home
RSS
Would you ever swing?
September 15th, 2011
09:49 AM ET

Would you ever swing?

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex on Thursdays on The Chart. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed.

No, I’m not talking about ballroom dancing. This is a sex column, after all.

With buzz-terms like “monogamish” and “negotiated monogamy” making headlines, many couples are discovering that they have a shared appetite for sexual adventure, and that getting it on with another couple may be the golden ticket – not just to thrills, but also to staying together and surviving another day in the life of a relationship.

While the term “swinging” may be a throwback to the 70s and the days of Plato’s Retreat, more and more modern couples are hooking up with other couples, either informally or through networks or clubs.  And, of course, like all things online, the Internet has amplified these opportunities and made it easier to find couples and clubs in a neighborhood near you.

As with most sexual activities, there haven’t been many studies into the prevalence of swinging - and many people who do it don’t necessarily want to admit it - but some experts believe that there could be as many 15 million Americans swinging on a regular basis. Chances are you have a friend or neighbor who is swinging.

As I’ve written about previously in this column, I often run into two “sexual types” in my work as a sexuality counselor: “comfort creatures” and “thrill seekers.” The former takes a “less is more” approach to sexual novelty, while the latter often have a “more, more, more” attitude.  Usually this dichotomy isn’t an issue when two people find themselves at the same end the spectrum.

For two comfort creatures, for example, swinging isn’t probably high up on their sexual bucket list, although it might well be a fantasy.  Exhibitionism, voyeurism, watching a partner have sex with someone else - these are very common fantasies, and, in many cases, sharing a fantasy can lead to an actual exploration of fantasy, especially when one partner is hankering for a bit more sexual adventure.

“My husband and I had some confusion that we had to get straightened out,” a client whom I’ll call Kelly told me. “I feel very comfortable in our relationship, and I have a vivid fantasy life.  I think of myself as a very sexual person. But when I mentioned my fantasy of watching him get it on with another woman, he wanted to make it a reality. At least he thought he did. We perused some sites, which was fun, but in the end, neither of us decided to pursue it. It just looked too sleazy. Luckily, the subject was dropped.”

But for couples with a genuine appetite (and stomach) for sexual novelty, swinging might not be a big deal and might even be a counterintuitive way of strengthening their sense of fidelity and identity as a couple.  It’s monogamy on shared terms. In fact, many couples who swing together paradoxically have even stronger sexual boundaries than couples who do not.

But swinging can backfire, too.  I worked with one couple who liked to swing on a regular basis, but the reason they ended up in my office was because she had major problems with all of the stuff he kept to himself: flirty friendships, porn usage, his enjoyment of strippers.  She had no problem with swinging, but in every other way she demanded more exclusivity from the relationship than many far less sexually adventurous women would require.  From her perspective, swinging was just another way of sharing everything, including sex.

And for many couples, swinging is by no means a replacement for sex; it’s an augmentation, and very different than actual lovemaking with their partner.  Many couples use occasional swinging as an opportunity to jumpstart their sex life and break out of a rut. “Swinging strengthens us,” says Jenny, a mother of two.  “It’s something we do once or twice a year.  We enjoy the scoping out of another couple, the flirtation, the sex, but also the way we talk about it for weeks after and incorporate into our fantasy life.  We love having a secret life together – a whole different community than the ones we see at PTA meetings – although we’re just waiting for those worlds to collide.”

But swinging certainly doesn’t work for everyone, especially couples in which one partner is going along for the ride with another partner, like when a true comfort creature is paired with a thrill seeker.  Then it becomes a form of sexual pressure, and can lead to disastrous results.

And sometimes we think we know what we want, but the process of discovery has unintended results.  Ken, who had to convince his wife to give swinging a go, said, “I was prepared for everything, except seeing my wife kiss another man - out of the whole experience that’s the image I can’t get out of my head: her kissing another man.  The moral of the lesson for me: Swinging is something a couple should work towards in their relationship, not begin with.”

Ken’s wife wanted to give it another whirl, this time with the rule of no kissing.  Meanwhile, Ken wanted to drop the whole thing.

Monogamy: what a concept.


soundoff (355 Responses)
  1. tracie

    Firsty!

    September 15, 2011 at 10:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • chuck

      Ken was offended by the kissing? Are you serious? He was O.K. with penetration of the penis, but not the tongue? Are you serious? A level of emotional maturity is a must for any couple seeking this play. If you are reserved in any manner about communications with your spouse, this is probably not for you.

      September 15, 2011 at 17:00 | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      Individuals have quite divergent views on intimacy. Clearly he connects kissing most closely to personal and emotional intimacy and intercourse is more of a shared activity. Possibly because the initial part of a relationship tends to start and build with kissing. A simple hookup tends to get straight to the athletics.

      September 16, 2011 at 11:25 | Report abuse |
  2. Nazeer

    Hell in a Handbasket....

    September 15, 2011 at 10:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Panties

      What are you talking about? Do you have an idea?

