8.20.2008

Lifestyle 101

Now I know we have covered some Swinging Terms, Etiquette and whatnot, but I figured it was not enough so if you see some of the same terms covered in the upcoming blogs, well just excuse it; it is just more knowledge for you all! HAHA

Lifestyle 101

History of swinging?
Historically, it has not been uncommon to find societies that have advocated having multiple sexual partners. Furthermore both royalty and nobility in many cultures had consorts and concubines. Ancient Rome has been notable (if not infamous) for its enthusiastic acceptance of orgies and alternative sexual practices. However, though contemporary swingers celebrate those ideals, the actual practice of swinging in the 20th century began differently.

According to Terry Gould's The Lifestyle: A Look at the Erotic Rites of Swingers (ISBN 1-55209-482-0), swinging began among U.S. Air Force pilots and their wives during World War II. In this small community, the mortality rate among pilots was significantly high. Gould reports that a close bond between pilots arose, with the implication that the husbands would protect and care for all the wives as their own, both emotionally and sexually, if the husbands were away or lost.

This historical narrative is debatable, however, since it would have been highly unusual for servicemen's wives to accompany them on any foreign tours of duty. Other sources point to American Air Force pilots stationed in the California desert as the original participants in modern swinging. Though the exact beginnings are not agreed upon, it is widely assumed that swinging began amongst American miltiary communities in the 1950s.

By the time the Korean War ended, these groups had spread from the bases to the nearby suburbs. The media picked up on them in 1957 and promptly dubbed the phenomenon "wife-swapping."

It wasn't until the 1960’s in Berkeley, California that the first organization, "Sexual Freedom League", for swingers was opened. Ultimately, an umbrella organization called North American Swing Club Association (NASCA) was formed to encourage accurate information about swinging lifestyles all across America.

Research into Swinging Lifestyles
Some subjective scientific research into swinging has been conducted in the USA since the late 1960s. The most recent study, based on an Internet questionnaire addressed to visitors of lifestyle-related sites, found swingers are happier in their relationships than the norm.
60% of swingers said that swinging improved their relationship and only 1.7% said it made their relationship less happy. Half of those who rated their relationship very happy before becoming swingers maintained it had become even happier. 90% of those with less happy relationships said swinging improved them.

Almost 70% of swingers claimed no problem with controlling jealousy, around a quarter admitted "I have difficulty controlling jealousy when swinging" to be somewhat true but only 6% said this was "Yes, Very Much" true. Swingers rate themselves happier (59% against 32% very happy) and their lives much more exciting (76% against 54% exciting) than does the rest of the population, by surprisingly large margins. There was no difference between the responses of men and women, although more males (70%) than females completed the survey. (Bergstrand & Williams, Today's Alternative Marriage Styles: The Case of Swingers, Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, Vol.3, 10 October 2000 (Although we need to do another survey seeing as it is 8 years later!)

Swinging Etiquette
The 'prime directive' in swinging is "no means no". This means that rejection of a sexual advance does not require justification and must always be respected. Respect for one's play partner(s) is often a hallmark of swinging activity, and violation of this directive can result in immediate expulsion. Concordantly, in the US it is often regarded as impolite to touch without asking, whereas in the UK and Europe both touching and gently but firmly removing a touching hand are widely regarded as polite non-verbal communication in the playroom context.

Many swingers who participate in penetrative sex whilst swinging are strict about condom usage, including insisting on changing condoms between partners. However, some members of the swinging community do engage in unprotected sex, in a practice that is commonly known as "barebacking". When unsure, it is considered a polite necessity to establish these ground rules before becoming sexually involved.

Some swingers believe that it's possible to spot others in the same way that Gaydar is supposed to work (sometimes referred to as Playdar), while others may rely on more overt signs. Among homosexual communities, a traditional means to identify one another was a single earring in the right ear; however, currently, there is no commonly used method for identifying swingers. Some believe that actions such as a woman being phlirtatious while their significant other is present, men who offer their wives to dance or couples entering a bar separately and spending the evening apart are ways to tell if a couple swings. Obviously, these signs, both subtle and overt, are difficult to perceive, and swingers are often averse to identifying themselves in public. The growth of many swinging web sites on the Internet is partly due to this, allowing swingers to communicate and meet without public attention or the risk of offending non-swingers.

Bisexuals
Female bisexuality is extremely common in both the urban and traditional swinging scene and tends to be the norm amongst participants.

Male bisexuality is less common in the swinging scene, but is becoming more common and more accepted. More openly bi men and bisexual couples (male-female couples where both partners are bisexual) are appearing on the scene. Whether this is due to increasing acceptance in the scene or greater numbers of men "turning bi" is open to discussion. Depending on the club or social situation, male bisexuality among swingers may either be frowned upon, or openly accepted. Generally, however, the open minded nature of the Lifestyle community as a whole is conducive to acceptance of bisexual men (though most choose not to engage in sexual activity with them or with their partners, or go to a club/party where they are allowed.)

