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 (1,610 Responses)
  1. SEO Marketing Firm

    I needed to thank you for this good read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it. I've got you book-marked to check out new stuff you post…

    http://webourgeon.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=http://www.affordableranking.com

    May 25, 2021 at 20:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Tembepteriope

    sildenafil vs cialis https://hydroaraleneth.com/ – sildenafil otc what is sildenafil used for sildenafil 50 mg price sildenafil dosage

    May 25, 2021 at 20:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Tembepteriope

    sildenafil uses how much sildenafil is too much how long does it take for sildenafil to work sildenafil tablets https://hydrochloroquineeth.com/

    May 25, 2021 at 21:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Tembepteriope

    does sildenafil work https://chloroquinesun.com/ – sildenafil uses hims sildenafil how long does it take for sildenafil to take effect sildenafil 100mg

    May 25, 2021 at 22:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Tembepteriope

    sildenafil 20 mg reviews https://hydroaralen.com/ sildenafil alcohol sildenafil citrate tablets 100mg how long does sildenafil last

    May 25, 2021 at 23:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. fabrication shop near me

    This is a topic that's close to my heart... Cheers! Where are your contact details though?

    http://hammer.if.tv/cgi/search/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=2613&url=http://th7.com.br/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=46:the-pain-you-feel-today-will-b&limitstart=70920

    May 25, 2021 at 23:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. rv parts san diego

    After looking at a few of the blog articles on your web site, I seriously appreciate your way of writing a blog. I bookmarked it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back soon. Take a look at my website as well and tell me your opinion.

    https://www.adminer.org/redirect/?url=http://strzelaniewroclaw.pl/struggling-with-your-english-dont-forget/

    May 26, 2021 at 00:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Tembepteriope

    viagra sildenafil cheap sildenafil sildenafilo https://hydroaralenus.com/

    May 26, 2021 at 00:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. RV Lighting Riverside

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this post! It is the little changes that will make the most significant changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

    https://www.sweetcotton.com/osanpo/search/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=1154&url=https://civil-engineering40505.blogcudinti.com/3153910/5-simple-statements-about-rv-mechanics-near-me-explained

    May 26, 2021 at 00:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Zisseloh

    do you need prescription for cialis https://rcialisgl.com/ – drinking on cialis when will cialis be generic in the usa

    May 26, 2021 at 01:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Tembepteriope

    https://chloroquinecan.com/ sildenafil vs cialis sildenafil interactions how much sildenafil should i take sildenafil coupon

    May 26, 2021 at 01:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Tembepteriope

    https://chloroquinesun.com/ sildenafil tablets https://chloroquinedoge.com/ – sildenafil generic sildenafil 20 mg dosage

    May 26, 2021 at 02:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. avana

    avana canada buy avana

    May 26, 2021 at 03:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Tembepteriope

    https://chloroquinestrx.com/ what is sildenafil citrate sildenafil 20 mg not working sildenafil for pulmonary hypertension what is sildenafil

    May 26, 2021 at 03:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. auto paint supply orange county ca

    /

    May 26, 2021 at 04:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. EncoxHtf

    cialis coupon https://cialishav.com/ – cialis and flomax together for bph cialis prescription

    May 26, 2021 at 04:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Rosa Doakes

    If you like reading a blog, what kind of interesting things that make you like that blog? Give me your favorite blog links too..

    https://www.facebook.com/KateKowalskyWebMarketing

    May 26, 2021 at 04:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Tembepteriope

    tadalafil vs sildenafil sildenafil citrate sildenafil 20 mg sildenafil 100mg price https://chloroquinesbtc.com/ – sildenafil citrate tablets 100mg

    May 26, 2021 at 05:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Tembepteriope

    sildenafil sildenafil 100mg coupon sildenafil walmart sildenafil vs viagra https://hydrochloroquinesol.com/

    May 26, 2021 at 06:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Tembepteriope

    viagra sildenafil https://chloroquinemil.com/ – cheap sildenafil sildenafil citrate 20 mg sildenafil citrate tablets 100mg goodrx sildenafil

    May 26, 2021 at 07:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Tembepteriope

    how to take sildenafil how does sildenafil work cheap sildenafil roman sildenafil https://hydroxychloroquinetc.com/

    May 26, 2021 at 08:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. truck shop orange california

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who had been conducting a little research on this. And he actually bought me dinner due to the fact that I discovered it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to discuss this matter here on your web site.

    http://p113831.typo3server.info/index.php?id=34&type=0&jumpurl=http://guenterreiter.eu/index.php?option=com_phocaguestbook&view=phocaguestbook&id=1&Itemid=4&limitstart=57480

    May 26, 2021 at 09:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. motorhome shops near me

    Great site you have here.. It’s difficult to find high quality writing like yours these days. I truly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    http://www.fanslations.azurewebsites.net/release/out/takami-no-kago-chapter-39/11534/?url=https://ingenieurleistungenreiter.de/index.php?option=com_phocaguestbook&view=phocaguestbook&id=1&Itemid=4&limitstart=64300

    May 26, 2021 at 10:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Tembepteriope

    sildenafil walmart sildenafil uses what is sildenafil sildenafil 50 mg tablet http://tadarisetadalafil.com/ – sildenafil 50 mg tablet

    May 26, 2021 at 11:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Tembepteriope

    sildenafil warnings https://aralenquinesab.com/ sildenafil 20 mg reviews sildenafil 100mg sildenafil 60mg

