You would never assume how someone likes their coffee so why would you assume you know how they like to be touched? Ask…don’t assume.
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Sex is a leading reason why relationships fail.
Because you don’t know what you’re doing.
But why would you?
Did you take a course? Did you join a program? Do you have a master’s degree in sexuality? If you’re like most, probably not. And even if you did, no amount of formal training would negate the fundamental truth that every body is completely different.
The only way to truly master the art of sex is to set aside your ego, clear the slate and communicate openly with your partner.
- Ask questions.
- Listen Intently without Ego.
But that’s not as easy as it sounds. Asking questions is admitting that you don’t know the answers. But here’s a newsflash…neither does anyone else.
Because we’re all different. And what works for one may not work for many.
But what if I told you that mastering the art of sex is just like learning how to swim?
You have an expert coach and mentor on deck. That’s your partner. You can ask your coach any question about swimming because they are the SME (subject matter expert). After hearing the lesson, you dip a toe in the pool. Try treading water. You learn the dog paddle. Maybe you make a few mistakes along the way. But you keep asking questions. And before you know it, you’ve entered a swim meet, you’re doing the butterfly and your coach is loudly cheering you on as you expertly cross the finish line wet, glistening and out of breath.
And, regardless of who is the coach and who is the student, you both have an important role to play. You are equally responsible for achieving a positive outcome. And you should both practice playing each role.
As the student, you must let go of your ego and embrace your fears. Accept that you don’t know how to swim and listen to your coach. Otherwise, your EGO will get the best of you and you’ll either avoid swimming altogether or you’ll jump right into the deep end and look like a flailing, sputtering, drowned rat. Once you’ve truly embraced that you don’t know what you’re doing because every body is different, you’re ready for your first lesson. It starts with an ask. What do you like? What feels good? How would you like me to do that?
Ask. Listen. Practice. Repeat.
Don’t judge. Don’t criticize.
And as the coach, you are responsible for designing the lesson plan (like a desire map) and communicating it in an honest and loving way. You could provide feedback like “I love it when you…”, or “I appreciate that you do……………. but it just isn’t for me”, or “I was reading about…”.
Create safe space
Don’t judge. Don’t criticize.
The sooner we can embrace that we don’t know what we’re doing, the sooner we will become better lovers, better partners and better friends.
And in the words of one of my favorite authors, Esther Perel, consider this… “The myth that sex is natural has done harm to so many people because it presumes that you should just know rather than the fact that it is something that we learn to appreciate…to experience…we cultivate it. It’s an art. And if we think it should just happen naturally…then we remain ignorant.” ~ Perel, Esther “I’ve had better” Where Should We Begin (podcast) https://www.estherperel.com/podcast
Today, I attended a Consent Workshop by The Consent Crew. There were some interesting discussions amongst the attendees and organizers about some great topics. I want to reiterate some of the points that I feel are most relevant based on my experiences over the past two decades.
IT’S OK TO SAY NO
How many of you are guilty of trying to giggle your way out of an uncomfortable situation just to be polite? And how many of you have compromised your own boundaries just to wake up the next morning filled with regret? Western cultural values have taught us to be excessively polite, but that shouldn’t be at the cost of your own personal boundaries. If somebody is doing something that makes you uncomfortable, you have the right to say no. And, although you don’t have to justify your reason for saying no, saying it in a way that is polite and respectful will go a long way towards diffusing what could become a confrontational situation over hurt feelings. Here are some of my favourite ways to say no:
- No thank you (smile on face).
- Thanks for offering but not at this time.
- I’m not into that, but thanks anyway.
- You seem like a great person but I’m not interested. Thanks anyway.
IT’S OK TO HEAR NO
When you hear no, you may feel hurt, rejected and generally bad. Why? Because our culture has taught us that “no” is a bad word when in reality, “no” is just somebody’s way of expressing their own personal boundaries. Usually, the no you are hearing has very little to do with you and everything to do with the person saying it. Perhaps they are there for a different reason than you. Maybe the timing is just off. Or, it could be as simple as they like blonds, and you’re a brunette. Whatever the reason, remind yourself…“getting a no is no big deal”. Here are some of my favorite ways to respond gracefully to “no”:
- I’m not hearing a clear yes so I’ll take that as a no.
