Swinging Lifestyle 101: Your Complete Guide

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Swinging is practiced by 13 million people in the United States alone, making it much more common than we are led to believe.

Even in today's anything goes age, where different types of sexuality and even polyamory are becoming accepted, most swingers prefer to keep it quiet.

Swinging is one type of non-monogamy. It usually involves a couple engaging in sexual acts with another person or couple.

Swinging vs. Polyamory

Swinging and polyamory both involve non-monogamy,  but there is one very large difference between the two.

Polyamorists are usually free to develop romantic attachments with people other than their primary partner.

Swingers may have friend-type relationships with people that they have sex with, but they don't get romantically involved with anyone other than their primary partner.

Polyamory:

Can develop romantic relationships with others, depending on the agreement of the primary partners.

Swingers:

The primary relationship remains the focus for the couple, and romantic attachments are against the rules.

The primary relationship is the focus. Any other relationship is viewed as secondary and shouldn't interfere with the primary relationship.

Is Swinging Healthy?

Can swinging actually be good for your relationship? Surprisingly, yes. Swinging can be beneficial for a relationship that is already stable and healthy.

However, it is not a fix for a broken relationship. If your relationship is currently strained or unhappy, I don't recommend swinging until you fix the issues you have.

Swinging can magnify already existing problems as well as create new ones.

If you have a healthy relationship, open and honest communication, and lots of trust, swinging may be for you.

Benefits of Swinging

Swinging comes with lots of potential benefits to your relationship.

These include:

  • Better sex with your partner
  • Fulfilling sexual fantasies
  • Enhanced intimacy with partner
  • Meeting sexual needs

Swinging can actually improve sex with your partner. Sex with the same person can get boring.

Having multiple sex partners allows you to keep your sex with your partner fresh and exciting.

It also allows you to fulfill your sexual fantasies. Many people fantasize about having sex with their partner and another person. Swinging allows you to fulfill this fantasy.

Swinging can also increase your emotional intimacy with your partner. Swinging is seen as a shared experience, so it can be a unique way to bond with your partner.

Lastly, everyone has different sexual preferences, talents, and needs. Generally most of these match up with someone that you are in a long term relationship with.

However, there will still be things that one of you like that the other doesn't. Having other sexual partners can allow you to fill sexual needs that your partner can't or won't fill.

Types of Swingers

Swinging encompasses several different sexual practices. While the methods vary, the principles remain the same. The primary relationship is always the priority, and any rules that were agreed upon must be followed.

Soft Swinging

Soft swinging is having sex in the presence of another couple. Generally both couples will have sex, but be within view of the other couple.

This is a good way to test the waters, and can add more sexual excitement to your sex life without actually engaging in sexual activities with someone else.

Swinger Types:

  • Soft swinging
  • Partner swapping
  • Threesomes/orgies
  • Cuckholding

Voyeurism, either watching or being watched, is a big turn on for many people. You can learn from each other, which also helps to spice up long term relationships.

Partner Swapping

This is what is usually thought of as swinging. This is when two swinging couples swap partners.

They may have sex once, or it may become a regular occurrence. This often leads to friends with benefits type relationships, with the couples being good friends as well as sex partners.

Threesomes/Orgies

This is when a couple engages in sex with one or more people. Unlike soft swinging, sexual acts occur between multiple people participating.

Cuckholding

Cuckholding is when one partner (usually the husband) watches the other partner (usually the wife), have sex with someone else.

The man is called a cuckhold, the woman is called a hotwife, and the man she has sex with is called a bull.

The difference between cuckholding and threesomes is that the husband only watches or possibly masturbates, instead of joining in.

Cuckholding can also occur when the woman has sex and then tells her husband the details of her encounter.

Beginning the Swinging Lifestyle

If you are interested in the swinging lifestyle, the first thing you should do is talk to your partner.

It's important that you are both ok with the idea, or it will cause damage to your relationship.

Popping The Question

The first step of swinging is to talk about swinging. In most cases, you don't want to just come right out and ask if they'd like to have sex with someone else. At least at first.

One method is to let it be a fantasy. Bring it up in bed. Tell them you think it would be hot to watch them with someone else. If they are into it, get descriptive while you are having sex.

Nearly everyone has some secret fantasies of fucking someone other than their significant other, so starting off with what they could get out of it helps them be accepting of the idea.

Once you are into the fantasy, you can bring up and what if someone else was interested in me?

