I used to think that swinging meant getting together with one other couple; but today I discovered that the swinging lifestyle is a whole lot wilder than that. I came across an article titled “How Swinging Made My Marriage Stronger” on the elle.com website. It seems to be an “as told by” article so it’s anybody’s guess if it’s a true story or something that’s been made up. But it was certainly an interesting read.
Did I come away from the article intrigued by the swinging lifestyle and wanting to try it out to see if it can make my marriage stronger? No, I did not come away feeling any curiosity to discover if my marriage could be strengthened by seeking out a swingers club. The lifestyle as described is not for me. Certainly not at this point in my individual life and not at this point in my marriage. And I don’t know that it would ever have been a lifestyle in which I would have been tempted to indulge at any point in my life or the life of my marriage.
But maybe swinging can make your marriage stronger?
According to the wikipedia article on the subject of Swinging, over 4 million people in North America are engaged in “the lifestyle”. The Swinging lifestyle is described as one in which people in a committed relationship “engage in sexual activities with others as a recreational or social activity”. The “others” could be other couples, or single individuals who also participate in the lifestyle.
Wikipedia – The swinger community sometimes refers to itself as “the lifestyle”, or as “the alternative lifestyle”. The term “wife swapping” or “partner swapping” is criticized for not accurately describing the full range of sexual activities in which both singles or couples may engage, which is not limited to conventional sex with a person other than their regular sex partner. Other terms sometimes encountered are wife sharing, partner sharing, wife trading and wife lending, which describe similar concepts, usually in sociological or anthropological research. As these terms have become dated, with women participating as fully in the decision making process as their male partners, the more gender-neutral term “swinging” has gained popularity. (source link)
Basically swinging appears to be more or less a free-for-all with people shucking all the rules about acceptable sexual practices and doing whatever with how many ever number of people they so choose.
In the elle.com article, the swinging couple, given the pseudonyms Claire and Eric, got started in the swinging lifestyle while they were dating. They were in their late 30s. Eric kept asking Claire if she wanted to go to a swingers club. He said it was on his bucket list of things to do before he turned 40. So Claire decided to grant him his wish.
From the article – As it was getting closer to his birthday, I was thinking to myself, I’m going to do this for his birthday. I knew I’d be safe. I knew if I told him I didn’t want to be there, that he’d leave. But I was still petrified. (source link)
Claire would soon enough get over her fears. According to the article she and Eric participated in the lifestyle for 3 years. And she says the experience brought her and Eric closer than anybody can be. She writes “There’s a level of trust between the two of us now. You can’t do something like that and not trust each other.”
Rate of divorce lower for swingers?
You’ll find at least a handful of articles on the internet in which it is suggested that the divorce rate is lower for swingers. Reading some of these articles you might be tempted to wonder if swinging really might be a legitimate way to make your marriage stronger.
But for every article you’ll find suggesting that swinging can make your marriage stronger and inoculate you from divorce, you’ll find an article that refutes the claim that rates of divorce are lower for swingers.
Advocates of the swinging lifestyle swear it’s all kinds of awesome. You get to have wild sexual encounters with lots of different people with your spouse’s consent and participation. Your marriage is open and free of all the jealousies and possessiveness that plague monogamous relationships. You and your spouse have the highest level of trust between you. Your relationship with each other is enhanced in numerous ways. You are both generally happy because you are kept so thoroughly fulfilled sexually by your swinging activities. With all of your sexual needs being met and then some, there is nothing for you to go home to bicker about. You’re too well-contented. You’re too positively energized. You’re just too darn happy from having so much great sex to be concerned about the little things that drive sexually dysfunctional monogamous couples to wanting to kill each other.
With all these suggested benefits to enjoy why aren’t you and your spouse swinging?
Swinging has to be something you’re into or at least something that you’re not opposed on principle to trying. If you wouldn’t be comfortable walking into a club where there are naked people publicly performing sexual acts on each other, this might not be the lifestyle for you. To hear Claire tell it in the elle.com article:
There was a sign before you walk through the door saying that if you’re offended by public displays of nudity or sexuality, do not enter. But we went in and it was a really nice club. There was a big dance club, a big bar, and a huge buffet set up. It was clean. It wasn’t icky at all, and the food was delicious.
We sat down at the bar and we ordered drinks. I had to go to the bathroom and there was a naked woman standing in the bathroom fixing her hair. In the bar section, people were dancing more suggestively than they might in a regular club, but nothing crazy. That first night we came in there were two guys sitting at the bar and there were two girls giving them blowjobs as we walked in. (source link)
This will sound exciting to some people. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with finding the idea of something erotic. People get turned on by many things, some construed by others to be strange. But just because you are aroused to hear about or read about something doesn’t mean that you will be comfortable trying it yourself or that you should try it just because you feel curious.
In the elle.com article, Claire manages to make trying swinging sound as casual as trying out the latest fashion trend.
Claire writes: A girl would walk past me, and as heterosexual as I am, she’d say, “Man, you’re beautiful” and lean over and give me this hot kiss. And I’d be like, “This is the coolest thing ever—this girl thinks I’m good-looking!” Of course Eric liked that too. (source link)
But then there’s the back area of the club that she talks about where she says anything goes. It gives you a clearer idea of what the swinging lifestyle is all about. Up front there’s all this innocuous dirty dancing and smiling and sampling good food and getting hot kisses from girls. Okay so there are also guys sitting at the bar getting blow jobs; but you can hardly liken the environment to Sodom and Gomorrah.
In the back, however, things get a little bit more hardcore.
Claire writes: To go in the back area of the club you either have to be naked or wearing just a towel or girls can wear lingerie. Pretty much anything goes back there. There’s a pool, there are hot tubs, there are private rooms if you want to go in. Then there are beds right out in the open area.
The first time [in the back room] was very shocking to me. People were doing pretty much anything you can think of. Two people together, five girls together, it was just a free-for-all. (source link)
So it would seem a swingers club is a place where you can go to have sex out in the open with your partner and or multiple other people while there are other people all around you having sex with their partner and/or multiple other people in beds, hot tubs, pools, nearby rooms and what not.
It’s suggested that engaging in this lifestyle can help to make your marriage stronger by building a high level of trust between you, while keeping your sex life lively and exciting.
But if having sex in public with multiple people while other people are having sex with multiple other people all around you doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, then the club swinging lifestyle might not be something you’ll want to consider trying even for the suggested benefit of strengthening your marriage. There are plenty of other things you can do to make your marriage stronger.