Savage Love Letter of the Day: Too Drunk To Swing

Comments

1
Just thought I'd point out that this is the first time in human history where a straight couple opened up their relationship and he got laid before she did.
2
Yeah, just chalk it up as a learning experience. LW got drunk. LW's husband got drunk. Both made poor judgment calls. It happens. Learn from it and move on.
3
Stick with the ground rules next time. Doesn't matter who's tipsy or if you both 'agree' to a revision in the heat of the moment. Those kinds of decisions should be made when everyone is sober and not ragingly horny. Establishing and sticking to those kinds of boundaries will make any future interactions much easier on the nerves, and hopefully prevent anyone else from getting upset.
4
I'd like to mention to Dan that these recommendations to smoke pot to "mellow out" may be a tiny bit amiss. While offered with clearly good intention, they overlook the fact that for some people... ( I suspect between 10-20%, derived anecdotally) ...pot iincreases energy & can make a person more socially anxious than before, even in small amounts.

I don't know why this is exactly, but I suspect everyone's brain is wired differently & different molecules have different effects on each brain. So pot may be a good solution for encouraging a relaxed demeanor, or it may not at all. I mention this so that you (Dan) might include slightly less certainty in your recommendations that pot will chill a person out. While most adults have tried it by now, some definitely have not, so there's no guarantee of how it will affect them.

Another option for dealing with nervousness is remove oneself (or one's-couple-selves) to an empty room at the party, and take 10-20 deep, slow breaths, eyes closed, & possibly holding hands. Then look at each other with love & compassion for your partner in your heart, and reaffirm your intentions ("just kissing & touching", "just anal", etc.) & express your trust in one another.

Then go "touch" some hot new people. ^_^
5
Alcohol frequently leads to regrettable and regretted sexual activities.
Alcohol is a primary fuel for the "rape culture".
Now you know....
6
as was pointed out in a deleted comment about "A Rape Committed Under Any Circumstance Is Still a Rape, and Horrible" by Brittnie Fuller earlier this week on Slog.
7
4
And if it wasn't bad enough that pot gives people who already can't afford to lose any sharpness brain damage it also is linked to gum disease.
What?!
Perhaps an activity that one has to get drunk or stoned to endure isn't such a good idea after all...
8
Being generous, possibly they make the drinks stiffer at that place than you're used to. Now you know to slow down. Don't have more than one, or two if you're there more than an hour and had a solid supper beforehand.

You're disappointed. That's normal, when people around you (including your husband) got laid and you didn't. Figure out what you want now. Close it back up? Go back and try again? He doesn't get any play until after you've had a successful encounter? Talk it out with your husband, and let go of trying to get him to accept blame. If you're throwing blame around, keep some for yourself for not knowing your limits of alcohol and imbibing at a play event.
9
Behind Hurt is anger. Who and what are you angry at? You SHOULD be angry at yourself for getting so wasted you couldn't follow through as your husband did. So, wait a bit and try again--and I agree with Dan: you must get your chance first this time.
10
Pot doesn't work on me, either. It just makes me maudlin, and I cry. That's not what I need when I'm looking to get bumpy grindy.
11
Dan you are really very very good, overall excellent advice.

I agree with the skeptism about the pot recc though. People respond very differently. It makes me dysphoric and antisocial, even a little, so wouldn't work for me here
12
Going to a party that was clearly about sex, but acting like you didn't want to have sex, was a bad move. It's shitty to the hosts and the other party goers, and it puts you in a losing situation. Adding alcohol made it less unpleasant in some ways (cognitive dissonance hurts less with alcohol on board), but worse in others (you had to deal with the morning after). So anyhow, you both fucked up, but you can always go to a swingers /poly munch or a meet up, have a drink or two, chat and see what you think. And sre what other people think. And go home together and have a good night's sleep, and then... talk about trying another party.
13
So, which of the two of you was the one who initiated the discussion about revising the ground rules while you both were wasted? WHOOPS is conspicuously vague about that little detail. Notice how in the first paragraph she characterizes it as, "we have discussed the potential of bringing other partners into the bedroom" -- a distinctly neutral and reciprocal-sounding description? And then in the middle of the narrative, it's "my husband and I had a conversation in which we decided..."? But in the last paragraph she finally admits that she's the one who has been pushing for this all along?

