What is Wife Swapping? All About Swinging and Ethical Non-Monogamy

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Maybe you watched the awful 2004 reality TV show, or maybe you’ve just heard about it in passing, but wife swapping is a term we’ve all come across at some point. And it sounds weird, right? The image of men swapping their wives (for any reason) can have some pretty icky connotations. Like, do the wives even want to be swapped? Who came up with the term anyway? And why is not called husband swapping instead?

For these, and other reasons, most people have chucked the outdated term in favor of a more progressive—and cuter—one: swinging.

Wife Swapping, Swinging, and What it All Means

What’s the difference between wife swapping and swinging? Not much! Both are used to describe ~playtime~ between consenting adults, usually two couples having sex with each other. Of course, it’s not *quite* that simple. Swinging can mean a threesome, “soft swap” (no PIV sex involved), “hard swap” (sometimes LOTS of PIV sex), or any other sexual activity between three or more consenting adults.

This is another reason why terms like “wife swapping” and “wife sharing” can be limiting. The word “swinging” is more inclusive to include those who are straight, cis, trans, queer, kinky, etc. It’s is a typically sex-centric form of ethical* non-monogamy that is popular all over the western world, including here at SwingTowns, which has millions of members.

Swingers come from all different walks of life, and anyone who’s interested is almost guaranteed to find the right play partners for them!

* You might’ve noticed that we added in the word “ethical” there. That just means each person involved in a non-monogamous relationship is aware of and consents to the romantic/sexual pursuits of the other. This typically involves a lot of boundary-setting and communication to ensure that everyone is on the same page (start slow!)

How Do Couples Find Swingers?

“How do swinger couples meet?” you might ask, “And where do they meet?”

The answer is: it depends.

Some swingers like to keep their playtime private—i.e. sign up for a free swinger dating site, chat with local hotties until they find a couple or single that they click with, then meet up. Others want to be involved in the swinger community, such as by going to local swinger parties, clubs, and events.

When you’re first starting out, it’s a really good idea to start slow. Just test the waters. Talk to swingers, get a feel for your local scene, and try to make some friends. Starting online is always the least intimidating option. Next, you can see what’s happening near you and do the same things in person. There’s no pressure to ~do~ anything you don’t want to (ever!) so set hard boundaries, communicate as much as possible, and only dive in when you’re ready.

Why Do Couples Swing?

There are lots of reasons why a couple might want to explore non-monogamy, not the least of which includes:

  • Being non-monogamous. Yes: you can love your partner to death, have an AMAZING relationship, and still desire sex with other people! For real, some people just be like that—and that’s OKAY! Though it’s a good idea to explore polyamory as well if you fall into this category.
  • Exploring fantasies new and old, including watching your partner experience pleasure from someone else, having a threesome, etc.
  • Spicing things up in the bedroom. After being in a relationship for many years with the same person, sex can get a little repetitive. Swinging can help you learn new things, become a better lover, and bring you closer to your partner as you experience it together!
  • Exploring your sexuality. You can be 100% satisfied with your S.O. is still wonder about what else is out there. It’s all good! As long as you and your partner are on the same page, swinging can be a great way to learn about other sides of yourself that you didn’t know were there.

It’s completely false that non-monogamous couples are inherently unhappy or dissatisfied with their relationships. In fact, some are MUCH happier and healthier than many monogamous people! That’s because they start from a solid foundation and are open-minded enough to explore new things together in a way that doesn’t stifle trust or commitment but strengthens them.

Getting started is as easy as tapping a few keys.

Photo credit: Roman Samborskyi, 123rf.com


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