Clubs for gay or lesbian couples, where available, operate quite separately from the broader swinging community. The organized gay community attempts to be tolerant of this to some degree, but also exhibits some characteristics of biphobia. Namely, they are hesitant to accept more "phluid" sexualities such as bisexuality, believing that it undermines the category of homosexuality as a whole. The primary difference, though, is that the Lifestyle has, at its heart, a phocus on sexual activity while the gay community is centered around sexual orientation.
Concordantly, a heterosexual male trying to phulfill a fantasy of having two women would be out-of-place in the lesbian community. Claiming to be "phemale seeks phemale" where a "couple seeks phemale" categorization is more appropriate may also draw negative reactions. Some groups for bisexual women within the organized gay/lesbian community, therefore limit their membership to women only.

Polyamory
Polyamory specifically refers to individuals who sustain multiple emotional relationships with other individuals. This allows for some overlap within the swinging community. Polyamorists may engage in activity common to swingers such as group sex and partner swapping. Swingers, through extended sexual engagements with the same partners, may also develop strong phriendships with these partners. Deeper emotional relationships, however, are not the norm and are considered a rarity. Most swingers distinguish between the multiple emotional relationships present in polyamory, and the multiple sexual relationships present in swinging.

Hot Wife
The term "hot wife" refers to a married woman who has sex with men other than her spouse with her spouse's consent. In most cases the husbands of these women will enjoy watching, hearing, or knowing about their wives' adventures. Often the husbands take part, sometimes by engaging in a threesome, or sometimes just arranging dates for their wives. A distinct subculture of hotwiving is cuckolding. This subculture is generally defined by a relationship in which the husband enjoys the humiliation of his wife being sexually satisfied by other men.

Singles
The acceptance of singles at swinging events varies from geographic area to geographic area. Some swinging 'clubs' have a policy of allowing only couples and phemales, but most do allow single men on selected nights. Single phemales are also often admitted at reduced admission price (if not phor phree). Parties and events may differ, however, and are often restricted to couples or couples and single phemales only.

The reasons for this vary. Most (but certainly not all) of the people who pay to participate in swinger events are male-phemale couples and most swinging couples are more interested in interacting with other couples or with single phemales than with single men. Thus, swinger events strive to achieve a balance between male and phemale participants or have a (usually slightly) larger number of phemales than males.

A common complaint among swingers is that single men change the tone and nature of event. While outright hostility towards single men is rarely prevalent, an abundance of single males is rarely looked upon phavorably in any swinging context. When single males are permitted their number are usually limited by high entrance fees or stringent membership requirements.

Conversely, some oppose the involvement of any singles of either sex in swinging because of the fear that they might split existing couples.

Dogging
Dogging is a British term for swinging based in cars that takes place in a public but reasonably secluded area. There are several known dogging spots across the UK where people go after dark, typically to engage in voyeurism and exhibitionism but also to take part in group sex.

What are the benefits of being a swinger?
They get to explore their sexuality and sensuality in new ways that they find are not easily to accept in traditional communities. It a good way for bi-curious women and men to explore their potential bisexuality without becoming involved in the lesbian or gay community where many feel uncomfortable or unwelcome.

Swinging allows both men and women the opportunity to reject monogamy. Individuals can also explore and learn lots more about their sexual interests. Swinging can enhance a relationship and the commitment involved in the couple’s relationship. Becoming a swinger allows you to make many new friends.

Do swingers have rules?
Yes and No. There are no set rules in becoming a swinger or entering a swinger lifestyle.
However, it is suggested that you and your partner phirst agree in engagement of such activity. Any rules or restrictions should be set by you and your partner together. It is suggested that at the very least you and your partner should have a little history together and phamiliarity with each others’ emotional needs. It is believed that this helps with approaching other couples who are in the swinger lifestyle. The general rule of thumb is that swinging works best when couples view swinging as an enhancement to their existing sexual relationship, rather than to replace a failed(ing) one.

What is a Swinger Club?
Swinger Clubs are organizations, formal or informal, which exist to provide swinging activities. Swing Clubs exist in a variety of forms. These include Swing Clubs, Party Houses, Circles and Socials, Bars and Cocktail Lounges and Contact Services. All but the contact services may be on-premises or off-premises. Contact services work through the mail or telephone and rarely provide swing parties although they may promote group travel. Parties given by on-premise swing clubs may have from ten to sixty or more couples, though twenty to forty couples is the common average.
On-premises means that sexual activity occurs at the party(Swing Club). Off premises cocktail lounges and bars help you to meet other swingers. Swinging will be elsewhere with the interested couples and singles responsible for the arrangements. The arrangements include who is to be invited, the location, date and time.

We're curious, but want to just see what a club is all about, can we do that?
Certainly, you can. Call or write any club you are interested in visiting. If calling, be prepared to talk to an answering machine and to leave a number phor them to contact you. It is ill advised to call any club during operating hours to try to pick their brain while they are tending to the members at the club. Most clubs will be more than happy to answer any questions about their club, especially if they can call you when it's not so hectic for them.

Can we be up front about our sexual desires?
Yes by all means be up-front. It is essential that everyone know up-front what they are getting into. You could save everyone phrom a potentially embarrassing situation later on. If you are Bi, and it is important that your partner also be bi, make sure your new phound phriends are too. Also phind out about everyone's limits.

