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Question: No sex drive at home, no problems while swinging

Dear Lounge Advice,

My husband and I have been married for almost 6 years now and have been in the lifestyle for about 3 to 4 years and are very comfortable with it. Unfortunately we move around quite a bit which has us/me struggling to find close friends, which is something thats great about the lifestyle...that there is always someone to meet. Along with that I have been suffering from depression. The depression is from bad situations that have happened in my past adult and childhood. It has also caused some other disorders. I don't have any issues about the lifestyle or my husband or eye playing separate, but I'm having trouble in being sexual with him at home. If we go out to a swingers event I'm able to find my inner sexiness, flirt, have fun and even play a little, but still the sex just is not enticing with anyone. It seems like more work than anything, but I do enjoy getting out and having fun, socializing and things of that sort when I can. My husband has been extremely understanding about this and we actually haven't been to anything LS related in a while, but I just feel like I'm not giving him what he needs. I'm not worried that he will leave me or cheat on me...I just want to make sure he consistently knows how much he means to me and how sexy I still find him even though I'm not eager to have sex at the moment. I do make sure I express it to him in words and try to show it through little touches, but i just don't feel its enough. I am seeing a therapist at the moment but she does not know about the swinging, so I thought I may ask your advice. Thank you for your help. I appreciate anything you can offer.



Dear (Anonymous),

You have a couple of great things going for you here.
First, you have an understanding husband. I've seen too many women come to me expressing that their husbands don't want to back out of the lifestyle when things like this happen. It creates more issues and usually tears up the relationship. You're very lucky that he is not that type of man.
Before I got through your entire letter, the first remedies I thought of were exactly the ones that you're putting into place. You're trying your best to convey to him that it's not him and that you do still find him to be attractive. Keep that up and continue to let him know what you're going through right now so the lines of communication stay open.
Seeing a therapist is one of the best things you could have done.
You may also want to consider continued abstinence from lifestyle play. If you enjoy the events though, keep going. My hubby and I are working through some of our own sexual kinks at the moment, so we don't play with others. But we still love the events and have a great time, so we get out periodically to do this.
When we go to swinger's parties, we are essentially stepping outside of our 'normal' little world for a night and into a sort of fantasy land. We get to place ourselves into a situation where we can free our inhibitions and not be burdened with the mundane, the worries and the normality of everyday life. Even if you have an exciting life, it's still a whole different world when you get to go out to a lifestyle function. You can become someone else by being daring, sexy, risque- all of those things that society seems to try to suppress. Granted, those urges and character traits are a part of us, but we can't always express them in everyday life.
It's an escape.
You're going through depression and you've had a scarred childhood. For you, going out, getting sexy and swinging with others is an even bigger escape than it is for most. That's okay because it's a great outlet for you. I'm just advocating that you leave the sex out of it for now since that is the area that you're trying to mend with your hubby.
When you get back to the 'real world', all of the realities are back in place. So of course, when taken out of the swinging context, you won't be that same person who was at the club, in the zone and in the safe zone for erotic expression and free of inhibitions.
You probably won't regain your marital sex drive until you work through your depression. Your therapist can help you do this. The lifestyle doesn't even need to be a consideration, so I feel that it's okay that she doesn't know about this. Your condition and the need to work through your past are paramount. That's what is suppressing your sexual urge right now. It's okay not to have sex right now. The more you worry about it, the worse you will make it. Your husband understands, so that is the best thing you could wish for. Focus on your therapy and getting to the root of your depression, which may entail facing the ghosts of your past. This takes time and you will never be completely 'cured', but if you follow a healthy course, you can become better. You're doing all the right things, so just be patient with yourself and allow the healing process some time. Everything else will fall into place when it should.
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