Conversation Tips:

  • Start with fantasy
  • Make it about their pleasure
  • Don't pressure
  • Consider soft swinging
  • Talk about it for a few weeks

If they get quiet or seem unhappy about the idea, then drop it. Consider coming back to it at another time, depending on how strong their reaction was.

The other method is to mention having sex with others watching. This one can be brought up during sex as well. "I think it would be so hot for someone else to see what you do to me."

If it goes well in fantasy, you can begin talking about making it a reality.

Lastly, you should sit with the idea for a few weeks. Give both your minds time to let the idea sink in, and talk about any concerns you have.

The Rules

Part of talking about swinging is deciding on the rules once you decide to do it.

Remember that the genie can never be put back in the bottle, so if there's something you think you might be uncomfortable with, let it be off limits.

You can always adjust the rules as you become more comfortable and learn what you really like and dislike. The rules are different for every swinging couple.

Some common rules are:

  • No kissing
  • No anal
  • No unprotected sex
  • No penetration ( couples can swap for everything leading up to penetration)
  • No solo communication
  • No meeting one on one

These are some of the common rules people have in the swinging lifestyle. However, it's up to each couple to determine which rules are right for them.

You should also define cheating when you are discussing your rules. Cheating carries with it a sense of betrayal, and it's damaging to the relationship.

Would you consider penetrative sex cheating? Meeting without the other partner and having sex? Performing a sexual act without the partner's consent or knowledge?

Again, the definition of what constitutes cheating will be different for every couple in the lifestyle. It's important for you to decide where your boundaries lie before you go any farther.

Start Slow

If you've never tried the swinging lifestyle before, you'll want to start slow. There are a few ways to do this.

First, you can get a couples massage. This is a slow start, but if you aren't completely sure if the lifestyle is for you it's a good way to begin.

If you are uncomfortable with someone touching you or your partner intimately, then swinging isn't for you. If you enjoy it, then move on to more sexual activities.

Soft swinging is another option. This is when you have sex with your partner with another couple within viewing distance having sex as well.

Lastly, there's soft swinging. Soft swinging involves partner swinging, but not penetrative sex. Exactly what is and isn't on the table is up to each couple.

This is a great way to try swinging without going all the way in. I recommend soft swinging for your first swinging encounter.

See how you both feel afterwards. Talk about the positives and negatives of the experience, and decide if you want to continue.

The Reality of Swinging

If you've never tried swinging or spent time with people in the swinging community, your idea of swinging is likely what you've seen in Hollywood.

However, Hollywood and reality are often very different.

Myth #1: Men are In Charge

One of the biggest misrepresentations is that men are the ones in control, and women are along for the ride.

In fact, it's usually women who have the final say on what and who happens.

Common Misconceptions:

  • Men make the decisions
  • Swingers sleep with strangers
  • Everyone has penetrative sex
  • Anything goes
  • Swinging damages relationships
  • Swinging is a way to fix relationships

Everyone has the power to say no at any time, but final approval often comes from the woman, not the man.

Myth #2: Stranger Sex

Hollywood also enjoys depicting swinging as orgies where everyone is sleeping with everyone else, or just randomly hooking up.

In reality, swingers generally prefer to know their potential partners before they get down and dirty. This can range from an hour of chatting at a party to a few meetings before hand, depending on the couples preferences.

Hollywood vs. Reality

Most swingers aren't turned on by the idea of having sex with nameless strangers.

Myth #3: Everyone Does Full Swap

There's also the myth that everyone is into going all the way. Many couples are comfortable with full on swapping, but many aren't.

There is a great deal of respect within the community. Everyone's limits and rules are discussed before things happen in most situations.

While the heat of the moment can occasionally cause rules to be broken, the community as a whole believes strongly in respecting other's limits.

Myth #4: It Will Ruin/Save Your Relationship

There is a bit of truth to this one. Swinging will magnify whatever is already there, but it will not, in itself, save or ruin your relationship.

 If there are trust issues or jealousy beforehand, these will be big issues.

If your relationship is seriously damaged or on the verge of failure, it will likely split you apart.

However, if you already have a solid relationship and honest communication, it will most likely strengthen these things in your relationship.

Finding Swinging Partners

So you've talked about it and decided that swinging is something you want to try.

There are a few ways to find swinging partners. They can be broken down into two basic categories: meeting in real life and using swingers dating sites.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both, and many couples prefer to use a mix of both methods.

Meeting In Real Life

Meeting other swingers in real life usually requires going to a meeting or swingers party. You may know swingers in your every day life, but it's not usually something people outside of the swingers community know about.

Many cities have nightclubs devoted to the swinger lifestyle, but it may not be obvious that this is the purpose of the club from the name.

