Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Friends.... with or without benefits

So the secret is out -- yours truly was at the wheel when my delightful friend snapped this photo. That's right, I've had the recent pleasure to finally meet the famous Hubman face to face. In addition, Hubman got to meet the mysterious and elusive Vincent Lane. The three of us had dinner together Sunday evening, then last night (Tuesday), Hubman and I had dinner alone while Vince decided to stay home. It was fun to finally get to hang with the guy who rocks Veronica's world; who, together with his partner, made a decision to live a more open, generous, and adventurous life.

I got to hang out with "teh Hub-ster" not once, not twice, but three times over the five days he was in town. The third time was a total surprise in more ways than one. On Sunday evening Vince and I met H and we all went to dinner. On Tuesday evening, it was just me and H. Then, on Thursday, things got nuts. I recently reconnected with a real-life childhood friend. To make a long story short, she and her husband have been considering swinging and it came up in conversation (don't ask) and I told her about me and Vince and (GASP!) about Ivey Lane. So through a strange and very fast series of phone calls we decided to host dinner at our house for the five of us, primarily so my friends to pick Hubman's brain, we could share stories and experiences, and generally have an open and frank discussion without worrying that the waiter was going into shock. And at one point we even had Veronica joining in via iPhone.

Interestingly, at no time did anyone get naked, though if I'm honest I have no idea what Veronica was wearing while we were on the phone. That's right, no sex.

Let me back up a bit and give you a little backstory. Almost 2 years ago now, back when we started exploring the idea of swinging, I scoured the web for information, blogs, forums, ANYTHING for a little guidance. I discovered Hubman and Veronica's blogs through Figleaf and found something that seemed promising -- real people who seemed to have complete lives that happened to contain this other, more unusual, element. I had another (vanilla) blog at the time and commented, asked questions, and got thoughtful replies in return.

So when I started Ivey Lane, guess who was my first follower and commenter? You got it -- Hubman. From the beginning, he's known my real name as well as lots of daily life information. Over time our correspondence included emails, at first more Q&A but also took on a sexier, flirtier tone. As Vince and I became more comfortable with my cyber-flirtations, H & I exchanged a few naughty as well as nice pictures (I was also doing Proj365) and eventually we added phone calls as well. The conversations often included a little sexy/flirty but ALWAYS included a few laughs and general life chit chat.

We were evolving into friends.

Now it's no secret, certainly not to Vince or Hubman, that there's more than a little sexual tension between me and H. Oh yeah, the thought of doing naughty things with that boy definitely pumps my tires, so to speak. More importantly, the thought of sex with both Vince (the love of my life) and Hubman (my sexy, open-minded friend) at the same time can send me into fits of daydream ecstasy. Toss in a vision of Veronica in the mix and oh-holy-hell; my imagination just fuckin' soars!

So when I found out he was coming to town, I was thrilled.... and concerned. Because contrary to what the general population may think, an exploration of swinging isn't a sexual free-for-all and in fact, brings with it even greater obligations for self-control, communication, and restraint.

You see, Ivey doesn't always get what Ivey wants. What Vince wants -- or doesn't -- matters as well, and in some very important ways, it matters more. And this is both a very good, and sometimes a very challenging, thing.

It's more than the sex, by the way. If you've been reading for a while you know that we've swapped once with one other couple, been on numerous "dates", visited a swinger club, gone to meet-n-greets, and recently attended a swingin' swap-party fuck-fest. You also know that Vince had a serious meltdown a few months ago, one that we've recovered from but for a while our relationship was in serious jeopardy.

The crux of the conflict isn't merely sexual openness, though that is the catalyst -- it involves two radically different approaches to life and experience.

As we discussed Hubman's imminent arrival, the question naturally arose "well, is this going to get naked?" In my perfect world, I would've had a threesome experience with my Beloved and our trusted friend. In a less perfect but still sexually open world, I would have satisfied my curiosity about what it was like to have sex with this particular person and shared a fun activity, enjoying a "benefit" of a FWB. On the next level, I would be able to get to know spend face-to-face time with a friend, opening acknowledging the obvious attraction but stopping short of crossing from fantasy to reality -- in other words, tabling the benefit. The next, not so cool scenario would've been to miss the chance to meet, to hang out, to share laughter and exchange ideas, maybe learn somethin' new or debate something fun with a person I find interesting.

There's so much to tell here, way to much to be included in this little post. Things like how listening to Veronica as she shared her views on her husband having sex while traveling, the woman just exudes competence and confidence. Seeing and hearing the excitement from my friends as they navigate how to turn their fantasies into realities and have a little fun in the process. I sincerely hope they follow Hubman's advice ("It's fun!") and not get bogged down in too much "what if." I loved getting to see H's enthusiasm; he is definitely a guy who knows how to say YES to life. I appreciate how far Vince has come in the last 18 months and at the same time experience a growing sense of sadness with each experience that we choose to say "no" to.

A friend -- one without benefits -- told me that I have a tendency to "over think" things. That's not really true. I'm a pretty quick thinker, good evaluator, and have a significant amount of self-awareness and competence. I'm not wrestling with inner angst or indecision. I'm not limiting my interactions because I don't know what the course of action should be, what the best answer is. No -- it's sales, persuasion (pushiness?), coaxing, and convincing not myself, but others.

I hope you enjoyed your visit to Ivey Lane, Hubman, and your "behind the blinds peek" into what I'm REALLY like! With or without benefits, I enjoy being your friend.


  1. With or without benefits, I enjoy being your friend as well!

  2. I am only sorry that I could not join the fun in person. And while we were talking I was wearing a purple lace corset, a g-string and my boots of naughtiness. Or snowmen flannel jammies. You can choose.

  3. Damn. . .had a whole wonderful reply typed out, and it got lost in the ether. . .

    Suffice it to say that despite our high expectations about the evening, they were exceeded. Both by conversation and company. All our questions/concerns were addressed, with intelligence, humor and honesty.

    Veronica, having you join us was wonderful, as I had those very specific ones that I felt could best be answered by you. Flannel or leather boots, you are one hot mama.

    Hubman, I love "Swing Shift", and hope you and V. will be able to use some of the questions as future fodder for the archives.

    Vince, my sweetheart is very like you in temperament, so it was reassuring to hear your viewpoint. I can't wait to see you play. Guitar, of course;-)

    Ivey, what can I say, except I'm SO glad you picked me up on your 'play-dar', and agreed to share your blog. This, and the bloggers I have found via you, have been an amazing source of information. I feel like we are months ahead of where we would have been, had we been wading into the waters on our own.

    Thanks to all of you. Since we left, my mind has been swirling with information. And possibilities. . .Oh, the delicious, delightful possibilities. How wonderful to be able to share those fantasies with my hot husband. It's amazing how much extra heat there has been lately. I'll leave it to you to imagine whether any of you had a part in them;-)

  4. I can relate to the over-thinking of things....I SO do the same thing!

    I'm glad you were able to meet with him. Not only once, but numerous times. I'm sure it was fabulously fun!


  5. I m glad you could get together with your friend, naked or not it sounded like a great week.

  6. Fun is an understatement when you meet the write couple. I'm not sure if I'm unusual in this situation, but personally intellectual stimulation is high on my list as well. Sexual chemistry is great, but combine that with intellectual chemistry, and KABOOM! The sex goes to a whole new level.

    Great post..reminds me so much of what we're going through ourselves.