Get Out of the Closet: Tips for Making Friends in the Lifestyle

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Friends are like Bras…

They come in various styles and colors. And each one we make has a unique purpose, place, or benefit to share.
Friends can be close by or far away. And these relationships can last a few months, a few years, or a lifetime.

Do you know the makeup of your bra collection?
Do you have a wide variety? Or, do you tend to stick with only one or two styles?
Do you ever venture outside your comfort zone to try on a new one?

Take a moment to think about your current set of friends.
How many of them truly know you?
How many know about your alternative lifestyle?

One? Two? Maybe none.

When you decide to move toward a life that fully embraces and celebrates your authentic self, it’s important to find friends. And not just any friends. Having some who know, understand, support, and even participate in your lifestyle is important. But, how can you make sure that happens?

three friends having a good time and laughing

How Do You Make Friends?

Most women create friendships by default.
Isn’t that how all friendships are made? You just happen to click with someone and hit it off?
Sometimes yes… sometimes, no.

How do you buy your bras? Do you simply see one on the rack and buy it? Do you look for a certain style or color? What about the size; do you check it? Do you make sure that it fits? Or, do you only purchase it based on one aspect alone?

Making friends by “default” happens when you connect with someone because of a circumstance. Some of the most common ones are work, your children, church, a hobby, or yoga. But, these typically don’t result in the deepest, most meaningful friendships.

When you create intentional authentic friendships, the choices you make speak volumes about who you are.
Doing this, especially as a woman in the lifestyle, can help you create balance and harmony in your life. By creating friendships with other women who are able to get to know all of you, you completely eliminate the need to hide. Instead, you can share all your struggles, victories, and announcements without fear or shame.

Who are your Current Friends?

Let’s take a moment to look at your bra collection. Think about specific people that exist in your life as you read on.

Practical Everyday Bra

This lady is your tried and true. She’s the one you keep coming back to.
This is the woman who is your “go-to.” You call upon her when you really need a friend.

She’s there when you need to vent, or will pick up your cat from the vet. She is there for you through the thick and thin of your everyday mainstream life. But, this friend doesn’t yet know about your “alternative lifestyle”. And you don’t know how she truly feels about it.

Old and Comfy Bra

This is one of your oldest and dearest friends. Perhaps you met her in childhood, or while you were in college. Maybe she was your Maid of Honor at your wedding.

Whatever it is, this is the friendship that has lasted through all of life’s ups and downs. Perhaps this is now a long-distance friendship, and again not one who you can turn to for advice about your open marriage…

You’re too afraid she wouldn’t understand. And, you would never want to lose this long-time connection with someone you care about.

Sports and Active Bra

This is your “out-and-about” friend. She meets you at the gym, for yoga class, or goes on walks o bike rides with you. She is the often the active friend, and motivates you to exercise and eat healthy.

This friend drags you out of bed on Saturday morning to go hiking six miles or buys your smoothie after an hour and a half of CrossFit. She has one single purpose, and has no reason to know about your “play parties”.

Push-Up Bra

Every woman needs a push-up bra. This friend is your shoulder to lean on.

She is your cheerleader; the positive one who always rallies around your goals and successes. She’s also there to let you know your failures are just an opportunity to grow. She’s there to help you work through your stuff. This is the friend who always smiles, keeps life positive, and looks for the silver lining in every cloud. She is a sounding board, reflecting back to you what you already know deep down, but need another voice to really hear it.

This could be the one friend who you have mentioned your lifestyle to because you know she will support you no matter what. However, she is probably not a participant.

Sultry and Sexy Bra

Oh, the stories this lady could tell about you!

This is the friend with who you share your most intimate secrets, desires, and challenges. But, she was a challenge to find. Discovering this bra required you to be intentional and focused. You knew what you wanted when you went looking for her.

That’s because, when it comes to women who are in the lifestyle, it can be hard to find and create a truly trusting, compassionate, and supportive relationship. There is often a sense of competition, which society ingrains in us through media and expectations. Creating a sultry and sexy friendship takes research, effort, and persistence.

Strapless Bra

This is your wild and crazy friend. She is forever young and is always on another adventure. This is the friend who insists you go bungee jumping with her, or calls you up for a spur of the moment road trip to Vegas for the weekend. She is high-octane and a little bit insane, but oh so much fun.

She is Thelma to your Louise.
And, she may or may not know about your lifestyle, but doesn’t really care either way.