My "Unreliable Narrator" alarm is going off fit to bust. Dollars to donuts the "no penetration" rule was really more like "no getting penetrated." In other words, about making nervous Hubby a little less uncomfortable with the idea of his horny wife going out and getting enthusiastically laid by someone else, maybe a bunch of someone elses; and he agrees to the male equivalent just to make everything fair. Then she in her drunken, excited state, figured she could push her luck because they both were horny and with inhibitions drowning in alcohol, only she misjudged her intake and blew her chance.

Throw in a healthy dash of "I'm a woman and I was too drunk to consent to what went down, which automatically makes the man the bad guy," and this story is more complete than Letter Writer intended.
14
Maybe you feel upset because you just feel kind of.... dumb? You shouldn't feel dumb, but that's what I'd probably feel. Like left out of the fun. This happens to everyone w/ drinking sometimes, and ideally you'll be able to just laugh at yourself--helped by the thought that in the long run, you will probably have way more swingin' sex than your husband! It's the tortoise and the hare babe. You've lulled him into a false sense of security and now you're going to totally out-slut him.
15
Hmm, I read her letter as she doesn't remember agreeing to intercourse with the other players at all, and is now conflicted because according to her husband she was going to have PIV with the other guy but couldn't because she was too drunk. So maybe she is questioning her husband's statement that they both agreed to revise their rules while both were drunk. Maybe she feels that doesn't sound like something she would do. Maybe she's one of those people who feels very crappy when drunk, and wouldn't have been in the mood for sex at all, so wouldn't have a reason to change their rules. I think Dan should have consider that this might be why she's upset, and not because she had wanted penetrative sex with the other guy and now is sulking because her husband got to do it and she didn't. If that was the case then they could just go to another party, right?

Since they hadn't planned to have penetrative or oral sex with others, I hope the other couple had condoms!
16
Those of you who have experienced issues with pot: Have you tried experimenting with sativa versus indica? I mean I totally understand why you wouldn't really bother if your distaste is that acute. But there are major differences, in my experience, with their effects. In our wonderful world of legal weed, you can also walk into a store, tell them the issues you've had in the past, and they will often guide you intelligently and empathetically.
17
So, did you really puke just because you had too much to drink? Or because you had a good amount to drink, and then the change of circumstances made you sick to your stomach? Because I've been in the latter position.
18
Oh, one huge glaring omission in Dan's advice: she should apologize to the event coordinator. Getting shitfaced and spending the night puking in their toilet is not going to net you a lot more invitations.

That being said, it does seem odd that your husband's sure you said yes to something you don't remember. I can understand how you feel a little abandoned at being left puking while he runs off to bang someone - especially since you don't really know if you said yes to that - do you often forget things when drunk? I'd suggest making a rule that if one of you gets too shitfaced the other takes you home. It will prevent this sort of issue, as well as prevent you from becoming drunkie persona non grata in the scene.
19
@7: "And if it wasn't bad enough that pot gives people who already can't afford to lose any sharpness brain damage it also is linked to gum disease."

Even if you vape? "Brain disease"? Quit peddling pseudoscience.
20


Someone had to post this, so it might as well be me:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=…
21
From the Obama Administration NIDA:

Substantial evidence from studies in humans indicate that marijuana exposure during development can cause long-term or possibly permanent adverse changes in the brain. Rats exposed to THC before birth, soon after birth, or during adolescence show notable problems with specific learning and memory tasks later in life. Cognitive impairments in adult rats exposed to THC during adolescence are associated with structural and functional changes in the hippocampus. Studies in rats also show that adolescent exposure to THC is associated with an altered reward system, increasing the likelihood that an animal will self-administer other drugs (e.g., heroin) when given an opportunity.

