Just short of my 47th birthday, my husband sat me down, held my hand, and said that he had something to tell me. That’s never good to hear, but to make matters worse he had just returned from his doctor. So, I braced myself for the worse and held onto his hand tightly. “Natalie…” his voice trailed off for a moment. “My diabetes is really playing havoc with my body. It’s to the point now that I just can’t have sex like we used to.” His voice trailed off once again as though he were trying to find the words to say. “I know how important sex is for you and it makes me feel awful that I can’t give it to you anymore. If we can come up with some basic rules, I’d like you to find other guys to bed.”
I felt a huge surge of relief that he wasn’t dying. A huge relief as I don’t know how I could have lived my life without him. We’d had our ups and downs like any relationship, but overall our marriage had always been on a rock solid foundation that had produced two happy children and given me a strong arm to lean on. But then my mind began to process the second part of what he’d told me, the part about me taking other men to bed.
“What?” I said in almost disbelief.
“I want you to consider finding other guys that you could take to bed.” For a second I thought he was joking, but looking at his face, he was very serious. “It’s not a stretch of the imagination for us. We’ve done it often enough.”
“True,” I said, “But we’ve always been together and never alone. It would feel like cheating were I to take another man to bed without you there.”
“It’s not cheating as I give you permission. Look Natalie, I’m sick and I have a rather severe case of erectile dysfunction. My doctor has said that it’s not going to improve in the future and that the various medications for this sort of thing either doesn’t work or the side effects are just not worth it.”
It’s true that taking another man into my bed wasn’t anything new as we used to be quite heavily into swinging in our early years of our marriage. Though we stopped for a long while, we only recently started meeting a few select couples after our two children were old enough to not require our constant attention so we could go out for a few hours with our friends. These encounters were generally double dates for non-sexual fun that would end either at hour home (if our kids weren’t there) or theirs where we would swap partners for the evening. We did it sparingly though as more of a treat here and there and thought it meant me sharing a bed with another man for a night of very intimate contact (i.e. sex) it was comforting to know that my husband was in the next room just a shout away. Knowing that he was so near made me relax and enjoy myself in the arms of another man without guilt. But what my husband was asking me was something way beyond that. If I heard him correctly, he was saying that he was fine with me finding a man on my own and taking him to bed. I didn’t know if I could do that. “Would you be watching?” I asked.
“No,” he said. “I don’t want to make this into something stranger than it already is. I want you to be able to satisfy your rather prominent urges without guilt. No, I’m not telling you that you should find other men to date or get into intimate conversations with. That’s my job. It’s just that in the area of actual sex I think that you should be able to find a sort of friend with benefits who can give you what I can’t. We’ve done enough of this in the past to know that we are beyond jealousy when it comes to sex with others. I just want to modify it a bit to let us keep doing what we’ve always done, except that you are going solo.”
And with that our new chapter in our lives was launched.
No, we both really didn’t know what would happen over the next few years and just what would be involved. At the time I thought that it would be more like swinging solo, with the same couples that we’ve already met. However, that wasn’t to be the case as most couples who swing don’t want to do anything separately. So, that meant some modifications and it would evolve into a very unusual lifestyle that many have wished they could live, but found that it couldn’t work for them. Something you will find out for yourselves if you continue reading.
This is just an introduction to lay the groundwork of how my husband and I got into this lifestyle which I tend to call it a “modified open marriage” in that it’s not an open marriage where I’m allowed to date or bring other men into my family life. There’s a strict separation of my private life versus my sex life. As you will see later, the ground rules we set up are quite strict, yet flexible enough for it not to be too stifling. We of course modified the rules over time to get rid of things that weren’t working or to add other rules such as a strict “no meeting men through the internet” necessary after one unfortunate encounter.
So, if you are interested in reading about my life in the world of sex then read on…