Swinging couples are seen as “people who are afraid of commitment” or “couples in unhappy marriages.” There’s also a stigma surrounding the swinger lifestyle that swingers are sexually reckless and that infections are rampant in the community.
These statements are nothing but false claims. Swinging only works for committed people who seek intimacy in different ways. The sexcapades that swingers indulge in also differ from each couple, so nope, not every couple would go for group orgies and kinky plays.
Whether you’re curious about the practice or you’re planning to actually try swinging, we’re here to help. This guide will teach you the ins and outs of this practice, debunk the myths surrounding it, and share the common ground rules that swinging couples establish when starting this setup.
What is Swinging?
Swinging is an ethical sexual practice wherein committed couples have sex with other people, usually with other people’s partners. This practice may involve swapping partners, having sex with someone while their partner is watching, threesomes, and group sex.
It’s different from open relationships and polyamory as swingers don’t usually have romantic or long-term relationships with their swinger partners. Some couples even have a “no-repeat” rule in which they can only have one erotic session with a particular person.
There are two types of swinging, first is the soft swap, on which a person only performs non-penetrative acts to someone, such as kissing, dry humping, oral sex, and the like. It may also refer to sensual acts that can only happen online; the person may sext, video call, or send nudes to their virtual swinger, but they can’t meet up with them.
The second type of swinging is a full swap, wherein the person is allowed to go “all the way” or penetrative sex. Depending on the agreed setup, the person may allow someone else to vaginally or anally penetrate them.
Myths & Facts About Swinging
Swinging is often mentioned alongside polyamory and open relationships. However, it has a bad rep compared to the other mentioned setups due to its overtly sexual nature. There are also tons of misconceptions surrounding this practice, all of which we will be debunking in this section.
1Myth: “Sexually transmitted infections are rampant in the swinging lifestyle.”
One of the common misconceptions about swinging for couples is that the participants are “sexually reckless.” Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are also a common concern for anyone trying this setup. But the thing is, most swingers strictly adhere to safe sex practices, such as the following:
- All parties must provide negative STI tests before the meetup or sex party
- All parties must use applicable contraceptives in every sensual session
- Excessive alcohol use or drug use is strictly prohibited
Aside from following safe sex practices, swingers tend to communicate more about their desires, expectations, and boundaries in the bedroom. They also know more about sexual wellness and sexual health since it’s essential to have a happy and healthy swinging lifestyle.
2Myth: “Women engage in swinging to please their partners.”
Most people think of swinging as something that a guy would enjoy more and that the women in this setup usually “go with the flow” for their partners.
However, this notion is incorrect and also subtly sexist. How so? Well, it implies that women can’t engage in unconventional sexual setups and that they’re not as horny as their male partners. That could not be further from the truth. In fact, some women initiate the swinging lifestyle to their partners.
Also, swinging sex clubs have a zero-tolerance policy for harassment, so there would be repercussions for anyone who’ll be forcing their partners upon this lifestyle.
3Myth: “All swingers engage in kinky plays.”
If you’re a Netflix binge-watcher, you’ve probably heard about Sex/Life, an erotic drama that focuses on a suburban wife and mother, reminiscing her wild past through her diary, which will take her to unique, sensual, and questionable paths.
If you’re planning to watch this show, skip this part as spoiler alert: She and her husband will join a swinging party. The depiction of this swinging party is full-on kinky; the mansion is filled with neon lights, latex outfits, and a lot of BDSM equipment. If you have never heard of swinging before, then you might think that this is what swinging is all about— pure, unadulterated, bondage sex.
However, the sex party on the episode is simply an audacious depiction of the swinger lifestyle and doesn’t realistically reflect the practice as a whole.
Yes, there are swinger parties and events that lean on the kinkier side, but there are also parties and couples who prefer vanilla (traditional) plays. If you’re someone who just doesn’t like whips-and-stones, there is no need to force yourself to go through bondage sex. Simply find the right people that’ll perfectly satisfy your own and your partner’s desires.
4Myth: “Swinging is an excuse to cheat on your partner.”
Another reason why most people are skeptical about the swinger lifestyle is that it’s seen as “cheating with a few extra steps.”