Imaging studies of marijuana’s impact on brain structure in humans suggest regular marijuana use in adolescence is associated with altered connectivity and reduced volume of specific brain regions involved in a broad range of executive functions such as memory, learning, and impulse control compared to people who do not use.

Several studies, including two large longitudinal studies, suggest that marijuana use can cause functional impairment in cognitive abilities but that the degree and/or duration of the impairment depends on the age when a person began using and how much and how long he or she used.

Among nearly 4,000 young adults in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study tracked over a 25-year period until mid-adulthood, cumulative lifetime exposure to marijuana was associated with lower scores on a test of verbal memory. The effect was sizeable and significant.

A large longitudinal study in New Zealand found that persistent marijuana use disorder with frequent use starting in adolescence was associated with a loss of an average of 6 or up to 8 IQ points measured in mid-adulthood. Significantly, in that study, those who used marijuana heavily as teenagers and quit using as adults did not recover the lost IQ points.
22
Can we start at number 1? You go to a swingers party but you made rules about no oral or penetration? So, what...handies and fingerbanging for your partners who came to get laid? Maybe there was kink involved, after all this had a playroom, and you were allowing each other to whip and dominate or submit. That's the only way this letter makes any sense, but is glaringly left out of the Letter.

What LW might be mad about is a lack of care or respect on the part of her husband. Did her husband know she was shitfaced and puking in the bathroom while he was fucking the girl? Did he finish? Or did he go to the bathroom to care for his primary? Again, these details are conspicuously absent. If I got shitfaced and ended up in a toilet, I'd expect my boyfriend/husband to look after and care for me. Sorry, guy he's fucking, I come first.

Other than that possibility, LW sounds like she's trying to destroy her marriage by hitting the self-destruct button. Introducing new people but making rules that are bound to fail. Changing the rules on the fly and getting upset about the rule change. Putting all the responsibility on the man to act reasonably, while abdicating your own unreasonable participation in this fiasco (D/S again?). Figure out why you're upset and go from there.
23
I never say shit like this, but I can't help but imagine what Dan's advice would be like if the genders were reversed.

Wait! I don't have to! He answered a very similar question to this some years back and told the guy what amounted to "too bad. sucks for you. Get over it. This is your fault"

I wish I could remember more about the time the article was posted but I can't.
24
There's a 3rd possibility for why WHOOPS feels so upset. At the point when she told her husband how hurt she was, he could have said "It's not about deals or blame or rules. It's about feelings. I'm less about defending myself and more about making sure you're happy with our sex life and our marriage. What can we do together as a team to make you feel better." But he didn't say that. He went all "let me inform you ..." I'd be resentful if I were married to that asshole too. How about an open relationship where your first responsibility is watching out for each other? How about one where if Mr. realizes that his wife is barfing in the bathroom, he extricates himself from where he's entangled and goes to make sure she's okay. But he never thought of that, did he. Doesn't surprise me. Asshole.
25
FWIW, smoking weed makes me exponentially more horny/less inhibited than alcohol does.

Also, there is, for most people, even 110 pound women, a large gulf in alcoholic intake between "a little more relaxed" and "puking in the bathtub".

I'd highly recommend, take your drinking slowly, be social, drink as you likely would with any another set of friends. Assuming you don't get throw-up, black-out drunk on the reg.
26
As someone who has been in a similar situation, I can conceive of another reason why the LW may be upset: swinging is about doing things TOGETHER. Swingers often remain in the same room, and sometimes watch each other, while they swap partners. Unlike an open relationship, swingers usually engage in these things together. In my experience, it would be awfully strange and inconsiderate for one half of a couple to start going at it while the other half is sick in the bathroom.

I understand that the husband was drunk, so maybe he was too drunk to even notice where his wife had gone? Nonetheless, it sounds like he was being kind of an asshole.

Going to a party of this nature with no penetration/oral rules is not at all strange if it's your first time. Most likely, her desire was to watch other couples doing it, maybe engage in some kissing or heavy petting, and perhaps even mutual masturbation. Then, AFTER that first experience, they would decide whether they wanted to pursue swinging or a threesome.

