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THAT'S what "petting" means? I always had an image of it being long strokes over sweatered tits, sorta like petting a dog.
Posted by agony on December 20, 2012 at 3:33 PM · Report this
I had thought that 'heavy petting' were mutual masturbation, and would have guessed that 'petting' (I've never heard of 'light petting') were stroking the non-genital regions (which can be pretty intense, potenitally so much so that it might lead to dancing).
Posted by Gerald Fnord on December 20, 2012 at 3:53 PM · Report this
Hey this is the first of these repeats that I haven't recognized. Wonder if I wasn't reading yet in 2006 or if I was just busy with the holiday.

But enough about me. I want to know why this guy doesn't even mention how his wife feels about full swap in general, and this potential partner in particular. Aren't her feelings relevant? I feel I can't tell if he'd be less happy about full swap if his wife loved the idea, or if his wife was only kinda into it...

Also wanted to say: lol at "you seem attracted to his energy and, of course, to his wife."
Posted by EricaP on December 20, 2012 at 4:20 PM · Report this
I would think using the phrase "light petting" would get you laughed out of swingerdom.
Posted by WestSeven on December 20, 2012 at 4:23 PM · Report this
"Light petting", mostly groping above the belt or lower over the clothes/frottage, heavy = knucklebanging + HJs?
Posted by how i picture them, at least on December 20, 2012 at 4:56 PM · Report this
this guy I know in Spokane 6
So what base is "light petting" equivalent to? First? Second?
Posted by this guy I know in Spokane on December 20, 2012 at 5:58 PM · Report this
Roma 7
6, you just reminded me of a good laugh I had a couple summers ago. A friend and I were on the way to a hike and we stopped at the Safeway in Cle Elum for some groceries. As we were leaving, I noticed a young girl and older woman (presumably her mother) at a pink-decorated table selling cookies. A hand-lettered sign hanging from the table said "Save Second Base."
Posted by Roma on December 20, 2012 at 6:11 PM · Report this
I'm with @1, I thought "petting" was a mostly over-the-clothes fondling thing.
Why do so many people feel that sucking someone's cock or vulva is way less personal than PV sex? I think it's more intimate by a mile. I think if I was a swinger I might ask for the opposite (fuck whoever you want, but don't put your mouth on anyone's *** except for mine!)
Posted by secretchord on December 20, 2012 at 6:48 PM · Report this
I agree.
Posted by migrationist on December 20, 2012 at 7:53 PM · Report this
@8 blame the anti sex education system. A lot of teens will try oral before penetration because they are taught the latter is " real" sex and that is immoral. The former is less bad, which later in life is translated to less intimate/serious, what have you. At least that is how it worked in my high school.
Posted by wxPDX on December 20, 2012 at 9:44 PM · Report this
Fnarf 11
@8, "eatin' ain't cheatin'". It's a Clinton thing. A Southern thing.
Posted by Fnarf on December 20, 2012 at 10:24 PM · Report this
I only engage in light petting after I've shared a malted.
Posted by MemeGene on December 21, 2012 at 1:33 AM · Report this
There is a possibility missed. It might not be that he's so curious, but that he's been called insecure and omits that for some reason of his own. I'm forming a picture of someone who already is pretty set on what he's going to do in this situation, but has the intellectual curiosity to want a philosophical take on the situation without specific input of his existing state of mind. Not probable, but possible - and it might also tie in with Ms Erica's point about there being no mention of his wife's attitude.

The first question would be better heard than read, as the accent makes a difference (as in "She wasn't there!" in A Murder is Announced). That would help one to determine the point of the second question, which seems as if it could spring from a sense that some people seem to exude of thinking that They Ought to Be Farther Up the Ladder, as if they were being graded on how far they take it rather than approaching their adventures from the point of view of seeking what gave them optimum good without bad. It's sort of a cross between how some people will up the ante once they feel they've irredeemably crossed the line and how some people seem to regard specific sexual activities as merit badges.
Posted by vennominon on December 21, 2012 at 5:35 AM · Report this
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Dan, partial fail on this response. I don't see where anyone has asked the wife's opinion. Is the wife interested in a full swap, has she been content with the soft swaps they've been doing, or has the husband not even asked her? She's the one with the vagina. Maybe she's not interested in getting pounded by Mr. Jackhammer.
Posted by Lemon Laws on December 21, 2012 at 9:31 AM · Report this
@13 "as if they were being graded on how far they take it "

Posted by EricaP on December 21, 2012 at 9:37 AM · Report this
@8: It's also part of the "baseball" system: kissing, touching, touching other parts, touching under clothes, oral, and finally intercourse at the top of the hierarchy. (Yes, I know I just described six bases rather than four. Humor me.) Oral is seen as a lesser granting of access than coitus.