- No problem.
- Thanks for letting me know. I appreciating knowing your boundary.
- Thanks anyway.
Obvious right? Easier said than done. Consent is complicated. Often, expectations surrounding consent are firmly rooted in cultural values, gender values, family values, or even the environment we are in at the time. At Club Eden, the expectations are framed by the use of signage, marketing, and agreements. This is a great foundation for consent. But even with all of this, there is still room for interpretation based on an individual’s unique perspective formed over the course of a lifetime. This is why it is also important to say no when you feel like your personal boundaries are being compromised. In my experience, most people want to do the right thing and DON’T want to maliciously or deliberately compromise your boundaries. They just don’t realize they are doing it. Here is one of my favorite personal stories to reflect how cultural expectations can create a misalignment between boundaries:
While working in an office environment, one of the long term vendors and friends of the owner approached me saying “it’s nice to finally meet you”. He then stepped in and gave me a hug and then a kiss on my left and right cheek. My background is British and back then, I was a bit of a cold fish. His background is South American and to not step in with a light hug and kiss on the cheeks would be considered an insult. He didn’t get my consent but conversely, because of his cultural values, he didn’t think he had to. This illustrates a great example of how easily consent boundaries can be accidentally crossed.
When at Eden, remember these four points to help you navigate consent:
- Play within the rules of the framework provided (signs, agreements, marketing messages).
- Politely say no when your boundaries are being crossed;
- Politely hear/accept no when somebody tells you.
- If your no is not being heard, then it’s ok to find the organizer or one of the staff to help you diffuse the situation.
When attending other sex positive events remember to familiarize yourself with their unique framework.
I hope this article helps you find your voice for consent. Play safe, have fun and respect your own boundaries and the boundaries of others.
If you and your partner have decided to take the plunge and invite other play partners into your fantasy realm, you absolutely MUST read my “8 simple rules to enjoy safer sex in an open relationship…”
Rule #1 – Don’t floss your teeth.
Don’t tell your dentist I said this, but please don’t floss your teeth within 24 hours of playing with a new partner. If you’re going to be engaging in oral sex (which most of you likely will), flossing the teeth opens up the gums and provides a direct line to the bloodstream which can put you at risk for some of the nastiest STIs including HIV.
Rule #2 – Learn how to put on a condom.
If you’ve been in a monogamous relationship for a while and haven’t had to put on a condom, you may actually be out of practice. It’s important that you put the condom on the right way to minimize the risk of the condom breaking and to ensure that it’s not overlooked in the heat of the moment. And ladies, don’t just leave this up to the guy. You’re equally responsible for recognizing potential hazards to avoid putting yourself at risk. Click here to learn the right way to put on a condom.
Rule #3 – Get tested every year.
Once you’ve chosen to be non-monogamous, do the responsible thing…get tested for STIs annually to be aware of your personal sexual health and that of your partner. Some STIs have no visible symptoms, but many can be cured on early detection or at least managed to mitigate the risk of serious infection or transmission to your primary partner. www.STDresource.com has a clinic finder that lists STD clinics in BC.
Rule #4 – Wear gloves – they’re smooth as silk.
For many, the use of gloves during sex may be reminiscent of your last trip to the doctor, but despite their unattractive appearance, they actually come with some easily overlooked, very sexy benefits. Not only do they protect your sex partners from tears, fissures and rashes caused by hang nails and calluses, they actually feel better than the naked hand. Add a couple of drops of lube and they will feel smooth as silk when you run them along ALL the naughty bits…perfect for hand jobs and penetration. Oh, and don’t forget, putting on a fresh glove is so much faster than running to the bathroom to do a wash-up when you’re in the middle of that sexy threesome and want to pleasure more than one partner at the same time. And that brings me to my next rule – don’t double dip!
Rule #5 – Don’t double-dip.
