My first introduction to swinging came in highschool. There is always one person in each group of friends who has the house where everyone likes to hang out. Usually, they are the ones with the lax parents, the cool electronics or a swimming pool. A good friend of mine had a finished basement to himself, and all my friends would gather there on weekends to party. The funny thing was, his parents were usually home, and they were often upstairs partying themselves. We could hear their music and voices floating down and mixing with our own. I asked him about this once, as my parents were in bed long before I even arrived at his place, and he replied in his delicious french accent (he had moved to Connecticut from France only a few years earlier) “Oh, well, they’re swingers.” He could have been joking, as often his sarcasm had trouble crossing cultural boundaries, but because at the time I was so in awe of his super-cool Europianism, I took his word for the truth.
Swinging, or sex with another couple, has become more and more popular throughout the years. This isn’t a total surprise; as divorce rates rise and the economy plunges, couples are taking more risks than ever, and the trend has been gaining more mainstream attention. (Sidenote: while searching for divorce statistics I found this outrageous site called FireYourWife.Com.Their wives probably weren’t into swinging…) Thought of as an antidote for a sex life on the rocks or the solution for an adventurous partner who is feeling unsatisfied, swinging feels safer -and more preferable – than an affair, as it still involves both members of a couple.
Similar to the infamous AshleyMadison.com, a site for affair seeking individuals searching for other married risk takers, there are now copious amounts of swinging sites and networks allowing couples interested in swinging to meet each other, virtually at first and in person if they choose. There are also swinging networks, clubs, and even swinging cruises where the entire boat is full of couples switching partners faster than square dancers, which sounds to me like an STD on water.
Swinging is not for the faint of heart. (If you had a problem sharing blocks as a child, sharing your wife may be a stretch.) Couples looking to spice up a dull sex life may find a venture into swinging more damaging than beneficial as it may arouse feelings of jealousy and worse, of insecurity: “I’ve never heard you make that noise with me before.” While swinging may be a boon for many couples, the majority of the ones who swing without any negative impact must be pretty solid to start; like a new car or an adopted asian baby, swinging is not a band-aid for marital woes.