poly or swinging

Sweetheart

New member
I recently noticed that quite a few people seem to have arrived in the poly lifestyle through swinging.

What is your opinion on the subject of swinging?

:eek:
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Ive never tried it. It wouldnt work for me. I'm not into anonymous sex. Also there seems to be a fair amt of homophobia in the community, all kinds of rules about men not touching each other. Since I am pansexual, progressive and queer, this would bother me a lot.
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
I have no interest in "swinging" as in the context of married couples swapping partners and all that (an example at: http://honeymoons.about.com/cs/nudejamaica/a/Hedonism.htm ).

Husband and I are recreational nudists and from time to time we have noticed, and/or been approached or hinted-at by, swinger-couples who were attending the same nudist venue as ourselves (such as http://www.coventryresort.com/aboutus.htm ). (And by the way, this "swinging" behaviour is heavily frowned-upon in naturist/nudist milieus.)

I should point out that I have had my share of one-night-stands and casual-sex when I was in my teens and 20's, heck, I had sex with my husband two hours after we met, but that was a phase of my life and I am relieved to have gotten through it without any incurable diseases. I am no longer disposed to eat hamburger out when I could have a steak at home, so to speak.
 

ladyjools

New member
im not sure if its for me,
i would never rule it out, there is part of me that is sort of curious however i have never had sex with someone i don't have feelings for and so it would be kind of strange for me to do that,

i don't even know any swingers in real life,
i think if we where going to try it i would prefer with people i know, but i think its a long way off in the future if ever because i am def not wishing to particapate in such sex at this time, :)

i do not however view swinging as a bad thing, do not judge people who do it, :)

Jools
 

Quath

New member
My wife likes the concept of swinging more than polyamory. I am the opposite. She thinks there is less drama in swinging than in polyamory.

I am not against the idea of swinging. However, I know there is a good chance I would get emotionally attached. So it may not be a good idea for me to go that route.
 

AutumnalTone

New member
I recently noticed that quite a few people seem to have arrived in the poly lifestyle through swinging.

What is your opinion on the subject of swinging?

:eek:

More power to 'em. I figure they can do their thing and we can do ours. Those who come to poly via swinging are quite welcome.

I'm not interested in swinging, nor am I interested in dating any swingers. Tried it once long ago and that was more than enough.
 

GroundedSpirit

New member
Swinging

I think in order to debate something like this sensibly we'd need to come to some agreed on definition of the term. We've had some exposure to what most probably consider the "swinging community" over the years and can attest to the fact the the philosophies of the individuals there vary widely. I find it hard to put a box around the term at all.
Here's part of "why".
In some earlier post on a different topic I tossed out the question of "swinging" as a "gateway drug" so to speak. A beginning step along a longer and more complex path. Because I've seen a reasonably substantial number of people associated with that lifestyle that really - down deep - were looking for more meaningful connections. And they were open to them. But most seemed to have no exposure or knowledge of polyarmory at all ! The minute "poly" seems to find itself into word a majority of people automatically connect it to "polygamy" and all the bad associations most people have of that (valid or not).
So although it seems on the outside that "swinging" may be all about "sex" the reality is somewhat different. Now granted - sex is a HUGE issue for most people in one way or another and a topic in itself. Hell sex is a big issue for all living species ! The fact that it's been suppressed in humans for so many years has only increased the desires.
So in a nutshell - I guess I believe we need to be careful about drawing too rigid a line between the two terms and to take every opportunity we get to educate anyone - regardless of "label" - who is "reaching out" into some of the possibilities that exist that they may never have been aware of !

GS
 

AutumnalTone

New member
It ain't poly if you're just fucking around.

I don't object to people fucking around--more power to 'em! I also know it's not polyamory. People may exhibit a range of behaviors along the spectrum of nonmonogamy. Yes, swingers may become attached in some measure and that may lead to full-blown romantic ties and polyamory. Some folks may swing AND have multiple loving relationships.

That, however, doesn't erase the fundamental divide between swinging and poly. Swinging IS all about the sex, despite some swingers wanting or going on to seek romantic connections. That the people add other behaviors doesn't mean that swinging is something other than what it is. You'd be mistaking the actor for the act to say otherwise.

In disc sports, ultimate and disc golf are two distinct activities. There are ulty players who also golf and golfers who also play ulty. To say that ulty and golf are indistinct because some players engage in both is nonsensical. The same applies in the world of nonmonogamy.
 

GroundedSpirit

New member
Ooooo-k

Hi Crow,

Ok - think we'll agree to disagree on this one. And I'll be shocked if you don't get flayed by some of our resident defenders of labels,stereotypes etc. <grin>
The "divide" you speak of is one we choose to build - or not. You do. I don't think everyone else may. That's ok.

My point was that (if we even agreed) that "swinging" was "all about sex" as you say, that there's a good chance that that's what the participants "think" it is - for lack of sufficient self analysis. And through that gateway they MAY discover more. More about their own true nature & desires. That the "sex" - although maybe some small part - was NOT what that "pull" really was at all ! At the root of it was a desire for some deeper connection they felt they needed.

