Cate, an ASN Most Influential Woman of the Lifestyle
Cate 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.
I’m C from the Swinging Downunder Podcast, I’ve just turned 34 (gahhhhh OMG OMG OMG! OK, crisis over), and I have been non-monogamous since I was 29.
What do I talk about on the podcast? I share the good, the bad, and the embarrassing — it’s something I have a passion for. I want to share my experiences so I can help you with your own journey (or at a minimum laugh at our slip-ups, bad jokes, and travel blunders).
I am not at all a thrill seeker and prefer my feet firmly on the ground. I love putting together events, hanging out with friends, volunteering, and writing/creating. Fun nights include dancing on tables drunk or hanging out at home with friends playing board games with cocktails and wine. I’m both young and yet old at heart, collecting old computer games and still rollerskating…
My creed is that I am a socio-sexual swinger and prefer the connection of pants on and off friendship in the Lifestyle, and enjoy making long term friends with benefits.
So, welcome friends, G’Day, and I’m so glad to share my journey with you in my quirky Aussie accent.
What do you think is the biggest challenge going from being a monogamous couple to a swinging couple?
Personally, it’s a two-fold issue:
One is around our perception of what the ‘lifestyle’ is; we are often raised with certain ideals in the household, and these can impact our view on relationships and sex. Add that to movies/mainstream propaganda of what it’s about, and you end up with a pretty bias view. Then innocently, you might start thinking about it, or your partner brings it up, and your immediate reaction (thanks to the amygdala) is one that is very emotionally led.
Secondly, I think that a lot of relationships don’t communicate desires and wants well enough to be able to articulate at crucial moments. Generally, the messaging between partners is decent but not in-depth enough to really get into the nuts and bolts of why you feel a certain way or what you want to achieve out of life (outside of family, finances, and living arrangements). Suddenly, you’re in new territory and aren’t generally prepared for how to communicate effectively (both receiving and giving).
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?
Most common question that I receive from LS people is how to flirt… I’ve been known as somewhat of a terrible flirt, and it’s something that we’ve been quite open about. So now, lots of people either reach out asking for help or to let me know that they’re equally as bad.
Most common question outside of the lifestyle is, “How can I let my husband sleep with other women.” My response to this question is the same every time: I do not let him do anything. We are a partnership and team, and we make decisions every day in our life, and this one is no different.
We decide where to live, where to eat dinner and debate about who’s turn it is to do the dishes, our lifestyle choice is no different. I always try to relate it back to everyday things as it helps to remove the stigma of ‘sexual’ activity and just breaks it down to another thing we do together.
What advice do you have for women who are just dipping their toes into the Lifestyle?
No seriously! Most women I know are super critical of themselves, question everything that’s good, and highlight everything that’s bad. This behavior that we consider part of our everyday life has no benefit to you here. Be yourself, be kind, take your time (or dive in), make decisions, fail, get back up, and give it another go.
Get a tribe around you and some wine, and you’ll be just fine.
And, of course, listen to Lifestyle podcasts and read blogs. It’s been a tremendous support network and contains information at the same time. It’s a win/win to understand the Lifestyle and yourself more.
When you first entered the Lifestyle, what's the best advice you were given?
I was told to research what it was, and that’s what I did. I watched movies/TV on the subject, listened to podcasts, read blogs… figured out what interested me and — quite simply — what didn’t.
That was a perfect way for me to enter the lifestyle, at my pace and learning as I went.
How has the Lifestyle has improved your life?
My EQ and IQ have certainly been on the rise since we’ve started this journey together, I take time to pause and reflect now before responding to something (thanks again, amygdala), which I might not have done previously.
I’ve also really enjoyed starting a community and having the podcast as both a creative outlet and a fun hobby. I’ve gained amazing friendships from all over the world, met people I normally wouldn’t have had the opportunity to, and travelled to new and exciting places.
As an influential woman in the Lifestyle, what makes people gravitate to you or what makes you a leader?
Gah, what a self-promoting Q, guys! Kidding aside, I try to do everything with purpose, kindness, and a sense of authenticity. I think the reason that anyone gravitates to someone is to seek out likeminded people who can make you a better person. I certainly do that (heck, why do you think I have so many great female LS friends?!).
If you’re honest and genuine in your approach, then you cannot be faulted; people may choose not to like you or your approach (and that’s fine), but at least you’ve given them your true self.
In what ways have you been able to educate either those in the Lifestyle or those wanting to get in the Lifestyle?
Aside from the podcast and blog, I’ve really enjoyed creating events and communities where people can make connections and memories.
In late 2018, we launched some local parties in Asia where people can come and be themselves. We’re trying to tear down barriers from BDSM through to LGBTQI, and our first three events were a success.
What’s the most common misperception the general public has about women in the Lifestyle?
That we’re either depraved husband-stealers, or we are being forced into something we don’t want to do (blink twice if he’s making you do it…).
Let’s face it — it can be a pretty in-your-face topic! I get it, people are scared by the unknown, and the Lifestyle isn’t for everyone. The biggest hope from me is that they accept my choices just like I accept theirs.
How would you describe the sexual evolution of you and other women in the Lifestyle?
I think we are prouder of being a woman now than we have before. We are also much kinder to each other. I’ve never been around a gaggle (yes, gaggle) of women before who all voice and praise each other as we see in the Lifestyle. It’s truly amazing to have a group of women who aren’t afraid or judging you but instead encourage and love.
I’ve noticed a change in voicing what you desire in the bedroom and also outside of it, and that strength and confidence often come from communicating better.
If you’ve come out to your family and friends, what was that like and how do you feel now?
In 2019, we came out on our podcast and social media, as well as several close friends. It has been a journey and one that we are still undergoing. We don’t know quite yet what the full effect is, so stand by!...
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?
I’m bisexual; however, I do think that many people in the Lifestyle just assume all women are interested in other women, and that’s not great.
I always communicate what type of play is on the menu, and I’m upfront about my desires and interests. However, it’s also important to note that, like any sexual interest, bisexual people are not savages and will not just jump someone who isn’t interested.
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?”
Understand your desires and interest in the Lifestyle before you even attempt to articulate to your partner. One major issue we see is that the first conversation can be done poorly. If you aren’t yet sure what is drawing you to the LS, then how can you possibly explain it to your partner?
The other advice is to create a safe space, talk, and then listen… with kindness. Probably not best to blurt it out over Thursday Sushi Bomb night… or maybe it is… ?
This article originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of ASN Lifestyle Magazine.