Tribalism … or finding your people in the Lifestyle

You probably have heard lifestyle folks talking about “finding your tribe” and you are left to wonder what tribe are they trying to find?  Well, let’s first define the word “tribe”.  Merriam-Webster defines it succinctly as “a group of persons having a common character, occupation, or interest”.  So, in other words they are trying to find people very much like themselves.

When our first profile went live on a lifestyle dating site, we really didn’t know what we were doing or for that matter what we were looking for … so we started hunting around for couples with interesting profiles hoping that one would flip our switch. Luckily and almost immediately a couple reached out to us. We liked their profile and agreed to meet them for dinner the following weekend. When we met it was like getting together with old friends. We really hit it off and when they invited us back to their home we enthusiastically agreed. Years have flown by since that first-date and we have become close friends. Also, through them we met their friends, and with many of whom we clicked, so our first tribe was set. We have to admit that we didn’t realize it was a tribe and we didn’t know that we would eventually be part of several tribes. There is a bit of overlap between them, but for the most part they are separate groups of similar couples.

We were lucky, a tribe found us.  But how do you go about finding the right tribe? First off ask yourselves what type of couples you would like to meet? If you are just looking for one off hook-ups, then in our opinion there is no need to seek out a tribe. Just put up some sexy pictures on a couple of lifestyle websites and put yourself out there or maybe visit a local club or two.  Just don’t be shy.

The way we see it, the lifestyle breaks down into groups of people who are all looking for different things and experiences. Of course, the common denominator is sex but sex aside there are so many different people looking for so many different things. For instance, there are folks who are in the LS just for sex and nothing else.  They either just want the variety, or they just want to see how many people with whom they can play. So that’s one tribe.

 You may be curious what type of play friends do we look for to add to our tribes?  Well, we like to hang out with people who we think are intelligent and interesting.  Some call that sapiosexuals. We are definitely not intellectual snobs, and we don’t necessarily need to have a conversation about Nietzsche or Locke, but the conversation should be just as stimulating and interesting as the playtime.  We also consider age and socio-economic differences.  Most of our tribes are couples within ten years of our age and are for the most part at a stage of their lives similar to us. That’s not to say that we don’t go a bit younger but that is the exception rather than the rule. We try be attuned to the other couples economic means, so as to avoid that awkward situation when you suggest a meeting place or an event that is out of the other couple’s budget. If we are not sure we let the other couple lead.

We look at couples’ profiles together. The overall look and feel of a profile is important to us. One of our pet peeves is about the posted pictures; for instance, when all of their pictures are of only one member of the couple, or all the pictures are “explicit” we might just pass. But aside from their pictures we ask ourselves if these are the kind of folks we want to hang with?  After we glance at the pictures, we then read the profile and see if we have some shared interests. Are they looking to develop friendships or are they just out for a hook-up?  We prefer to be friends but there are some couples we occassionaly meet just for sex, again the exception rather than the rule. We think about whether we would we like to spend a day with a couple hanging out at a street fair or art show or at the beach? Are they into boating or motorcycle rides, two activities that are not us! So we usually pass on those couples. Also look where the other couple lives. Do you like to travel and have friends in different cities, or do you want a couple “next door?”  We like both, so this has led us to having several tribes.

So, just like with vanilla friends you need to have a common starting point.  The rest is the mesh or chemistry of the four personalities. Once you find that, it seems to work itself out. In our journey we have found that like people tend to find like people. Remember, your tribe starts one couple at a time.

As you meet couples that you want to see again and again, and the bond builds between the four of you, think about hosting a party or some other get together where you can bring all or some of your friends together. Don’t think of it in terms of a large gathering but rather something intimate, three or four couples. Mingle, introduce everyone, and watch the chemistry happen and your tribe grow!

We hope you get the idea!

XOXO,

Donna & Alex

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