I'm trying to imagine what exactly "light petting" is, compared to "heavy petting", in this guy's scheme. Why he would be okay with "light petting" _and_ oral, but not "heavy petting?" Is heavy petting finger-banging, and thus too much like coitus because of insertion?
Posted by avast2006 on December 21, 2012 at 10:43 AM · Report this
@8, 9, 10, 11: I'll speak to the reason teenagers often try oral before intercourse, since I was recently a teenager from a state where abstinence education is NOT a thing. I was perfectly happy to blow my boyfriend in high school, but I was too scared to take my pants off because I didn't know if my vagina looked normal. I think the reason so many teens try oral before vaginal intercourse is because oral is pretty easy with most of your clothes on- if you're insecure, you can stay nearly clothed.

I still don't think of oral as quite as intimate as PIV. I can keep my clothes on while giving oral. If someone's giving me oral, I can lie back and pretend they're anyone. PIV for me tends to mean having naked bodies all up against each other, and I can't pretend they're anyone when their naked body is all up against mine.

So it's not just the anti-sex education system, or a southern thing since I'm not from the south. To be honest, I kind of want to hear the argument that oral is MORE intimate than PIV, because I'm having trouble formulating one.
Posted by alguna_rubia on December 21, 2012 at 10:44 AM · Report this
@15: Both partners need to be comfortable with the full swap for it to go forward. In so far as the Letter Writer is the one expressing discomfort, the wife's hypothetical discomfort over the idea is at best redundant at this juncture. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Posted by avast2006 on December 21, 2012 at 11:03 AM · Report this

First off, I am European, so probably my socialisation is quite different.

For me, oral is more intimate because one's face is in/ on someone else's genitals. This person sees, smells and tastes these genitals up close. And genitals are the most private part of one's body, while the face is the most judgmental body part in some way.
The facial senses judge on form, colour, smell and taste. A cock is only judging a vagina on its tightness, and a vagina only judges the penis on size.

I think I do not explain it very well but I feel more exposed to a face in my lap than to a cock in my cunt. Similarly, I feel more judgmental when I see, lick and smell a cock than if I feel it inside me.
Posted by migrationist on December 21, 2012 at 11:04 AM · Report this
nocutename 21
I wish we could get past the whole "I'm not from the south, so that doesn't explain my _______," or "I'm not American, so my background and experience are different, but ___________."
Sure there are some differences in education and culture that vary from region to region, but the feelings that both alguna_rubia and migrationist describe (and a lot of others) are not geographically or culturally specific. I, for one, am getting a little tired of Europeans and Canadians making assumptions that all Americans are stepped in conservative Christian value systems, or have the same kind of sex education.
I'm American, raised in California, and I understand both these women's attitudes and feelings, neither of which seem to me to be products of their geographic origins or reactions against them.
Posted by nocutename on December 21, 2012 at 12:52 PM · Report this

I agree that there are certain personal preferences that are independent of cultural background.

But there are also cultural influences. When I spent an exchange year at an American college in the Midwest in the late 90s, I was surprised how central oral sex was to American popular culture among college kids. It just does not have the same cultural importance in Germany, nor in the Netherlands or Britain, where I've also lived.

That doesn't mean that people in the States like it more, or people in Europe like it less, just that the expectations when or with whom to try it first as a teenager are different.
Posted by migrationist on December 21, 2012 at 1:11 PM · Report this
@Migrationist: That makes sense to me. Thanks for explaining it!
Posted by alguna_rubia on December 21, 2012 at 10:58 PM · Report this
8/10: The "casual" nature probably also stems from the difficulty of accidentally making babies.
Posted by i'm sure that factors in on December 22, 2012 at 9:28 AM · Report this

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