There's something that's been irritating me for a long time and came to a head while I was looking at my Twitter feed (@mountainswanted on there, by the way) where I subscribe to swinging feeds and polyamory feeds. There seems to be very little overlap between the two, plus the tones of each seem completely different. Almost like one is forced to choose between sex and love.
I consider myself a participant in both communities, swinging and polyamory. As illustrated by my Twitter example, the two lifestyles are often seen as dichotomies in the world of non-monogamy. I feel swinging is perceived as wild, freaky, hedonistic, possibly including an element of frivolity. Polyamory is seen as serious, committed, relationship-y and intense. I think of them more of a continuum than distinct categories, so I get frustrated when someone expects me to either put on a swinging hat or a polyamory hat.
They're both me. I enjoy aspects of both. And I see my involvement in the two communities as completely fluid. Something that starts off as swinging might turn to polyamorous. That's exactly what happened with my lover.
Here's how I see it. When I was in high school, I remember hearing this: "Sex is physics. Love is chemistry." That still resonates with me today. I do see sex, at its very basic fundamental core, as a purely physical act. Sure, we can project layers of emotion onto it but when you strip all that away, the act is simply genitals coming into physical contact with each other.
I have had partners with whom I don't feel an emotional connection and sex with them can be very physical and very satisfying. But I also crave sex that does have that emotional component too, and so I seek out partners with whom I can develop an attachment, a connection, and possibly a relationship.
I want both. I want a wild orgy with a pile of bodies writhing in passionate ecstasy AND I want to intimately make love all night with someone for whom I have deep feelings. And I want everything in between.
I want to be a fucking scientist, baby. I want physics and chemistry. And I don't see anything wrong with it.