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Swinging 101: What Is Swinging, Anyway? (NSFW)

    We've talked about polyswinging, polyamory and even a story by Life on the Swingset's Technogeisha on swinging. Time to delve into the mysterious world of swinging, people. We've talked about Polyamory in the past, but now it's time for some good ol' fashion swinging! What's the difference? Save that for another article. For now, lets just define the term. GetLusty's Jason Estrada reports.

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    What is it?

    Swinging is a non-monogamous relationship in which committed partners have recreational sex with others. Some swingers would even call it a social activity. Some couples have bridge night, some swap out their partner for a complete stranger.

    Nobody can really say when it all started, but swinging started to spread in the '50s when the only way to meet other swingers was through personal ads in the paper. Swinging really became popular during the sexual revolution back in the '60s. With the emergence of the contraceptive pill, an upsurge in sexual activity swept the nation. Another incentive was the discovery of many treatments for sexually transmitted diseases.

    In the past, swinging was known as "wife-swapping", a term criticized for its androcentric tone. Today, swinging is more of a feminist life-style. Woman are in control for most of the swinging community, and is the common rule of swinger clubs.

    Swinging has many different levels for a large variety of personalities and fetishes. A typical couple who is exploring the life-style starts small, inviting one person for a sexual encounter. Many stay at this level. Some don't even want to join in. Often husband just wants to watch his wife enjoy another person, or vice versa.

    Beyond threesomes, swingers will swap with another couple entirely. There are full swaps; when a swapped couple includes intercourse, and there are soft swaps; when the swap action is limited to oral sex. Girl on girl is where the women play, but have no contact with the male partner.

    An article published in USA Today stated that there are about 3 million swingers in the United States while Todd Claxton, the owner of love estimates the there are actually closer to 9 million. For "correct" swinging education and information, you might want to check out the North American Swing Club Association (NASCA).

    Why swing?

    Most couples get into swinging because they're sexually bored and want to spice things up a bit. You learn a lot about your individual sexual interests when you're not confined to "normal" restricted sex.

    Maybe this unique community knows something others don't. A happy couple who can fuck other people without jealousy must have a strong relationship. Probably stronger than the average couple who start bickering in the middle of Ikea because she thought her husband was staring at the cashier's ass. Swinging requires a heightened level of trust, honesty, and commitment that most couples can't achieve. There's nothing wrong with that. If the thought of another woman's hands on your man's body infuriates you, then don't swing.

    For some, standing by and watching someone else ravish the hell out of your partner is deeply satisfying. There's a large fetish community out there of "watchers", people who get turned on by observing their partners in a sexual act with others. There are a plethora of porn sites dedicated to this singular fetish. The swinging community is a great place for bi-curious women and men to explore their uncertain sexuality. Many bi-curious people don't feel comfortable with, or welcome in gay/lesbian communities.

    How to swing

    It might not seem too trivial, right? Just go and have sex with strangers - easy. Well, if you are in a loving and committed relationship, then there's all kinds of things you need to consider. Jealousy is the big issue here. Talk with your partner about some ground rules for each other. Setting limitations is probably the most important concern to cover. Some swingers don't kiss their swinging partner on the mouth - the "Pretty Woman Rule" (it's not really called that). Decide if there are any sexual acts that might be going too far for the other. Sometimes it's nothing sexual, but an emotional act. Like the kissing thing. If you catch your husband chatting on Facebook with the woman from last weekends swap, you might be a tad upset.


    To help build a gab between your regular life and your swinger life, remain anonymous. Many swingers create fake personas for themselves. You don't have to tell those you are swinging with your real name. Hell, you don't have to tell them any name. This will also discourage any emotional attachments to the people you fuck.

    On the web

    This isn't difficult. Nothing is difficult anymore with the internet around. How did we survive without it? Anyway, there are so many websites for the swinger community, it's ridiculous. I already mentioned earlier, where couples can find other couples and/or singles. Here a just a few swinger websites:

    Appropriate behavior

    Alright, lets say that you've decided to try it. Make sure you're doing it right, people. If you find yourself in a swinging situation, remember that your partner is who showed up with, so you better be going home with hime when it's over. Practice logical caution when choosing your sexual partners. Chat with them over the phone, then maybe a casual drink to get to know them, and if you dig 'em, plan an intimate encounter. Don't ask other couples a lot of personal questions. Many couples like to keep their swinging apart from their regular lives. If they don't offer their name or occupation, don't ask. Keep strong communication between yourself and your partner. Stay aware of their comfort level.

    Laides, you are in control when it comes to events, like swinger parties and clubs. No matter what the situation, you have the right to say no. Be sure you are in a safe environment where the other swingers involved are respectful and acknowledge your right to say 'no'.

    My final thought. I'm always coming across articles and comments about men asking how to get their wives into swinging. These guys always sound like they're trying to force their wives into the lifestyle. If you're partner has no interest in swinging, then she/he probably never will. Forcing someone into swinging is one of the best ways to destroy a healthy relationship. Just ask her or him. "Hey, what do ya think about swinging?" That isn't hard, is it? Communicate and respect your partner.

    Jason Estrada is currently working on his master's for creative writing, in the hopes of becoming a very rich screenwriter some day. His other interests include photography, cinematography, and video editing. His favorite book is The Great Gatsby. Favorite movie is either The Crow or When Harry Met Sally - can't decide. And his all time favorite show is Doctor Who.

    When he's not enjoying any of those things, you can find him at home, drinking and smoking way too much while listening to VNV Nation. Connect with him via email at or subscribe via Facebook.
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