Where Is The Line Between Swinging And Polyamory?

by Reid on December 18, 2020

Where Is The Line Between Swinging And Polyamory?





Cathy: Someone wrote it and said, “I’ve been listening to some of your fabulous podcast, they had polyamory and it has sent me thinking about what my personal situation is and where does swinging become polyamory? I expected it that it would be whenever there was an emotional connection. However, I could argue there’s connection in every encounter. I have some partners that got very close over the years and my partner definitely knows about it. Do I say I’m non-monogamous; I’m swinger; I’m poly? How do I define myself?”

I am here with the fabulous podcaster himself, Reid Mihalko

Reid: I played on the podcast?

Cathy: You were on a podcast, you do podcast

Reid: Oh yes, yes I’m a fabulous podcast guest

Cathy: You do pod…you do

Reid: Podcast guest Reid Mihalko here from https://reidaboutsex.com/ and I’m sitting next to Cathy Vartuli of http://theintimacydojo.com/

Cathy: Yes, so I think it’s a great question. I think it’s kind of a gray area like swinger to me is “I don’t really know your name, maybe your first name let’s have sex?”

Reid: To you?

Cathy: That’s me

Reid: Yeah

Cathy: I said to me

Reid: Yeah, I’m just reinforcing that

Cathy: Okay you may kind…

Reid: ‘coz they think you’re in a position of authority and that they might think that what you’re saying is…is the gospel for everything, the gospel of Cathy Vartuli

Cathy: Yes

Reid: that you speak for all of your people

Cathy: but I said it was a gray area

Reid: Okay

Cathy: Polyamory to me means that I have a heart connection with someone, there’s a little more love and I think even that has shades. I have people that I consider playmates where were we can definitely talk about deeper things but I don’t have to help them move and I don’t have to care if they’re you know to like dive in and save anything and I have lovers which is a little more invested and then if you’re in a romantic partnership then maybe you’re supposed to show up and out the move.

Reid: We know Cathy’s feelings about helping people move

Cathy: I’m offering like hiring

Reid: which is hiring somebody, yeah

Cathy: too many to try

Reid: you just hire somebody, some dude comes up with a van and he has t-shirt says my name is Cathy.

Cathy: [Laughing]

Reid: So Cathy, come on.

Cathy: I’ve moved a lot of times, moved 12 times by the time I graduated high school I’m kind of over it but anyway, how do you

Reid: I’m so trying to figure out how to weave moving into some brilliant analogy of poly and swinging. Polyamory is when you help the same person move several times, swinging is when you help them move once. Done. Hit subscribe. Boom! That’s kind of…that works.

Cathy: Yeah

Reid: That kind of works.

Cathy: I think well if you’re using move as sexual versus an emotional investment it would be back and forth for the anyone who’s listening to the to the audio, he’s rocking back and forth

Reid: U-huh

Cathy: I never…I suggested many. For me, I think like again for my personal definition I think it’s depth of caring, polyamory means many loves I guess doing [Inaudible 00:02:51] and

Reid: You guess? You don’t know this? How many videos have you shot about….talking about polyamory? [Inaudible 00:02:59]

Cathy: Yes apparently but to me a lot of people get to define themselves like I defined myself as queer which asked me more like I don’t define myself by heteronormative rules so I think we get to choose the…the nomenclature that works for us that kind of fits according to you know what other people, what languages

Reid: Yeah

Cathy: to help other people understand.

Reid: So, I’ll…I’ll just pick another analogy for those of you who’ve been watching lots of videos of ours that I’m in the analogy dork so if I’m remembering my terms correctly, an estuary is where saltwater and freshwater meet so when does it become ocean and when does it become river? Like that’s really the question around this, right? Like so there might be a science and way of measuring it well when it’s you know eighteen percent something then it…it is not it is no longer ocean but it is river or whatever the…the ways of defining it but those definitions have to be agreed on

Cathy: Yeah

Reid: by that community and ultimately for me it’s you know how much what am I trying to do with the freakin’ river or the ocean, right? Is the ocean happy? Is the river happy? You know do I like to just hang out in the estuaries? Am I am I a freshwater shark? Who knows? What this all means to build on what you’ve already said is well what do you need it to be, are you just nerding out, are you

Cathy: Are you

Reid: trying to communicate and manage expectations to figure out what’s a good fit for you…you know when…when does blue become light blue?

Cathy: Yeah

Reid: like, like now we’re just having a nerdy conversation. I always try to figure out because anything, any identifier is really just shorthand or an access point to talk more about stuff. Polyamory generally speaking because it is a dirty word, dirty being it’s Greek and Latin mixed together and no one should stand for that but it is an unholy alliance, it’s a bad word but it means many loves. So traditionally speaking, swinging the way it used to be talked about and kind of practiced was we can have sex with other people in whatever you know different ways like there are soft swap and full swap and all these other terms because things have lingo but generally speaking you’re not allowed to fall in love with each other because falling in love makes things more complicated. And swingers air quotes we’re just more into things not being complicated. Polyamory you’re allowed to fall in love and if things get complicated we kind of signed on for that. It doesn’t mean it’s smooth sailing or delicious.

Cathy: Well and there’s different boundaries too. If some couples are like we can only be in a partnership with together, we have to both approve each other or you can have as many partners as you want and it’s fine.

Reid: All kinds of things but generally speaking, when does one become the other? I don’t know. That’s up to you, right? That’s up to me. Do we want to nerd out on it and is that nerding out erotic? Are you hitting on me like are we being sapiosexuals and just getting turned on by intellectual conversation and discussion? Does a couple who is monogamous, who you know hired a sex worker for someone’s 40th birthday to have a blowjob and a threesome like are they also not monogamous? I don’t know like

Cathy: What….what it

Reid: we can debate these things

Cathy: Yeah

Reid: but I’m more interested in are you having fun, do things feel healthy, from a date your species perspective, have you found your species and are things working well for you? So where we move the…the swinger poly conversation is more just kind of fun to geek out and get more clear about what works for you?

Cathy: Yeah and since words are used for communication, it might be in different communities. There’s different like someone might go “Oh no that’s….that’s definitely poly” or like you can sometimes all we use language that fits that community because it’s easier to communicate but also I get to choose do I say I’m bisexual or queer or pansexual? It’s like what…what is

Reid: Coin switching in a certain way

Cathy: Yeah like part of it is like how is it going to communicate well with this community like they’re going to understand what I’m trying to communicate and what also feels right to me? Bisexual doesn’t feel right to me anymore because I don’t use sex as binary so but I will still use it in some communities where if I said queer or pansexual they’re be like if you know it’s a quicker way to move forward.

Reid: Yeah. I had another thought and it disappeared for a second. Great questions by the way

Cathy: Yeah

Reid: please keep sending them in

Cathy: Yeah

Reid: Hit subscribe, like the videos, share them, and post them wherever you want on…on other you know groups and social media. Gosh darn it! I thought I would trick myself into remembering the last point. Ah! I’m sorry it’s…I’m not remembering it

Cathy: If

Reid: Sorry

Cathy: If you think of it we can come back and do another video.

Reid: We can do another video. Swingers, poly when does one become the other if you’re hap like are you happy? Are you playing with people for whom how you play is a good fit makes them happy too, things are changing like swinging is shifting it’s just it’s more like there’s more overlap in these circles and yeah, I can’t remember it. Sorry, I failed you. I failed you all. Please, please hit subscribe.

Cathy: Yeah, thanks for your questions.

Reid: Sorry, I’m so sorry.

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