Swinging: Need for Discretion?

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Swinging and alternative sexual interactions (ie - non-vanilla, non-monogamous sex for recreation) is nothing...
Swinging and alternative sexual interactions (ie - non-vanilla, non-monogamous sex for recreation) is nothing particularly unusual these days. Did you catch the swinging reference in the Steve Carrel flick Date Night recently, for example? Yet, a pervasive theme for most swinging couples is the need for discretion. You only have to go through a handful of profiles on RedHotPie to note that the 'need to be discreet' is still the number one rule of thumb where meeting fellow swingers is concerned. Naturally, no one needs to broadcast their sexual peccadilloes to the world but how important is it for the average couple to keep things on the down-low? Can you be overly paranoid about discretion, and what do you do if your bedroom antics are found out?

Aren't you the guy who fixed our computer?

One of the key reasons people still seem hesitant to post their face shots on sites like RedHotPie, or even sign up on one at all, is the fear of being recognised by people they know. Now, I do get the need for discretion but I always find it amusing that people worry about being spotted by those who are pretty much on the RHP for largely the same reasons. I think this has a lot to do with most people preferring to keep their horizontal life separate to their vertical one. Indeed, it does keep things uncomplicated. I suspect also that some couples actually enjoy appearing benign and boring in their 'normal' world and reserve their wild, sexy persona as a naughty little secret.
For others, having their sexuality speculated on by people who have otherwise only known them as their co-worker, local councillor or barista is plain horrifying. Alternatively, there's also the concern that revealing such a personal and vulnerable side of yourself shoots down any sort of professional or social face you've put up to that person. Rather sad to think that you're potentially viewed as being less of an upstanding citizen or responsible employee just because you enjoy having an extra person or two in the bedroom every now and then. I'd like to think that we've moved beyond that sort of mindframe but I certainly wouldn't knock a couple for wanting to safeguard their lives, especially if they believe their livelihood or family's well being may be negatively affected by narrow-mindedness.
To be fair, nothing should matter more to you than maintaining 'normality', especially where work and family are concerned but it makes sense to simply apply common sense to swinging. Consider how likely it is to meet people on RHP that you know in the real world. Is that likelihood affected by you living in the city or the country? How bad (really) would it be if someone did discover that you dabble in group sex? Weigh up all the risk factors before resorting to clandestine meetings and using false names.

Can you be discreet but still have fun?

Ironically, as much as this article is about discretion, there happens to be a lot of couples playing the game and therefore competition aplenty. You may think that with so many couples online on RHP, your chances of meeting people would be high but you'd be sadly mistaken. Couples are very much driven by visuals first, with written content and other details sealing the deal for a play match. So how can you stand out from the crowd if you don't want to put up photos and rely on one or two cautious sentences to sell yourself?
If discretion is of paramount importance to you then you have to accept that you probably can't be passive players. By this I mean that your profile is unlikely to get hit on purely because it exists. It's going to be up to you to strike up the first conversation. This most often will mean paying some level of membership in order to initiate contact with people, unless you're content to be an online wallflower. If you have the power to approach people, you can describe yourself in better detail via messages and give people access to private galleries. If things don't lead anywhere, then turn off that access and no harm done. If someone bites, you can determine the next level of personal information to provide and take things from there.

How discreet is too discreet?

Fortunately, online dating sites afford people a good amount of anonymity and you can ultimately control the amount of information you provide others. In short, there would have to be a complete freak occurrence for someone to randomly pick you out of thousands of profiles and work out exactly who you are. More often than not, it's error in judgment on the user's side that gives their game away. For example, if you live in a country town with a population of two thousand people, it may be wise to list yourself as residing elsewhere, especially if the majority of your playtime is spent out of your home town anyway.
As I touched on previously, I wouldn't criticise a couple for going to certain lengths to maintain discretion but if it starts to affect your mental health (ie - you're constantly looking over your shoulders) or if your efforts start to work against you in that no one wants to meet you for being too cagey, then you may need to review your strategy. It's all very well to be discreet but is there a fine line between protecting your identity and failing to provide enough of yourself to attract others and to maintain a meaningful friendship if that is what you seek.
Other than a small number of couples who purely seek NSA (no strings attached) play-only arrangements, you'll find that most couples will want to engage in a more social, friendly relationship over time. This means discussing work, lifestyle, family and other things that give people an insight into your personality. Unless you are a high profile couple (celebrity, politician or church leader etc.), most people won't understand your need for Grade A secrecy and may even mistake it for pretentiousness. As such, you should gauge your need for discretion based on the friendships you make; bit by bit. If you're going to constantly worry about whether your new friends' cousin's chiropractor knows the president of your child's P&C, then you should stick to NSA swinging. If your new friends also still only know you by your false names a year on, you could also be taking things a bit too far.

