The cruise is over. It’s late Saturday night and we’re in our cabin. We won $200 on the slot machines, but bailed on going to any parties. We just came back to our cabin, had naked sex on the balcony, then watched the movie “Definitely Maybe”. And we had a long talk about swinging. We won’t be doing another swinger cruise. It exposed my faults as a swinger and showed me that there are many ways to swing, and my way of doing it does not work well on a cruise. We’ve become accustomed to the artifice, to the construct that we build prior to meeting a couple. We mince behind the cloak of the internet and paint a picture and build anticipation of the show. Because we married young, we never got good at flirting and picking up on people. Yes, we are witty and thoughtful and I’m a bit self-depricating, but these are subtle and sublime and don’t work well when you’re competing against the peacocks and the glitz of a swinger ship. This afternoon, we were in a quiet bar (a rarity) with five older and more overweigh couples. They all enjoyed the cruise. One of the men said that it works best when one just takes the moments as they come— you need to be prepared to have sex on the spot. Planning to meet someone doesn’t work. Don’t plan. Just do. And that’s not me. And that’s why we didn’t have much sex on the cruise. Does that make me sad? Yes, a little. We saved and thought about this for a year. We had high hopes. It’s like going to Disneyland and discovering that you didn’t like it. Something must be wrong with you. We really wanted to like it. And we feel bad saying that we didn’t. If we could give advice to the people in charge, what would we tell them? Don’t change a thing. What you do works well for all these other people. We are the ones with the problem. Don’t change anything for our sake. I think we could have had a better time on this cruise if we weren’t swingers— just if we were looking for a sexually charged atmosphere. We went on a family cruise about a year ago and loved it. I’m sure that we’ll take a cruise within the next year with our kids, and I’m sure we’ll have a great time. But we just weren’t able to mesh our swinging style with the environment of a cruise. I’m trying to decide what that means for our future. It saddens me a little bit— makes me feel snobbish, elitist, and picky. And I feel bad because swingers are supposed to be very giving and generous people. Can I live with myself knowing this is how I feel? Maybe we should give up swinging or we should relabel what we do as something else. I think if I could come up with a name for what it is that we do, I’d feel better about continuing.