Is The Swingers’ Lifestyle Male-Driven?

John and Jackie Melfi are friends of mine at OpenLove101.com and fantastic advocates for the Open-Swinger lifestyle through their web-blog, their three clubs Colette Dallas, New Orleans, and now Houston. All of their efforts to further educate couples and singles are positive, encouraging, and down to Earth when it comes to first exploring your curiosities with your partner/spouse. They also dispel many of the preconceived notions and false myths outsiders might have about the lifestyle. John and Jackie make you feel so comfortable, so welcomed with your questions, you leave not only impressed, but feeling as if you, or the two of you, are veterans in total sync with each other AND others! Yes, they are that good!

John-Jackie Melfi_abcnews-nightline

One such popular misperception is that the Open-Swinger lifestyle is male-driven and that the women are essentially there to please or keep their man and afraid to speak up for themselves. John and Jackie flat-out take contention to that false claim saying that in reality the exact opposite is true. The women are very empowered and dictate much of what occurs in the lifestyle! In my 15-16 years in the lifestyle I could not agree more with them.

This is a transcript and repost of their recent video-blog, Is The Swinger’s Lifestyle Male-Driven? Check it out. If you’d like to just watch the blog-video, scroll to the bottom and hit the play button.

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John:  Hey everybody, it’s John and Jackie here at OpenLove101.com and we’ve decided to have a little conversation today about whether or not the Swinger lifestyle is male-driven because we’ve heard some comments about that lately, and we’ve had some questions about it in emails, and it’s something I don’t think we’ve ever really discussed. So this is kind of off the cuff here.

I know that when Jackie and I first got together she knew right away that I was in the swinger club business and there was a curiosity there from her to come to the club. I didn’t force her to come to the club. I mean, I think in our conversations about the swinger-lifestyle relationship model, you decided you wanted to see what it was like… at least, yeah I mean, she’s gonna end up with me she’s got to see what the clubs are like, right? But I didn’t drag you in there. And now… you talked to me before about some misconceptions you had, like what your thoughts were, like what was going to be going on inside the club.

Jackie:  Yeah, you know again, and I’ve talked about this before too, you know I didn’t know anything about swinging and you know like John said this was his livelihood so of course it came up very early in our conversation and I had done some research on it. So through that there was a I guess a level of comfort, but I was still really apprehensive about going into a club because again, unless you’ve had the opportunity to go into a club, it’s one of those situations where you have to actually go in and see how you’re going to feel about it. Once I did that of course, any preconceived notions that I had just went out the window. I realized that it was you know… it was so much deeper than what I thought it was… which was just this sex-fueled lifestyle and of course I’ve learned since then that it’s much deeper and so once I bridged that gap and made my way into the swinger’s club and the comfort level that I felt, the conversations that I was able to have all of a sudden this went from something that John you know was doing for his livelihood, but it was also something that I was beginning to enjoy. I wanted to go to the clubs with you. I wanted to be involved in what was going on. I liked seeing the other couples and interacting with them. Regardless of what that level of interaction was I just really liked that and I liked the environment.

We’ve talked in our other videos about how women sometimes can kind of get engulfed in this view of our sexuality and of each other that can be somewhat competitive. That was one of the things that I noticed in the swinging lifestyle was that particular thought-pattern was void. I mean the women were all really embracing of each other and encouraging. It was kind of like this community within a community. And with other women that I’ve talked to since then, it’s kind of the same storyline. It can go… My husband introduced the concept to me and so then I came into the club and now we come all the time. I’m really active and vocal and in the forefront of what I’m wanting to do… continuing on in the swinging lifestyle.

That is something that I think gets lost, more often than not, and I think it’s pretty common that men are going to introduce this in the partnership, at least that was my experience, because men get to come at sexuality, more often than not, from a little different angle than women. So women for me… I can only speak for me… I wouldn’t have been as inclined to introduce something from a much more sexual standpoint than John would feel like introducing to me.

