It’s an interesting phenomenon. The traditional marriage arrangement gets an exception to the rules when one or both partners agree that they can play with other people. Herein, we’ll try to analyze the dynamic of swinging couples and see what this lifestyle has to offer.
There is a saying that “correlation does not equal causation,” a fact quickly cited on the Internet in response to news reports of some new study. The fact that swinging couples seem to be happier, more stable, and balanced than non-swinging couples doesn’t necessarily mean that swinging makes your relationship work better. It could simply mean that stable, mentally healthy couples are the only ones that can make swinging work. For non-swingers, the concept may seem like a boogeyman you can’t quite understand. For a little more info on swinging, take a look at this beginner’s guide to swinging.
Can Swingers Have A Happy Marriage?
Well they most certainly can! A 2016 study at University of Southern Mississippi at Hattiesburg, published in the journal Sexuality & Culture, showed swinging couples maintaining marital satisfaction. A 2012 Psychology Today study concluded that swinger can have a happy marriage, with the caveat that the marriage was stable in the first place. A 2014 study published in The Atlantic revealed that swingers handle relationship challenges better than monogamous couples. Most jaw-dropping of all is a 2017 study published in Your Tango which revealed that swingers have a lower divorce rate than strictly monogamous couples.
But honestly, the whole question revolves around the individual people involved. It’s a matter of attitude, character, and integrity. Swingers are kind of relationship daredevils, taking committed relationships to new places most would fear to tread. A successful swinger is typically free of all insecurities, a Zen master at dealing with emotions, an excellent communicator, and the epitome of maturity. They’re able to resolve conflicts on a dime, without fear and angry getting in the way.
What Are Some Misconceptions About Swingers?
The biggest misconception is that swinging can be the solution to a marriage that has a problem. If there was previously a spoken monogamous commitment and then one person cheated and got caught, saying “Well, let’s just be swingers then” is not the solution. If one partner wants swinging and the other one doesn’t but agrees to it so they don’t lose their mate, swinging is not the solution. If a person gets married and then uncovers that they’re bi, closeted gay, or harboring a rare fetish, and needs to get these needs met outside the marriage, swinging is not the solution.
A second misconception is that swingers are always having a 24/7 orgy. The truth is that swingers usually live ordinary lives, having sex when they find the time and opportunity in between work and family commitments as one does.
Another misconception is that swinging is easy to set up. Alternative lifestyle forums have a word for couples looking for one bi female partner: “Unicorn hunters,” because what they’re seeking is so ultimately rare. Getting two couples together for swapping is a feat requiring the full on-board consent and cooperation of four people. If just one of them gets their feelings hurt, gets jealous, or otherwise has second thoughts, the arrangement inevitably falls apart. You don’t just hook up and hop in bed. It takes time and patience.
Fourth, there’s a misconception that swingers always swing. Couples can have an open marriage for a while and then retire from it to become monogamous again. They can swing for a while, then stop, then start again. Stable arrangements can be disrupted when one member moves out, graduates college, transfers for work, or otherwise has real life get in the way.
Finally, people approach swinging thinking it’s all about casual sex. That’s actually what a threesome is about. Any male posting in a swingers’ forum asking “Any hot girls wanna…?” will be immediately banned. Swingers are looking for stable, secure connections with other people, not one night stands.
Why Do Swingers Claim To Be Happier Than Monogamous Couples?
This becomes easier to understand when we look at the question from the opposite direction: What are the pitfalls of a strictly monogamous relationship?
- Boredom and monotony – It is really hard to be the one-stop sexual funhouse for another human being their whole lives.
- Unfulfilled desires – What if you have a strong kink and your partner doesn’t like it? It festers and becomes an unhealthy obsession and a source of resentment.
- Uncertainty – Especially with people who get married at a young age, they’re plagued by a nagging doubt that this is all there is. They fear missing out on the fun they could have had with somebody else, even if their love for their partner is ironclad.
- No out for disabilities – Many people are sexually disabled due to medical conditions, psychological problems, or low libidos. Is it fair to their partner to force them to do without?
The take-away everybody needs to remember the most is that sexual desire is normal and healthy for everyone. Shame and guilt have no place in it. Sexual fulfillment is a requirement for good mental health. Beyond mere sexual desire lies emotional desire, and yes, men need to allow themselves to say “sometimes I need an emotional partner too.”
While we must caution that swinging is not for everyone nor “the future of relationships,” many couples find that it works for them, and improves the quality of their lives.
How Does Swinging Make Relationships Better?
A good swinging relationship can feel like a utopia. Everybody has somebody to be tender with, somebody to talk to, somebody to cuddle with, and a friend for movie night. Modern-day life is draining with our fast-paced, workaholic lifestyles. Swinging takes some of the pressure off if you can find the right swinging partners. It could turn out that swinging will become more common simply because it’s a good answer when one partner is busy with work, or too burned out with stress and fatigue, to be available.
The whole world may not be ready for swinging yet. But for select enlightened people, who understand that just because you are passionately in love with somebody doesn’t necessarily mean that your sexual and emotional needs match, it’s becoming a relationship upgrade. Swingers work out for the same reason the old joke has it that angels can fly: Because they take themselves lightly.