Everyone has concerns or worries about trying swinging so we have provided a list of frequently asked questions to help allay any fears and ease you into the swinging world.
What if I run into someone I know?
People have sex. Pretty much everyone, not to exclude the asexual community. We just tend not to think of them in this way. If you bump into someone you know, it will be a shared secret. Even if they dislike you, they can’t expose you without ‘outing’ themselves. It’s a very silly notion of British society that we should even be expected to maintain this separation. You wouldn’t worry if you bumped into someone you knew at a restaurant.
It is simply the notion that sexual pleasure is forbidden and taboo that gives it the secret, exciting status. People eat food. People have sex. The world is gradually moving on, but certain mentalities refuse to accept that which is rational still. Your choice to partake in that which is hushed by the expectations of society is radical- be proud of that.
What if it changes our relationship?
It may. It may not. It may improve it. It may highlight issues you didn’t even know existed between you. Yet this is true of anything. This could happen if you take a pottery class together. This could happen if you join a mountain biking group. This could happen if you do nothing at all and keep everything just as it ever was.
This is (until definitive evidence proves otherwise) your one and only life. And your partner’s one and only life. What you do with it is up to you. They say we regret more the things we didn’t try, yet I don’t know if that is always true. Certainly, of the many, many things I’ve come to regret in my own life, trying something new where I couldn’t predict the outcome has never been one of them.
What if I don’t have a partner?
It is not necessary to have a partner. Most (nearly all) events will allow single women, some allow single men. Those that don’t will usually allow you to attend with a ‘party partner’. It is possible to find many suitable candidates online for this purpose.
I think I’m too old for this
Although many ‘elite sex party’ events have an upper age limit (some as low as 35) I’ve certainly seen people in their 50’s and above at them. They are people who ‘look good for their age’. If you want to avoid this route, a great many events and clubs do not have an age restriction, or host events specifically for say, the over 45’s. Some events even like to mix the age groups on purpose, such as the ‘cougars and cubs’ night. Yes, that’s a thing. It’s a big thing.
What if nobody finds me attractive?
There is no guarantee that every person will find someone to participate with them. We all have free will. But you should be aware that not everyone at an event looks like a supermodel or a Calvin Klein underwear ad. Whatever it is that you are worried about- your age, weight, mastectomy scar, disability – you can rest assured that not only are there people who won’t mind, there will be people there who find it an active sexual preference.
My own, rather tame, obsession is women with a gap between their teeth or adult braces. For men, I like unusual teeth; prominent, missing, distinctive. I even had a phase of liking them decayed. I’m far from the most unusual person in my tastes.
There are people who are into supersize, shaven-headed women, amputees, the list goes on. Not everyone will find you attractive. Not everyone finds anyone attractive. Yet talk to people, take the time to ask them about themselves, then flirt a little. You may be very surprised.
What if I don’t find anyone attractive?
This can certainly happen. I’ve had many nights where I didn’t feel the vibe, found I was too tired, there was nobody I connected with or for some reason, nothing happened. I still generally had a good night. I chatted with people, had a glass of wine, did everything one would do on a ‘regular’ night out.
But so what? If you go out with an objective in mind, you’ll spend your night feeling like it’s work. If you fail to meet your objective, you’ll feel the night was a failure. It’s far better to go out hoping for an unplanned adventure and just going with the flow. Sometimes, you’ll have an amazing night. Sometimes, you might not.
Try to research the event you are going to beforehand. You’ll have to have a healthy scepticism in doing so. The websites for events will always seem decadent; filled with beautiful people, luxurious and high class. They will discuss how they are super-elite and selective. You may well find that the reality is different. There will be regular people there, in a regular-seeming venue.
Try to find reviews of the venues and the events, not written by the organisers. If you can’t find anything negative at all, you haven’t looked hard enough yet. There are so many events, with such different styles, rules and pricing structures, that you are bound to find something that will suit your hopes. It might just take more than one try.
Many events companies have their own websites with forums and chat groups so that you can talk to people who are going beforehand and even arrange a selection of friendly faces to talk to when you get there.
A word of warning: People can be a teensy bit flaky about actually showing up. I’d suggest that you chat with perhaps 6-10 people who say they are planning to go, then you’ll have built a little rapport beforehand. Don’t spend your night looking for them though. Just cast the dice and go with the cards the fates try to deal you at the event.
What will my spouse/other people/my family think of me if I do this?
Well, you never can tell. Some will be very judgemental about it. Some will be a bit envious. Some will hug you in delight and tell you that they do it too. Generally, the response I’ve had is that I’m ‘brave’. Not really sure what that means. I think it means they are trying to be emotionally supportive while making it clear they wouldn’t consider it themselves. At the end of the day, you really don’t need to tell everyone about it unless you want to. You may have a bit of a sixth sense of who would and wouldn’t be accepting of it. It’s not your duty to live your life to keep other people happy. It’s your duty to make yourself happy. Others will either accept this and be happy for you or they will choose not to. That’s their choice.
What if I change my mind?
If you don’t like it, you are free to turn around and go home. You’ll probably find you do like it, though. Women especially, enjoy the sudden chance to be the free spirit, the sensual being that they always were inside. They just didn’t realise they were.
What if somebody is interested and I’m not?
You politely tell them no thank you. Nothing more should be required. Any response other than a polite withdrawal is harassment. Tell the organisers or security.
What if my partner and I have a difference of opinion on who we are interested in?
Talk to your partner! You may find it’s helpful to set up a little code word like ‘ice’ for no and ‘warm’ for yes, that you can slip into conversation if the person/people are right there and you don’t have a chance to discuss it discretely. The more you talk about your hopes and boundaries beforehand, the better you will both know what to look for that will make you both happy.
Even so, be prepared for everything to completely change on the night in the heat of the moment! Remember, these aren’t your domestic selves. For the night, you are both lions. You are your sexual alphas, out to play. You are not the person you were yesterday or tomorrow. You are living in the moment. That’s the whole point.
Surely this is dangerous for my relationship?
The vast majority of divorces don’t happen after a couple goes to a swingers’ club. It can be a very bonding activity. Most of the couples you’ll meet at events, or privately, are in happy long term relationships. It’s just a hobby you can share.
That being said, if either of you has underlying issues with insecurity, self-worth, jealousy or fear of abandonment, deal with these individually and together first. Adding more pressure to the mix will only deepen the cracks.
Swinging works with happy, secure couples (and singles!) who are opening their body, mind, soul and perception out to embrace new people and experiences. If you go into it with little problems, the fissures will widen. Be sure you are ready. Be sure you (and your partner, if you have one) are 100%. Be sure that you see it for what it really is. Be sure that you, in yourself, are strong enough for an unexpected adventure. Wash your face. Pack your bag. Look in the mirror and feel good about yourself, just as you are, needing for nothing. When you can do this, then you are ready.
Prepare to enter the rabbit hole.