Lifestyle Community… What the F**k?!
What does the Lifestyle Community really mean?
This is a term that we heard very early on in our journey, two words lifestyle and community joined together to create this idea that we are all part of a secret society helping each other through tough times.
5 years later and I’m still thinking what does this mean? What does it mean to me, to our podcast, our relationship and ultimately the greater population of non-monogamous people at large? We’re going to cover this on an upcoming podcast (with the help of fellow podcasters) however I thought it would be an interesting blog read so here we are…
First let’s look at the somewhat outdated definition of the world ‘community’
A group of people with characteristics in common… makes enough sense for people in a non-monogamous relationship. Some of us even like coffee and wine, extra points for more things in common? (tongue in cheek)
I’ve been pondering this question since late 2018, what does it mean to be part of this community? I use this term all the time, I tell countless podcast listeners that the community is fantastic. I like to dig deep and question things from time to time, really take stock of life, the universe and everything. Here’s a real look into what the community means to me. Unedited and just as natural and rambling as I come, welcome to totally Cate.
What about me?
I’m a pretty positive person generally speaking, I’m a Two, Six and One on the Enneagram Test (Thanks to Spiritual Swingers Podcast for that little tid bit). I am highly empathetic, but I can also wear my heart on my sleeve and can be easily hurt in the process. Hence why sometimes the idea of a community is a concerning one as a community is only good when it’s good. What happens when it turns bad or you are outlawed or considered soiled by your fellow members?
Over the past 12 months we’ve had our fair share of what I’d call Swinger Politics, people who perhaps don’t agree with our opinions, podcast, events or way of life (it happens right, variety is the spice of life). This has made us review how we approach others, what information we put out there and how we are perceived (all really healthy ponderings).
We started our podcast in early 2015, which invariably has grown into a big passion of ours and a big part of what the community has meant to us over the years. We’ve had tremendous ups and downs, inspired conversations and a lot of difficult situations and outcomes. Overall the podcast has turned from a (quite frankly s**t audio quality) random hobby into something much more than we ever expected when we hit the record button. It’s grown into our community..
The podcast is almost the foundation of our community now, it’s how we connect with people all over the world especially since we are now so isolated from any face-to-face community. We connect with listeners, fellow podcasters, bloggers and social media friends almost 24/7. Which has been a saving grace since we moved to Asia. It’s hard not to feel alone or ‘wrong’ when every day you are told how to feel or act.
6 words to describe the community… what have we experienced over the 4 years;
Sexy and Fun Attacking
Those are some strong words! If you asked me if it’s been worth it, how would I answer? Absolutely 100%. I have made some true friendships in the past 5 years, ones that I believe will stand the test of distance and time. I’ve come to understand more about relationship types and how each one serves a purpose overtime and that they are not necessarily all going to go the distance (and that’s ok).
I’ve found myself, found my place and feel that with this support network I can have such a more valuable life. The lifestyle community has given me the freedom to trust myself, my relationship and take the leap of faith to continue.
We believe that community needs to be redefined. We want to include the idea that community members reach out and help each other regardless of their geographical location or relationship.
I found this new definition for community online that I thought was worthwhile. I especially valued the addition of caring about each other, over the past few years of the podcast and being in the lifestyle we’ve met some amazing people, we’ve received words of thanks, affirmations and countless hugs. People have reached out to us when we were experiencing something new or going through a hard time. Just this week we’ve noticed 3 fellow podcasters going through some personal hurdles and opening up about it on twitter. The community are responding by offering help, thoughts, prayers, concerns… all from people who may never actually meet face to face.
There’s something special about having a tribe that is all over the world, I don’t know of any other community that forms as quickly or closely as the lifestyle one.
What about Coming out….
We may dedicate a podcast section soon on coming out however in the meantime here’s a snap shot.
12 months ago I came home to D and said “I need to get out of my job, I cannot keep pretending to be someone I’m not”. I’ve never hid the fact that I worked in a role and company with a significant morality clause and security level that required me to be their idea of normal. Any public issues with morality would lead to instant dismissal and so I’ve always put a reasonable risk out there by publishing our podcast.
What was D’s response? In his very pragmatic way “Ok, how do we make that happen”. Fast forward 12 months of saving my salary and getting ready for my new life, I quit my job and was able to open up about who we are including our faces and names. So far the response has been positive (from within the non-monogamous walls) however we are always cognizant that our beliefs and lifestyle does not match other people and so we are awaiting with bated breath the day that this becomes a problem (and we fully expect at some stage it will).
I must thank the community for giving me the overall courage to come out. Without people by my side or seeing those that have led the way and lit the path I don’t know if I would have been as courageous.
For a full debrief with thoughts from Darrell and fellow podcasters please join our upcoming episode #88.
Yours in community spirit,
How do YOU define ‘Community’?
I’d love for this post to start a conversation in your own home or between your lifestyle tribe. Chat about it and report back on how you would define community, is it different for each community you’re part of? Email us on email@example.com