    May 26, 2021 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. rv awning repair near me

    http://web.trailerpark.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.info/rv-repair-shop-azusa-california

    May 26, 2021 at 12:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Tembepteriope

    https://hydroxychloroquinetc.com/ sildenafil mechanism of action sildenafil 100mg price at walmart cheap sildenafil sildenafil 20 mg not working

    May 26, 2021 at 13:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. rv repair near me now

    Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to create a superb article… but what can I say… I put things off a whole lot and don't manage to get nearly anything done.

    http://v.wcj.dns4.cn/?c=scene&a=link&id=8833621&url=https://ocrv.org/rv-interior-remodel-near-me

    May 26, 2021 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. RV Lighting Orange County

    When I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I receive four emails with the exact same comment. Is there an easy method you are able to remove me from that service? Cheers!

    http://oraung02.iamgold.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.org/rv-repair-shop-la-puente-california

    May 26, 2021 at 14:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Social Media Marketing Firms Near Me

    Itís hard to find well-informed people in this particular topic, however, you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks

    http://www.doctor-navi.com/cgi/hospital-search-engine2/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=14979&url=https://affordableranking.com

    May 26, 2021 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Tembepteriope

    how much sildenafil should i take sildenafil for pulmonary hypertension sildenafil price walmart hims sildenafil https://chloroquinesusa.com/ – sildenafil warnings

    May 26, 2021 at 14:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Tembepteriope

    https://chloroquineth.com/ sildenafil citrate 20 mg what is sildenafil citrate sildenafil citrate tablets 100mg sildenafil 60mg

    May 26, 2021 at 15:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Tembepteriope

    sildenafil 20 mg dosage sildenafil and alcohol what is sildenafil used for https://chloroquinesil.com/

    May 26, 2021 at 16:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Tembepteriope

    sildenafil for pulmonary hypertension sildenafil for dogs sildenafil 20 mg not working https://hydroaralenus.com/

    May 26, 2021 at 17:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. california coach towing orange

    I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Well written!

    http://ljc.jieju.cn/agent/rdandstat.aspx?url=https://ocrvexperts.com/rv-repair-shop-la-palma-california

    May 26, 2021 at 17:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Tembepteriope

    sildenafil 60mg sildenafil 20 mg not working sildenafil dosage timing https://chloroquinemil.com/

    May 26, 2021 at 18:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Tembepteriope

    sildenafil online sildenafil otc sildenafil pills roman sildenafil https://chloroquinedoge.com/

    May 26, 2021 at 19:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Tembepteriope

    sildenafil 100mg price https://chloroquinesada.com/ sildenafil walmart sildenafil pills sildenafil warnings

    May 26, 2021 at 20:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Tembepteriope

    https://hydroaralenus.com/ sildenafil 100mg https://azithromycindot.com – sildenafil citrate 100mg sildenafil reviews

    May 26, 2021 at 21:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. CrulkAsd

    cialis canadian pharmacy no prescription https://cialisjla.com/ – cialis & dapoxitine cialis us

    May 26, 2021 at 22:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Tembepteriope

    https://chloroquinesun.com/ how much sildenafil is too much sildenafil 100mg sildenafil for pulmonary hypertension sildenafil 25 mg

    May 26, 2021 at 22:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. mission hills collision center

    bookmarked!!, I really like your website!

    http://mailer.dt.co.kr/bin/checker?mode=5&module=11&mailidx=4275&dmidx=0&emidx=0&service=0&etime=20080227100001&seqidx=18963&objidx=16&url=https://ocrv.me/rv-repair-shop-inland-empire-california

    May 26, 2021 at 23:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. motorhome repair shops near me

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you so much, However I am going through issues with your RSS. I don’t understand the reason why I can't subscribe to it. Is there anybody having similar RSS problems? Anybody who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

    http://sintesi.provincia.brescia.it/portale/LinkClick.aspx?link=https://ocrv.vip/national-general-rv-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    May 26, 2021 at 23:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Tembepteriope

    cheap sildenafil https://chloroquinestrx.com/ sildenafil pills how long does sildenafil last sildenafil citrate 20 mg

    May 26, 2021 at 23:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Tembepteriope

    sildenafil citrate side effects https://hydroaralenus.com/ – sildenafil 100mg coupon sildenafil for sale sildenafil tablets 100mg https://chloroquinendi.com/

    May 27, 2021 at 00:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Tembepteriope

    sildenafil brand name https://azithromycinetc.com – goodrx sildenafil sildenafil for women sildenafil cost https://hydroxychloroquinebnb.com/

    May 27, 2021 at 01:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Tembepteriope

    sildenafil vs cialis https://chloroquinendi.com/ – what is sildenafil how much sildenafil is too much sildenafil or tadalafil sildenafil citrate side effects

    May 27, 2021 at 02:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Tembepteriope

    sildenafil 20 mg tablet sildenafil 100 mg sildenafil 60mg sildenafil pills https://hydroxychloroquinetc.com/

    May 27, 2021 at 03:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. ZisseVed

    cialis, levetra, viagra for less https://krocialis.com/ – effects of cialis what is cialis black 800mg

    May 27, 2021 at 04:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Tembepteriope

    how much sildenafil should i take https://hydroaaralen.com/ – sildenafil citrate 100mg sildenafil side effects sildenafil 20 mg tablet what is sildenafil citrate

    May 27, 2021 at 04:32 | 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 cyclomune


 

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.