It turns out that we are a bit of a rare breed, Mrs. Duncan and I. We enjoy both the swing and kink play. Most of the folks we know in the swing scene seem to think of the kink folks as an ‘interesting’ group who are doing some funky things over there, but don’t quite get them. Where is the sexy playtime? The kink folks are aware of the swing folks, but sex is not a part of most of their scenes. Since we do belong to both groups, I thought it would be fun to do a little compare and contrast.
I love the swing folks. You could not tell we are a group of swingers from looking at a picture of a party before the swinging begins. It could easily be a run of the mill vanilla cocktail party. House parties tend to be a bit more suburban casual while our favorite club has more of a corporate casual to club wear feel. All bets are off, of course, on theme nights such as Halloween and toga parties. Mrs. Duncan rocks her corsets or club wear here.
Swing folks come in all shapes and sizes from gym rats and body builders to average run of the mill people you would pass in Target. Most of us do tend to enjoy a bit of social lubricant during the parties, but not too much. Getting sloshed kills one’s ability and enjoyment of swinging (just ask Macbeth’s porter). Swinger play ranges everywhere from enjoying exhibitionism and voyeurism to soft swapping to full swapping to orgy pits.
Party is the operative word and our parties have louder music than kink ones. They seem to go on until the club lights come on. The dance floor is busy and the play rooms are active. Once in a while you will see some kink play depending upon the mood of the night. Some nights swing play gets busy early and often in the play rooms and public play areas. Some nights can be more socializing with just a little play going on.
I love the kink folks. We are a frequently geeky, varied in interest, funky group. We tend to be very libertine- we all understand that I have my thing and you have your thing and where they overlap is cool and where they don’t is also cool. At our parties we dress as we like and generally behave as we like. The only bounds are that what one cannot negatively affect others or seriously endanger themselves. If you saw a picture of a kink party, even in its early stages, you would definitely NOT mistake it for your average cocktail party. Kilts (my favorite), leather and various costumes are the norm. Mrs. Duncan rocks her corsets and skirts here.
Did I mention that Mrs. Duncan rocks a corset?
Kink folks come in all shapes and sizes with more ink and piercings than average. We also bring along a lot more toys as many of our activities require hardware of one type or another. We also seem to take pride in our practice of our particular craft. We like to compare notes and toys and techniques.
Kink parties at our club have music going in the background, but it is just for that- background. While there is a bar, drinking is limited. It just wouldn’t be safe to loosen up too much and then break out your favorite whip.
Sexy play time at kink parties, for most folks, just isn’t part of the scene. Folks generally socialize, break out their toys, do their various scenes, chat for a little while longer and then pack up and go home. Frequently, things wrap up long before the club closes. This is where Mrs. Duncan and I break with the norm. After we get done with our kink play (and aftercare), we are all worked up and have to release. Sometimes we play with others, but most of the time, we just find a room for ourselves.
So how do we merge our activities between the two worlds? Except with the small subset of folks who go to both the kink and swing play we really don’t. On swing nights, it is all about the socializing and play time. Only occasionally will we bring out our kink toys and only then when Mrs. Duncan is particularly hungry and the mood of the room seems right. The swing folks look upon this with everything from a mild curiosity to a benign indifference- kind of like one would treat a particularly foreign exotic type of food. Some find it interesting to watch us eat it while others just don’t get it, but figure that is our palate as long as we don’t expect them share. Either way, it’s OK with them and they are happy to socialize and play with us outside of that. On kink nights, we get our D/S and pain play on. Floggers, paddles, dragon’s tongues and evil sticks are on the tool rack. Our having sex afterwards is looked upon by the kink folks as just a part of our ‘scene’ and our kink. They don’t share in it, but that’s fine
We really love both worlds and get a lot out of each. The scenes, feel and folks are different between groups, but both are great. Each adds to our lives in their own way.
Ok, so I have to admit I know nothing about Polyamory (outside of listening to Shira and Gavin and the rest of the Swingset crew). The title just flows a lot better with the ‘Poly’ in there. Apologies to anyone waiting for the poly piece of the story.
Duncan, I have seriously considered bringing my love to kink night. She is BDSM at heart, but hasn’t explored the community much, focusing on one on one play. She is sub and I confess to being an occasionally reluctant dom. She is not really comfortable with the group vibe, and I am unwilling to attempt something she isn’t ready for. I am currently reaching out to the local community to try and make more contacts, maybe something a little less overwhelming. But your story gives me hope that with patience and a lot of love, we might just see you guys one night.
It is a tough balance.
If you move too fast into something you (the two of you) are not ready for, you could set yourself back quite a ways.
Sometimes, however, you can over think things and just need to jump in.
Regardless, you both need to be ready.
A good middle ground might be going to a class or workshop. Also, I know near us, some groups do classes followed by a play party. You could always go to one of those with the agreement that you check in with each other after the class and decide whether or not you wish to stay for the play party.
Also, most clubs or classes I have been too are very welcoming to those who just want to observe, so there would be no pressure.
With patience and love, all things are possible together.