Episode VI: How Brave Do You Feel?
Another beautiful Oregon summer was behind us, and we began preparing for the rain and gray of the fall season. January was still off in the distance, but we were already feeling exciting about attending our first New Years Eve party within the lifestyle community. Downtown Portland was slowly becoming our favorite adult retreat destination. It was hard to imagine how wild the New Years Eve party was going to be at the club. People spoke about last years event, and the crowd of more than 800 sexy guests who attended. For many of my past visits, I felt apprehensive about attending such a sexually charged atmosphere, but I tolerated the swinger activities taking place in exchange for the club’s incredible dance vibe. But all of that was changing for me over time. I still loved the dancing, that would never go away. But now I was actually looking forward to our monthly Portland excursions, for the people, as well as the dancing. The psychology was fascinating. We would leave our vanilla life, drive 2 hours, and transform into a completely different couple. I found myself truly enjoying the Portland version of the two of us. We were still the same G & G as before, but the separation of our two worlds empowered us to be less constrained, more outgoing, and definitely more liberated. There was nothing artificial about the new versions of ourselves. It was all genuine. We were simply discovering new layers inside of us, and it felt exhilarating.
Our vanilla fears certainly had not disappeared completely. Back at home, our roles as parents, family members, friends, and community leaders forced us to remain vigilant in our discretion practices. In our minds, an identity exposure would be the ultimate nightmare scenario. We worked hard to keep our Portland adult adventures completely separate from our home life. Sexy new friendships with people like Lois & Clark and Jane & Daniel introduced us to some soft and exciting sensual play. Our new friends also told us about several important websites. Lifestyle Lounge was described as a “long-established swinger site” with a super large following. Kasidie was described as an exciting “up and coming” site, with a strong following in Vegas and Denver… and rapidly growing in Portland and Southern California as well. So we signed up for both sites, but still emphasized discretion by including no face pictures and no personal info that could expose our identity. My husband’s professional photography skills proved helpful for our early profiles. Our self-descriptions were positive and succinct, and people really responded to my sexy photos, despite the blurred faces.
Over time, we found ourselves gravitating toward Kasidie. We really liked how the site was constructed, and we started several successful correspondences with people we hoped to meet. One intriguing profile was a couple who called themselves Jack & Jill. I had responded to their enthusiastic outreach, but I felt tentative because their home city was only 10 miles away. I reminded myself not be worried, that Oregon was not THAT SMALL. The odds were obviously in our favor. Surely we wouldn’t know them from our vanilla world. So we engaged online for several weeks. They decided to send us a “Backstage Pass” which allowed us to view their private face pics for the first time. To our shock, we definitely knew Jack & Jill! They were relatively close acquaintances who were active within the same community circles as us. They were well known within the local church. Our kids were friends with their kids and they actually lived just one mile away from our house! I was definitely not prepared to see their faces on the pages of Kasidie. I felt a sense of panic resulting from this collision of our two worlds.
The two of us agreed that we would not respond to the latest notes from Jack & Jill. The risks of further engagement seemed too high. We wanted this discovery to simply disappear. However, after 8 days of silence, they reached out again. Jack’s note was diplomatic and self-deprecating. He joked that their private pics must have scared us off. His kind words and gracious style were hard to ignore. Our decision to ghost them was feeling inadequate. But what could we do? My husband finally suggested a plan and we wrote back to them. We thanked them for their interest, and reassured them that their face pics were actually very attractive. The last sentences of the note shared the first part of our secret, that we actually knew them. We finished the note with a question “HOW BRAVE DO YOU FEEL?” We did not reveal our identity. Not yet.
