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A story about introducing another couple to non-monogamy slowly, and the virtues of moving slowly versus quickly
I want to talk not about how, during a holiday, I wound up naked with my then-girlfriend and two other couples while rolling on MDMA, but about how we got there, over time, and through deep knowledge of the other participants. Neither of the other couples had ever done anything like this before... I'm going to name the other couples after the girls in them, "Allison" and "Zephyra." "Hot girl in her 20s gives me a blowjob!" could the salacious, pornified headline, and, don't get me wrong, it was great... I could write a whole story from the perspective of that moment, and me being such a baller player, but, as with The game’s endgame and picking up a girl at a private party, the moment of hot consummation isn't the most educational, relevant element (there are many educational, relevant elements in the free book). Neither is the fact that our other female friend, Zephyra, offered a bit of a contribution, so, technically, two other girls were involved. I know of zero straight guys who don't want to look down and see two pretty girls knob polishing (if you are one, feel free to comment on why you don't want to see this).
"Build wealth slowly" xbtusd likes to say. Like many things he says, there's an oracular, inscrutable quality to that... in another life, he could be one of those Buddhist teachers, wapping their acolytes with a stick and emitting peculiar koans. What's "Build wealth slowly" mean? We're all familiar with "get rich quick" schemes, which never really work out and which ensnare the unwary. They don't work, but they're appealing because of their speed.
"Build wealth slowly" means that things don't happen quickly, but skills and financial abilities compound, slowly, over time. The compounding interest formula is A=P(1+r/n)^nt: A is the final amount; P the initial principal; r the interest rate; n the number of interest applied per time period; and t the the number of time periods elapsed (I had to look up the formula and didn't recall it off the top of my head). Compounding means that returns aren't linear, and the greatest returns happen at the end of the period, after many moments of compounding.
Relationships usually have compounding qualities, and the best parts of them often occur after the getting-to-know-you phase and after trust building. Lots of relationships fall apart early on due to all sorts of things... character flaws, character mismatch, IQ flaws, IQ mismatch, interest mismatch, intolerance, lazy woman... too many to name here. True wealth is almost never instantaneous: it's the result of doing the right thing, day after day, and seeing the returns happen over time, non-linearly. Even the very wealthy generally get that way after many years: Bezos was "rich" from Amazon stock by 2000, by 2002, but nothing like what he achieved after decades of stewardship. Mark Zuckerberg is richer than ever because he's done the right thing, as measured by Facebook's users' engagement, year after year (complain and whine about Facebook / Meta all you want, users love that shit). Elon Musk saw Tesla nearly go bankrupt at least twice. All persevered through challenges. No one gets fit after a day, week, or month of lifting; it takes longer than that to see real progress.
Back to the point, I'd known both the Allison couple and the Zephyra couple for more than a year: we met coincidentally, around the same time, and we've all hung out a lot since then. We've all got sufficient mutual interests to bind us together. All four of them have known about my predilections since relatively early on... while I'm not super open with those predilections, I don't hide them either.
Often, they start as a casual mention, "I was at this group-sex event this one time..." or "My then-girlfriend and I were on a date with this other woman, and..." That sort of thing, which emerges organically as a part of a story. People are really, really interested in all matters relationship and sexual (don't believe me? Watch almost any TV show, listen to almost any popular music, listen to groups of chicks clacking...), so such casual comments almost alway elicits follow-up questions (if it doesn't, that's also fine). When I talk about problems I've solved at work, girls have the vibe of waiting to be somewhere else. Okay, whatever dad, shut up. Pay attention to what people like, and give them more of that. A good chunk of my social life has been bound up in these matters for a long time, so people who get to know me, usually hear about these adventures. They hear about the other participants.
More than a year ago, I gave a copy of THE ETHICAL SLUT to Allison, and when her and her boyfriend finished, they gave it to Zephyra and her boyfriend, so all four have read, or claimed to have read, it. Though the book is far from perfect (missing completely evolutionary and evolved mechanisms favoring monogamy or mate guarding, and missing jealousy from an evolutionary perspective), it's sufficient for first-time exposure and for framing the conversation a couple might have. Not only that, but both girls were in sororities and consequently had had at least some experience with same room f**king... but all four, and especially the girls (interestingly, the two other girls were leading a bit more than their boyfriends) like that both myself and my then-girlfriend are somewhat open about our experiences and interests. We've both told stories, and stories naturally embed moral and ethical principles in them, a thing that Jesus and the writers of the Bible understood.
All four of the others, in addition to having read THE ETHICAL SLUT, understood that I especially come from an abundance mindset. The guys know I'm not going to try to steal their girls, and am in fact not interested in doing that. Non-monogamy shifts guys's mindsets from scarcity to abundance, a fact that is not sufficiently frequently discussed.
