What do you think of when you hear the word ‘swingers’? Is your image positive or negative?
I was corresponding with another blogger – hotlady1965 (https://hotladysite.wordpress.com) – about the swinging lifestyle. She blogs to raise awareness about swinging and, I think, to help us understand that swingers are good, ‘normal’, moral, fun people. I know many swingers and I couldn’t agree more. In my experience, swingers are the friendliest, most outgoing, fun, non-judging group pf people I have ever met. They are some of my favourite folks.
But why are they so scary to some (or at least, so harshly judged).
In many ways, swingers are very much like any other group of people – they love they kids and talk about their families with the same level of emotion as anyone else, they discuss their jobs, their beliefs (which are shocking similar to non-swingers) and other aspects of their lives. One of the few academic studies done on swinging confirmed that swingers tended to be pretty similar to the general population; they tended to screw toward professional occupations, middle to upper middle range salaries, slightly right of centre/conservative in political belief. In my experience, this is pretty close to accurate. But, my point here — swingers are just like us.
But in some ways swingers are different. They embrace pleasure in a way that most don’t and they place a day-to-day emphasis on fun that far exceeds the general population. It would be fascinating to study, but my strong suspicion would be that swingers (i) travel for pleasure at rates far higher than the general population; (ii) would rate their personal happiness higher than the general populations and (iii) would rate their relationship satisfaction higher than the general population.
Oh… and they are different in one other way… they have sex with other people outside their relationship. Wait, lots of people do this… they are different in that they have sex with other people outside their relationship with the full consent of their partners.
So I think two things are going on in the harsh judgment ‘vanilla’ society places on swingers:
1. The obvious – sexual moralization and the fear of sexual expression and sexual expansion. I made up that last term, so let me explain. By fearing sexual expression, I mean that, as a society, we are taught that sex is not to be discussed; the openness with which swingers treat sex in their life is seen as ‘wrong’. By sexual expansion (the one I made up) I mean we hugely fear anything that risks expanding sexual deviance into the lives of others: so, while any sexual deviance is suspect, the most feared sexual deviances are the ones that could propagate. For swingers, I believe that one of the main reasons people have such a negative impression of them is that they fear that their lifestyle is ‘contagious’. The way that swingers admit to having sexual attraction to others makes non-swingers feel threatened – what if they’re after my ‘wife’.
2. Jeolousy – Swingers have a lot of fun and the spend a lot of time having a lot of fun. To some, this seems irresponsible – I think it irks their protestant upbringing to see ‘adult’ place so much emphasis on pleasure. For others, I think they are truly envious that they cannot have that open sexual expression in their relationships; so they react with loathing.
What are your thoughts:
– why the fear and loathing directed at swingers?
– do you know any swingers? what are they like?
– whether swinging is right for you or not, what do you think if it and those that partake?