I grew up in the middle of Mormondom. It was a small town in Utah Valley. I had almost no sex education but I think it was more than some of the conservative states like Utah permit now. Today they say "When it comes to sex you must abstain." When a student asks, "Abstain from what?" The answer is, "We can't talk about that."
My knowledge of sex was so bad when I was about to get married I took my fiancée on a ride and stopped at an overlook of the beautiful Uinta Mountains. At that time there was an outhouse at the overlook and my wife needed to use it to change her pad. She was somewhat embarrassed to tell me she needed to go in there but once she realized how bad I understood what was happening she gave me a verbal sex ed lesson. We still go to that overlook a few times each summer.
We got married and with some challenges that weren't unusual but still unique to us we had and raised a family. I don't remember ever being quite like the family in the picture. We did enjoy camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. One time our youngest carried her disposable diapers in a back pack as we went back in to a lake to camp. We were too early in the year and ended up getting snowed on. It only took me 11 years to get my degree and become a teacher at the high school level. I taught high school for 32 years and more than 10 years adjunct in the evenings at a nearby university.
So now that I'm retired why take on promoting sex-positivity? Two periods in my life have affected me and my outlook towards other people and sex. My wife and I went through a faith crisis a bit over twenty years ago. One of the events that helped bring that on was a phone call where the caller told my wife he wanted to see her breasts. That call came from our local church. It is fine to tell a woman something like that if you already have a relationship that gives consent to asking such a thing. It is assault to do it the way it was done.
The other event was a result of this first one. Because I wasn't ready to leave having a group to help support me, we became involved with Neo-Paganism. Reading books and magazines about the various traditions I came across the term "polyamory." This was several years later than the original crisis and I was finding the local Neo-Pagan community just wasn't a fit. I was home alone one day during the winter vacation from school and feeling lonely. I came across Yahoo Groups and searched for something to get interested in. There weren't any quality pagan groups locally. There was one group about polyamory that seemed to be about dead. I found some local swinger groups. I joined one to ask if they would talk even if I wasn't interested in swinging. I got several responses. Some of the people in one group in particular were more like friends with benefits and seemed to be willing to be friends. I asked my wife to join the groups so we could talk with these people. She took it as wanting to join the swinging lifestyle. She was making friends with some of the men on the groups. We ended up joining three or four. A swinger couple approached me and wanted to meet for dinner, and this is where the problems started. This is the second reason for the storm clouds.
My wife said she was fine with meeting this couple. They looked to be in their early 50's, so just a few years older than we were. He showed up to dinner alone saying they had a fight. He said he felt they would be breaking up. I really don't know if there ever was a her, the pictures could have been of him and his sister. He started spending weekends at our house and after three or four weeks he started kissing and caressing my wife. I'm sure he saw it as seducing her in a romantic way. My wife's body enjoyed it but emotionally she didn't feel right about it. She felt violated. Watching was turning me on so much I missed any clues she may have given me that it wasn't all right. This is where the "no means no" philosophy for non-monogamy breaks down. She never said no but she didn't say yes. It went so fast we were both wondering how it happened. We did talk more with some of the people. We even took some dead trees down for one couple, though we never engaged in swinging sex.
Our relationship was in some trouble before the "swinging time" as she refers to it. It now continued for about a decade being like room mates with occasional benefits. She has told me she felt trapped financially or she would have ended the marriage during that time. About three and a half years ago she complained we hadn't had sex for over two months. I had quit taking care of my body and was slipping into excessive weight and erectile disfunction. I wasn't really interested but that wake-up call got me to look at where I was. I had realized I needed to do more to take care of my body and had started walking on a treadmill we had purchased a few years before and would do a workout with weights that was designed for people over 50 so I was already seeing some results when my wonderful partner said things needed to change. I was wondering why even though my weight was dropping a little some of the side effects I was expecting weren't happening, in fact they were getting worse. With some help from some online resources, a counseling session with a sexologist that got me thinking in new ways, looking into herbal helps for what I thought were decreasing testosterone levels, and just a lot of effort, we have learned to communicate and have fallen in love a couple more times. I think good communication with a sex-positive attitude is what will make this time in love grow into a love where neither of us feels trapped.
This is my story, so if you have read this far you will hopefully understand some of the writings that will be on this site. You will understand my attitude in the blog, and I've seen where there may be a way I can include a chat feature. I have come to understand the way for me to stay happy is be accepting of any choices that others make that don't harm anyone whether I think they will work or not and that all human interaction must be based on good communication resulting in enthusiastic consent. Since sexuality is such a basic part of us I have chosen to apply this way of thinking to sex and hope it will grow to help all aspects of living in a community.