A Mention – Ask The Loveologist: The Effects Of Swinging

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Marilyn and I spoke briefly with Wendy Strgar of “Ask The Loveologist” on Care2.com about our swinging lifestyle and our desires for this site.  We want it to be a beacon in the darkness to those who feel that their lifestyle desires are dirty and wrong.  Thanks Wendy for mentioning us in your article (page two) and we agree with most everything you said in the article.

The one point I'd like to address, however is from near the end of the article:  “Some of the most challenging aspects of this or any sexual practice that includes multiple partners are the human tendencies toward jealousy, the associated guilt and the compromised trust that are inherent in these complex relationships. Many people go into these relationships not fully appreciating the level of communication skills and the commitment required to hold the unpredictable results of mixed pair bonding.”

The article up until that point has done the standard swinging article thing, some people say it's good for them, some say it's bad, some don't realize which side of the issue they're on until it's too late.  But that paragraph irked me a little bit, and I had to think specifically about why that was because it wasn't immediately apparent.  Then I figured it out.  We as humans DO tend toward jealousy, in the same way we skew toward non-monogamy.  (Look at statistical data about marital and relationship infidelity if you doubt that fact.)  Guilt is also inherent in these complex relationships indeed, but that is more a factor relating to our religious institutions than any way we make each other feel.  There's nothing to feel guilty about if both partners have talked things over and adhere to their agreements with one another.  The only time to feel guilty is because we feel as though these things we've done are SINFUL.  (I use the royal WE here, as I see nothing sinful about celebrating sexuality.)

The ONE issue I did have, was the comment that trust is inherently compromised in these relationship.  This may well be true in many people, the same way trust is often compromised in monogamous relationships for any number of reasons.  However, many swingers, my wife and I included, find it easier to trust our partners since we know that when they have an urge for something, they will tell us, rather than go behind our backs.  This encourages and builds trust, rather than compromising it.

Sorry to be nit picky, Wendy, just wanted to make a point!  Thanks for a great article, and for helping raise awareness that we are out there, and often we're happy.  Too often, the silent majority of swingers are the happy ones who don't want to expose themselves; it's easier to remain silent and happy.  The majority of vocal swingers, are the grumpy ones, the ones that screwed up, the ones that failed at creating that healthy and open dialog.

The happy ones most definitely exist too…maybe one day they'll come out to play.

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About Author

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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 Comment

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    I have to agree. We aren't afraid to tell each other about the hot girl that came into our office, or very specifically her ass or impossibly perfect chest. The other half routinely texts me when a hot guy comes in to her office and she starts having very naught thoughts about him. All couples have these thoughts and notice these things, the difference is that we don't have to hide them, in fact we enjoy listening to each other sharing them.
    I think it's a much healthier practice than bottling it all up and keeping it secret.

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