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Do You Monitor Your Spouse’s Texts?

And do the rules change if you are in the swinging lifestyle and they are texting with potential sexual partners?

By Chai SteevesPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
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Do You Monitor Your Spouse’s Texts?
Photo by Domingo Alvarez E on Unsplash

I was on a discussion board this morning. A guy in the lifestyle — a swinger — was talking about the rules they have in communicating with other people in the lifestyle.

For him and his wife, the rule was that she could receive initial texts from other guys, but then all communications switched to him. He did not want her flirting, or having any communications whatsoever, with the other guy after that initial introduction. She was, apparently, a little upset with this, wanting to have more freedom to chat with these guys that they would eventually hook up with. Her argument - and it seemed quite reasonable - was that if she might eventually be trusted to have sex with the guy, surely they could get to know one another a little bit first.

Another guy on the thread said their rule was that each partner kept screenshots of all their chatting and they shared with each other. Every few days they would read all the texting and chatting that the other had done. I was a little flabbergasted. I had this throwback to movies I've seen of the purges in Stalinist Russia, where long transcripts of overheard conversations would be read into court records, and a magistrate would render judgment on the poor Bolshevik that apparently been hoarding extra bread to feed his sick mom.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a text my wife sent or received. I pretty strongly believe that her communications are her business, and if she wants me to be privy to it, she will show me. And the same in reverse. She has never expressed an interest in seeing my texts.

Ok… granted, my wife is not texting with guys about having sex — I don’t think. But I would have thought that a decision to be in the lifestyle came with a broader sexual and relationship openness.

I’m trying not to judge, but rather to understand. I’d imagined that part of being in the lifestyle and having sex with others, is also the excitement of flirting with others, maybe sometimes sending sexy texts. That the build-up to sex with a new person is part of the novelty, variety, and excitement that swingers sought.

So, to me, a little sexy back and forth. Or, even absent the sexy, a little back and forth to get to know each other a bit is part of the whole experience. And, when you are texting with someone in that flirtatious way, I can see why you want privacy in that. It's not that you are necessarily saying anything inappropriate or crossing any lines, but you want to be in the moment enough in any conversation, not thinking how your spouse might interpret it.

I say all of this knowing full well that some people in the lifestyle perhaps want no relationship with these new partners beyond a quick roll in the hay. So, maybe I’m off base in that desire for chatting and flirting and getting to know each other in advance of the sex.

But then there is the issue of trust. I trust my wife to behave appropriately and within the bounds of our relationship. I trust her to do this when she is out with others or when she is online. For people in the lifestyle- when they have sex with others- I would think this trust is essential. Frankly, I can't imagine being in a relationship where I trust my partner to have sex with others, but don’t trust them to text, or otherwise communicate with others, without me being privy to every detail of the communication.

So where does that leave me? I guess where I started. Whether you have sex with others or not, your partner’s texts are your partner’s business.

relationships
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About the Creator

Chai Steeves

I'm an eclectic guy - I like writing about sex, relationships, parenting, politics, celebrity trivia - the works. I'm happily married and a father of 2.

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