Notice the LW's wording: "we have discussed the potential of bringing other partners into the bedroom with us." That sounds like she wanted to pursue something that she and her husband would do together. It doesn't sound like her ideal was to go off in separate rooms with their chosen partners.

And another thing: why blame the LW for something she doesn't even remember? She doesn't remember having a conversation about changing the rules, and it's clearly a decision she would not have made while sober. A few people in this thread have mentioned distrusting the LW's narrative. Why not distrust the husband's narrative? I agree with Fichu; even if said conversation actually happened, it was a dick move for the husband to go off and have enthusiastic sex without his wife, WHILE she was sick in the bathroom. He ought to apologize for that, at least, and acknowledge his share of the responsibility (at least 50%) for what happened.

They should not pursue something like this again until they both agree to: no alcohol, no rule changes, and no going off on their own without the other. She has the right to maintain her current rules until such time as she feels totally comfortable changing them. If they meet another couple again, they should explain that they are newbies and that they have rules. It's not like they're denying anyone anything by going to such a party with a "no penetration" rule; no one there is obligated to engage with them on their terms, and I'd bet that there will be people there who would agree to abide by them.
27
When checking out a new scene it is highly advised to be completely present, i.e. no alcohol nor drugs of any kind.
Set your own rules in advance and make sure one of them states, "no revision allowed during the event."
I would also contact the organizers in advance to inquire about the scene, and if applicable let them know of your novice status and ask if it's ok to remain an observer only throughout the first visit.
28
Yep. Pretty much the whole point of making rules when one isn't drunk, turned on, or feeling pressured is because you know that your decision making isn't the best when you're drunk, turned on or feeling pressured. So deciding one thing in advance only to negate it when in the spur of the moment defeats the whole purpose. To make matters worse, we've got only Mr. Whoops's word that any agreement took place. WHOOPS, were you really so drunk that you forgot this very important point about agreeing to cancel the earlier agreement? My experience has been that puking drunk and black-out drunk are mutually exclusive. It almost sounds like your husband has told you that you agreed to something you didn't. You say you have no justification for feeling so hurt, but maybe that's because you husband has gaslighted you or because you're gaslighting yourself. From my standpoint, you most certainly do have justification, plenty of it, not that you ever need to justify an emotion like feeling hurt within a marriage.
29
@28 In no way shape or form are blackout drunk and puking drunk mutually exclusive.
30
No one seems to be concerned about the husband not taking care of his sick wife in the toilet, or suggesting they go home because she was unwell, or respecting her inability to consent? The husband seems pretty suss to me, and I think the husband's focus on his dick instead of his drunk, sick wife whose experience this was supposed to be centred around is why she's feeling hurt - it's probably a sense of betrayal that she wasn't his number one concern at a time she needed him to care for her in a number of ways. Seems like he just ran with it because he could and blamed her afterwards.
31
I'm with 30, and will also point out that if he's like many of us penis-havers, then he can't have been too drunk and ALSO ready to bang. If he was even close to as drunk as his wife, he would have had equipment malfunctions and penetration would've been problematic. So I think she has some justification to feel hurt that her wasted-state was taken advantage of.

Obviously, individual results may vary.
32
@26: "A few people in this thread have mentioned distrusting the LW's narrative. Why not distrust the husband's narrative?"

Wellllll, maybe because he hasn't actually given one yet.

Seriously, he hasn't. We've only heard her version of what he supposedly said to her, and she wasn't even very specific or consistent in relaying it.

I would like very much if Hubby could be persuaded to join the fray and tell us what happened in his own words. (In particular I would like to hear more about the discussions in the years leading up to this event.) In the meantime, there is one hell of a lot of making up details here in the peanut gallery, such as whether he should have or would have noticed she was off in the bathroom puking.