The best way to find swingers groups and parties is, ironically, online.

Online Club Lists

Online club lists are websites that list swingers clubs and groups in your local area.

This is a great way to find local swingers and meet in a group setting with no pressure.

Where to Meet Swingers:

  • Swingers clubs
  • Swingers Groups
  • Swingers parties

Where to Find Them:

  • Online Clubs lists

Where to Find Clubs & Groups:

Swing Lifestyle is a website where you can find nightclubs for swingers. If you enjoy the club scene, this is a great way to find swingers in your local area.

Meetup is a site and app that allows you to  create and find meetups for a wide variety of interests, including swinging.

Fetlife is a bdsm social network. It has a large swinging community. You'll find swinging parties and groups listed in the events section.

Rules & Etiquette

When you visit a swingers club or attend a group meeting or party, you will be informed of their rules up front. However, there are some basic rules and etiquette that you should be aware of.

Dress to Impress

Unless there's a specific theme or type of dress specified, you should dress nicely. Many clubs won't allow you in if you are wearing tshirts, jeans, or athletic shoes.

Dress the same way you would for dinner at a nice restaurant and you will fit right in.

No Means No

Basic Rules:

  • Dress to Impress
  • No means No
  • Clean up your messes
  • Bring a gift
  • Seen but not Heard
  • Be aware of the rules

Respect is extremely important at these events. Talk to people. Be friendly. Feel free to proposition them politely. If they say no, you can stay and chat for a bit or move on.

Do not ask again. Do not try to change their mind. No means no in the swinging world.

It's also important not to volunteer your partner for a swap without their consent. If you are interested in doing a full swap, ask your partner before you ask the other couple.

Clean Up Your Messes

Be sure to clean up any messes you make. This includes messes you make during sex. If you break something or spill something, do your best to clean it and let the host or owner know. Offer to pay for the damages.

Bring a Gift

If you are attending a private party, it's polite to bring a gift, particularly if there's no cover charge to get in.

Seen but not Heard

If you are watching a sex act, you are expected to watch quietly. You are free to masturbate if you wish. You should not be a distraction for the couple, however.

If you want to tell them you enjoyed their performance, wait until after they are done and clearly ready for conversation.

Be sure you know which rooms are public and which are private as well. Watching in public rooms is expected, but peeking into private rooms is extremely rude.

Know the Rules

Know the rules for the event you are attending. If they have a website, they will likely be displayed online. If not, speak to someone when you arrive.

Be aware that some events and clubs have rules about couples. Some expect couples to stay together at all times, while others are fine with you going separate ways.

Visiting a Swingers Club

Visiting a swingers club is a great way to meet others in the swinging lifestyle and find play partners. It can be intimidating at first, but it's a worthwhile experience.

Swingers clubs are like traditional nightclubs with a few differences. First, many have stripper poles and even cages for dancing.

Some of them may have bdsm equipment as well. This can include everything from whips to St. Andrew's Crosses.

Lastly, most swingers clubs will have areas for people to have sex. Generally there are public and private areas for people to have sex.

Swingers are generally more outgoing and you can expect to be approached by interested parties. However, you always have the right to say no, and should feel comfortable doing so.

The atmosphere is exciting and open. You are free to do as much or as little as you want.

Swingers Groups

Swingers groups will get together and have meet and greets as well as swingers parties. Many groups stipulate that you must attend a meet and greet before attending a party. Some make exceptions if an established couple brings you in.

Meet and greets are usually held at public venues like restaurants. Swingers parties are usually hosted at someone's home.

It's a more intimate setting and smaller group than a swinger's club, but the same general principles apply.

You can hang out, get to know people, and go as far beyond that as you are comfortable with.

Swingers groups also allow you to meet with many of the same people on a regular basis, which makes it easier to form lasting friendships.

Swingers Resorts/Cruises

If you want an all-out luxury experience, there are swingers resorts and cruises. These are a great way to fully immerse yourself in swinging.

They can also be ideal if you want to give swinging a try, but you aren't sure it's something you want to do on a regular basis.

This method makes it simple to leave swinging as something fun that happened when we went on vacation, instead of a new lifestyle.

Swinging resorts and cruises are much like their more vanilla counterparts.

You'll find the same amenities and activities you would expect to see. However, you'll also find areas for sex, and in many cases clothing is optional on the grounds.

Finding Swingers Online

There are a few ways to meet swingers online. You can join forums and talk with others about the swinging lifestyle. You can also join swinging dating sites.

Swingers Forums

Swingers forums are a great way to meet swingers and learn more about the swinging lifestyle.