      September 15, 2011 at 10:43 | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Indeed true. Nazeer Knows!

      September 15, 2011 at 19:16 | Report abuse |
  3. Molly Mac

    It's very refreshing to see a mainstream media outlet present a balanced view of consensual non-monogamy. It's not for everyone and it may even be a come and go aspect of a long relationship but it is a viable alternative for many people. It *can* be an element of healthy relationship if both partners are open to the idea and no one is just doing it to keep their partner happy.

    Opening Up by Tristain Taoromino is an excellent resource for couple who are considering opening up their relationships. It helps provide a cogent framework for the groundwork to set before bringing others into the marriage bed. .

    September 15, 2011 at 10:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bill C.

      Opening Up is about polyamory, isn't it? It's related, but not quite what the article's about.

      September 15, 2011 at 10:58 | Report abuse |
    • Molly Mac

      Yes. a lot of it does deal with polyamory but much of what is in there is about the conversations that a couple needs to have regardless of the type of relationship model they are contemplating.

      September 15, 2011 at 14:16 | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Balanced view? What planet are you from? CNN is perpetuating the myth that swinging is good. It also posts articles that show p0rn in a positive light. Both which are disgusting and vile. The diseases and viruses that people pass to each other doing this is sad, but, who is the bigger fool; the fool or the one that follows the fool?

      September 15, 2011 at 18:25 | Report abuse |
    • David Anderson

      All religions have frowned on infidelity for millenia for the simple reason that it destabilizes and weakens the culture. Why must we have to learn the same lessons over and over again?

      September 16, 2011 at 08:26 | Report abuse |
    • Rbnlegend101

      No David, religion enforces marital fidelity because historically, marriage has been a property arrangement. In some religions, the owner keeps his property under tight wraps, in his home, covered up, and doesn't even let other men see it. In others, his wife has more freedom to leave the house, but the marriage agreement was very clear, she was property. Religion only enforced her fidelity strictly. If the man strayed, boys will be boys, if the woman strayed, he could beat her to death without any repercussions. In stricter religions, if she were to lower her veil and let an unrelated male see her face, she could be stoned to death by an outraged mob.

      That may enforce his property rights, but it doesn't sound like a great society to me.

      September 16, 2011 at 08:54 | Report abuse |
    • wanting to dabble

      thanks for the book suggestion. we want to try and experiment but very nervous, any other advice you half would be appreciated 🙂

      September 27, 2011 at 22:44 | Report abuse |
  4. OldGoat

    Sounds like a great way to catch the creeping corruption. Ugh!

    September 15, 2011 at 10:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. yeehaw

    love is cursed by monogamy!

    September 15, 2011 at 10:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cellihead

      Amen brother.

      September 16, 2011 at 14:30 | Report abuse |
  6. WakeUpHumans

    Our distant relatives (monkeys, apes, gorillas, etc.) Have been doing this for hundreds of thousands of years... what's the big deal if we do it?? And don't bring your religion into this, it is not welcomed.

    September 15, 2011 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • TacoDave

      Your anti-religion viewpoint is not welcomed either, then. So there.

      September 15, 2011 at 12:17 | Report abuse |
    • Your swing and mine

      Yes indeed. Monkey, apes, and gorillas have been swinging for thousands of years – from trees. But trees don't count, my friend. It's a different thing.

      September 15, 2011 at 12:35 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Yes, science has absolutely no place in a health column if it's gonna offend the religious wingnuts.

      September 15, 2011 at 14:21 | Report abuse |
    • John Smalls

      Your anti-religion viewpoint is quite welcome. Keep the sheep crying for their imaginary friend =D

      September 15, 2011 at 15:51 | Report abuse |
    • AesopsRetreat_com

      Nooo... YOUR distant relatives (monkeys, apes, gorillas, etc.) Have been doing this for hundreds of thousands of years...
      YOUR distant relatives emerged from a soup of s c u m. The rest of us were made in the image of G O D.
      You can just go ahead and live with that. I do...

      September 15, 2011 at 16:26 | Report abuse |
    • Jason K

      Wow, so I had something really insightful to say about that and it was censored.

      The gist is that some people are see s3x as a life process and a release.

      Others, see it as a part of their relationship.

      Many animals mate for life and if that partner is killed will go into a state of shock and die shortly after themselves.

      September 15, 2011 at 16:36 | Report abuse |
    • S1N

      Aesop – The difference between science and religion is that science can actually provide evidence to support its theories. The Bible is not evidence. It is a book adapted from various combinations of historical and mythological stories. Whether or not the stories are depicted accurately is open for debate (one which cannot be proven or dis-proven). Science, on the other hand, does not make such theories without having objective supporting materials.Furthermore, science is more than willing to adapt its views in the face of new, potentially contradictory evidence. Theologians would prefer to stick their heads in the sand and pretend such evidence does not exist or is a "trick of Satan".

      If you want to present an argument, present a good one. As it stands, you sound like you have the IQ of a pork chop.

