Swinging Good or Bad?

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The following are thoughs from others;


(1) Moe from Raymond, New Hampshire asks:

Why do you promote sexual freedom when you tell someone it’s okay to have sex with different guys? I am no prude, but all I seem to meet are woman in their 40's and 50's who just want to have different partners. What's wrong with a long-term thing and never mind the things you can pick up from sleeping with a lot of different people? Come on!

You're wrong to promote this and I will tell you even at my age I love sex but I hold back a lot as I have some morals that you do not. With all the diseases out there, you are who you slept with last. Even you should know that.

Susan Dewey, Ph.D. Response:

Your inquiry is deeply embedded with ignorance and fear, the elder brothers of hatred. What you can't understand terrifies you and I'm afraid any answer I give will only serve to frighten you all the more. Your observations on sexual health and safety are flawed by the erroneous assumption that promiscuous or adventurous sexual behavior is the primary cause of venereal disease when the facts prove the contrary is actually true.

In cultures known to indulge in open sexual behavior,the U.S. is one of them, the incidences of STD transmission is far lower than in places which are highly traditional with moral focus placed on assumptions of monogamy. In other words, the more promiscuous a culture, the less risk of STDs overall. Now this might seem counter-intuitive until you stop to think that the real cause of rampant STDs is not sex but ignorance. In cultures where STDs are an epidemic, various religious organizations prevent sex education and block the use of condoms.

It is ignorance that puts us all in danger and intolerance that is the enemy. One can even make the mathematical argument that according to the laws of probability, a person is less likely to acquire an STD in a group made up of many promiscuous women than they are in a group where only a few females are promiscuous overall. Indeed in groups who practice open sexuality, be it in clubs or private playrooms, safe sex is almost always a mandate. The same can unfortunately not be said of those in the mainstream who naively cling to the belief that their serial monogamy is always safe.

As for me, I have never advocated people to ignore the risks that sex of any kind poses and any encouragement of sexual liberalism I ever make is done with insistence of taking full responsibility for that action, and that includes using birth control and putting on a condom and test often.

But you aren't really concerned with HIV or potential fluid risks, are you, Moe? What you are is a bitter, angry man, who sees unrestricted female exploration of sex as a risk to your archaic notion of male dominant culture. Female sexuality scares the hell out of you. It always has, and so you struggle to control it. Don't worry. There are plenty of lawmakers and theological leaders out there who feel the same way you do.

You look around at these women making love and making choices and it drives you crazy because you'd rather they tow the line you draw and have to shackle themselves to a man who will pay the bills in exchange for sex, just like in the good old days.

Moe, if you can't find a woman in her 40's or 50's who wants a relationship then I don't know what universe you live in. What you need to figure out is why women don’t want a relationship with you. Then consider that just maybe the answer lies in what you really think women are, and what you really want from them. You telegraph ill intentions and a twisted need to control. Go forth, and change. Or don't. I suspect you will chose the latter.

Susan Dewey, Ph.D.


(2) She noticed that I was considerably happier than I had been in previous years, and seemed to have a lust for life (she was stuck in her marriage with kids & bills, yep in a rut).

We have been friends since our high school days, I was visiting her with my partner out east. After a few days, I told her and her husband what my partner and I were doing. At first, she had lots of questions (Aren’t you worried about disease? Are you worried one of you will find someone else you love even more and end up splitting up? etc.). Even after answering her questions and telling her some of our stories, she still wasn’t comfortable with our activities.

We were very surprised that she reacted somewhat negatively. She was a very open-minded person. She came, as a child from a similar (very conservative) religious background as did we, but when she became a flight attendant, she behaved wildly (making up for lost time?). She lived with her boyfriend before they got married. We suspected that she still took advantage of opportunities while working / traveling even though she was now married & with children. But she had a hard time dealing with the news.

We’ve since learned that many people, even if they seem to be open minded and actually have multiple sex partners, have difficulty with the idea of swinging. Even if they live in a lousy marriage, many tend to have a closed mind and won’t even consider the possibility.

My partner thinks it’s because people have a romantic notion about marriage, and there’s a lot of underlying religious issues also. He finds it interesting that most people will be titillated by stories of affairs, wishing they could have fun on the side as well (many do), but also wrapped up in the drama of the cheating and lying. So, if many people are willing to consider having an affair, or look the other way or are empathetic to friends who have affairs, why wouldn’t they be open to a healthier situation—where there is no lying or cheating, where both people participate and support each other, and get to have the benefits of an expanded pool of lovers?

Maybe some of the resistance has to do with an old notion of swinging. Some of the “vanilla” (I hate that word when describing people) (the people who aren’t participating in the lifestyle) think of orgies with strangers when they think of swinging.

While this may be true for some (the more hardcore and seasoned swingers), it is certainly not necessarily true for the newer couples or single females. Most of the people that we truly know in the lifestyle are very cautious courteous and respectful as well as some even have a few restrictions or rules that guide their play.

Some that swing are only voyeurs or only engage in female / female play (the guys may watch, and then play with their own spouse at the end). A few will soft swap (stay with their own partner, but have sex next to another couple and watch each other have sex), in some cases allowing some touch between the couples or even oral sex. Others will full swap (switch partners), either with one other couple or twenty other couples some enjoy more than two couples on the same bed. Some may be into fetish or extreme activities. Most all couples that have been into swinging for any amount of time are respectful of other people’s boundaries (although they may not be interested in playing with others who prefer a different level of intensity or like different ways of playing).

As a result of this spectrum from soft to hard, and the many variations of play, there is often tremendous diversity in a crowd of swingers. Some need to socialize many times with another couple, the stars need to align, and magic happen at just the right moment before they are willing to submit to an intimate encounter. Others are ready to play the moment you ask. We are usually comfortable with someone (single female) or a couple the first time.

Some people have written in online Lifestyle forums that they wish the world would be more accepting of alternative Lifestyles, and want to follow the homosexual community’s example of being proactive to reduce society’s barriers. Others think that part of the excitement of the Lifestyle is that it is considered taboo by society, making what we do special and distinct from what most people consider normal and proper.

What bothers us is that most people truly don’t understand how liberating the Lifestyle is, how much it has helped so many grow and improve ones self confidence. We know many that are having much more fun now that they have gotten many new friends who are willing to share their knowledge and talents to make sex even better than it was before. Some things improve with age, and maturity certainly helps one enjoy sex much more (if one can only decide to climb up out of the rut and experiment).

The greatest paradox of all, it has made many have much more love for their partner and have it been so much stronger than it was before!

I look everyday at my many (vanilla) friends and people at work who live miserable lives because they won’t even allow for the possibility (for them, the world is still flat, and the earth is at the center of the universe).

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