In our just released erotic romance Colors of the Night, we’ve invented a timeless love goddess named Aria who comes to visit a troubled married couple and coach their relationship until the fire re-ignites and blazes so intensely she knows they can keep it burning without her.
Little did we imagine that similar coaching might be available in this reality! Chantelle Austin is an Australian life coach, swinger and author of The Ultimate Swingers Guide. She runs a website that’s packed with useful articles on swinging as well as an advice column on spicing up your marriage. Recently we caught up with her for an interview:
You’re a combination life coach and swinger – could you tell us which came first, and what inspired you to combine the two?
Officially the coaching first J. While we dabbled a little with a threesome early on in our relationship, there was really only a small handful of experiences. It wasn’t until I was doing massive amounts of personal development and NLP training that we started to get into it more. I think having done so much work on myself gave me the tools to help my husband, and consequently us as a couple, smoothly move into this new relationship dynamic.
It took me a while to work out that I could combine the two actually! Part of my journey has been to learn who I am and what my strengths are, and to follow my heart even if I was afraid of how it would be received. So here I am J.
What is one thing you wish someone had told you before you started swinging?
There are a few things:
1. Not to worry so much about what people think if they found out. We’ve not had any really negative reactions so far; most people wish they had a relationship like ours so it really was an unfounded fear in the end.
2. Not to worry about my sexual performance. I’ve actually used swinging to increase my bedroom repertoire, to try different techniques and new things, making me a better lover than I ever was before so again, unfounded fear!
3. Not to worry about my body. There are so many different bodies of all ages engaging in this lifestyle, and so many of them aren’t Barbie dolls and are extremely relaxed about the whole thing… it’s a truly liberating experience when you learn to let go of your fears and inhibitions, and just be in the moment. Another unfounded fear J.
What are some of the most frequent questions couples ask you about the swing lifestyle, and could you share some of your answers?
How do you not get jealous! But I’ve answered that one on my site and on my YouTube channel J.
I often get one partner talking to me first and asking “how do you get your partner to want to do it too?” J My answer to that is that you can’t make them do anything. It’s best to take baby steps to introduce them to the idea by having a very open and honest conversation, always speak of the positive benefits of it but address all of their concerns. In a way you really have to sell the idea to them.
For some people it can take years but plant the seeds and be patient. You are far more likely to succeed if you let them come around at their own pace. If they have some emotional baggage that is preventing them, that’s where I come in but there are never any guarantees that they will come around and they have to know that.
The transition part of moving from a traditional relationship to an alternative relationship is the most vulnerable time and having someone they can talk to help them through it can make all the difference.
Are you willing to share a “best and worst” swinging experience – and what you learned from each?
Worst experience – well we haven’t had any really bad experiences but recently a couple came over and it was their first time swinging together. He’d done it before but she hadn’t. Anyway, long story short they had a misunderstanding that had started before they got here, and then sort of exploded later in our evening resulting in about 3 hours of tears and arguing in different rooms of our house. We weren’t involved, and stayed out of it as much as possible, although I did try to talk to her a bit. They were too intoxicated to drive home so here is where it had to be dealt with.
What I learned from that is to be even more grateful for my Mr. Wonderful. It was also a reminder that even though people may think they will be OK with something, they won’t know for sure until they get there. Also if we have someone on their first time, we’ll individually be checking in with both to make sure both partners are ok with what’s going on, being extra aware for body language signs to suggest otherwise, stopping everything and suggesting they talk to each other at the first sign that’s something’s not right.
Best experience – oh there are so many, we’ve had lots of great times but one of the best was a group event that our toyboy put on. 5 couples and 2 single guys, started at 11pm, we walked out at 10am the next morning. There was a lot of swapping, groups, girl on girl and just general playing which was awesome.
I think that was the night I learned to really relax and go with the flow. There were some very sexy people there and some people we weren’t interested in playing with, so while there were 14 of us there, I think I really only played with about 7 or 8. It was also the first night I really felt attracted to another girl which was a mind blowing experience. Had I kept worrying about how I looked and what others thought, I wouldn’t have been able to get into the moment or connect with them like I did. It was an awesome night and the photos still make me smile J.
What top three pitfalls do you advise couples to avoid when they decide to explore the world of swinging?
1. Communication! You have to be able to talk freely with each other; be completely honest about what you want and about what is and isn’t ok. Sometimes one partner will go along with a situation or suggestion because they think that’s what the other partner wants and that can end badly. You also have to be able to talk after a play date and be able to tell each other what you liked and what you didn’t. If you can’t be honest now or can’t effectively communicate, don’t even attempt to swing. Go and learn how to communicate first.
2. Work out your boundaries and stick to them! If you can’t play by the rules, you run the risk of losing the freedom to play, and your relationship. Sticking to your agreed boundaries is what builds more trust through this transition, it’s extremely important both partners do this. Once you have that trust and comfort, the boundaries seem to change and relax J
3. Make special time for just the 2 of you to reconnect after a play date. It is more important to make sure your partner still feels like they are number one in your world, and to build on your connection with each other. This keeps the feelings of relationship security high and enables you both to keep playing, having the experience enhance your relationship J
Could you give our readers a peek inside your book, The Ultimate Swinger’s Guide?
Certainly! Here’s a peek at part of the table of contents:
Use Swingers Clubs – Are they for the advanced or beginner?
Create a profile that gets attention
Filter for ideal prospective playmates
Use chat programs as a tool
Keep your partner in the loop
Spot the fakes!
Protect your identity
Tell someone you’re not interested
Handy Tips and the Do’s and Don’ts
Secret couple language for meeting and playing
Where to meet
The first meeting
Preparing for a play date
Ice breakers – getting the play time started
The swinging couples list of must haves
The book website has sample chapters available for download. Just for your readers, here’s a special link to more chapters: Book Chapters for Adriana Kraft
Wow, thanks! So glad you could join us today – we know our readers will be thrilled!