Is swinging right for our relationship?
For us personally, I believe the Lifestyle has made our relationship stronger and deeper. For as many reasons as we could name, it is surprising that the least of them is the sex. Yes, swinging has given us great opportunity to improve our own sexual technique. We have learned new ways to please, new things about ourselves that we enjoy and ways to be invigorated by our partner. We deal with the same issues every day that every couple deals with, swingers or not. The lifestyle has given us a positive distraction to some of them, has invigorated our desires for each other and has given us ways to communicate and problem-solve some of the conflicts and issues.
Good communication seems to help everyone keep the Lifestyle in perspective. Talk about what your rules are, where your comfort level is and have an exit strategy. The first time we attended a party, I had a lot of rules. I am a good Southern Baptist and they all began with “thou shall not…” We always suggest you do not change your rules at a swinging function but you can review this and discuss changes any time at home. Our list of rules is much shorter now.
Here are some questions you to ask yourself and your partner with regard to your own relationship and your own individual feelings, before you entertain the prospect of swinging.
You do not know what you do not know, however, I do have some questions as a starting point. Answer these questions honestly and candidly. You are answering these for you, no one else. If you are misleading, it will come back at you later, with a negative impact.
- Do you understand that romantic love and recreational sex are two different things?
- How will you feel when you see your partner obtaining sexual satisfaction with another person?
- Are you doing this to please yourself or to please your partner?
- What fantasies do you have and how would you like to go about fulfilling them? Can you fulfill them together?
- Can you be totally, brutally honest with each other about everything?
- Are you ready to accept an honest answer to your question - even if it's not the answer you wanted or expect to hear?
- Are completely committed to each other?
- Can you be ready to "come to the aid" of your partner or keep your partner's well being and feelings foremost in your thoughts (check on your mate periodically - "Are you OK, Having fun, etc.") during your party experiences?
- Can you stop in the middle of a sexual experience, if your partner really needs you?
- Can you honestly tell your partner you love them after you watch them engage in sexual activities with another person?
- How do you feel about bisexuality for yourself and/or your partner? (There are fewer male bisexuals in swinging than female, but you should discuss the topic, you may surprise yourself.)
If a couple gets caught up in emotions or allows other people to fill in the relational gaps, things will spiral down at an amazing speed. There needs to be constant communication to identify if the Lifestyle is taking up too much time and not giving enough time for couple to develop and enhance their relationship. There maybe times to pull out (no pun) for awhile.
Remember, swinging is recreational sex. All these playmates are just toys you can not buy in a store. Some couples go bowling for fun and recreation. We enjoy sex. What is best about that is, the balls are always the right size and I do not have to wear someone else’s shoes. As with any hobby if you obsess over it, you have a problem.
There are no tangible statistics about the divorce rate of swingers, I once heard 7%, but we do know that swinging couples get divorced over those same things as ‘vertical” couples. People who get into the swinging lifestyle to build up something they do not have or they join for the wrong reasons, will fail.
Bottom line: If a relationship is solid the Lifestyle seems to enhance it. If a relationship is suffering, any kind of stress will complicate things, bring issues to the surface and could bend it to the breaking point. Do not let the swinging lifestyle define who you are as an individual or a couple. One lady told me “we are not swingers; we are a couple who swings.” Couples who have the degree of confidence and complicity to enjoy the lifestyle together are very lucky indeed.
Once you learn that the lifestyle is not all about sexual gratification, when you develop friendships with other couples, you will share memories, laughter and your relationship will grow. Since this topic is brought up time and time again by new couples, let’s hear from some veteran swingers. Give us your story and let others know how you are doing and what your successes are.