Swinging And Disability — an interview with MS Warrior
The world of ethical Non-monogamy is becoming a much more inclusive place. I have now experienced all manner of events and parties and met couples and single people, all of whom have been on different paths. But sadly, there is one group of people in society who are I feel not represented in the swinger scene.
IS SWINGING INCLUSIVE?
When I first started swinging and visiting clubs, most parties were advertised exclusively for couples and single girls, with perhaps one night a week welcoming single guys. And when you were at said events, it was the norm to be in heterosexual relationships or relationships where the female partner identified as Bisexual.
Events that catered for trans people, bisexual people and those who enjoyed different relationship dynamics simply didn’t exist. And if they did, they were so far underground that even the underground swinger scene hadn’t caught on. In a nutshell, the world of swinging was not a very diverse place, and if you were anything other than a heterosexual couple, you might have felt somewhat alienated.
So I’m happy to say things have moved a lot in recent years. The world of ethical Non-monogamy is becoming a much more inclusive place. I have now experienced all manner of events and parties and met couples and single people, all of whom have been on different paths. From triads to polyamorous lesbian couples to cuckold couples to openly bisexual men, visit a swingers party in 2022, and you will be pleasantly surprised!
DO DISABLED SWINGERS EXIST?
But sadly, there is one group of people in society who are I feel not represented in the swinger scene. Disabled people. Although I have visited a club with disabled facilities installed, I have yet to meet disabled swingers in the lifestyle.
So, where are they? Do they not exist? If you are not able-bodied, are you also automatically monogamous? No, I didn’t think so either!
With a large part of my work being to banish stigmas and educate people about what real ethical non-monogamy is like, I feel wholly ignorant when it comes to the topic of swinging and disability.
So, with this in mind, I have decided that the best course of action is to educate myself and you guys in the process! Let me introduce you to someone who is both an active member of the swinger and kink community and an MS warrior but hasn’t let her MS hold her back from participating in the swinger lifestyle.
My interview with MS Warrior
Firstly, thank you so much for agreeing to collaborate with me on this; please could you share with my readers a little bit about who you are and how long have you been in the swinger lifestyle?
Certainly! I am a medical and fiction writer from Shropshire. My husband and I slowly entered into both ENM and kink during COVID, without really knowing what to call it, but I think in hindsight, it was a slow transition over a couple of years.
So I know you have MS, but to be honest, I’m quite ignorant about what life is like for you. Are you able to share with us how the condition affects you on a day-to-day basis?
Without writing an essay- as a fellow writer, I know you completely get this!- mainly, day to day, it’s fatigue. Imagine being absolutely exhausted, and no matter how much tea or caffeine you drink, you can’t begin to perk up. It’s like that. Physically speaking, I’m at a point where I can walk through, and fully experience a four-story club with my walking stick, which is fantastic. There was a time I wouldn’t have been able to do this.
When you decided to be ethically non-monogamous, how did that come about? Who brought it to the table first?
I don’t think it was either one of us to be honest; it crept in through talking about fantasies which catalysed the intrigue to explore more. We didn’t know about the concept of ENM or what to call it at the time. Realising that we both found others attractive, vocalising that to each other and, me being bisexual, evolved into bringing the fantasies we’ve since brought to life.
In your experience of the swinger and kink lifestyle, what have you found most challenging whilst also having MS?
For me, personally, it’s approaching people in a club as I am naturally an introvert. Coupled with my insecurities whilst in person at a club, such as not only being rejected but being disparaged, I do struggle there. That said, I fight against it. Your article about why you (usually) swing alone struck home with me. Inspired by this, we’re planning a weekend trip to a women’s only night soon, where my husband will pick me up after. This is a scary idea for me, but as you said “So I have to push myself to socialise; if I don’t have friends to fall back on, it means I have to put myself out there.”
Separately, I must say, the first time I braved the hot tub at our local club… I was alone, naked, with my stick, and panicking about not falling in. There was a couple already in it, and it was pleasantly surprising that the woman was also disabled. We talked naturally for ages, whilst hubby and our friends joined.