      September 15, 2011 at 16:46 | Report abuse |
    • crazyvemont

      lol@S1n.....yea, explain all your scientific certainties ie man caused global warming, evolution etc. I spent over thiry years in the field of science and can tell you about all types of manipulated experiments to prove science. You may not be able to prove the existence of god but science also take quite a bit of faith if you know howw we have arrived at many of our conclusions..

      September 15, 2011 at 20:21 | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      Jason, Um wrong. I dont know if you are misinformed, or lieing, but lets set some stuff straight. Scientists have done genetic research for decades now, and even animals that do pairbond for life, they found that over 90% of all anamals, (not species, but the animals within said speces) are not monogamous. They only know of a handful of animals that are truely monogmous. And many are insects and lower life forms. There is no evidence of A SINGLE MAMAL SPECIES THAT IS PROVEN MONAGAMOUS.

      September 15, 2011 at 20:32 | Report abuse |
    • TheEasterBunny

      As long as we're going to be discussing the merits of imaginary friends and mythical creatures.............Can I get some love for the eggs I've been dlivering to you all. Hopping down the bunny trail is not as easy as it sounds

      September 15, 2011 at 22:20 | Report abuse |
    • LEB

      Our distant relatives (monkeys, apes, gorillas, etc.) didn't build the gigantic, complex societies that make up the industrialized world. Nor do they have children that take 18-25 years to raise. And their biggest concerns are extinction, NOT the economy, or the job market, or terrorism, or political punditry, or poverty, etc etc.

      Point being, humanity didn't get where it is today by acting like animals - and that goes for both the bad AND the good we are responsible for. You think you'd be sitting at a computer commenting with a thousand other people you've never met right now if your evolutionary ancestors hadn't at some point denied "nature" and made choices based on reasoning and not just raw animal instinct? If we followed what was "natural," we'd still all be killing large game on the African plains somewhere and dying before age 40.

      September 15, 2011 at 23:50 | Report abuse |
    • David

      @crazyvemont lol "I spent over thiry (sic) years in the field of science" [cleaning test tubes for a meth lab]

      September 16, 2011 at 00:37 | Report abuse |
    • I just have to say...

      ... to Crazyvemont that "I've spent 30 years in the field of science" is the most nonsensical thing I've heard out here in ages. There is no such thing as the "field of science." You could have been a physicist or a biologist or an astronomer or a lab technician or a medical researcher... But then you wouldn't describe yourself as someone who "worked in the field of science." Why don't you try to tell us what science is? You formulate an hypothesis and then what? Go ahead, give it your best shot. It's what you did for 30 years, right?

      September 16, 2011 at 02:58 | Report abuse |
    • Beachobx

      If we humans want to act like monkeys, gorillas and apes, then your statement does have credibility.

      September 16, 2011 at 07:52 | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Well mostly the fact that the whole reason we can't murder, rape, etc is bounded by the fact that we are "more intelligent". Basically anything that is mean to others is wrong because we are too smart for that. Frankly if some people want to continue their college life for 50 years let them.

      September 16, 2011 at 09:15 | Report abuse |
    • Sleepy (but awake) Human

      LEB, Part of your argument seems to be based around the belief that human intelligence is un-natural. When you look at it from another perspective, since we evolved our ability to reason, it stands to reasoning is natural too. It always seems to me that people are obsessed with separating themselves for 'animals' just because we can think. (No I am not from PETA and I love meat. I am an omnivore after all!) When looked at from that perspective everything we make is as 'natural' as a beaver damn or a beehive.

      So when looked at from that perspective, our ansestors never 'denied' nature any more than bees or beavers or ants. Also, you are assuming that strict monogamy is natural; any real study of other apes does't really support that (particularly Bonobos). We act just like animals with the ability to reason.

      September 16, 2011 at 11:13 | Report abuse |
  7. Panties

    I am all in favor of the swinger lifestyle.

    September 15, 2011 at 11:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kman

      Amen

      September 15, 2011 at 11:33 | Report abuse |
    • ladydi

      with your name, that isnt surprising at all..............eeeeewwwwwwwwwwwww

      September 15, 2011 at 11:33 | Report abuse |
  8. firebrand

    Swing? Is this just a trendy way to re-label adultery? A turd by any other name would smell as foul.

    September 15, 2011 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kman

      Not at all. If it's between two people that really are adventurous and know the rules then it can be amazing. Everyone has to be on board with the same guildlines though or it will be hurtful and can ruin an amazing relationship. Don't knock it til you try it.

      September 15, 2011 at 11:34 | Report abuse |
    • Latch

      Wow, lots of opinion from people who haven't the slightest clue what they're talking about. And to you bible people, thanks so much for trying to force your so-called morality on the rest of us. What consenting adults do behind closed doors is none of your business, nor the church's, nor the government's.

      September 15, 2011 at 12:29 | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      Agreed. I'm getting sick of listening to this relative morality on CNN, and the idiots who agree with it.

