By the time you read this AMA (As Me Anything), Emma & Fin have interviewed 64+ non-monogamous couples who tell their stories of swinging, polyamory, and non-monogamy in all it’s ups and downs. Their podcast Normalizing Non-Monogamy not only provides a learning experience, but some much needed comedic relief as well. With all the interviews they have done we thought it only right to flip the script and interview the masterminds themselves! So without further ado . . .
Q: First things first, how did the two of you meet? And how long have you been married?
Emma: We originally met in seventh grade where my family moved to the same town where Fin grew up. We were best friends in high school and started dating in college (although we secretly had crushes on each other in high school). We’ve been married seven years this summer.
Fin: In 7th grade Emma moved to the town where I lived. We met in advanced algebra (not to brag) and from that point on she was basically infatuated with me even though it took her a few years to realize it. Over the next 4-5 years we became best friends and ended up going to the same university for engineering and started dating part way through our first year. We got married a few years after we graduated and have been married seven years this summer.
Q: How did you start your non-monogamous journey, or how did you know it was right for you?
Emma & Fin: During our second year of university we both decided to study abroad. Even though we both chose Australia, early on we felt it was important to make decisions for ourselves and so we chose our schools independently. Luckily, we chose the same school which turned out to be amazing since we got to travel together.
Neither of us had a ton of dating or sexual experience outside of each other and one other relationship. We felt like that was something we should both be able to explore since we were so young, but neither of us really wanted to break up since we were happy together and loved having adventures together. Fin did some research and found that there was a [swinger, lifestyle or non monogamous] house party about an hour from where we lived and we decided to go. It was supposed to just be a meet and greet but it was basically an orgy between a ton of people who already knew each other. We hung out downstairs with the three other new couples and chatted. We walked around a bit to see what it was all about and had a little fun together but it was mostly an experience of just seeing what it [a swing party] was like.
Q: Would you consider yourselves Swingers? Or how do you best identify?
Emma: We identify as being in an open relationship or ethically non-monogamous. In practice, this mostly looks like traditional swinging for us at the moment, but we are open to other experiences as well. We are open to all kinds of relationship styles in the future and want to continue to meet and have amazing people be part of our lives.
Fin: We did for years because we didn’t really have a better way to describe what we were doing. A lot of people in the swinging world are afraid to use the word “poly” which isn’t the case for us, it just didn’t fit as a label on what we were doing. More recently we’ve decided a more fitting term is just to say we’re “open.” Basically, we’re open to whatever comes our way. We aren’t looking for anything specific other than awesome friends who are open-minded. If that turns into something more it’s fine with us but we haven’t set it as a goal.
Q: Are there any misconceptions about Swinging you want to clear up?
Emma: The majority of people we have met who are in a non-monogamous relationship are in it to enhance their relationship, not take away from it. They want to share these experiences with their partner and make their bond stronger while meeting and having experiences with other people. It sounds a little crazy but sharing your partner can make the connection between you two even deeper.
Fin: That all we do is have sex all day long with everyone we meet. It’s really only about half the day with 30% of the people. [This is a joke, people!]
Q: How has non-monogamy helped your marriage? Are there benefits you experience that you think you wouldn’t have if you were monogamous?
Emma: Being non-monogamous from very early on in our relationship has allowed us to communicate about everything from the beginning. Nothing is off the table and I believe this is a huge benefit to our relationship. We also have many amazing friends that I know we wouldn’t have if we were monogamous. We love meeting like-minded people and feel so comfortable with these friends.
Fin: It’s cliche but true… We can talk about everything and anything. It’s not always easy, but we can have conversations that a lot people can’t even fathom. We’ve also seen some wild and crazy shit so it’s kind of a fun joke between us when people we meet are like “I have a crazy story to tell you…” and then it’s really not crazy compared to some of the stuff we’ve seen. It’s always been this secret between us that we can laugh about to each other.
Q: We all know relationships are not always rainbows and butterflies, has there ever been a time where you thought non-monogamy was a mistake? how did you get through it?
Emma: I never thought non-monogamy was a mistake. There have been times in our lives that we have closed off our relationship and taken a break, mostly because something else is going on that was the priority. It has not always been easy, but both of us feel like our lives would not be complete if we were monogamous and neither of us wants that for the other person. So if we have to close off our relationship for a bit that’s ok, but we always circle back and figure out how to open it up again when the time is right.
Fin: I don’t think there has been a time where we thought it [swinging/ the open relationship] was a mistake. For us, it’s never been our entire life and so if life gets crazy we just put it on the backburner. We’ve gone months or years at a time without doing anything in the non-monogamy space. When life settles down, we ramp it back up. For us, it’s been important to keep it fluid and let it come and go as needed. We aren’t always on the same page in terms of interest level at any given time but that’s natural just like as in any aspect of life.
Q: It’s amazing that the two of you have such a long history with each other through this journey, but do you have any advice for those who may be exploring non-monogamy on their own?
Emma: Be patient. Non-monogamy will not work if only one person in a couple wants to do it. It can take lots of conversations and education (books, podcasts, talking to like minded people, etc.) to be on the same page as your partner. Don’t be afraid to have those conversations and be patient.
Fin: I think there is still a lot of slut-shaming around people who are exploring non-monogamy. I think it’s probably even more prevalent if you’re doing it by yourself and people just assume your goal is to have as much sex as you can (which is a valid goal by the way). It’s important to remember there is an ethical way to do it and there are a lot of people who probably won’t get it, but as long as you’re doing it in a respectful way, there’s nothing wrong with it. On the flip-side, there are some amazingly supportive [swinger, poly and/or non-monogamous] communities out there and when you find them it can change your life. Don’t let it get you down if it takes a while to find your groove and don’t be afraid to change grooves and explore new ones.
