My vanilla friends ask the age-old question, “why?” That is such a loaded question. The answer varies, as does the diversity of people that are involved in the swinging lifestyle. Conservative views of marriage are that it is built on love and monogamy only. People become involved in the swinging lifestyle for many reasons.

Some people may have been married for decades, and although they are best friends and inexplicably in love, they crave spark. Life is satisfying based on their combined accomplishments, family and careers. Retirees that I have met in the lifestyle travel the world and enjoy expanding their minds and experiences. It has been described to me as being the best time in their lives; children are grown and gone from home. Now they take time for themselves.

Others find themselves in the swinging lifestyle because of bisexual curiosity. It takes courage to open up about sexuality, but sometimes it is even tougher to open up about bisexuality. The swinging lifestyle is a place that curiosities can be untangled and explored. So many people do not choose to swap partners at all, play with the same sex in certain scenarios.

I met a couple that were good friends; however, if they did not have children, they would not continue to stay married. So they entered the swinging lifestyle as a way to express their sexuality with others while still maintaining a stable home life in their vanilla world. I am indifferent as far as an opinion on this approach because I have never been in this type of open marriage. If it works for them, then so be it!

While at a clothing-optional resort, my husband and I met a couple that never ‘played’ with others in the lifestyle, but they like to watch. Voyeurs and exhibitionists are common, and they don’t cross their lines of touch with others. They get their juices flowing by watching or being watched. Similarly, some people like to meet other couples or singles that they can have an exciting conversation with and have no expectation of play. This was one of the reasons why Double Date Nation implemented the ‘Double Date-No Expectations’ option to the swing status. Some people like to make new friends that live on the sexual edge and then take that energy back home with them.

Many people just aren’t made for monogamy and go into a marriage or relationship disclosing that fact. These couples know from day one that they want to spend their life with the other, but sexually speaking, an open relationship will likely always be the norm. These people can typically clearly separate emotions from sex.

Other couples only have one partner that plays, because the other only likes to watch. ‘Hotwife’ is a term that has become popular as a husband will sit aside and watch his wife have sex with another person. This is their kink, not only does one partner get off on just watching, but their more exhibitionistic counterpart likes to put on the show for them. I think that is a definite win-win situation.