Saturday night my partner and I decided that we needed a night out, swing club style. And yes, it has been a while since we’ve attended a club. So, in direct contrast to this time last year when we were attending once a month, this actually felt like more of a treat or a special event if you will. One of the things that we are both very good at doing is going in with low expectations (which I do not mean negatively). And by that I mean, if we attend and get to talk to a few couples throughout the evening and finish the night with just the two of us having sex surrounded by people we call that a great night. And I know, for anyone who has never attended one that may come as a shock. So, I will re-iterate for clarity. If we are able to socialize and then just have sex the two of us, we go home meeting our expectations.
Now with that in mind, this last weekend, was a rush! And why? Because we not only chatted with one new couple, but we actually connected with a bunch of really rad people. There was laughter, mingling and just a general excitement that felt electric. I mean, we actually met a few couples that we want to see outside of the club. And that, is truly amazing for us. Imagine how hard it was for you to find someone when you were single. Now imagine that the dating pool is only 1% of that, being non-monogamous specifically. And now we are looking for not one, but two people we get along with! It’s a teeny tiny mathematical number that if we looked at the odds with a critical mindset, it would probably be better to just not even try.
Thankfully though, I am a near annoying optimist with an unwavering perseverance to keep trying. And for my partner, well, the rewards far outweigh any risk, by pretty much the positive power of whatever negative we are sitting in right now. And that is why I am jubilant right now, in knowing that we interacted with a few couples! I mean, it’s a damn near impossibility and yet, here I sit, trying to calm my mind from racing too far ahead with the fantasy of dating multiple couples at the same time. So, I am trying to snap myself into a logical, reality based frame. But, I cannot quite shake this smile. And to hear my partner daily say how much fun Saturday was, just brings a smile to my face. It was fun, and we have real opportunity in the future to continue the fun. And, well, I am just on a little bit of a swing club high right now.
The actual events of Saturday were fabulous, with playtime and touching of new people and the amazing visual stimulus that we keep coming back for. But, the reality is, I am far more excited for the future us, rather than where the two of us were in that moment just shortly around 1 AM. It’s easy to get laid in a swing club, especially when you bring your own partner. What’s tricky, is finding something fun outside of it. A couple with whom, you are trying to set up a date in the real world. And if everything lines up the way I am so hopeful for, maybe a few of them?
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In my last post, I discussed the idea of re-branding the outdated term of swinging, or as @HunterGash suggested, adding a new term that better defines his relationship norm and would probably better identify a large group within the lifestyle. While I personally don’t agree that adding new labels is beneficial in the long term, there was one group that I may actually feel could benefit from a different term, and that is the single lifestyle men. I know, this may come as quite a shock to many of my readers, especially if you have read a few of my angry rant posts regarding singles in the lifestyle. But I have given this a lot of thought, and ultimately, I don’t think single men should use the term swingers.
Single men have a lot of hurdles to overcome being a part of the lifestyle. More in fact than any other group, and the reason is, there is too large of a supply for the actual demand. As a result, single men are very visible and any bad behaviour is seen, remembered and preventative measures are quickly put in place. It only takes one bad apple to get a bad reputation for the group, and as there are so many of them, it’s easy for things to get out of hand and therefor simpler to just ban them altogether. And I have to include myself, because it is much easier to just say single men shouldn’t swing rather than trying the tedious task of weeding out the bad apples or trying to educate them, especially in the heat of the moment.
But, after interacting with a bunch of really great single guys who are positive additions to the swinging community I realized that there has got to be a happy medium between letting them over saturate the community and banning them altogether. How then do single males become a positive asset within the term swingers? The best answer I could come up with, is they don’t. Hear me out…
I think the easiest thing for men to do at this point, is drop the word swinger altogether, and just start saying they are non-monogamous males or something along those lines. The word swinger is not working, it never really has, and men already have a bunch of terms to pick and choose from that work better anyways, without all the additional stigma of being a swinger added on. Let’s take a look at a few of the terms available, non-monogamous, single men (a little joke), bulls, bachelors, FWB etc.
To me, single men are not swingers by definition. Swinging is about partnership, relationships, team building, etc and these are things that single men are not. Now this is not supposed to be inflammatory or be interpreted as me not wanting to include singles in the lifestyle. When you’re flying solo, you’re not fully swinging and that’s OK! Let’s look at single women in the lifestyle, they are given the term unicorn, and I don’t think many people would even think to call them swingers. They are almost elevated above swingers, as an almost prized possession, whereas single men are below swingers (this is a stereotypical example for a reason and not my personal opinion). The thing is, singles are not equal to swingers. Swingers is plural and singles, well, you can do the math on that.