      September 15, 2011 at 16:01 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Why pick on anyone just because of their religious beliefs? Do all you "swinger" really think that none religious people couldn't also think you're all depraved. Or, is it just easier to fool yourselves if you can blame it on religion? We do need to admit that morality has gone down the drain. And that is in large part what is wrong with this world. Where do we draw the line and say no, no, that behavior is unacceptable?

      September 15, 2011 at 21:21 | Report abuse |
    • Jorge

      So you're saying that because you choose monogamy behavior based on your particular set of locally acquired values, the preferences of other consenting adults deserve the same contempt we hold for feces?? This is why I believe that although Marx may have been wrong in stating that religion is the opium of nations, it certainly seems to be the crack-pipe of the narcisistic.

      September 16, 2011 at 07:57 | Report abuse |
    • Rbnlegend101

      You may want to look up the word "trendy" in the dictionary. The word has been in use in this way for over 40 years.

      September 16, 2011 at 08:56 | Report abuse |
  9. Coriolana

    Sure I've played on swings. Monkey bars and slides too.

    September 15, 2011 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • aubrie

      Sounds kinkkkkyyyy!

      September 15, 2011 at 15:08 | Report abuse |
    • thomas

      I have heard of gay bars, and country western bars; but monkey bars???

      🙂

      September 15, 2011 at 15:50 | Report abuse |
  10. T3chsupport

    I couldn't do it myself, but more power to those who can make it work. I shot pr0n for a time (not IN it, shooting it!) and once shot a couple that had been together since high school. Granted, they didn't come to the shoot to BE a couple on video, but her husband was there, and you know how those things go... just kinda ended up joining in. We were kinda bummed that we hadn't had a contract for the guy, but we got one later.

    It was actually really sweet. One guy is drilling her, and at the same time they're mouthing 'I love you's' to each other. over his shoulder. He wasn't much to look at (like, at all) but she was an all natural 10 alarm fire. They were just so very secure and in love with each other, this was just kinda something they did sometimes.

    September 15, 2011 at 11:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kman

      The eye contact with your partner and expressing your love for each other is great. After all this is not just for the one person rather the couple to enjoy. Ain't nothing wrong with loving with the one you love!

      September 15, 2011 at 12:10 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      what a sweet story...

      September 15, 2011 at 14:23 | Report abuse |
    • Joepub

      We'd really appreciate it if you could give us more of a play by play of the scene. It's sounds hot.

      September 15, 2011 at 16:24 | Report abuse |
    • MsKira

      LOL these comments are hilarious....

      September 16, 2011 at 15:34 | Report abuse |
  11. Grimsby

    You are either in a committed relationship, or not. If not, you are free. It's really that simple.

    September 15, 2011 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Norm

      Must be nice to have a world that is so black/white.

      September 15, 2011 at 12:32 | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      The world is black and white, especially on an issue like this.

      September 15, 2011 at 16:02 | Report abuse |
    • offfwhite

      Thank you for telling me how committed my relationship is. We haven't even met, yet you have this incredible insight on my life. Are you psychic?

      September 15, 2011 at 16:04 | Report abuse |
    • S1N

      Nah. The world is red on this issue. Red is a MUCH better color.

      September 15, 2011 at 16:48 | Report abuse |
  12. William Demuth

    Beware.

    Having been down that road on many occasions. I can assure you of one thing.

    There will be bumps. Some of them will be life changing

    September 15, 2011 at 12:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jill

      Bumps on your privates

      September 15, 2011 at 13:05 | Report abuse |
    • Kman

      Jill...Aviod anyone with bumps on their privates.

      September 15, 2011 at 13:10 | Report abuse |
    • William Demuth

      Jill

      Whn you end up married to your sister in law you will understand.

      September 15, 2011 at 14:17 | Report abuse |
    • Kman

      William...Sounds like that could be an article all to itself.

      September 15, 2011 at 14:44 | Report abuse |
    • Jason K

      William, that's crazy. I work in a bank where my boss's boss and their boss have the same last name. They were both married to the same guy one after another and still work together, one directly under the other. How that's not a conflict of interest boggles my mind...

      I hope sissy was hotter.

      September 15, 2011 at 16:40 | Report abuse |
    • Rbnlegend101

      Pretty much every path you can take in life will have bumps, some of them life changing. That's how life works. If you know of a bump-free path, write a book and you will be rich.

      September 16, 2011 at 08:58 | Report abuse |
  13. Grimsby

    I used to brachiate on the overhead bars at recess, right in front of the yard duty teacher.

    September 15, 2011 at 12:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • How rude

      Did she say "gesundheit" ?

      September 15, 2011 at 12:37 | Report abuse |
  14. Hashim

    For more on this read groundbreaking novel -- king of Bat'ha

    September 15, 2011 at 12:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Grimsby

    Norm, you are either lying to your lover, or telling the truth. Some things, like personal integrity, really are black and white.

