Monday, April 12, 2010

Better living through chemistry

How is it that someone can be intelligent, funny, gorgeous and sexy as hell, yet you discover you have not one bit of desire to be sexual with him? Or you meet someone who is outside of your typical attraction sweet spot, yet you become immediately seduced and consumed by her hotness. The answer: chemistry. Elusive chemistry.

One of the mysteries of the Lifestyle is the concept of chemistry. You can go out on a hot date, have a great dinner, enjoy excellent conversation, but when you hit the dance floor discover you're just not feeling it.

Of course, there is the opposite phenomenon. You experience the cliché: You see someone from across the room, your eyes meet and you immediately visualize his naked, sweaty body smothering you during mind-blowing, time-space-continuum warping action.

I personally prefer the latter. Go figure.

In the years Prof and I have had an open relationship, we have discussed, explored, examined, rehashed and analyzed the concept of chemistry and have come to a clear conclusion: We haven't the faintest clue how to unravel such a mystery. Anticipating chemistry, discovering the source of chemistry and trying to create chemistry is truly Lifestyle alchemy.

In the wake of the Gordian knot that is erotic chemistry, Prof and I have simply devised methods for keeping our heads above water in lieu of seeking a solution. Here are a few of our tried and true flotation devices:
  • Accept a declined invitation with no judgment. Simply because someone does not wish to be sexual with you does not mean you are unattractive or unsexy. Reading into a person's rationale for declining your advance is speculative at best. Move on from that circumstance with no hard feelings knowing that off-the-charts chemistry with another hottie is likely right around the corner.
  • Understand you reserve the right to simply say "no thank you" and offer no rationale. We all have the right to be sexual with whom we choose when we choose. This is a riff off of the Lifestyle mantra "no means no." No rationale is necessary when following your attraction.
  • Some Lifestyle friends will become friends minus benefits. The reality is having platonic Lifestyle friends is part of being in the Lifestyle. Having open-minded and fun platonic Lifestyle friends adds a dimension to swinging not to be missed. If everyone was attracted to everyone all the time, we would be left without the mystery and beauty of the seduction dance. And we all know the chase is a significant part of the hot fun.
  • Intense, passionate chemistry with someone new can be perceived by partners as unsettling or complete ecstasy. On the flip side of the lack of chemistry is the all-consuming, fierce and exceptional attraction. Often this type of attraction feels like a force of nature, truly almost undeniable. For some partners, observing this type of chemistry can trigger twinges of jealousy. In this case, it is important to have honest, clear communication about the emotions you're experiencing. It is also important to remember that often this type of chemistry is bolstered by, what non-monogamers call, new relationship energy or N.R E. If you find that any scenario is too unsettling, it is best to disengage. For many partners, observing your partner experiencing the heights of ecstasy with another is its own ecstasy. This is a concept, often evoked by non-monogamers, called compersion. Whether we realize it or not, many of us in open relationships enjoy and thrive on the experience of compersion. (For more in-depth discussion of compersion, read The Ethical Slut and Opening Up, two excellent resources for those of us in alternative relationships.)
  • When you find and experience amazing chemistry, be in the moment and enjoy it! That doesn't necessarily mean you run off to the bedroom. Take it slow. Enjoy every hormonal zing, the lingering eye contact, the casual touches, the compliments...and dish it all out mercilessly knowing you're feeding the desire. It truly doesn't get any hotter!
The bottom line is the ongoing search for elusive chemistry keeps erotic energy flowing, smiles on our faces and all of us looking forward to the next date. Have fun with it!

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