Swingers, by nature, are curious people. Curious about sex; sex with other people, in other places, with other toys. How to do it better, longer, faster, stronger (sorry, Kanye). I am no different. As a swinger who also writes about sex, I may think about sex more than the average woman (or maybe not).
I was on Meetup.com a couple of months ago and decided to scroll through some groups to see what was being offered in my area. I found things I never knew existed: groups with ambiguous names, catering to unusual tastes (at least by some standards) but I was intrigued.
I ended up joining several groups, all relating to sexuality in some way, figuring I’d discover new fodder for this blog. Within a few days I received an email from a group called OneTaste, inviting me to “TurnOn”. I almost deleted the email before opening it because I assumed that “OneTaste” must refer to a bunch of foodies that were ready to explore some new culinary hotspot. I’m not a foodie per se, but Rick is, and I thought somehow the email was sent to me by mistake.
Boy, was I wrong! Upon opening, I discovered that OneTaste is an organization devoted to the teaching of Orgasmic Meditation (or OM) and all that goes along with it. Founded by Nicole Daedone, author of “Slow Sex: The Art and Craft of the Female Orgasm” OM is a practice (think yoga, running, etc.). It’s deliberate and structured with repeatable results. It’s a meditation — only the object of focus is the clitoris. A woman can learn OM techniques through Daedone’s book, or online (www.onetaste.us/), or in person with a private coach or at an OM workshop.
TurnOn, on the other hand, is the “gateway” to OM. According to the OneTaste website, “TurnOn” is a verb. It is the ignition that leads to more of what we really want in life. It’s the thing that is created in your body when you OM.” They started a new evening event designed specifically to give guests the visceral experience of what OM feels like in the body. (With your clothes on!) It’s an evening of three guided, round-robin style games, where players are supposed to experience these exhilarating, energizing, often-ignored feelings – referred to as TurnON. The website describes a TurnOn event as “a room of people (cool, fun people) engaging in honest, humorous, playful conversation around topics we mostly only consider having in our head. TurnON leads to authenticity and authenticity leas to the kind of connection we hope for around the globe. This is the experience of OM.”
Well, I was sold. I signed up for the event, which was held about two weeks ago. Rick couldn’t go with me, as he was working out of town. I was nervous when I arrived at the event, after all, I would be talking about sex-related topics with complete strangers with no husband to back me up. Which is no big deal when you’re in a club or at a party, and there’s a bit of alcohol flowing. But there was no booze at this event. No booze and about 10 perfect strangers. OMG, this was going to be interesting.
After checking in and paying the requisite $10 entry fee, I joined the others. There was one married couple in the group, another couple who was dating, and the rest of us were either single, or married and attending alone. We were called to order and sat in a semi-circle. The two leaders, both female, sat in front of us. Alex and Donna. Both were attractive women in their 30s. Both wore black cocktail dresses. But when Donna sat down, she deliberately spread her legs apart and exposed her shaven pussy to the group. And didn’t say a damn word.
You’ve got to be kidding, I thought. What have I gotten myself into??? Whatever it is, I’ll have a good story to tell Rick when I’m done.
Alex explained that we would be playing three games, each designed to mimic a stage of sexual arousal. The first was a game where Alex spoke a word, then each of us had to respond, in turn, by saying the first word that came to our heads. Unfortunately, I don’t remember a lot about this game, other than the words were fairly tame and non-sexual in nature. We played three rounds. This game was supposed to mimic foreplay. I think.
The second game was the “Hot Seat”. This was the game I was worried most about, because I watched a video about it online before I left the house that night. (Here’s the link.) In this game, each person takes a turn sitting in the front of the room answering any question asked by the group. We are to focus all of our attention on the person in the Hot Seat, and that person is supposed to sit there and accept our collective attention. Prior to playing the first game, we were asked to take an oath of silence and not share anyone’s answers, or our reactions to their answers outside of the game or the group. Which is no problem for me, since I don’t remember a lot of their answers anyway. We also had to agree that no questions would be off-limits and we would be honest in our answers. One by one, Alex picked the people to sit in the Hot Seat. Some of the questions included, “Why are you here?” and “Does your girlfriend/wife/lover know you feel that way?”, and “What are you doing to improve your partner’s sexual experience?”
By the way, Donna maintained her pose, squarely showing off her pussy to the group.
