form of recreational social sex between consenting adults, most commonly
consisting of male/female couples meeting with other male/female couples
for sex and ongoing intimate friendships.
The swinger lifestyle usually begins with meeting other
swingers at a club that is specifically organized for this purpose. Although
single women are generally welcome at swinging events, the degree to which
single men are accepted varies from club to club. Although female bisexuality
is generally accepted in the swinging community, the degree to which male
bisexuality is accepted also varies from club to club. Swing clubs can
be "on-premises" (interacting sexually with others at that event) or "off-premises"
(going back to the home or hotel room of other couples for sex, after deciding
to do so at the event). Newspapers and magazines which carry personal ads
for swingers also exist. To a slightly lesser degree, these publications
may also be considered an aspect of "the lifestyle." Traditionally,
swingers have been largely middle class and tend to blend in quite easily
with the general population in terms of appearance and ideology.
Although this may vary slightly from club to club, in
general the swinging community is quite accepting of a variety of body
types, sizes, ages, and shapes. Additionally, many on-premises events provide
an opportunity to dress sexy or go completely nude, which can be a fun
and sensual experience in and of
People may be attracted to the swinging community for
a variety of reasons. Many couples find the thought of having sex with
other people to be very attractive and sensual. As a result, they
find that swinging is a catalyst for enhancing their own sex lives and
primary relationships. Some people may feel stifled by repressive societal
attitudes towards sexuality.
Consequently, they may welcome the opportunity to form
friendships and a new social network with people of like mind. Others may
simply feel that sex should be a natural possibility in any friendship
in which there is mutual attraction and, as a result, appreciate the relative
open-mindedness and pleasure experienced as a part of the swinging community.
Although the swinging community is unfortunately not always the best
place for men identified as heterosexuals to explore their potential bisexuality,
it is a relatively good place for women to initially explore their sexuality
with other women as this sometimes plays a role in couples choosing to
seek it out in the first place.
If you are uncomfortable with people being sexually attracted
to you and/or flirting with you, then you might be uncomfortable at swinging
events. Similarly, if your relationship with your partner is on shaky
ground, you might find seeing him or her flirt or be flirted with to be
an uncomfortable experience. If either of you have hidden agendas concerning
finding a permanent replacement for each other, you're probably in for
a major emotional disaster. Furthermore, if you and your partner cannot
communicate directly about relationships and sex, swinging might only complicate
your problems all the more. In general, sex can provoke strong feelings
along with its many pleasures. Therefore, if you aren't comfortable
dealing with emotions, then perhaps it might be better to wait a little
while before exploring "the lifestyle."
In the context of swinging, couples need not be married.
However, they should have at least a little history together and familiarity
with each others' emotional needs. This will be important when it
comes to being comfortable approaching other couples. The general
rule of thumb is that swinging works best when couples view swinging as
an enhancement to their existing sexual relationship, rather than as a
replacement for a failing one.
As one would expect, good communication is critical in
any attempt at swinging. There are many different forms that swinging may
take. Whichever one you choose is fine as long as you and your partner
are clear about what you are doing and why. Sex is a powerful part
of human experience and the pleasures that may be found in swinging can
generally be reached only when both partners are sensitive to each others'
needs. Each must put their partner's confidence and comfort first.
From a more pragmatic point of view, there will always be another party,
another personal ad, another dance, or another convention. There
may not be another chance to salvage an exploration into swinging if one
partner becomes overwhelmed with it and forgets to treat his or her primary
partner with sensitivity and respect.
It's important to keep in mind that swinging is primarily
a social activity. The ordinary social customs of meeting people and initiating
a conversation are really not that different than at any other type of
social interaction. The process by which acquaintances become close
friends is not that different either. The key social traits that tend to
be appreciated in the swinging community are responsibility, friendliness,
open-mindedness, and most importantly stability with regard to one's primary
There are several different styles of swinging which you
may see in the swinging community
It might be valuable for you to think about whether there
are any potential situations that you feel you would be more or less comfortable
in and then discuss these with your partner.
Closed Swinging: Some people may prefer not to be around when their partner
is having sex with someone else.
Open Swinging: Others may insist on being with their partner when experiencing
sex with others.
Soft swinging: Refers to trading partners just for the purposes of heavy
petting and then switching back to one's primary partner for any actual
The pros and cons of whether or not you and your mate
are compatible with the swinging lifestyle or even interested in it are
many. Whatever you do, be sure that both of you are committed to
it before ever trying it out.
© all rights reserved - 1/5/2002---
The mission of this not-for-profit website is to promote clear insights
and toleration regarding the many variations of primary relationships that
exist in our world. We ask for neither acceptance or approval but
hope that each visitor who reviews the pages of this site will leave them
with a better understanding of the numerous cultural, historical, preferential,
religious, sexual, and sociological approaches to coupling that have always
existed and will continue to exist as long as there are at least two human
beings living on this planet. If the effort put into creating and
maintaining this site results in others coming to the realization that
the basic human need to love and be loved takes on many forms which are
accepted by those who practice them, whether right or wrong as determined
by the personal belief system of others, then it will have served it's