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Question: How do we improve our chances?

Dear Lounge Advice,

***This following advice is for TWO different couple who asked the same thing***

My boyfriend and I are very new to the lifestyle. We are both somewhat shy and we are having a terrible time getting started and networking. We attended the last 4play event but found it a little difficult to mingle since it seemed as though everyone knew each other. We have just signed up for this website and I have tried to contact a couple people just to talk but there is no response. What can I do to get us into the loop??



Dear (Anonymous),

If you are a couple, you can both sit down and have a say in the e-mails you send out. Usually, it is recommended that the more outgoing of the couple initiates the contact, since the enthusiasm will show through in the letters. If one half of the couple is doing the contacting, they should first make sure that their other half approves of those with whom they are initiating dialogue. Swinging is an endeavor which requires both partners to play an active role in the decision-making and choice of playmates. If one of you is choosing the playmates for you both without consulting the other first, something is awry. Both of you have veto power, so once one of you decides to veto a choice, that must be respected, no matter how attractive one of you finds a couple to be.

Before beginning your contact campaign, consider getting validated. This is a feature that any quality website will have in place to verify that the people in the pictures are indeed a real couple or single. Sometimes, this is referred to as a ĎReal Sealí, VIP or verified member. Websites allot certain seal to those who have been validated. In order to be validated as a real single or couple, one must either meet another validated member who can vouch for them, or they can send in a photo to the webmaster showing them holding a sign with their username and the date on it. Or, a member wishing to get validated can attend a site sponsored event to earn a seal. Validation seals help to put others at ease when corresponding with you, so it is prudent to be verified right off the bat if possible. When you are contacting others, focus on corresponding only with validated members, so that you donít chance wasting your time on someone who isnít who they say they are.

When you initiate contact with a member, it doesnít have to be a long involved letter. Many websites offer a feature that allows you to create a standard message to send others so you donít have to type out a greeting every time you e-mail somebody. Some sites even have a standard greeting made for you. Although this is the easy way to introduce yourself to somebody, it may not be the best. Receiving a Ďcannedí message isnít very personal, and may serve to turn others off. If you received a standard letter from someone that you know everyone else gets, would you feel very special? Probably not. In order for you to get noticed, try sending a short personal letter to those you would like as your potential playmates. The best kind of introductory e-mail to receive is one that indicates that not only did they look at your pictures, but that they also read your profile. The letter will note something that stood out in the profile, and make a point of complimenting both the pictures and a section of the text. People can often tell whether you have read their profile or not. When a member plainly states in the profile that they are only searching single females, and a couple contacts them about the possibility of swapping, itís quite obvious that the profile was ignored and the pictures were the only source of interest.

As for your profile:
Setting up an attractive comprehensive profile is the first key to your success. Donít know where to start or what to include? Well, youíve come to the right place for help.
Initially, you will need to focus on posting quality photos. If you are a couple, you will need to include photos of each partner. Too often, a coupleís profile is jam-packed with tantalizing photos of the female, but nothing of the male. Remember, the ladies want a sneak peak at what the male has to offer as well. The quintessential couplesí profile has individual photos of both partners, and at least one photo of them together.

Posting a couple photo serves more than one purpose. When other members view your album, they know that you are a real couple, and not a single male posting photos of a cyberspace model in his profile under the guise of a couple, thus attempting to lure unsuspecting members into contacting him. Displaying photos of you together also serves to enhance your sense of Ďtogethernessí in othersí eyes.

Another consideration when adorning your online ad with photos is the degree of naughtiness. Although this can be a subjective matter, the most success seems to come from profiles that handle their photo posting with a touch of class. Many websites have two to three different albums for their profiles. Oftentimes, you will find that there is a public album which is open for the entire membership to view, with no limitations. If you donít savor the prospect of displaying yourselves in all of your naked glory for everyone to see, you can utilize this album for exhibiting clothed photos. Keep in mind that the first photo you post will serve as the defining image of your whole profile. The primary photo will be the one to show up when members are doing profile searches and checking to see who is online. It is also the icon that will show up when chatting and using public forums. Probably the most important role of the primary image is the one it serves in correspondence. When you contact others, it is the very first image they will see in their mailbox before opening up your letter. First impressions are lasting. So, ask yourself, ďDo we want to post a close-up photo of our naughty bits for our primary photo and have everyone who encounters our profile to remember us as Ďthat crotch coupleí?Ē Some of the best websites do not even allow nudity in the primary photos. Besides, if you are meeting someone who only has their privates on display, how are you supposed to recognize them? You canít very well walk up to every woman in the club and lift their skirts in the effort to recognize their privates. Or better yet, have you ever heard anyone exclaim, ďHey, thatís Bob! Iíd recognize that penis anywhere.Ē? Didnít think so.

The next level of albums you may find on cyber profiles is usually a bit more access-restricted. It may either be open for viewing only by paid members, or only for members who have proven themselves to be Ďrealí, which we will discuss later. This is the album in which many choose to post any type of photo, from nude to lewd. However, what you post in any of your albums is usually your choice, sans website restrictions. The protected albums allow members to feel more secure about placing their private moments online because they are usually restricted to ensure that not anyone and everyone can access them. There are even websites that have password protected albums. These are the most secure since you must physically grant access to anyone who you wish to view your photos.

Although quality is perhaps paramount when composing a pictorial profile, quantity canít hurt either. Posting a large array of photos will lure more peeks from other members. Variety within this array will also garner more interest. Professional photos are aesthetically pleasing, but people will also want to see what you look like under normal conditions. Some things to consider when varying your photos can be: everyday depictions of what you look like (not glammed up), photos taken of you at parties, outdoor shots, indoor shots and bedroom teasers. Those who are adept at programs such as Photoshop can also do some pretty neat renditions of photos, although it would be wise not to alter every picture with a photo editing program.

Try to ensure that your pictures are an accurate representation of who you are and what you currently look like. If you post a ten-year old photo of yourself when you were thirty pounds lighter, or ten years younger, this is what people will be expecting to see in person. You wouldnít want to be deceived by others, so make sure you are representing yourself accurately.

After a period of time, you may want to rotate your photos and switch out your main image. This can be done by choosing another picture already existing in your album, or by posting a brand new photo. Constantly rotating your pictures and/or adding new ones will ensure that your profile continues to get views, thus increasing the amount of correspondence you receive. Members are always on the lookout for fresh photos, and will often take a moment to e-mail you their compliments on your new photos.

Naturally, we all have something specific in mind when choosing our mates. So, why not be specific when composing your text? Think of the type of profile you would respond to, and base your own on this. Generic text, such as the example illustrated above, will only serve to attract anyone and everyone to your profile, especially those you didnít want to attract in the first place. However, if it is your preference to release your information upon further interaction, that's fine.
There should be something of substance in your profile, though, and not just one-liners. Give people a general feeling as to who you are, what you want and donít want, your play preferences, and your boundaries. Anything beyond that is up to you to indulge. The more specific the profile is, the more likely you are going to find exactly what you seek. Donít be a profile pooper! Another important quality in a profile is grammar and spelling. See, and you thought high school English was a waste of your time! Now is your chance to use it and impress your readers. If you are going to take the time to compose a quality profile, your conventions play a key role.
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