    September 15, 2011 at 12:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Seraphim0

      Apparently you failed on reading comprehension. This isn't about one partner seeking out these things- this is about both partners exploring this type of relationship- with full knowledge- nothing 'lied' about, no 'sneaking around.'

      September 15, 2011 at 15:41 | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      "You are either in a committed relationship, or not. If not, you are free. It's really that simple."

      Apparently this is all about YOUR interpretation. We are in a committed relationship. Indeed, this has everything to do with integrity, but your bias is such that you can't seem to see that one can have integrity, not lie, be committed, and still enjoy swinging.

      September 15, 2011 at 19:28 | Report abuse |
  16. BJJSchecter

    I am married and I couldn't do it. It would just be too weird. I had my fun, which is why I settled down now. But, to those who can, have fun! I do see one problem, if your partner and the other person feel attraction on a more personal level. Then there will be trouble...

    September 15, 2011 at 12:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Open Mind

      Or there could be Polyamory...just saying...

      September 15, 2011 at 12:50 | Report abuse |
    • Jesus

      That expression, "settled down" says it all. People who "settle down" are by definition resigning themselves to the dull and mundane. I want to never stop having wild and fun times. I don't need to curtail my enjoyment of life. Swinging is part of that!

      September 16, 2011 at 14:56 | Report abuse |
  17. Dr ruth..

    I love to be able to do it.. however I love my wife much more, and I know it would her very much, and also would very much hurt my two year old son.. I travel a lot and i had very good oportunities to do it away from home, I thought no body would ever know, but I will..
    So I keep it in my pants..

    September 15, 2011 at 12:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kman

      Not swinging there Dr. Ruth. That would be cheating. Two totally different things.

      September 15, 2011 at 12:54 | Report abuse |
  18. JustaGuy

    You know what they say about "one in the hand is worth two in the BUSH"!

    September 15, 2011 at 13:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CountFistula

      2 in the bush, daaaaang, that's a sloppy bush!!

      September 15, 2011 at 14:36 | Report abuse |
    • TBone

      Women in the Lifestyle often take much better care of themselves than those who are not....therefor, you don't see too many "Bush's"

      September 15, 2011 at 18:29 | Report abuse |
    • Rbnlegend101

      One of the most overused words around. When you say "the lifestyle" are you talking about touring the country in an RV? or motorcycling? Are you devoted to your business? Your religion? Are you a high intensity outdoorsman? There are at least three bands whose followers say they are living "the lifestyle" and that somehow relates to the band. Not to mention many s3x related options.

      September 16, 2011 at 09:03 | Report abuse |
  19. Lila

    No, We are a mixture of your two types, but bringing other people into our relationship isn't worth the problems it creates. It is possible to be adventurous with the same partner. Not to sound graphic but at the end of a day a koch is a koch. A loving trusting partner is far more important in life.

    September 15, 2011 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CountFistula

      uhhhh heheh ehhehe huh heheheh hehehe huhhhh she said koch

      September 15, 2011 at 14:54 | Report abuse |
  20. JJ515

    To me, this is just a disaster waiting to happen. But I guess it is better than getting cheated on. At least both will get something out of the deal.

    September 15, 2011 at 14:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. aubrie

    I'll just stick to my fantasies... Safer that way.... In MANY ways.....

    September 15, 2011 at 15:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jeanette

      Good for you. I often fantasize about driving a car. And swimming. But, you know, with all the drunks and the sharks, it's safer to fantasize.

      September 15, 2011 at 19:55 | Report abuse |
    • Jesus

      What a dead life Jeanette....dreaming about living large when you could actually be living large! You might as well be in the grave.

      September 16, 2011 at 14:58 | Report abuse |
  22. Melissa

    Not a chance in hell. Vile, disgusting, disrespectful, all of them fit this kind of insane mindset.

    September 15, 2011 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Seraphim0

      Poor melissa.

      Vile- because sharing your fantasies with your partner is vile.
      Disgusting- because intercourse is just that gross.
      Disrespectful- because you both were willing to approach it with open minds together, and agreed to do it.

      Oh, by the way, 'insane' is a legal term and not a psychological evaluation/term.

      September 15, 2011 at 15:44 | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      Judge not, lest ye be judged...

      September 15, 2011 at 19:33 | Report abuse |
    • Jesus

      Melissa, there are some women who do not like s3x. You are most likely one of them. Enjoy your life, such as it is.

      September 16, 2011 at 14:59 | Report abuse |
  23. One happy couple

    thumbs up to swinging, great way to share our fantasy's

    September 15, 2011 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. thomas

    As long as all four people are witting and consent, no problem.

    The problem is when one person is "pushed" into it or when one person moves the swinging to a different level.

    So swinging is not a problem. How certain people act/react while swinging can be a problem.

    September 15, 2011 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. pat39

    Its all fun and games until you come back to reality with an STD!

    September 15, 2011 at 15:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • One happy couple

      Realitty is Most LS couple use protection and get checked on regular basis. so your slightly mis informed.

