I got HER back!

Recently I read an article in the Irish Examiner that discussed the up “swing” in the Irish swinging community.  On whole the article was not a bad representation of how I believe most vanillas view the lifestyle community.   The article detailed the usual statistics regarding infidelity in the modern marriage, and related that to the reason that 13% of adults are in open relationships.

What struck me as odd were the comments of the relationship expert, David Kavanagh,  that the author interviewed.  In the article Kavanagh is quoted as saying, “We can’t really separate sex from emotion, although porn makes us think we can. Couples who swing play with fire. If an insecure man sees his wife having an amazing time with someone else, he may have sex with four women to get his own back on her.”  Kavanagh, the admitted non swinger, goes on to say about couples expressing their bi-sexuality via swinging, “If they do that, they have to be prepared for the implications their behaviour may have on their partners and on their relationships.”

I’m not saying that there are not jealous couples in the lifestyle.  Jen and I have seen our share of the couples who not 100% on the same page with their boundaries.  In fact, we’ve even seen this type of behavior from couples who are “seasoned veterans” of the lifestyle.  Let’s face it, being in the lifestyle does not force you to communicate with one another.. the action of communicating with one another allows you to communicate.  So, true the lack of communication can bring about jealousy.

The part that makes me queasy is Kavanagh’s picture of the party gone wrong when the insecure male gets jealous and ends up having sex with four women to get back at his mate.  What Kavanagh does not seem to understand that if the partner is getting “back on her” then they are not quite ready for the lifestyle and more discussion needs to be had.

What?  Maybe I should be thankful but in our neck of the woods the lifestyle is pretty well self regulated.  There is a reason that most people who have played a while will not jump in bed with fresh newbies.  It takes time to sort out your feelings and desires.  It takes even longer to be able to communicate them with your spouse and those that you potentially want to play with.  It isnt that the party crowd does not want to play or party with the new couples, but understand that more drama can follow those couples.

Next, lifestyle couples are more likely to stick closely to their defined boundaries.  Most couples, in my experience, come into the lifestyle with a laundry list of things they are not will to do.  It is only with time that the list is honed into what is actually within their comfort level.  Jen and I brought a huge list of items into the lifestyle.  We were originally a “no kiss” couple, only soft swap, same room, and many other items that we felt necessary to protect us from feelings of jealousy.  In time, we learned that rather than jealousy, we felt a new appreciation for each other when we would see the joy we were both experiencing.  The lifestyle, for us, isn’t about replacing our spouse but allowing each other to explore the “wildness” you only experience as a young single person.  The excitement of flirting and pursuing someone of the opposite sex and in a real sense, doing it together.

Most importantly, the lifestyle is about a mindset.  Many couples do not even participate in the actual sexual play that is thought to be swinging.  They go to parties and watch other couples, meet couples, and enjoy the atmosphere that only a lifestyle club can bring.  Lifestylers think about relationship and sex in a much broader view than that of a vanilla person.  To see your spouse with someone else is not cause of jealousy, but joy.  We want to see our partners happy.  We arent concerned that it is another person that is making them happy.  We very much attempt to let go of that possessiveness that comes with monogamy, knowing that our spouse is STILL our spouse.

That said, I am not knocking those that choose monogamy and certainly there are issues with lifestyle couples just as their are with vanilla couples.  However to put the swinging community into a box that assumes jealousy and drama is not realistic.  I would personally promote the idea that lifestyle couples are more mature in their relationship than the average couples, simply because the lifestyle encourages, nearly demands, that you communicate or you will not enjoy all it has to offer.

Let me know your thoughts @hiddenswing or thehiddenswing@gmail.com


“Why the Irish have taken to swinging.” Irish Examiner. 15 07 2013: n. page. Web. 6 Aug. 2013. <http://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/features/why-the-irish-have-taken-to-swinging-236830.html&gt;.

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