It’s kind of funny, but this post is prompted by two things, some really great first dates, and the recent printing of a traditional first date advice column. While we are by no means experts, through trial and error we have learned some valuable lessons from our “first dates” with new couples. And of course Naive Nancy is nothing if not very educational for all of you living vicariously through our exploits.
While yes, each couple you meet is different, you aren’t. The couple you is the constant factor in each and every first date. So even if every first date in theory may be entirely different, your responses, expectations and limits probably aren’t. So with that, let’s discuss Naive Nancy’s first date advice for couples in the lifestyle (yes I’m now saying lifestyle, not couples dating or swinging).
1) Speak Up – This mirrors vanilla first date advice. If you’re meeting someone with the intention to have a playdate, whether it’s mere hours before the playdate, or the playdate is going to be another day entirely, it’s important to be able to communicate with the couple you’re meeting. Everyone wants different things. Everyone has different limits. Can your wants and limits match up enough with this couple to enjoy a playdate?
2) Venue- While I’m sure venue plays a decent part in a vanilla first date, it has a completely different connotation when you’re discussing a date in the lifestyle. Because whether your playdate is intended to be the same day, or even a different day from your initial meeting, there are generally going to be some societal norm bending things occurring on even the most casual of first dates. For example assuming the chemistry is there, even the most casual of first dates end in some very innocent caressing/touching/hugging of a partner that is not yours. So depending upon the location picked, the general public watched two separate couples arrive. On the surface everything looks like a standard double date. Maybe you’re even very good friends because as the date progresses you’re all looking chummier. And when the date concludes, you have two couples that if they hit it off are becoming friendly with the other’s partner. How do you kiss the other partner good night in front of the public?
3) Research – Yes I’m advocating some spying on the people you’re meeting. 🙂 See people in the lifestyle generally meet through the internet these days. Most of the time it’s through a lifestyle specific website. So if you’ve actually agreed to meet someone, do your research. Look them up on the site you found them on. Find out their likes and dislikes. A lot of the time you can judge whether you’d be a good match or not just from the information they have provided on their profile (on the lifestyle website). It’s a lot easier to get that out of the way instead of meeting someone who has completely different wants and limitations and then you’ve just wasted your time. But with that said, don’t discount general chemistry. So even if you research their profile, if they come out “iffy” in your book instead of a complete no, it might be worth it to meet anyways. Chemistry doesn’t always play by the book.
4) Chemistry – So speaking of chemistry, let’s discuss it. Seems pretty simple right? There are no rules for how chemistry works. It’s a subjective thing. So you can’t place your predisposed opinion of what you think you’re going to be attracted to, onto the situation. Some individuals while physically attractive, lack the personality/confidence spark. Some individuals have the personality/confidence but it doesn’t outweigh the lack of physical attractiveness. Chemistry is the subjective meeting of all of these traits.
5) Group dynamics – Generally swinging is about couples meeting up with other couples to see if they’re a match for swapping with. Yes there are other subsets within general swinging, but let’s stick with main idea. Vanilla dating involves one on one interaction. In swinging you’re talking about four people that need to click. So it’s important to make sure you’re asking questions and talking amongst all of the players involved. If 3/4 people click, but the fourth is bored in the corner, you’ll not get group dynamics you’re looking for and likely not move on to a playdate, or if you do it won’t be an entirely pleasant one for all parties. In the lifestyle they sometimes call that taking one for the team. That’s pretty self explanatory.
6) Do be real – Taken from the vanilla first date advice column, but with a different spin on it. In the lifestyle, it’s very important to be real on a first date. If you are a woman, and aren’t into women, be very clear about that. Don’t tell everyone that you’re bi-comfortable, bi-curious, or bisexual. They will expect you to play with a woman. Surprise. Basically assume that everything you’re saying is going to be tried. It’s kind of like showing up to an interview claiming you have all these qualifications and then not being able to deliver on them. Be up front about who you are and what you like. It’s really that simple.