The concept of being a swinger has massively gained popularity at the turn of the 21st century. Becoming acceptable in movies, music, lifestyle magazines, and recognition of history. Swingers indulge in intimate acts with someone other than their spouse/primary partner, with the full knowledge and consent of that person.
Just because the concept has gained popularity in recent decades doesn’t mean swinging is an entirely new idea. Swingers have been thriving since the beginning of recorded time! Now if you are newcomers and want to try swinging with other swingers, there are many things you need to know as the beginner swingers.
While it is more common for couples to keep their intimate lives very personal, it’s difficult to get accurate numbers. Many swinger sites ask for members to anonymously engage in a poll to get the best overall numbers for these statistics.
Dating Site Numbers
Swinger sites like Adult Friend Finder have over 80 million members around the world. But, let’s take into consideration that of those 80 million members:
Not every single account is active
Even though they are labeled “Swinger Sites”, many singles get a membership to find love, hookups, or friends with benefits
Many members don’t live in the United States. Yes, the United States tops the list at having the most dating app users, but the UK, Finland, India, Australia, and Brazil fall very closely behind
Adult Friend Finder isn’t the only dating app. Badoo, another international dating app has over 400 million users. Although the app isn’t setup for swingers, it gives us a good idea of the demographics of swinger statistics
Swinger Community Numbers
As of May 2023, there are more than 2 million active members of the swinger community.
Members range from 18 to 80 years old
Half of this 2.2 million member population is made up of swingers 40-49 years old
Over 65% of members are between 30 to 59 years old
In the U.S., Delaware is home to the most active swinger community by ratio. Doubling the numbers of any other state
Finland ranks as the most active swinging community, with over 50% of the population!
The swinger community has become a 9.5 billion dollar industry
Around 30% of the Baby Boomer generation said they more interested in monogomy where 49% of the Millennial generation see's non-monogomous relationships ideal.
As of 05/15/2023, the initial mapping of participation and opinions regarding swinging has been conducted. This research done by The Bed Bible Research Center encompasses a vast amount of data, including 45,341 survey responses and 5,132,842 data points obtained from online web scrapers and consolidated from various scientific studies. This comprehensive study represents the most extensive examination of the current state of swinging to date.
What is Swinging?
Well, it sure isn’t an activity on a swingset at the park. Nor is it catching some air on the tire swing at your cottage. Swinging is where singles or those in ethically non-monogamous relationships engage in sexual activities with other couples and singles for fun and socialization.
This can include:
Watching one's partner engage in sexual activity with another consenting person
Group sex with consenting individuals or couples
The most common method is an adult male and female couple, meeting other pairs to explore kinks, physical intimacy, and sometimes ongoing intimate relationships. This may occur at a swing party, a couple-to-couple encounter, a hookup, or with a third person in a threesome.
Swinging vs Open Relationships vs Polyamory
Surely you're familiar with all three of these concepts. And you know that none of them are monogamous partnerships. But what are the differences? Here they are.
Swinging can be defined as "communal sex.” Singles and couples participate in numerous sorts of sexual sharing and exchanging with one another. The degree of closeness and sexual participation vary with all interactions. Everyone has agreed upon clear boundaries and standards.
2. Open Relationships
An open relationship is when two individuals in a relationship publicly agree to date/sleep with other people. They could do this simultaneously, independently, or both. The ties may not be passionate, sexual, or emotional. But regulations also need to be consented to.
Polyamory is the hands-on experience of being in an intimate relationship with more than one person at a time, with the informed permission of all partners involved. People are drawn to these sorts of psychologically committed. The partners in poly partnerships regard their connections equally rather than imposing labels like “primary” or “secondary.”
The Perks of Being a Swinger
Although many people associate swinging with sexual activity, there are many other aspects of the culture that can enrich your life, whether you are a swing or a vanilla. Some of the many ways in which swinging has been shown to benefit the mind and spirit are as follows: stress and anxiety reduction; social understanding; trust; communication; listening and observation; self-awareness; overcoming fear; revitalizing intimacy; and delaying the effects of aging.
How to Become a Real Swinger
First things first before becoming a real swinger. There needs to be a very serious conversation, a set of expectations, rules, and boundaries. If you need a little help to get the ball rolling and share the experience with your partner, you can start here!
In a Relationship
The easiest way to ruin the idea and possibly your relationship is by not discussing expectations, rules, and boundaries. Start with hinting and take baby steps into the full discussion. You can’t really become a real swinger if you and your partner are not on the same page with the rules, expectations, and boundaries.
