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Question: How to get started

Dear Lounge Advice,
How do my wife and i get started right

Sincerely,

(Anonymous)

  
Dear (Anonymous),

As excited as you may be about swinging, it is best to step back and ascertain the best way for you both to enter the lifestyle comfortably. Your partner may require extensive time and exposure to feel at ease with this idea. Remember that many people hold misconceptions about the lifestyle and may need this time and experience to help clear up misunderstandings.
If you both do consider taking it further than online exploration, try attending a pressure-free event, such as a meet and greet, and make it clear that neither one of you is expected to do anything at all. This way, your experience will be much less intimidating and she will be more inclined to explore further.
If all goes well the first time them have her decide which event she might like to try the next time.

Your partner may warm up to the lifestyle a bit more if she enjoys the parties and the company and realizes that the stereotypes surrounding the lifestyle are often false and contrived. Attending lifestyle events serves many purposes for first-timers, or those who are otherwise timid of the initial experience. As a rule, she will be able to see firsthand the wonderful people that are involved in this, and understand that lifestylers are not depraved sexual predators, nor are they devoid of morals or couth. Morals are so subjective anyways, aren’t they? In fact, anyone who attends a lifestyle event will see just how ‘normal’ many of these people are. Lifestylers are a microcosm of society, and come from all walks of life. They just happen to be a bit more open-minded in their sexual outlooks than most.
Communication is key! If you are going to swing, this is THE most important factor to ensure success in your endeavors. Talk about everything, from possible situations, to feelings, to comfort levels. It is an awful feeling to get hurt when you see a partner do something that you just don't want to see while swinging. Discuss your boundaries up front. If someone gets hurt because you did not express your feelings, the fault lays on you for not expressing yourself. Remember, your mate is not a mind reader, so you must tell him or her what you want and do not want. If this is made known, and they still do it, THEN it is their fault. After every encounter, you will have to talk about it. Ask your partner, "Were you comfortable with what happened?" "Did anything bother you?" This will display your care for their feelings, and will make them more secure upon future rendezvous. Obviously, communication is a key factor in any relationship, but in the lifestyle, it can make or break you. Your sexuality is sacred, and you wouldn’t share it with just anyone. After all, sexuality is one of the many important things to bonds you to your partner, so sharing it with others is no light matter.
If you do not feel that the communication in your relationship is up to par, please do not consider the lifestyle until it is. If you or your mate cannot adequately express yourself and your feelings, then you will experience overwhelming difficulties while attempting to swing.
Where to start

We've all been there! Yes, you'll be nervous. Yes, you'll be unsure of what to expect. Yes, you will have fears. It's normal. After you've talked and evaluated your reasons for wanting to swing, and you feel it is right for you, explore away! Meeting people online is a great way to begin your quest. Get to know different types of people and see who gives you the best 'vibe'. You have a choice between swinging with other newbies (new to swinging), or more experienced swingers. There are advantages to both. Swinging with newbies usually ensures that you have similar limits, and can share your thoughts about starting out. You can relate to each other. Swinging with more experienced swingers means that you can learn a lot from them. However, they may be into more than what you are looking for right now. If your momentary boundaries are girl-girl play, either newbies or experienced swingers can be great for this. Being experienced doesn't always mean that the couple expects full-blown sexual swapping. Some very experienced swingers have abstained from sexual swapping for years! Whoever they are, make it clear to them that you are new, and don't really know what to expect. If they are open to this, and willing accept it, go for it! If they try to talk you into doing more, be hesitant, because this can cause troubles for you. A very small minority of experienced swingers will try to prey on newbies, coercing them into something they don't want to do quite yet. Some swingers like the feeling of 'breaking in' new people to the lifestyle. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it may not be what you are seeking. Some tend to like swingers that are new to swapping for the first time because they know that they haven't been around. Most certainly don't do it for bragging rights, but some do. You'll find, for the most part, though, people in the lifestyle are polite, and much more respectful. Just relax, know your limits, get a good feel for people, and proceed at your own pace! Don't ever feel pressured. Nobody can make you do anything that you aren't comfortable with. You set your own rules. Nobody can dictate what you should do for you.
Setting up an attractive comprehensive profile is the first key to your success. Don’t know where to start or what to include? Well, you’ve come to the right place for help.
Initially, you will need to focus on posting quality photos. If you are a couple, you will need to include photos of each partner. Too often, a couple’s profile is jam-packed with tantalizing photos of the female, but nothing of the male. Remember, the ladies want a sneak peak at what the male has to offer as well. The quintessential couples’ profile has individual photos of both partners, and at least one photo of them together.