Different people vary in their propensity to engage in this domain, a topic I've discussed before: How many women are open to sex parties and partner swapping? [intermediate/advanced]. In that, I guess around 75% of women might be open to some form of non-monogamy, if the non-monogamy is pitched correctly. Someone like Ms. Slav is ready straightaway. Someone like Short Dancer, another girl I was super into, I never got to go, although I also misread Short Dancer and didn't give her the safety, security, and priority she'd have needed. My mistake. We want to do things that we see other high-status people doing, a point elaborated in Status/coolness first, THEN evangelize for whatever the thing is. Much advice around pickup and dating fails because it's given by people who aren't successful first.
So, on that holiday night, my then-girlfriend and I had planned to roll, but none of the others had. We began rolling at Allison's party, and we chattered (rapidly!) with others, made out with each other, and eventually left the party to have our own party, which is not a bad idea if one couple is rolling and no one else is. But, later in the evening, we got some texts from Allison, and from Zephyra's boyfriend, saying that they'd decided to drop too. Oh... interesting. We all converged at my place, and the roll was on. Without having rolled yourself, it's not possible to properly understand the physical or mind state that rolling creates, on the correct dosage. It makes one considerably more open, loving, empathic, and engaged by others. Some people also get really, really horny (some guys can get hard on mdma, which must be a blast). I was hitting the end of my roll, so I could. The other guys both could even in the heart of their rolls.
At my place, we chattered, more like chittered, as only people on mdma rolls can, and the questions about non-monogamy kicked up, as well as statements about their admiration for the things my then-girlfriend and I had done, and the way we seem to have done them. It was too hot, for everyone, so everyone took off their clothes (this makes complete sense in the mdma mindset: take my word for it). My then-girlfriend and I had wanted to fuck anyway, and the girls all began going down the guys. Which led to some touching and switching. Which led in turn to some of the girls switching which partner they were going down on. And the "straight" girls going down on one another... there are very few truly straight girls on mdma. I fucked my girlfriend some, couldn't finish, enjoyed the general compliments from the others (porn in real life ("IRL") is hot, and people spend too much time in virtual worlds today), and some other fucking happened too, but the overall feel and vibe was that of abundance, joy, and pleasure.
Much later, Allison and I were alone for a minute, and Allison said that checking with her boyfriend before she went down on me was a good move... I was like, "Yeah, been down this road before, it's good to align everyone and give everyone a no-recriminations veto option." Failure to create alignment is a path to later resentment.
Rolling often encourages and facilitates shedding inhibitions and clothes, as well as encouraging touching, and were already heading in that direction. I didn't want, for a variety of reasons, to go "all the way" to penetrative sex with others. Part of those are internal to my girlfriend and me, and that's the biggest part. In addition, the other four hadn't done anything quite like that, and I think it often better to experiment a little, pull back, and let them discuss among themselves what things feel like. That's part of the long game, the effort to build wealth slowly. It's possible to get overly wrapped up in the moment, do something you regret, and then have explosive consequences the next morning. To hold back lets each couple process what happened and decide whether it's going to be that crazy thing they did this one time on mdma, or whether it's something they wish to pursue and incorporate into their lives, and I don't have a strong view about which way anyone else should go. To live should be to pursue the best version of your life possible, and what the good life looks like will differ by individual.
I do think, too, that holding back on that night demonstrated the mutual trust we'd spend a year or more building. To change someone's mind takes time, reading, and thinking. To attempt to force an ideology or way of life on someone will merely sever relationships. We've all met someone who is overly enthusiastic about whatever their thing is... Marxism, Christianity, psychedelics, non-monogamy, multi-level marketing schemes, the list goes on. Too much enthusiasm doesn't work, though neither does too little.
It takes a long time to know people, to trust them. I've seen research claiming you have to spend 40 hours with a person to move from acquittance to distant friend, probably 200+ hours to move from distant friend to closer friend. There's no real shortcut to that process, apart maybe from fame or something else not relevant to my life or yours. New ideas also take a long time to take hold. Change is slow, and most of us do what's familiar because that's safe, and that's what our training is in. What we do is mostly working. We don't want to shred our social or familial networks. Also, if you go back in time, not very far... you'll see that a lot of "innovations" were dangerous. In the Joseph Henrich books, there are descriptions of Europeans in the New World dying from all sorts of stuff, cause they didn't copy Indian ways of preparing foods and doing things, such that the things they were trying to do were done wrong, and that killed them. Not following the herd has, for most of human history, been extremely dangerous. Conservation of current practices, a latent conservatism, makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint. The wealth and technology necessary for the current non-monogamy vogue is a recent development. We're more afraid of losing what we have than gaining something new.
