One of the best parts of my job is that I get to talk to people. I almost write "talk to people about sex," and that is definitely a large part of it, but just the talking to people, getting to know them, even when they are total strangers, feels like an incredible gift. My average day is spent alone in my house, except when I'm traveling, so getting to hop on the phone and have genuine discussions and feel like the person I'm talking to is processing and learning about themselves along the way is a major perk of what I do. That they are willing to go there with me, even when my questions may be awkward or uncomfortable or something they've never thought about makes me feel good about what I'm putting out into the world. When it comes to talking to them about sex, I'm all the more grateful for their openness, because often what we're discussing are things probably nobody else is asking so bluntly. Things like, "What makes this kind of sex you're having now better than sex you've had in the past?"
I've profiled people about their sex lives for over a decade for various publications, but with my new Elle.com sex and dating interview series Love, Actually, each week I get to go in depth with a woman about her sexual history and each time. I've learned both about how to be a better interviewer and come away with a newfound respect for the way these women analyze and talk about their most intimate selves. It's an honor, although I admit sometimes I feel awkward, and likely they do too, but what I've heard again and again is that they welcome getting to talk about these topics, whether having an affair or dating while disabled or sex after childbirth. In the process, I've learned quite a bit too. What I especially like about this series is that all I have to do is represent these women's individual stories. I'm not trying to tie them to a trend or make them stand in for every woman who's been in that situation. That's not what this column is about. It's about telling one woman's story, and trust me, they are fascinating.
The most recent interview is with a woman who went on a swingers cruise with her husband and that process set them off to be part of "the lifestyle" (the term swingers use to describe what they do). If you're curious about what happens on a swinging cruise and what "full swap" means, do check it out. Here's a snippet from the interview:
After the dance club closed, we all went to the 24-hour outdoor play area. There were beds spaced about every six feet with small tables between them. We all went to one bed and started by getting undressed and making out with our own partners. Soon I felt the woman's hand caressing my breast as I was kissing my husband. Then her husband, while still kissing her, started to finger me.You can read the full swinging profile here and if you're a woman with an interesting sex and/or dating life (single ladies are especially welcome!) and would be interested in being profiled anonymously, email me at ellesexstories at gmail.com and tell me a little bit about you.
At one point my husband went to the restroom. While he was gone, the other guy went down on his wife while I kissed her and played with her breasts. Then we shifted and I went down on him while she went down on me. When my husband came back, he watched for a minute, then joined us.