John:  So I think that might come from… that women have a tendency… more of a tendency to feel shame or guilt about… thinking along those lines. So if a woman is going to propose to her husband… Let’s go to this swinger’s club and I’m going to want to hook up with a few guys, what do you think? Her fears are going to be, I guess, would be that How’s he going to look at me? Is he going to look at me in a bad way if I broach the subject? Wouldn’t you say [to Jackie]?

John-Jackie Melfi_at_homeJackie:  Right. I think you know you’re going to have varying degrees of that within the lifestyle. You’re going to have some women that have no problem embracing it and then you’re going to have other women that it may take them a visit or two in order for them to feel comfortable with it. But I think what’s important ultimately is for us not to kid ourselves or to fool ourselves into thinking from a societal standpoint that these women are being dragged into these things against… against something that they’re wanting to do. This is a very female dominated lifestyle. It has been my finding that these women have really embraced this opportunity that they have to get in touch with themselves and foster their relationship with their partner… and just really grow that. I think it’s an important topic to touch on to kind of dispel some of those myths that this is just strictly something for the guys. I can guarantee and I promise you that the women end up pulling away a lot of positive feedback for themselves in this.

John:  Actually I think I see more women driving what the couple does in the clubs than I do the men. I don’t know if it’s because the men kind of defer to the women to make sure they don’t cross any lines, or they really don’t want to push their partner into doing something. Now of course there’s couples that have been around for a long time in the lifestyle and they just… I’ve seen those couples, they just kind of do whatever comes along. I could think… the man could suggest or the woman could suggest… either way. And then in our relationship we both suggest things but for the most part in the clubs I really see the women as being the driving force behind it.

There’s a story that comes to mind in a club that I owned in Tampa, and this couple had come in and they announced when they came in the door that they were there to meet a single woman. They were looking for a threesome with a single woman. I kind of suspected that it was an idea that was generated by the man because that does happen sometimes… men really want to have their fantasies, to have a threesome with two women, but that particular night there really weren’t these single women in there. When they left, the woman was so excited she had had sex with like four or five men. I mean, it was the exact opposite! And she goes It was amazing! I never dreamed I would have come in here and had this happen to me! and she said I had the opportunity and I said can I try it? He said sure. So there’s another example, and I see that happen more often than not when a woman is able to fulfill the fantasies she might have whether it be with a man or a woman.

Jackie:  Yeah, that’s a great point.

John:  So I definitely I think it is a misconception men or the driving force behind it and it really is a couple’s thing.

Jackie:  That’s true. I mean at the end of the day you know it’s about enhancing the relationship so yeah, definitely.

John:  So thanks for watching our video. Please subscribe to our email list at OpenLove101.com and we’ll send you updates on new videos and blogs and other stuff about what Jackie and I have going on.

Both:  See ya.

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If any of you have any questions, about absolutely any subject, John and Jackie, as well as myself, are happy to answer or suggest tips, etc. John and Jackie are very good at replying to questions and emails.

And below, please feel free to leave your thoughts, comments, and questions!

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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The Power of Letting Go

Musing release and peace…

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It is a feeling of need, of fear, of vulnerability, a foreboding  grasp, clinging to something, someone which was never ours in the first place.

Your heart is not open, so I must go
The spell has been broken, I loved you so
Freedom comes when you learn to let go
Creation comes when you learn to say no

Obsessions and fixations so consuming, blinding tunnel-vision of envy, we lose sight of all the other beauty around us. Our intense, fixed fire singes when overly controlled rather than spread out, tempered. Fixated it overwhelms, scares, consumes, devours.

You were my lesson I had to learn
I was your fortress you had to burn
Pain is a warning that something’s wrong
I pray to God that it won’t be long
Do ya wanna go higher?

Elusive homeostasis. It flies, it dives. But it always returns when it has the freedom to be. It always soothes. Knowing it is here when it seems not. Goodbye is not so bad. Letting go is setting free, you as well as me.

There’s nothing left to try
There’s no place left to hide
There’s no greater power
Than the power of good-bye

Come out. There’s nothing here to fear… there are no monsters. Show yourself. Show your burning heart. Let it shine. Show your spirit of power, your spirit of life! Please, no need to hide.

