From Monogamy To Open Marriage: The Swinger Cruise (Part 1) 

I didn’t have to double check with anyone’s schedule or make sure I wasn’t stepping on any toes because I was by myself.

From Monogamy To Open Marriage is a weekly column devoted to the discussion of pursuing sex and love outside marriage. 


I am writing this while still feeling the phantom sway of a cruise ship. I was warned that it might take a couple of days to adjust to being on land. In addition to the swaying, I’m still sore, exhausted, and sleep deprived since the Bliss Cruise came to port and brought me back to reality. My stash of 50 condoms dwindled down to 27 the last time I counted. I gave a few of them to my roommate, and I know I left one or two in other cabins and one of the play areas, so my guess is that about 19 of them were actually used. 
 
I was not so sure how I would fare as a “single” on a couples’ cruise. I’m used to being part of a couple, so the switch in perspective and pursuit was a little overwhelming. 
 
Because I was alone and I didn’t know anyone, I had to flick my social butterfly switch on. 
 
I chatted with couples of all ages. I flirted with security guards. I bought drinks. I danced with women and men. I dined with anyone who invited me. This was a stark contrast from the way I typically live my life. As a freelance writer, I spend my days in minimal clothing (depending on the weather) while tapping away at my laptop, always surrounded by the sound of blissful silence. Over the past week, I spent a lot of time in full makeup, sexy clothing, and (sometimes) high heels. This cruise made way for an alternate personality, or rather, an alternate way of presenting myself. The last time I was a complete stranger in a strange land was when I was the new girl in middle school. Back then, I stood off to the side and hoped that the cool kids approached me. Now, I don’t care who the cool kids think they are and I am not afraid to introduce myself to anyone.
 
Aside from the all-you-can-fuck 24-hour buffet where I could pick and choose at will, there were a lot of things I loved about this cruise. Some of the obvious: I didn’t have to cook. The pool deck was clothing optional when we weren’t at a port. (I hate clothes.) I didn’t have to drive anywhere. (I hate driving.) 

Everything I did, how I did it, and when I did it was all up to me. 

I didn’t have to double check with anyone’s schedule or make sure I wasn’t stepping on any toes because I was by myself. 

I thought most of my sexual indulgence would be as the third in a threesome. Surprisingly, of the 11 encounters I had, only two of them were with couples. The rest were with men whose relationships gave them the room to play alone (this is also known as a hall pass). Swinger relationships are not all the same. Some only play together. Some only play with women or men. Some only play with couples. Some are soft swap only. Some are full swap. Rather than trying to decipher everyone’s preferences, I decided to focus on people who were forward and confident. Those who didn’t make their desires or intentions known became fun friends to chat with and nothing more. 

I learned a lot about myself on this cruise. So many things that were typically steadfast requirements for me became negotiable. Because I didn’t have a lot of time to get to know people, I had to be more vocal and assertive in stating what I liked and what I wanted to do. I also had to ask people how they liked certain things. (Pro tips: Every dick wants a slightly different blow job. All nipples were not created equal.) 

If I didn’t communicate, I would have spent the week having hit-or-miss sex.

I didn’t want to just have sex. I wanted lots of orgasms so I made sure to communicate with my partners in order to accomplish this. 

Now that I’m home, I am still processing the experience as a whole and I am also dissecting each individual sexual experience. I have yet to look through the collection of over 40 action shots that I (or my partners) took for my husband. So many questions run through my mind after spending a week with strangers and selectively choosing who might pleasantly surprise me with their techniques. I have so many questions for myself: 

Does size still matter? 
Is oral sex “enough” to satisfy me?
Do I enjoy women as much as men?
Does (sexual) wisdom come with age?
Do I have a maximum age limit?
Does size still matter? (I’m thinking really hard on this one…)

To be continued...

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