It was about halfway through the group when Alex picked me to sit in the Hot Seat. By that point most of my nerves had dissipated. But when I sat in front of the group, I felt very self-conscious, having these strangers staring at me. I’m sure I blushed. Alex started by asking me, “What is it like to be the most turned-on woman in the room?” I had no idea what she was talking about, and I sat there in silence, trying to think of an appropriate answer. I didn’t feel turned on, at least compared to what I thought being turned on meant. After a couple of minutes of awkward silence, Alex said, “thank you” and ceded to the next questioner, who asked “Why are you here?”
I explained that Rick and I are curious about sex and that we’re a fairly open couple sexually. Then someone else asked what that meant, and I replied that we were swingers. That opened the floodgates. I was asked a lot of rapid-fire questions, most of which went something like this, “Do you ever feel connected to strangers you have sex with?” “Sometimes,” I answered. Another asked, “Do you ever feel like you are missing out on something when you are swinging?” “No,” I replied. “I wouldn’t do it if that were the case.”
After another minute or two, I was excused. Relief! I’d survived the Hot Seat. I went back to my seat and finished out the game. I figured whatever the third game was had to be a cakewalk compared to this. I don’t mind answering questions about swinging; it’s just that usually there are some cocktails involved and it’s in a much lighter-hearted atmosphere. But nonetheless, I survived. I later learned that the Hot Seat is supposed to somehow mimic active sex and climax. Hmmm….
Neither Alex nor Donna, pussy still exposed, sat in the Hot Seat.
The third and final game was called “Judgment”. Each person has the opportunity, in turn, to make a personal comment to one other person in the group. It can be good or bad. And the person it’s directed to has to receive the input by simply saying “thank you” and nothing else. This was supposed to be like afterplay, denouement, whatever you want to call it. When it was my turn I complimented the married woman, saying it took a lot of guts to come in and share her struggles with a bunch of strangers.
“Thank you,” she said.
The guy sitting next to me finally addressed the elephant in the room. “Donna,” he said, “I am so turned on by what you are wearing and the way you’re sitting.”
“Thank you,” came her stone-faced reply.
I thought I’d gotten off scot-free when Alex said, “Shalynne. When you were asked why you were here, your answers sounded like the standard answers that newbies give. Yeah, you’re curious, yeah, you want to learn. But I think that you have no idea how to unleash your inner power and if you were given the tools to do it, you would be a completely changed person.”
“Thank you,” I replied, as instructed. Inside I thought, “What the fuck is she talking about? What power?” I so badly wanted to stand up and say “Look, I have no fucking idea what the hell you are talking about? What do you mean by ‘power’?” But I didn’t. I wasn’t sure if she’d insulted me or was just making some esoteric observation so that the new girl wouldn’t feel left out.
After we’d all given our “judgments”, we were excused and invited to stay and socialize for a few minutes. Before I could get up, the girl sitting next to me immediately asked me how I started in the swing lifestyle. The tone of her question was more incredulous than simple curiosity. Like, “OMG, how could you do that?” Rather than take offense, I explained to her how our swinging evolved, and after a few minutes, she shook her head somewhat skeptically and said, “Ok…whatever…” and walked off.
Next, Alex came over to me and I thought, “Oh, God. She’s going to kick my ass.” But she turned out to be very friendly and asked me some more questions, which ended in her inviting me and Rick to an upcoming OM workshop. I told her I’d have to ask Rick if he was up for it, but she seemed satisfied with that answer and gave me her phone number.
After walking off Donna came over and introduced herself. I didn’t have the nerve to ask what was up with going commando. Frankly I do it all the time, but I can’t say I’ve exposed myself in that way ever before. At least knowingly. We talked for a few more minutes and she invited me to call her anytime if I had questions. I said “thanks” as I pulled out my phone only to have her take it out of my hand and add herself as my newest contact. I smiled as she returned it to me and bid me good night. All I could do was chuckle inside…
I talked to a few of the others, including a man who said he and his wife had been dabbling in and out of the swing lifestyle for nearly two decades. They were on a break at that time, but he asked me if we’d been to this club or that club, so I felt like he at least sounded legit.
As I left there was a torrential downpour outside, but I felt excited and energized as I drove off and called Rick to tell him about my experience. And to ask him if he’d like to spend a Saturday discussing and practicing massaging my clit for 15 minutes at a time with a group of strangers.
“Hell yes, I want to do that,” he said. “Like you even need to ask???”
Isn’t sexual curiosity a great thing??