Posting a couple photo serves more than one purpose. When other members view your album, they know that you are a real couple, and not a single male posting photos of a cyberspace model in his profile under the guise of a couple, thus attempting to lure unsuspecting members into contacting him. Displaying photos of you together also serves to enhance your sense of ‘togetherness’ in others’ eyes.

Another consideration when adorning your online ad with photos is the degree of naughtiness. Although this can be a subjective matter, the most success seems to come from profiles that handle their photo posting with a touch of class. Many websites have two to three different albums for their profiles. Oftentimes, you will find that there is a public album which is open for the entire membership to view, with no limitations. If you don’t savor the prospect of displaying yourselves in all of your naked glory for everyone to see, you can utilize this album for exhibiting clothed photos. Keep in mind that the first photo you post will serve as the defining image of your whole profile. The primary photo will be the one to show up when members are doing profile searches and checking to see who is online. It is also the icon that will show up when chatting and using public forums. Probably the most important role of the primary image is the one it serves in correspondence. When you contact others, it is the very first image they will see in their mailbox before opening up your letter. First impressions are lasting. So, ask yourself, “Do we want to post a close-up photo of our naughty bits for our primary photo and have everyone who encounters our profile to remember us as ‘that crotch couple’?” Some of the best websites do not even allow nudity in the primary photos. Besides, if you are meeting someone who only has their privates on display, how are you supposed to recognize them? You can’t very well walk up to every woman in the club and lift their skirts in the effort to recognize their privates. Or better yet, have you ever heard anyone exclaim, “Hey, that’s Bob! I’d recognize that penis anywhere.”? Didn’t think so.
Although quality is perhaps paramount when composing a pictorial profile, quantity can’t hurt either. Posting a large array of photos will lure more peeks from other members. Variety within this array will also garner more interest. Professional photos are aesthetically pleasing, but people will also want to see what you look like under normal conditions. Some things to consider when varying your photos can be: everyday depictions of what you look like (not glammed up), photos taken of you at parties, outdoor shots, indoor shots and bedroom teasers. Those who are adept at programs such as Photoshop can also do some pretty neat renditions of photos, although it would be wise not to alter every picture with a photo editing program.

Try to ensure that your pictures are an accurate representation of who you are and what you currently look like. If you post a ten-year old photo of yourself when you were thirty pounds lighter, or ten years younger, this is what people will be expecting to see in person. You wouldn’t want to be deceived by others, so make sure you are representing yourself accurately.

After a period of time, you may want to rotate your photos and switch out your main image. This can be done by choosing another picture already existing in your album, or by posting a brand new photo. Constantly rotating your pictures and/or adding new ones will ensure that your profile continues to get views, thus increasing the amount of correspondence you receive. Members are always on the lookout for fresh photos, and will often take a moment to e-mail you their compliments on your new photos.
Even though you have put much time and effort into attracting people to your profile, this is no time to just sit back and expect them to come to you. There are members on the site who do nothing but wait for others to contact the, which sometimes isn’t very fruitful. Two negatives don’t make a positive in this case. Be proactive and initiate contact yourself!
It matters not whether the male or the female makes does the contacting. If you are a couple, you can both sit down and have a say in the e-mails you send out. Usually, it is recommended that the more outgoing of the couple initiates the contact, since the enthusiasm will show through in the letters. If one half of the couple is doing the contacting, they should first make sure that their other half approves of those with whom they are initiating dialogue. Swinging is an endeavor which requires both partners to play an active role in the decision-making and choice of playmates. If one of you is choosing the playmates for you both without consulting the other first, something is awry. Both of you have veto power, so once one of you decides to veto a choice, that must be respected, no matter how attractive one of you finds a couple to be.