That’s not the case, though, as cheating involves being unfaithful and dishonest to your partner by secretly having a romantic or sexual relationship with someone outside of the relationship. It’s one-sided; the other person gets to have their salacious deeds, while their significant other has no clue what’s going on.
On the other hand, swinging is consensual; both parties have agreed upon the setup. There’s also a lot of transparency between swinging couples instead of someone cheating on a relationship.
5Myth: “All swingers are bisexuals.”
Since swinging is perceived as synonymous with group sex and threesome, people assume that all swingers are open to having sex with both genders.
However, some swingers simply don’t go both ways. If a threesome is part of their swinging setup, they prefer having sexual acts with their partner only and/or watching their partners doing the deed with the swinger partner or unicorn.
If you’re planning to try this arrangement and aren’t interested in being sexual with the same sex, remember that it’s okay to stay on your preferred lane. Just communicate with your partner on that so you can iron out the arrangement before starting the lifestyle.
6Myth: “Swingers will have sex with anyone.”
Just because a couple prefers a non-monogamous relationship, that doesn’t mean they would have sex with anyone whose willing to do the deed. Most swingers have strict guidelines when finding another swinger couple or a unicorn (a bisexual female whose willing to have sex with swingers). This is to ensure that they’ll have a healthy and safe experience.
7Myth: “Swinging couples are unhappy with their relationships.”
People who only have a surface-level understanding of swinging think that couples only do it to “save” their terrible marriage or relationship. This notion is nothing but a false claim. Couples who successfully engage in this setup must have a strong bond and trust in one another. There’s a lot of communication and emotional check-ins, which strengthens the relationship even more.
This is why for couples who want to engage in this setup as a last-ditch effort for their relationship, don’t do it. It will bring more harm than good in the relationship, as you don’t have the solid foundation that the swinger lifestyle requires.
8Myth: “Swinging couples are usually in their forties.”
Another common misconception about the swinging community is that it comprises old people trying to “reignite the sexual flame.” However, swingers come in different ages and backgrounds. Yes, you may stumble upon older couples as you go through the community, but you’ll also find couples who are in their 30s or 20s.
9Myth: “You can identify swingers with garden gnomes or black rings.”
Numerous articles claim that swingers can be identified through certain symbols. For example, a swinger may be wearing a black ring on their right hand, anklet, toe rings, and thumb rings. You can use a couple’s front garden to indicate if they’re swinging or not. If there are white landscaping rocks and pink and purple decorations or garden gnomes, the couple residing in the home are swingers.
There’s also a notion that using pineapples as a door knocker means they’re swinging. Here’s the thing, swingers come with different personalities and styles. Not all swinging couples would be out there decorating their patio with purple and pink decorations.
If you want to meet other swinger couples or unicorns, visit places that most swingers frequent, such as the following: online swinging forums, swinging parties, bars, and clubs, or dating platforms. Finding the right couple for your swap sessions may take some time, but the process is still easier than looking for “secret symbols” on someone’s clothing or home.
10Myth: “Once you start swinging, there’s no going back.”
You may be tired of the process of looking and filtering new partners to swap. Maybe the cost of multiple dates is affecting the budget. Maybe you just want to focus on marriage at this point. Whatever the reason for leaving the swinging lifestyle, remember that you and your partner can always leave this arrangement.
All you need to do is discuss it with your partner. If your partner refuses to end swinging, we recommend seeking the help of a marriage counselor or sex therapist. Work with them to go through the process and figure out how to compromise in this situation.
Rules of Modern Swinging
As you’ve learned the myths and facts about swinging for couples, you probably have an idea now whether or not to try this setup or not. If you’re like, “Nah, this ain’t for me…” then don’t worry, as not all couples would be drawn to this lifestyle. On the other hand, for our readers who plan to try this arrangement, make sure to follow the rules of modern-day swinging below.
1Communicate every aspect of the setup before trying it out.
It may sound cliche at this point, especially if you’ve been reading multiple guides about swinging for couples, but communication is the key to a successful swinging setup. Before trying out swapping with other couples or going on dates with other people, make sure you’re done communicating with the following:
- Giving and obtaining each other’s consent, both of you should be genuinely interested in the swinger lifestyle, and there shouldn’t be coercion or guilt-tripping involved.
- Desires, expectations, and boundaries.