Your heart is not open so I must go
The spell has been broken, I loved you so
You were my lesson I had to learn
I was your fortress

Learn to let go. Learn your place, your here and now. Goodbye is as much a part of hello. You are never really alone. Learn to say goodbye… until hello.

Then there’s nothing left to lose
There’s no more heart to bruise
There’s no greater power
Than the power of good-bye

Learn to say good-bye
I yearn to say good-bye

…so that another door opens, for another Hello. Open doors, open windows to learn. Freedom. To express. To come and go. To be.

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2017: Our Past, Present, & Forecast

Surprise! I am not a fan of horse-blinders, headless ostriches, or one-tree forests. I am not a fan of shallow, baseless rhetoric or opinion unless it is cleverly woven with satire and parody. Nor am I a fan of closed systems and strong-armed boxing in. Are you asking “What on Earth is he going on about?” Fair question.

What 2017 will become for Americans, and hopefully to a minimal extent the world, will be or has been partly determined by 2015-16, the state-of-the-Union and its unionists today, and what will result in 2018 and 2019 based on the past and present. This is the final post from the previous:  2016: Cries for Mutiny.

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The Past Two Years

2015 and 2016 in America saw many economic, political, social, and scientific headlines, many good as there were bad. Following are some of the biggest and in my opinion most impactful relative to the well-being of all U.S. citizens and citizens to be.

Racism, lethal violence, and gun-control, and so by default our nation’s outrageous incarceration rate, seems to never go away. The mass shootings at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC and the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL, a popular LGBT club, were two of the deadliest shootings in recent history. The Charleston Church shooting was reportedly motivated by a 21-year old white supremacist charged with 33 counts including murder, firearms charges, and federal hate-crime charges. The murderer’s beliefs prompted continued debate over the state’s long history of flying the 19th century Confederate Battle Flag atop the state capitol building. This shooting and other similar shootings in the U.S. including the Pulse nightclub — and Roseburg, Lafayette, Chattanooga, Planned Parenthood, San Bernardino — ignited again the still never-ending controversy of racism and gun-control.

blm-march

The phrase Black Lives Matter became a common trending 2015 hashtag on social media following events such as the death of 25-year old Freddie Gray while in custody. Increased police violence and killing continued throughout 2016, primarily toward or effecting African-Americans, shockingly suggesting that the end of the American Civil War in 1865, the ratification of the 13th Amendment also in 1865, then decades later historical victories by the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s and 70’s never happened! It seriously begs the question whether basic human rights in America have really taken firm roots after 151 years!

On a high note, in 2015 June 26th, the White House vowed its support for the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in favor of marriage equality for same-sex couples. President Obama remarked:

“In my second inaugural address, I said that if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. It is gratifying to see that principle enshrined into law by this decision.”

But American history has shown that simple moral, ethical equality for all is still far from established, practiced, and protected within our national borders, e.g. Texas Rep. Andrew Murr in my previous post. And America is not always so embracing when it comes to foreigners and foreign affairs, despite what Lady Liberty is supposed to symbolize to the world.

refugees-in-sloveniaThe European refugee crisis from war-torn nations like Syria have been an embarrassing blemish across Lady Liberty and all Americans. Tens of thousands of people fleeing from the Middle East and Africa learned harshly just how paranoid and apathetic the United States has become. Germany, Sweden, and the U.K. on the other hand opened up their arms wide taking in far more than President Obama’s plan to allow 10,000. Other foreign aid into those warring nations reached all-time highs and lows for the international community despite U.S. peace and refusal talks. Yet, these refugee figures come out of European and American sources — the numbers are anywhere between 1.1 to 4.4 million refugees in African nations, ironically where some of the poorest nations in the world are located. Hmmmm.