So in short, why as a single male would you set yourself up for double the stigma when you don’t have to? Why would you even want to use the term swinger? While many are trying to re-invent it, or rename it, you can just walk away from the label and just be non-monogamous, or bachelors, or even that you enjoy lifestyle parties. In the words of my old boss, Keep it simple stupid (again, a joke). Go for what works, and stop fighting what simply isn’t.
And if you want to test out my theory, try putting swinger on your dating profile and watch all your matches disappear. Then, switch to non-monogamous and while this switch will not open doors, it will keep them from being slammed in your face. And you are much more likely to get some real conversation going by people who are inquisitive or a little more open minded. Why is this? Stigma and taboo are real and very hard to overcome on paper. So why would you set yourself up for a polarizing hard no right off the bat? That’s just setting yourself up for failure or at the very least creating just one more difficult hurdle to overcome. So break free of the double stigma of being single male swingers and avoid all the added negativity of the bad apples who went before you. Play to your strengths, and don’t hold onto weaknesses.
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What is the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the term swinger. Really think about it for a moment, and allow a picture to form in your mind. Good! Now chances are incredibly high that something negative or taboo, or cliché started to form. Perhaps a fishbowl full of keys, or shag carpets, or some seedy basement reeking of sweat and stale beer, or just a big orgy with lots of pubic hair! I for one, always picture a 60’s scene pool party with that one dude who is short, greasy, lots of chest hair and an inexplicable amount of scantily clad women hanging off of him. Now I know from personal experience that this is not the case, but swinging is just not a modern term, and thus it’s difficult to envision the term free of its rich history, it’s just not representative of the modern participant.
Now if you are one of the few who either didn’t have an immediate negative image form and instead something funny, or sexy popped into your mind congrats! But the reality is if you are part of the lifestyle or know people in it, it can be difficult to separate the stigma from the reality. Or even to look at people who have admitted to swinging without a bit of a skepticism. You know they look normal, but you may wonder what is wrong with them, or their marriage or just think they are clearly not typical swingers, because swinging is not normal and the word has a lot of visual stigma attached.
With all this taboo, and preconception in mind, you can well imagine why so many people who identify as swingers are looking to rebrand the name. It is human nature to want to be accepted in society, or at the very least not judged at every turn. And swingers, polyamory, open relationships, and all the other labels on the non-monogamous spectrum have taken their share of societal beatings over the years. No one group outside of monogamy holds a universally accepted relationship norm. And that is why, over the last few years we have seen an influx of people trying to break free of stigma and or prove the judgemental people wrong. And if you’re a regular reader, you know I am one of the many voices trying to promote acceptance and understanding with my own breaking free of monogamy.
So let’s take a look at what prompted this post, a little tweet from a friend whom we will call @HunterGash (who you can follow on Twitter): “It’s been my mission for 2 years on the show [Hunter Gash and Alley Cat on GTFO Radio] to find a term that doesn’t have the stigma attached like “swingers” does. #FWBLifestyle needs to begin…” In his eyes, the idea of merging friends with benefits and lifestyle is the closest fit for the modern swinger. It’s kind of catchy hashtag FWB Lifestyle. And really, I can see something like that catching on, especially from those who are in the know and want a re-invention of the word swingers.
So here is where I am struggling. I am in my mid 30’s and am experiencing social interaction with a bombardment of labels. Every group out there is trying to break free of stigma by creating new terminology, better suited labels, and just in general trying to fit into a more descriptive box. If you read my post about labels, I go into the idea that labels equals exclusionary boxes. And by using online dating in that post as the main example it does hit the heart of my issue, I don’t like labels. I like living free, fluid and with the ability to explore all new experiences without being tied down or branded so to speak. And so when this friend proudly proclaimed his new term for swingers I was immediately against it.
But then, being the balanced, person I am, I started questioning his motivations. And I agree with the why and the how, and the term is useful and accurate. However, that still leaves me with the predicament of a new label and term to now promote, use and explain. Is that easier or even the best idea? Do we fix the broken term or scratch it and start over? Have we learned enough about our selves and relationships to not screw up this new term too? Or will we end up in 30 years looking back on #FWBLifestyle going, those people were so weird, and were basically horny rabbits, who spent far too much time in hot tubs ignoring their families, and had absolutely no pubic hair anywhere… EWW!
