Swinging, sometimes called wife swapping, husband swapping or partner swapping, is a sexual activity in which both singles and partners in a committed relationship sexually engage with others for recreational purposes.Swinging is a form of non-monogamy and is an open relationship. People may choose a swinging lifestyle for a variety of reasons. Many cite an increased quality and quantity of sex. Some people may engage in swinging to add variety into their otherwise conventional sex lives or due to their curiosity. Some couples see swinging as a healthy outlet and means to strengthen their relationship.
The phenomenon of swinging, or at least its wider discussion and practice, is regarded by some as arising from the freer attitudes to sexual activity after the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the invention and availability of the contraceptive pill, and the emergence of treatments for many of the sexually transmitted diseases that were known at that time. The adoption of safe sex practices became more common in the late 1980s.
The swinger community sometimes refers to itself as "the lifestyle", or as "the alternative lifestyle".
John Stossel produced an investigative news report into the swinging lifestyle. Stossel's report in 2005 cited Terry Gould's research, which concluded that "couples swing in order to not cheat on their partners". When Stossel asked swinging couples whether they worry their spouse will "find they like someone else better," one male replied, "People in the swinging community swing for a reason. They don't swing to go out and find a new wife;" a woman asserted, "It makes women more confident – that they are the ones in charge." Stossel interviewed 12 marriage counselors. According to Stossel, "not one of them said don't do it," though some said "getting sexual thrills outside of marriage can threaten a marriage". Nevertheless, swingers whom Stossel interviewed claimed "their marriages are stronger because they don't have affairs and they don't lie to each other."
Swinging can take place in a number of contexts, ranging from spontaneous sexual activity involving partner swapping or adding a third or more participants at an informal gathering of friends to planned regular social meetings to "hooking up" with like-minded people at a sex club (also known as a swinger club, not to be confused with a strip club). Different clubs offer varied facilities and atmospheres, and often hold "theme" nights.
Swinging is also known to take place in semi-public venues such as hotels, resorts, or cruise ships, or often in private homes.Furthermore, many websites that cater to swinging couples now exist, some boasting hundreds of thousands of members.
In 2018, a study of the prevalence of nonmonogamous practices in the United States estimated that 2.35% of Americans currently self-identify as swingers and 4.76% had identified as swingers at some point in their lifetime.
Research on swinging has been conducted in the United States since the late 1960s. One 2000 study, based on an Internet questionnaire addressed to visitors of swinger-related sites, found swingers are happier in their relationships than the norm.
60% said that swinging improved their relationship; 1.7% said swinging made their relationship less happy. Approximately 50% of those who rated their relationship "very happy" before becoming swingers maintained their relationship had become happier. 90% of those with less happy relationships said swinging improved them. Almost 70% of swingers claimed no problem with jealousy; approximately 25% admitted "I have difficulty controlling jealousy when swinging" as "somewhat true", while 6% said this was "yes, very much" true. Swingers rate themselves happier ("very happy": 59% of swingers compared to 32% of non-swingers) and their lives more "exciting" (76% of swingers compared to 54% of non-swingers) than non-swingers, by significantly large margins. There was no significant difference between responses of men and women, although more males (70%) than females completed the survey. This study, which only polled self-identified swingers, is of limited use to a broader application to the rest of society (external validity) owing to self-selected sampling.[ citation needed ]
Some believe sexual attraction is part of human nature and should be openly enjoyed by a committed or married couple. Some swingers cite divorce data in the US, claiming the lack of quality of sex and spousal infidelity are significant factors in divorce. One study showed 37% of husbands and 29% of wives admit at least one extramarital affair (Reinisch, 1990), and divorce rates for first marriages approached 60%.
Swingers are exposed to the same types of risks as people who engage in casual sex, with the main concerns being the risk of pregnancy and of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Some swingers engage in unprotected sex, a practice known as barebacking, while others follow safe sex practices and will not engage with others who do not also practice safe sex. Swingers may reduce the risk of STI by exchanging STI test results and serosorting. Proponents of swinging argue that safe sex is accepted within the swinging community and the risk of sexual disease is the same for them as for the general population – and that some populations of sexually non-monogamous people have clearly lower rates of STIs than the general population. Opponents are also concerned about the risk of pregnancy and STIs such as HIV, arguing that even protected sex is risky given that some STIs may be spread regardless of the use of condoms, such as Herpes and HPV. In a 1992 study, an overall 7% of swingers had quit swinging because of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. It was also stated that 62% of swingers changed their sex practices, by becoming more selective with partners or by practicing safe sex.
A Dutch study that compared the medical records of self-reported swingers to that of the general population found that STI prevalence was highest in young people, homosexual men, and swingers.However, this study has been criticized as not being representative of swinger populations as a whole: its data was formulated solely on patients receiving treatment at an STI clinic. In addition, according to the conclusions of the report, the STI rates of swingers were in fact nearly identical to those of non-swinging straight couples, and concluded that the safest demographic for STI infection were female prostitutes. According to the Dutch study, "the combined rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea were just over 10% among straight people, 14% among gay men, just under 5% in female prostitutes, and 10.4% among swingers."
