Dragonfly, an ASN Most Influential Woman of the Lifestyle
Dragonfly is one of ASN Lifestyle Magazine's Most Influential Women of the Lifestyle. All women featured in this series were chosen by the swinger community and ASN readers. Meet these women: who they are, and how they are recognized as leaders, influencers, and contributors within the Lifestyle community.
Hi Loves, I’m Dragonfly.
I was born and raised in St. Louis, a midwestern girl with not such a midwest mindset. My journey to find connection and pleasure in life has been as challenging as it has been amazing. Accepting all aspects of myself was not easy, but the process was a gift that has allowed me to evolve to living a life full of love, empowerment, and pleasure, along with discovering how my relationship looks within the scope of non-monogamy. While I enjoy the beach and call Florida home base, I also find pleasure in traveling the world, smelling the flowers and taking part in the beauty that is all around me, and by sharing these beautiful experiences with my loving, supportive, handsome life partner, E.
I genuinely believe that having fulfilling connective relationships and sex does not come naturally to everyone. It is a skill that can be learned and developed throughout our lifetime. I continue to discover a deeper commitment of self-care and sexual embodiment through experiential practice, such as feeling how my body responds to my beautiful surroundings. I love enhancing my life and the lives of the wonderful people I am thankful to connect with.
With my chosen path as a Holistic Somatic Sexual Wellness Practitioner/ Educator who is a certified Sexological Bodyworker (CSB); a Somatica® Relationship, Sex & Intimacy Coach; and a Women’s Empowerment & Pleasure Advocate, I also stay busy growing my company, Pure Orgasmic Love. My company allows me to use my education to bring pleasure to individuals, couples, and groups in some amazingly beautiful surroundings. I am honored to be able to enhance and guide exploration towards a deeper connection with other people and their partners. I love educating through sexual pleasure and experimentation, emphasizing experiential learning through breath, movement, body awareness, communication, anatomy, and other body-based teachings.
In erotic breath, love, and hugs.
What do you think is the biggest challenge going from being a monogamous couple to a swinging couple?
I feel that this can be different for many couples depending on what your intentions are with a non-monogamous lifestyle. Being monogamous is hard, and was for me for many years because I wasn't facing the fact that I just wasn't made that way, regardless of how in love I was with a partner. For myself and my partner of sixteen years, the way this looks has evolved. There is an underlying challenge that all couples, including us, deal with, and that is jealousy. You can think when going into a swinging situation that you won't be jealous, and then it hits you, and you are. Understanding where jealousy biologically comes from makes it easier to face, and having the skills necessary to work through these unexpected feelings helps significantly. Without this information and practice, a couple can face a roller coaster of painful and difficult emotions, leading to resentment. The intention of going into this arrangement usually includes fun, variety, and feelings of resentment that may keep each person from getting the most from the swinging lifestyle.
What's the most common question you receive from people when they ask you about your personal practices within the Lifestyle? What is your response?
I get a lot of questions. The one I feel is the most important is asking for consent. Consent is something I practice every time I engage with someone. Permission to be in their space, to touch, and to clarify what that looks like. I want both partners in the interaction to enjoy and get the most pleasure possible out of the connection we are making. When no assumptions are being made, and we are clear on what consent means for each of us as it relates to our bodies, it is then possible to relax, and the entire interaction is filled with increased pleasure. So ask if you want to touch my body, and let me clarify how and when I want to be touched. My body may really want it, or it may be tired of being touched and needs a break.
What advice do you have for women who are just dipping their toes into the Lifestyle?
First and foremost, you need to really get clear on what it is you want from your non-monogamy and then leave space for that to evolve. No two relationships are the same, so discover what you want it to look like for you, and then communicate and speak your truth; don't hold it back from your partner. Go slower than you think you need to!
When you first entered the Lifestyle, what's the best advice you were given?
Funny, I wasn't given any advice. Had I known then what I know now, it would have been a smoother journey, and we are still learning. It would have helped if I had had someone to guide me. Navigating through our fu*k-ups helps others, and, unfortunately, many people are engaging in non-monogamy who are too fearful of "coming out" to offer advice to others. I hope through forums like this one, people who may be afraid to ask will learn the basics and have a road map for their initial interactions.