After flip flopping on whether this new term is a good idea, necessary, or will one day replace swinging in our minds I say this. You do you, and let me do me. If using a new term helps you find your place, and gives you a defined sense of community then all the power to you. If labels and boxes give you certainty and comfort, then go for it. Breaking free of terms that have stigma attached and misrepresent a large community is a completely understandable cause. For me though? I prefer to break free of labels and move towards a more fluid existence. In the real world it seems like labels are less important than on social media. So perhaps it’s time to pool our resources towards more in depth conversations and explanations of what we already have and do away with trying to re-invent the wheel.
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One of my more popular posts and definitely the one that shows up in searches most frequently is this. With penis and porn right in the title, it’s no wonder as men are fascinated by both. That post was written long before I ventured to a swing club, and had never been in a room with more than 2 penis’s at a time. Life has been kind to me since then, especially now that I frequent lifestyle clubs. If you haven’t read that post I touch on the idea that large dicks found in porn are something many men want to see and actually seek out specifically in their porn searches.
But this is the swing club edition and things are a little different in this community. What do I mean by that? Let’s take a look at some swinger online forums, followed by a brief description of what I see in the real world, aka, in lifestyle clubs.
Firstly lets talk about what happens online. If a guy posts that he has a large penis, and tries to discuss how some of his partners have complained or been off put by the size, he will get shamed. He will get called out for bragging, or lying and basically be criticized for asking about a penis that is too big. He doesn’t even have time to address his concerns the outcry is so loud. Which is in stark contrast to what I have read about with men viewing porn with big dicks. It’s scientifically documented in the search histories and porn hub, but with swingers, this does not seem to follow the standard rule. Instead, men seem almost afraid to let a large dick into their midst. It also seems by the chastising that occurs, men don’t seem to believe large dicks are a real thing, more like mythical creatures or objects. And every single time I see a post about a large penis, someone cries out, “you’re not measuring it right… 99 percent of guys can’t measure it properly”. And to that, I will actually agree, because as a woman, getting a professional to measure your breasts for a properly fitting bra is something that rarely happens but should. Bras are extremely expensive and uncomfortable when not sized properly, yet we would rather guess and test. Women have an actual necessity and still don’t do it. Men, I don’t know of any professional penis measurer’s, other than the very accurate toilet paper roll test (I kid! And if you google, be prewarned it’s a dangerous rabbit hole) or why you would need it. Ok, moving on.
If a man on the other hand posts that he’s worried about being to small, every manor of male rushes to boost his confidence. With don’t worry about it, make sure you focus on oral, or bring toys, or we gotcha, women don’t actually care about large cocks. It’s astounding the comradery about a small dick, versus the shame of a large dick. In the online forum world it seems good to be small or average and very very bad to be large. Basically, the polar opposite to the porn we all seem to watch. So I’m left a little puzzled. Men of the swinger world, are you OK with watching a large cock on a laptop because you know it isn’t real? Does having one in the swinging community feel a little too close to home? Does it perhaps make you feel a little insecure? Or make it an uneven penis pool? I’m just throwing ideas out there, because swinging men resoundingly do not like talking about big dicks. I on the other hand love it!
Now ladies, I have the funniest feeling we may be part of the problem here. Have you ever told your partner that his size was just fine and you wouldn’t change a thing? Have you ever said that you would be afraid of a larger penis or something to that extent? And further to that, did you actually mean it? If you did, and you believe all these things, then perfect, good on you. But isn’t swinging about variety, and trying something you don’t normally get? I ask this, because when couples share an account on online discussions, the men talk quite a bit differently and much more open minded. They will say things like, I want my wife to be satisfied. I am A OK with a larger guy because she likes it, and her happiness means everything to me. And all these responses are perfectly fine, we should be able to express our opinions freely, I just get a little pissed off when every single large penis is shamed for asking questions. And further women who do care about penis size are actually stigmatized for being “size queens” and frowned upon in the online setting. Mostly by men who are obviously immature and insecure, oh wait did that sound judgy? My bad. Maybe I have a sweet spot for them because I get absolutely destroyed online if I complain that a cannot find clothes to fit me. Tiny frame, large breasts, my goodness don’t get me started on trying to buy a bikini! Those things are expensive and I have to buy 2 sets because they don’t sell tops and bottoms separately! And people don’t like hearing that because the jealousy and envy supersedes my issue. OK, tangent over.