And I’m not talkin’ about a lottery ticket here. When you’re in the middle of that sexy threesome, foursome or moresome, most get the condoms right when it comes to penile penetration, but regretfully, they forget about the other body parts…particularly hands. Hands are on him, hands are on her, hands are in her and then before you know it, they’re in a different her along with the body fluids of her #1…ack! Guys, please wash your hands vigorously with antibacterial soap before double dipping. Or better yet, see rule #4. And gals, if you don’t know where your play partners hands have been, ask politely, or have him wear a glove…trust me…you’ll be in ecstasy (safely) and won’t even notice the glove.
Rule # 6 – Trust your senses.
Look – Before playing look for any open sores, blisters or rashes around the genital area, anal area or mouth. These can be possible signs of STIs and are not worth the risk.
Smell – if it smells funky, it probably is…and even if it’s not an STI…why would you want to take the chance.
In either of these situations, find a way to politely remove yourself from the situation. If you’re too shy to say something or ask, then it’s still safer to find a polite excuse than to just “grin and bare it”. My favorite..”Sorry, I have to hit the ladies room…darn bladder always gets me at the most inopportune time”!
Rule #7 – I’ll be damned!
Dental dams aren’t just reserved for the dentist anymore. There’s another type of dental dam on the block that’s perfect for safe oral sex. A dental dam is a small protective sheet that’s made from the same material as condoms. It’s lightweight, easy to use and comes in different colors, flavours and scents just like condoms.
As always, when trying a new safety “toy” for the first time, practice on your primary partner first and become a sexpert to avoid any of those awkward moments with arms length play partners. Simply place the dam over her naughty bits to maximize your protection during oral sex. Add a little bit of lube to the under side and voila…you’ll have her screaming in ecstasy in no time. And if you want to increase her pleasure and have more control, have her hold the dam in position leaving your hands free to wander.
Rule #8 – Tell your partner EVERYTHING!
The biggest risk to your personal health, safety and well being will be when your partner finds out that you’ve been hiding something from them. “Relationship” is the most important word in “open relationship”. It’s about experiencing this together so be sure to tell the one you love everything.
Now have fun…and play SAFE!
After giving a blow job, my mouth can get sore inside from rubbing on my teeth, is there any type of inner mouth protection…lol, or do i just do it more carefully so that my lips don’t ever close over my teeth?
Thanks for your insight!
Well, wearing a mouth guard might work, but it’ doesn’t strike me as particularly sexy.
Try changing your position to create a better angle. For example, having your partner sit down on a chair in front of you while you are on your knees in front of him gives you the greatest amount of control when giving head. This may allow you to open your mouth more so your lips don’t curl around your teeth. In addition, keep in mind that the greatest amount of pleasure and sensation is around the head of the penis so unless you’re practiced in deep thoating, you don’t really need need to run your lips or teeth down the shaft of the penis. Keep your mouth, lips and tongue focused on the head and use your hand to massage the shaft.
With the holiday merriment behind us, many of us set our sites on the new year, and of course the consideration of new year’s resolutions…lose weight, quit smoking, drink less – most likely the same resolutions you set the year before, and the year before that. All with good intentions, until of course, life normalizes and you find an excuse to toss the resolutions out the window and return to the blissful monotony of comfortable old habits.
This year, instead of focusing on the typical, hum drum new year’s resolutions…why not focus on something a little more fun, titillating and adventurous (not to mention, good exercise)….SEX!
So alas, I put together a three part series on my top resolutions to add more spice to your sex life…starting with “Top 10 naughty resolutions for 2009″…(insert drumroll here)
#10. Take sexy pictures of yourself and send them to your lover.
#9. Perform a private lap dance for your partner…hell if Jamie Lee Curtis can do it for Arnold Schwarzenegger then so can you.
#8. Cook dinner for your partner while wearing something seductive. For the record…gentlemen, if you haven’t already figured it out, most women LOVE a man who cooks.
#7. Visit a strip club with your partner. Be sure to sit in Gyno row…and for god sakes, don’t heckle the dancers. Just appreciate the sensual moves and atmosphere and maybe even have some fun sharing your fantasies.
#6. Have sex at an unexpected location (or time). And no, I don’t just mean the kitchen table (although that’s a good start if you’re new sexplorers). Take it out of the house…join the mile high club, back seat of the sports car, in the woods, etc.