How has the Lifestyle has improved your life?
Most of all, non-monogamy has a way of pushing you to look at your own biases and beliefs. Some of the hang-ups I didn't feel I had — the "no that's not me" kind of things — I was surprised to learn were totally there, and I had the choice to continue lying to myself or admit it, work with it, and grow from it. I was choosing to process after every encounter; this helped me be in a much deeper connection with myself and with my life partner, E.
As an influential woman in the Lifestyle, what makes people gravitate to you or what makes you a leader?
I am often told that people gravitate towards my non-judgmental, accepting mindset, along with allowing myself to be vulnerable, honest, and to truly connect with those around me. Oh, and my sensual, loving hugs!
In what ways have you been able to educate either those in the Lifestyle or those wanting to get in the Lifestyle?
I am so very grateful that I not only have the perspective from personal experience, but also professionally trained in the world of love, relationships, and sex. I feel that everyone, including me, needs education about lots of things that are outside the "traditional" viewpoint of the world we live in today. So, I feel that positioning myself with the desire and knowledge to offer opportunities of various natures allows me to expand my reach and helps guide others on their journey. Education is very important. Being able to travel the world attending and educating at large conventions — like Naughty In N'awlins, private events, and my more intimate offerings for individuals, couples, and groups — helps me expand and support alternative relationship design, sexual wellness, and pleasure as a whole.
What’s the most common misperception the general public has about women in the Lifestyle?
The most common misperception is that women are "property" or just going along with it to please their husbands. The shift in mindset comes when we see women as sexual beings in their own right who want to engage in hot sexual encounters with other partners, in addition to strengthening their relationships with the person they are committed to on a deeper level. Women want sex just like men do!
How would you describe the sexual evolution of you and other women in the Lifestyle?
For me, and what I have seen for other women, it is empowering. I don't have to hide that I am naturally a sexual being. The evolution comes from helping and supporting body positivity, feeling confident in our sexual nature, and acceptance of other alternative, sexually-based lifestyles as a whole.
If you’ve come out to your family and friends, what was that like and how do you feel now?
I was initially nervous and fearful of judgment. Yes, we are both 100% out to all family members, friends, acquaintances, and anyone I meet who engages in any conversation about love, sex, or relationships. As mentioned above, I genuinely believe that to stamp out the stigma of living "alternatively" and supporting others' decisions to engage in non-monogamy, I need to be open, honest, and out. And, this was before I was a trained Holistic Somatic Sexual Wellness professional.
If you are not bisexual, do you feel there’s a negative stigma around you and why? What could change this for others moving forward?
Yes, I see that there are actually two negative bisexual stigmas happening in this community. One is that all women are bi, and so we act as such. No one should assume that all women who are in this community want to touch and be touched by other women. Two is that men aren't allowed to be with other men, and if that if they want to, they shouldn't talk about it. We can shift this thinking by accepting that sexual preference and desires are on a spectrum, and it is OK to enjoy bi pleasures and also equally OK not to have desires to be with a same-sex partner. Either way, don't assume and always get clarification and consent before engaging.
If communication is key to success in any relationship, what advice do you have for women to bring up the topic of entering the Lifestyle without their partner feeling they just want to “sleep around” or that their partner is “not enough?”
Communication is key! We need to remember that we all come from different experiences that mold us into how we act or react in every moment. So unless we ask our partners and talk it through, we are never going to fully understand if the concept of non-monogamy will bring up a feeling that our partner is "not enough" for us, or if our partner first perceives the ask as "just wanting to sleep around." Sometimes our first reaction is a habitual programmed one, resonating with some pings of jealousy or misunderstanding. There are a few key things to remember when asking for something of this nature.
- First, get clear on what your intentions are. How do you want to feel, what experiences do you want to have, and what does that look like to you?
- Timing. When you choose to bring it up, it is essential that it isn't a stressful and chaotic time.
- Keep it within your own desires and needs. Do not manipulate your partner to get consent or make it seem like it is something they want if it is something you want. Own your sexuality, whatever that looks like.
- After you have shared
This article originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of ASN Lifestyle Magazine.