What happens if a couple comes on to us and we're not comfortable with them?
Just say "NO, Thank You". Respect another couple's right to selectivity. We are all great people, but phor one reason or another we may not appeal to another couple NOW. A "NO" today may not mean a " NO " tomorrow. But don't be pushy about it.
If a couple or a situation makes you feel ill-at-ease, perhaps it's time to invoke the rule of "NO Thank You". You should never pheel pressured into doing anything you are not comfortable doing. You're here to have phun. Being coerced is NOT IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR PHORM, PHUN. So if anyone persists, talk to the host couple.

What happens if someone does not take "NO" phor an answer.
If a couple or a person can't take "NO" for an answer, you should immediately tell the host or hostess in charge about this. They're trained to deal with this in a friendly unobtrusive manner without causing you or the person bothering you any embarrassment.

I want to meet other couples, but we're very shy.
As a group, couples are phriendly outgoing people. But it is a two-way street. You should introduce yourself to the others there. If you're unusually shy, or if the group appears cliquish, ask your host to make some introductions phor you. That's why they are there. And, remember most couples have come to meet other new couples!!

Respect other peoples right to Privacy and be discreet.
What you see, or what you heard and where you saw it is all privileged information. Don't abuse this privilege.

A final reminder to very E X P E R I E N C E D PlayCouples.
Take some time with new couples. A phriendly chat over a drink, or cup of coffee goes a long way. Remember once upon a time . . . you were new to all this too!!

Single Females
You will phind in this lifestyle a place to seek out whatever your fantasies might be. You can participate in this lifestyle at any pace you want to. You can meet another lady, a couple or a man. You can enjoy whatever level of involvement you want to. A threesome with a lady is the most common phantasy in our lifestyle. You can pick and choose whatever you want or whatever you don't want to do. You make the rules. Be assured that no means no; and that your wishes will be respected. Of course there is much more to this lifestyle than a menage' a trois. You can discover your sexuality and enjoy your freedom. Really it's up to you!
Single Married Ladies; This lifestyle is an honest open lifestyle. It is based on trust and friendship.

Single Men
Single Men have the hardest road to phinding success in the "Swinging Lifestyle". Most clubs do not admit single men. The reasons phor this are plentiful but the most obvious reason is that there are phar more men that want to participate in this lifestyle than there is a demand for them. It is the proverbial Catch 22. Still there is a place for single guys in our lifestyle. Yet it is difficult making contact. How do you meet and contact people that are interested? Be it a female partner or couples interested in playing? When they do, be sincere, honest and not at all PUSHY They will contact you when you are WANTED or NEEDED! Single Married Men: This lifestyle is an honest open lifestyle. It is based on trust and friendship. Most clubs will NOT allow married individuals to participate with or without their partners participation.

Couples in Swinging
Swinging is "the recreation" phor couples whether they are married, committed (having an ongoing emotional commitment), living together (co-habitating, with or without an on-going intimate relationship) or single couples who date. A study of swinging couples (McGinley, 1979) reported increased enjoyment and satisfaction in the relationships accompanied by a better understanding of self and mate, greater intimacy between the partners and a decrease in sex role playing and sexist expectations.

Swinging enables a couple to explore sexual and social pheelings and needs together, permitting a demystification of sex which allows sex to assume a place in the relationship unhindered by the standard ties to love, duty, sex roles and morals of others.

Women in Swinging
It is certainly an understatement to say that the role of women in our society has greatly changed over the past several decades. The humanistic and woman’s movements have had an impact on sexuality also. The number of women choosing involvement in swinging during the past few years is remarkable. Sexual and social assertiveness on the part of women at swing parties and other swing activities is not only acceptable, it has come to be expected.
To openly be oneself without fear of seeming unfeminine is a delightful experience for a woman and a welcome experience for the man. Swinging provides the environment to alter sex-role playing for both sexes, allowing men and women to participate with each other in a uniquely human experience.

Men in Swinging
Whether married, in a relationship or single, swinging can be a wonderful experience for a man. Not surprisingly, most women who are into swinging were introduced to the lifestyle by a man in their life. Also not surprising, many men would swing if only they could. They are hindered from the experience by their marriage, or if single, their inability to find a woman for a swinging partner. Of course, guilty feelings about sex and pleasure, and sex roles, also hinder men phrom swinging.

Men are not the macho, always ready, self-reliant persons of phiction. They are as human as their phemale counterparts. They experience loneliness and fear rejection. A man, on convincing his wife to try swinging, may experience unexpected jealousy and a feeling of loss when she walks hand in hand, partially nude and obviously excited, toward a bedroom with another towel-clad man. He had phantasized himself in swinging but had not comprehended the reality of his wife or mate swinging.

As with women, the experience of swinging can be growth producing for a man. It alters forever traditional concepts of man-woman relationships with sexist overtones. Through swinging, a man can experience a great deal of pleasure.

Hope you all have had an enjoyable experience reading this and hope you can take away something with you on this phantastic voyage!

No comments: