Sunday, December 9, 2012

Playing is More Than Just a Euphemism for Fucking

December 1, 2012

The Full Moon party in paradise sounded like just the thing to divert me for a weekend alone. Even after being here in Africa for years, our quiet insular family life meant that we didn't know about the fun right under our noses. The Full Moon party never came up. Neither did the local Lifestyle scene I recently heard about from Carla. So many missed opportunities!

Now with Ellen and the kids back in the US, I figured it was worth checking out the party, which happens at a resort about three hours away. I'd overheard a couple of women talking about it over dinner at the local sushi joint, and then heard about it again from friends two nights later. It was on the weekend closest to each full moon, and Saturday was it. That morning, I decided to go, threw some clothes and money in a ruck sack, and headed out to the ferry for the trip. I'd read online that the crowd is young but I'm feeling young at heart and certainly didn't want to pass up the experience. Dancing, music, skinny dipping in the moonlit ocean...I hadn't done anything like that in decades!

I checked into my room at the hotel next door to the resort, had dinner, and headed over when I heard the music cranking up around Ten o'clock. There was a floor show of acrobatic dancers, the usual Michael Jackson impersonator, and a growing crowd of young expat men and women and the usual local girls and gigilos for hire. Lots of people scoping each other out. I was impressed with the local guys. Dreadlocks and muscles and an air of easygoing sophistication, they were the perfect bait for horny expat women looking for that moment of blissful adventure in paradise, and they knew it.

I was aware that I was twice the age of most of the partiers, and watched the rituals unfold around me. There was the pretty older woman with long blond hair and a beaded handbag wearing a full length black cotton dress who caught my eye. But I just missed striking up a conversation as I paid for my drink, for when I sought her out she was already deep into meaningful conversation with a young local man, who didn't seem to care what she was talking about but was happy to drink what she was buying. Not much chance there for me to engage her in conversation, although I passed by a few times looking for an opening.

There were the British blokes who were already drunk when Michael Jackson started moonwalking, and they made a show of attempting to do the same near the back of the dance floor. They were convinced of their charm and good humor and desirability, although they were probably the only ones.

I eventually saw some faces I recognized but couldn't place, and a pretty Indian lady called my name from the dance floor. She and her friends were working on a project related to my own work, and we'd met in proper work attire, so it took me a few seconds to figure out the connection there under the moonlight on the beach with the afrobeat pounding in my ears. Hmm, lovely, I thought. Peni was there with Beth, Hali, and a few other ladies, as well as Charlie, a young guy who worked for the same firm but on another project The ladies were all in their late 20s I guessed, but they welcomed me into the dancing and soon I was part of the group. I was going easy on the booze, and so was Peni, but the rest seemed keen to make the most of the options the bar had to offer. Drinks, dancing, chatting over the loud music, and more dancing gave way to the suggestion of a swim. The ladies all had swimsuits on under their dresses, but Charlie and I didn't. I'd gone commando, so didn't even have undies, but frankly I didn't care, and Hali was already suggesting that swimsuits just weren't appropriate to the occasion. I'd already known that.

I dropped my pants and doffed my shirt without a second thought--I've never been shy about nudity--and headed into the refreshingly cool, calm ocean as the others made their own decisions. Charlie followed my lead, as did Hali, and once in the water, Beth's one piece came off. We swam out to a buoy and enjoyed the water while Peni, who stayed on the beach with our clothes, watched. She was the reserved one.

Charlie had drunk a lot and was obviously horny and pursuing anyone close to him, and the women were staying out of his reach but enjoying the tease. Aware that I could easily come across as a creepy older guy, I held back, watching the rituals again and keeping up a good humored banter. Even as we all came out laughing and joking and looking for our clothes, I sensed that this was all just flirting, and that none of the ladies were willing to go further. Peni in particular was getting squirrelly, staying close to her friends and not interested in my suggestion to sit on the beach to chat.

Once again I thought how nice it is in the Lifestyle party scene that sex is central and up front. The games and uncertainty and mixed signals and missed opportunities of this party and so many other social settings can be so hard to navigate. Should I pursue harder or back off? Do I come right out and ask and risk coming across as a creep? I respect the skills of the single minded ladykillers out there, but I'm just not that kind of guy. The art of seduction isn't easy for me when faced with a group of women who know there's safety in numbers. Nonetheless, I wasn't being all that subtle that I was interested in more than just the flirting.

Back we went to the dance floor, more drinks, another round of skinny dipping, search for lost sandals, more drinks. At one point Hali, a sexy Brit, asked me pointedly about my kids, not so subtly letting me know that I should behave myself, as she knew I was a married man. I would have set her straight if I thought it would make a difference, but it was clear that she and her friends were avoiding anything more intimate, and finally I decided to call it a night. It was almost Three o'clock in the morning, so I gave each lady a soft kiss on the cheek, thanked them for the enjoyable evening, and bid them goodnight. No sex on the beach, no "happy ending" to the full moon party, but I'd had fun with a bunch of younger women, had flirted and skinny dipped and danced as I hadn't in over 20 years. It was worth every minute.

And that's something I'm beginning to understand. The Lifestyle isn't just about having sex with others. Playing is often used euphemistically for fucking or other sexual activities. But playing with others is also just that. Playing. And that can be fun, too.

I've read in other blogs about the need to appreciate any erotic connection, sexual touch or just sexual tension, and not to focus too much on penetration and orgasm. There are so many ways to enjoy this, and I've realized that fixating on the fuck undervalues all of the other experiences that so enrich our erotic lives. I never would have flirted so much with other women before Ellen and I opened up.

Ellen and I are both having very different experiences. She's loving the fucks, and I am glad for that and envy her success. But I'm discovering that, in my fuckless adventures, I'm gaining memorable erotic experiences that enrich me, too. Oh, I definitely want to touch and lick and fuck other women, to enjoy their orgasms and my own, don't get me wrong. But in the absence of shared physical intimacy, I'm still having fun playing with others.

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