Roberta Bust opens up about swinging solo
Since my last blog, my situation has changed. I am no longer in an open marriage; we decided that it was better to part ways. Now, I am separated and learning how to be single and independent again.
I am also slowly working my way through my tangled mess of no self-confidence and no sexual confidence by keeping busy, drinking, outrageously flirting, and agreeing to most activities my friends suggest, including a sexy party which I attended a few weeks ago.
Initially I was quite excited; I felt empowered and believed it was a good move to help rebuild my sexual confidence. I purchased a cute costume and went with what I thought was an open mind.
The night started at a house party, brimming with regular sexy party attendees. They all oozed sex and sexual confidence, something that I clearly do not have. The couple I attended with were more accustomed to this scene, and were relaxed and at ease, whereas I immediately felt intimated and self-conscious.
The first thing I noticed was how naive I had been with my costume choice. Whilst it was classified as ‘sexy’, it had an air of innocence. Here I was, my first sexy party, dressed modestly – a real virgin cliché – something I had subconsciously created. The people attending were all incredibly attractive: thin, tanned, perfect plastic people, and their sexy costumes and sexual perfection stirred an uncomfortable feeling within me.
I started questioning myself, my attractiveness, and tried to ignore my growing unease as I became increasingly aware of my lack of sexual confidence. We were served champagne, which I gratefully accepted, hoping it might calm my nerves, but then it was suggested we go mingle by ourselves. I was completely unprepared for this, and uncomfortable with the idea. I was not there to mingle in that way, and at the back of my mind, I did not want the people I approached to look at me like I was a new play thing for them. I wasn’t looking to be someone, or some couple’s, new toy, but that’s how I was starting to feel with every look and smile.
My internal thoughts went into overdrive: ‘Why did you agree to this?’, ‘You’re putting yourself in a situation you are not comfortable with’, ‘Will you be able to stop yourself if you don’t want to do something?’ And then: ‘Stop drinking… otherwise you will not have the courage to say, “No”’. Whilst the house was beautiful and the people quite nice, my insides were screaming, ‘Go! Get out while you can!’
This feeling of fear and anxiety was building in the pit of my stomach, which I could not quell by internal reasoning. It kept compounding until I was at the point of having a complete breakdown and fighting back tears. The actual sexy party was being held at a club, and none of the guests appeared to mind that it had started over an hour before, and were quite happy remaining at the house. This relaxed attitude terrified me as my imagination ran into overdrive: was this actually a swingers’ party? What if there is an orgy, how do I politely decline? Ultimately I wanted to leave, but was worried I would hurt my friend’s feelings or she would be mad at me for my reaction to the scene.
Finally people started organising travel to the club. I felt slightly relieved. We were leaving the house that made me so uneasy. I thought that maybe the club would be better. I tried to reassure myself unsuccessfully. We hopped into our car, but I still felt so uncomfortable that I was biting back tears. I went very silent and focussed on my phone. My friend asked if I was okay, and I made a non-committal response. In my mind I was thinking of ways to just leave and go home. ‘This is not me, this is not me.’ I wasn’t prepared and didn’t want to be part of this scene. I braced myself. I had already paid for the tickets, I should at least give it a go – I should not walk away. I thought maybe it would be different, but it wasn’t.
At this point, I want to say I honestly don’t have a problem with people wanting to participate in that scene. I envy their ability to express and embrace themselves and their sexuality, but I very quickly realised this was not something I was capable of, at least not then, and not in the near future.
I couldn’t enjoy myself, and I felt awful that I was ruining the potential fun of the couple I was with, so I quickly exited, bursting into tears and crying the whole cab ride home and then some.
Although emotionally I did not cope, and it didn’t help boost my confidence in the slightest, this experience did teach me about my likes, dislikes and limitations, which is something integrally important to my journey forward. I won’t ever rule out something like this in the future, but I need to be at a point in my life where I can embrace and be comfortable with myself – which I am currently not.
I also realised how important it is to have a connection with someone in order to embrace and increase my sexual confidence. This is something I can’t get from random hook ups. Whilst a one nighter is always fun, I feel pretty limited in my willingness to be adventurous, whereas my willingness to experiment with someone I know and am comfortable with increases exponentially.
Initially I walked away feeling like I had failed, but I guess nothing in life is failure. We all have good and bad experiences – it’s how we learn, by processing them, and using them to shape us as the people we aspire to be. One short night of pushing my boundaries and testing my limits has been a giant step in finding me.