"Though he went forward with this and had sex with a new partner (both vaginal and oral), I ended up in the bathroom unable to keep the liquor down before any sex occurred" is awfully non-specific as to location or timing. Your mileage may vary, but that reads to me like they agreed to revise the rules, they went off separately each with their own partner of the moment, and some number of minutes later she had to excuse herself to run to the toilet.

Similarly, "with the man I was with" does not read to me particularly strongly that they remained in the same room or that she wanted them to. Surely her position would be a lot stronger if both of them had been going at it, watching each other, when she suddenly had to go have a prolonged conversation with the seals, and Hubby didn't so much as slow his rhythm? Surely that would have served as "justification for being hurt," the thing she specifically said she had none of?
33
@28: " My experience has been that puking drunk and black-out drunk are mutually exclusive."

Your physiology is not everyone's physiology. Anecdote is not data.

"It almost sounds like your husband has told you that you agreed to something you didn't."

Except that it was her who was pushing for it in the months leading up to this. I find it hard to swallow that the person who wanted it all along, who has been pushing for it all along, who deliberately lowered the hell out of her inhibitions, and the one who even in the aftermath seems quite candid in admitting that she in all likelihood would have had penetrative sex herself, had she not been prevented by her own overindulgence, was suddenly the demure, retiring one of the couple, who got talked into something she really didn't want to happen.

"You say you have no justification for feeling so hurt, but maybe that's because you husband has gaslighted you or because you're gaslighting yourself. "

Or she's gaslighting us as to who did or said what, and when.

"I’ve been the proponent for bringing other people into our sexual experiences, but he’s the one who ended up acting on it. Did I bring this on myself?"

Why yes, cupcake, you did. If that's actually what you are mad about -- that he actually got to go through with your fantasy, and you didn't -- then yes, you totally brought this on yourself.
34
29, 33 -Sport and Avast-- I just KNEW someone was going to call me out on the puking drunk/blackout drunk thing (and thank you for it.) Just pointing out that I knew it in advance and that's why I put the caveat in there about "in my experience." The rest of my opinion holds as to why I think WHOOPS is justified in being upset. I agree with 30-Wank on this one. I just think that whatever else was going on, Mr. Whoops's first responsibility at that moment was to his wife. And now I won't say more because I'd only be repeating myself.
35
@33 can we retire gaslighting as a phrase except in more appropriate scenarios? She isn't some master manipulator attempting to confuse our perceptions of reality, she's simply not being honest. Big gulf.
36
Blackouts are a screaming red flag for anyone who wants to use booze. The Received Wisdom is that almost no one but an alcoholic CAN reach the blackout stage. Normal people with throw up or lose consciousness before they can hit a high enough blood alcohol level.

Other drugs mess up that truism. And the binge-drinking/rape-culture guzzling standards are such that the chance of blacking out is maximized.

Its perfectly possible to have conversations you can't remember, AND spend time in the bathroom puking within a short space of time.
37
Typical alcoholic blame-shifting. She couldn't handle her liquor and now it is everybody else's fault.
38
It doesn't matter if she 'couldn't handle her liquor'. She was ill - violently ill, from the sound of it, and her husband was more invested in getting some strange than in her well-being. She has every right to be upset, even though she's trying not to be. She isn't assigning blame at all - she's trying to resolve it! Y'all are a bunch of cold-hearted bastards.
39
@38: "She was ill - violently ill, from the sound of it, and her husband was more invested in getting some strange than in her well-being."

That interpretation assumes that he was in a place to be aware that she was puking her guts out while he was getting some strange, and the letter does not contain enough information to support that one way or the other. IF he knew, then sure, hypothetically that would make him an asshole.

As far as the "ill, violently ill" part goes, my response is the same as it would be to my teenaged self. Aw, poor baby. Next time, don't drink so fucking much, stupid. That part, at least, doesn't require making up shit that isn't in the letter.
40
Meh. You can't logic your way out of stuff like this. You have conflicted emotions about what happened because you made some decisions drunk that you shouldn't have made. As a seasoned drinker who has made plenty of bad decisions drunk, I promise you that dwelling on them at all is going to lead to nothing good. The only important thing is that you made a decision drunk that you would not have made sober. So make sure you don't get drunk when you have important decisions to make. That's really the only response here.