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Pregnancy is regarded as a possible undesirable consequence of engaging in swinging sexual activities. While this is also the same for monogamous sex, the risk of a woman being impregnated by a man other than her spouse or long-term partner adds a second layer of concern.
Proper use of a condom with an effective birth control method can minimize the risk of pregnancy and transmission of STIs while swinging.Other solutions include a tubal ligation (female sterilization), vasectomy (male sterilization), or having a group entirely made of menopausal women.
Couples in the lifestyle who wish to start families or have additional children are highly recommended to cease participation in swinging for at least several months prior to an intended pregnancy. This helps to ensure correct paternity for the future, and offer other active swinger couples that peace of mind.
According to Terry Gould's The Lifestyle: a look at the erotic rites of swingers, – emotionally and sexually – if the husbands were lost. The realities of the demographics and basing of US Army Air Force (USAAF) pilots and crew suggest that this arrangement did not evolve during WWII, instead evolving later.[ citation needed ] US military personnel in WWII were not accompanied by their families (and many, especially in the USAAF, were single) – the giant military bases where families live while accompanying a deployed soldier, sailor, aviator, or Marine are mostly Cold War creations.[ citation needed ] Though the origins of swinging are contested, it is assumed[ by whom? ] American swinging was practiced in some American military communities in the 1950s.[ citation needed ] By the time the Korean War ended, swinging had spread from the military to the suburbs. The media[ citation needed ] dubbed the phenomenon wife-swapping.swinging began among American Air Force pilots and their wives during World War II before pilots left for overseas duty. The mortality rate of pilots was so high, as Gould reports, that a close bond arose between pilot families that implied that pilot husbands would care for all the wives as their own
Later in the 1960s in the heyday of the Free Love movement, the activities associated with swinging became more widespread in a variety of social classes and age levels. [ citation needed ] swinging activities became more prevalent, but were still considered "alternative" or "fringe" because of their association with non-mainstream groups such as communes. [ better source needed ]In the 1970s, sometimes referred to as "The Swinging '70s",
Swinging activities had another surge in interest and participation in the late 1990s due to the rise of the Internet, and again during the 2010s with smartphone applications such as Tinder and Feeld.
In 2002 swingers’ rights were added to the mission of the [American] National Coalition for Sexual Freedom.
A key party is a form of swinger party, in which male partners place their car or house keys into a common bowl or bag on arriving. At the end of the evening the female partners randomly select keys from the bowl and leave with that key's owner.
According to economic studies on swinging,the information and communications technology revolution, together with improvements in medicine, has been effective in reducing some of the costs of swinging and hence in increasing the number of swingers.
Fellatio is an oral sex act involving a person stimulating the penis of another person by using the mouth, throat, or both. Oral stimulation of the scrotum may also be termed fellatio, or colloquially as teabagging. If fellatio is performed on oneself, the act is called autofellatio.
Human sexual activity, human sexual practice or human sexual behaviour is the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality. People engage in a variety of sexual acts, ranging from activities done alone to acts with another person in varying patterns of frequency, for a wide variety of reasons. Sexual activity usually results in sexual arousal and physiological changes in the aroused person, some of which are pronounced while others are more subtle. Sexual activity may also include conduct and activities which are intended to arouse the sexual interest of another or enhance the sex life of another, such as strategies to find or attract partners, or personal interactions between individuals. Sexual activity may follow sexual arousal.
Safe sex is sexual activity using methods or devices to reduce the risk of transmitting or acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STIs), especially HIV. "Safe sex" is also sometimes referred to as safer sex or protected sex to indicate that some safe sex practices do not completely eliminate STI risks. It is also sometimes used colloquially to describe methods aimed at preventing pregnancy that may or may not also lower STI risks.
Sexual abstinence or sexual restraint is the practice of refraining from some or all aspects of sexual activity for medical, psychological, legal, social, financial, philosophical, moral, or religious reasons. Asexuality is distinct from sexual abstinence; and celibacy is sexual abstinence generally motivated by factors such as an individual's personal or religious beliefs. Sexual abstinence before marriage is required in some societies by social norms, or, in some countries, even by laws, and is considered part of chastity.
Group sex is sexual behavior involving more than two participants. Participants in group sex can be of any sexual orientation or genders. Any form of sexual activity can be adopted to involve more than two participants, but some forms have their own names.
Promiscuity is the practice of engaging in sexual activity frequently with different partners or being indiscriminate in the choice of sexual partners. The term can carry a moral judgment if the social ideal for sexual activity is monogamous relationships. A common example of behavior viewed as promiscuous by many cultures is the one-night stand, and its frequency is used by researchers as a marker for promiscuity.
Infidelity is a violation of a couple's assumed or stated contract regarding emotional and/or sexual exclusivity. Other scholars define infidelity as a violation according to the subjective feeling that one's partner has violated a set of rules or relationship norms; this violation results in feelings of anger, jealousy, sexual jealousy, and rivalry.
