Taara, an ASN Most Influential Woman of the Lifestyle
Taara 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.
As a younger teenager, I would look through racy magazines, watch sexy movies and videos, and gawk at the beautiful women who seduced me and sparked something erotic in me. I thought sexuality was a beautiful thing and sought out more information. I found The Joy of Sex hidden in my parents’ closet and made regular visits to that book. To me, it illustrated a beautiful exploration of one another’s bodies. A true love, understanding, and appreciation for each other was portrayed on every page, and I eagerly awaited the day that I would find someone to explore with. Little did I know the repercussions that surrounded being a sexualized woman in everyday life.
I discovered society was quick to pass judgment on a female who was sexually aware and open and men were quick to use them. I stuffed my desires down and decided it was best not to share them — I didn’t want to be known as the slut, whore, or whatever offensive name sexually liberated women were given. Over time, as I denied myself the wholeness of ME, it wasn’t easy to handle. I made choices for myself that aligned with everyone else’s opinions of me and denied what I wanted.
When I became single, I discovered I was in charge of my sexuality and desires. I slowly became more true to myself and honest about what I wanted to experience. Now I had the opportunity to build my sexual confidence again. I sought out information about open non-monogamous relationships. I experimented with women, I experimented with kink… and I learned it was ok. I was honest with myself about what I wanted to experience. I became aware of my boundaries and made certain I communicated them. I was playing safe and I felt it really wasn’t anyone else’s business what my sexual side did but me. Before, I used to feel ashamed of my sexuality, but over time I learned that you just need to put it out there — who you are. Once you release who you are, accept who you are, that shame you felt before loses its strength and its power.
During my sexual revolution, I met my partner, James, who seemed to be experiencing a shift similar to mine. We made the decision we did not want to fit the societal “norm” when it came to relationships, sex, and dating. We wanted to open things up… so we did! We adopted a consensual non-monogamous approach when it came to our relationship and explored the consensual non-monogamous lifestyle together since 2012.
As we experienced life in non-monogamy we decided to share what we learned on a blog, “Sex Uninterrupted.” Sex Uninterrupted is now an organization that caters to the sex-positive movement surrounding consensual non-monogamy. With my partner, we focus on educating those who desire to live a sex-positive/open lifestyle and help couples and singles interested in exploring their sexuality and learning more about the non-monogamous movement. We take our role of lifestyle educators seriously and host a weekly radio show, offer private coaching, write an educational blog, share club, and product reviews and attend/host a variety of events. We circle the globe full-time to understand and share more about the non-monogamy community. Our overall goal is to create a safe, sane space for people to learn more about their sexuality and create their own relationships by design.
What do you think is the biggest challenge going from being a monogamous couple to a swinging couple?
We didn’t make that “leap” as a couple — we started out non-monogamous from the beginning of our relationship. The biggest challenge I faced during that transition consisted mainly of me releasing what I was conditioned to think a relationship should be. In previous relationships, it was taught to me, through media and influential adults, that in order to feel loved and secure, my partner should want to almost “own” me — i.e., feel jealous of me, keep my close and get angry if people expressed interest in me. This allowed me to attract a lot of controlling men into my life. Releasing this and other stigmas associated with “normal relationships” allowed me the freedom to relax and live more authentically without fear of how my partner would react.
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?
The question I hear the most from people is, “So, isn’t this your job now? Are you even allowed to have fun?” and the answer is hells yes this is my job, and I am so grateful for it! I get to help people find their truth and explore their sexuality. I have a blast meeting so many people from all over the world in non-monogamous relationships. I wouldn’t change it!
What advice do you have for women who are just dipping their toes into the Lifestyle?
Be honest. First, to you, then to your partner and your relationship, third to your community and the people around you.
When you first entered the Lifestyle, what's the best advice you were given?
I really don’t know many people who took us under their wing! We pretty much fumbled around until we figured it out. There was a couple we played with a few times when we first started, and I remember her saying that we had to go to the United States to some of the events because they were bigger. It took a few years for us to follow her advice, and now we love traveling for events!
How has the Lifestyle has improved your life?
Finding a community where I am free to just be ME is a gift! A lot of times, I was the sluttier one and was judged for it. I am very sensitive, and I would feel it all — it sucked. I took on insecurity about myself, my body, and my sexuality. Being in a community where my sluttiness is celebrated is truly a gift.