Agree to one of the following definitions:
FWB (Friends With Benefits): Basically the simpler term for swinger. You know the person as a friend and the pleasure is the benefits
Hotwife: Husbands allow/show off their wives or get off on watching their wives be pleasured by someone else
Soft Swap: Aka 'friction parties': Both partners hook up, maybe going to second base. Massage, swapping tongues, etc.
Closed Swinging: Each partner can hook up behind closed doors
Open Swinging: Accompanying each other with other partners
Voyeurism: This is the act of watching another couple
When it comes down to the reasons why couples either stop swinging or completely break up, it’s usually a combination of a few things. To prioritize your relationship, it is important to communicate and demonstrate that nothing should threaten it. Both partners must feel secure before exploring new experiences, whether it be trying something new sexually or expanding the relationship to involve others.
You can also go through this list of questions to set rules and place boundaries:
Are there any sexual acts that are forbidden?
What kinds of sexual acts are you more comfortable doing?
How will you let the pair know that you're (un)comfortable with them?
Do you have a go-to phrase or gesture you can use if you need to pause?
If you use your safe phrase or signal, what do you want your spouse to do?
Are groups, other couples, or single people more appealing to you?
Do you like to "play" in public or privately?
Are you willing to play several times with the same couple?
Are you primarily interested in casual sex or in making long-lasting connections with other couples?
If your partner likes someone else but you don't like the person's relationship, what will you do?
How will you stay in touch while having this experience?
Do you plan to meet other couples in person or online? Is it okay to communicate with people online either alone or only while your partner is there?
How will you discuss your experience with others?
Yes, single ladies and gentlemen are more than welcome to join a consensual rendezvous. The terms are known as ‘Bull’ for single men joining, and ‘Unicorn’ for single women joining. The search for a couple’s Unicorn is much more common than the search for a Bull. For single men who want to go to a swinger party or club, it is much more difficult than it is for a single woman. Here’s why:
The swinger community is saturated with more male members. Owners and party hosts will keep the ratio between men and women pretty close to equal
It is all too frequent that single men aren’t aware of the appropriate behavior that is expected once inside the club. If a single male is just going to have a good time, they are better off going to a heterosexual strip club.
Unicorns are commonly requested because the male in the relationship get’s turned on by watching female play, and watching their female partner enjoy the pleasure physically.
Single men have a better chance at attending a swinger event when they know other members of the community. These members can vouch for you and be responsible for your actions and behavior.
Ladies, grab your glitter and majestic Unicorn horn and rehearse stating your boundaries loud and clear! Go ahead and search around for something that excites you while at the party. Don’t get upset when you get turned down or if you aren’t what the couple is looking for. It’s all in good fun for you, and there is nothing wrong with just watching.
Still a little weary about joining the swinger community without being in a relationship? Ask yourself these questions to see if swinging is right for you:
Can you detach love from sex?
Do you enjoy watching porn that involves partner switching, group sex, or voyeurism?
Have you ever engaged in group sex and found it attractive?
Are you sexually adventurous and open-minded?
Does the thought of your lover having sex with someone else make you feel attracted to them?
Do you enjoy novelty and exploration?
Best Places to Meet Other Swingers
It’s fairly easy to meet other swingers by engaging with the community. Meeting other swingers that are compatible with what you and your partner are looking for is not as easy. Meeting other swingers without directly going to the source can be a very awkward and uncomfortable situation.
If you aren’t ready to enter the community in full and just want to dip your toes in, you have quite a few tried and true options that have successfully brought swingers, well, full swing. None of them entail you walking up to a couple and asking, “Hey, are you two swingers?”
1. Join a Local Swinger Dating App or Site
This is without a doubt the best way to start participating within the swinger community. Some of the top sites for finding local swingers allow you and your partner to slowly ease into the experience together with a shared profile. Your key to success here is to make the hottest swinger dating profile, which can be completely private to specific members on the site.
You can also lay it all out there in your profile and compare your likes and dislikes of the other members. Rely on the multiple resources each site offers. Swinger sites like SwapFinder allow members access to their ‘Sex Academy’ feature so you can get any and all of your questions answered.
2. Host a Themed House Party
Find potential joiners by hosting a themed house party with your hottest friends. They don’t have to be your closest friends if your boundaries and rules aren’t clear enough for them. Here's some ideas that aren't the obvious 'keys in the bowl' party:
Play a game like Heads Up or a card game that has rules or bets. Suggest clothing items, or sexy confessions. Or choose from the hundreds of adult party games like Xrated Cards Against Humanity.
Naughty charades could go from acting the word out an R rated way... to acting the word 'out' on a guest.