#5. Write your partner an erotic story, send it to them in an email and then act it out in real life.
#4. Surprise your partner by participating in their favourite pastime with them. For example, plan a private hockey party at home. Order in pizza, beer, and even put on his team jersey (with only a pair of sexy panties of course).
#3. Set an actual date night for just the two of you at least 1-2 times/month and stick with it.
#2. Act out one naughty NEW fantasy for your partner each month. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out one of my favourite websites: http://www.literotica.com.
And the number one Naughty New Year’s resolution
Treat your partner to a night of pure, sexual pleasure, exclusively for them. It may seem a little unbalanced, but trust me…this will be a great investment in your sex life as it will empower them to completely explore their sexual god or goddess and let go of any inhibitions they may be harboring. Even if they try to turn the tables and make it about you, do not let them…under any circumstances or you’ll be back to square one. Plan at least a couple of hours of indulgence. Start by relaxing them with a full body, aromatic oil massage or hot bubble bath complete with champagne and candles. Have fun finding all their erogenous zones. Kiss them from head to toe. Blindfold them and feed them chocolate, strawberries and champagne. Then pull out all the stops until they beg you for sweet release. This will be a resolution that neither of you will ever forget…and of course, you’ll love it when your partner returns the favour…
Stay tuned for part II…”Top 10 Romantic Resolutions for 2009″.
Have you ever felt that pang of jealousy over the cute waiter at the restaurant who seems to be “flirting” with your partner? Have you ever found yourself fuming at a request from hubby to go to the peeler bar for a night out with the boys? Or, do you ever wish that just once, your partner would get off the internet and spend some time with you?
If so, then you’re like millions of other Canadians who have come face to face with the big Green Eyed Monster – JEALOUSY! Jealousy typically rears its ugly head when it finds a gap in your personal armour. It finds your weakness and takes control of your emotions.
But alas, you have the power to take control back and even slay the monster…with the right weapons! If you find yourself being overcome by jealousy, you need to get past the volatile emotions at the surface and dig deep to understand the root cause of your anger and hurt.
For example, it may be possible that you’re feeling jealous over your partner’s harmless flirting because he or she never shamelessly flirts with you anymore. Or perhaps, you don’t want your partner to watch exotic dancers because you perceive that to mean your partner finds them more attractive or more appealing than you when in truth that thought never crossed his mind. Or maybe you want your partner to get off the internet because you just want to spend more time together. So in truth, jealousy is not about the other person or object of your partner’s interest. It’s actually a sign that you just need a little more of your partner’s time, love, desire, attention, shameless flirting, or otherwise.
When you take control of jealousy by understanding the root cause, you can communicate your needs to your partner rationally. For instance, when jealousy takes over, you might be inclined to demand that your partner not go and watch strippers and your partner may react by saying “you’re just trying to control me”. But when you’re in control and understand the root cause, you may be more inclined to tell your partner that it hurts your feelings when he goes to watch strippers because you feel he doesn’t find you attractive anymore, and that it would help you feel more sexy and confident if he could express his desire for you more openly.
In the second statement, you have something tangible that you both can work with. The real issue is not about your partner going to see strippers, but is in fact that you are feeling less attractive to your partner. So what can you both do to resolve the true issue? Perhaps you can put on your own sexy little strip tease at home while your partner watches, all the while showering you with attention and telling you how sexy you are. Or simply having your partner tell you daily how hot you are and what they find attractive about you will help to rebuild confidence.
Over time, as you become more confident from the extra attention, there’s a very good chance that you’ll be more comfortable with your partner going to watch exotic dancers. In fact, you may even want to go with him. Because you’ll know with certainty that your partner finds you attractive in every way and you’re not going to lose him to a 10 minute piece of eye candy on stage.
Whatever you do, it will be critical that you both work together. If you’re the one feeling jealous, you are responsible for understanding the root cause and effectively communicating it to your partner in a manner that is tangible and does not lay blame. If you are the partner, you will need to be open to listening, and may need to overemphasize the positive statements and actions as an investment in your partner’s confidence. And both of you together are responsible for coming up with fun and creative solutions.
