Most women would run for the hills if they found out their new boyfriend was a serial cheat.
But when Terri Ellwood discovered her date had been unfaithful to his ex-wife more than ten times, she had a very different reaction.
Lee Blackley told her the only way he could remain “faithful” would be if she allowed him to sleep with other women.
Desperate to make a go of it, Terri AGREED — and promised to be there while he did it.
Now the pair both regularly sleep with other couples and, as they prepare to tie the knot this year, the bride-to-be admits becoming a swinger was the only way to save her relationship.
Terri, 26, says: “I love it now but at first I wasn’t so sure.
“I really liked Lee and was devastated when I found out he’d cheated on every past partner.
“I didn’t want to end things and I knew he liked me too.
“He asked if I could come round to the idea of swinging.
“I thought it was just for weird older couples but when he showed me all the attractive young couples on swinging websites, I thought I should give it a go.
“Now I’m happily a swinger with Lee, and I’m safe in the knowledge he’ll never cheat — unless I’m in the room.”
Terri, from Lowestoft, Suffolk, first met engineer Lee in February 2015 after joining dating site Plenty of Fish.
The two hit it off and just four weeks later, met for their first date.
Terri, a retail worker, thought she had found the man of her dreams, until Lee, 30, made a shock confession.
She says: “We had been talking until the early hours and getting on so well, then Lee just blurted it out.
“He told me he had never been able to be faithful to any girlfriends, and even admitted having a secret ‘cheating’ phone to organise his late-night hook-ups.
“I was gobsmacked. Lee was adamant he wanted to stay with me but admitted he struggled to remain faithful, sexually, due to such a strong desire to sleep with other women. I doubted how we could ever make this work.”
Despite Lee’s confession, Terri gave him a chance and the pair made their relationship official in April 2015.
SWINGING: WHAT IS IT?
Practice of engaging in group sex or the swapping of sexual partners within a group, especially on a habitual basis.
But six months later, Lee called Terri with a very surprising offer.
She recalls: “Lee said he wanted to be with me but asked if we could bring someone else into the bedroom for a threesome. It was totally out of the blue.
“I wanted Lee to be happy and I’d always been open-minded but the idea of being with someone else made me nervous. Lee was really patient and understanding.
“We discussed it for hours, how it would work, who it would be with. I ended up being intrigued by the idea.”
The following night, Lee showed Terri a swinging website where they could find a potential third person to join them.
She says: “I really enjoyed looking at the different women with Lee and when we both found one of them attractive, I was actually excited to message her.
“She wrote back saying she was interested and I knew I wanted to try it.”
Two weeks later they met her in a hotel, with Terri feeling “terrified” Lee would “like her more than me”.
She adds: “But as soon as I met her, I felt at ease. After chatting and flirting a bit we started to become intimate in the bedroom.
“It was such a thrill when Lee watched me with her, and I really enjoyed watching Lee too.
“When we went home Lee and I sat up for hours talking about it — what we liked and what we didn’t.”
Despite it being their first time, Lee was keen to introduce more people to their relationship.
She says: “We signed up to swingers websites to meet other couples and a few months later, we had our first foursome. It was just as thrilling as the first time.
“We now meet couples a lot more as we find it more enjoyable — and with another couple, there is more fun for everyone.”
Terri and Lee attend swinging parties every six weeks, always using protection — although it takes a lot of planning to find someone to share their bed.
Terri says: “Most of it is done online. We choose together.
“If one of us doesn’t fancy them then we have a rule where we can veto them.
“You don’t just go to a party and that’s it. When you meet couples you message each other and have a social meet beforehand to warm up to the main event — just like dating.
“We have a few regular couples we meet at hotels.
“It took a while to get used to sex parties.
“At first we just watched but now we are getting more involved and I love it. I’m a totally different person when I’m there.
“So far we’ve been with just over ten different couples between us, and we’ve swung everywhere — hotels, houses and even a caravan.”
Despite Terri and Lee’s free attitude to partner sharing, they have a set of rules they both must abide by.
She says: “When it comes to sex, we do everything together: that’s the most important rule.
“We never meet anyone on our own and we always message as a couple.
“It’s important that he respects me.
“I never thought I’d be OK with seeing my boyfriend have sex with another woman, let alone be comfortable with him seeing me sleep with another man. It’s centred around trust.
“I would not be OK with Lee meeting someone on his own. I would consider that cheating.”
Other stipulations include no kissing and the couple are only allowed to swing away from their home.
Terri says: “I made the rule early on that kissing isn’t allowed — and we never meet anyone in our home.
“Our bedroom is sacred to me. I don’t mix swinging but our private relationship is in our house.
“Sex with just the two of us is still the most important thing to me. It’s vital to have your own intimate relationship alongside swinging.”
Facts and figures
- Two million people in the UK swap partners to spice up their sex lives
- 60% of swingers say swinging has been beneficial to their relationship
- Clubs, holidays & websites are available for swingers to set up partner swapping
- 10% of swingers have an STI
Now, more than two years after Lee’s cheating bombshell, the couple are happier than ever.
Lee has no intention of straying — in fact, they are planning their wedding for October.
Terri says: “I’ve never been more in love. I sometimes get jealous and worry other women are better than me, or more attractive.
“But Lee is quick to reassure me that I’m the one he loves. I can’t wait to tie the knot — but it’ll definitely be just the two of us on our wedding night.
“I love sharing my man with other women but now I know it’s me taking him home.”
Lee says: “When I first met Terri, I knew she was the one for me.
“I could have kept on lying to her but I knew that if I was dishonest, it would all come out in the end.
“I know cheating doesn’t get you anywhere but in a bog-standard relationship I’m always looking at ways of making it exciting.