A popular go-to activity that really works wonders is Guess Who? Game. Blindfold a guest and have them guess the person who is doing something. This can start from a guest singing a song, to back massages, to the blindfolded has to guess who is performing on them.
Put on a movie like 365 Days, or Eyes Wide Shut. You can seem interested in other couples reactions to certain scenes and converse about them.
3. Go Shopping at the Local Adult Novelty Shop
If you and your partner can’t bear to enter a sex toy store, you should probably reconsider joining the swinger lifestyle. There is always something at a novelty store that couples can use, and not just for sex. Pick out a sexy outfit, try out a new lube, but most of all, ask the employee for some insider tips. After all, they mostly help a lot of open minded couples.
4. Attend Events or Book a Swingers Cruise
Of course, booking a vacation specifically titled ‘Swinger Cruise’ will get you in on the action easily. Plus, it’s the only time it’s acceptable to walk up to a couple and immediately strike up a conversation about hooking up. Online swinger sites like SwingLifestyle have a very helpful feature, Topless Travel, that showcases all swinger events around the world.
Myths About Swingers
Swinging Ruins Relationships
Well, it can. But not always. As with any non-monogamous sexual relationship, insecurity, jealousy, and negative self-esteem can result from swinging. This is especially true if your first experience doesn’t live up to your expectations.
It’s about the both of you, not just you!
Keep in mind that while swinging can improve your relationship, it will not fix or rebuild a broken one. Couples who are open to trying new things together sexually are more likely to find experiences that both of them enjoy.
In order to make it through a swingers' party together, a couple must both want to find a way to reconnect physically and emotionally. It is a fantastic way to satisfy sexual needs, try something new, and fulfill mutual fantasies without having to lie or keep secrets from your partner.
Swingers Are Cheaters
Every couple has their own definition of cheating. As long as the couple stays within their boundaries, no cheating will occur. Many couples don’t even agree on what they define as cheating in a monogamous relationship, so this clear communication of expectations and boundaries is very healthy. But you should never join a swinging community just so you can cheat on your partner.
Swingers Have STDs
While this isn’t entirely a myth, it’s not as prevalent as you’d think. Some swinger clubs have a policy where you need to show proof of a recent STD test. There are also swinger events that are specifically for those with STDs. The Golden Rule when it comes to being involved in the community is to use protection.
You Can’t Be A Swinger if You’re Married
Actually, close to 1.1 million married couples in America, which accounts for 2%-10% of the total, have engaged in swinging activities, according to the North American Swing Club Association. Moreover, the association reports that this figure is on the rise.
Tips for Swinging
Your safest option is to research the clubs and events online. Each and every one of them will have rules, expected etiquette, and strict policies. Let’s go over the few that are pretty standard at all swinging events.
1. Dress to Impress
You can guarantee that there will be a dress code. You can’t just walk right in, already naked and ready to party. You also don’t want to show up in muddy jeans, and a sweaty shirt. You will be turned away before you even hit the front door. Looking your best and feeling confident will get you very far once on the inside. You are safe to stick with business to formal attire.
2. Be Coherant
No one wants to get so drunk or high that they ruin a good time for themselves and everyone around them. Events are either licensed with a full bar or BYO. There is nothing wrong with seductively sipping a cocktail while you scope out your potential suitors. Since swingers tend to be open minded to more things than intamacy, you can expect to be offered drugs, or arousal enhancements while attending the event. This is a gesture that you can politely decline, if it is something that makes you feel uncomfortable, immediately go to the host and bring it to their attention so they can handle it accordingly.
3. Show Up Together, Stay Together, Leave Together
This is one of the top rules in any swinger event, and for very important reasons. As a couple, it is frowned upon to wander around without your partner. Doing this can also bring some bad vibes around. Noticing your partner chatting it up with another couple without you can cause a bit of jealousy.
4. Make Consent Clear
The cornerstone of a positive and fulfilling swinging encounter is consent. It is imperative to receive clear and unambiguous consent before engaging in any sexual activity with another couple or individual. Equally important is respect for personal boundaries and preferences. If someone declines your advances or expresses discomfort, it is important to gracefully accept their decision and move on. The ability to handle rejection with poise and respect is a valuable skill for those involved in the swinger lifestyle.
5. Have a Secret Language with Your Partner
You should really put some thought into this part of your swinger style. It can be a little awkward if your partner is enjoying themselves and you aren’t, but they aren’t noticing that you aren’t having fun. This language should consist of certain words or phrases that you and your partner can identify. Most commonly used is the ‘drink’ request. If you hate gin or normally don’t order it, asking your partner for a martini can let them know it’s time to move on. Go a step further and having another drink that signals you are really into it and want to check in with your partner to see if they agree.