Open marriage is a form of non-monogamy in which the partners of a dyadic marriage agree that each may engage in extramarital sexual relationships, without this being regarded by them as infidelity, and consider or establish an open relationship despite the implied monogamy of marriage. There are variant forms of open marriage such as swinging and polyamory, each with the partners having varying levels of input on their spouse's activities.
Premarital sex is sexual activity practiced by people before they are married. Historically, premarital sex was considered a moral issue which was taboo in many cultures and considered a sin by a number of religions, but since about the 1960s, it has become more widely accepted, especially in Western countries. A 2014 Pew study on global morality found that premarital sex was considered particularly unacceptable in "predominantly Muslim nations", such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Jordan, Pakistan, and Egypt, each having over 90% disapproval, while people in Western European countries were the most accepting, with Spain, Germany, and France expressing less than 10% disapproval.
An open relationship, also known as non-exclusive relationship, is an intimate relationship that is sexually non-monogamous. The term may refer to polyamory, but generally indicates a relationship where there is a primary emotional and intimate relationship between two partners, who agree to at least the possibility of intimacy with other people.
Sex clubs, also known as swinger clubs or lifestyle clubs, are formal or informal groups that organize sex-related activities, or establishments where patrons can engage in sex acts with other patrons. A sex club or swinger club differs from a brothel in that while sex club patrons pay an entrance fee and may pay an annual membership fee, they only have an opportunity to have sex with other patrons, not with sex workers.
Casual sex is sexual activity that takes place outside a romantic relationship and implies an absence of commitment, emotional attachment, or familiarity between sexual partners. Examples are sexual activity while casually dating, one-night stands, prostitution, or swinging.
Non-monogamy is an umbrella term for every practice or philosophy of non-dyadic intimate relationship that does not strictly hew to the standards of monogamy, particularly that of having only one person with whom to exchange sex, love, and/or affection. In that sense, "nonmonogamy" may be accurately applied to extramarital sex, group marriage, or polyamory. It is not synonymous with infidelity, since all parties are consenting to the relationship structure, partners are often committed to each other as well as to their other partners and cheating is still considered problematic behavior with many non-monogamous relationships.
Comprehensive sex education (CSE) is a sex education instruction method based on-curriculum that aims to give students the knowledge, attitudes, skills, and values to make appropriate and healthy choices in their sexual lives. The intention is that this understanding will prevent students from contracting sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV and HPV. CSE is also designed with the intention of reducing unplanned and unwanted pregnancies, as well as lowering rates of domestic and sexual violence, thus contributing to a healthier society, both physically and mentally.
Women who have sex with women (WSW) are women who engage in sexual activities with other women, whether or not they identify themselves as lesbian, bisexual, heterosexual, or dispense with sexual identification altogether. The term WSW is often used in medical literature to describe such women as a group for clinical study, without needing to consider sexual self-identity.
The sexuality of US adolescents includes their feelings, behaviors and development, and the place adolescent sexuality has in American society, including the response of the government, educators, parents, and other interested groups.
Lesbian sexual practices are sexual activities involving women who have sex with women, regardless of their sexual orientation. A woman who has sex with another woman may identify as a lesbian if she is sexually attracted to women, or bisexual if she is not exclusively sexually attracted to women, or dispense with sexual identification altogether. The term may also be applied to a heterosexual or asexual woman who is unsure of or is exploring her sexuality.
Uganda is one of the few Sub-Saharan African countries that has adopted abstinence-only sex education as an approach of sexual education that emphasizes abstinence from sexual intercourse until marriage as the only option. Abstinence-only sex education does not include joint curriculum covering other options including safe sex practices, family planning, and is espoused as the only sure way to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Uganda is commonly recognized as an exemplary case of lowering the rate of HIV prevalence Prevalence figures may have also been distorted by the lack of treatment, meaning that the percentage of infected is decreased by disproportionately early deaths. Abstinence-only sex education has been implemented and supported for this cause to a large degree in Uganda, to some controversy. Critics have questioned its effectiveness in lowering HIV/AIDS transmission. They have also highlighted discrimination, gender inequality and social stigma as the outcomes of the program in Uganda.
Risky sexual behavior is the description of the activity that will increase the probability that a person engaging in sexual activity with another person infected with a sexually transmitted infection will be infected or become pregnant, or make a partner pregnant. It can mean two similar things: the behavior itself, the description of the partner's behavior. The behavior could be unprotected vaginal, oral, or anal intercourse. The partner could be a nonexclusive partner, HIV-positive, or an intravenous drug user. Drug use is associated with risky sexual behaviors.
Mutual monogamy is a form of monogamy that exists when two partners agree to be sexually active with only one another. Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship reduces the risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It is one of the most reliable ways to avoid STIs. Those who choose mutual monogamy can be tested before the sexual relationship to be certain they are not infected. This strategy for the prevention of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection requires that each partner remain faithful and does not engage in sexual activity with another partner.