      September 15, 2011 at 16:36 | Report abuse |
    • Jason K

      protection is a general term, and people lie about getting checked all the time. Pr0n stars have to get checked more than anyone and they still get AIDS, and other STD regularly.

      September 15, 2011 at 16:53 | Report abuse |
  26. Fun times

    Tried once in the 80's.. Was lots of fun till I started to think about my son being left at the Grandparents while w were out "having fun" some reason that bothered me. So let's hear what the arm chair Phd's think about this

    September 15, 2011 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mickey1313

      Would you feel bad if you were going dancing, bowling, or to a movie? If so, you have a point, (i dont understand but it is there) If, on the other hand, you find no issue with placeing your child in care while you go on a "normal" date, why would you feel guilty about doing so for swinging? there is no differance.

      September 15, 2011 at 21:45 | Report abuse |
    • Rbnlegend101

      If you can't leave your kid with a babysitter for an evening, you have issues that go way beyond anything related to swinging.

      September 16, 2011 at 09:07 | Report abuse |
  27. Tony

    This is idiotic to even discuss, there's no question here that this is wrong. If you want to be a dirty pagan, don't get married.

    September 15, 2011 at 16:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • One happy couple

      Why is this idiotic to even discuss? What a closed mind you have. maybe young boys are more for you..

      September 15, 2011 at 16:31 | Report abuse |
    • TBone

      And who tells you its wrong? Your Catholic priest thats banging your kids?

      September 15, 2011 at 18:23 | Report abuse |
    • Mad Cow

      "If you want to be a dirty pagan, don't get married."
      So if you want to be a dirty christian, you should get married?
      Pagans rule, all others drool.

      September 16, 2011 at 00:17 | Report abuse |
    • JnD

      You must be a Very happy person, since ignorance is bliss and that's a very ignorant statement. I'm entranced by the depth of your ignorance on the subject, as well as your willingness to shout said ignorance to the world. Have a wonderful life. 🙂

      September 16, 2011 at 09:52 | Report abuse |
  28. John

    My wife and I have been married 23 years. We have had an open mariage for about 12 of those. Manogamy didn't work for us. She has her "friends" and I have mine. We both know we will each come home to the other. We love eachother, but this works for us,

    September 15, 2011 at 16:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jesus

      Great!! Congrats! This is, in my opinion, the only way to maintain a happy marriage.

      September 16, 2011 at 15:01 | Report abuse |
  29. Thortek

    Crabs.

    September 15, 2011 at 16:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Jen

    I've actually known two couples, one married, and one not married, who did this. They both ended up breaking apart. After they tried this, the husband from the married couple simply started sleeping around with other women behind his wife's back until he was caught. The "I was just trying her out for us, and I was gonna tell you" excuse obviously didn't go over to well. With the other couple, it was the women who went off playing the field secretly until she got hacked. Bottom line, if you want to eventually end your relationship, start Swinging!

    September 15, 2011 at 16:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mickey1313

      But, in both cases they were lieing to eachother, if you must lie, it will fail, because if you must lie, you know your partner wouldnt aprove hence the lie.

      September 15, 2011 at 21:49 | Report abuse |
  31. Sam

    My friend did this 10 years ago. He's dead now. AIDS

    September 15, 2011 at 16:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • S1N

      He should have used a condom.

      September 15, 2011 at 16:48 | Report abuse |
    • Jason K

      Maybe he did, condoms break, and sometimes have defects.

      September 15, 2011 at 16:55 | Report abuse |
    • Jeanette

      My friend drove a car about 4 years ago. She is dead. Traffic accident.

      September 15, 2011 at 19:51 | Report abuse |
    • Rbnlegend101

      A freind of mine was into hiking about 8 years ago. He died. Cliff.
      Another friend of mine was into breathing just two years ago. She died. Pneumonia.

      No one gets out alive.

      September 16, 2011 at 09:09 | Report abuse |
  32. *frank*

    Wait it's a trap!

    September 15, 2011 at 17:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Swinging couple

    I think the general public needs to realize there is a difference between swinging and cheating. Swinging is an adventure that you embark on together with your spouse. Cheating is cheating. Some of the above examples aren't swinging; they're cheating. And a marriage needs to be strong in order to even consider swinging. If one half of the couple is being dragged along, it won't work. If a couple chooses swinging as an alternative to cheating, it won't work. If the marriage is on the rocks, it won't work. But for couples with a good secure relationship, swinging can enhance it. My husband and I have been married 23 years and started swinging about 8 years ago. In no way has it negatively affected our marriage. He is my love and always will be. Neither of us is going anywhere. The interactions we've had with other couples have been fun, but that's all it is to us...fun.

    September 15, 2011 at 17:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kman

      Yeah...What they said.

      September 15, 2011 at 18:41 | Report abuse |
  34. txwtch67

    Tony

    This is idiotic to even discuss, there's no question here that this is wrong. If you want to be a dirty pagan, don't get married.

