Swinging 101

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We’ve read about it, countless films have portrayed it, and we’ve all inevitably talked about it, but what...
We’ve read about it, countless films have portrayed it, and we’ve all inevitably talked about it, but what exactly is ‘swinging’? Is it about overweight, older people caught in the seventies having rampant sex with each other? Or is it like a secret, elite club not unlike that which was featured in the Stanley Kubrick film, Eyes Wide Shut? Do people really throw car keys into a bowl? In reality, none of these concepts accurately capture what swinging is all about in the naughties. In fact, swinging is enjoyed as much by Generation Y as Baby Boomers, and a wide cross-section of people are swingers today.

Swinging has been described as a form of recreational social sex between consenting adults, usually consisting of mixed (male and female) couples of various sexual orientation meeting other such couples for fun both in and out of the bedroom. Some couples may only seek sexual relations, but many prefer to develop a firm friendship with sexual shenanigans seen as a bonus. Indeed, there are no black or white rules in terms of what swinging couples engage in.

Swinging Steps

Swinging (often referred to as ‘the lifestyle’, or ‘the scene’) can be enjoyed in many different ways. Although single women and single men participate in the lifestyle, swinging is primarily for couples since you need a partner to swing with. Singles who participate in threesomes and group sex have been termed as ‘swingles’.

Female bisexuality is almost considered the norm in the scene with many couples taking up swinging (sometimes exclusively) to engage in girl-on-girl fun. Male bisexuality isn’t as prevalent but from all accounts, when the right combination of couples is hit, the all-way interactions guarantee a busy night for all. Straight males should certainly not worry about being ‘man-handled’ if meeting a bi couple since most people respect sexual orientation in the scene.

Then there are also different play preferences. Some couples like to go ‘all the way’, and swap partners for sexual intercourse, whereas some couples prefer same-room sex only and limit their physical interaction with other couples. In general, most couples are happy to at least swap foreplay (kissing, oral sex etc.) with other couples, although it is not uncommon to hear of exclusively voyeuristic couples or partners who prefer to simply watch.

Benefits of Swinging

There are many reasons why people are attracted to the lifestyle. A lot of couples find the idea of having sex with other people very arousing, and it is not unusual for swinging to become a catalyst for improving their own sex lives and relationship. Some people may feel stifled by conservative attitudes towards sexuality, and welcome the opportunity to form a social network with like-minded people. Others view sex as a natural potential between people who are mutually attracted to each other, and therefore enjoy the open-mindedness that the scene provides regarding this concept.

Swinging is also a perfect way for individuals to explore his or her bisexuality, and in particular, women who have felt inhibited in the past to express their high sex drive, can do so amongst other open-minded people without the fear of being labelled. Also, people often learn a great deal about themselves and their sexualities through the lifestyle. For example, many discover that having their partner actively enjoy and appreciate what they are experiencing during sex to be a huge turn-on.

Look Before You Swing

Although the swinging scene has considerable merits for many, it may not be suitable for other people for a number of reasons. For example, if you are uncomfortable with people being sexually attracted to you, then the lifestyle may not be right for you. Similarly, if your relationship with your partner is unstable, you might find seeing him or her in an intimate situation with another person an upsetting experience. If you and your partner cannot communicate directly about relationships and sex, you’re probably destined for disaster in the scene, where honesty and trust is paramount. In general, sex can provoke strong feelings, along with its many pleasures, and if you aren’t confident in dealing with your emotions, then it may be better to wait a little while before exploring the scene.

For those who are ready to dive in, these following points should be considered to make the most of the scene. In the context of swinging, ‘couples’ don’t need to be life partners (married, de facto, etc.) but they should have at least a little history together and familiarity with each others’ emotional needs, and be comfortable approaching others as a couple. The general rule of thumb is that swinging works best when couples view the lifestyle as an enhancement to their existing sexual relationship, rather than as a replacement one that isn’t ‘working’ anymore.

Keep It Fun

Good communication is critical in any attempt at swinging as a couple. There are numerous different forms that swinging may take, and whatever path you take is fine as long as you and your partner are clear about what you are doing and why. Sex is potentially a highly emotional issue, and the pleasures that may be found in swinging can be reached only when both partners put their needs second to their partners. Furthermore, it might be valuable for you to think about whether there are any potential situations that you feel you would be uncomfortable in, and discuss these with your partner.

It’s also important to keep in mind that swinging is primarily a social activity. Therefore, the usual social rituals of meeting people apply, and 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, flirtatiousness, open-mindedness, and most importantly stability in one’s primary relationship.

Finally, it is important for couples to keep in mind that there is no rush in entering the scene. Even if your first attempt is not successful, you can try again after openly working out what it was about the first attempt that didn’t go well. It’s vital that you keep an open mind and understand that your first, or even second, experience is not an indication of how swinging will always be for you. Like having sex for the first time, with some patience and learning, things can only improve over time.

Author's Corner

Alison Cox
43 articles
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Sexuality, sexual issues

I've enjoyed a colourful love and sex life which I share about from time to time on my blog. Other than blogging, I enjoy fitness and well-being. I love dressing up and going to a fun party such as Red Heaven events.

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ChillWithMe
Posted: Feb, 02 2013
@lisalooking, not sure if there are swing clubs catering specifically to BBW, but I'm sure a BBW would be welcome anywhere. Do you need a partner? ;)
lisalooking2
Posted: Jan, 25 2013
is there any swing clubs for bbw in melbourne???
vie2013
Posted: Jan, 08 2013
How do I find a swinging club in Sydney or Melbourne for single guys.
like02
Posted: Nov, 06 2012
Just love it the more the better - its a great night out!
ivannahumpalot
Posted: Sep, 21 2012
Swining is fun!
Piper3690
Posted: Jan, 27 2012
How do I find a swingers club in Mount Isa anybody out there Know?
jh1991
Posted: Jul, 12 2011
im a 20 year old single guy do you have to be in a couple to swing?? because i would love to join the fun!!!
TimidButNaughty
Posted: Jul, 08 2011
I am a single bi female in my late 20's... Although I've been I involved in 3somes I am very keen to attend swingers party's where I can be enjoyed in a variety of combinations with a variety of people but am a little unsure how a 'newby' would go about this. As couples, they have the support of their partner to give them courage... As a single female I'm nervous that I will be left sitting by myself in the corner
tancurious6913
Posted: Jul, 05 2010
we are just starting out and have found the lifestyle very enjoyable.we are enjoying meeting new people even if we dont play with them all.it has been a great experience so far and hopefully it continues that way.
Oops_there_it_is
Posted: Mar, 18 2010
We started out with many rules and limitations but soon found out that they go quickly out the window with the right couple. The most important thing for me as a male, is the trust and respect of the other man with my wife. Once I feel comfortable with that, I can relax and enjoy the experience. For us, the best part is... after the party has ended, and we both fantisize about the nights events. We've had brilliant, good....and not so good experiences but would not change any as it's all part of the process of swinging. And we take something away from every experience.

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