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. rv alignment near me

    http://park3.wakwak.com/~yadoryuo/cgi-bin/click3/click3.cgi?cnt=chalet-main&url=http://ingenieurleistungenreiter.com/index.php?option=com_phocaguestbook&view=phocaguestbook&id=1&Itemid=4&t=1200&limitstart=66420

    June 2, 2021 at 21:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. appomannoni

    is erectile dysfunction a chronic disease kayamy best erectile dysfunction remedies
    erectile medication where to purchase slilicy erectile pills sample
    erectile disorder 38 cfr sicAdofs erectile suppliers

    June 2, 2021 at 21:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Chevy Van Repair

    http://surveys.montclair.edu/survey/preview.jsp?surveyid=1326825217719&url=http://fleettruckrepairshop.com

    June 3, 2021 at 05:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. appomannoni

    erectile injection therapy kayamy coupons for erectile dysfunction
    erectile stamina in older men slilicy erectile damage
    erectile dysfunction with diabetes sicAdofs is erectile dysfunction mental

    June 3, 2021 at 06:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Conversion Van Repair

    http://naniwa-search.com/search/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=23&url=https://sprintervanrepair.com

    June 3, 2021 at 06:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RV Toilets California

    https://go.onelink.me/v1xd?pid=Patch&c=Mobile Footer&af_web_dp=http://orangecountyrvrepair.com/

    June 3, 2021 at 06:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. SEO Marketing Specialist

    Everything is very open with a very clear clarification of the issues. It was definitely informative. Your website is useful. Many thanks for sharing!

    http://askabouthunting.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=internetmarketingidaho.com

    June 3, 2021 at 07:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Google Marketing Business

    http://www.virginiafinehomes.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=boosterpackforlife.com

    June 3, 2021 at 08:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Handicap Van Repair Near Me

    I'd like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this blog. I'm hoping to see the same high-grade content by you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own website now 😉

    http://www.ducktv.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=sprinterrepairnearme.com/

    June 3, 2021 at 08:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Sprinter V6 Return Line Repair

    http://www.logicatwork.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=fleettruckrepairshop.com

    June 3, 2021 at 10:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. cost tadalafil generic

    tadalafil from canada to usa tadalafil peptides tadalafil pah

    June 3, 2021 at 11:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. cialis 20 mg

    side effects of tadalafil cialis 20 mg sublingual tadalafil

    June 3, 2021 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. appomannoni

    erectile function healthy dads healthy kids kayamy solutions to erectile dysfunction
    cheapest erectile dysfunction pill comparison slilicy top male erectile pill
    fast erectile repair sicAdofs erectile examination

    June 3, 2021 at 14:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. national interstate rv insurance

    Itís difficult to find knowledgeable people about this subject, however, you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks

    http://maps.google.so/url?q=https://youtube.com/watch?v=c693NYOLiJc

    June 3, 2021 at 17:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. trailer parts and repair near me

    http://www.feedroll.com/rssviewer/feed2js.php?src=http://youtube.com/watch?v=-Nz2uFmGegw/

    June 3, 2021 at 18:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. rv service and repair near me

    https://www.friscowebsites.com/Redirect.aspx?destination=http://youtube.com/watch?v=3v2iYYxXF4s/

    June 3, 2021 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. fiberglass panels for rv repair

    https://plt.crmplatform.nl/nieuwsbrief/actions/2.vm?id=2495448&url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1MvwLbmjHU/

    June 3, 2021 at 18:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. rv window repair near me

    I couldnít refrain from commenting. Well written!

    http://images.google.com.ai/url?q=http://youtube.com/watch?v=Q2Ns-hJOnxA/

    June 3, 2021 at 18:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. EncoxGtv

    can you take prescription drugs on a plane? big sky pharmacy canada canadian pharmacy mall

    June 3, 2021 at 20:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. appomannoni

    erectile prosthesis kayamy erectile food
    erectile band slilicy erectile solutions that work at walmart
    erectile bands sicAdofs does erectile dysfunction affect desire

    June 3, 2021 at 23:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. download joker123 apk

    What's up, its nice post regarding media print, we all be familiar
    with media is a impressive source of information.

    June 4, 2021 at 00:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. kızılay escort

    For the reason that the admin of this web site is working, no doubt very soon it will be famous,
    due to its feature contents.

    June 4, 2021 at 03:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Google Marketing Company

    The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn't disappoint me just as much as this particular one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, nonetheless I genuinely thought you would have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something you could fix if you were not too busy seeking attention.

    http://www.jakvycvicitdraka.cz/notice.php?url=http://curtismelancon.com/

    June 4, 2021 at 03:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. sally beauty near me

    http://www.stationcaster.com/stations/kabc/index.php?loadfeed=true&rss=www.bestlocalnearme.com/

    June 4, 2021 at 03:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. oc appliance man

    https://d.agkn.com/pixel/2389/?che=2979434297&col=22204979,1565515,238211572,435508400,111277757&l1=https://ocrvexperts.com/rv-repair-shop-palmdale-california

    June 4, 2021 at 03:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Sprinter Van Brake Repair Near Me

    http://alphagrowth.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=fleetautorepairshop.com/

    June 4, 2021 at 03:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Mercedes Benz Dealer Service Sprinter Near Me 91605

    http://www.desertclassic.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=sprinterrepairnearme.com/

