I’m sorta out about my lifestyle. In the sense that those important to me know not the details of what I do, but know that I am intimate with many different people. By those important to me I mean those who we might have conversations about sex with, i.e. my friends. I’ve never said “no” when someone asked me point blank, “Are you a swinger?” and I hope to never have to.
The bottom line is my parents don’t really need to know what I get up to in the bedroom, and it’s just as unnecessary to tell them about it as it would be to tell them what position I used last night. I am out at work. My boss & coworkers know what sort of shenanigans my weekends often involve and have no issue with it, with the “Don’t fuck anyone in the office” caveat, of course. I’m lucky I work somewhere that’s…let’s just say…strange.
Why did I come out to my friends, then? They also don’t need to know about my experience with double penetration. Mainly it was so I didn’t feel I needed to hide my new friends from my old friends, or be concerned that there might be cross bleed from the two sides of my world. As it stands now, I can be perfectly comfortable when one of my swinger friends shows up to a vanilla party. Though, understandably, it’s harder to convince my vanilla friends to give the swinger parties a try.
The cork is certainly out of the bottle, and the smoke can never all be crammed back in, so I’m ostensibly out. It’s a bit of a preemptive strike, too. I read an article earlier this year about a couple in my neck of the woods who were outed by a neighbor. This sad human sent an email to what seemed like their entire neighborhood; friends, family, PTA, local parents, staff at their children’s school, etcetera, notifying them of the “swingers in their midst.” This horrendous act isn’t horrendous just because I agree with the harmed party, it’s horrendous because it’s an instance of someone in no way affected by something making it their business, and that’s a little thing I call bullshit.
This left me thinking about something I’ve grappled with a lot since opening up. I’m out, but not all the way. I am hiding. In plain sight. With my friends, I’m open, wanting to talk about it, etcetera— but not with everybody. I’m not the model “Oh yeah, I know a swinger, he’s pretty normal” guy. We must remember, in times where we feel we’re not out enough, that the closet is not a binary. We don’t have to be “in” or “out.” We can straddle the line.
Coming out is a massive and complicated process. This is why I may still be inside the closet, but the door is open, and I’m shaking hands with everybody willing to shake mine. If swinging seems “normal” because we see swingers around us, then it’s really hard to suggest that we’re seriously awful people who are going to burn in a fiery pit, etcetera. It is our duty, as non-vanilla thinkers, to stand strong and admit to the world that we exist, that we like these things that we like, that we may be wearing a mask, but we’re still here.
I can tell you that being out amongst my friends is wonderful. I can truly be myself without having to worry about someone getting the wrong idea. It has hiccupped my relationships with a few people, and lost me one or two friends as well. But fuck them if they don’t respect something I’m doing that has literally changed my life and made me the happiest I’ve ever been. If you can’t respect that enough to accept it, I don’t want you in my life.
Am I telling you to come out? Maybe a little. Am I telling you to take care in doing so? Certainly. Am I as all-over-the-map as to be expected at 1:38 on a Monday morning? Probably close, but slightly more coherent. Did I use any brackets? Not this time, baby! One thing I can tell you about coming out is that it has allowed me to surround myself with people who support me, and there is no greater feeling in the world than having that community.