There are many misconceptions floating around about swingers and couples that choose to open up their relationship.
Swinging lifestylers are often labeled, judged, and shamed for their choice to participate in non-monogamy.
As an active member of the swinging lifestyle, I’ve learned to let the jokes and half-truths slide. I also know just how ignorant it is to judge something you know so little about — and based on the criticisms of swinging, it’s so clearly misunderstood.
I’ve experienced the positive impact swinging has had on my marriage. I’ve watched my relationship transform into the kind of partnership most couples could only dream about.
When it comes to happy and healthy marriages, swingers have a few clear advantages over their monogamous friends. (Hint: it’s about so much more than sex.)
Swinging offers variety
I’m not just talking about sexual variety, although that is a significant perk — so that’s where we’ll start.
Variety is the spice of life. Opening up your marriage allows you to explore your sexuality in ways that aren’t possible with monogamy.
As a woman who is sexually attracted to both women and men, being married to a man puts certain limitations on my sexuality. Would I explore that part of my sexuality without enthusiastic consent from my partner? Absolutely not.
Through open and honest conversations, we concluded that we want each other to enjoy all that life has to offer — sexually and otherwise.
My husband is a fan of anal, but I hate it. Some women love it. Why wouldn’t I want him to experience that with someone who enthusiastically wants to share it with him?
The perk? We get to enjoy a variety of sexual experiences that were otherwise impossible.
This lifestyle values female pleasure.
If there’s one myth about the swinging lifestyle that bothers me most, it’s the idea that swinging is somehow catering to male sexual desire and pleasure.
My experience has been the exact opposite of this. Swinging has helped destigmatize my sexual appetite and empower me as a woman.
Through swinging, I learned to put my pleasure first.
It wasn’t my husband who dragged me into the swinging lifestyle. I initiated our exploration. Swinging gave me the unique opportunity to freely explore my sexuality more fluidly.
I learned to vocalize my sexual desires with my husband and eventually with other partners. I became comfortable discussing my sexual hangups and boundaries and then debriefing after each sexual experience.
The perk? The lifestyle helps us explore our sexuality in an environment that takes female pleasure seriously.
My swinger friends are some of the best communicators I know.
Non-monogamy is communication-heavy. Those of us in the lifestyle spend significantly more time talking than doing anything else — including having sex.
In the lifestyle, everything is out in the open, and we happily hash out all the details.
It’s a team sport and teaches us to communicate honestly with our partner/s about awkward, uncomfortable, and often heavy topics. We dive right into our hidden sexual desires and the patriarchal sexual script that usually runs us and tackle the shameful triggers of our past.
These conversations were easily avoided in our monogamous relationships before opening up our marriages. But, there’s just no avoiding this type of dialogue when you’re involved in the swinging community.
The perk? The emphasis on open communication sets the tone for more than just the swinging experience; it also teaches us to use open and honest dialogue as partners in life.
Practicing open and honest dialogue helps swingers avoid the headaches that come with communication breakdowns. Drama and fighting cease to exist in environments where over-communication is the standard practice.
Even if swinging isn’t your cup of tea, there are certainly perks to the lifestyle and relationship best practices to learn from it. These couples (and singles) know a thing or two about flexibility, individuality, and communication.
Swinging isn’t all sunshine and rainbows — if you think otherwise, read this. But, it is an excellent alternative for curious monogamists to explore.