    Um, I'm a pagan and I take great offense to your statement. Like this kind of behavior is only possible in non judeochristian persons. I also bath once a day, at least. Would have been totally different if I inserted the word for your religion in that sentence wouldn't it?

    September 15, 2011 at 17:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mickey1313

      I agree, but for 2000 years the judeochristians have been lableing anything that does not fit into there world view as both evil and pagan. They preverted the elemental symbol of peace into an aledged satanic symbol, interesting sincebeing non-judeochristian, one does not believe in "THE DEVIL". If people went back to a more natural belief system, like wiccan or other forms of paganism, we would be a more peaceful people. I personally am an athiest, but I have NEVER had a fight with a pagen about religen, but most devoute judeochristians do fight about this topic.

      September 15, 2011 at 21:53 | Report abuse |
  35. CameraCode

    In the 70's, Polaroid sold an instant camera called... The Swinger.

    September 15, 2011 at 17:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. joey

    I use to swing, but then I couldn't get anyone to give me a push. So instead, I just go down the slide.

    September 15, 2011 at 18:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. TBone

    Its FANTASTIC

    September 15, 2011 at 18:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Alphonso

    What ever happened to being loyal to your marriage vows? You made a promise and now you break it but it's ok because your spouse is cool with it? If you can't keep your word should should be ashamed of yourself not boasting to the world what a jack off you are.

    September 15, 2011 at 18:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kman

      Swinging doesn't always involve jacking off

      September 15, 2011 at 18:42 | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      well, if your "vows" are that important to you, then dont break them. If on the other hand you make the vows as part of a ceramony that hold no bond, other then one concenting adult to another, and you remove the mythic thiestic aspect to it, then it is not a problem. PS, where in love, honor and cherish, does it say no swinging, IF both are interested.

      September 15, 2011 at 21:56 | Report abuse |
    • Rbnlegend101

      Perhaps you should have taken more care when you made those vows. I made mine, and nothing I have done since has gone against them. My vows were about far more important things than s3x. None of our vows were about s3x. If that's what your marriage is all about, good luck.

      September 16, 2011 at 09:12 | Report abuse |
  39. Reddog

    I caught herpes from my swinging partner. Pass it on.

    September 15, 2011 at 19:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Ric

    Having been involved in the 'Lifestyle' since 2002, one thing I can most certainly say is that there are a lot of people posting here that have absolutely no idea what they are talking about and are basing their beliefs and arguments on half-truths, assumptions and rumors. In all these years, a couple of things I have learned about being in the 'Lifestyle': 1. Swinging is not for 95% of the population. The reason for this is because to enjoy being in the lifestyle to it's fullest, you and your partner must have several things: 2. Absolute Love for each other. 3. Absolute Trust in each other. 4. Communcation without the fear of judgement or punishment. 4. Maturity. I'd bet anyone would be very hard pressed to find those 4 requirements in a 'monagamous' relationship/marriage. So, all I ask is that before you attempt to pass judgment on something/someone get all the facts first. And if you know someone who is a swinger, don't be afraid to ask them questions. It might just suprise you how open-minded and honest we are and that we are good people.

    September 15, 2011 at 21:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mickey1313

      Ive been in 2 3-ways, both with a couple and me as the 3rd, and we always had fun and no one was ever mad or up tight, AND they and I both had papers to prove clenleness.

      September 15, 2011 at 21:59 | Report abuse |
    • Blessed Geek

      The aging drug pusher says,

      these people have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. A lot of hearsay and half truths. No, drug pushing is not for everybody, not for 99.6% of the population. Ho ho hum. No one was hurt. We had great times. The public needs to understand our trade. We work just as hard. Ho ho hum.

      Load of doggie dog by products. Oh, we are just normal people. Please accept us, please, please, we are normal.

      September 15, 2011 at 23:25 | Report abuse |
    • Cognitive Dissonance

      Well stated.

      September 17, 2011 at 02:15 | Report abuse |
    • Cognitive Dissonance

      My last post "Well stated" is for RIC.

      September 17, 2011 at 02:16 | Report abuse |
  41. jhnz

    It's time for the world to learn, the "secret code" can achieve a 90% accuracy rate within the oil market. What I'm trying to do is wake you up so that you can see that you can make as much money as you want within the oil market by using the "secret code". So here is the proof, shown live with NO POSSIBLE WAY to fake!! Google Oil Trading Academy to learn more.

    September 15, 2011 at 21:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Blessed Geek

      Is that a secret to swinging to success?

      September 15, 2011 at 23:16 | Report abuse |
  42. El Flaco

    My experience with it was that it was wholesome adult fun. No one was harmed. Everyone had a good time. We called it 'playing.'

    September 15, 2011 at 22:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. adamus

    Why get married then? What's the point? I'm single and never felt a need to get married. Does that mean I'm lonely? No. It means I'm happy..... BTW I do have a girlfriend and she doesn't want marriage or children which is o.k. by me!

    September 15, 2011 at 23:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Blessed Geek

    Swinging is for people who do not understand themselves.

