Nervous Newbies – Playing With Brand New Swingers


We like playing with newbies.

A lot of people don’t. Mostly because newbies often don’t have their issues worked out yet, especially if it’s their first fleeting experimentation with the lifestyle.  There could be all manner of hideous buried conflict that could tumble on out like the beyond description nameless beasts in an HP Lovecraft novel, all wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth.

So, why do we like playing with newbies?

It’s really the adventure of it, I’d say. There’s this strange extra newness that comes with it, the extra apprehension of what’s going to happen, if anything.  Let’s face it, most swingers are a sure thing if there’s a connection. Newbies make you work for it.

I realize what I’m saying may not sound the most appealing. The main reason I like newbies is because Marilyn and I had a wonderful first experience in the lifestyle. Great people who were patient and answered our questions and took things at our pace.  We hear so often about bad first experiences ruining things, or getting people out of the swinging lifestyle altogether that we want to be there as a helping hand for some people.

To show them that they needn’t be afraid.

That’s the whole reason I started this website, in fact, to be able to help newbies through the rough and scary spots, reassure veterans that it’s ok to evolve with your swinging lifestyle, and extend that hand to those considering climbing on the swingset.

Alice and Brian, Our newbies were very nervous. And when it became apparent that they would be unable to come out our way, they took a deep breath and asked us into the city, even though Alice’s sister was staying with them. “She works late,” they told us, and reinforced “and were not sure we’re ready to do anything…”

I restated our mantra, adopted from our very first couple: “We want to be your friends regardless of where this goes.” They thanked us again for our support and understanding.

We arrived at their place, had a lovely dinner that they cooked for us, had some wine, some great conversation, really hitting it off. We were answering their questions as they came up, really making good progress, getting a good vibe. The night was all about reinforcing that we’re nice and normal, and that the lifestyle can be as well.

And then Becky, Alice’s sister came home early.

There was a lot of surprise, some “what’re you doing home so early”s, then we settled in for more wine with this newfound fivesome.  With the already minimal prospect of play moving to zero, Marilyn and I allowed more and more wine in our glasses, enjoying ourselves thoroughly. Shortly after Becky arrived, I realized I couldn’t openly flirt with Alice in front of her, but Alice had accidentally mentioned in passing that Marilyn and I were swingers, so I knew I could flirt with Becky, and proceeded to direct all my flirtatious energy in her direction.

More glasses of wine than I care to admit later…

We’d moved outside, and Marilyn went in to check on their baby with Alice. They seemed a bit giggly when they came back out, but I didn’t really process that. I went in for another glass and Brian said: “I need to talk to you…”

Oh fuck, I thought…I’m in trouble, shouldn’t have flirted with the sister so much.

“Do you have condoms?”

I didn’t initially process the question. “What?”

“Alice wants to play…”

My brain caught up to our conversation, though play was still a mystery with them, unsure if they were a girl/girl only couple, or a soft swap couple…they had seemed pretty confident they weren’t full swap at least, so condoms seemed patently unnecessary. I quickly checked with Marilyn, who confirmed that our auxiliary condom backup was fully stocked, just in case.

Please keep in mind that we did NOT come prepared to play that night.  Marilyn always keeps a stash of condoms in her purse, ones for her partners, ones for me, but when we come to play we come with accessories!  Toys, lube, liberator throe, these are all necessities. Sure, we might leave the more intimidating toys (nexus maxims, njoy pure wand, etc) out for first timers, but the Liberator Throe is a necessity.

“You need to pretend to leave…” said Brian, this struck me as absurdly funny as I pointed out that neither of us had done the cleanup shave before because this wasn’t supposed to be a date. He confirmed that they hadn’t either, but when your previously uncertain wife says swing, you ask how hard.

So we pretended to leave, saying goodnight, gathering our things. Our pretend exit must have seemed rather abrupt to Becky because she gave us an “Oh, okay….nice to meet you…” and we headed off into the rain, to take the alley around to the back and be let back in, then quickly shuffled into their bedroom.

It was all I could do to not walk like a cartoon criminal trying to sneak in, all exaggerated steps and twirling an enormous handlebar mustache.

And there was light playtime, the kind of hazy surreal wine colored glasses playtime. Bits and pieces of that remain, enjoyable, sexy, exciting.

Hope it was the same for them.

Gotta love newbies.


About Author

About Cooper Cooper S. Beckett is the co-founder and host of Life on the Swingset: The Podcast since 2010, author of swinging & polyamory novels A Life Less Monogamous and Approaching The Swingularity, and memoir My Life on the Swingset: Adventures in Swinging & Polyamory. He teaches and speaks on swinging, polyamory, pegging, play parties, and coloring outside the boundaries of your sexuality. He is a graphic & web designer, photographer, and voice over artist, has been a guest expert on Dan Savage’s Savage Lovecast, & is the announcer of Tristan Taormino’s radio show Sex Out Loud. He is currently working on two instructional non-fiction books, one about beginning non-monogamy, and another about pegging.


  1. Hah, what an adorable story. I love those surprise encounters.

    Although I've been poly for years, recently I've come to consider myself a newbie swinger. Having lovers separate from my husband or boyfriend is old hat. But my newest boyfriend, Vincent, is new to any kind of alternative lifestyle and is more interested in swinging together than having relationships separately (although I still have my own separate relationships). It's quite a different experience to approach a relationship this way and has made me feel like I'm learning certain things for the first time. I'll have to report back once we have our first couples date to let you know how it went. Perhaps a cross-post on our blogs: The Poly-turned-swinger experience.

  2. My wife and I are in strange place somewhere between newbie and – what is the next level? Surely not experienced swinger, so I will call it our swingage years.
    We have not been fortune enought to find the patient experienced couple to help us take our baby steps.
    Would that be nice, it sure would!
    But making it on our own has lead to some disasters, some hilarious moments (in hindsight) and even some lifetime memory fun times. It has also forced a lot of honest communication.
    I feel that communication has brought us closer than we have ever been before.
    I am not sure we would be at this same level if our path had been easier, so like every cloud, there is a silver lining.

  3. hi everybody hope your all ok,,,i help run a swingers club and think its fabulous that so many people are so upfront and outgoing about the sexual needs x

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