When you think of the word swinger, you might hear Mike Myers saying the word in his iconic Austin Powers voice. (“Swinger, baby, yeah!”)
I think a lot of people hear the word and immediately think of the ’60s and ’70s and sex parties, says Daniel Saynt, founder and chief conspirator of The New Society for Wellness (NSFW), a private members club https://hookupdate.net/de/just-cougars-review/ for the adventurous.
But the term “swinger” doesn’t just apply to your kinky uncle Robert who attended a swingers party a half-century ago. Swingers-people in relationships who hook up with other people in relationships-are alive and well today, and the practice of “swinging” might even be more common than you think.
So, who are swingers, exactly?
Swingers are married or coupled individuals who enjoy sexual experiences with other married or coupled individuals, explains Saynt. They may occasionally seek out unicorns (a.k.a. a single, non-coupled person) to add to their lovemaking equation.
Saynt notes that most swingers who attend NSFW play (sex) parties arrive together in a “quad,” so they have no intention of sleeping with other people they meet at the gathering; they brought the other couple they want to have sex with.
Now, there are some couples who go to sex clubs and only have sex with their partner, or who have sex alongside another committed couple. This isn’t quite swinging, and would more likely be defined as group sex or exhibitionism.
Swingers aren’t polyamorous, so they aren’t looking to have multiple romantic partners, Saynt adds. Rather, swingers are typically seeking sex with limited or no strings attached.
How many people are swingers?
It’s tough to know for sure. While we’ve recently seen an increase in studies looking at the prevalence of polyamory and open relationships, there haven’t been too many studies that explore the prevalence of swingers, specifically. However, according to NBC News, between 2 and 10 percent of married couples have done some kind of sexual activity that could be considered swinging.
Are there different types of swingers?
There are a few types of swingers, but the biggest differentiator is between a soft swap’ and full swap,’ Saynt explains. Soft swappers are those who don’t have penetrative sex with others, whereas full swapping includes P-inV/B.
There are a number of reasons why a couple would choose either. Many times, swingers start off as soft swappers and then elevate to full swappers once both partners are comfortable with it, Saynt says. This may take years or happen the first time a couple swings together. Then, of course, there are plenty of couples who never make the transition to full swap.
How do swingers differ from folks in other types of open and polyamorous relationships?
Here’s where it can get a little confusing. Swinging is a specific type of open relationship. Thus, “open relationship” is an umbrella term that describes any relationship where members in the couple sleep with others (with the knowledge and consent of their primary partner).
Swingers often have more rules than folks in other types of open relationships. For example, swinging couples usually aren’t comfortable with their primary partner being sexual without them, explains Saynt. Of course, this is totally okay. Any type of open relationship is fine as long as it’s mutually agreed up by the two partners.
Swingers tend to have a more structured approach to sexual exploration because they have other commitments, such as children. The value they have on their commitments may make them apprehensive to non-shared experiences, Saynt adds. (Of course, people in other forms of open relationships also have children and find ways to make it work.)
The difference between polyamory and swinging is the emotional connection. Poly couples may have one or multiple partners they are committed to loving romantically. The swinger title is usually reserved for couples looking to expand their sexual frontiers, without having to expand their hearts, says Saynt.
Did you know the term “swinger” is actually dated?
It’s a surprisingly dated term and one that really hasn’t gained understanding amongst millennial couples, says Saynt, adding, “There’s not really a replacement term; most younger couples simply describe their relationship more broadly as ‘open.'”
If you and your partner are interested in swinging, you should consider attending a sex party. If you’ve never been to one before and don’t know the etiquette, you can read up on our tips for sex party newbies here!