Swinging, open relationships, polyamory, soft swap, full swap, same room play, vanilla, vanilla with sprinkles, threesomes, foursomes, orgies, taking one for the team, risk aware sex…so much lingo! Ethical non-monogamy is daunting enough to consider without guessing what the hottie you are talking to is actually saying.
Let’s tackle soft swap! Soft swap is a term most often used in the context of swinging. Typically it is presented as a check box in an online dating profile. Often it is presented as an either/or question: Are you soft swap or full swap?
Soft swap is a term to describe what activities a couple engages in with their playpartners. In the past, soft swap indicated that a male/female couple playing with another male/female couple would engage in all activities, but penetrative sex, most often meaning penis in vagina sex. Saying you are soft swap was a way to immediately take penetrative sex off the table.
For some people, they would start soft swap until they built up more trust with playpartners and then transition penetrative sex. For others, they would always remain soft swap and never choose to engage in penetrative sex.
Swinging has a history of being heteronormative and catering to couples. Since we started Swingset, we have observed the community shift toward greater acceptance of gay couples, bi/omni/pansexual couples, queer couples, and singles of every stripe, even if there is still much progress to make.
In the context of the current swing world, depending on the arrangement of the playpartners, soft swap can mean different things to different people. It can still mean only non-penetrative sex is okay, but that can include penetration with fingers, toys, and strap ons, as well as include anal penetration. The definition of soft swap truly varies from person to person.
The concept of soft swap can be a helpful place to start, but is really only an entrée into clearer, more explicit communication. When someone indicates they are soft swap, it makes sense to follow up with questions to exchange more details. Questions like:
So you are soft swap…
· what activities are completely off limits with a playpartner?
· what does safer sex or risk aware sex look like for you?
· what barriers are required for us to play? Condoms? Dental dams? Gloves?
· where do you like your partner to be when we play?
· does soft swap mean for you that all penetration is off limits? If not, what is okay?
· what are your favorite sexy activities?
· where do you like to be kissed?
This list of questions is hardly exhaustive and I encourage you to use your sultriest voice to ask all your deliciously sexy questions. A conversation about what exactly soft swap means is excellent, effective foreplay. Have fun with it!
Of course, we are always here for you! If you have any questions, call us at 57355SWING or email me at Ginger@LifeOnTheSwingset.com. We look forward to hearing from you. Now go forth and be sexy!