Since the later decades of the 20th century, the concept of swinging seems to have gained currency. All over the modern press, and especially lifestyle magazines, you can read stories about couples who’ve entered this most fascinating and erotic of worlds, enjoying regular swinging sessions with other like-minded couples *or groups* while committed to a relationship where other people become a regular part of sexual activity.
However, for every story you read where swinging seems to be a successful and enhancing part of a relationship, there is another telling how a relationship was ruined by swinging—from the consequent jealousy that one half of the couple feels, to situations where one of them has left their partner for the other person. [Read: The cuckold fantasy – The fetish and everything about it]
What’s the difference between success and failure?
The difference between making a success of swinging and making a mess of it all comes down to the amount of discussion, consensus, and planning on the subject. Let’s face it: a great deal of trust in each other has to be involved for a couple to take this revolutionary step down the sexual path.
The chances that you both wake up one day, think you want to get into swinging, find the ideal partners the first time, and enjoy the initial occasion of swinging as much as you thought you would are slim, indeed. [Read: How to build trust in a relationship and make it last]
There will be differences of opinion, not only between you and your partner, but also between you as a couple and those you are inviting into your bedroom. There may also be more significant disagreements about how you want to go about things. To ensure that these don’t encroach too much upon the lifestyle you both desire, follow the 10 steps below. If you do, things should be relatively plain sailing.
#1 Swinging makes a poor counselor. The first thing to remember with swinging, is that it is no cure for relationship issues. Many people go into this lifestyle because they feel there is something amiss in there relationship and that a bit of spicing it up will help get it back on track.
Well, NEWSFLASH: that just isn’t the case. Not only is swinging unlikely to help, but in the case of an extant issue, it’s more probable that it will hasten you toward a relationship exit. Swinging should only be undertaken by a couple in a loving relationship, or it just tends to further open the cracks. If there are issues with your relationship, see a guidance counselor, instead. [Check out: How to start swinging with your partner the right way]
#2 Singing from the same hymn sheet. Before you enter into a swinging relationship, make sure you’re both equally interested in the prospect. You really have to be sure about this. Some couples tend to do anything to please their partner—even if they aren’t 100% sold on the idea. If you’re unsure, you must tell your partner and talk it through, or it could cause serious problems with your relationship.
#3 Thinking it through. You might both be sold upon the idea of swinging, and have gotten really excited about it, but can you really do it? Put the idealized image out of your head for a moment, and think about the fact that you’ll be exposing yourself to complete strangers, that you will be experiencing different smells *not bad, necessarily, but different* and that there may be a great deal of fumbling and awkwardness until you all get a little more used to each other. Maybe now it doesn’t sound as great as you first thought. If so, maybe a further sit down and discussion with your partner is needed. [Read: 11 open relationship questions to know if you’re ready to start swinging]
#4 Take it easy. This is a major lifestyle change and not something to be rushed into. The discussion stage should go on for a period of weeks, not just one night, and likewise the approach to the act itself should be approached cautiously. Get your confidence up BEFORE you take the plunge. [Try: The do’s and don’ts of swinging]
#5 Take your pick. There are different types of swinging, which you and your partner have to decide upon. Full swap, soft swap, same room, different room, watching only… the variations are myriad. So, get Googling, do your research, and decide which suits you best.
#6 The perfect choice. Next, decide what kind of partners you want. Some people like the anonymity of free-for-all swinging clubs, whereas some prefer to build a more intimate relationship with one or two couples. Just make sure your choice of partners suits both of you.
#7 Keeping it social. The best way to ruin a swinging session is to have someone turn up who really doesn’t fit the bill. Always try to meet a potential swinging couple first to see if the match is a good one before progressing any further. [Dig in: 10 kinks adventurous couples have to try at least once in their lives]
#8 The ground rules. Between yourselves and also with the other couple you are inviting into the bedroom, you need to decide the ground rules first. Although you are entering a pretty open and no-holds-barred lifestyle, there may still be some things that you’d prefer to keep for each other, and these should be decided upon first so that no one gets hurt. It is quite common in swinging, for instance, for there to be a no kissing rule, as kissing is generally seen as something intimate and loving rather than sexual. [Read: Threesome rules – 20 things you need to be clear about before bringing someone else to bed]
#9 The “nays” have it. Throughout all stages of your progression down the swinging lifestyle path, it is important that you agree to and maintain a veto option. Essentially, should one of you have any second thoughts at any stage, you should be able to express that in a way which your partner will listen and respond to, maturely and without question.
#10 Secret code. It’s really helpful in a swinging situation to have a secret code that only you and your partner understand. Hand signals or key words could do the job equally well, and might range from a “let’s get out of here!” to a “let’s stay!” The details, dear swingers, are up to you.
[Read next: The complete couples guide to swapping partners with another couple]
Swinging is a great lifestyle to get involved in, as long as both you and your partner are equally interested and as long as you both understand the rules. Just remember: swinging is a joint pursuit, not a replacement for something you already have.
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