But remember, the green eyed monster is always lurking. The amount of time it takes to build up your arsenal will depend on how long you’ve been feeling this way, how much resentment has built up and what caused the feelings to begin with. Just remember to communicate openly, honestly and always in the positive to slay the green eyed monster and overcome jealousy once and for all.
Eve is the founder of Sugar, Spice and Sex Advice and the co-founder of Club Eden – A Fantasy Club for Couples. She is a professionally trained communicator with over 14 years experience managing sensitive issues for major national clients and has spent the past three years focusing on the realm of couples and relationships. She is dedicated to helping couples achieve healthy, happy, sexually satisfying relationships through effective communication, education and sexploration.
***Sugar, Spice and Sex Advice proudly supported by Club Eden – A Fantasy Club for Couples***
This past Thursday, I was finally able to nail down a piercing artist to give me the naked truth on the sexy side of piercing. Cory from Adrenalin Body Piercing and Tattoos spent almost 30 minutes with me while I grilled him with a barrage of questions on “to pierce or not to pierce the naughty bits”. Here’s an account of what I learned:
Will it hurt?
If this is the most important question on your mind, then I have good news and bad news. The good news is, according to Cory, everybody handles pain differently. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you have a high tolerance for pain and it should be no worse than getting a flu shot at the doctors. In fact, you may even enjoy the sensation as it produces an endorphin high for some.
The bad news is that if you’re like me and have a low tolerance for pain then you might find yourself singing accapella or screaming from the rooftops. A good piercer will recognize those fears and will work with you to get you calm and relaxed before piercing. Unfortunately, drinking beforehand, or taking pain medications such as aspirin is definitely not recommended due to the blood thinning effects.
Despite this, Cory assured me that none of his clients have regretted piercing their naughty bits.
Why pierce the naughty bits?
According to Cory, piercing is becoming more and more socially acceptable. It’s no longer stereotypically linked to “leather clad bikers with bad boy stigmas”. In fact, people from all walks of life are walking through the doors of piercing studios…It could be your friend, neighbour, the girl next door, or even the CEO of a major corporation.
Some simply enjoy the endorphin rush they get from the piercing. Others pierce to please their lovers, or to show sensual submission. Others for the arrousing sensations. Some just love all the fancy jewelery while others like having the naughty little secret under their clothes, unbeknownst to anyone except themselves and their lover.
Does piercing heighten arousal?
According to Cory, piercing can definately have an erotic impact as it makes you more aware of your erogenous zones. However, he cautions that over time, the erotic sensations will dissipate as your body becomes accustomed to the feelings. Contrary to what some may think, this does not mean that your naughty bits become desensitized, it simply means that your body has adjusted to the feelings and has “normalized”. To bring back the erotic sensations, Cory suggests changing up the piercing on a regular basis to produce new sensations . For example, change a barbell to a ring, or add a dangly bit to add a new texture. If you’re considering a clitoral hood piercing, the vertical piercing produces the most erotic effect as the jewelery tends to rest right against the clitorus.
How long will the piercing take to heal?
It all depends on the location and after care. Nipples can take up to six months to heal while the clitoral hood may heal in under six weeks. The Prince Albert can take anywhere from four weeks to six months. No matter what, the after care is the best way to expedite the healing process. Keep the area as clean as possible and avoid constant friction as this may irritate the area (so wearing looser clothing would be better whenever possible).
Can I still have sex while the piercing is healing?
Absolutely! You may just need to be a little more careful and aware to avoid injury. You may even consider changing up sexual positions to those that are less apt to aggravate and “grind” against the piercing. In addition, if you are playing with a “less familiar” partner, using protection and practicing safe sex is a MUST as you will be more prone to STDs during the healing phase. Use condoms for penetration and dental dams for oral sex to avoid contact of body fluids on an open “wound”. In fact, it’s even prudent to avoid going in public hot tubs or pools.
What are the risks?
