No, this isn’t childs’ play but it has been known to bring on a few giggles and quite a lot of fun. Swinging is the practice of enjoying sexuality as a couple, with other couples. It is certainly outside of the box for most stable couples, some will even call it morally depraved, but it is not a loose and fancy-free occurrence. Swinging is actually a lifestyle with a definite order and set of rules that dare not be broken if a couple is to be included in the circle.
Photo courtesy of Arashi Young
Swinging, also called partner swapping, is actually considered one of the more conservative alleys of expression for open relationships. It allows couples to have some level of sexual outlet outside of their relationship, without wondering too far or doing it deceitfully. The basic unit of participation is a couple, so being part of an existing duo is essential to being part of the club. In other words, singles do not participate; this would constitute an open sexual club other than swinging.
It is usually a very discreet way of life, that continues over time with a specific set of couples. This could mean just two couples or more and it can include a wide range of boundaries between couples and within them.
It is important to understand that swinging is not meant to be a sexual episode but a lifestyle for couples who create trust between them in a similar way that individuals do. In order to do so, groups or clubs are formed, so stability and privacy can be expected. The world of swinging, very much like many other sexual and erotic lifestyle, has been greatly served by the internet, which has allowed practitioners to locate each other with ease, something that needed to be done by discreet word of mouth before online communication existed.
There are various acknowledged styles of swinging, which allow for different levels of sexual exposure and availability. A group could stick to one style or “progress” to more sexual openness, depending on the aims of the participants, and sometimes on the increasing closeness. It is important to remember that more openness between couples introduces issues of jealousy and other natural emotional complications which cannot be ignored.
Soft swingers are the most conservative version of swinging. Couples will engage only among themselves, but they will do it in the presence of other couples. Although there is no contact between couples, this gives participants the sense of being public and being voyeurs. Some people do not consider this “real” swinging.
Swappers are another style whereby they switch between couples and go off into private rooms. Participants may be turned on by the privacy they are given by their partner as well as by the fantasy of what may be happening between their partner and another person.
Open swingers are those that have sex after interchanging between couples, but they purposefully do so in full view. This provides both the sexual variety along with the pleasure or sweet pain of seeing their partner with others or having their partner watch them.
Although groups and swinging couples tend to keep private and therefore information on the phenomenon of swinging is difficult to come by, anecdotal information suggests that singing is more popular among veteran couples and members tend to be in their 40′s and 50′s.
It is common for swingers to explore their sexuality with members of their own sex. This usually happens between women while the men watch. Male-on-male sex is unusual, teaching us that the openness does not swing both ways.