But a few things have been rattling around my noggin so with no particular order, here's some Ivey thoughts:
There were a good number of posts last week that involved the words and how people react to them -- "slut" being at the top of the list. To me, it's a perfect example of why words matter. First, a little soap-boxing: anyone who ever utters some form of the phrase "it's just a semantic argument" in a dismissive tone is a fucking idiot. They either a) don't know the definition of "semantic," which is irritatingly ironic or b) they don't understand the value of "argumentation" which is very fucking process of how individuals come to consensus to form a group or community or c) they don't see how the definition of words affects the very essence of who we are.
For the vast majority of humans on the planet, words are how we define who we are as individuals, communities, and within the wider culture. There is a constant litany of words playing through our minds at any given moment reminding us of who we are and what we do. Everything from "I need to stop at the grocery store" to "That was a good thing to do" to "I am a good person" form and reform in our thoughts every day and, in essence, define us. Furthermore, we attach our values to our words. "Slut" is a biggie. In the wider American culture, it is a negative which means to most American men and women, a "slut" is a bad thing. However, in this little community (the "sex positive" or "progressive," for lack of a better term) it is generally redefined in a more positive sense.
But for an individual to switch from a negative to a positive they must question not the meaning of the word but the VALUE they place on it. In the culture in which I was raised, a slut wasn't just negative, it was a guaranteed one-way ticket to a literal eternal hell. It was the essence of a "bad" woman and a vile, immoral person. Even after I gave up the trappings of that culture, the definitions remained. Over time, I'm changing my value as it relates to sexual behavior but it isn't as easy as someone simply saying "Hey, being a slut is a good thing!" Our brains don't work like that.
So in order to change my reaction/perception to the word "slut," I have to change either how I see myself or how I see the world. Personally, I've changed how I see myself and the world but I haven't shaken my personal aversion to the word "slut". It is simply still too ingrained to apply it to myself. But I've changed the way I define it, the semantics if you will, and the value that I place on it with the following definition: "a person, generally a woman, who is in touch with her sexual nature, who embraces her whole self, enjoys both her body and brain as parts of a fully functioning sexual being, and who lives her life according to her sense of inner integrity."
Now, when you add in the complexity of groups, a marriage being the most intimate group of all, the internal definitions become even trickier. It's likely that most people were in somewhat similar agreement on their basic values when they got married, or at least thought they were; but when one person in that group, the marriage, starts to redefine their values, the other has no choice but to question their own definitions and values. And no one changes their values because some else wants them to or suggests that they should or when, god forbid, says "you're wrong." NO ONE.
This, in my specific experience, is the essence of how just the discussion of swinging has affected our specific marriage. Together, Vincent and I are both redefining the words and phrases that we've built our lives on. Not just words like "slut" but also words like "integrity," "good husband," "good wife," "well -lived life," "adventure," "friend." And, it's not always easy. But so far it has always been worth it.
On another, sexier, topic Vince and I have finally connected with a few couples on-line that we're tying to set up meetings with. One couple is local and really seems to have potential. Their photos are nice, but their writing is even better! When folks say in their profiles "we're funny" I expect to see it in print! And this couple is hilarious! We hope to set something up with them in the next month or so.
There's another couple that we've corresponded with for a while who we may actually get a chance to meet in person. I'm not going to write about those guys though because they read this blog and I don't want them to be "blog fodder." (Seriously guys, if you're reading this, we are really looking forward to just meeting and hanging out, no pressure -- even if it doesn't all click -- which we hope it does -- but if it doesn't... -- you guys are just feakin' cool! -- but no pressure, seriously -- aw hell, you know what I mean!)
Last night there was a meet and greet sponsored by the website that we're thinking about giving up on because it seemed like we didn't really fit as well as the last M&G we went to was poorly attended. Unfortunately for us, the one last night appeared to be very well attended but we couldn't go because Vince had a gig with a new band he'd already committed to. That said, the good news is that Vincent REALLY wanted to go. Not, "I'll just go check it out" kind of thing but he wanted to go MEET people! People that we may click with. People that we may end up having sexual adventures with. Real fucking people. That's huge, folks. He's also starting to see women he does find attractive, that he could imagine himself having sex with who aren't me. Wow. And I wanted to go to, but wasn't chomping at the bit in blaming frustration. I think we've both moved a little in the right directions for each other! :)
Oh, we also received a "Hey, are you going to be there" email from the young hottie we met at the little meet and greet I mentioned a few posts ago. Vince and this gal certainly had chemistry. We need to meet the boyfriend to see if he and I have any but who know? Baby steps, baby steps...
Also, as part of this new band gig, we had to go shopping and Vince picked out some awesome looking clothes to gig in. Oh. My. God. He looks so fantastic!! And the ladies are noticing, too. He's been getting lots of attention from the patrons and staff at the club they've played at. Now, part of it may because he's an awesome guitar-playing rock god, and because he's a devishly handsome Italian man, but I think the new threads are just icing on the new-adventures cake!
In addition to the above, our 30-year-old dryer finally gave up the ghost, our dishwasher is on the fritz, and we need to treat the lawn for weeds. Family wants our attention. Words need to be written. Business needs to be conducted. Friends need to be connected with. You know, the usual stuff of life.
Hope you're all having a great week!