I see that some communities, both "swingers" and "polyamory" are making use of some of my writings, which they found interesting. On these things I have fairly formed opinions, for two different reasons. If you see links around, in any case, you better know that I am not (anymore) part of certain tours, and my exit concisely with my personal choices from a certain moment of my life onwards.
First of all I had a youthful life that I would euphemistically call "very promiscuous". Very, very, very, very "euphemistically".
The second reason is that in the 90s, when mailing lists were in fashion, I managed a mailing list for swinging couples, (I was "the Mod") which I then closed when some of the members organized, in Rome, a 'orgy. But since they had no idea of the number of Roman members of the ML, a lot more people arrived than expected (a few hundred more, when the intentions were to be no more than 10-15), the orgy overtook in the gardens of palace and neighboring buildings, and the police took action. I believe you will still find references by searching the newspapers of the time. In order not to find the police at home I had to close the mailing list.
On why my Internet life is full of similar events (this thing, the story of the Oil of Rapeseed in the Diesel, and other disasters that I caused with other nicks) I am reflecting. For now, I still enjoy myself.
However, between personal life and Internet disasters I would say that I had swum quite well in these waters. And of the swinging I have the same opinion that I have of polyamory.
It works only in certain social, cultural and economic conditions, because it is inevitably EXCLUSIVE environments. It is, that is, a question reserved for middle-high classes.
From now on I will bring together all the categories (polyamory, swinging, gay cruising, BDSM, etc) under the heading of "Sexual Hedonism", both because I remember the "Hedonist Tours" ( who was not there will not be there, LOL ), and both because they are two aspects of the same tendency to believe that from the practical realization of lust and pleasure a better world is born, and that pleasure itself is a positive moral category.
This is fundamental, because all the distortions that I saw happen in the world of sexual hedonism came just when the ethical dimension of the participants was not aligned with the ideal of pleasure as a positive moral category.
Let's go by degrees. And let's see what the limits of sexual hedonism are and what problems afflict the relative environments.
First, sexual hedonism is limited by economic exclusivity. To practice it you need to have three things that are typical of the rich classes:
- Much time available. Sexual hedonism takes a long time to devote to the care of oneself, to dedicate to the search for the right opportunity to realize one's erotic fantasies, and in search of the right people. If you have a lot of time and go to a sex club, for example, if you don't find anything you like one evening you can always have a drink at the bar, have a chat with the managers, and then leave.
- Lots of money available. Organizing events, such as the Hedonism Tour of the times, or trips like at Cap D'Adge, having a life of complex relationship with many partners as in the polyamory, requires a certain economic wealth, or at least a certain economic independence, both from the society than by the partner. If you have little money and maybe you can organize a trip to a hotel for swingers, and you have only one available, it is essential that it works. But this turns everything into an experience that I wouldn't call "morally positive": a brothel would have cost you less.
- A certain level of education and a certain cultural level. Whether you like it or not, the housewife of Voghera, who speaks dialect and has a vision of pleasure devoid of any sophistication, inside a sex club is only a person that the owners let in to make up. Then he has so many of those existential problems in doing things that the experience with her is twisted to boredom, or hastily in an abrupt manner. Voghera's housewife must continue with the plumber, hedonism has an intellectual dimension that she will never be able to approach. The risk is to obtain a "merdification" of the thing that I can summarize with "50 shades of".
The problem of free time is impacting because if you want to turn pleasure into an uplifting experience, you need time. Whether waiting to really want to, that is, having a cultivated appetite , or finding the right person (or more).
In the early days of Italian swinging, for example, if things weren't going right, you had a drink in the club and you left. "It'll be for next week." But when those "who worked tomorrow" arrived, the stressed out without free time, BISOGNAVA "do". And they were scenes if you said no. Similarly, if you cultivate "polyamory" relationships with people whose economic status does not allow you to have free time, you find yourself having to "do" when you don't feel like it, when it was not the time, when there was no stimulating situation , because "I can dedicate you two hours Saturday morning".