    It's like hmm, I'm in the line for Sbarro. No, no, no, may be I should be in the line of Panda. Oh, I think i should be doing arby's.

    Rolling stones that gather no moss. Yeah, may be they don't want to gather any moss. But when I die, and I stare up at the ceiling, I want to know that I gathered up a lot of moss. So mossy and the memories of the one with whom I had gathered all that moss.

    No they are just shifting sand. They don't know what it means to remember only the scent one person, besides your children's. They don't value that singularity. Like sad lonely kids convincing they have friends by attending everyone's party.

    September 15, 2011 at 23:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SwingerGirl

      Actually it's more like I want McDonalds Big Mac, but do I want fries with that, or do I want a salad? I could have both but I'd pay for that tomorrow. As long as the Big Mac is there, what ever else comes along is just a bonus.

      I love my bf, no matter what side were having that night...

      October 4, 2011 at 19:11 | Report abuse |
  45. One happy couple

    Those of you that have ever done it will never know. So Keep thinking what ever you want. And we are normal. look to your left and then to your right. We are next to you in line, live on your block , Mommy's, Daddy's, Dr's, Lawers, teachers, police, Firefighters, nurses, but we are normal so you will never know. But I assure you We are the ones living life to the fullest and have no regrets. So you all just have fun in your boring lifes..

    September 16, 2011 at 00:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • One happy couple

      typo- Those of you that have Never done it will never know..

      September 16, 2011 at 00:06 | Report abuse |
    • jhx

      thanks for this comment.. i think its powerful and true.

      September 16, 2011 at 00:17 | Report abuse |
    • Zargoth

      Thank you for mentioning this...

      Why can't everyone just let others live as they wish?

      September 16, 2011 at 09:21 | Report abuse |
  46. leecherius

    You live your life , I'll live mine...I want no part of it..

    September 16, 2011 at 01:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Panties

      Well, I do want a part of it. I love it. I will take all of it I can get.

      September 16, 2011 at 04:54 | Report abuse |
  47. Kman

    I think we can all agree that God wasn't a swinger so can we just leave him out of this conversation?

    September 16, 2011 at 07:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rbnlegend101

      Wait, I thought God loved us all?

      September 16, 2011 at 09:15 | Report abuse |
  48. David Anderson

    America has been declining for decades and this article only promotes further decline. If I ever see the man who wrote this article, I am going to beat the #$%^^& out of him.

    September 16, 2011 at 08:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SilenceDoGood333

      Can I throw the first "swing?"

      September 16, 2011 at 08:38 | Report abuse |
    • Rbnlegend101

      A good wholesome threat of violence against a total stranger. That will promote some good social values. It's nice to be able to read the writings of such a paragon of virtue.

      September 16, 2011 at 09:16 | Report abuse |
    • JnD

      What a thoughtful, enlightening, well reasoned rejoinder! You're a true credit to the redneck segment of our population. 🙂

      September 16, 2011 at 09:48 | Report abuse |
  49. JQP

    @ One Happy Couple: Nice to see that some people get it. I can't tell you the number of people I know who occasionaly [illegally] smoke a blunt and think nothing of it but bring up the idea swinging and they are all "hollier than thou" at the thought. Even if only 5% of the population engages in swinging that means living in a neighborhood of 260+ homes at least 13 couples are partaking:)

    I say why not try it. And why? Because the traditional definition of marriage as defined by the Ozzie and Harriet generation has FAILED. Don't believe me, then explain the divorce rate being >50%. And don't explain it using words like selfish, etc. because if only 10 – 20% divorced then you could say selfish but at >50%, it is a problem with the idea of traditional marriage. If you are in school and you get >50% wrong on a test you FAILED. Don't kill the messenger just cause you don't like the message.

    September 16, 2011 at 08:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • vick

      Well said JQP! I couldn't agree more....people need to open their minds and stop living in the 1800's.

      September 16, 2011 at 10:33 | Report abuse |
  50. msadr

    If you're capable of doing it with someone else, then you don't really love your partner. There is no way in which "swinging" or "polyamory" isn't completely selfish. And love is not selfish. So many excuses and justifications... all of it's bull. it's just plain wrong folks. I had a couple approach me about this once. That's when I understood why they're so miserable! They're not my friends anymore.

    September 16, 2011 at 09:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JQP

      My response is...then more than 50% of men and women must not really love their partner and are selfish because like it or not that is where the divorce rate hovers. And you know the ironic thing behind the rate, sooooo many people are divorced, good people, religous people, etc. that few people label the divorcees as bad because if you did then you would be calling your family, friends, coworkers, church congregation, ...bad. More marriages could be saved and be happy marriages if more people were willing to open their minds and think outside the box. But if that is not realistic then again my response is...divorce rate will remain at +50%. That is reality selfish or not...like it or not.

      September 16, 2011 at 09:36 | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      Oh look, Msdr has an opinion... How cute.

      September 16, 2011 at 11:36 | Report abuse |
1 2 3

Leave a Reply to cher


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.