One Which No Longer Fits

This is the friend you have pushed to the back of the drawer and buried under the cotton granny panties. You see her occasionally at the grocery store, or at the mall, and will meet for the obligatory coffee twice a year. You keep hanging on to this friend, albeit loosely, but never actually let her go.

This was probably once a bright and youthful friendship, but no longer brings you much enjoyment. Your paths have taken different turns, and she’s just waiting for you to let her go gently.

two friends hanging out

Creating Intentional Friendships

When intentionally deciding the kinds of friendships you desire to create, it is important to know what you want to give and receive from your friendships.
Do you want to share intimate details about your non-monogamous relationships?
Are you interested in discussing last night’s play party activities?
Would you like to listen to another person’s account of these situations?

Look into yourself first about what you desire in a friend. Then, you will know the qualities to seek out in potential matches.
Write it down, and really dig deep.
Be clear and deliberate about what you want in a friendship in order to actually find what you’re looking for.

Believe it or not, creating intentional friendships is like dating. You are seeking specific characteristics, values, emotions, and connections.

Do be afraid to take the time to “try on” a new friend. Meet her a few times. And ask yourself if you really click.
Is there something special about this woman? How does she make you feel? Investigate a potential friendship right from the beginning and identify how this friendship can benefit both your life and hers. There’s nothing wrong if you need to try on several friends before you find the “right fit”.

Friends make significant impacts on your life, and it’s important to take them seriously.

Final Thoughts

For several years, I had friends in the mainstream world and in my lifestyle world. But recently, I moved to a new city and made a decision about making new friends. I decided to put my time, energy, effort, and focus into friends who are in the lifestyle, because I wanted to be able to share my whole life with them. I only have so much time, energy, effort, and focus to give and I would rather have friends whom I can enjoy both in and out of the bedroom.

As you navigate your mainstream world and alternative lifestyle, it’s important to make intentional choices and decisions about the things most important to you.

Do you want friends with whom you can be your most authentic self? Then, what are you willing to do differently to achieve this?

Have the courage to be intentional, specific, and patient to connect with the right woman or group of women. You’ll be surprised how much it pays off in the end.

Your bras are an integral part of your daily experience, as are your friends. Choose wisely and intentionally and your life will significantly be enhanced for it.

Members of the SwingTowns Community can discuss this article and its implications on the lifestyle community forum. If you’re not a member, you can sign up today and see what you’re missing.

Kat Linquist
Kat Linquist is the Director and Co-Creator of Bad Ass Red Dress Society. BARDSociety is a platform for sharing her experiences in her ECNM (Ethical and Consensual Non-Monogamous) Lifestyle, and provides information, connections, and services to help women create and enjoy an intentional life increasing Abundance, Liberation and Freedom.

Before creating Bad Ass Red Dress Society, Kat lived a life of suppression and inauthenticity after meeting her now ex-husband at age 19. Prior to that, she explored and began to develop her Authentic Self. For example, she had romantic and sexual relationships with a men and women separately. Yet also at the same time, with each knowing about the other.

Raised in a fairly conservative Christian home, Kat’s Authentic Inner Soul was Polyamorous, Bisexual, and an Ethical Slut. Therefore, this radiant and beautiful creature was suppressed and manipulated to move away from her Authentic self to be “pleasing and conforming” to those around her. However, her sense of self, self-worth and self-love was underdeveloped. For this reason, Kat complied. She allowed others to determine who she was to be and the course of her live.

Kat married the man she was with since she was 19, at the age of 24. She gave birth to her daughter at 30. From that point on, she endured a life which depressed and suppressed her. Kat ended up on various pharmaceutical medication for depression and acid reflux.

At 41, she experienced a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) which is a stroke that ends up resolving before too much damage is done to the brain. As a result, this was a huge wake up call for Kat. In 2011 at the age of 42 she started to make major changes in her life.

Ultimately, Kat began her journey to becoming the Bad Ass Red Dress she is today. She is an openly Bisexual and ECNM woman who embraces her Authentic Self. She shares more details about this transition in her blog series.

Kat is now transitioning from a 25 year career in Early Childhood Education to create Bad Ass Red Dress Society and ECNM Lifestyles Association with her non-legal husband Mark Clayton. They live in Ventura, California with their cat Isis. Visit Kat Linquist to learn more.

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