“They’re Out of Our League!”
This post is about all of those times we have found ourselves sitting there at a lifestyle event looking across the way at a gorgeous couple that seems fun and intriguing but somehow different than us. We make assumptions about them (and about ourselves) that cause us to immediately decide to not even risk reaching out to them. Maybe we’ve decided they are too young for us. Or too good looking. Or too popular. Or seem too experienced.
“Wow. There’s a really great couple over there, but they’re out of our league, so we’re not even going to try to go talk to them.”
We think that probably all of us in the lifestyle have done this at one time or another. Maybe lots of times before working through it. It’s normal.
This Issue Relates to Our Own Biases
Just like in vanilla life, we carry personal beliefs and biases into the swinger lifestyle. We may have preconceived notions about race or age or height or weight or body type or…well, any number of things. We’ve talked before about many of these biases and how they can negatively affect our experiences in the lifestyle. In this post, though, we want to talk not so much about biases we carry about others but about the voices we hear in our own heads about ourselves — our biases and beliefs about ourselves that have a tendency to get in the way of our own goals and enjoyment.
It’s not new news that confidence is sexy and insecurity tends to, well, not be. We won’t belabor that reality. Let’s talk instead about why we may feel insecure at a lifestyle event.
It may be that before we entered the swinger lifestyle, we thought we were super secure in who we were and how attractive we felt. Then we start dipping a toe into the possibility of having sex with others and suddenly we feel fifteen and concerned about dating all over again. Will they like me? Am I hot enough? Am I interesting enough? How do I measure up to that man/woman? Will anyone want me? Unless our relationship started out as a swinger relationship, which is kind of rare, this is probably the first time we’ve had to try to attract someone since we said “I do” to our partner.
Now we find ourselves at a lifestyle event (party, vacation, club, etc.) looking around the room at couples interacting. There are some that seem really attractive but we’re suddenly gripped with adolescent “I’m not good enough” self-doubt. We hang back. We worry. We miss opportunities to connect because we tell ourselves that those attractive, interesting people are not going to find us appealing. We decide they are out of our league and bench ourselves for the game.
Or, as a friend of ours puts it, we become our own cockblocker.
We may be 30 or 40 or 50-something years old, but suddenly we’re plagued with self-doubt. We know it’s not a good look, but what can we do about it?
Stop Telling Ourselves Stories
What we’re doing when we cockblock ourselves in this way is allowing our personal insecurities to substitute a story we’ve created in our minds for reality. The story may go something like this: “If we walk over there to talk to that young attractive couple, they are going to find us repulsive and we will feel small and embarrassed. There’s no way they will find us as interesting as we find them. Better not to risk it.”
One way we can counteract this self-narrative is to realize that we aren’t giving the other couple much credit when we do this. We’re making assumptions about not only their aesthetic appearance but also the content of their character, without ever giving them the opportunity to show us otherwise. We’re not being very fair to them.
Another way to quit allowing our negative self-story to sabotage meeting potentially great people is to temper our expectations.
Rather than going into a lifestyle event thinking that everyone we talk to is a potential sexual partner, we can go in thinking that everyone is a potential new lifestyle friend. We may never play with them but we can find a connection and learn more about them and about ourselves through conversation. Dropping the expectation that every conversation at a lifestyle event must be a negotiation for sexual interaction is a super effective way to out-smart our own insecure brains.
“Let’s just go say hi and see what they are all about” is permission to not worry if they will want to fuck you or not. And it’s amazing how much relief from insecurity that can provide. We may end up playing with these new friends at this event, or a few weeks from now, or a few months from now, or…never. It’s OK. Meeting like-minded people in a fun environment is never a bad time.
This article is an off-shoot of Episode 72, which we recorded with friends Dave and Andi. You can listen to the four of us discussing it in more detail here:
We are Mr. & Mrs. Jones, swinger lifestyle podcasters. If you like what you read here and want to learn more about the swinger lifestyle and/or We Gotta Thing, you can find our podcast episodes and much more at WeGottaThing.com.