Piercing is a big decision and should not be taken lightly. You could be prone to any of the following risks including:
- Bacterial infection around the pierced area;
- Excessive bleeding;
- Alergic Reaction – Implant Grade Stainless steal is least likely to cause an allergic reaction, however metals such as gold (AT LEAST 18 karat), titanium, or niobium are also acceptable alternatives;
- nerve damage; and
Your best way to mitigate the risks is to find a good piercer. ALL instruments should come from sterile packages and a good piercer will have no problem opening packages right in front of you. If the studio uses a piercing “gun” , leave immediately. Piercing guns cannot be sterilized and should NOT be used for body piercing.
Even though I’m still a little bit nervous about the pain, I think I’m actually kind of excited about the notion of piercing the naughty bits. So, I’ve decided to take the plunge and will be visiting Cory at Adrenalin piercing sometime in the near future to get my piercing…stay tuned!!!
***Sugar, Spice and Sex Advice proudly supported by Club Eden – Fantasy Club for Couples***
Now that you know a little bit of the history on Swingers, let’s explore how you can get started and help to determine if your relationship is ready for swinging, “the Lifestyle” or multi-partner play.
The key to a successful multi-partner play relationship is COMMUNICATION – communication with “self”, communication with your partner and communication with a playmates.
Communicating with “yourself”
- Take control of your own sexual journey
Communicating with “self” doesn’t mean engaging in long winded monologues or developing a split personality. Communicating with “self” means soul searching, being in tune with your feelings, understanding your boundaries and taking control over your own sexual journey. Your sexual satisfaction is your own responsibility, not that of your partner’s. In order to effectively move forward on your journey, you need to continually ask yourself “why” or “why not” with regards to your openness to engage in a new sexual experience. Many of us respond to sexuality based on societal norms and learned behavior. This means that because we were taught that non-monogamous relationships are unacceptable, we simply react with an empahatic NO when faced with an opportunity to explore. Next time a new experience or learning opportunity presents itself, instead of reacting, ask yourself why you are saying no and continue asking until you get down to the crux of the issue. Only then can you make an insightful decision regarding the next step of your sexual journey.
Be confident. Practice so it becomes natural. Once something becomes natural, you will have confidence in doing it. Once you have confidence in yourself, others will have confidence in you. When others have confidence in you, they are more likely to think of you favorably. And for the ladies, this confidence and environment will be more empowering than you ever thought possible.
Communicating with Your Partner
- Ensure your partner feels like #1
If you want your partner to be open to multi-partner play, then there must be no doubt in their mind that they are #1 in your world now and always. It starts with reminding your partner everyday how much you appreciate them, how much you love them and how much they mean to you. It continues with checking in with your partner. Go at the “pace of the slowest hiker”. If one partner is going to quickly, slow down and wait for them to catch up. If they are always the one playing catch up, they will lose interest very quickly and may never want to go “hiking” again. And, your “Lifestyle” relationship will thrive if you always remember that this is about the two of you – nobody else. Anyone else you bring into your relationship is simply a prop in your own personal fantasy. This is about fulfilling your fantasies as a couple.
- Instill trust and remove barriers.
Over time, we sometimes have a tendency to react emotionally, and personally to the idea of fantasy. The more times we experience this type of reaction, the less apt we are to share our fantasies in the future. The person you most love wants nothing more that to tell you their innermost secrets and to share their deepest desires. Make an agreement that you will always be open to listening to each other without consequence. Always react positively, and consider the possibility, even if you aren’t ready to explore that fantasy at this time (or ever). But, being open to discussing your fantasy may at least lead you to explore other exciting and fulfilling experiences together.
- Set ground rules
Setting the ground rules can be complicated. There are so many possible fantasy scenarios to consider and talk about. To help you with this part of the communication process, consider completing a Swingers/Multi-Partner play check-list.; We have provided a sample here to help get you on the right path.
Communicating with your Fantasy Play Partners
- Conversation Etiquette
Knowing how to start a conversation with a couple you don’t know in a non-sexual environment will go a long way to meeting couples when you go to swing clubs and events. First of all, if you are a single man who is practicing meeting couples on the street, you will almost automatically talk to the man and build some kind of rapport with him. If you are a single woman, you will most likely start by talking to the woman. If you do this enough, when you are seeking out a multi-partner play experience you will automatically fall into that mode. By approaching the same sex member of a couple and talking to them instead of approaching the opposite sex partner will go a long way making the couple comfortable with you. Once you get to the joking and flirting part of the conversation, THEY will be the ones asking you to join them, not you asking if you can join them.
