Here’s last Wednesday’s headline from the New York Post:
“3 no longer a crowd as open relationships see a boom”
Attention grabbing? For sure. Sensationalist? I don’t think so. The article, in fact, is a sensitively done piece on what a range of poly relationships look like from the inside. It accesses some current research, and quotes from Sexpert Tristan Taormino, whose book on the subject, Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships, is selling more copies now than when it was first released in 2008.
Are poly relationships truly on the increase, or are they simply feeling more free to become public? It’s hard to know, but it’s certainly clear we’re hearing more about them.
There were also some fascinating discussions last weekend at Catalyst.Con, which I was unable to attend but followed on its twitter stream. For a peek into what sexperts and professionals are thinking about swinging and poly relationships, follow the hashtag #cconswing and scroll back about a week. A few bon mots:
The other take-away for us, as authors of erotic fiction featuring poly relationships, is that there is a wide variety of choices and arrangements, and there’s no consensus on what the categories are or ought to be. The New York Post offers the following five varieties – but we’ve met so many more, and there are clearly nuances and differences within each, as well.
“Here’s a key to some of the most popular open-relationship styles. And remember, all are consensual — cheating is not kosher!
Open relationship: Umbrella term for any consensual non-monogamous relationship
Polygamy: Think “Big Love.” One spouse, many wives. Illegal.
Monogamish: Don’t-ask-don’t-tell sanctioned cheating in a monogamous relationship
Polyamory: Having a loving relationship — emotional and physical — with multiple people
Swinging: Hook-ups with no-strings attached” [New York Post October 2, 2013]
Of course we hope you’ll take a peek at our Swinging Games Series if you’re curious about some of the swing lifestyle options – we think it offers a pretty realistic snapshot of what a pair of empty-nest baby boomers can experience, and should help feed your fantasies. If you’re looking for more specific guidance, we recommend the book by Tristan Taormino we mentioned at the top of this post, which we will be reviewing in these pages soon.
In the meantime – have fun, and Stay Sexy!
Welcome to another round of My Sexy Saturday, where authors offer seven words, sentences, or paragraphs from their work for your entertainment. Be sure to click on the graphic at the bottom of the page and visit the other participants.
Cassie’s hauled her dad’s prize horse from Chicago to Wyoming Downs to give her a win and hopefully return to Chicago with an altitude advantage – but she’s running into trouble, and that trouble is named Clint Travers.
Cassie guided a wheelbarrow loaded with straw and manure toward the dump pile. What would her Chicago friends say if they could see her now? She laughed out loud.
“Must’ve found your sense of humor.”
“That damn voice,” Cassie muttered, taking her time to empty the wheelbarrow before turning to face the man.
“Thought you might like to hear the latest scuttlebutt.”
“I doubt that very much.” Cassie folded her arms and awaited whatever news the stable crier had to offer. Too bad he didn’t look ugly to match his disposition.
“Sounds like one of the other barns based here is shipping in a California horse for your race. The horse ran fairly well at Golden Gate—we may yet see a horse race come Sunday.”
That news certainly popped her reverie, but she wasn’t going to let Mr. Travers know. Her lips thinned and then she brightened. “Good. I’m not the only one shipping in from out of state. And it will make Hope’s victory more meaningful.”
What happens when a fiercely loyal widowed half-Ute cowboy meets a fiery redhead with an Irish temper to match? Cassidy O’Hanlon – Cassie, to her friends – has set aside her Chicago career for six months to train racehorses for her dad after his stroke.
Furious the interloper has shipped in a ringer from the Chicago circuit to his Wyoming turf, Rancher/trainer Clint Travers sets out to put her in her place. Sparks fly immediately, but after their rocky start, the two quickly forge a passionate relationship, and he follows her to Chicago.
When it becomes clear someone is drugging Cassie’s horse, Clint sets out to solve the mystery, but storms off in a cloud of wounded pride when suspicions turn to him.
Can love trump pride?
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Adele Blackthorne is a big girl, a curvy chick. She knows it, and she’s been picked on all her life because of it. But she’s gotten to the stage where she doesn’t care. She may be Rubenesque, but she’s healthy, too. Much healthier than the mean girls at the leisure center that point and stare and say spiteful things about her. Adele rises above it all, and simply enjoys her secretive glances at the center’s hunky lifeguard, Oliver.
As the bullying of Adele becomes worse, Oliver finds it increasingly difficult not to intervene. He doesn’t want to get into trouble with work, but equally he can’t stand to see Adele treated in such a horrible way. Especially since he doesn’t agree that she’s fat and unattractive. He thinks she’s a seriously sexy woman, and would like to get to know her better. Much better.
As usual, Adele Blackthorne felt the weight of gazes on her as she walked from the changing room to the steps to get into the swimming pool. She was used to it by now, and had learned not to react, to just carry on as though she hadn’t noticed people staring and not-so-subtly pointing at her.
