I’m not sure where I am going with this post. The US is changing rapidly as women come forward to say that they’ve been molested. Some of these incidents have been recent and some have taken place in the past.

I have never been raped but I have been coerced into having sex, when I didn’t really want to, by both men and women. The corollary is also true: I have never raped anyone, however I have coerced women and men into having sex with me when they were hesitant.

Hitting my teen years in the 1960s, it was still common for teen girls and boys to play the Coaxing Game: Start by kissing, groping over clothes, sneaking hands under clothes, etc. Sometimes I felt pressured to go further than I wanted, but it was all part of the game and was very exciting and slightly naughty. I was lucky that I was never forced to go beyond my “this is too much” point.

And then the Summer of Love happened and everyone was screwing everyone. The Pill was in common use by then and STIs were practically unheard of. As the century progressed, it was pretty common where I lived to have lots of sex with lots of people, both male and female. Sex was good and healthy, gay rights were coming to the forefront and non-monogamy was venturing out of the closet.

If we were drunk or hungover and she didn’t want sex, I knew how to manipulate her. If he was hesitant because his wife might find out, I knew of places for quickies. Looking back now is unsettling, and doesn’t deserve a pardon, but it was still part of the Coaxing Game. I’ll venture to say that many of us either gave in to coercion or we coerced others.

This leaves us with some difficult questions today. Do we judge older events by new standards? Is forcing someone to give you a blowjob as bad as putting an arm around your waist without asking first, or as bad as commenting how great you look in those tight pants? Where should the lines be drawn?

To those I have harmed along the way, I am truly sorry. After being sexually active for 50 years, I am happy to bid goodbye to the Coaxing Game and instead welcome new patterns of authentic communication. And that’s what it’s all about: learning better ways to be human.

How’d I get to be a curmudgeon?

Inspired by a Twitter post, and riffing on this article:

What happened around age 45-50:

  • My body gave out.
    • Lived with an alcoholic artist for a year or two. She was the love of my life, but ultimately being up all night and taking care of everything while she slept off her latest binge drove me crazy.
    • I was a single mom to two teenage girls. I had been working as a nurse – shift work. Two days, turnaround day, three nights, turnaround day. I diagnosed myself with fibromyalgia and 18 months later my doctor confirmed it.
  • Daughter #1 moved to the other side of the country.
  • Daughter #2 got pregnant. My daughters knew all about how NOT to get pregnant, since I had been a women’s health teacher for years, so this was at first a real slap in the face. Then I had to let it go as she and her partner figured things out on their own. I loved her but could not financially support her (having fibro and being on disability). I moved into town and got my own little place and helped to babysit when I could.
  • I threw myself into community work – AIDS and LGBT groups. I watched some grow and others fall apart. Group politics is really draining.
  • I taught myself new skills. I was online figuring out HTML in 1995. Joined a community group that was bringing the interwebs to our small town.

So what did I learn?

  1. My body knew when to say ENOUGH, even if my brain didn’t. I came home from whatever and crawled straight into bed many days.
  2. I learned what it’s like to live with and adapt to chronic pain.
  3. My daughters weren’t going to listen to me. They had their own lives.
  4. I walked away from relationships and only looked back for the little time I needed for my head to clear and realize how toxic they had been.
  5. Living close to the poverty line, I learned how to live on nothing. I spent time and money on important stuff – rent, an internet account, gas money, stocking up on black tea, cans of tuna and jars of peanut butter.
  6. I said NO a lot. I earned a reputation for being a curmudgeon and a bitch. (I now mostly do that on Reddit.) But I also said YES to important stuff like taking care of a toddler for a few months until her mom could get her shit together.
  7. I spent hours listening to classical music while HTML permeated my brain. I developed websites close to my heart: vintage graphics and family history.
  8. I developed a healthy relationship with my vibrator. I wrote erotica.
  9. I slipped quietly from agnosticism into atheism. My skepticism of everything I had been told my whole life deepened. I questioned everything.
  10. I stopped catastrophizing everything.  I sat back, had some vodka and came back to the present.
  11. I stopped giving a fuck about anything except what is right in front of me, right this minute. I pushed myself to be a badass. I’m determined to live to be 100 doing this.

Desire 2016

The anticipation started building about 6 weeks before we were going. Having Rocket Chat to talk with other Swingsetters was incredible. We knew a few people from last year and were glad to get to know a few more online before November.

What changed since I was last at Desire?

1. I started leading a senior’s sexuality discussion group at a local community center.

2. My relationship with Doc deepened, as we did an anniversary trip to Victoria, BC in June to celebrate five years of our amazing life together.

3. I went to Woodhull’s Sexual Freedom conference in August.

Desire was a place where I could be my true self. Doc and I planned costumes for most of the themes but not much else. We were open to playing with others or just enjoying our time together for the week.

Friday November 4:

We left RDU on Friday morning with a very quick stopover in CLT. (Those airport call letters always make me giggle – seemed fitting for this trip.)

A note for next year’s Newbie Handbook:  a section on what to expect getting through Immigration and Customs at the airport in Cancun. This time it was pretty quick – 45 minutes – but last year took much longer.  And I was grabbed by the Red light, but knew what to expect this time. We were at the Marriott in time for a late lunch and a margarita.

We cuddled and napped then went downstairs to meet up with a few of the other Swingsetters including B and B who live near us.

Saturday November 5:

The shuttle picked us up fairly early so after being greeted with a glass of champagne and walking through the lobby doors, we were indeed ‘home again’ in time for breakfast: naked Swingset folks all around.

Then we spent several hours waiting in the courtyard for our room to be ready. I appointed myself Newbie Ambassador. Finding that clothes were too hot, I left them with Doc while escorting new and bewildered Swingsetters around Desire’s winding pathways to the Beach, Restaurants, Pool and Hot tub.