I found myself hoping they would not respond. Maybe this dilemma would just go away. But their response arrived quickly. Now they were concerned as well. Jack suddenly recognized the background of one of our photos at the local gym. He wrote “that is the same gym that we go to!” They asked for other hints but they couldn’t figure it out. As they later explained, “G & G are the least likely couple they would ever suspect of lifestyle shenanigans.” Finally, after days of playful banter, we revealed who we are. They responded with enthusiasm. They felt shocked but relieved. “We can’t believe that you two are open to this” Jack explained. They reassured us that our identity was safe with them. Jack described the security of having “Mutually Assured Destruction,” an old phrase from the Cold War describing the deterrent that forced nuclear restraint from the Soviet Union and the United States. “We all have a lot to lose so all 4 of us are highly motivated to keep this our secret.” Mutually Assured Destruction was certainly a helpful way to make this scenario feel less threatening. So we agreed to meet them to discuss it all in person.
Our first live conversation went surprisingly well. We met for drinks at a local restaurant. The two-hour talk helped us learn more about each other than all of the previous 4 years of vanilla connections with them. We felt surprised by how much we shared in common. All four of us agreed that it felt good to confide in another couple, and we definitely wanted to support each other… And MAYBE even explore the physical potential at some point. We went our separate ways and became distracted by the approaching fall holiday season. It wasn’t until December, nearly two months after our last talk, that we finally met up again.
The cold night began with a local youth sporting event. The four of us sat together, cheering for our local high school kids. With a victory in this big game, we all felt festive and agreed that it would be fun to go someplace private so we could talk freely together. Our teenage kids were staying with friends that night, so we offered to host at our home. All of our previous lifestyle experiences were in Portland, but we felt comfortable with Jack and Jill, and it felt okay to have them over to our house.
But once we arrived at home, the chemistry was leading us down a sexy path. Someone suggested a massage, and my husband requested that we go upstairs, to a room with a lock on the door, just in case one of the kids decided to unexpectedly return home. I laughed and commented that we didn’t need to worry about that happening tonight. But we decided to be safe and proceeded upstairs.
Jill and I laid down next to each other on the bed. I reached out to hold her hand, as a positive bond, but knowing she identified as 100% straight. Fully clothed, both guys began massaging the opposite lady partner, Jack working on my back, and G massaging Jill. The touching was gentle, respectful, and novel. They lifted up the back of our shirts, so that their hands touched our skin. I was feeling safe, warm, and surprisingly comfortable. I asked if everyone felt comfortable with me removing my bra. The enthusiastic yes was not surprising, and Jill decided to do the same.
The massage was evolving quickly. The room was dark and the touching was feeling more and more sensual. I remember hearing the smooth sound of James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain” as Jill and I continued to remove our clothes, wearing nothing but panties for the next phase of the massage. Both guys showed constraint. We still had not kissed, but Jack and G had removed their shirts and the 4-way touching included chests and butts, and some soft caressing on the underwear side of two erect cocks. Jack said something funny, and all 4 of us laughed loudly. Suddenly, we heard a loud knock on the door to the room. “Dad? Mom? Can I come in?” It was our youngest son! Horrified, my husband jumped up, turned off the music, and quickly walked over to talk through the locked door. “I’m surprised you are home. Is everything okay?” … “Yes, I’m good,” said our son. And then he proceeded to talk innocently, despite the closed door, and tell a quick story about how the plan had changed and he just wanted to come home and go to sleep. My husband responded with encouragement, and promised we would keep our voices quiet for him. Satisfied with the response, our son returned to his room, closed the door and quickly went to sleep. The four of us returned to our embrace on the bed. Hearts were definitely racing in response to the unexpected visitor. We laughed together, much quieter this time, and slowly began putting our clothes back on.
The night had been a success, despite the scare, and the start of a sexy new friendship was apparent. We invited J & J to join us at the Portland club for New Years Eve. We felt so excited about everything we heard about the big event. The club would expand from their weekly party routine consisting of 60 couples to a special event size of more than 400 couples. We purchased our tickets in advance and encouraged Jack and Jill to do the same. Unfortunately, they already had family commitments so it looked like we would attend solo. However, we had been enjoying a Kasidie correspondence with Medina and Ash, a couple who lived in Southern Oregon. Medina was “very bisexual” and she looked super sexy in her revealing photos. Ash was handsome, objectively speaking, but not on target for my taste. But the online notes seemed like a great match for another fun friendship, perhaps a sexy girl–girl connection, and we agreed to attend the New Years Party together.