    June 4, 2021 at 05:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. EncoxAni

    correct rx pharmacy services pharmacy prescription canada pharmacy sarasota fl

    June 4, 2021 at 06:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. appomannoni

    erectile massage therapy kayamy buy erectile dysfunction meds
    10 best erectile supplements slilicy erectile rehabilitation program
    erectile pills china sicAdofs erectile coffee

    June 4, 2021 at 07:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. bus repair near me

    http://info-az.net/search/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=675&url=https://ocrvshop.com

    June 4, 2021 at 10:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. travel trailer repair near me

    An impressive share! I've just forwarded this onto a co-worker who had been conducting a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me lunch simply because I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending some time to talk about this issue here on your web site.

    https://hslda.org/content/a/LinkTracker.aspx?id=4015475&appeal=385&package=36&uri=https://ocrv.art/rv-repair-shop-laguna-hills-california

    June 4, 2021 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. burgers near me

    http://garrisonexcelsior.com/redirect.php?url=https://www.wholesalenearme.com/

    June 4, 2021 at 15:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. appomannoni

    erectile dysfunction kayamy back injury erectile dysfunction
    erectile slilicy what erectile funtion meds work the best
    erectile hopeless sicAdofs erectile rehabilitation therapy

    June 4, 2021 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Ecu Repair Shop For Sprinter Van

    http://thevillagesatpinevalley.com/Click.aspx?url=//sprinterrepairnearme.com

    June 4, 2021 at 15:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Service A Mercedes Sprinter

    Hi there, I believe your site might be having internet browser compatibility issues. Whenever I take a look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in I.E., it has some overlapping issues. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other than that, wonderful blog!

    http://www.safetysite.biz/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=sprinterrepairnearme.com

    June 4, 2021 at 16:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. truck paint shops near me

    http://ww31.infomipyme.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvmotorsports.us/

    June 4, 2021 at 18:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. appomannoni

    erectile injection therapy kayamy erectile ring walmart
    erectile quality monitor slilicy erectile booster
    what does erectile dysfunction mean sicAdofs erectile clinic tulsa ok

    June 4, 2021 at 23:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. MileSwa

    cialis over the counter in mexico buy cialis in australia how much is a cialis prescription with no insurance

    June 5, 2021 at 00:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Local Marketing Experts

    http://admin.kpsearch.com/active/admin/customer/customer_email1_birthday.asp?item=&chname=gnc&strhomeurl=www.makemoneymommas.com&ch=283085

    June 5, 2021 at 04:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Mercedes Sprinter Steering Gear Repair

    http://salonaccessory.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=sprintervanrepair.com/

    June 5, 2021 at 04:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. rv repair shops

    I'm pretty pleased to discover this web site. I want to to thank you for your time for this fantastic read!! I definitely loved every bit of it and i also have you bookmarked to look at new stuff on your website.

    https://www.tapinto.net/newsletters/5bf3cd94a06be2548000001f/register_click?url=http://ocrv.pro/rv-repair-shop-culver-city-california

    June 5, 2021 at 04:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. liquor store open near me

    http://cwq.saveourearthnow.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.wholesalenearme.com

    June 5, 2021 at 04:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. rv entertainment system upgrade

    http://deltathor.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.net

    June 5, 2021 at 05:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Van Dent Repair

    An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this onto a co-worker who had been doing a little homework on this. And he actually ordered me lunch because I discovered it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to discuss this matter here on your internet site.

    http://www.kbqinc.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=fleettruckrepairshop.com/

    June 5, 2021 at 06:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Truck Accident Attorney Houston TX

    Really very happy to say,your post is very interesting to read.I never stop myself to say something about it.You're doing a great job.Keep it up. Flooring Installers of Pittsburgh, 1933 Crafton Blvd #5, Pittsburgh, PA 15205, (412) 415-7629

    https://www.google.com/maps?cid=15320961285137417484

    June 5, 2021 at 07:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. auto hail damage repair Englewood CO

    Great article. Couldn’t be write much better! Flooring Installers of Pittsburgh, 1933 Crafton Blvd #5, Pittsburgh, PA 15205, (412) 415-7629

    https://www.google.com/maps?cid=8864615230667558347

    June 5, 2021 at 07:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. appomannoni

    erectile implants kayamy erectile restoration
    erectile response slilicy what erectile dysfunction pill is the best
    is erectile dysfunction common sicAdofs is erectile dysfunction genetic

    June 5, 2021 at 07:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Roof Wash Sacramento

    Very interesting,good job and thanks for sharing such a good blog.your article is so convincing that I never stop myself to say something about it.You're doing a great job.Keep it up. Flooring Installers of Pittsburgh, 1933 Crafton Blvd #5, Pittsburgh, PA 15205, (412) 415-7629

    https://www.google.com/maps?cid=17978662104161179375

    June 5, 2021 at 07:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. appomannoni

    erectile tissue quizlet kayamy is erectile dysfunction normal
    erectile nerves slilicy new york erectile dysfunction
    erectile transplant sicAdofs erectile stimulation treatment

    June 5, 2021 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Mercedes Sprinter Service Locations

    Very good article! We are linking to this great content on our website. Keep up the good writing.

    http://www.cliptags.net/Rd?u=https://www.sprintervanrepairnearme.com

    June 5, 2021 at 23:02 | 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 SocialMedia Services2021


 

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.