On Saturday night we had dinner at our house with Rudolph and Marguerite*. We met Rudy and Marg through our children, and really love them, despite them being terribly similar to us in many ways.
Dinner began with a substantial amount of wine, and at least a kilo of cheese between the four of us, after which we consumed enormous steaks, bowls of pasta, ice cream and chocolates. It was like an experiment in how many calories the average person could consume before actually passing out. The answer is... quite a lot, really.
We talked about a variety of topics, as we tend to do with this particular couple. We discussed travel, work, religion, kids, food, and then Rudy quoted some poetry, which he is wont to do after a few glasses of wine. (It was good poetry, too, though admittedly he didn’t write it.)
The talk of poetry smoothly segued into talk of swinging (as, you know, it does). Now, my hubby and I don’t swing, and as far as I know, Rudolph and Marguerite don’t swing either. Apparently, though, there is a large swinging scene in our community. And this fascinated me. How does it work? I asked. What if your husband ends up with someone else’s nice wife but you land with the horrid husband? Do you and your husband kiss each other goodbye and say ‘See you when you’re done’? And what if one of you takes, like, three times as long as the other? Wouldn’t that be a little awkward?
What was especially interesting, I said, is why anyone would want to swing at all (using ‘anyone’ in the sense of ‘women’). Most women I know (using ‘most’ in the sense of ‘all the’) wouldn’t want to have sex with random men at this stage in their lives. In fact, most women I know don’t want to have all that much sex with anyone at all. They’d rather sleep.
'That'd be right,' said Rudolph. 'You remind me of that HG Wells book in which there are no men at all, just women.'
'Sounds good to me,' said Marg.
‘I remember that book,' said my husband. 'They have an Orgasmatron to meet their sexual needs.'
‘Oh they wouldn't need an Orgasmatron,’ I thought, forgetting I was actually speaking out loud. ‘They'd just need a Be Be**.’
‘What’s a Be Be?’ Rudy asked.
‘Er... nothing,’ I said. Marg laughed. I realised I may have mentioned the Be Be to her once or seventeen times.
‘Seriously, what is it?’ he insisted.
‘It’s a... you know... personal massager,’ I told him, but only because I didn’t want to seem rude. ‘I won it in a competition***.’
‘Ooh... a vibrator?’ Rudy asked. ‘Can I see it? I might buy one for Marguerite.’
‘Um... can I just show you on the internet?’ I asked. Somehow showing him the actual device seemed a little inappropriate.
‘Yeah, sure,’ he said. ‘Just show me on your iPhone.’
‘Er... can I show you on your iPhone?’ I asked.
My husband laughed. ‘What, because it’s okay to talk about a vibrator at a dinner party, and okay to show your dinner guest, but to show him on your iPhone would be unseemly??? Is that what it says in the Women’s Weekly Etiquette book?’
I couldn’t explain, but it was late, and I’d drunk too much wine and eaten too much cheese, and it was time for them to go home.
But as they walked out the door, Rudy was busy on his iPhone.
And only he and Marguerite know what happened next.
*Not their real names. Not even close.
** No, I have not been paid for this post. I wish. But if you're interested, click here.
***This is true. I won it on Mamamia a while back. And I don’t know why I felt the need to tell you that I didn’t actually buy it.