The party night began with a pre-party at the home of Ella and Steve, another couple we were getting to know through Kasidie. Medina and Ash met up with us at our downtown hotel and the four of us drove to the pre-party together. Ash dropped us all off at the front door, so we would not have to walk too far in the cold. I decided to wear my favorite little black dress but made the mistake of leaving my warm coat in the car. I knew that G loved how the dress showcased my body, and I was exceptionally focused on pleasing him. But the Oregon night temp was below 30 degrees, and I shivered as Medina and I made the quick walk up to the house. We let ourselves in and immediately noticed the beautiful, upscale home with wonderful holiday decorations and lavish food choices for guests. I sampled the various appetizers and sweets that looked so beautiful on their party table. Unfortunately, the house temperature was also very cold. We joked that we could see our breath as we joined the larger group in the kitchen. The guys had caught up to us as we introduced ourselves, but I was feeling uncomfortably chilled throughout the entire meet & greet. I’ve never been one to complain, so I didn’t say anything in the moment. The others seemed fine, but I struggled, and definitely felt relieved once we left the house and arrived (with jacket in hand) back at the warm club.
The New Years Eve club environment was electric. The club was packed beyond my imagination. The downstairs dancing area had never been so full of sexy bodies. The four of us squeezed through the crowd to explore the upstairs area, which included the addition of an entire 3rd story that had never been accessible during our previous visits. We felt amazed that Oregon had so many lifestyle couples, more than 800 people on this particular night. I felt excited, and nervous, but grateful that it was so warm inside the club. I decided not to drink on this night, as my stomach was showing signs of trouble. For years, I had experienced a sensitive tummy, typically set off by stress. Unfortunately, the combination of circumstances spelled doom for my New Years evening. I found myself feeling more and more anxious as the stomach pains increased, and the intense crowding added to my concerns. But my biggest fear was related to G and Medina and Ash. As a people pleaser, I felt horrified about letting the 3 of them down. They were all having so much fun, and the midnight countdown had already arrived. But I was unable to power though it this time. Frantic, I told G about my dilemma, and encouraged him to stay for the fun while I returned to our hotel room next door. He insisted on staying with me, and we quickly abandoned our new friends on the dance floor, fleeing like Cinderella at the stroke of midnight. It felt horrible; a belief that I had let everyone down. In future years, I would learn how to manage the anxiety, but the challenges related to people pleasing would prove to be far more difficult to master.
Our Takeaways From Episode 6:
- Crossing paths with friends from our vanilla life seemed like a giant dilemma. So many things could have gone wrong. But instead of running away from the situation, we decided to talk it out and ultimately embrace it. It was helpful to recognize the “Mutually Assured Destruction” elements. Discretion is still very important to us. We don’t ever try to convert vanilla friends, and still keep the two worlds separated as much as possible. But the occasional collision has not been as difficult as we feared. We have remained friends with Jack and Jill for all these years. We will always share a special bond with them. 🙂
- I understood my people pleasing nature long before discovering the lifestyle. However, I quickly learned that the lifestyle magnifies many of our strengths and weaknesses. One disadvantage of being a people pleaser, is the tendency to put others needs first, sometimes to the detriment of one’s own values. The positive elements of the lifestyle felt very seductive: dancing, community, friendship, liberation. But I was starting to feel a lot of tension between my desire to please others, and my own preferences and boundaries. I wasn’t feeling attracted to most of the other men I was meeting. Most of them were nice guys, people I wanted to be friends with, but didn’t want to become physical with. And my fear of hurting people’s feelings was starting to put me in stressful situations. I needed to develop a communication strategy to gently say no, without hurting others. But I was still a rookie, and my path was headed for some significant growing pains.