If you are new to swinging, they can give you some great advice and answer any questions that you may have.

Swingers Board

Swingers board is a free swingers forum. They have lots of categories for those who are just starting out as well as experienced swinging couples.

It's free to use. The site is supported by ads, but they aren't intrusive and they are relevant to swinging.

In addition to swinging forums, you'll find photos, stories about swinging, and suggested swinger's personal ad sites.

Reddit/R/Swingers

Reddit is known as the frontpage of the internet, and with good reason. It's the fourth most popular website in the U.S.

Reddit has many categories and subreddits, including subreddits for swinging.

You'll find personal stories as well as questions and advice about swinging. In addition, there are lots of resources for those new to the lifestyle. This includes links to podcasts, books, and swinging websites.

In addition to the main subreddit, you'll also find swinging subreddits for pictures, swingers personals, traveling, and a subreddit for verified swingers only.

Swing Lifestyle

Swing Lifestyle is a site for swingers. You'll find lots of resources to help you begin swinging and learn about the lifestyle. It's free to view some things on the site, but you'll need a paid membership to post in the forums.

You'll find a wide variety of categories in the forums, including bdsm, men talk, getting started, and better profiles.

In addition to forums, you can find swingers groups, clubs, parties, articles, and stories.

To sign up as a member, you'll need to create a profile similar to a dating site.

In addition to basic questions, you'll be asked to describe yourself, what you are looking for, and your sexual fantasies.

Premium members can send instant messages, have group video and voice chats, block members, and post photos.

FabSwingers

Fab Swingers is a free swingers forum. You'll find introductions, stories, swingers chat, swingers support, and more.

In addition to forums, Fabswingers has other features including video chat. These features do require you to register, but everything is free. No premium membership required to chat with other swingers.

You can search for swingers and message them, add them to your hotlist, view pics, and find local clubs and meets in your area.

If your looking for a free swinger's site Fabswingers is a great choice.

Free Swingers Dating Sites

Swingers dating sites are a great way to find other swingers in your area. They resemble traditional dating sites, but many of them have special features like couples profile to make finding swinging partners easier.

These free swingers sites allow some communication for free or a free trial. They still offer premium memberships, but you can actually use them for free.

Find Swingers

When you sign up for an account at Find Swingers, you'll be asked questions about what and who you are looking for. You'll also be asked about your swinging and sexual preferences.

You'll write a profile headline, and an About me. Once you've uploaded a photo (you can skip this step), your account is complete.

You'll find everything you need on your homescreen. You'll be presented with matches. You'll see their photo and some profile information. Choose yes or no to move on to the next one.

You can also play hot or not, which works the same way without their profile information being displayed.

You can view photos and videos, chat in forums, browse and add parties and meet up requests, post blog posts, and read articles. You can take part in the site polls as well.

Premium members can message other members, view all photos and videos, and chat in chatrooms.

Messages sent by premium members can always be read by free members. Free members can send and read a limited amount of messages each day.

Love Voodoo

Love Voodoo is a swingers dating site. You'll need to enter your basic information as well as questions about your lifestyle and swinging experience to sign up. You'll need to write about yourself as well.

Once that's completed, you can upload a photo. This isn't required, but uploading a photo gives you a free 7 day premium membership.

Love Voodoo holds regular photo and story contests, so the community is active and engaging.

It also has an extensive list of swingers clubs and parties in your area, which makes it easier to meet other swingers.

Love Voodoo is a simple site that offers you the basics in a fun and flirty atmosphere.

Premium membership is required to communicate with other members, but the free trial means you have nothing to lose by trying it out.

True Swingers

True Swingers is a social network and dating site for swingers. Creating a profile requires only the most basic information.

However, once your account is created you can complete your profile. This is recommended so other swingers know a bit about you, and it helps you show up in search results.

You can meet other members through searches, chatting in the chatroom, joining or creating groups, blogs, and posting in forums. You can post and view photos and videos as well.

Most groups are based on specific interests instead of a location. You can also view events in your area, which is a great way to meet more swingers in real life.

You can message swingers for free on True Swingers, but you are limited to five messages an hour. You will only be able to view limited photos as well.

Premium members have full access to the site and unlimited messaging. In addition to standard upgrade packages, True Swingers offers a lifetime membership for $99.

Spicy Match

You can sign up for Spicy Match with your email address or Facebook account. You'll be required to answer a few basic questions, including your relationship status, experience level, and whether you can host.

You can choose what you are searching for from a wide range of options. Select whether you want a couple and genders of couple or a single.

