Because of this site, I've spent a lot of time over the last few months listening to and reading about people's new adventures in swinging. It's funny, but even though it's only been 5 years, I'd forgotten how frustrating the very beginning can actually be.
One of the complaints I hear over and over from new swingers is that few people respond to their emails. Sometimes they anxiously wonder if there is something wrong with them, and other times they get angry, insisting that the swinging world is just full of rude people without the decency to reply back to a message.
The waiting can be almost unbearable. You've read the books and the websites, you've talked extensively about swinging with your partner, you've made rules, and finally built up the courage to try this swinging the first place, and now, raring to go, you meet a wall of silence. I remember the rush of excitement followed by an instant deflation each time Tyler and I would see that little mail flag, only to find a system announcement or junk email. I also remember saying to Tyler “I wish they would just tell us they aren't interested.”
First, to anyone who's experiencing these feelings, I'd like to offer you a little reassurance…you will not always feel this way. You will meet people, you will make friends, and you will no longer rely on email as the only window into the swinging world. You will learn to tell when people are not interested (though you may never be able to tell exactly why), and you will learn how to graciously let others know you aren't interested. But for now…take a deep breath and relax.
I'd also like to reassure you that the lack of email responses has almost nothing to do with you – at least not the real you. In a perfect world, everyone would respond to every email they receive, at least with a “Thank you for the email but we aren't interested right now.” But the fact is, people don't always respond.
So why is it so hard to get a positive response (or a response at all)? And what can you do about it?
- You're on a website as a free or trial member.
I'm not saying that you have to be a paid member before you get a positive response, but you will get a percentage of people who will not see you as serious swingers until you are willing to fork out that monthly fee. Most of us that have been around a while have been led on, stood up, and just plain lied to by couples (and singles pretending to be couples) on the free sites. So how to get past this? Avoid the red flags…Don't ask for additional pictures in the first few emails, do offer to speak to the couple over the phone, and if you are a couple, do make sure to mention your partner in your email and make sure your other ½ is available over email/phone/chat too.
- You're not on the right website for you.
All websites are not created equally. Some websites seem like they're mostly about web-cams and trading pictures (not that there's anything wrong with that), but if you're looking to actually MEET people, this may not be where you want to be. Life on the Swingset freely endorses Lifestyle Lounge, but if you live outside the Midwest, that may not be the best option for you. If you need help finding a site, please feel free to email us at contact AT lifeontheswingset.com. Just give us the city you live in and we'll advise you the best we can. And for all those who have found a great site, please, email us and let us know so that we can point people in the right direction!
- You're too new.
This is something that can vary depending on which site you join. Maybe your inbox instantly filled with emails from people who've noticed or been notified that someone new just joined the site. If so, great! But if you've sent out emails and haven't gotten any positive responses, it could be because some people shy away from new swingers. Why? Because new swingers are sometimes shy, scared, misinformed, and without a very strong idea of what it is they actually want. Sure, all of us were there at one point, but some people are reluctant to see a new couple through that phase. What to do about it? If you are new to a site but not new to swinging, consider putting that in your profile. If you are new to swinging, hang tight…you won't be new forever. In the meantime, there are plenty of people both new and experienced that will be happy to meet you. It may just take a little longer.
- Your profile is incomplete.
If you haven't filled out your profile very completely or if you don't have pictures that show your personality or interests, you may get fewer responses (and if you have no pictures, you will definitely get fewer responses). After all, why should another couple make an effort when you haven't? The fix is of course to fill it out 🙂
- Your email is so generic that it looks like you sent it to 20 people.
People do not feel obligated to respond to bulk email, so make your message personal. Mention something about their pictures or profile that attracted you in the first place. Even if you don't get the response you hoped for, consider it another opportunity for you and your partner to discuss what you are and are not looking for!
But I found the perfect couple!
Now if you're wondering why one specific couple hasn't responded…well that's a little harder. There is always the chance that the couple gets a lot of email or checks their mail infrequently. Perhaps only ½ of the couple saw your email and is waiting for the other ½ to approve. And then of course is the possibility that the couple just isn't interested. What you need to remember is not to take this personally. Fair or not, couples may have biases that exclude you from their consideration through no fault of your own. You could be too young or old for them, live too far away (or even too close), look too much like an ex or a coworker, or any number of other reasons. This is a drawback to web profiles – they allow people to spot judge you without ever giving you a real chance. So what to do? Well, I know it's hard in the beginning, but you WILL get to a point where you no longer care about a specific couple not responding. In the meantime, don't let a few unresponsive couples burst your confidence. Remember, you don't really know them and they certainly don't know you.
Finally, if email isn't working out for you, perhaps you should try meeting people face-to-face. Use that website membership to learn about local meet-and-greets, and when you're ready, local parties and clubs. Who knows, you may even run into one of those couples and find that you really hit it off in person.