Our first true wife's tale is from "Ally," a 37 year-old woman who found that her secret to a good married sex life was not, say, taking a lively evening class at the community college, but embracing The Lifestyle. "We get to explore a lot of our fantasies," says Ally. "Some people never get to do that and get frustrated. I think that’s why some people end up getting divorced or having affairs. Shoot, if couples do it together, they can both have fun," she says jauntily.
Bed: The logistics of two couples all having to agree on each other
seems daunting. If everyone else seems interested in getting together
but you aren’t, do you go ahead with it anyway?
Ally: Have I
ever taken one for the team? NO. I’m not going to play with a guy just
so Mark can play with a girl he really likes. There are plenty of
times we've been approached by another couple and the girl's really hot,
but then I look at the guy and I'm like, “Aw, HELL no!”
In Bed: Have you had any bad experiences with the lifestyle?
There have been times where the guy I'm with is going at it too hard,
like too fast or too deep and I didn't say, “It’s hurting.” I told Mark
after the fact and he said, “You need to tell the guy to back off.”
There always needs to be communication for this to work. For example, I
enjoy anal sex, the back door. Mark makes sure that the guy asks if
it’s okay first and doesn’t just go for it. It's a courtesy factory.
In Bed: Rule note: Always ask courteously before going for the back door.
Mark’s well-endowed lengthwise, so he’s got to be careful because it
hurts. He needs to ask the girl if she’s okay. Some guys are into
butt-slapping, pulling on the hair, things like that. I always make
sure Mark’s okay with that. There’s only been one time that he spoke up
during the act. The guy was into choking. Mark’s actually done a
little of that to me, nothing major, nothing hardcore. It’s supposed to
affect a woman’s orgasms. But the guy was doing it quite a bit, to the
point where Mark was quite fearful for my life. Mark said, “Hey,
seriously, dude back off on that.” The guy was very respectful and
stopped. It was one of the things that guy likes to do, but it’s not
necessarily what works with all women.
In Bed: How were you introduced to “the lifestyle”?
Mark and I were talking to our friends about some of our sexual
fantasies. We were talking about being with other people and it evolved
into, “What if we four got together and tried to play?”
In Bed: How did you bring it up in the first place? Someone has to go out there on a limb...
There were steps that led up to it. There would be times that we’d be
together, drinking a bit and we’d maybe do a little touching and
feeling and kissing. It finally led up to the whole thing of clothes
coming off and having sex together. But our first time was kind of a
disaster. We didn't know how to approach each other and who should do
In Bed: Did the friendship stay intact?
but it was awkward. Seeing each other after it was like, “Okay, now
what do we do? We’ve seen each other naked and had sex.” Nowadays we
don’t cross the line with friends. We made it a rule that we don’t
play with friends or coworkers--that's a big no-no.
In Bed: Is that a general rule in the lifestyle or your own rule?
It’s our own rule, but other people have it too. With friends, there
can be jealousy--someone hears more noises coming from the other couple,
whatever. You don’t want to have that coming into a friendship. And
with coworkers, word gets around and you’re looked at kind of weird. If
we have any of Mark’s coworkers over to our house, people will be like,
“OOOOhhh, they’re going over to Mark and Ally’s!” They assume
automatically that because someone’s hanging out with us, something’s
In Bed: Okay, so you had your first awkward encounter, but it was compelling enough to give it another try.
After we got married, Mark was out of town a lot on business. We
decided to give each other an opportunity to explore other things while
we were apart. One of our fantasies was to pick up a stranger and have
a one-night stand. I got together with a couple of people, but Mark
lucked out only once. Poor little guy! (laughs) He’s Mr. Shy. He
always tells me, “It’s just so hard for me to go up and say something to
some girl at a bar.” But he finally did and was so excited about it,
he called me the next day. I thought it was going to be a one-stand
stand--a “wham, bam, thank you, ma’am” thing. But when he called, he
was still at her house, hanging out and watching NASCAR. It made me
totally jealous and upset. I realized that separate play wasn’t for us.
In Bed: So how did you find other people who were into the lifestyle?
really opened up for us when Mark got a new job and we moved near San
Francisco. We were away from our friends and family and felt more at
ease about trying things. We looked into swinger’s clubs. They are
usually a house turned into a club. You bring your own alcohol and they
have jacuzzis and pool tables. There's a DJ playing music, so you
dance and get to know people that way. If you want, you can go in a
room and play with your partner and other people watch you. They can
join in or not, or you can join in with somebody else. It's all about
asking and getting permission. They have strict rules about things. If
you don’t follow them, you get kicked out. One organization called
Pleasure Zone threw parties in different restaurants. After the
restaurant closed, they brought in a DJ and took it over.
trying desperately to rid mind of sudden unbidden, and thankfully
unspoken, thoughts of restaurant tables, sanitation issues and the
Ally: After each time with a couple, we’d
discuss it and new rules would come up. This whole thing is a learning
process. Every couple has their own rules. We know one couple who
doesn’t believe in kissing on the lips. They think it's too personal.
In Bed: Tell me some of your rules.
Certain sexual positions are only between the two of us. We have to
play in the same room. One, because we enjoy watching each other with
another person. And two, safety--just to make sure things don’t get out
In Bed: Did you ever have to break up with a couple
There was a couple that we used to play with, but we had to put an end
to it. A couple times, all four of us were in bed naked and their
child ran in and jumped in bed with us. I didn’t feel that the child
should be exposed that young to stuff like that. We want to be friends,
but we won't do anything again.
In Bed: How do you meet couples?
Ally: Lifestyle Lounge has been the best thing that’s happened to us. [note: If you're interested, click here.]
You put up a picture and a profile, with what you like and what you’re
looking for in a couple. We look for people who love the outdoors. We
have a boat, we love to have barbecues and play Wii.
In Bed: Do you ever meet a couple that's just not that into you?
Yeah, we went to a Halloween party and there was a couple that we
started talking to. We got along fine and we thought there was
something there. But when we’d run into them in another room, they’d
talk a little bit, then walk away. We were like, “Oo-kay.”
Bed: At least you have someone to commiserate with in your misery.
Do either of you find yourselves developing love feelings?
No, we’ve been able to separate it. It’s sexual play, it’s fantasy.
And we always talk afterward about how things felt. I might say
something like, “His angles were good" or Mark might tell me the girl
was good at sucking him off. It could make me jealous but when he
tells me what she did, it actually helps me. I ask, “What did you
enjoy? Do you want me to do more of that?” It’s a whole thing that
adds to us later on. We end the night by playing with each other so
that we reconnect. We use that energy from earlier--that whole sexual
energy and excitement of it all and put it between the two of us. It
just makes us that much closer. Yeah, a couple may turn us on sexually
and we get aroused and have orgasm and so forth, but the emotional part
is between the two of us. '
In Bed: What do you think your marriage would be like if you didn’t have this outlet?
I think we would probably have a lot of issues if I had to stick with
one man. Some people are turned on by watching porn or role playing or
whatever. We’re turned on by being with other people. Just being
around the sounds and the sights and the smells of things is a major
turn-on for us.
The lifestyle is not for everybody,
although I think it could be. We get to explore a lot of our fantasies.
Some people never get to do that and get frustrated. I think that’s
why people end up getting divorced or having affairs. Shoot, if couples
do it together, they can both have fun.