Is Being a Swinger Still Taboo?

secretSo at a party recently, after many a beverage was consumed, someone I’m talking to points toward another couple and said, “I think they’re swingers”. I looked at them and asked why they thought that. They shrugged and evaded a real answer. They danced around a word or two and then the conversation changed to a different topic. I later asked the person pointed to if they were swingers as someone claimed they were. Maybe I was just pushing an envelope or testing boundaries….but I was also curious to know the answer. As many more of a beverage had been consumed at that point, she just smiled, giggled and said, “I don’t know” all coyly and bashful and trotted off.

It’s still amazing, but not surprising that the term ‘swinger’ or ‘swinging’ has a taboo shadow hovering upon it. In the past 100 years, humanity has seen a variety of sexual revolutions; none of which should surprise any of us any longer. Since 1910, this world has seen a spiritual ‘Revolution’ in all things sexually and intimately based: Pre-marital sex, Homosexual sex, the proliferation of Pornography, and Gay/Lesbian marriage, among so many others. Many of these are openly discussed in social circles with no eyebrows raised or throats cleared. But Swinging and Swingers is a topic that does not come up unless you are in a Sociology class or trying to out-philosophize a grey-beard at a swanky gathering. Why is that? Sexual liberation and personal exploration is what got us to the age of erotically charge movies, dirty dancing and most of Showtime’s cable channels. We are an evolved people, no?

Yet, over the past 4 or 5 decades, with the liberated has come the cynical…..throwing tridents of warnings at the morally depraved. With all the open-mindedness and sexual enlightenment has come an almost equal amount of conservative skepticism. Swinging has been linked in many a written work to sexually transmitted diseases, increased divorce rates and unwanted pregnancy. After doing a healthy amount of research, we’ve found statistics do NOT show swingers have any higher incidents of STD’s, divorce rates or any other less than desirable life occurrences. In parallel though, as the sexual revolution evolved, the world itself changed into a place of more unmarried young people, divorcees and liberal-minded individuals; unconnected to the awareness of the Lifestyle. Swingers are truly ‘regular’ people who have jobs, families, homes…..and who also enjoy a more-than-mainstream sexual intrigue. They aren’t prostitutes, drug dealers, thieves or teenage runaways. They take precautions to remain safe and disease-free. They have productive, healthy, functional marriages. So why is it exactly that the average swinger cannot openly admit their lifestyle choice? The answer is…..there really is no answer.

Like homosexuality, it is a personal choice….and one that can arguably be kept behind closed doors. You can tell someone on the street that you are gay, but they typically don’t ask you what it’s like to be with another man or who’s on top? If you admit to someone you are a swinger……Jumpin Jahosephats! The jaw drops and the questions start flying. It’s a fact that there is a stigma and taboo with the term Swinging and many people haven’t even heard the term Lifestyle. Stigma is from the unknown. The more society educates itself intelligently about the Lifestyle, the less taboo it will be and the more accepted it will become. You will have to decide how open you are, how protected you wish to be and how functional of a marriage/partnership you work to have. None of that just ‘happens’. Anything you choose in life is a choice made consciously…..and with that comes responsibility to yourself, your partner and those you play with.

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