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Question: How do we make sure nobody feels left out?

Dear Lounge Advice,
We're only two months into the lifestyle and have been invited to a private party. (We've not been to any clubs.) After all the socializing and everyone is getting down to business I have two concerns:
1) What if my husband is playing with someone's wife, and I'm not interested in playing with her husband? Will my husband need to find someone else to play with? How do I speak up to say I'm not interested without causing drama?
2) Do I/we need to worry about an odd-man-out scenario? I wouldn't feel like continuing to play if my husband was left out nor would I want him to continue to play if I was left out. We're very sensitive to each other so I'm not worried about that occuring, we'd just go to each other... but should we worry about someone else not joining? or is that up to that couple to keep their partner in check? I'm not sure on group etiquette and would hate to inadvertantly offend.
thanks,
New to it all

Sincerely,

(Anonymous)

  
Dear (Anonymous),

Communication is key! If you are going to swing, this is THE most important factor to ensure success in your endeavors. Talk about everything, from possible situations, to feelings, to comfort levels. It is an awful feeling to get hurt when you see a partner do something that you just don't want to see while swinging. Discuss your boundaries up front. If someone gets hurt because you did not express your feelings, the fault lays on you for not expressing yourself. Remember, your mate is not a mind reader, so you must tell him or her what you want and do not want. If this is made known, and they still do it, THEN it is their fault. After every encounter, talk about it. Ask your partner, "Were you comfortable with what happened?" "Did anything bother you?" This will display your care for their feelings, and will make them more secure upon future rendezvous.

We only recommend swinging with couples we believe are in the lifestyle for the right reasons, and are open and honest with each other. This will eliminate any awkwardness that you have described (i.e. a couple trying to leave either one of you out of the equation)
As mentioned before, discuss each other's rules and limits, and it is a good idea to have a plan in place if one partner, or another couple, tries to stretch those limits . You should have a predetermined way of communicating with each other during swinger play. We suggest using a "code" word which we say to the other if something violates our limits. The word means STOP NOW! This word should immediately stop all action and give us a chance to excuse ourselves from the scene, so we can discuss the problem in private. Make sure the code word is one you will remember, and not be inclined to say during sex under normal conditions!
Swinging will make a strong relationship stronger, and a weak relationship weaker. Swingers you will meet in the lifestyle will tell you this, and to do it for yourself and NOT for anyone else. You will have a much better time, and so will everyone else involved!
As for your concerns about another person getting their feelings hurt because you don't want them as a part of your playtime, that's YOUR decision, and they will have to respect that. If they feel slighted, then it's their problem. You are in this to find enjoyment for yourself and your partner, not to make sure everyone else is pleased.

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