Swinging

When I started writing the FAQ on polyamory, I knew that I would also have to write one on Swinging, itís a natural progression in some ways. As I was doing both this and the polyamory FAQ, I thought a lot of the similarities and differences between the tow and though there arenít that may really, both are considered separate lifestyles. I also made me very aware of my current relationship and which parts of it are poly based and which are indicative of a swinging lifestyle. I will discuss that later in another article.  

I hadnít originally planned on doing this as an FAQ but it sort of ended up that way as I just started writing down questions I would have if I were thinking of exploring the swinging lifestyle. Here are a list of questions and I know that there are many more out there as well and again they are in no particular order of importance but they are what I thought would be important ones to ask. 

QUESTIONS

What is swinging?

Swinging is a social and sexual exchange with persons or people who are not your mate or significant other. 

Another definition is, recreational social sex, mostly consisting of male/female couples meeting other male/female couples, in order to engage in sex and or other intimate relationships.  

Why do people swing? 

The reasonís people swing are as varied as the people who swing. Many couples get involved in swinging as a way to enliven their marriage or to share their out looks on sexual freedom. Many couples find swinging a natural evolution in their marriage and find the transition to a swinging lifestyle both natural and welcome. 

What ever the reason, couples involved in swinging are very sure of the strength and stability of their marriage. Being honest with your self and your partner, as to why you want to explore the swinging lifestyle will ease the worries you or your partner may have and you will also find it easier to open the discussion if you encounter any problems. 

What are the Pros and Cons of Swinging? 

There are a variety of good things associated with the swinging lifestyle. Many people find the thought of watching and sharing their partner with others or in front of others, highly arousing, as well as sexually freeing. To many it is a natural progression of a friendship in which the parties find each other mutually attractive. Swingers appreciate the open-mindedness and the positive attitudes towards sexual expression. 

The opportunity to also experience other sides of sexuality, male/female bisexuality, as an example, is another draw of the lifestyle. And of course one cannot forget the SEX! It as well is a very important part of the lifestyle. 

With the good there is also the bad. Swinging can help intensify feelings of insecurity or self esteem issues you have as well, especially if your first swinging experience doesnít live up to your expectations. It can create feelings of jealousy in your partner, feelings that may surprise you. 

Then there is the issue that perhaps swinging is somewhat discriminatory to single men and to big people as well. In the case of BBW, this is somewhat true, more so in the advertising than in the attitudes, I encountered it during my research for this FAQ. As for the single men, I believe it is but it a necessary evil in order to keep the integrity of lifestyle. The other reason is as was stated earlier, that attitudes towards male bisexuality are not as open as they are towards women. Then of course there is the pure survival instinct that a lot of these clubs have and lets face it guys, not all of you out there are honest and you are not above using people for your own gain, including lying to get into an organization. Hey it happens and most swinging clubs are aware that it does and have safeguards set up in the event it does. So if you think you can get involved in swinging with a ďhiredĒ date or a ďticketĒ, forget it! This behavior is unacceptable in any reputable swinging organization and will get you blacklisted. In all honesty if you try to do this you get what you deserve.

How do I deal with jealousy? 

Understanding what the underlying issues are behind your jealousy will be very important in learning to deal with it. There are three basic premises behind jealousy, emotions, fear and perception. 

We would like to believe that jealousy is a separate emotion. Jealousy is to emotion, like black is to color, all encompassing. Jealousy will run the through all your feelings only to start all over again when you have reached the end. Anger, fear, hurt, anxiety, sadness, paranoia, and depression, envy, feelings of inadequacy and exclusion can all emerge, when you are faced with a situation that you feel threatened by. 

It is important to understand that jealousy is about fear. Fear of the unknown and the new, of losing the power or control you felt in your relationship. Fear of being left out or abandoned by some one you thought loved you and your perception of the relationship. 