As an influential woman in the Lifestyle, what makes people gravitate to you or what makes you a leader?
Bottom line — I never want someone to feel judged, shamed, or fear for who they are. I express this with love in all the messages I share on our platforms, whether it be the radio show, social media, our seminars, our consults, or our website. Acceptance, along with love, are what humans are programmed to strive for. My comfortability with whomever you are has helped people approach me and open up authentically in return. I often hear, “Wow, I have never said that out loud before...” and “I haven’t been able to share this before...” I enjoy getting that from my clients and those I talk with.
In what ways have you been able to educate either those in the Lifestyle or those wanting to get in the Lifestyle?
I feel being authentic and sharing my non-monogamous life with James has inspired so many people to at least consider the thought that relationships don’t have to be what they were taught. Planting the seed of non-monogamy is the start! Our SexUninterrupted.com platform is designed to assist those as they navigate through non-monogamy. In our section Learn More, we share information through our radio show and media like video and articles, and we list other sex-positive resources and introduce people to the community. Get Support was created to assist those looking for a little more help; James and I both offer private one on one coaching for couples, individuals and helped plenty of people work through personal questions and blockages. Lastly, our Have Fun section is updated every month with events and travel destinations researched by ourselves. We encourage and desire couples and individuals to have that healthy balance of growth and fun in the Lifestyle — it’s what life is all about!
What’s the most common misperception the general public has about women in the Lifestyle?
A big one I hear is, “She is doing it for her husband/partner.” What many people don’t realize is how EMPOWERING this Lifestyle is for women! Oftentimes, many women in the Lifestyle already come from a background of repressed sexuality — whether it be from religion, upbringing, or sexual trauma. Many women are breaking down their own barriers and doing this for themselves — not their partners.
How would you describe the sexual evolution of you and other women in the Lifestyle?
Every woman experiences this differently in her own way. Often it will bring up triggers and issues in areas that require more work or growth. For me, it showed me where I needed to improve my communication skills. I often would shut down and have difficulties expressing my emotions with partners, which would lead to me doing things I wasn’t 100% on board with. To be honest, I didn’t even know what I wanted sexually because I previously just did what my partners wanted to avoid conflict. AKA: PEOPLE-PLEASER! I chose to commit to therapy and reprogramming in order to put myself in a healthy mindset for non-monogamy. Not every woman needs to go through the extensive lengths I did, but I chose that. We all have our own story and our own way of healing from the traumas and programming we encountered throughout life. However, the tool that we all possess is our awareness, and what we choose to do with that is our choice. In my Spiritual Slut program, I support women in understanding this awareness and provide them with tools to explore and express it. Your awareness can show you so much about your sexuality, your soul, and yourself!
If you’ve come out to your family and friends, what was that like and how do you feel now?
I chose to share my relationship choice with my parents nearly a year and a half ago; it was so rewarding! Definitely not easy, but it was certainly fulfilling. They are pretty old school in the relationship sector and progressive in others, so finding the words was tricky, but once I did, I felt an enormous relief off my shoulders. I could tell them where I took my last trip, the work I was doing, and that this was a choice I made with my partner for our relationship.
James and I both made this decision after losing a couple in our Lifestyle community. Their family did not know and eventually did find out. We wanted our family to know why we made this choice for ourselves and what it entailed for us. In the end, we were happy we made the choice, and if anything, it has brought us closer to our families (they stopped asking what we were up to every weekend, LOL!).
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 have two close girlfriends in the Lifestyle who do not identify as bisexual — and I am totally OK with it! I think a lot of times, this is an expectation that people have when they first start exploring; however, once you get grounded and find out more about the community, you start to understand that the Lifestyle probably has the least judgmental people.
It is hypocritical and unfortunate if you experience discrimination in the Lifestyle. If you’re truthful to yourself and others about what you like, you will find yourself surrounded by people who accept you for you!
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?”
The Lifestyle is not a place where people should be in order to fix their relationship. If this is the idea that brings one to the Lifestyle, my suggestion would be to seek out a therapist to work through the reasons why you have to “sleep around” or why you feel your partner is “not enough.” Approaching the Lifestyle with a healthy mindset helps to keep others and yourself safe, sane, and consensual.
Happy Eyes Photography by Suzanne: Photos and Editing
Urvashi’s Eye Photography: Photos and Editing
D/alyx Photography by Donn Alyx Horbach: Photos
This article originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of ASN Lifestyle Magazine.