I had a conversation with a younger colleague on Friday about swinging. And no, before you jump to conclusions, he doesn’t swing. How we got to the conversation in the first place is both circuitous and irrelevant, but what struck me was his lack of understanding of the swinging scene and his lack of experience sexually.
I’m sure he has a huge amount of experience if you count it by the number of times he’s done the deed. He’s a bright, friendly, funny university graduate, in a relationship and, one assumes, sexually active.
This is not a criticism of him, but he didn’t know the first thing about swinging. I’m no authority, but I’ve been around the block a few times, and indulged in a variety of sexual play. You absorb knowledge, accumulate information along the way. It’s getting rarer and rarer that something surprises me in the world of sex, sex blogging or sex in the media. I often encounter something that interests me academically, or occasionally arouses me in a way that I had not anticipated. But surprise, no. I accept pretty much everything as part of the tapestry of the sexual, sensual world that I enjoy.
I had genuinely forgotten what it was like to be in that position, everything new, fresh vistas in every direction. Strange because I was talking to an acquaintance last week about a similar subject, how the thrill of the first time can never be relived.
When everything is a first-time I think it is difficult to imagine what else could compare. True the adrenalin rush of a first time is special, but it’s like running towards a goal on the horizon, you sprint to get there, only to find that beyond it there is another horizon. New experiences, new sensations to indulge in.
When you begin that first time seems the ultimate goal, your final destination. But when you get there you can see things from a different perspective, further and wider, a broader landscape that offers more possibilities than you had previously believed possible.
Everyone has their own idea of sexual nirvana, but I think it develops over time. For me there is no such thing, because tomorrow will bring something new, different. Better or worse? Who knows, but to assign nirvana to a single state of being for an individual or couple implies stasis, one might even say stagnation.
At best that state of being is transient, a blissful glowing firestorm of joy and truth, at worst it becomes a prison where the sweet fruit of passion rots on the branch that should sustain it.
I’m not suggesting change for change’s sake, but that as with all things in life our sexuality should develop and embrace the inevitable changes in our relationships, bodies and circumstances.