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'Light petting' blues 

Update phrases before proceeding with plan

My wife and I have been married four and a half years, and we both are bi. We've been propositioned by -- and played with -- a number of sexy friends heteroflexible enough not to want/need full swap. So our play with others has been limited to oral and light petting.

We've now been approached by a very sexy couple, a straight guy and bi female, who want to do a full hetero swap. The male is not interested in any bi play. He is also borderline overly intense about his attraction to my wife. His girlfriend is very hot, and playing with her could be fun. Thing is, unlike cuckolds, I have a hang-up about another guy doing the full hetero swap with my wife. Light petting and oral are fine, but I feel that saving something "just for us" gives us an anchor in this sea of swingers.

Am I too square and insecure? Should I try and open myself to the idea of another guy screwing my wife? If we ever do full swap, how can we avoid the pitfalls of insecurity and jealousy? Will you please advise?

Swap Curious

Sure, SC, but the first bit of advice I wanna give you is rhetorical. Only pre-Vatican II nuns and modern Mormon virgins use the phrase "light petting." People are going to have a hard time taking you seriously as swingers -- hell, they're going to have a hard time taking you seriously as nonvirgins -- if you insist on saying "light petting" instead of "mutual masturbation" or "manual stimulation."

As for "full hetero swap," well, that's pretty clunky, too, but it is a phrase that actual swingers use so I'm going to let it slide. In the Swinging Sea, "soft swap" means you only do oral and manual with others; "full swap" means you do full-blown vaginal intercourse. So you're soft swappers contemplating full swapping, SC, not light petters.

OK, on to your question ...

Not all swingers seek to avoid insecurity and jealousy. Gently or aggressively manipulating those feelings is, for many swingers, an intrinsic part of the thrill. But all swingers want to avoid the pitfalls of insecurity and jealousy. And how do they do it? By having frank, honest discussions and setting clear, mutually acceptable boundaries. So long as you know what you're comfortable with, you and the wife should be able to safely navigate the potentially treacherous emotional dynamics that are an unavoidable aspect of swinging.

Up to now your boundaries have worked out well: Manual stim and oral -- soft swap -- is OK; some other guy's dick pounding away at your wife's pussy -- full swap -- is not OK.

Should you now abandon boundaries that have served you so well up to this point? Well, you wouldn't be writing me, and you wouldn't be signing off as "Swap Curious," if you weren't, you know, curious. (Insight like that is why I get paid the big bucks.) It sounds to me like, as much as you might want to give full swap a try, you're not sure you can wholly trust this guy. You describe him as "borderline overly intense" about his desire to fuck the living shit out of your wife. But at the same time, you seem attracted to his energy and, of course, to his wife.

So what do you do?

Test them. Suggest to this other couple that, at first, you would like to play under your current rules: soft swap only, but no bi play, since he's not into that. If this other guy really wants your wife that badly, he should be thrilled to get a crack at her even if he doesn't get to fuck her. If after agreeing to a night of oral and manual, this other guy verbally suggests upgrading to full swap midscene, well, he gets an F. If he physically attempts to upgrade to the full hetero -- if he physically attempts to initiative vaginal intercourse -- he gets an F-.

But if this other couple demonstrates that they can respect your boundaries before you agree to shift them, well, then they might be good candidates for satisfying your curiosity about full swap.

Tell me the name of my fetish! In intimate situations, all I want is the foreplay portion of a hookup: kissing, petting, dry humping. But it goes no further than both parties being shirtless, i.e., no oral, no penetration, no getting off. Is there a name for this fetish?

My Own Crazy Kink

Indeed there is, MOCK. It's called "second base."

I am a 26-year-old straight male interested in ballbusting. At a party, I met a lesbian who goes by "Buck." She's 20, dresses like a boy, and made it clear that she hates males and their anatomy. Before agreeing to play a friendly game of Truth or Dare, she specified that she would not "do anything" with a boy. My friend Kelly asked, "Would you punch a boy?"

"Where?" Buck asked.

My friend Kelly knows about my fetish, so you can guess the "where" she had in mind. So a few minutes into the game, this beautiful butch lesbian punches me in the balls! Then she tries to get someone to dare her to do it again! Someone dares her to punch me in the balls again, and again, and she keeps talking to me, making sure I'm OK with this, and that I'm not mad at her for doing it -- and also making sure that I'm not enjoying it.

There's nothing I'd like more than to be abused by Buck again. But I don't think I can ask without freaking her out. If she hates boys and wants to hurt them, I'm a willing victim -- but I've had years to come to terms with my odd fetish, and she hasn't. Can you advise me?

Craves Ballbusting Tomboy

Assuming Buck is a butch dyke and not a retarded one, CBT, she knows damn well that you were getting off on her busting your balls. I mean, come on. Would any man submit to being punched in the sack repeatedly during a "friendly" game of Truth or Dare if it didn't turn him on? And the fact that Buck paused between punches to make sure you weren't enjoying it indicates to me that she strongly suspected you were enjoying it. Otherwise, why seek your reassurance to the contrary again and again?

And she was enjoying it, too, CBT, otherwise she wouldn't have egged people on to dare her to do it again. But clearly she needed some cover, some plausible deniability, some excuse that allowed her to engage in a technically nonsexual but highly charged -- and totally public! -- erotic encounter with a man without risking her man-hating dyke cred. Which is ultimately why she extracted all those public and, no doubt, barely credible denials from you. ("Nope, hating this! Ow! Really! Do it again!")

So should you come clean and offer Buck your balls for more abuse? OF COURSE. Yes, you risk freaking her out -- but if Buck really is so naive as to believe that this was just an innocent game of ballbustin' Truth or Dare, CBT, then only a good freak-out will prevent her from stumbling into nonconsensual sexual encounters with strange men in the future. ("Sure, I'll let you massage my feet/trim my pubes/drink my piss -- but only if you're not enjoying it, OK?")

Finally, CBT, what have you got to lose? Buck hates males and their anatomy, so it's not like there's a friendship on the line here. You risk nothing by coming clean and stand to gain regular ballbustings. Go for it.

Download the Savage Lovecast (Dan's weekly podcast) every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage. To ask Dan Savage a question, write to mail@savagelove.net.

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