The U.S. economy made several headlines as well, no surprise given the upcoming Presidential primaries and election in 2016. The federal deficit indeed shrunk over 2015. The final figures came in at $439 billion, about $45 billion less than in 2014. Employment rose, unemployment fell, and for the first time in the past 7-years, 2015’s real hourly pay climbed faster than 2%. Good news, yes. However, America’s widening zip code inequality continued to rise as poverty and a lack of upward mobility became not just social and economic problems, they became bigger geographical ones too. American living standards only saw limited gains creating a false illusion of recovery. This was reflected by a contraction of aggregate supply rather than a strong expansion of demand, all according to the Brookings Institute. Therefore, now is an easy segway into America’s federal politics and “Election 2016″… a campaign year that would go down in history as infamous, to put it mildly.

In an April 2015 two-minute video, Democrat Hillary Clinton announced her anticipated second run for president. With Democratic candidates Sanders and Clinton set, the race for the Republican nomination became a wild free-for-all. Another Bush from Florida entered the race, Jeb Bush, along with no less than 15 others, including the TV-reality star and business mogul Donald Trump. From that point on, the fiery “You’re Fired!” TV personality turned the campaigns into polarizing, even comical, reality shows. Soon after, as if to get in line for the next blockbuster show, rapper Kanye West proclaimed he would run in the 2020 presidential election. Why not! Come one, come all. No experience necessary.

In November 2016, what can only be described as a stunning outcome, Trump won not the popular vote, but the Electoral College vote to become the 45th President of the United States. Yes, the rest of the world was shocked, not shocked, and Vladimir Putin and Russia loved it.

In late 2016 the Brookings Institute spoke about Trump’s economic team forecasting doubled long-term GDP as “unrealistic.”

“Labor force growth is slowing to a crawl. The population is aging, the dramatic advance of women into the labor market is waning, and male participation has been declining for decades. We will be lucky if the labor force grows by 0.5 percent a year. That means labor productivity growth would have to grow by 3 percent a year.  Over the past decade, it grew by just over 1 percent.  So the Trump administration seems to be assuming that they can more than double productivity growth. So, is a near-doubling of the GDP growth rate realistic? No. But even if it were, it would be less important than ensuring that whatever growth we have is more equally distributed.But let’s assume we can bump up the growth rate.  Even then, unless something is done to ensure that growth is more broadly distributed, the average American is unlikely to benefit very much. This lesson was reinforced recently by the release of new data showing that, on average, if you were born in 1940, you had a 90 percent chance of being better off than your parents, but the odds fell to 50 percent if you were born in the 1980s. Both lower growth and rising inequality contributed to this depressing story for today’s younger generations. In addition, the study—by Raj Chetty and colleagues—found that more equally distributing growth would be more effective at improving the average person’s life chances than simply restoring GDP growth to its golden years’ rate. In fact, in today’s lopsided economy, it would take a growth rate of more than 6 percent to revive the income trajectories experienced by middle class children in 1940.”

But don’t fret too much America. There are some very bright spots from 2015-16!

shattered-chromosomeA shattered chromosome cured a woman of her immune disease then reassembled. This is known as chromothripsis, possibly paving the way for therapies against a variety of human diseases. 2015 saw the dawn of gene editing, the rise of immunotherapy and the first hints of a drug to slow the pace of Alzheimer’s disease. NASA’s Kepler telescope found 1,284 new planets of which nine could plausibly support human life. About 800-million years ago a slight genetic mutation lead to multicellular life on Earth. An ancient molecule known as GK-PID was discovered to be the reason single-celled organisms on Earth started evolving into multicellular organisms we have today. In mathematics a new prime number was discovered, further expanding and enhancing encryption programming:  the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search. Then perhaps one of the biggest headline for medical science in 2016 was made by the Stanford University School of Medicine! Stem cells injected into stroke patients re-enabled patients to walk again.

cryptotora_thamicolaFinally and on the faith vs. science debate, cavefish were found that could walk up walls. This showed similarities to four-limbed vertebrates. The New Jersey Institute of Technology discovered a Taiwanese Cavefish that is capable of walking up walls with the same anatomical movement as any present-day amphibian or reptile. And in the state of Utah, the Black Dragon Canyon rock-art debate was finally solved! Due to pterosaur fossils being found in the area, young-Earth creationists — who believe our planet to be only 6,000 to 10,000 years old — have relentlessly cited the rock-painting as proof that humans and the winged reptiles had walked the region together. Archaeological chemist Dr. Marvin Rowe using “a photographic enhancement program known as DStretch and a technique called x-ray fluorescence,” completely debunked the creationist’s claim of the art.