- Saying “no”
Generally, swingers tend to be quite courteous and respectful. Remember that everyone at the party has different fantasies and also ideas about what works for them. If you have met someone, but do not make a connection, remember to be true to yourself and honest with the couple approaching you, but ALWAYS be tactful and courteous and NEVER make derogatory remarks. Conversely, if someone says no to you, take it graciously and move on to another person.
If you’re considering the swinging lifestyle, are new to the concept of swinging, or are looking to improve your swinging relationship, read on. This four part “how to” series will help to demystify swinging, answer common questions, provide you with the tools to safely navigate this complicated landscape, and identify ways to get started and meet other like minded play partners.
History of Swingers
There are a number of theories on how swinging started, however, the most common theory emerged in the 1950s whereby California military couples would gather at “key clubs” or “key parties”. The men would throw their keys into a bowl and their wives would choose a sexual partner for the evening by randomly selecting a key from the bowl. Eventually, the media caught wind of the activities and began writing stories about this new social phenomenon dubbed as “wife swapping”. Over time, the phenomenon spread to the surrounding suburban communities and by the early 1970s, the term commonly known as “swinging” emerged.
Today, swinging has evolved into what is now more loosely called “the Lifestyle”. Although no exact count exists, The North American Swing Club Association (NASCA) claims there are organized swing clubs in almost all states as well as Canada, England, France, Germany, and Japan.
This new form of swinging encompasses a much broader range of play styles. Although there’s no shortage of “full swap” couples, many couples are now entering “the lifestyle” to enjoy a lighter side of fantasy play with others that includes Voyeurism, Exhibitionism, Threesomes and Soft Swap but may never include full swap or “wife swapping” (visit our Sexipedia for detailed definitions). Due to the insurgence of detailed information about this topic on the internet, “The Lifestyle” is growing in leaps and bounds. There are conventions, resorts, clubs and websites dedicated to “the Lifestyle”. There are mainstream television shows such as “Swingtowns” and “Big Love” dedicated to the lifestyle and other forms of open relationships. And in some countries, including Canada, swinging has been recognized as a legal activity at the highest judicial level. With its increasing popularity and social acceptability, more and more Canadian couples are turning to this new form of swinging as a way to “spice up” their sex lives.
Who are swingers?
According to the “General Social Survey”, Swingers tend to be middle class, white collar professional couples with above average education and income. They are doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers, mid to upper level managers, entrepreneurs and office workers. when it comes to attitudes about sex and marriage they are less racist, less sexist, and less heterosexist than the general population. Swinging appears to make the vast majority of swingers’ marriages happier, and swingers rate the happiness of their marriages and life satisfaction generally as higher than the non-swinging population.”
Swingers could be your business associates, your friends, your neighbours…they may even be you!
Facts about Swingers
- 31% of Canadians agreed that as long as there is no deception involved, a person can be intimate with more than one person. (Source: 24 hours/Sun Media Sex Poll, October 31, 2007)
- swingers are happier in their relationships than the norm. 60% of swingers said that swinging improved their relationship and only 1.7% said it made their relationship less happy. (Source: Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, Volume 3, Oct. 10, 2000)
- Half of those who rated their relationship very happy before becoming swingers maintained it had become even happier. 90% of those with less happy relationships said swinging improved them. (Source:Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, Volume 3, Oct. 10, 2000)
- Almost 70% of swingers claimed no problem with jealousy, around a quarter admitted to some jealousy but only 6% said it was very much a problem. (Source: Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, Volume 3, Oct. 10, 2000)
- Swingers rate themselves happier (59% against 32% very happy) and their lives much more exciting (76% against 54% exciting) than does the rest of the population, by surprisingly large margins. Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, Volume 3, Oct. 10, 2000)
- There was no difference between the responses of men and women. (Source: Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, Volume 3, Oct. 10, 2000)