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 (1,610 Responses)
  1. RV Collision Repair Near Me

    Having read this I thought it was really informative. I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this information together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!


    May 22, 2021 at 00:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. RV Headlights Los Angeles

    Spot on with this write-up, I honestly believe this web site needs far more attention. I’ll probably be returning to see more, thanks for the advice!


    May 22, 2021 at 01:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. RV Sound System Near Me


    May 22, 2021 at 01:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. tires in orange county ca


    May 22, 2021 at 08:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. rv parts and service near my location


    May 22, 2021 at 08:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RV Mattresses Riverside


    May 22, 2021 at 12:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. RV Alignment California

    Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after looking at many of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Regardless, I’m certainly delighted I came across it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!


    May 22, 2021 at 12:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Digital Marketing Agencies Near Me


    May 22, 2021 at 23:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. rv countertop remodel


    May 22, 2021 at 23:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RebfZisse

    paypal cialis tadalafil http://rcialisgl.com/ – brand name cialis cialis ontario

    May 23, 2021 at 04:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Tembepteriope

    tadalafil liquid https://tadalafilol.com/ tadalafil cialis tadalafil order online no prescription cialis without a prescription

    May 23, 2021 at 11:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RV Maintenance Orange County


    May 23, 2021 at 11:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. LbsoZisse

    cialis las vegas https://ucialisdas.com/ cialis payment paypal

    May 23, 2021 at 23:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. SEO Marketing Experts


    May 24, 2021 at 06:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. BbshMile

    100mg viagra https://loxviagra.com/ best viagra online

    May 24, 2021 at 08:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. hvac repairs near me

    carry on, dont stop


    May 24, 2021 at 10:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. ac repair Fayetteville NC

    very nice! Ireally like your blog


    May 24, 2021 at 11:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. $1 tea cups

    Thanks for the information.


    May 24, 2021 at 11:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. RV Bedroom Orange County

    Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Finding the time and actual effort to create a superb article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.


    May 24, 2021 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Tembepteriope

    prescription tadalafil online tadalafil cialis cheap cialis pills for sale buy generic cialis online with mastercard https://tadalafilww.com/ – cialis tadalafil

    May 24, 2021 at 16:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. rv generator repair

    I seriously love your website.. Great colors & theme. Did you create this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m looking to create my own personal website and would love to learn where you got this from or just what the theme is called. Kudos!


    May 24, 2021 at 18:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. cyclosporine

    buy cyclomune uk buy cyclomune online

    May 24, 2021 at 22:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. vinyl wrap motorhome


    May 24, 2021 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. windshield replacement lake forest

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely think this web site needs far more attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the info!


    May 24, 2021 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Video Marketing Agencies

    Your style is unique in comparison to other people I've read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this page.


    May 24, 2021 at 23:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Forklift Cylinders Near Me


    May 25, 2021 at 00:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. LebnEncox

    Theo-24 Cr https://xlnpharmacy.com/ canada pharmaceutical online ordering

    May 25, 2021 at 00:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Digital Marketing Specialists


    May 25, 2021 at 00:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Forklift Extensions Orange County


    May 25, 2021 at 01:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Forklift Parts Los Angeles


    May 25, 2021 at 03:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Social Media Marketing Firm


    May 25, 2021 at 04:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. combigan

    brimonidine tartrate brimonidine generic

    May 25, 2021 at 07:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. hydroxychloroquineHyday

    hydroxychloroquine medication https://hydroxychloroquinetc.com/# does hydroxychloroquine require a prescription

    May 25, 2021 at 07:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Used Forklift Repair California

    This website truly has all of the information I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.


    May 25, 2021 at 08:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Social Media Marketing Consultants Near Me

    Having read this I believed it was extremely enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this content together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!


    May 25, 2021 at 09:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Tembepteriope

    https://chloroquineef.com/ sildenafil 50 mg price what is sildenafil citrate sildenafil otc sildenafil citrate 20 mg

    May 25, 2021 at 10:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Content Marketing Boutique

    Good day! I could have sworn I’ve visited this blog before but after browsing through a few of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m certainly delighted I found it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back often!


    May 25, 2021 at 10:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Tembepteriope

    https://hydroxyaralen.com/ how to take sildenafil https://hydrochloroquineada.com/ – sildenafil or tadalafil sildenafil 100mg price

    May 25, 2021 at 13:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Digital Marketing Firm


    May 25, 2021 at 14:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Tembepteriope

    sildenafil mechanism of action https://chloroquinestrx.com/ sildenafil citrate side effects sildenafil tablets 100mg sildenafil 100mg price

    May 25, 2021 at 14:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Tembepteriope

    sildenafil citrate 100mg https://hydroaralen.com/ sildenafil 20 mg reviews sildenafil 100mg price sildenafil reviews

    May 25, 2021 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Digital Marketing Company


    May 25, 2021 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Tembepteriope

    sildenafil for sale https://hydrochloroquineada.com/ – sildenafil roman sildenafil sildenafil mechanism of action how long does it take for sildenafil to take effect

    May 25, 2021 at 16:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Digital Marketing Businesses


    May 25, 2021 at 16:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Tembepteriope

    https://chloroquinecan.com/ sildenafil citrate 100mg sildenafil 60mg sildenafil reviews sildenafil 20 mg

    May 25, 2021 at 17:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Tembepteriope

    sildenafil 100mg https://chloroquinesen.com/ – roman sildenafil sildenafil contraindications sildenafil dosage timing sildenafilo

    May 25, 2021 at 18:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Tembepteriope

    sildenafil for sale what is sildenafil sildenafilo sildenafil 50 mg https://aralenquinesun.com/ – sildenafil dosage

    May 25, 2021 at 19:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Local Marketing Companies


    May 25, 2021 at 19:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Social Media Marketing Companies Near Me


    May 25, 2021 at 19:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. avanafil

    avana avanafil dose

    May 25, 2021 at 20:04 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Leave a Reply to https://shiatsu-web.com


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.

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.