I used to be that person. The one that judges and incriminates without all the details, because the only side that mattered was mine. The world of being narrow-minded and judgmental was my safe place. If I didn’t understand something, I was opposed to it, no questions asked. It was my understanding that there was right and wrong, and only I could determine who was on which side. There was no margin for error, no reasoning, or potential for hearing an alternate view. I was told that I was a conservative, and all conservatives must think alike, or you aren’t a conservative at all. There is no grey area or exceptions to the rule. I spend much of my young adult life adhering to this perspective. I found myself arguing a side that I had not given much thought; I was just always told that was the right way. When I say ‘conservative,’ I don’t mean a conservative political standpoint, I mean in general. My mention of conservative in this blog has nothing to do with politics; it has to do with being traditional.

I would describe myself as a puppet in my twenties. My early thirties came with questions. I asked questions and the kind that made people uncomfortable, whether it involved religion, politics, or sexuality. It was the kind of mindset that could cause you to lose friends, or at least discover who your real friends are. I was consistently a people pleaser and a do-gooder. I would always be ‘Switzerland’ in debates about heated topics. That started to fade as I would ask ‘what if’ questions. I began to see things as they were, not how social media disguised them. I understood that there is a lot of grey area in life and people were not always as ‘good’ as they wanted you to believe.

I realized that people were human, fallible, and flawed. As my husband entered into the world of swinging or having an open marriage, I met more people. The friends I made in the swinging lifestyle became the new normal for me. For the first time in my life, I was accepted, even if I wasn’t like somebody else. Swingers are not all alike, and there is likely more diversity among my friends now that before entering the lifestyle. My swinger friends have become my closest friends. The lifestyle community is a tight-knit one, one that people rely on each other with the utmost trust and discretion. My friends in the lifestyle are people who trust me with the most in-depth, intimate details of their life. It is the most freeing time of my life, where I don’t worry about being accepted or judged for falling short. I get to be me, a person that I have just discovered. I am a person that decides what I accept and agree with, and I am a person that can choose where I put my mental and emotional energy when it comes to hot topics in politics, sexuality, or other beliefs. Sadly, it wasn’t until I was almost at age 40 before I met my true self. It is sad to me that I spent so many years of my life adhering to what I was told to believe and hardened. But I am glad that I am free now and can live the way I choose to live. The swinger lifestyle has done more for me that just enhance my marriage, and it helped me to discover my own identity. I love the lifestyle, my friends, the acceptance, and the freedom that it has given me. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.