Let’s be real. Swinging is hot. It’s an exhilarating way to let loose while getting closer to your partner. The smell, feel, taste, and sounds of a new lover can help you rediscover your own sexuality. The novelty of watching your love take pleasure from someone else can be like seeing them with new eyes. But how do you get started with swinging?
If you’ve made it through the conversation where you each share your mutual interest in swinging, congratulations. It takes a lot of courage to voice our desires. So, first, pat yourself on the back for having the guts to say what you want out loud. Next, give your partner a kiss because you’re so lucky to have someone who’s into the same things you are. Now we’re ready to get started.
Get on the Same Page
For something that’s been around forever, swinging is not very clearly defined. Don’t assume you and your partner mean the same thing by “swinging.”
- Are you open to full intercourse or penetration?
- Would you prefer to keep your undies on?
- Are you comfortable waving goodbye to your love as they take their playmate into another room?
- How do you feel about kissing?
- What if tongues are involved?
- Is oral sex ok?
There are no right or wrong answers. Just your answers and your partner’s answers. Don’t wait until you’re naked with your new friends to ask the important questions.
Know the Crowd
The very word “swinger” conjures up images of lava lamps, key parties, and wild nameless encounters. But as sexual subcultures go, swingers are surprisingly normal. It’s a couple-centric culture, and the couples tend to be guy/girl. While gay swing culture is certainly a thing, it’s a different community. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to find what you’re looking for. Your desires are worth the effort it takes to realize them.
Learn the Lingo
Swingers have their own vocabulary. Though it isn’t necessary to be fluent before you start, the following phrases will encourage clarity:
- Soft Swap: Doing fun sexy stuff with other people without having intercourse. This can mean anything from watching other couples have sex to touching or kissing someone while having sex with your own partner to engaging in oral sex with your new friend(s).
- Full Swap, Hard Swap, or Partner Swap: Having intercourse with a member of another couple.
- Same Room Swap: Trading partners while staying in the same room.
- Closed Door Swap: Trading partners and going into separate rooms.
- The Lifestyle: A general term to describe swinging.
- MFM, FMF, MFMF, etc.: The M stands for Male. The F stands for Female. This is a code for different gender combinations.
- Unicorn: An unattached bisexual woman interested in joining couples for threesomes. The name comes from their reputed rarity but they definitely exist.
If it’s been more than a year since your last STD screening, it’s good form to get one before you start swinging. Knowing your status before you take on any new partners is just good sense.
Choose Your Hunting Grounds
While it’s certainly possible to find partners anywhere, it’s faster and less awkward to find them where they want to be found. This means venues, events, websites, or apps which cater to those “in the lifestyle.” Search online for “swinger parties,” “swinger events,” “swinger clubs,” and “swinger munches.” Attend sex-positive events or conventions. Look for swinger meetups.
Develop a Signal
You and your partner need a way of discreetly communicating interest or disinterest in new partners. Whether it’s touching their ear or mentioning your cat, make sure you know how to privately convey your wishes to your love.
Sometimes Swinger Parties Are Just Parties
If it’s a munch, mixer, or social gathering, don’t try to hook up with anyone there. Just make some new friends. If you click with someone, tell them you’d like to see them again and ask how you can contact them. If they’re evasive or uncomfortable, let it go. Tell them it was nice to have met them and move on. If someone you’re not into asks for your info, say, “Thanks but we’re just not feeling the connection.”
If the event is a play party, tell the organizer or host that you’re new. They will bring you up to speed on the rules and may even introduce you to a starter friend. Once you’re in, cruise respectfully. Chat with your fellow partygoers. Unless they’re having sex—then just watch discreetly. (It’s also a good idea to read our article on Sex Party Etiquette before you go.)
How to Approach Someone
If you meet someone you both click with, chat and flirt. Ask about their experience in the lifestyle. Once you’re feeling a connection, tell them something that you find attractive about them. Ask if they’ve seen spotted any potential play partners. Interested people will be receptive and comfortable.
Ask for what you want:
- May I touch you?
- Would you like to join us in the playroom?
- Would you like to see if we can find a private room?
If you get a yes, congrats! If you get a no, congrats again. You’ve just had the essential swinger experience of being turned down. Sex is a deeply personal exchange and when you have three or more people involved, the chances of everyone being into it are less than when there’s only two. This means it’s not a big deal when it doesn’t work out. Just tell them it was a pleasure talking and move along.
BYOP (Bring Your Own Partner)
It may take several attempts to find good swinging partners. But when you bring your own date, the worst case scenario may be that you can have sex with them in a room full of strangers. And that’s pretty hot for a consolation prize.
Swinging is a blast. It can invigorate your sex life, bring you closer to your partner and connect you to a whole new community of like-minded friends. So be clear. Be safe. Be respectful. And have all the fun.