When you initiate contact with a member, it doesn’t have to be a long involved letter. Many websites offer a feature that allows you to create a standard message to send others so you don’t have to type out a greeting every time you e-mail somebody. Some sites even have a standard greeting made for you. Although this is the easy way to introduce yourself to somebody, it may not be the best. Receiving a ‘canned’ message isn’t very personal, and may serve to turn others off. If you received a standard letter from someone that you know everyone else gets, would you feel very special? Probably not. In order for you to get noticed, try sending a short personal letter to those you would like as your potential playmates. The best kind of introductory e-mail to receive is one that indicates that not only did they look at your pictures, but that they also read your profile. The letter will note something that stood out in the profile, and make a point of complimenting both the pictures and a section of the text. People can often tell whether you have read their profile or not. When a member plainly states in the profile that they are only searching single females, and a couple contacts them about the possibility of swapping, it’s quite obvious that the profile was ignored and the pictures were the only source of interest.
Once you receive a response to your letter, depending on the type of response, you have a few options. If they seem interested in you, you can continue with mail correspondence for a bit, or have a conversation via instant messenger. If you are the type that is comfortable with speaking on the phone, this is probably the best way to go about building your relations. Phone conversation has some great advantages. First, you can actually verify that it is indeed a ‘real’ couple that you are corresponding with. Second, this is a fantastic way to gauge each partner’s views on the lifestyle. Make sure that you both get a chance to talk to the male and the female of the couple. Speaking to the female verifies the authenticity of the couple, and rules out any chance that you may be dealing with a single male posing as a couple. Also, when you speak to the man and the woman, be sure to ask them what they are seeking and perhaps why they are in the lifestyle. This is a good way to make sure that they are both in it for the same reasons, and that they both have the same intentions. In the past, swingers have used this technique to find out some telling information. In rare situations, you may hear from the male that he and his partner are interested in swapping with you and your wife. After speaking with his wife though, she indicates that she is in this only to explore her bisexual side, and has no clue that her husband is planning on swapping her out.

By using the phone to speak with them both, you can ascertain whether it is prudent to move forward with events. Sometimes, you may find out that something isn’t quite right with them, and perhaps you should end correspondence instead of getting trapped in someone else’s issues.

It’s always best to be aware of any negative situations you may encounter, but more often than not, you will probably find your phone conversation to be enlightening and just plain fun! Most swingers are a blast to talk with, and this will only leave you wanting more in person.

If you’re not inclined to speak on the phone, and instead opt for instant messenger or in-person meetings, still make sure that you find out if they are both in it for the same reasons. Trust your instincts when dealing with people. Usually, your gut feeling is correct.
The ‘where’ and the ‘how’ of your first meeting is up to you and should suit your comfort zone. This should be about you, and if you are more comfortable meeting in one type of place over another, then speak up. It is not of to the other person to dictate your meeting place or circumstance. You and your partner are the priority, and if you give in to someone’s wishes, you have misplaced your priorities. You and the other couple/single should agree on a place that will suit both of your needs. There are many options- casual dinner, night clubs, pool halls, house parties, website parties and even meetings in someone’s place of residence.
Intimate settings in which you will be the only two parties present with lifestyle relations in mind have their pros and cons, as do large scale swingers’ functions. One on one meetings ensure a lot of ‘getting to know you’ time without a great deal of ambient distractions. However, if you choose a dinner date, remember that you are stuck for the duration of dinner. If upon meeting face to face, the other person(s) were less than what you expected, or there seems to be an immediate level of discomfort, it’s not easy to get out of the situation without seeming rude.
If you all agree on a dinner date, general etiquette indicates that you will split the bill with them. If they coaxed you into going out to dinner, or if the restaurant turns out to be much more costly than you were told by the other couple, it was be courteous of them to offer to pay for dinner. The same goes if the opposite were true. You can view the etiquette for this affair much the same as going on a date. The one who asks is the one who should offer to pay, if a split bill is not agreed upon. However, just as any date, you are not obliged to play with the other couple just because they paid for the evening. We will discuss ‘after-event play possibilities’ further on in the book.