There were many, many more major breakthroughs in medicine, history, and science for 2015-16 that simply could not all be listed here. Apologies.

The Present

The reviews are mixed about 2017. No surprise, right? It’s only January.

However, from a U.S. economic standpoint, the fiscal outlook for America’s “new POTUS” plans are not promising, says the Brookings Institute, and “it is likely to get worse soon.

“The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates that Trump’s tax and spending proposals – the latter including replacing the Affordable Care Act, modifying Medicaid, boosting military spending, and enacting savings in non-defense programs – imply that the debt will rise to 105 percent of GDP by 2026. The CRFB report leaves out any estimate of increased infrastructure spending, which Trump has said he would like to increase by roughly $1 trillion over a decade. Including that would add further to the debt figures.”

From a political standpoint, never before has the spirit of true, pure equality for ALL Americans been so threatened (e.g. 2016: Cries for Mutiny), arguably weakened the last 2-3 decades. Racism and hate-crimes littered our nation’s news media and if 2015-16 is any barometer, it isn’t going away anytime soon in 2017. For here and now and the sake of time, I am going to focus on sex-gender identities only.

sex-gender-equality_graphic

Notwithstanding the obvious growing social trend of sex-gender equality across many states, the political-Conservative representation and processes, for various reasons, progressed at snail-paces. It took the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court, after four pivotal landmark decisions — Lawrence v. Texas (2003), United States v. Windsor (2013), Hollingsworth v. Perry (2013), and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) — to make same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. Can you say it took not an act of Congress, but the gavel of the Supreme Court to finally follow its majority of people!?

From the social and scientific standpoints then, the future in America has wider glimmers of hope. Since 1991 the work of doctors and scientists — like Dr. Simon LeVay and medical/university colleagues across Massachusetts and New York with their supporting universities and clinics through 2001 — has led to the progression and evolution of tangible better understandings of sex-gender dynamics. For example, in 2006 the Council for Responsible Genetics reported:

“We are sexual beings, yet this does not mean that we are born homosexual, bisexual, or heterosexual. Our sexual expression can change over time, towards different people, through different experiences. A lack of understanding about this type of human variability often leads to a perspective that our genes define who we are.

…Yet a narrow focus on the variability of sexual expression threatens to cloud the issue altogether. Without giving proper attention to the mutability of human sexual expression, questions regarding its origins and character cannot be answered. Without giving proper attention to the mutability of human sexual expression, questions regarding its origins and character cannot be answered.”
Brief on Sexual Orientation and Genetic Determinism, May 2006, citation Jan. 5, 2017 at http://www.councilforresponsiblegenetics.org/ViewPage.aspx?pageId=66

Then by 2015 more results were in…

“For men, new research suggests that clues to sexual orientation may lie not just in the genes, but in the spaces between the DNA, where molecular marks instruct genes when to turn on and off and how strongly to express themselves.”

In individuals, said [UCLA molecular biologist Tuck C.] Ngun, the presence of these distinct molecular marks can predict homosexuality with an accuracy of close to 70%.

Researchers working in the young science of epigenetics acknowledge they are unsure just how an individual’s epigenome is formed. But they increasingly suspect it is forged, in part, by the stresses and demands of external influences. A set of chemical marks that lies between the genes, the epigenome changes the function of genetic material, turning the human body’s roughly 20,000 protein-coding genes on or off in response to the needs of the moment.

