Sometimes, it’s just about the sex—happy, transactional couplings, with full consent of your partner, if you have one. That’s what swinging is about: recreational sex, sport sex, sex just for fun. This contrasts with polyamory, where sex with multiple partners builds relationships. Most swinging focuses on couples having sex in each other’s presence and with each other’s consent.
As Evoë writes in her blog, a swinging party can be a great time. She found an open, welcoming, sexy community with no pressure toward sex and a diverse mix of people. A 2000 study of 1092 U.S. swingers concluded swingers are by and large “the white, middle-class, middle-aged, church-going segment of the population reported in earlier studies,” but “less racist, less sexist, and less heterosexist than the general population.”
Swingers tend to be happier in their marriages than strictly monogamous people, according to the 2000 study, and also rate their lives as happier than nonswingers do. Couples generally take up swinging some years into the relationship to add spice—to seek sexual variety without deceit. An estimated 1 to 4 percent of married couples indulge at least occasionally.
If you want to stay emotionally true to one person, stay honest, and still mess around—they call that swinging.