Meeting at a bar or pool hall offers the same degree of intimacy that a diner date would, but with a less uptight atmosphere. This way, you’re not stuck at a table trying to force conversation if topics of mutual interest are scarce. There are more diversions at these types of venues which help to alleviate some of the nervous tension ‘first dates’ may bring. If you are only doing drinks instead of food, you can both take turns buying rounds.

Moving on to a larger scale, you can opt to meet at a website event or a house party. In these types of venues, one is among like-minded company and can feel free to be more flirtatious, forward, and less inhibited in conversational topics than at a regular establishment. Unlike dinner, if you don’t feel that you click with the other person(s) very well, you can excuse yourself from the party while letting them know how nice it was to meet them. Perhaps the best way to avoid any awkwardness is to let others know that you will happen to be at one of these events, and if they would like to meet or have a drink, that you would be more than willing to take that opportunity. This is a great way to accomplish your meeting, while leaving yourself an ‘out’ if it’s not a match. You have placed yourself under no obligation to stay with them for the duration of the night, and you still have the opportunity to meet. You are not going as their date, nor they as yours. If you do decide to wander off, you still have plenty of other prospects from which to choose.
This kind of meeting also leaves open the possibility of pairing up for the night if you do indeed find that they make fantastic company. The choices are ameliorated and awkwardness is virtually eliminated.

Perhaps the one venue that frightens many newbies is a swing club. Whether you are on a website, or you choose to visit a swingers’ establishment to seek a match, this is a surprisingly pressure-free atmosphere to do so.

Many people who have not been to one have misconceptions. They think of visions of orgies when walking in, and people trying to grope all over them. Swing clubs, when you enter, look surprisingly like regular nightclubs. If you choose to scout out a swing club for the first time, have in mind what you would like to accomplish beforehand. However, don’t be too disappointed if your aspirations aren’t met. The best goal is to go in with no aspirations except for having a great time with your partner. Then, you’re guaranteed to meet your own expectations. Also, don’t be fooled by illusions of grandeur that every member in the club will look like a Perfect 10. Most clubbers are just your average everyday folk there to let loose. You might find a handful of very attractive people, but it won’t be the majority.
You’ll feel quite welcomed and comfortable as soon as you enter, and most clubs will give a friendly tour of the grounds. You'll witness drinking, dancing, conversation and flirting. The attire can range from regular nightclub clothes to something extremely risqué. The only difference here is that if a lady wants to get naked on the dance floor, she usually can. If it's a more liberal club, you may occasionally see some light sexual play as the night progresses. As for the hardcore, this usually takes place in special rooms away from the main area for members who choose to play on premise. There are private rooms and public rooms (usually) and if you want to explore a little more, go watch in a public room, or go have your own fun in a private room. Swing clubs aren't like regular night clubs because people tend to be much more polite, unlike regular clubs, which tend to meat-markets. The unsaid rule of a swing club is that you must ask first, ‘no’ means no and that the ladies control the action. This is almost always respected and you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who steps over this line. If you are a couple, try to go on a ‘couples-only’ night if you aren’t seeking a single male. Nights that aren’t directly designated as couples nights tend to attract many single males, who spend their time vying for the females’ attention. This can be uncomfortable for first-timers and experienced swingers alike if they aren’t into single males. If single males are on your menu, a Friday night at a swing club is going to be your best bet, since there will be plenty from which to choose. If you are there seeking single female, chances are usually slim. Many single ladies will not venture into a swing club on their own, and prefer to bring dates.
In any case, these are some tips for your foundation. Try this out and come on back to me for any further advice. Good luck!







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