But I think your analogy i.e. golf, comes up short too. A better one might be between swimming and a triathlon :)

GS
 
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AutumnalTone

New member
The "divide" you speak of is one we choose to build - or not. You do. I don't think everyone else may. That's ok.

The divide is one based on what's going on. It's not only theoretical, it's practical.

My point was that (if we even agreed) that "swinging" was "all about sex" as you say, that there's a good chance that that's what the participants "think" it is - for lack of sufficient self analysis. And through that gateway they MAY discover more. More about their own true nature & desires. That the "sex" - although maybe some small part - was NOT what that "pull" really was at all ! At the root of it was a desire for some deeper connection they felt they needed.

It matters not what secret desire draws somebody to begin swinging. The actions are what matter. If they're taking sexual partners without intent of building a romantic relationship, they're swinging. They might also subconsciously have a desire to pursue additional romantic ties--and that's irrelevant to what they actually DO. If that desire exhibits as swinging, it's still swinging.

And, even if they do pursue additional romantic ties--poly behavior--if they also pursue just sex, where they're pursuing just sex is still swinging, where the pursuit of the relationships is still poly. Poly does not become swinging, and swinging does not become poly, just because some people do both.

It's quite less-than-useful to conflate the actor with the act or to conflate the motivation with the act.

But I think your analogy i.e. golf, comes up short too. A better one might be between swimming and a triathlon :)


If you'd like, I can offer up distance throwing (just sex) as a disc sport (nonmonogamy) and contrast it with ultimate, which involves a good deal more than just throwing (sex as part of a relationship).

There are folks who do both. That doesn't mean that distance throwing and ulty are the same thing. Some folks may even do distance throwing when what they really want to do is play ulty. That doesn't make distance throwing ulty nor those who only throw for distance ulty players. The distance throwers may even study ulty and learn all about it. Until they actually play ulty, though, they're not ulty players. And even if they do begin to play ulty, when they're in a distance throwing competition, they're not playing ulty. So, while both sports involve throwing a disc (nonmonogamy), they are not the same thing under any circumstances.
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
It's quite less-than-useful to conflate the actor with the act or to conflate the motivation with the act.

I think the term you're looking for is "counter-productive". <grin>



If you'd like, I can offer up distance throwing (just sex) as a disc sport (nonmonogamy) and contrast it with ultimate, which involves a good deal more than just throwing (sex as part of a relationship).

So, while both sports involve throwing a disc (nonmonogamy), they are not the same thing under any circumstances.

I think the term you're looking for is "frisbee". <grin>

(Got your frisbee right here, Big Guy :eek: )
 
C

Ceoli

Guest
My own view is that polyamory and swinging are the ends of a spectrum on which nonmonogamous people lie.

I would just substitute the word "people" for "relationships" since people could partake of both practices should they want to.
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
I have good friends who did.
For me-swinging just isn't my form of "comfortable and safe".
I need to REALLY REALLY know someone before I can get comfortable enough to sleep with them. That deep, permanent, emotional connection is a requirement for me.
 

Fidelia

New member
My own personal opinion of swinging is that it's not for me. I want to touch my partners' souls, not just their genitalia.

And as for the discussion of polyamory vs. swinging:

"Polyamory" and "swinging" are terms with both connotative and denotative meanings, as most terms do. The connotations will vary from person to persons, but the denotations can simply be looked up in a good dictionary.

If you like the the Polyamory Language Page at http://www.polyamorysociety.org, here are their definitions:

Polyamory n : is the nonpossessive, honest, responsible and ethical philosophy and practice of loving multiple people simultaneously. Polyamory emphasizes consciously choosing how many partners one wishes to be involved with rather than accepting social norms which dictate loving only one person at a time. Polyamory is an umbrella term which integrates traditional multipartner relationship terms with more evolved egalitarian terms. Polyamory embraces sexual equality and all sexual orientations towards an expanded circle of spousal intimacy and love. Polyamory is from the root words Poly meaning many and Amour meaning love hence "many loves" or Polyamory

Swinging vb : Recreational sexual activity, also called "sport sex" where partner's or participant's agree to have casual sex with each other's. There is usually no emotional involvement. A form of monogamy in which usually two primary partners agree to have casual sex with other couples or singles

If these definitions do not suit you, feel free to find others.

Comparing the two definitions, the differences between them seem obvious. In fact, the only significant similarity I find is that they are both nonmonogamous.
 
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Erosa

New member
Yes, swingers may become attached in some measure and that may lead to full-blown romantic ties and polyamory. Some folks may swing AND have multiple loving relationships.

*head spinning*

Okay... That would officially be way too much for most people to stay SANE with! :eek:

My thoughts on swinging are these;

Anything that goes on between consenting adults is their business and I don't judge.

However, I have never seen any of my non-monogomous friends come out of the 'swinger' lifestyle better for the wear. Granted, they did LEAVE that way of life, which could mean that there was something disfunctional about them not the lifestyle.

