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Promoting Intimacy and Other-Centered Sexuality
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"But How Do I Get My Wife Interested?"
The how to get wife interested in either polyamory ideas or swinging, is the toughest and most common question men ask us....
Honest discussion and patience is the key.
We have been told that in some cases, "accidentally" leaving some of our materials around. We have been told that our Responsible Nonmonogamy report has helped set the stage for discussion of open relationships. Or if traditional Christianity is the problem, our report on Poly Christians Stand Tall has been very helpful. Also the material from Loving More and Debra Annapol's book "Love Without Limits" has helped many people overcome their false impressions or fears of polyamory.
Many women are turned off to idea at first thinking its just about sex. Then once in
the lifestyle, often the women find it wonderful with new open-minded friend's etc. and
the men get jealous and have the hardest time.
Many women like the honest people, friendships and intimacy that are more important to them than sex. Some women after being comfortable on the emotional level then turn into "wild women" sexually since they can unleash some of their sexual energy they never could before. That, of course, doesn't happen with all women, but when it does it often comes as a shock both to the male partner as well as the woman.
Here is another person's excellent response to a question on the Lovemore E-mail
> > How do I introduce this to my wife?
> > This is very important to me and may become decisive in our marriage in
> > the long run. Any thoughts?
Yeah, a few. As Dave suggested, leaving a few good books around might help (I would *not* suggest "The Ethical Slut" - the title might turn her off). Purchasing "Loving More" at your local (large) bookstore chain and leaving it around isn't a bad idea, either. If you cannot talk about it, try writing letters. The first one should include the comment that you want her to reply by letter, as well and tell her you need to write so you can organize your thoughts and not just emote all over her. If you have a computer, you can write on a computer back and forth for a time until enough issues have gotten out of the way.
If you can introduce her to a poly person, you can simply bring up the joys and frustrations of poly into conversation, but not make it the topic of conversation, while she's around. Best if it can be casual and not pre-planned or stilted. BTW, depending on the other and you, this can backfire. Best just casual hints until she asks your friend some questions. Don't expect instant conversion, just things laid down for thought.
A thought on Dave's comment about jealousy. If you think you're not jealous and she finds a lover before you do, you might find jealousy appearing in your own heart - deal with it. It might be envy or time jealousy or something similar, but you might be surprised. Another interesting attitude I see sometimes - A is not jealousy of A's SO's lover, but is jealous of A's own lover's lover. That, too, has to be dealt with - by A.
Problems when your wife doesn't want to talk about it and you're going through the difficult period trying to get acceptance? Stay away from other lovers. Acting on your own desires without at least the acquiescence of your primary is a good way to destroy your primary relationship.
Dave's additional comments:
We have recently experienced another problem. A couple that had "never done this before" where the husband wanted the wife to get involved to get over her many hang ups (body image etc) at a recent LC party. Well....she went from 0% experienced to 100% (including group sex) in 2 hours and broke through ALL her barriers. She soared like an eagle and very much liked her new wings. But the husband, while totally happy of his wife's experience, felt like a duck that could hardly waddle in the water, much less fly. He wanted to participate with other women but was scared to death and didn't have a clue what to do. We had no idea this would happen to the women and during it (at a party) the leaders were very protective yet as long as we got verbal assurances from her all was OK, we didn't interfere.
The point is for some men, its not jealousy....but being left out or not knowing what to do, if the women crashes through her barriers too fast for him to feel he's with her at a similar speed. I have seen this happen a number of times.
It was also good for us to be reminded it's not just the female side where we need to be concerned about emotions. We need to be equally concerned about the male reaction if the experience is "too good" and give men ideas and tools to deal with these issues.
The Importance of the First Experience
A women in 1997 LC intro meetings shares how she went to another groups party and felt terrible about what went on and how she felt pressure to participate (when in Rome, do what the Romans do, as she said). She did what see thought was expected. Her husband had no idea of the inner turmoil within her at the time. Afterward it was doubtful she would ever consider open relationships again. It took her a long time to recover and even be open to LC. But her husband gently pestered her to just read our intro material. When she did she felt good about our ideas, but was very hesitant at her first party after having such a bad sexual experience in another group. I was privileged to share some intimacy with her first at a party and then privately, which turned out to be very positive. She is now one of the active leaders of LC and on the Steering Committee. The point is the first experience can be very important to a new person.
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