Swinging, the lifestyle, open relationship, open marriage, consensual non-monogamy, what does all of this mean? There are several titles to give the swinging lifestyle. The internet makes it easier to connect than in the 1970’s when swinging was popularized. Networking is more comfortable because of the internet, but discretion can be a bit more of a concern these days. Connecting with a community that helps you to feel accepted fostered a feeling of security, especially when those you connect with are also concerned about discretion. When you are involved in something that the world considers ‘taboo,’ it’s nice to have support, even if that is just an ongoing group chat about the challenges of the lifestyle.

After the 1970’s fringe movement came and went, there was a new spotlight on homosexuality. Once decades past and we finally accepted that homosexuality was not a psychological disorder, people started to understand that sexuality was not black or white. A majority of people support gay civil rights now, and thankfully we have evolved from living in a cave! Sexual diversity does not begin and end at homosexuality, far from it. Diverse sexuality, including kink, fantasies, open relationships, polyamory, just to name a few, is starting to grow at warp speed. Just as some people are not heterosexual, some people are bisexual, and some people are not monogamous. Maybe in the future, we’ll see open relationships, like homosexual relationships, as standard.  Perhaps people that are unsettled with monogamy will begin communicating with each other openly and honestly, rather than cheating on each other.

Just like any other hot topic, one size never fits all. Consensual non-monogamy is not practiced in the same way by everyone. Some people view non-monogamy as very different from others. Having a non-monogamous relationship could be as simple as experiencing a threesome, one partner watching the other play, or even completely separate play altogether. So what makes someone a swinger? It’s all in how you define it for yourself and your relationship. Many people have strict rules and hard stops, while others have a free-for-all, literally. It’s the acknowledgment of the diversity that is important. It’s accepting that you are deciding to do something that doesn’t fit the mold of right or wrong. Being a swinger may or may not mean that you will participate in an orgy or indiscreet sex with strangers. It is what you make it, and you get to define it. Most ‘swingers’ hate being called swingers, as it is such a stereotype from decades ago. But until we come up with a better term to describe it, we have the term swingers for better understanding.

The swinging lifestyle is not for the faint of heart. It should be considered an addition to an already strong relationship. It is not going to ‘fix’ a relationship for sure, and if your relationship is not built on a sturdy foundation, it will likely cause heartache.

Most of us live in a rat race world, barely having time for responsibilities like family, career, community, etc. Adding in swinging lifestyle activities is not carefree or easy; it usually requires time and energy for planning events or dates. However, many in the lifestyle will agree that it is worth the extra work!