This is the point: pleasure comes from three things: quantity, technique and context. If you have the right partners, you have the amount. If you have any practice in mind (BDSM, DP, gangbang, anything) then you also have the technique. But so far it is one of those porn movies that begin with the anal. Then the context is needed, that is the situation: being in a motel to fuck satisfies quantity and technique, while touching the doorman of the concierge behind the reception while the postman arranges the mail and you are afraid that he sees you is a situation that makes the what much more "spicy". If you want this kind of situation with your "friends" you have to spend a lot of time together, then fantasy and opportunity will do the rest.
But the leisure time available for recreation is typical of economically wealthy classes. Not even the fake rich and fake "entrepreneurs", or the fake "middle class", have the time they need.
Almost all polyamory problems fall under the "economy" point. The problem is that very many couples or "families" in reality are companies whose contract is written in the bedroom. An accountant would call them "holding companies", because in the absence of abundant income the couple makes an economy of scale on purchases and shares the properties to optimize, combining incomes also for tax reasons. This is the purpose of the company called "Holding". When your playmate is not part of a pseudo-family holding, in reality (unless he is rich) he dreams of nothing but having one, and therefore there is a hidden agenda.
The result is that both in the polyamory and in the swinging the ghost of the fear of losing the partner always hovers. Almost all the clubs without my knowledge, for example, would have paid gold to have "singles" who went there for pure entertainment and were not prostitutes. I met one of these rare women, but in privee clubs these women almost always went blank, or they found only "singles": when they found "couples" invariably came the moment when "we ran the pelvis", and the partner he feared he would lose his share of the company , his Holding was in danger. I saw several clubs close at the request of the nearby villages (the story of a sex club in the Ferrara area ended up in the newspapers), under the pressure of worried wives.
For many women, the male is just a source of income, marriage is a legitimate form of prostitution, and the idea that income runs off with another is their nightmare.
The same happens in polyamory: if everyone is economically independent singles, everyone fucks each other to create a pseudo-family-Holding and everything works happily. The problem comes if you do polyamory but it is crucial for your economy that the Holding is solid and guarantees investments (mortgage, etc). In that case, it doesn't work anymore.
Sexual hedonism works only in those social classes where everyone is economically self-sufficient and independent.
The economic factor also impacts the frequented areas: in the case of privee clubs, the "singles" (ie men without a partner) pay a high price to enter, in order not to have a horny tail. Couples and single women pay much less, or enter for free: they also serve to attract individuals willing to pay. This fills clubs without provincial riches that use them as brothels. On the other hand, the alternative would be to make all customers pay, but let's get back to the point before: the economic factor. At one time, they paid all the customers to get in. But it wasn't a problem, because they were rich.
Another aspect of the economic factor is precisely the fact that one cannot find oneself in "situations" that really allow one to experiment, or as one uses in jargon, to "play". You can be "polyamory" as much as you want, but if all you do is see yourself in a highway parking lot during your office lunch break for a car blowjob, honestly you are more "monotony" than "polyamory".
Finally we come to the cultural question. And here the problems really come.
When the world of sexual hedonism was made up of people of high cultural level, capable of understanding and managing it, everything worked quite well. Everything was managed in terms of exclusivity, and both the economic factor (the clubs were few and needed time and money to go there) and the socio-cultural factor "improved the quality of the fun".
The trouble is that at some point it became "democratized", and people who were sex opportunists began to arrive. Usually males. Because you have to say what you want about the fact that if women pull it, but until characters whose eroticism is at the "maniac of public toilets" turn up, it is unlikely that "playful sex" will be possible.
At one point the thing about sexual hedonism has collapsed, because a mass of people completely uneducated to pleasure has come down to occupy all the space with their erotic imagery of poor category porn. These people had never read anything about erotic literature, so in the end all they knew of sexual pleasure had learned from porn.
