Swingers is a term that usually refers to married couples or couples in a committed relationship who engage in consensual non-monogamous (CNM) sex with other consenting couples in clubs, on cruises or at residential swingers parties, to name a few venues.
The New York Times documented the lifestyle in a 7/25/1971, article by Marcia Seligson titled “There are 1,000,000 secret swingers in America today” that starts out: “I always thought ‘group sex’ meant me and another person. Which only goes to show how one can completely miss an American Social Phenomenon that is taking place right under one’s very nose.”
According to psychologytoday.com, swinging “used to be known as ‘wife swapping,’ but of course the wives swapped husbands as well. Swingers are married couples who exchange partners for sexual variety.”
According to Laurie Ellington at poly-coach.com: “Singles and couples, called swingers, engage in different kinds of sexual sharing or swapping with each other. The degree of intimacy and sexual involvement differs with every encounter and is determined by clear boundaries and agreements with all parties. Swinging can be a great way to enhance sexual energy and connection in any relationship. As with any form of ethical non-monogamy, open honest communication is essential.”
The sourced articles below provide more information on swinging and swingers.
- Swinging Vs. Polyamory
“In swinging, the default dynamic is a primary relationship of one couple. As opposed to cheating, the partners are honest and open with each other about their sexual relationships with others. Sex with other people is typically an activity couples engage in together. This means that they go to online swinger dating sites or to swinger parties or clubs, where they meet potential partners together. There are various approaches to swinging and most couples make their preferences public on dating sites, to make sure they only attract other like-minded people. Couples will define, in advance, the level of sexual intimacy with which they are comfortable.
Male swingers are typically heterosexual (at least outwardly), while bisexuality among women is common.”
Astrid Daley-Douglas and Claire De Haven, together.guide, accessed on 9/24/2018 (Broken link removed 12/2022)
- The Difference Between Open Relationships, Polyamory And Swinging
“Swinging is a form of social sex. Singles and couples, called swingers, engage in different kinds of sexual sharing or swapping with each other. The degree of intimacy and sexual involvement differs with every encounter and is determined by clear boundaries and agreements with all parties. Swinging can be a great way to enhance sexual energy and connection in any relationship. As with any form of ethical non-monogamy, open honest communication is essential.”
Laurie Ellington, poly-coach.com, accessed on 9/24/2018
- The Swingin’ Set
“Indeed, swinging often sounds more fun than it is. Ads for swing clubs often depict extremely sexy women and handsome men, but try going to a nude beach someday. Take a look around. Those are the types of bodies you are most likely to encounter at a swing party. Personals advertising swinging couples often beg for single men to stay away because many more men are interested in swinging than women.”
Brian Alexander, nbcnews.com, 7/22/2018
- Do Swingers Self-Identify As Swingers When Attending STI Services For Testing? A Cross-Sectional Study.
About half of STI clinic attending swingers whose sexual behaviour agrees with the definition of swinging are neutral/do not identify themselves to be a swinger. As many STI clinics internationally not specifically ask clients about their swinging behaviour, swingers may be a missed target population in care. Implementation of routine questions addressing behaviour (thus not only asking whether someone is a swinger) in STI clinics is feasible and facilitated by swingers’ positive norm towards STI prevention and testing. Implementing routine swinger questions contribute to effective STI services including appropriate testing, counselling and partner notification.”
Spauwen LWL, Niekamp AM, Hoebe CJPA, Dukers-Muijrers NHTM, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, 1/30/2018
- What It’s Like To Be A Swinger Who Has Sex With Multiple Partners
“There are three different types:
[1.] Soft swinging: They exchange partners, but couples remain in the same room. Not acceptable penetration. It is instead touching, kissing and even oral sex.
[2.] Closed swinging: They exchange partners, but the newly formed couples have sex in different rooms.
[3.] Open swinging: They change partners and have sex in the same room. Most often in group sex, resulting in an orgy.”
Mike Hatcher, yourtango.com, 10/20/2017
- Can Shy Couples Be Swingers Too?
“Being shy, however, does not mean that you cannot fully indulge in the swinging experience; with a little guidance and practice, you’ll find your groove and be well on your way to making new connections, cultivating lasting friendships and igniting the sexual spark with other couples in the Lifestyle.”
Dr. Jess, PhD, sexwithdrjess.com, 8/18/2017
- What Is Swinging?
“Single people can be swingers, but the large majority of swingers are couples. Most swingers are mid-30s to mid-50s, college educated, and have been married 11-20 years, or in a relationship for 10+ years … That being said, an increasing number of young people are exploring the lifestyle now too. This is quickly changing ill-perceived views of swingers being older married couples.”
Layla, curiouspassions.com, 5/4/2016
- I Became A Swinger During A 10th-Anniversary Cruise With My Husband
“Before the trip, I thought swingers were people who would have sex with any random person. But those we’ve met want the same thing that we want: friendship with like-minded couples, and if we happen to have fun in sexual ways from time to time, that’s a bonus.”
As Told To Rachel Kramer Busse, elle.com, 4/27/2016