by talking things out, we keep coming through a little bit stronger each time and learning more about what we want and what we can currently handle, which are not always the same thing.

It’s been a lens through which we have been able to focus in on our cravings, both sexual and emotional. You can try to separate the two, but I’ve found that where one is being satisfied the other sneaks in looking to be fulfilled as well.

Some of our discoveries have been unexpected, some incredibly important and others merely entertaining. Here are the four things I've learned by swinging with my husband.

Men Are Natural Born Cock Suckers

My husband had never sucked a cock before, but once one was presented to him he eagerly went for it. He kept a steady rhythm, gradually increasing speed, used his hands and a strong sucking action. No hesitation, no stopping to ask am I doing it right (as I find myself doing at times). Yes, go for the balls, but handle them with care. It was just as Elaine had concluded in the "Seinfeld" episode where she unsuccessfully tries to turn a gay man into her straight boyfriend - my husband had 24-hour access to that same equipment, and he clearly knew exactly how to work it.

It’s not just my husband. All of these other bi-curious/bicomfortable/heteroflexible men are all less experienced than the average gay man or straight woman when it comes to cock sucking, but they have the enthusiasm and the inside knowledge that guides them like a pro.

Getting Turned on Feels So Much Better Than Getting Jealous

If you really want to screw up your relationship, try jealousy. I have felt how it numbs you until you can’t even form words to explain to your partner why you are being so cold to him, how it sucks the joy out of you and leaves you feeling lost, alone and unwanted. And for what? It serves no healthy purpose. It creates distance between you and your partner. This new empty space is a breeding ground for sadness, anger and resentment.

When we started swinging, I had to ask myself why I get jealous. The answer: Because of my own insecurities. F**k that. I wanted an open relationship and I knew I would have to learn a new way to manage feelings around my partner being with someone else. Compersion is the opposite of jealousy, and it means being happy for my partner when he is finding joy with someone else. I had no idea how I would get there. (Read more about this in When Your Partner Sleeps With Someone Else - and It Makes You Happy.)

Yet, the first time we were with another woman I found that watching him desire her got me sexually excited. As he eagerly sucked her nipples and fondled her full breasts and they both moaned with pleasure, I was turned on. I, too, played with her breasts and kissed her and as he fingered her. And, I wanted nothing more than for him to have her and for her to enjoy my man. Even when she sucked his cock voraciously in a way I never had, I was so hot. And, yes, I was happy for him.

I am not saying that I never get jealous, but I have learned that the more I embrace what is turning him on in another person - be it intelligence, beauty, or compassion - and the more I move into those feelings with him, the happier we both are.

Size Does Matter

Size matters a great deal - to men. It just so happened that the very first man that we invited to join us as a third for sex had a huge cock. It was certainly the largest I had ever experienced. My husband was already nervous about how it would feel to watch his wife have sex with another guy. Would he feel jealous? Would he be comparing himself? He had no idea just how much he would be comparing himself. So, even though a huge cock isn’t what I need to get off, to feel sexy, or to experience the eroticism I am craving, for my husband it was hard not to fixate on it. The experience left him feeling a mixture of excitement and inadequacy.

It took him some time to recover from the experience and be able to process it and regain his confidence in bed with me.

It’s Easier to Handle Rejection if You Already Have a Partner Who Loves You

Getting dumped never feels good, but as a couple, we go through it together. We’ve been dumped after meeting people once for a drink (decided they weren’t looking for us after all), after having sex with a couple (they decided to close up), and even before meeting a couple after spending weeks trying to coordinate schedules due to childcare and work and life responsibilities. Their email rejection asked if it was OK for them to cancel our date and “back burner” us for now as they were so busy doing sporty things, being parents, working, and having success at f**king some other couple.

As a couple looking for other couples in the world of online dating, we’re constantly putting ourselves out there. Trying to find good chemistry between two people can be challenging enough; finding good chemistry between four people - and taking into account all of the complexities that can be happening between the couples themselves - brings us into some tricky territory. Like the time we had already met another couple for drinks. It seemed like we had good chemistry going, so we planned a hot date, which they cancelled at the last minute. Was I flirting too much with the male of the couple? When he wrote a text to me saying “She gets jealous” was the subtext “Uh oh she gets jealous and now I’m in trouble” or was it “Ooooh she gets jealous and tell me more.”

Considering the last minute cancellation I’m thinking it was the “Uh oh.”

It’s likely we’re going to be rejected some of the time. Yet, we’re not alone after the rejection; we can process our thoughts and feelings together. Although we would love to find people that we connect with and feel attracted to and enjoy spending time with in and out of bed, we’ve got that already with at least one person who’s committed to sticking around.