Ruminations on Swingset Takes Desire, 2014
A couple weeks ago, Shara and I returned from a week spent in paradise with a bunch of truly exceptional people. We joined the Life on the Swingset crew for Swingset Takes Desire, 2014, and it may have been the best decision we’ve made in years.
The week we spent in Mexico quite literally changed our lives, irrevocably and for the better. One “kindof a big deal” moment was that I stopped giving a fuck if anyone out in the world recognizes me as J.V. Altharas, and Shara tweeted this first-ever published photo of me as my alter ego.
You’ll hear us talking about this amazing experience in some of our recent (and probably upcoming) podcasts (yes, we’re REALLY back to podcasting this time), but we wanted to ramble a bit on the blog before the finer points begin to slip away.
We booked the trip on a leap of faith that we could find the time to be away, and also decided to shoot the works and book a Passion Suite instead of a regular room, as we had a sneaking suspicion that one way or another we’d be entertaining while we were there.
Even with all our preparation, we didn’t really know what to expect when we arrived. We knew the Swingset crew from the multiple guest appearances we’ve traded on our respective podcasts over the years, but you never really get to know people until you meet them in person. There’s an element of connection derived from looking someone in the eye that just can’t be replicated. Add to that, the fact that both Shara and I are feeling self-conscious due to the extra pounds we’ve put on as a result of too much work and terrible dietary choices.
After checking in, we walked out to the lobby bar and met Cooper Beckett, the guy in charge, who happened to be strutting around a runway wearing nothing but a top hat, pink feather boa and rainbow knee socks.
Yeah, we were home. We went from “I’m not sure if I’m going to be comfortable naked in public” to “why the fuck did we pack all these clothes?” in a span of minutes. As we get more distance from the experience, we realize more and more how difficult it is to describe accurately. Episode 65 (also Life On The Swingset Episode 184) does a good job of capturing it, especially because the thoughts and emotions of so many fellow travelers were shared, but every medium seems to fall a little flat compared to the technicolor memories we brought back with us.
The one description we keep coming back to is that it was like being on the internet, but in person. You might ask, “what’s the difference between that and just being ‘in person?'” The difference is that we got the best part of the internet–anonymity, the great equalizer–but with infinitely more actual, real-live people.
We shared a slice of paradise with a bunch of sexy, naked people with whom we were on a first name (but not necessarily last name) basis. For all that we were together every night in a giant hot tub, often with the opportunity to watch (or perform) some live sex in one fashion or another, offers of last names and real world contact information were reserved for those with whom we made the strongest connections.
There was just exactly enough anonymity that everyone seemed ready to go out on a limb just to feel it bounce under their feet, ready to open themselves up to deep and moving conversation, to share and hear shared personal struggles and triumphs…all behind a sheer curtain of anonymity that provided just enough comfort to turn us all into a micro society that only existed because of the place where we were and the people we shared it with. There was a very tangible sense of community, common purpose, and unspoken knowledge that nobody would be left out or left behind. No judgment, no high horses, no cliques and nobody deciding who the cool kids were. It didn’t matter if you were there to swing or just enjoy clothing-optional paradise with your monogamous playmate, everyone was welcome on their own terms.
We arrived at a resort full of virtual strangers and left with a surprising number of new real-world friends, our lives enriched by memories of the amazing times we had and the anticipation of what’s to come next year. We returned to the real world both saddened by the loss of paradise and invigorated by what we carried out with us. Without a doubt, the unique environment has changed our outlook on life, permanently and for the better.
We spent 30 hours in a giant hot tub discussing everything from religion to physics to Doctor Who, with a bartender just a shout away and just enough people randomly sucking and fucking to make it seem like a regularly scheduled show. There were amazing meals with truly international themes and a resort staff that delivers service second to nowhere else we have ever been. We went scuba diving, and swimming in the ocean, and had breakfast on our balcony every morning while watching the sun rise over the sea.
Shara went to her first vanilla orgy. We made kink into something friendly and accessible to dozens of couples at our pop-up event and subsequent play party. We saw fledgling submissives bound and spanked for the first time, while their fledgling dominants soaked it all in. I got to redden several gorgeous asses with my floggers, and saw Shara get flogged by someone else for the first time in a while. In fact, our play party was so good even the wildlife wanted in on it.
We had BUTLERS, for fuck’s sake. BUTLERS!!!11!!ONE!! It’s been two weeks since I’ve seen Jorge and Rafael, and I’m still not exactly sure how to go on without them.
And OH MY, the bevy of sexy, sexy nerds that populated that resort. I don’t think I realized how sapiosexual I am until that week surround by brilliant people with no shame and no clothes…and let’s not forget how many of those wonderful people we got to kiss, and cuddle, and just relax with, absent any pressure to be anything but ourselves.
We had seven days of all the sex we could handle, with each other as well as just a few new friends. We packed more life, and laughter, and love into those seven days than any other single week in memory. Perhaps above all else, Shara and I got to reconnect with each other in a way we simply couldn’t have in any other place. Still, we left with sadness in our hearts, because there can never be “enough” of such a thing.
And then came the culture shock of returning home. We ran into a few of our fellow travelers at the airport, and we all had the same glazed look in our eyes. For the first time in a week, there wasn’t a naked person in sight; and the problem wasn’t that fact at all, but what it signaled. Our respite from reality was over, and it was time to get back to the business of life.
Thus we shuffled back to the work week and the tyranny of pants. But, the sum of our experiences brought us back as something greater than we’d been before. We were happier, more united, and we felt SEXY for the first time in too long. I can’t overstate the value of FEELING sexy, especially considering how low a priority it can seem in a busy life.
So here we are, back in the world, dedicated to maintaining as many connections with our new friends as possible, calculating how many of them we’ll be able to see before next year’s trip, and cherishing the spectacular memories that are already keeping us warm on cold winter’s nights. We fucking love you guys, and we can’t wait to see you all again, as soon as possible, whenever that may be.
Every ramble has to be cut off somewhere, and this is as good a place as any. In closing, we’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the Swingset crew and Char Travel, for all the hard work they did to provide us with the opportunity.
See you next time. We promise.