Did your husband have a good time? How do both of you feel about penetrative sex with others in the future? Talk about that and plan for the future, and be sober next time.
41
@4

I have been saying exactly that, as have other posters, for a long time. Dan doesn't want to hear it for some reason. Not everyone likes pot. Not everyone mellows out from pot. Probably most people with anxiety should try it and see what they think, but it's just incorrect to keep suggesting it as a solution to anxiety problems. Pot makes me a nervous wreck- I absolutely hate it. It exacerbates some people's anxiety.

@12 That's a weird take. Have you ever been to a swinger gathering? It's totally normal for people to have different boundaries, etc. So long as they didn't misrepresent, they're fine.

@13 I think that's a stretch. If SHE had gone through with penetrative sex while drunk after being sure she didn't want to while sober, then I could see that interpretation if her husband was sober enough to intervene or if the partner was aware of her sober intentions. But it's the husband, who apparently was not drunk enough to be seriously impaired, who revised his plans. Even if this was opportunistic (if he took advantage of the wife's inebriation and got permission that way) this could AT WORST be a violation of trust in their marriage, not an issue of consent. The husband consented. Even if the wife told him directly not to, he still consented.
42
@16 YES. I hate pot. I did it many times when I was younger because I kept expecting to like it, but I never did. Finally I stopped smoking it altogether for well over a decade. Then when it started to be legalized in some states, I did what you suggested. I went to a dispensary and told them my problems with it and asked for some that would not make me an anxious paranoid wreck. I've tried that three times now in two different states, and guess what? I still hate it. I'm less a paranoid wreck, but I'm still anxious, get stuck in thought loops and am completely incapable of basic functioning- even if I take only a tiny amount. Pot just does not work for me. I know people who really LOVE pot have trouble understanding this or accepting this, but some people really just can't tolerate pot. It's weird to me that people want to insist otherwise. When someone tells me they hate alcohol, I don't try to suggest ways they can like it. I just accept that they hate alcohol.
43
Does the LW really want to open up her marriage? She says she's been the 'proponent' of it but says nothing about why. A good reason would be that she wants to have sex with other people besides her husband (and is happy for him to enjoy the same). A bad reason would be that she feels it's necessary to sustain the marriage or is in hock to a political ideal (of the liberal, poly person) that doesn't accord with her impulses.

The stereotype is that straight husbands can have extramarital sex with less psychological involvement than their wives. I _don't_ think it's always true, but the LW will surely be considering whether it's true in this case. I read her as hurt and upset not at all about missing out on a lay (how good or memorable could the sex have been, if she was paralytic?) and not really about her husband abandoning her. She's confused and ambivalent (at best) because (in defiance of the previously arranged ground rules) he fucked another woman. She doesn't accuse him of lying about their drunken conversation but the thought has crossed her mind (and--actually--it seems more than possible to me). They need to step back and sort out what they want sexually--to my mind, in the context of the whole marriage. E.g. let her say something like: 'my husband brings stability to my life and I'm confident he'll be a good father. But I need to swept off my feet or dominated by strangers I find charismatic and can fantasise about'. And let him say e.g. 'of course as a man I want to have sex with more than one woman. And I can't help doing it in a spirit of something like vindictiveness towards, or triumphing over, my wife--of course, still my primary commitment--because I feel that she's suggested it because I'm not culturally or intellectually good enough for her'. Or something like that. Whatever their feelings actually are.

About alcohol, instinctively I take a hard line, like @37 CMDwannabe. If you couldn't do it stone-cold sober, don't do it drunk. An observant Muslim wouldn't have a drink before a first date. Why should you?
44
Jeffereson @5: The first thing that you, under any of your aliases, have ever said that I agree with.
Men should avoid drinking too much, so that they can avoid raping someone.

Harriet @43: Is "what would a devout Muslim do" really your standard of behaviour??