If you went into the world of "swingers" all you found were neurotic and generally voyeur men, who expected to see a porn movie, and women trying to imitate porn actresses. In the world of real polyamory there were simply characters who betrayed each other, but nothing like an erotic life aimed at creating new experiences, satisfying curiosity or achieving fantasies.
The masses do not understand things like "newness" or "intensity": they only understand quantity. When sexual hedonism became democratized, it was experienced as "doing the same things with more people", ie as a mere quantitative achievement. It was neither "doing different things" nor "doing things better".
I've seen this happen in almost every environment. The BDSM was filled with "dominatrixes" who believe a bodice, a heel and a whip are enough to do it, but then they should read "In Cucina con Suor Germana" to double their attitude. The "slaves" are usually males willing to be beaten to feel a faint smell of a real pussy. Swingers have been filled with people who have to do the same things as always with more people, the polyamory of opportunistic characters who can be their colleague in the office but don't want their girlfriend to get angry. Absolute mediocrity, no sexual imagery, no narration, the simple desire to do the same things as always with more people, believing you are getting something different.
Moreover, there is always the problem of social dualism: with the lover you do dirty things, but with your girlfriend / wife things must be less filthy than that. In the same way I can understand if a woman has the fantasy of the super-crazy African male: but it was enough for me to understand the French to feel that they despise the women who fuck, they see her as revenge against the Europeans, and so on. So in the end she's probably making an erotic fetish, but they're doing "hatefuck". There are many ways in which this social dualism is realized.
Another problem linked to the cultural level is that the environment also takes its own. An example of a sexual proletariat was the school teacher who was discovered by the students to be a lover of gangbang and sexual freedom. Immediately she was transferred and lost her income, because "public school teachers must also be asexual in private life", or something like that. The class problem is clearly manifested, because if this woman had been a woman of a different social class, with another job and a different profession, they would have been careful not to attack her. There have been many cases of clubs of all kinds closed by the police, from gay saunas to swingers' clubs to other cruising places: but they were always proletarian places. Their "high social class" correspondents are untouchable, and the police are careful not to raid.
In the same way, I met several "de facto" couples where one of them was a transsexual: but as long as they are people of a certain social class, no one goes to mention Catholic bullshit, (not even the local bishop, believe me), because the person has an environment around them that, whether interested or not, will never marginalize them. Everyone "pretended not to have understood, that she was …".
Even in the world of polyamory, the speech is the same: there are environments (usually well-off) where sexual promiscuity is the norm and was the norm well before it was called "polyamory". Memory of summer nights in the parts of Siena, gardens, night and moans . But since it has become democratized, explaining sexual hedonism to people who have at most read 50 shades and believes it is BDSM (it is simply the story of an abused girl, BDSM is a different thing) has resulted impossible. And if you put people who have "the couple relationship" as a paradigm to be part of poly groups, all you will get is to find yourself at 3 o'clock at night to wipe the tears of friends in crisis and to console aspiring frustrated fiancés.
My opinion therefore is simple: for sexual hedonism to spread, there must be a ROBUST middle class made up of people who have:
- free time for pleasure.
- money available to invest in pleasure.
- sufficient general culture to cultivate a REAL sexual imagery.
But even when it spreads because a middle class is very large, it will remain an exclusive phenomenon, since the lower classes are cut off from the most aristocratic gadget: pleasure.
If this does not happen and hedonism does not become elitist and exclusive, it will be thought that doing more sex means doing the same things with more partners, and everything will be reduced to the usual “how much?” Problem. But in this case, sexual hedonism has lost all ethical or moral quality, it no longer qualifies as a morally positive dimension, and all you can tell is that you have fucked so many people.
Since you've always done the same thing with so many of you do with one, in reality you have only generated a gigantic overhead in the dating phase, and nothing more.
It is the disappearance of the middle class, combined with the claim to "democratize" the practices destined for the rich and culturally advanced elites, to have rendered these environments INSERVIBLE.
Personally, today I find them boring, unrealistic and let's say: pathetic.