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Question: Pros and cons of joining the swinger scene

Dear Lounge Advice,

My husband and I are new to this scene. We are very curious. What advice would you give to us about the swinger scene and if it is right for us? As an expert, could you tell us the pros and cons of joining the swinger scene?




Dear (Anonymous),

Hereís one analogy that you never saw on your SATís, but is a vital one to understanding your role in the lifestyle: Swinging in a relationship is like the wind to a fire. If the fire is strong, swinging will be the wind that breathes more life into your fire, making it burn brightly. If your fire is weak, that same wind will eventually extinguish the flames.
The lifestyle is no place for issues. The only type of issues allowed here are the Freudian types. Issues indicate a weak fire, and the aforementioned analogy alludes to the role of swinging to your relationship. The purpose of this lifestyle is to enhance an already fantastic bond. Naturally, there will always be a twinge of jealousy or insecurity. This comes with the territory of loving your mate, and is actually quite healthy. However, excessive jealousy or insecurity are best left outside of the swinging lifestyle. Yes, it takes a lot of trust, love, and acceptance to be involved in our lifestyle. That is why it is best to communicate with your partner thoroughly about your rules and comfort levels before you even entertain the possibility of swinging. If your wife is going to feel threatened by a woman she perceives as prettier than her, you have to work on making her feel secure before you swing. If your husband is going to get jealous if another man comes near you, this issue will make it near impossible to have a friendly swinging experience. Penis envy should be a nonentity in our lifestyle if youíre a couple swapping! If a couple senses that you have these kinds of issues, they will be much less inclined to play with you.
This is the time to look inside the dynamics of your relationship with your mate and determine: Do we have the essential elements needed to make an open relationship viable? This is not a time to rationalize weaknesses by saying that they arenít important; that they will hold up to any challenges swinging will offer. This is a time to be brutally honest and determine, above all is, if your relationship will be sturdy enough to handle any encumbrance that is presented when you and your partner partake in sexual relations with others. You would be demeaning the value of your bond with your significant other if you were to venture into this lifestyle with the goal of sleeping with others above the fate of your relationship. If this is the case, you will quickly find that your misplaced priorities will eclipse the strength of your bond, therefore placing your entire foundation in peril. Place yourselves in certain situations and try to answer hypothetical questions. If you are the woman, how will you feel if your mate hits on another woman at a lifestyle event? If you are the man, how would you react if another man was getting friendly with your wife, with the intention of enjoying sexual relations? How do you think either one of you would respond if an extremely appealing individual invited one of you out alone without the otherís knowledge? Would temptation be too hard to handle, or would your significant other have the strength to say no and inform you of the occurrence? Would you be able to handle seeing your partner engage in mind-blowing sex with another? Or, are you only considering the lifestyle because you no longer feel an attraction to your partner, and are seeking a way to satiate your sexual needs since you are not achieving this at home?
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.
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 then decide which event you might like to try the next time.

You may warm up to the lifestyle a bit more if you enjoy 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, you 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, arenít they? In fact, anyone who attends a lifestyle event will see just how Ďnormalí 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.
One important thing to note is that swingers classify themselves in many ways. Not all self-proclaimed swingers partake in full sexual contact with other couples. Some prefer as little as letting the women explore with each other, with no participation from the men.
It is perfectly healthy for one or both of you to determine that your relationship isnít quite ready to handle swinging yet. However, If you feel that you are both in it for the right reasons, and truly capable of withstanding some of the challenges the lifestyle may offer, and believe that you can meet these head-on while still enjoying yourselves and maintaining a strong bond, then you are good candidates for swinging.
The pros and cons depend entirely upon the foundation previoulsy mentioned. If your foundation and reasons for exploring this are solid and unclouded, you can enjoy many things.
Obviously, the sexual exploration is a blast. Meeting other open-minded, fun people is probably one of the very best things about this. Making friends and acquanitances that are also into this lifestyles allows you to have open conversations and fun with those you don't have to feel self-sonscious around. Speaking as a long-term lifestyler, it is sometimes dificult to completely let my guard down in front of 'regular' company. Being around other swingers allows me to just be myself and not worry about doing or saying something that might be offensive or otherwise cause people to judge me. It also allows an escape from the pressures and normalcy of everyday life. Expressing the adult side of oneself without feeling guilty is very liberating, especially for those of us who have had strict or narrow upbringings.
Just being in attendance at a lifestyle function can be a wonderful escape from reality and can provide an outlet for even the mosr reserved of individuals.
The cons- The cons are highly dependant on your stability, communication and ability to trust your partner, and vice versa. If your relationship is not strong, the cons can be devastating. Use my initial analogy, and that should allow you to make the correct inferences.
If this is in place (and it should be if you decide to test the waters) then the cons of doing this can vary upon your experience. If new to the lifestyle, sometimes a twinge of jealousy will surface.
I feel that the biggest challenge, not necessarily a drawback, is starting out and finding your way through. This isn't necessarily a 'con' persay, but it does test you.
Meeting those with whom you can share a mutual experience, whether it is merely a non-sexual friendship, or something much more, is always a challenge. Setting boundaries, expressing boundaries to others and finding compatible people is an ongoing task for us all.
Over time, preferences and experiences will evolve. Many times, you may notice that young people, or new people in the lifestyle go mainly by looks. There is nothing wrong with this at all, because it has a lot to do with attraction. Many are guilty or searching for Ken and Barbie at first. As one gains more experience in the lifestyle, one learns quickly that looks don't always equate to substance. You may desire more than just a one night stand, as this may not be your prerogative. You'll find that certain personalities become a turn-off to you, no matter how beautiful the person is, and certain personalities become an aphrodisiac, even if the initial attraction was not present. Many swingers prefer to find not only attraction, but personality, wit and humor. Impossible? Of course not! I have met a lot of really fantastic people with all of these qualities. No, it's not easy, but that's what patience teaches us. Most just aren't into the beautiful people who are ugly inside, and have found some of the most awesome people just by chatting and being friends first. This is only some peopleís preference though, and you may evolve differently in the lifestyle, if you choose to venture into it.
Just remember, being here does not equate to being required to jump into bed with anyone. Even seasoned lifestylers such as myself go through phases. Right now, my husband and I attend the events, but rarely partake in the action.
You decide what is right for you. If you choose to follow your curiosity further, it doesn't have to go far. Just keep in mind that there are wonderful people in the lifestyle that are always willing to help you along the way, no matter how involved you choose to become ;)
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