I canít give you a quick fix for this, no one can.  It is something you and your partner need to be open and honest about with each other. In my experience I found it helped to identify what the cause of the jealousy was and why it made me jealous, it was usually because I was afraid of some part of my partnersí choices. Being open and able to discuss anything with my partner made it easy for me to discover what the root of the problem was. It still happens and it always will, dealing with it once doesnít mean it canít happen again but knowing that it can makes the next time easier for me. 

When you find yourself getting jealous, ask yourself a couple of questions. What am I afraid of? What do I need to make me feel safe? What is the worst that could happen and what is the real possibility of it happening? With these you can start to help yourself work through your feelings of jealousy. 

There are not real quick and easy answers to anything in this lifestyle. Having the basic tools helps though, and you will soon find jealousy is no longer a thing to be frightened of either.

How do I meet swingers? 

It is important to remember that Swinging is primarily a social activity, and meeting other swinging couples is no different than meeting couples for a drink or just conversation. The social traits that are key and highly appreciated by the swinging community are responsibility, friendliness, flirtatiousness, open-mindedness, and importantly stability in oneís primary relationship. 

The best place to look for swingers is in your local Swing Magazine. They may not be easy to find but a good place to look is in the local sex boutique. The local sex shop is also a good place to ask for info in regards to swingers, as they tend to be associated with sexual open-mindedness. The Internet is fast becoming a wonderful place to search for information on Swinging Organizations in your community. You can find swinging in most of the major on line search engines as well as any of the sexual search engines. 

Once you have met someone who can guide you, attend a few functions, most have dinners or coffees in order to meet prospective members or for prospective members to check them out. The level of involvement is up to you and when you feel comfortable.   

Once you have experienced a little swinging but havenít quite found a couple you clicked with, you could always try posting an ad in your local magazine or on a personals site on the internet. This is both rewarding and disappointing. You can meet some really wonderful people but you can also meet some pretty sleazy ones as well. Trust your instincts when you meet these people and if you do meet try and choose a place that is what I call neutral territory. If you at least meet the potential candidates for a quick coffee you wonít have to feel guilty if you donít feel comfortable with them. 

What is the etiquette in meeting swingers? 

In swinging, cleanliness is next to godliness. Being clean and neatly attired is always a good way to make a first impression. 

Be polite and engaging and if you are new most couples are very willing to talk to you about their first experience in the lifestyle.

It would probably be a good idea for you and your partner to stick close to each other, unless you agreed before hand to mingle and meet more people. Much of this is just common courtesy and in some ways no different than the way you would behave at the office. 

If you are invited to a house party the hosts will probably inform you of the ďhouse rulesĒ and you will be expected to abide by them. My rule of thumb is to act the way I would expect others to act if they were in my home. 

If you are invited and reserve a place at the party and find that something comes up to make attendance impossible inform you hosts, they may be able to extend an invitation to another couple if they so wish. The same applies to the invite as well. If someone is considerate enough to invite you, it is equally considerate of you to respond to the invitation, not assume that the host knew you were coming. 

Plan accordingly for the function you will be attending as well. If it is couple meeting couple, you may want to consider bringing yourself a towel for clean up or just to dry of if there is a hot tub or Jacuzzi involved. The same applies if it is a big swing party, youíll want to be able to clean up afterwards. Keep your belongings clearly marked and youíll never have to worry about someone accidentally using your things or vice versa. 

Always ask your host if there is anything you can contribute to the party, food, beverages, condoms, and things like that. It is always appreciated and there will always be a use for it.

The bottom line is that good manners are always appreciated.

Summary 

I know there are probably a lot more questions out there but this is a very good starting place when it comes to swinging. I know there will also be more questions and I will do my best to answer them or direct you to where you can find some help. 

I tried to be as objective as I could with out being to flip or even to serious for that matter. The opinions and feelings in this article are my own and I bear the responsibility for them. I did the best I could with the information I had and found in other resources. I hope the help you in your decision to swing or not.

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