- Preferred type of swap for the first few swinging sessions; are you up for a soft or full swap?
- Preferred setup; do you prefer having sex with another couple in the same room? Do you like doing the deed privately? Are you for a threesome? Is group sex a probability or a hard limit?
- Codeword that you’ll use during a swinging session or public meetup. When you use this term, this means the session would cease immediately or that you’ll need to discuss something privately.
- Specific rules that adhere to your own and your partner’s desires and boundaries in this relationship. For instance, you can establish a “no-repeat rule” that you can’t do the deed with the same swinger ever again or that you’re both not allowed to follow the swinger or unicorn on social media.
- Guidelines when looking for another swinger couple or unicorn.
Aside from communicating thoroughly before starting this arrangement, it’s also essential to have regular check-ins with each other. Set a date wherein you can discuss the relationship.
2Always practice safe sex.
Preparing for a swinging session isn’t just finding the right couple or person to play with but also ensuring that you both have the necessary tools that’ll keep you safe throughout the deed.
This means buying enough stock of contraceptives, finding a trusted sexual health clinic to get your STI tests from, and getting STD vaccines. Never engage in unprotected sex with your swinger partners for good measure. As the saying goes, “no glove, no love!”
3Don’t share stuff about your spouse with your swinger partner.
Remember that your swinger partner is someone to have sex with, not vent with. Don’t share information about your spouse, especially if it involves their performance in the bedroom. If your unicorn or swinger partner asks if they are better than your spouse, just politely decline to answer the question. Having “deep” talks with your swinger may lead to conflict in the long run.
4Respect all parties involved in the deed.
This is an important tip when swinging with couples or with a unicorn. Respect all parties involved. Ask consent for every sexual activity in the session. Don’t also forget to check on them throughout the deed and thank them for their time.
5Joining a swinger club or sex party? Follow their rules.
Being part of a swinger club or sex party is a whole new territory— you’ll have sex with more people, try more sexual activities, and more areas to f*ck around. Along with these fantastic perks come strict rules, such as prohibiting taking photos or videos of the event. Make sure to read and memorize these rules before coming over.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you’ve learned what swinging for couples is, the debunked myths, and its common rules, you’re now almost ready to plan your first swinger adventure. But if some of you still have questions about this sexual practice, no worries, as we’ve answered some of the frequently asked questions below.
1What if my partner broke one of our swinging rules?
This depends on you and your partner. You may want to discuss it and see what has caused the situation. We also recommend setting the possible consequences if someone breaks one of the rules.
2Can the swinging lifestyle work for people who get easily jealous?
It’s common for swinger couples to feel insecure and jealous in the relationship. However, if you know that you or your partner get easily jealous, you might want to reconsider trying the swinger lifestyle as it can cause multiple conflicts. You or your partner can also see a therapist first to learn how to healthily manage the relationship.
3If we join a sex club or swinger event, do we need to have sex with everyone?
Nope! You can only have sex with someone you’ve given and obtained consent to. If a sex party host forces you to do the deed with someone you’re uncomfortable with, we highly suggest getting out of there as soon as possible.
4I’m a newbie in swinging; Is it normal to feel guilt or shame when engaging in this setup?
Yes, especially on your first swinging sessions. Monogamy has been fully ingrained in our society; we see it as the “proper” relationship. Our culture has also made us believe that you’re betraying your partner for dating other people outside of the relationship, even if it’s consensual.
If you ever feel ashamed that you’re engaging in swinging, just remember that what you’re doing is consensual and ethical; you’ll eventually be able to ignore those negative feelings.
5Do I need to be in a relationship to partake in the swinging lifestyle?
Nope, it’s okay to mingle with swingers if you’re single. You can join group orgies or have threesomes with swinging couples. Remember to establish your own expectations and boundaries to ensure your comfort and safety throughout the deed.
Swinging is often misunderstood due to its “erotic” nature. People see swingers as people who simply can’t commit to one person, but they actually hold a strong bond with their partners. They can share intimate moments with someone else and still be emotionally and physically committed with their spouse or partners. They’re also great communicators and tend to be more sexually responsible due to their unconventional relationship.
We hope you’ve learned a lot about our swinging for couples guide! Click here to check more relationship-related articles.