LW drank too much, and learned the lesson pretty much everyone learns by age 21: Drinking too much leads to poor decision making. Accept that you, LW, made a poor decision and make a better decision next time. Don't blame your husband. Learn your lesson.
45
@41: Regarding who consented to what, and who wasn't in any condition to consent, I think that "You took advantage of my drunken state to talk me into going through with the thing that _I've_ been pushing _you_ into for years" sounds like some pretty nakedly self-serving bullshit rationalization here.

She implies -- though she never comes out and says it -- that she does not remember the conversation with her husband. Everyone here is taking that to mean he must have been substantially more sober than she was, and that he must have been the one who took advantage of her being wildly drunk to pry a Yes out of her. I do not for one minute believe that she was the reluctant party, or that she was the one who imposed the no-penetration-nor-oral rule for the evening to assuage a sudden attack of demureness on her part.

She admits she's been pushing for this for years, and she admits that she would have been perfectly happy fucking her own partner of the moment if the toilet hadn't made her an offer she couldn't refuse. Both of those are right there in the letter.

My take is that she offered her husband that rule as a way of easing him into the scene while he was still feeling uncomfortable. Then that evening, when it became clear that he had as sure a shot at getting laid as she did, she, drunk and horny and about to get her fantasy, offered to relax that rule because she figured he wouldn't be upset if he got laid too. And he, also drunk and horny and about to get laid, took her up on the offer.

Then the following morning, she's all, "I was too drunk to consent to what I talked you into," and he's like, "Dammit, it was you who's been grooming me for years now, and it was you who persuaded me that relaxing that rule would be fine. Take some fucking responsibility for your part in this."

I think what she is feeling is a taste of the cold-sweat of knowing your spouse fucked someone else and liked it, while you were left out in the cold. That could simply mean that for her this fantasy is crazy-hot as a fantasy, but actually kind of painful in real life. Or it could mean that she feels stupid because she worked a little too hard at making it happen and ended up playing herself. Or any number of other things.

The one thing that it most likely _isn't_ is her husband's fault.
46
@43: Holy crap, those are some spectacularly unattractive individuals you hypothesize when you suggest they own up to their real motivations. Your version of her is basically, "I'm a taker who finds my husband convenient and useful as a provider, but boring" and your version of him is "I'm a vindictive asshole who believes my wife finds me inadequate, but I'll have my revenge through hate-fucking others." What a pair of prize individuals you posit, and what great motivations for staying married to each other.
47
@46. No--I have no idea why the couple want an open marriage, and no idea why they were more drawn to swinging than to separate polyamorous relationships with secondaries on a calmly negotiated basis.

The motivations I was putting in their mouths were possibilities--no more than that. A more baseline possibility, and one that (to me) implies no moral coloring at all, is that they've getting married in (say) their twenties, and she at least doesn't want to feel she'll be making love only to one person for the rest of her life.