Then choose the type of interaction you want. Options include hotwife, soft swap, full swap, and more.

You can add more information, including your preferences, appearance, and lifestyle. You can add photos and videos to the site as well.

Similar to Facebook, you'll see your friends activities in your news feed, as well as news from Spicy Match.

You can browse members or conduct advanced searches to find partners. Couples profiles include information about both partners.

You can like profiles, mark them as interesting, and add friends. You can make private notes on profiles as well, which can come in very handy when you are talking to multiple people.

If you like each other's profile, it will show in your matches. You can also validate members that you meet in person.

Another useful feature is the calendar. You can view events in your area, and schedule appointments only visible to you, so you can keep track of your dates.

Spicy Match frequently has contests to encourage participation on the site. The more active you are, the more visibility your profile gets, so it's important to interact with others on the site.

When you sign up for Spicy Match you are given a trial membership that lasts for one month. This gives you access to most features of the site, including messaging.

You can chat in chatrooms, send messages, and video chat with other members. Spicy Match is a great place to start searching for local swingers, with lots of helpful features and a lengthy trial period.

Premium Swinging Sites

Premium swingers dating sites will allow you to create an account for free, but you will need a paid membership to contact other members.

Premium Swingers Sites

Swing Towns

Swing Towns uses a Facebook style interface. Signing up is very quick and requires only basic information. However, profiles aren't very detailed.

You can add friends. Their recent activities will then appear in your news feed. You can post and comment on statuses.

Premium membership is required to message other members. Premium members may email, instant message, or video chat.

Searching for potential partners is a bit different on Swing Towns. You can search for singles, similar to most dating sites. However, you can also search for people interested in threesomes or polyamory.

You'll also find blog posts on poly, dating, swingers, and kink. They have an extensive list of groups which are organized by location, so you can easily find swingers groups near you.

Clubs are listed by location as well. You can read reviews about the clubs as well as general information. You can view and add parties and events as well.

There are forums to get to know other members and ask advice. If all this isn't enough, you'll also find a section for sexy memes. These are a great way to express yourself and flirt with other members.

Swindr

Swindr is an app for swingers. You'll create a profile. You can then browse swingers in your area, or play Spark.

Spark is similar to Tinder, and allows you to swipe yes or no on profiles.

Once you find someone you are interested in, you can send messages and photos in the app. Some features require a VIP membership, which costs $19.99 a month.

It doesn't have the advanced features you can find on dating sites, but it's affordable and easy to use. It's the perfect choice if you want to find new swinging partners on the go.

Swingular

Swingular has a longer sign up process where you'll be asked about your sexual and swinging preferences, and some essay questions about who you are and what your looking for.

It's worth the effort, however, because Swingular offers some unique features.

The search engine has lots of options to help you find exactly what you are looking for, and the profiles are detailed. This helps save time because you can see if you are compatible with someone before you begin chatting.

You can also post booty calls or meet requests. Booty calls are for spur of the moment encounters, and will expire after four hours. You can use them to find someone to hookup with tonight.

The meetup feature allows you to request a partner for a future date or event. Post anything from a swingers party to a Saturday night date night.

There's a travel planner as well, so you can meet swingers from other areas. This makes it easy to have sexy fun for your next vacation scheduled before you leave the house.

Swingular has an extensive list of swinger's clubs and parties as well. It's a great way to meet lots of people in the swinging lifestyle.

Swingular has active forums so you can find advice or just read and share your experiences. Use them to learn more about the lifestyle and make new swinging friends.

Swingular has instant messaging similar to Facebook. You can send text, photos, videos, and video chat. Communicating with other members requires a paid membership.

Swinger's Date Club

Swinger's Date Club differs a bit from the others on the list, because it's  focus is on real life parties and events.

You can find public parties and events as well as request invitations to private parties on the site.

Signing up is a bit lengthy, but it allows you to express your sexual interests and the type of swapping you are interested in.

Swingers Date Club allows you to search for singles and couples, and it gives you lots of search options including full swap, hard swap, voyeurism, active involvement, and fetishes.

You can communicate via the forums, email, and instant messaging once you find someone your interested in.

Swinger's Date Club puts an emphasis on travel as well. They hold several travel events each year. Spend a week at a resort with 1,000s of other swingers, and book your trip through the SDC website.

You can also use the Speed Dating feature, which allows you to find short term encounters when you are traveling. This is another great way to spice up your next vacation.

Do you think swinging can spice up your relationship? Have you tried it? What's your favorite tip for swingers? Let us know below!