Now let’s move into the real world. For you see, most outsiders believe that a swing club/sex club is basically live porn so obviously there should be massive cocks everywhere. Le sigh, this just isn’t the case though, sorry, the secrets is out, we are just normal, everyday people. So let’s delve into what real world penis’s look like and how actual men react to them. In a club setting… nobody cares! Yup, that’s right. The stigma is almost entirely an online phenomenon. If there are real life insecurities, they are dealt with behind closed doors, and almost exclusively come down to, are you ready for this? Getting it up! Personality, conversation, humour, supersede the penis size. I have never once heard a guy lean over to another guy and ask how big he is down there prior to playtime, unless there has been too much booze, as some people are just tactless assholes no matter where they are. So, in summary as is almost always the case, you cannot trust the internet. What we google search, what we talk about and what happens in the real world are vastly different things. So relax, and enjoy what you got. And if you think I’m being sexist, re-read this post swapping male anatomy for breasts, boobs, etc and you will see that we are all equal when it comes to judgement.
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This is a term that I see time and time again within the swinging community and if this is your first time hearing it, no, it is not something that swingers use in a positive light. This is the term that really separates swingers from the rest of the non-monogamous spectrum. Because one of the main attractions to partner swapping and sharing is the ability to isolate sex from emotions. You in essence can sleep with a multitude of people, get to know them, be social and do all these exciting and amazing things in the bedroom, but remain emotionally monogamous with your spouse. For you see, if you develop any sort of feelings you must stop seeing these outside partners immediately. That is a breach of trust within your relationship and basically violating the golden swinger rule; Thou shalt not catch the feels!
I hear this term frequently, within forums and any discussion about how to approach swinging for the first time, especially from the older generations. These couples have negotiated the ideal that they can have sex outside their relationship with the clear understanding that it is only sex. They can play together multiple times with the same couple, sometimes even for years at a time but there is no emotional bond beyond the sex and friendship. There is a line strongly drawn in the sand here. Your emotional connection is reserved for your spouse/partner and only for them. With the acknowledgement that sex with other people is a lot of fun and encouraged so by all means embrace the physical. But if you blur those two ideals, then your very relationship could be in jeopardy and your swingers card is basically revoked.
Ok, I’m over stepping a wee bit on the that last one, because there isn’t actually a swingers card, although that would be really fun. A card where you have to basically sign that you agree to consent, take responsibility for your own sexual safety and you agree to abide by the house rules, whatever those may be. But I have digressed there. Let’s get back on track, those icky feelings.
I have explored so many wondrous relationship norms on the non monogamous spectrum, and if you’re a regular reader you know that I struggle with rules. I struggle with being told that any relationship I embark on has limitations. I am so much more flexible and open minded about these things. I want to be able to explore without limits, other than safe sex of course. So, in essence I feel like I am living a taboo within a taboo. A non-monogamous open mindedness for relationships within the parameters of swinging or at times vice versa. It’s a strange feeling.
If you read my post Next Generation Swingers, you may have noticed that I see a whole new generation of swingers entering into the lifestyle and club scene. And with that I see the potential to re-imagine or re-invent the term swinging, because the reality is it is already happening with the 20 somethings whether we like it or not. They are groups of friends who go to clubs, host parties and have a much less restrained view on swingers and relationships. It’s a new fresh community, which of course will create all new issues. And the main one that I see, and dread being a part of, is the word drama. When you eliminate relationships from forming beyond sexual contact with other couples, you do lessen the public drama. Realistically there is still drama going on behind closed doors, and in private bathroom stalls (we’ve all been witness to those sobbing sounds). But it is removed from clubs almost immediately, because bad vibes kill boners, it’s a fact.
So, with the influx of the young, and more relationship flexible people we are opening up to more drama. Because relationships are very, VERY complicated. So maybe that’s what the earliest swingers had in mind with the whole keep feelings out of swinging mantra. And I have to admit, that they also created a very enticing idea of maintaining a constant adrenaline high of butterflies with new partners without ever having the heartache or breakup in the end. But truly, don’t you think having the lows makes the highs so much more meaningful and valuable? I know the argument that the lows are for marriage and that swinging is just a bonus for many. So then my full disclosure here, is that I cannot separate sex from feelings if I want to get off in a way that really makes my knees shake, and nor would I want to learn how. I adore the intensity of sex with people I care deeply about, so much more than just the fleeting excitement of newness. The emotional connection has a staying power with me and that is where my physical attraction comes from. So here I sit, a swinger outlier, yet again. But I ask you, is there a single swinger out there who hasn’t yet discovered that you cannot ride the highs forever, no matter how much you try to avoid catching the feels? Is this whole idea of sex without feelings simply a myth, an ideal that can never actually be achieved in the long term? I would love to hear your thoughts…
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