One of the reasons why I love Naked Fort Collins so much is that we’re telling other people’s truths that they’d rarely share with anyone else.
Do you really know the moms dropping off the kids in the elementary school line? No, you don’t.
Do you really know the people around you in the grocery store? No, you don’t.
Do you really know your neighbors? No. You don’t.
But those moms, those strangers in the grocery store, your neighbors, are emailing us asking for interviews to share their hidden secrets with Fort Collins. Anonymously, but still. Those words, those stories, are working their way through us and becoming public truths.
This. Is. Amazing.
The goal of Naked Fort Collins is to share those truths consensually. What’s revealed to us in confidence at a party over a glass of wine will never become blog fodder without permission. In all of our interviews we’ll deeply respect our readers’ privacy while still being able to make their story known. We’ll omit names and identifiable places. Rest assured though, these stories and interviews are real.
Since the launch of Naked Fort Collins a lot of my friends and readers have been asking if we’ll cover topics related to local swingers. Well, sure. Not a lot of things are off limits here. It all depends on who wants to share (stories, that is…). People are sharing, and it didn’t take long to set up some meetings.
The thing is, all of the details about swinging in Fort Collins aren’t going to fit into one simple post. Each aspect of the lifestyle could be its own post. Hell, it could turn into a series of posts. And that’s precisely what it has turned into while writing. Today’s post is a general overview, a glossing of the surface, if you will, of what came from multiple interviews from various lifestyle couples around Fort Collins and some of the more insightful things they had to say.
Who Is In The Lifestyle?
“Don’t let go of your keys!” friends joked once they found out that I was on my way to a swinger couple’s house to chat about their experiences in the lifestyle. For some reason, people think swingers are rape-y and that they’ll try to persuade you to “play”, or that unsuspecting visitors will be trapped in basement sex dungeons. Or worse, drugged and taken advantage of like Bill Cosby’s victims or given “thigh openers” like what Hugh Hefner passed around.
That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.
I sat on a backyard patio with a glass of white wine and chatted with a threesome – a husband, wife, and their lifestyle friend; who also happens to be someone else’s wife. It was just like any other patio chat you’d expect in Fort Collins except the topic, while exceptionally respectful, was probably more revealing than what most people discuss.
When you think of swingers, you probably think of people who are muscular examples of body perfection. Or, maybe you have a perception of people on a nude beach – bodies that nobody really wants to see but they show off anyway. Couples in the lifestyle come in all shapes and sizes. Some are hot, and some are not. The majority of people in the lifestyle are your regular everyday people – teachers, business owners, parents, students, and grandparents. Actually, think of your neighbors, because many of them are.
Why Do This?
The couples that I spoke with can’t speak for everyone, but most people in the lifestyle are in it for the opportunity to experience and enjoy more of what life has to offer in a non-judgemental, open-minded way. Monogamy is important to many, but isn’t for everyone. Although, everyone unanimously agreed that it’s not an avenue to cheat on their spouses or that they’re in it because their relationships weren’t “enough.” It’s more of a way to add spice and excitement to their lives, I suppose how some people choose life-risking outdoor sports while others are content to stay at home and watch movies on the couch. Every couple adds excitement in different ways, and this is the way that swingers choose to do that.
What struck me most as we delved into their stories, and the stories from other couples I chatted with that week, is that everyone was deeply committed in their long-term marriages, some wed longer than 15 years and still going strong. Each person talked about how much they loved and respected their significant other – their best friend – and everyone couldn’t emphasise enough how important communication is when it comes to successfully navigating an alternative lifestyle. While there are many couples that find themselves divorced after trysts gone wrong, and that’s what we hear about most in public conversations, it was great to hear the other side of the story.
The best way this choice was conveyed to me was that it wasn’t taking something away from a marriage, but adding something to it.
How Do You Meet Swingers in Fort Collins?
One of the biggest questions that the curious people of Fort Collins have is how swingers find each other. Do they find strangers to meet up with or do they decide to take that step with flirtatious friends?
It seems that most of the successful swingers find like-minded strangers through online avenues like Adult Friend Finder and Kasidie, etc. However, those strangers can become close life-long friends. They’ve trusted lifestyle partners more than most other friends and they’ve been in vulnerable situations with them. Sex may be “just sex” in their philosophy, but it’s not uncommon for friendships to develop as a result.
I found that to be a consistent and profound commonality in all of the conversations I had.
Do You Stay Local?
There are people who believe Fort Collins is too small of a town to expand those horizons in, opting for alternative nightlife choices in Denver to protect their anonymity. And then there are people who take the risk with like-minded locals. While a run-in at the grocery store can be an awkward experience, especially if they are parents with their kids in tow, the convenience of local lifestyle friends can overrule that risk.
One of the downsides to keeping it local isn’t the chance of a grocery store run-in, but rather the potential for friend-circle gossip and doxxing should a swinger’s vanilla friends see them on a date in Old Town. Unfortunately, this is common in our small-town mentality where people think everything is their business and that they’ve potentially caught someone they know cheating.
You’re A Parent? And A Swinger?
Yes, there are many people in the lifestyle who are parents. Some of the people I chatted with have been in the lifestyle for over 20 years, well before they became parents, and kept up with it. Just because you become a parent doesn’t mean your needs and desires die (it can happen, but hopefully not). People make decisions for different reasons, but there are a good number of couples who keep up with the lifestyle throughout the different phases of their lives. It really is a lifestyle choice.
Just as vanilla parents make adjustments for their sexual needs, lifestyle parents do the same. There are boundaries, and it’s not like it’s dinner conversation at the table. “Well, what if the kids ask? What happens then??” you may be asking yourself. I absolutely wondered the same. One of the ladies that I chatted with had that conversation with one of her teens after they found out (not visually, mind you). Yes, it’s an awkward conversation, just like any conversation about sex can be with your kids. And just how communication is exceptionally important with couples participating in the lifestyle, honest communication is just as important with kids when they ask (and not TMI, just honest). Kids are mostly fearful that the family is on thin ice and that parents might be headed toward divorce, so that conversation about communication and stability is essential.
But, most of the time, they don’t need to know as it’s often a non-issue if practiced respectfully.
Different Strokes For Different Folks
The Lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but it doesn’t mean that those who choose to participate are creepy and gross. I think the more we try to understand and learn about other’s and their interests, the more open-minded we are to what’s happening in Fort Collins, the better we are as a whole. These conversations and posts aren’t intended to make everyone think that swinging is something they should do, because it’s not. But if you find out that one of your neighbors heads down to the Scarlet Ranch every now and then, hopefully you don’t give them the judgemental stink eye for how they choose to manage their marriage, and sex life and you just see them as your neighbors (albeit, a little more adventurous).