9 likes 6 years ago
, a new matchmaking site for couples in open relationships, launched in the US last week, aimed at so-called “ethical cheaters” who are honest about their desires to swing with other couples and singles. More than 36,000 global members joined the site within the first week, according to the New York Post. Married mother-of-two Ali*, 42, a personal assistant from New Jersey, explains her love of swinging. Ali: Shaking hands with the beaming grandmother and grandfather at the baptism of our friends’ daughter, I tell them how close my husband, Ray, and I are to the baby’s mum and dad. But I don’t say exactly how close. After all, a Catholic church on Long Island is not exactly the best place to explain that we met on the New York City swinging circuit. Or, indeed, that, until relatively recently, the four of us would regularly have sex together after double dates. Ray and I have been happily married for 15 years, but we’re polyamorous — meaning that we actively welcome like-minded couples into our bed. We truly believe it has made our relationship stronger. It all started in the summer of 2008, soon after the birth of our second daughter and [when] I was in the throes of post-partum depression. Before we had children, we were pretty wild — we’d have sex five or six times a week, and even did the deed in Central Park after open-air concerts like SummerStage. But now I was thinking: “Is this it?” We had our three-bedroom starter home in the suburbs and, though we loved our girls, I worried our lives would become boring. Plus, my libido was non-existent. Then, one night, we watched a late-night documentary series about swingers called Real Sex. Ray, who, like me, has always been open-minded, leaned over to me and said: “You know, that’s something I can imagine us doing when we’re older.” I don’t know what came over me, but I replied: “Why wait until we’re older?” Ray just stared at me, open-mouthed. Around the same time, I’d started chatting online with a woman I’d met through the mum’s website . I’d told her how depressed I was, and we just clicked. “Have you thought about swinging?” she asked me one day. Turns out she and her husband, married for 20 years, were into wife-swapping. “You don’t have to sleep with every couple you meet,” she told me. “You have to be selective and become friends first.” Soon, the prospect of swinging was all I could think about. And Ray was really into the idea, too. I remember the exact day I snapped out of my depression — my 36th birthday in August 2008, when we went to the strip club Sin City in The Bronx. To my surprise, I had the time of my life. In the past, I’d have been jealous about Ray looking at these gorgeous, fit girls, but this time, I wasn’t concerned at all. In fact, the strippers were flirting with me more than my husband! That winter, we had our first sexual encounter with a South Jersey couple in their late 30s whom we met on . They were newbies, too, and, like us, extremely nervous when we invited them back to our house after our double date at a Cuban restaurant. (It’s one of our rules that our children always stay outside of the home with grandparents or a babysitter when we meet couples. They don’t know we’re polyamorous.) That first experience wasn’t great. I had penetrative sex with the husband after some oral sex with the woman. Ray then slept with the wife. The best part of the night was Ray and I having sex after the other two had left. It had been such a turn-on to see each other with different partners. After that, we saw the same couple as friends, but we didn’t take things into the bedroom again. The real breakthrough came about three months later when we met a couple — an obstetric nurse and an IT manager in their late 30s. We connected on so many levels and the sex was incredible. They eventually became our best friends, and we’d meet them for family barbecues, even their kids’ baptisms. Since they have young children now, we’ve stopped seeing them sexually, though we often meet up for meals out and family get-togethers. It’s amazing the bond you develop — people have such a dim view of swingers, thinking they’re skeevy or dirty. But that’s just not the case. We are just regular people with regular problems — but the lifestyle is an escape from all that. In all, we’ve slept with about six different couples. Our criteria include being educated and being able to hold a good conversation. Of course, we both have to be physically attracted to each partner, too. And we always use condoms when we have sex. For the past year, we’ve been seeing a great couple in their early 30s from The Bronx whom we meet with up to three times a month for dates and then sex. We all went to Atlantic City, NJ, recently for a weekend. The swinging community in the tri-state area (New Jersey, New York and Connecticut) is a small pool, so, when I heard about , I instantly posted our profile on it. It’s exciting to see new faces, and it seems to cater to younger, attractive people. In the meantime, we’re just enjoying ourselves, and our marriage feels stronger than ever. I would never leave Ray or my beautiful daughters for another man or woman. I believe in traditional family and the sanctity of marriage — I just think it’s healthy to bend the rules now and again. What he thinks: Ali’s husband on their polyamorous relationship Ray, 43, a graphic artist, says: “I was pleasantly surprised when Ali suggested we get involved in swinging. Since then, we’ve both learned to not get emotionally involved with the other couple, and that way the opportunities for jealousy ease up. “We meet lots of different couples, but nothing is ever guaranteed. Sex isn’t necessarily going to happen, because we have an agreement that we both have to be attracted to them before we go to the next stage. “You also have to be discerning — someone can look like a Victoria’s Secret model but still be an a-hole. Someone might not be a model, but their personality goes a long way. “The main thing is that our marriage is happier than ever — and it’s largely because we’ve chosen to be polyamorous.” *All names have been changed.