With a polite nod to Oliver, the lifeguard, as she passed him, Adele was grateful for his much more favorable reaction. If he thought she resembled a beached whale, he hid it much better than everyone else did. The warmth in his eyes as he nodded back even looked genuine. But she had no illusions, he probably slagged her off the moment he got into the staffroom, or home, talking about the fat woman who went swimming three times a week without fail. But for now, she’d pretend he didn’t. Pretend he thought she was sexy, and wanted to get lost in her abundant curves. God knows she’d like him to.
It was true, she was a big girl and she was most definitely aware of it. Ever since she’d gotten to the age where her excess weight could no longer be called puppy fat, she’d tried to do something about it. Every diet under the sun, ridiculous amounts of exercise… nothing worked. Adele had grown so depressed in her teens that she’d become bulimic. Naturally, she’d lost some weight that way, but she’d also made herself so ill that she’d had to be hospitalized. It had terrified the life out of her, and ever since, she’d resolved that she’d much rather be healthy than skinny.
Which was why she visited her local leisure center three times a week. She used the gym and sauna, and went swimming. And every single time she went, she’d catch someone gawping at her. But because of the years she’d spent—especially at school—being called all the names under the sun, she’d developed an incredibly thick skin. She was happy and healthy—so healthy in fact that she could probably beat all of those skinny bitches at a swimming race. Of course she never offered, never called anyone out on their rudeness and ignorance, but it made her feel better to know that she was fitter and much more polite than them.
Slipping into the fast lane, she settled her goggles carefully into position—she hated getting water in her eyes—then lifted her legs to rest the bottoms of her feet against the end of the pool. Looking at the clock on the wall that counted seconds, she waited until the hand reached the top, then pushed off from the side and launched herself into the lane. It was quiet, so she had this section of the pool to herself. Her arms cut through the water, her legs flapped wildly and she did ten laps without losing any speed. Emerging from the water, she checked the clock again and was pleased to note she’d beaten her previous time.
She was just about to start another ten laps, when she heard voices from the other side of the pool. Voices that clearly forgot how well they carried on water. It was as though they were right next to her.
“God, I’m surprised all the water doesn’t jump out of the pool when she gets in. And the way she swims—she’ll cause a tidal wave one of these days.”
The spiteful words were followed by a trio of sniggers, and Adele gritted her teeth. Part of her wished that she could create a bloody tidal wave, so it would sweep those bitches under water and drown them. The other part of her tsked at the thought. Ideas like that made her just as bad as them, just as unpleasant, just as cowardly.
Because they were cowardly—the way they spoke about her behind her back proved that. If they ever passed her somewhere in the leisure center or its car park, they never said anything, not one word. They’d just scurry away as fast as they could, then titter when they thought she was out of earshot. She hoped that just one time, someone would say something to her face, so she could retaliate, speak up for herself. There was no way she’d start anything—she didn’t want to add confrontational to the list of faults that the mean girls had obviously compiled about her.
Sucking in a deep breath, Adele launched into another ten laps, allowing the chilly water and the exertion of powering through it to burn away her irritation. Because that’s all it was—irritation. She wasn’t angry. Anger was too powerful an emotion, and one that was totally wasted on those ignorant women. She almost felt sorry for them, actually. If they had nothing better to do than to stare at her and slag her off all the time, then they clearly had very dull lives.
The thought cheered her considerably and when she completed her twentieth lap, she lay her forearms on the edge of the pool and hoiked herself up. Her back was pressed against the side, and from here she had a perfect view of the rest of the pool. Tugging her goggles down so they hung around her neck, she had a damn good look at everyone else. The small children and their guardians in the kids’ pool right at the other end of the enormous hall, the old people who swum so slowly as they chatted that she was surprised they stayed afloat, the relentless movement of the man in the medium-speed lane and, of course, the mean girls who were in the same sort of position she was, but at the side of the pool rather than the end. The side which faced the lifeguard station.
Adele narrowed her eyes and watched them—the two waif-like blondes and a brunette—as they chatted and giggled, and it seemed for a change, not about her. They’d clearly changed the subject since their previous spouting of vitriol. Their focus was very firmly on Oliver as he sat on his lofty perch, surveying the pools before him, ready to jump in should anyone get into trouble. She often toyed with the idea of faking a problem, just to get him into the pool and his strong arms around her. However, she knew that although he’d undoubtedly do his duty and help her, he’d never believe such a strong swimmer would need his assistance. Then he’d lose all respect for her, and probably stop hiding his disdain for her so effectively. And the polite nods and smiles she got from him were the only thing—aside from the center’s top-notch facilities—that made the place bearable. She was sure that if the three witches—a nickname she’d secretly come up with for the women—had their way, there would be a sign on the main doors to the building saying ‘No Fat People Allowed.’
Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over seventy publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include Best Bondage Erotica 2012, 2013 and 2014 and Best Women’s Erotica 2013. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies. She owns Erotica For All, and is book editor for Cliterati. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9