Q: What inspired you to start the podcast – was there an ‘AHA’ moment?
Emma & Fin: There are too many reasons to list and this answer could get super long so we will keep it brief. We love helping people, meeting people, and hearing their life stories. We also knew that many of the things we learned over our 10+ years exploring non-monogamy came from conversations with other people. We’d pick up tidbits from everyone we met and we figured if we could share as many stories as possible that we could help expedite the learning process for others who are on the same journey. We’d also love to see non-monogamy become more mainstream. We realize it’s not for everyone but we would safely bet that there isn’t a single person who doesn’t have a friend or two who has explored it in some fashion, whether they know it or not. It’s far more common than people think and we’re on a mission to prove it. We also love destroying stereotypes and giving a voice to people who don’t have a platform. The more stories we can tell, the more people we can help!
Q: What is one of the most surprising or shocking things you’ve discovered since starting your podcast?
Emma: There are so many incredible people out there in non-monogamous relationships! We always knew this, but it has been reinforced as we have met and had conversations with people. We feel like we have a responsibility to get anyone’s story out there that wants to share it.
Fin: Probably people’s willingness and eagerness to share their stories. We hoped it would be the case when we started but we didn’t know for sure. Within a few weeks of starting the show we already had people reaching out to share their stories. It’s been amazing and we have met some incredible friends.
Q: You just recently released episode 61 – wow! How has the response been so far?
Emma & Fin: Meh. It’s been alright. 🙂 It’s really been one of the most amazing things we’ve ever done. The people who have reached out to help us or share their stories, whether it’s on the podcast or behind the scenes in an email, have been incredible. It’s rare when you have a vision and it goes better than you could have ever dreamed.
Q: We know it’s like asking you to choose between your children, but do you have a favorite interview or episode you’ve done?
Emma: All of them have been incredible, however, I distinctly remember that after we finished the interview with Christopher Smith (episode 48), I looked at Fin and said “I just want to shout this from the mountains”. We are both inspired by everyone we talk to and can’t wait to share the stories with as many people as we can. We feel like there is so much for everyone to learn by listening to all these stories from a relationship aspect in general, whether you’re monogamous or non-monogamous.
Fin: I do love them all and I don’t want to discourage anyone from reaching out. I will say that I love any story that helps destroy a stereotype or preconceived idea. Those are the ones that force people to stop and think for a second rather than just nodding along. We have a few where people have gotten into non-monogamy because of an affair. To me, it’s amazing when a couple can harness what most people consider a relationship ending offense and turn it into a positive.
Q: How do you balance marriage and a podcast together?
Emma: We do the podcast together and it has been an amazing journey. I do not feel like the podcast has taken anything away from our marriage, instead it has enhanced it. We’re learning how to work together on a big project that we both care a lot about. It’s been a fun adventure!
Fin: It has really made our relationship stronger. We get to sit down together a few times per week and have amazing conversations with open-minded people who open our minds further and push our boundaries…
Q: You have been together quite some time, what are some ways you keep the spark?
Emma: Adventure. We view life as one big adventure and non-monogamy is a part of it. We both have a deep love for each other but also sharing and having experiences with other people adds to our relationship and keeps us closer than I think we would be otherwise.
Fin: Push your partner outside of their comfort zone in all aspects of life. That’s where the growth and sparks happen.
Q:We have to ask, what do you wear when getting frisky? What are some of your favorite things to wear (or see another person wear) to spice it up?
Emma: My favorite thing to wear when getting frisky is sexy underwear – usually some sort of lacey boyshorts or thong which I know Fin likes. It’s also fun to get more dressed up with additional lingerie to spice it up (some of my favorites are fishnet stockings and heels). On a guy I love seeing a sexy pair of boxer briefs and a form fitting T-shirt.
Fin: Definitely merino wool socks. I don’t like it when my feet are cold. Usually brown so they aren’t obnoxious. I’ll also usually wear a pair of nice boxer briefs to draw their eyes off my socks. What’s sexy to see a lady wear? For me, I am a fan of anything form fitting and probably solid-ish colors. I am a pretty boring person when it comes to these things but I like the person to be comfortable and feel sexy. I’m also not that picky if a woman decides she wants to be in her underwear around me, I usually don’t complain.
About Normalizing Non-Monogamy Podcast
Every week, Emma & Fin interview exciting and incredible people from all across the non-monogamy spectrum. They talk with people in the swinging and polyamorous communities who are straight, gay, bisexual, trans, and everywhere in between. Hear all the dirty secrets, salacious stories, and unique strategies from swingers to poly folks – it’s quite the learning experience! Whether you are just beginning to explore or are a seasoned vet their interviews are a valuable resource. So, tune into the Normalizing Non-monogamy Podcast for a laugh and maybe you’ll even learn something!
Want to share your story?
Emma & Fin are actively seeking non-monogamous people and couples to interview for their podcast. If you are a swinger, polyamorous, or in another other form of non-monogamous relationship we encourage you to share your story. You can contact Emma & Fin through their website here.
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Have questions for Emma or Fin?
If you are curious about swinging, non-monogamy, or opening up your own relationship – don’t be shy – ask away! We’ll get the answers from the awesome Emma & Fin. . .