Another thing is that being disabled with a walking stick, you get noticed, even if you don’t want to be. I am still uncomfortable with that in a club situation. I don’t mind being noticed when I want to be (I am an exhibitionist) but I don’t like necessarily being noticed for my disability. That said, the staff at our local club know us now because of this- and they’re amazing when we go.
In terms of kink, whether at home or in a club, MS leaves a bit to be desired for stamina in a scene. Imagine being right in the middle of an intense scene, it is incredibly frustrating having to stop or pause.
Do you explain it to potential play partners or keep it hidden?
Yes, is the short answer; I do share. On the whole, I never hide it, but I also don’t volunteer as much as I did when we first began exploring swinging. I also wouldn’t volunteer in a club situation as much as I would with friends we play regularly with. I mentioned fatigue earlier; it puts things into harsh perspective. Deciding what’s worth the energy expenditure and what’s not? Or should I say, in this situation, who?
I tend to admin our pages, being flexible as hubby works full time. I’d never want to waste anyone’s time, such as my own. If it comes up in conversation, I’ll mention it- let’s be frank- my physical inability to ride someone could be a turn-off at the moment if they didn’t know. I do worry about seeming like a ‘catfish’ in this way. I think I’m also quite good at reading people, and knowing what to volunteer. At the end of the day, if my MS and physical limitations are an issue for a potential play partner then I shouldn’t be playing with them anyway.
Have you met anyone else in the alternative lifestyle who also has MS or other chronic illnesses?
Yes, by coincidence. In the hot tub situation I mentioned, the woman had a chronic illness also, and she was on a night of being a pole dancer for another club. There are days she can’t walk after shifts, she told me. But she loves dancing and her job. That makes it worth it for her.
I have found out that someone I met with MS well before we began exploring this lifestyle, is in a polyamorous relationship and exploring kink also- it’s so freeing when you realise that you’re naturally connecting with people and you don’t even know you have this in common initially. Also, some great friends I’ve made recently in the vanilla world also happen to be exploring the lifestyle.
Do you think there is a gross misconception attached to disability and sex?
Yes, unfortunately, in the early days of swinging, the treatment by a minority of people on our first club visits and interactions massively affected my confidence. I was made to feel as though I didn’t deserve to be exploring my sexuality in this way because of my MS. The phrase “Who would want to f*ck a cripple?” was used, and really affected my confidence. It’s almost like people attach the word “disabled” to “inept” and “unable”. This is simply so far from the truth. What I can say? My husband and others would agree with, is yes, I’ve adapted, I’ve had no choice… And I’ve only had compliments since.
Do you feel you miss out on anything due to your MS when swinging?
At times, yes, because I can’t hold certain positions when having sex. The best example is being on top and being able to ride a man; I loved doing this pre MS. I’ve been doing exercises to be able to get back in the saddle so to speak.
Also when fatigue and less than sexy symptoms prevent planned events and/ or play. Fatigue is a hard one to overcome, but the other symptoms I, and we have learned to brush them off and not let them ruin our night.
What advice would you give to other people who may feel there is no place for them in the kink or swinger world due to a disability?
There is always a place for you. The first steps into the lifestyle are the scariest. Still, despite the teething problems I’ve now overcome, I have never felt more included and accepted than when I’m talking to friends found in the lifestyle. Except for that one negative experience, the rest have been incredibly liberating and such a confidence boost.
Do you find that your MS affects swinging in a club versus more intimate meets in different ways?
Yes, absolutely. More intimate meets tend to be friends we see regularly, who know the situation. As such, I find I’m more relaxed, which makes my fatigue and other stress-induced symptoms much easier to handle. On the flip side, the anonymity in a club scenario also takes some of the pressure off, too. One thing I do struggle with in a club situation is the inevitable rising temperatures, and this is probably one of the worst triggers for my symptoms.
It’s one of the reasons you’ll find me chilling and chatting in dark corners and not amidst the hustle and bustle of the dancefloor. The cool bricks in the BDSM dungeons are a welcome relief too!
Want to find out more?
You can read more about B and her experiences here. I want to say thank you to B for her honesty in sharing her journey with us here. I think you will agree with me when I say she is something of an inspiration to us all. More of this, please!
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