But to me swinging would be utterly unthinkable because I highly, highly prize my sexual energy. Being very pagan in my internal faith, I believe that my female sexual light is the exssence of the Goddess herself. And I'm not going to give the to just any ol' body. 0_0
 

ourquad

New member
I've avoided this thread because I've addressed it before. Then it dawned on me that I do not think I have addressed it on this forum.

Yes, we landed in a polyamorous relationship via swinging.

No, I do not think the two camps are mutually exclusive to each other. I do know of swingers who are open to polyamory and polyamorist who swing. Sometimes only part of the poly relationship swing and sometimes they all do so as a group...I'm thinking of two particular triads that I know do this regularly....one a MFF triad and one a MFM triad.

I am not currently swinging at the time. But I do, however, consider myself a swinger. It's a mentality thing. The same as I would still consider myself poly if I weren't in more than one relationship at this time.

I do not truly understand the apathy each camp, poly and swinging, seem to have for one another. Like I said I have addressed this topic before...on another poly forum and on a swingers forum. The truth is, both lifestyles are out of the mainstream. As poly, we wish others would accept our lifestyle more easily. As swingers, we wish we didn't have to hide that either. Both are examples of non-monogamy.

Most swingers want to stay as far away from letting emotions enter into things. Most poly seem to not be able to imagine not letting emotions be a part of things. It boils down to that is the choices each have made. If we don't want our choices condemned, we shouldn't condemn theirs.

Both camps run into to people with preconceived notions of what is involved in each. Some think we both are just looking for ways to cheat. Some think that a poly person is just stating they require emotions to avoid the stigma of just wanting to fuck. Some say swingers claim just fucking so that they can believe no feelings will develop. And, yes, I have truly had those very things said to me.

Some people think poly and swingers are all the same. That there is no distinction between them.

Me, I say, for some of us, we can certainly have recreational sex and fuck for just the sake of fucking. And we can certainly have true, deep emotional, loving relationship with others that just happen to include fucking.

What do both camps have in common the most? That the agreements between partners should be open, honest and consensual. Each has a tendency to have guidelines or boundaries of some kind.

Ok, yes, I have definite opinions on the subject. Sorry if I came across harsh.
 
C

Ceoli

Guest
I agree that there's a lot of unnecessary posturing between the two communities.

My beef with swinging isn't so much about the emotions vs no emotions things. I'm actually a huge fan of recreational sex with good friends and really enjoy it when I have the chance (which is pretty infrequent :\ ). But I have a lot of trouble with the culture of many swinging communities. As a single girl, the couple-centric nature of swinging is a bit off-putting as many couples just like to have that single girl as a living breathing sex toy and there are frequently issues of jealousy or being subject to their boundaries without even considering the boundaries of the single girl. Also the way many swingers encourage female bisexuality but flat out forbid male bisexuality (and pretty much flat out ban any type of trans person) suggests a fairly close minded culture that's being driven by and for the pleasure of the straight man.

Not to say that women can't enjoy themselves in such a context, but such a double standard seems to contribute to the objectification of women. There are swinging communities out there that are much more progressive in their views on gender and sexuality but alas, they are not the majority.

My ideal swing party would be like the Sex Not Bombs room in the movie Shortbus where everyone can bring their whole selves into a room of gushy sexy radical acceptance :)
 

AutumnalTone

New member
Ok, yes, I have definite opinions on the subject. Sorry if I came across harsh.

Nothing harsh that I saw. You just provided support for my observation that some poly folk swing and some swingers also do poly.
 

redpepper

New member
My time with swinging was short lived fortunately for me. I learned pretty quick that while I got to be with a woman they were more interested in showing the men that they could be bi too, it seemed. I was into it because I love women's bodies and they just seemed to whince when they had to do anything sexual with women. Way to hetrocentric for me I'm afraid.

I also was disturbed by the fact that the swinging party we went to was full of very drunk women being mauled by men who took advantage of their drunkness. I saw some double dipping going on and women who seemed unable to get out of the situations they were in due to being drunk.

I have no idea if this is the norm but it was VERY distrubing and distructive to my sense sexual self and my/our body as being sacred. I would suggest that it was for others there too and I would also suggest that it quite often is for others that weren't there that have decided to be a part of that kind of activity.

Sure, to each there own, but since then and because of other "like" expereinces I have had before and since, I would suggest that many men and women have a chance at becoming damagaed by swinging. I certainly had my fair share of damage from it, but have moved passed it now only to be a strong advocate for NOT going there. There just seems to be better ways of going about opening up a marriage/partnership than swinging. To me that is.

It does hold value however in that it can break sex up for a couple and get them onto a new path sesxually, and it is fun to watch ones partner sometimes. I also find it interesting how friendships can blossom on a deeper level that are limited, but deeper non-the-less. I can see also how it could "proctect" family life in that it is not going to change everything as poly seems to do.
 
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