The version of events you say you 'don't for a moment believe' is more or less what I would accept. After they've both imbibed, he's said something to her like, 'hey, I'm much more into this than I expected, and it seems you are, too. Let's waive the rules and take it further' and she's replied, 'wurrrggh. [Drunken] wurrrgggh. OK' and he's gone and shagged his playmate. He may have misunderstood; he may have drawn the inference he wanted, but I don't see he has waited on or got her enthusiastic consent (or enthusiastic release). She has two reasons for feeling resentful with her husband: 1) he has neglected her for his oats while she was sick in the bathroom; and 2) he has psuedo-manipulated her consent. But she doesn't rehearse either. I think she--actually both of them--need to take a step back. Why were they swinging? What do they want? She shouldn't feel bound by what she proposed before actually trying non-monogamy. Possibly she wants them to be non-monogamous in another setting or format, possibly not at all.
48
@44. BiDanFan. It's a high standard of behavior and I respect it. I've met Muslims for dates and would never order a drink (other than a mango lassi). I've met vegetarians for dates who expressed a pronounced aversion to the idea of eating meat and doubled down on the chana daal. Let's not participate in the current welter of Muslim-bashing, OK?
49
@48 It's not Muslim-bashing to suggest that perhaps only observant Muslims should follow the standards of observant Muslims. There's no reason observant Muslims, the Pope, devout Hare Krishnas, Buddhist monks, whatever, should be the standard for anyone except maybe their co-coreligionists.
50
@49 In addition to that, I think you can perfectly respectfully disagree with someone else's values. You have to respect their right to have those values, for sure. But you don't have to respect the values themselves. I don't see how there is any moral value either way to drinking alcohol or not, eating meat or not, abstaining from sex outside of marriage or not.
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@49. Rhoanna. I'm not advocating following observant Muslims' standards or aping their practices (without sharing the underlying beliefs). I'm aspiring to their standards of mindfulness. In the same way I'd encourage a hetero couple married twenty years, maybe stuck in routine and thinking they know each other well, to aspire towards the constantly thoughtful respect for one's sexual partners one finds in the kindest anarchic polys.
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@50. EmmaLiz. Nor do I think there's any value either to drinking or not drinking alcohol.

What happened in the LW's case was that drinking impaired her capacity to go through with a plan, occasioning anguish and unhappiness. She needed the drink to start to swing. So maybe she was more ambivalent about her swinging than she allowed herself to believe?
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Harriet @48: I neither drink alcohol nor eat meat and I do not mind at all if my dates do. It would be nice if they chewed some gum so I wouldn't have to snog a meat mouth, or refrained from getting as drunk as this LW, but otherwise, just because I abstain from something doesn't mean everyone should. So no, "what would a devout Muslim / vegan do" is not a standard that everyone should be held to.
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@52 Maybe. We aren't her psychoanalyst. Given what she said here, I think it's more a matter that she just drank too much and so the night didn't go the way she wished it had. Don't get drunk in new social situations. Don't get drunk before first time sexual experiences with new partners. Don't get drunk when you need to make big decisions. Don't get drunk when you might need to look out for someone else or consider someone else's emotions. Etc. The reason has nothing to do with values- it's simple practicality. When you are drunk, you have impaired judgement and/or lack the ability to think at all. It could be prior ambivalence, but to me, it just sounds like the remorse and reflection that comes with realizing you behaved stupidly because you drank too much.

What this has to do with being an observant Muslim and/or the values of people who abstain from alcohol for any number of political/religious/health reasons is beyond me.
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@53. BiDanFan. If a vegan said to me, 'I don't mind snogging a meat-mouth', my response would be 'order me the tofu'. The vegan is not trying to shame me. He or she really finds mouths that have just chewed animal flesh cognitively or physically unpleasant. Why should I inflict that on her? Even if it's a fairly minor inconvenience, outweighed by the great pleasure and transport of kissing me ... well, it's not for me to measure how great an inconvenience it is. I would not want in dating to visit that minor or major unpleasantness on anyone.

The point is not to do as a vegan or Muslim or person observing any consistent prohibition does. This is a misunderstanding. The point is to aspire towards acting in accordance with your (YOUR) best, consciously-held standards.

Anyway, why don't you tell new dates, e.g 'it won't thrill me to be wrapped round your meat-mouth'? Many wouldn't eat meat before kissing you.
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@54. EmmaLiz. In broad terms I would be suspicious of someone saying, 'I really wanted to do X but I got incapacitated and failed to follow through OR did something different'. 'I was going to stay faithful to you in Vegas, passed a slot machine, won and decided to enjoy the winnings'. This person is incorrigible (I would think, as their partner).

However, and having said this, I would agree with everything you say about refraining from drink as a practical guideline, not a moral value. 'Don't drink and try again', maybe with firmer rules and in different circumstances, is good advice here. Dan's advice, and most of the advice given on this thread, is good. She should go first if the couple want to open their marriage. We should be careful (maybe more careful than I've been, but I was giving my two penn'orth) about psychologising why she self-sabotaged on her first attempt with alcohol.