What happens when your 'normal' & swinging worlds collide?

This will happen from time to time. You've left the ladies to sort the details of a drinks date (not unusual given it's the best way to determine that a couple is bona fide). You rock up at the local pub and it's only then you work out that the guy from the other couple is in fact the policeman who gave evidence against you at your hearing for urinating in public. Stranger things have happened. What do you do? You act like civil adults and either agree to enjoy a chat over drinks (whether you consider playing later in spite of the circumstances is up to you all) or decide to call it a night there and then on the understanding that there is an unwritten law of discretion in swinging. It may be tempting to tell your mates that Constable Mean is on an adult dating website but then you'd need to explain to them why *you* know (and don't say you just came upon the information; they'll work it out for themselves). You don't do anything silly because the other party can be just as stupid and before you know it, you'll be known on RHP as the guy who cut a slash in public and what couple is up for meeting classy folk like that? It's a win-win situation to remain quiet. That's just how it is.
On a less dramatic scale, should you come across the parents of your child's classmate or the lady who owns the local beauty salon, don't freak out. It may be embarrassing and uncomfortable initially but it's no less so for the other party. Just be adults about it and move on as if it's cool. You're not doing anything illegal and if the other party are online RHP as well (or at a swingers party etc.) then their definition of what's normal or weird isn't going to differ too much from yours. You're not obliged to play with people you bump into in Swingerland so in the grand scheme of things, it's not that bad is it? I think it's much worse to be caught urinating in public personally.

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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bikelly19
Posted: Oct, 19 2010
Well said tank girl!!!
tank__girl
Posted: Sep, 23 2010
People only talk about you when they're jelous...! Or when you have too much traffic coming and going, and lots of animalistic and machinery type noises coming from your house late at night til all hours of the morning...or those girls that 'have' to bo soooo loud, arrrggghhh..?! That can be hard to keep 'discreet'...hahaa......but what's a girl to do? We're here for a good time not a long time, talk away neighbours :P See if I care, you're just jelous...
tank__girl
Posted: Sep, 23 2010
Although no matter what marital situation you are in, I now think why should it bother you really. As the article says, unless you're a church leader or politician, but still, leave them be? ...they gotta have their fun too! We all love hearing about it once the media pounces onto it! And yeah, the people that might 'spot' you on here, are here doing the exact same thing you are so I wouldn't bother hiding. Before I started dappling in the world to the world of ahhh ' alternative sexual interactions' and heard stories about local people being swingers, I was always rather aroused knowing about their kinky sex lives? ( the people I'm thinking about are people you would want to think about that way..!) I think it'd be the same if I was to bump into an attractive person I knew on rhp. Good for you! I'll probably look at them in a whole new light, and interest...and respect lol
tank__girl
Posted: Sep, 23 2010
I 'came out' to my close friends and family a couple of years ago, so they know, aaaaand if they didn't I can assure you none of my family members would be visting RHP anytime soo, so no biggie there. No biggie for me anytime really, I'm over worrying about what people think of me. I'm bi-sexual, woopdedo, just like half the female population it seems? I'm not some out there sexual deviate around my family and friends or anything, but they all know I'm on RHP too.. I'm always trying to encourage to people to be more open about their sexuality, and ways to explore it. ie.RHP haha.. When people do 'find out' these things what do they do anyway? "oh yeah" Talk about you for a day or so, then forget about it.
tank__girl
Posted: Sep, 23 2010
Well, whoever it is, I wanted to say thanks for the chuckles. And, you'll be very pleased to know that today, I 'exposed' my identity to the world... after about 6 or 7 years on and off RHP, through pregnancy, marriage breakdown etc.... Today I grew up, and put my face pic on show. Very proud of myself! Just because you inspired me to! No...lol..I did it, just read your article. It was because yeah, I thought what do I care if anyone see's it anyway...? I turned 30 last week, and I want to start being ME :)

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