Swinging is not something that is often talked about or represented in today’s media being a non-monogamous lifestyle that isn’t fully accepted in society. Because of that, without research, few people understand the practice. Here is some information about the lifestyle, and some tips on finding out if it is right for you.

What is it?

Swingers can be in a relationship or single. Swinger partners tend to be dedicated to one another, but ‘share’ their partners in a manner agreed upon by everyone in the relationship, often sexual. Sometimes this means partner swapping, sometimes this means group sex, and sometimes this can mean one partner is allowed to see other people to fill gaps the other feels they cannot fill. People in open relationships like this, or people who are involved with people in those relationships are called swingers.

Isn’t that Polyamory?

No, though that is an understandable mistake seeing they are both non-monogamous and aren’t always mutually exclusive. Polyamorous relationships involve more than two people, and each person someone in a polyamorous relationship is involved with loves the others equally. Swingers often have one person that they are dating, and see other people on the side of that main relationship. Polyamorous people are both romantically and sexually free, while swingers are interested romantically in their partner, while also sexually free. Someone can be both, but they are indeed two very different things.

Why Swing?

Swingers are involved in this lifestyle for many reasons. Sometimes, they simply enjoy having sex with multiple people. For others, it can be that one person in a relationship can’t offer the other something that is desired, and they want to give their partner the opportunity to find that. As an example, someone may be pregnant and unable or unwilling to have sex for some time, so they allow their partner to see other people for a while. Cases vary.

Can it Work?

A swinging relationship can absolutely work, and can be extremely healthy, but you must do it right. As for any kind relationship, communication is key, but it is particularly true when it comes to any kind of open relationship. Talk it out with your partners, discuss what is OK and what isn’t, and write down some rules. These rules can be very different from relationship to relationship, so make sure you discuss this in depth and find what is best for the everyone. You need to discuss this you’re your main partner, as well as anyone you swing with, not just one or the other. Remember to keep talking after this initial chat, especially if this is the first relationship like this for either of you, you may find down the road some things that don’t work, which is OK.

Consent is also essential. Remember, if you’re partner is not on board with you being with someone else, you are cheating, and if you are being sexual with someone who does not want that, you are molesting or raping them.

I Think This is for Me.

Excellent! There are many ways you can start exploring this new lifestyle. Remember, if you are in an established relationship, talk to your partner and get their consent before seeing other people. When you want to start finding others that are interested in this, there are many resources at your disposal, including this list of best dating sites for swingers.
Remember; have fun, but keep it safe and consensual.

Author's Bio: 

Shawn Yale, freelance writer and LGBTQIA Advocate.
I try to be a voice for the voiceless in the community. I have been writing for over a decade on topics related to the successes, suppression, and insecurities faced by our community. I believe through story telling, sharing successes, and finding commonality through the many aspects of the human experience we will change the world or at least make it better.