That night was amazing. As a more general principle, getting to know a girl over a longer period of time will result in her being more willing to try sex clubs and non-monogamy. The longer you know her, the more hours you spend together, the deeper your connection. Usually, something like two months is probably optimal: long enough for you two to know each other, not so long that she feels like she's been bait-and-switched.
Sometimes I'll tease sex clubs sooner, most often when the girl says something indicating she might be into them. If she seems sex positive, says anything about non-monogamy, claims she likes to party, says she's not looking for anything serious, evinces serious interest in drugs (not heroin or other opioids, which are evil, I will run from anyone who uses them)... those are signs she's likely to be interested and that proffering sex clubs may increase her interest in me, because I can offer things she wants and peak experiences that other guys can't. This kind of girl is unusual.
Then, there are girls I'm marginal about, or in whom my interest is lukewarm. I like her well enough but am not super excited about her, and yet we're sleeping together. These girls, I'll often propose we visit a sex club, or a sex party, quickly: she might be into the idea, and, if she's a hard "no," I know we're not meant to be. I've had amazing, incredible, ecstatic experiences by bringing girls I'm lukewarm about, but then swapping with another couple, or picking up a single girl. Plus, as a guy, bringing a new girl into the scene increases your reputation. Other people will want to get to know you more, and want to invite you to their parties. Reputation is a form of long-term wealth or personal capital. Build it in any scene, and you'll see positive results (xbtusd has also built a lot of reputation capital in his local non-monogamy scene, and some of his stories show the payoff)
In the book THINKING, FAST AND SLOW, Daniel Kahneman discusses "system 1" thinking (fast, automatic, instantaneous, often wrong) and "system 2" thinking (slower, more deliberate, more energy efficient). If all of our thinking were system 1, we'd not be able to grow and do things differently, and we'd make more mistakes. If all of our thinking were system 2, we'd not get anything done (most of us don't deliberate for long periods of time about what we want to eat in the morning: we grabs the eggs, make them, and get on with our day). Most of us have ingrained "system 1" responses to non-monogamy: immediate rejection, even if group sex fantasies are extremely common. But, if we apply system 2, we can see if or when non-monogamy makes sense... Red Quest blog is almost entirely system 2 thinking, describing how things work and how to think about and implement them.
Most group sex, it seems to me, doesn't happen "spontaneously," but as a result of planning, education, and intentional execution, though the immediate "go" moment may nominally spontaneous. Women like it when things "just happen." Men plan to make things happen. To get anyone to learn or do anything, you have to repeat yourself a lot, often in the exact same words and the exact same way, or with enough variations to get someone to internalize the ideas. That's basically how advertising works, the company shows you, thousands of times, some image or moving images describing how great they are and how great and sexually desirable you will be if you buy their product. Companies like Apple and Nike are particularly successful at this (well... Nike used to be, but now they're pussy). Changing minds, ideologies, ingrained patterns, cultural conditioning... none of this happens quickly. Changes that appear to be quick are in fact almost always the result of months or years of preparation to change. The fooling around we did with Allison and Zephyra came about because of more than a year of discussion and mutual time spent around each other. We've been very exposed to them, and them to us, and that exposure created the conditions that MDMA facilitated coming to fruition. Did it "happen" on the holiday? Yes. But, another way of looking at it is, it "happened" over the course of the year of us getting to know each other, and me talking about my experiences in this domain and how these things work. Most of the time, we talk about other things... work, life history, books... the complete human experience... I've met 3/4 of the others's parents... neither me nor my girlfriend are fly-by-night strangers in their lives.
This post is structured like the rest of the Red Quest blog... it is textual and deeply analytical. It'll repel stupid, short-sighted people. The talk about the compounding interest formula will make dumb people return to video games or gossip Instagram or whatever else it is that stupid people do. The post is designed to attract the ideal readers, who are capable of thinking for themselves, like most people aren't. I'm not saying you have to agree with it... you don't, many won't... but it's targeting people who aren't fools. One disappointing thing about life is the sheer number of fools out there. I can't fix other people's folly, but I can encourage deep thinking of the sort almost totally absent from "social" media, which is what I'm doing now. This is a "system 2" blog.
You can see the complexity of the world from the number of links in this post (at least 15, as of the draft in which I last counted), including the number to other Red Quest posts. To talk about these issues is to talk about the whole universe. By now I may have written hundreds of thousands of words describing how to do these things, how to think about them, how I have done them... Red Quest is the result of at least 12 years of learning, and I'm still learning, even today. Probably I'll be learning when I die, or become sufficiently infirm as to be effectively dead. There is no easy way, there is only the hard way.