Let’s face it, at the end of the day the purpose of swinging is sex — getting it on, doin’ the wild thang, fuckin’. If you are not yet willing and able to have some form of extra-marital sexual contact, then you are not a swinger. You may be open-minded or accepting of alternative lifestyles, you may be on your way, but the litmus test of swinger-hood is where the metaphorical rubbers meet the landing strip. However, as anyone who’s made the journey knows, it goes way beyond that. In order to get to the sex, you have to change a lot of things about who you are, what marriage is, and how you view the world.
The vast majority of swingers entered their marriages just like everyone else, believing deeply and sincerely that traditional monogamy was the only way to go. To be a “good” wife or husband, or an “honorable” man or woman, meant following a very specific set of rules. A few examples – “good” husbands and wives not only don’t have sex with others, they don’t want to either; jealousy is part of the marital contract; men’s fantasies are proof of moral and mental weakness and women’s fantasies (if they’re allowed to have them at all) are dirty and shameful; partners have the right and the obligation to control not only their spouse’s sexual actions but desires as well. There are plenty of others, and many variations on these themes, but all of them are incompatible with being a successful swinger.
When my husband and I first started on this journey, it took us a while to get past the shock of the sex – one of us being overly enthused and the other being totally stunned – to realize that you don’t just decide to swing, you have to grow into it first as individuals, then as a couple. Before you can watch your wife kiss (let alone fuck) another man without experiencing blind rage, you have to assess and adjust not only how you view kissing, but how you view loyalty and fidelity. Before you can enjoy the fact that another woman is smiling and laughing at your husband’s humor (not to mention sucking his cock) without the fear of loss, you have to change your understanding of how other people’s enjoyment, including your spouse’s, does and doesn’t affect you.
We’ve all heard how swinging has made marriages stronger, communication better, sex between the partners hotter but rarely are people able to articulate “why” these parts of their marriages improved. In my experience, it is because the partners chose to become better people. A bold statement, but I stand by it none the less.
Having come through to the far side of swinging, being able to experience the payoff of open, adventurous sexuality, I have to say someone would be hard-pressed to make a successful argument to me that jealousy, possessiveness, or implied threats of loss are part of the path to long-term marital bliss. Indeed, hanging on to these negative views is part of the root causes of the simmering anger, resentment, and/or resignation we want to avoid in our marriage. Moreover, the negatives are replaced with positives – deeper trust, stronger commitment to individual and shared fulfillment, greater appreciation for who our partners truly are, as opposed to who we wish they would be. All of it built on the foundation of honesty and acceptance.
Still, most all of us have encountered people who aren't working on the growth side. They're knuckling down, trying to control their jealousies, fears, angers, hurts, and resentments instead of eliminating them. These are the drama fueled couples who most of soon learn to recognize and avoid like the plague lest their general nastiness spoils what we've worked so hard to achieve. Most of these folks are on their way out of swinging and some on their way to divorce court. But it isn't because they can't handle the sex, it's because they are unable or unwilling grow beyond their limitations.
Yes, if you like to swing it’s a given that you like sex. Swingers enjoy the variety of cocks and tits and pussies and tongues that sex with people other than our husbands and wives affords. But growing into a better human being is, to me, and even bigger reward for the struggles it took to get here. Yeah, I like to fuck. But really, I’m in it for the personal growth.