From Monogamy to Open Marriage: The Swinger Cruise (Part 2)

I met so many people. I learned so much about sex while I was away.

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


*You can read part one here.

While I was still in bed last Sunday morning, I could feel the sway of the ship as it made its path along the ocean. I thought I saw the red blinking light on the phone that indicated that someone left a message. I considered turning on a light, but that would wake my roommate — and who knows what time she finally got in bed. As I stretched, arched, and turned, I felt something familiar, soft, and warm next to me. I opened my eyes and smiled at my husband’s back.

I realized I wasn’t on the ship anymore. I was home in my own bed.

The blinking light was imagined, but the pile of business cards with cabin numbers and contact information on my nightstand reminded me that I had a lot of people to look up. I met so many people. I learned so much about sex while I was away. I still marvel at that declaration. I’ve been sexually active for more than half of my life now, and I think it was pretty reasonable for me to assume that I know myself when it comes to what I want and what I enjoy. To my surprise, all I needed was five nights on a sex cruise to realize that I can’t possibly assume that I have nothing else to learn from anyone. The handful of perfect recipes for pleasure that I derived from past sexual adventures have been delicious, but there are so many other concoctions I didn’t even consider.

There is still so much more to discover about myself and all there is to enjoy about sex.

When I first decided to take this trip, I was looking forward to being with a couple. It’s been ages since I’ve been the “third” in a threesome. Usually, I’m part of the couple. Being the main course for a couple that’s very good at mixing a pleasure recipe for two can be exciting, but it can also be vastly disappointing. The first couple I enjoyed (beyond conversation and drinks) made me feel welcome and appreciated which is exactly what I always hope to do when a woman joins my husband and me. All too often, a woman can be made to feel like a prop or performer when playing with a couple. People who are fantasy material are also people, and when a couple is experienced and evolved enough to know this, threesome sex usually turns out great.

I tend to only play with multiple men at the same time when my husband is involved. On this ship, I happened upon men who were there alone because they were working for an entertainment company or the cruise company itself. Before I knew it, I found myself enthusiastically consenting to a threesome. Without my husband front and center in an MFM threesome, communication about what I wanted was entirely up to me. He wasn’t there to anticipate my needs or read my body language. I had to rid myself of any presumptions and get good at being very vocal about my preferences. I was suddenly the lead director and the star of the show. This was tricky, but once I embraced both roles, I loved it.

After the first couple of days on the cruise, I realized that art of flirtation could get lost and forgotten when you’re in a long-term relationship.

Yes, I still flirt with my husband, but I know him so well, and I know how to get his attention. In this environment, I had to tune in and figure out what to say and do to get the attention of a person of interest. Usually, most of my sexual encounters are pre-planned or scheduled. I forgot how fun it could be to simply meet people and “see where it goes” after a bit of chatting or a couple of drinks. Coupling this with knowing that the odds were always in favor of sex was even more exciting. 

My preference for well-endowed men has been practically non-negotiable for over a decade (we can blame my husband for this). On this cruise, I was charmed and aroused by quite a few men who did not afford me the opportunity of assessing what they were packing before engaging with them. I realized that chemistry and sexual attraction, in many cases, can negate my typically steadfast size requirement. To my delight, I was reminded that there are some men out there who are actually telling the truth when they say they’re good with their hands and their mouths.  

As I expected, my age limit “rule” was broken and trampled upon. I read somewhere that the median age of a swinger cruise passenger is 48. I’m not that far from 48, but I tend to linger in the age range of +/- 5 years from my own. There were men in their 50’s and early 60’s that blew me away. (Read that again.) These men showed no signs of being “old” or out of practice. This also makes me less anxious about getting older. Many women who were much older than me were amazing in so many ways. 

Before this cruise, I thought I was so sure about what I wanted and needed to have great sex. Who knew that spending a week on a ship with a bunch of horny strangers would help me change some of my ways and learn new things about myself? Dare I consider the next cruise and bring my husband this time?

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