The Psychology of Swinging

I’ll spare you some of the details but today a woman I speak to on the bus told me about some of her and her husband’s adventures on the “swinging” scene. We know each other well enough to text now and then, usually about unreliable busses and other business, and last week she text me to say she got an earlier bus home because she and her husband were going to meet a fellow. I asked her what she was talking (or rather texting) about and she sent one of those winky faces. “I’ll tell you next week,” she said.

I saw her today and asked her. We spent about half an hour of the journey to Bristol sat next to each other texting so the other passengers wouldn’t know what we were talking about. What a conversation. I’ll summarise.

Apparently her husband is prone to “depression” and this depresses more than his mood. By mutual consent she seeks out single men, arranges to meet them, and the husband tags along. I wanted to know what the husband gets out of these encounters. Was he the driver or the security? Both, possibly? Would he wait patiently in the car while business was conducted?

No, he would be present while negotiations took place and would “intervene” and assist if the main-man wasn’t delivering the experience. Everybody involved was a consenting adult, so what was the problem?

Well, I mean to say, what could be the problem?

I long since made my debauchery-debut and couldn’t care less what grown-ups do in private, but I must admit it, I felt a pang of disgust at these arrangements. What bothered me more than the (mild) disgust was realisation I wasn’t quite sure why I was disgusted. I don’t like not knowing why I think such and such, so tapped away at work making the notes from which this post is written.

I realised that my “problem” involved the husband knowing. I quickly knew I’d have no problem if (you’ll have to take my word for this) the husband didn’t know and the woman was “cheating.”

I began to realise that having the husband’s consent to conduct proceedings (whether he was there or not) would mean all the “power” was with the husband and I’d be conducting business under another man’s permission. This could have its own depressing, or shrinking, affect. In such a circumstance there would be an unspoken “power-play” – a kind of chess-game – between the two men and the advantage would be the husband’s by virtue of a sort of “Queen’s Gambit.” The husband, basically, offers charity to the single man and the single man should jolly well know it and have the decency to feel disgusted, humiliated or both.

The lady in question explained that some husbands actually like to be “cuckolded” and some even like to be told exactly what business to conduct by the third-man. This took disgust into confusion. What exactly is the psychology, here?

How could the man enjoy ordering the husband about? The husband gives his permission, therefore the “bang” the man gets out of the proceedings is about as shallow as spit on a rock. This is not even method acting. How could the man be so easily pleased? The Cuckold is King.

Some men really can’t see with only one eye.

Of course, the questions kept coming. Why should this be about “power” in any case? Shouldn’t it just be about “pleasure”? Perhaps, but we can’t pretend men don’t have egos, so the ego/power question won’t go away.

One consideration lead to another and before long the tapping away at the notes changed the subject. The move to retain the “power” became a question about what kind of person would want or need to retain it. These considerations lead to a thought coming up from the unconscious about the ladies. A man and woman, who are both, say, straight, cannot be friends. They can behave like friends, but they won’t actually be friends, not under the surface, where things count more than surface behaviour.

If a man has a female “friend” – and both have the same orientation – she will consider him a worthless loser and have almost no value for him whatever. She will take whatever she can from him, she’ll take a little flirting and the feeling she is attractive, she will take the odd safe compliment here and there and keep him in line for compliment production, but the relationship will be all suck and no blow.

When one accepts we are hairless primates, evolved with jealousies and tribal posturing and frail egos, that our DNA is but 3% different from that of Chimpanzees, then I don’t feel too stupid “over thinking” it a bit.

I suppose I’m just a good Skeptic.

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