“Our best guess is that there are genes” that affect a man’s sexual orientation “because that’s what twin studies suggest,” said Northwestern University psychologist J. Michael Bailey, who has explored a range of physiological markers that point to homosexuality’s origins in the womb. But the existence of identical twin pairs in which only one is homosexual “conclusively suggest that genes don’t explain everything,” Bailey added.”
Scientists find DNA differences between gay men and their straight twin brothers, by Melissa Healy – LA Times, October 2015

Stepping back from any one tree and examining the genetic or epigenetic forest strongly suggests that ancient and long-standing social-theological traditions of strictly an unbending binary paradigm in post-modern Europe and modern America are fast fading into fallacy. For the future growth of higher human virtues and education, this is great news!

ngm_gendersThis very month one of the most iconic American magazines, National Geographic, released their double-issues on the gender revolution. Since I can remember over the last 25+ years, this bold highly controversial step by a world-renown organization is long overdue in the U.S.! It paints the reality of the changing social stigma of sex-gender identity bringing it to our public squares to define the correct precise terms so misunderstood, and looks closely at the cultural, political, social, and most importantly the biological aspects! Must copies for your personal library.

Topics the magazines cover include Helping Families Talk About Gender, Girls, Boys, and Gendered Toys, the power and influence of our society’s binary Color Code on American children, a deeper look into children’s animated films of popular characters:  Who’s the Fairest?, a detailed graph of Where In the World Are Women and Men Most-and Least-Equal, candid first-hand reports from 9-year olds around the globe of How (in their countries) Gender Affects Their Lives, Rethinking Gender: Can Science Help Us Navigate?, and then the lengthy article, Making A Man: How Does A 21st-century Boy Reach Manhood? that I found astonishing. And those articles and graphs are merely the first-half of the first magazine!

“Enveloped by the men of his family and Hasidic faith, Levi Tiechtel celebrates his 13th birthday at his bar mitzvah in Queens, New York. For millenia, Jews have been performing this ritual, which commemorates the [supposed] age when a male becomes accountable for his own actions and sins.”
Making A Man: How Does A 21st-century Boy Reach Manhood?, January 2017 National Geographic, pp 86-87.

From 800 BCE Sparta to 1930 Italy and United States, “cultures have devised [not genetics or epigenetics necessarily] myriad practices and rituals to make boys into men. The methods — often secret and sacred — vary widely and continually evolve, says cultural anthropologist Gilbert Herdt. But they also share some universal themes that broadly reflect a community’s values and the roles its men are expected to play.” At such a young malleable age, in several cultures around the world, America included, it makes the decision to conform or not conform daunting or near impossible until perhaps an older age of increased independence and exposure to the world’s endless variety.

The Possible-Probable Forecast

us-map-state-flagsBased on what I’ve written in this post and previous posts, my life experiences as an 8th-generation Texan as well as American, my 28-year futebol-soccer career across 4-of-the-6 inhabitable continents exposed and engrossed to a multitude of native cultures, the copiousness and curse of the internet, and my unconventional journey from young agnostic, to evangelical-fundamental Reformed theology with church leadership and practice, back toward a Freethinking Humanist today… and now an evolving, learning, and hopefully teaching social-sciences from basic chemistry to Quantum Physics, I would say the next 2-6 years in the United States looks promising through several lenses on the social and scientific fronts, but ominous on the economic and political battlefields. Why?

After 241-years as a nation and about 182 for Texas, we have nurtured the freedom to continually push the envelope of social refinement and scientific exploration, granted in pockets of the country, while also nurturing the fear of change and the consumer rewards of self-reliance and exclusion. When we examine the entire American forest over the lifetime of our nation, we stand at a pivotal ridge on our future’s horizon. Either we embrace a bigger global community, reverse the return or nuisance of old uncivilized ideologies which have crept or will creep back in, and instead keep pushing the scientific thresholds… else we risk increased fragmentation, polarization, and socioeconomic collapse in  a few more generations, if not sooner.

I hope my seat behind this windshield and the view through my/our rearview mirror is different or temporarily malfunctioning! (half laughing, half nervous)

Tell me your thoughts and suggestions below. Whether you are American or not, I’d like to read them.

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Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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