Sunday November 6:

This morning: wind blowing through palm trees, can’t really hear the ocean; blue-green water;  beach bar in front of our room; occasional sounds of laughter from folks on the beach beds. The beds are no longer on the beach as a storm washed away much of the sand up to the cement wall.

Speed Dating was run in the afternoon by the wonderful K and F.  We met up with old friends T and T from last year, but there were too many new people to remember them all. Again I found myself not wearing clothes, but it worked with our speed-dating question: “ Which is sexier? Naked or partially clothed?”

Monday: November 7:

Sex toy and kink toy, show and tell. Doc wasn’t interested in going so I dragged our bag of toys over to the disco. I volunteered to try out the Njoy11 later with C, showed off my favorite kink toy the Wartenburg wheel and modeled some nipple clamps. I had been wanting an Eroscillator for some time and M gave me hers! Wow! In return I gave her my Reddit t-shirt which she thought was adorable. (The Eroscillator now has a favored spot next to our bed.)

I then met up with Doc for a quick lunch before going back to the disco for a ride on a Sybian, wonderfully supplied by Swinger Doc. I had been wanting to ride this toy with Doc since way back at Catalyst Con East.

We needed a few pillows to make it comfortable for me to sit/kneel on the Sybian. (I had a total knee replacement 2 years ago.) I chose a small dildo attachment, but next time I think I would go for a larger one. Doc sat/knelt in front of me and handled the controls.

So intense: not only the physical sensations but the way that Doc and I connect. His eyes captured me and held me. He is my rock. He got off from watching me and listening to me as I came countless times. He reveled in my pleasure and pushed me further. Our friends T and T came behind me and pinched my nipples which sent me into deeper orgasms. When I had had enough and we stopped I yelled out “And I’m 68 years old”. Laughter.

Tuesday: November 8:

Our best costumes were for the Steampunk theme, so we decided to wear them to the Swingset group dinner.

I must say how delighted I am to be a part of this group. We are truly building a Tribe of sex positive, thoughtful, intelligent, geeky/nerdy people.

After supper as the election results started coming in we knew this was not going to be good. I went up to the women’s orgy with mixed feelings – stay and watch the news unfold or relax with sexy bodies. Doc and I sat in the hot tub for a while then I wandered over to the beds where the other women had gathered. Doc watched from afar and was happy to assist by getting toys, water and towels as needed.

I felt awkward in the group as I had not played with any of the other women there. My sexy times with women have always been one-on-one. Also, in my experience (twenty years ago) we never used strap-ons. Fingers, tongues and fists (and the occasional vibrator) were our main playthings.

Lying on one of the beds watching the other women and listening to their joyful cries in the next bed, brought me back to my time as a midwife: the sheer power of women’s energy is incredible.

I said that I wanted someone to use the Njoy 11 on me and K very willingly agreed. She is so very skilled in the use of that toy and brought me to a squirting orgasm almost immediately. It was such a deep heavy smooth feeling that filled my whole pelvis – a different kind of penetration than a penis.

There’s always something new to learn.

Wednesday: November 9:

It was dungeon night and the theme was Anything But Clothes so Doc dressed me in rope. He carefully arranged the ropes so my shoulders and ass were open for flogging.

This was again something I had been looking forward to since Catalyst Con East. I told JV that I wanted him to flog me and teach Doc how to do it properly. Doc used our small light flogger at first and then changed over to another heavier one as he got used to the technique. I have no idea how long I was there with my hands up against the cross, but I was so proud of my marks for many days afterward. Thank you to all of you who organized Wednesday night. It was one of the highlights of our trip.

Thursday: November 10:

In the early afternoon we sat in on Dylan’s Gentle Perverts podcast show, but left early to set up for my Squirting workshop.

Doc had started the day by edging me – bringing me close to orgasm but then telling me I couldn’t cum, so I was quite ready to play. Doc and I both relayed the info we knew about the anatomy and physiology of female ejaculation and talked about waterproof bed protectors. Then he started massaging my labia and clit while I kept talking. He finally had to tell me to shut up and just relax!

About a minute later, with his magic fingers, he was able to make me squirt several times in front of a group of about a dozen people. Then as K and F demonstrated how squirting works for them using the Njoy11,  Doc and I answered questions from the audience.

I loved doing this workshop and will certainly do it again next year. Thank you so much K and F for joining us!

After our workshop we stayed around for the fisting demo by Dr Liz. I haven’t been fisted in many years, as I feel like my perineum is going to tear. With lube and gloves and patience maybe this is something Doc and I can work on for the future.

We  dressed up for dinner at Suki, and I got pretty emotional sitting across from Doc and staring into his beautiful brown eyes. The twists and turns of the universe that brought us together are kind of incredible when we stop to think about it. To be at Desire, open and loving, with so many other kindred  spirits was amazing.

Friday: November 11

We dressed up in our biker gear in the evening showing everyone our real selves. (I don’t wear fishnets on the bike, but…)

Also the best-ever rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody happened in the courtyard on this last night at Desire.

We had been flirting for a few days with B and N, so Friday we all decided go for it and went back to their room where we played until 2:30am. We will need to include Vancouver Island in our next trip to BC.

Saturday: November 12:

After about 4 hours sleep we managed to get ourselves up and on the shuttle to the airport. So overwhelmed, but so happy. So many things checked off our bucket lists.

This trip brought us closer. We both had emotional ups and downs, but we talked about that and realized we weren’t always going to be on the same page.

We often ventured off in different directions. He would wind up making out at the Courtyard bar with someone while I would be over by the pool having lunch with someone else.

Rocket Chat has been invaluable to keep the conversations going. I’ve added several more people to my Twitter account also. Hopefully we’ll meet up with some of these folks before Desire 2017.