Neighbors with Benefits – Part 3 - The Hidden Swing

Blubrry

file000753747585In part 1 of this blog, I gave a listing of shows depicting swingers in anticipation of the new A&E series called “Neighbors with Benefits”.  In part 2 I touched on a brief discussion of history and swinging.

Educate Yourselves

The first thing that I would suggest to someone who is not in the lifestyle is to educate yourself about the lifestyle.  You’ll want to become accustomed to the terminology and practices of swingers.  Knowledge is power, and knowing what you could potentially be experiencing is key to not letting it overwhelm you.  Likely, your lack of knowledge will be a scarier barrier to the lifestyle than any actual event.

Read blogs materials – You’re reading this blog and so you obviously have the interest and capability of locating blog material.  There are some fantastic blogs such as Ready? Set? Go Swing!, DFW Swingers, and Life on the Swingset.  On those blogs you will find thoughts and experiences of other swingers and how they have managed to tread the waters of the lifestyle.  Often, you can even post your own answers or questions to blog articles that they have written.  You can find a list of blogs here.

Podcasts – iTunes and Android feeders alike are full of great podcasts by swingers who have been in the lifestyle for various amounts of time.  These are auditory shows that last from 30 minutes to an hour usually.  Each podcasters style is different so if you dont like one, then download another and see if it suits your style better.  Some podcasts are education oriented, some seem more like funny morning shows, and others are a combination of the two.  Many podcasters can be found online and are more than happy to email or tweet with you if you have questions.  You can find a list of podcasts here.

Books – There are also a number of books both in physical form and on Kindle. Books present a more structured way to introduce you to the lifestyle.  Often you will find stories of how the author came to be in the lifestyle and issues that they had to work through along the way.  This is a more costly method but well worth it if you are a book reader.  My personal suggestion would be “My Life on the Swingset” by Cooper Beckett.

Television – This, in my opinion, is the less attractive way of learning about the lifestyle.  There are few good shows that will give an honest representation of what being in the lifestyle is like.  The closest, in my opinion, would be Playboy TVs “Swing”.  However, even with Swing you are not really getting an actual account of what most parties or get togethers are like.. at least not the ones that I have been to.  What makes Swing an attractive choice is that they have a cast of seasoned swingers at a mansion and they bring in one new couple each episode and allow them to try it on in any way that they are comfortable with.  The show is fun and sexy, and tends to answer new questions quite well.

Open Communication

Before you ever step foot in a party or meet and greet, you and your spouse will want to have some long conversations about what being in the lifestyle would be like for you.  Everyone is different and we’ve met couples that were brand new who jumped right in as hard and fast as they could.  However, most people want to take it slower and get comfortable with the idea of playing with other couples.

The fact is, you dont have to play with anyone to be in the lifestyle.  The lifestyle is not an act but is an attitude of openness.  You’ll want to discuss together if you want your first experiences to just be watching others, playing with each other while others watch you, or if you will want to actually be with another couple.  Jealousy is very difficult at first and at times you will feel emotions that you did not expect to feel.  The last thing you will want to do is cause a scene and be branded as “that couple” that causes the drama.  Only go as fast as the slowest person in your couple.

For us, that was me.  The odd thing was that I had previous experience in the lifestyle.  But when Jen and I started I still had never played with her before.  So, I was guarded and nervous.  But Jen and I talked about our feelings a lot and adjusted our rules to suit how we felt at each moment.  We gave lots of room for making mistakes, and lots of forgiveness along the way.  Communication is SO important.

Websites

If you decide that you want to meet other swingers then you’ll have to know where swingers hang out.  Most regions have websites that are pretty specific to that area.  The clubs, parties, and meet and greets will advertise their event on the websites that are most prominent for that area of the country/world.  Google is your friend for finding the site that works for you.

Each website usually will either have a free membership or a limited access membership.  Google swinger websites in your area and then make a profile on a few of them so you can see how many people from your area are on that website.  Look in the events area and see if there are parties in your area.  If not, keep looking.

Once you find the right website, you’ll want to create a profile.  A profile should be pretty detailed about your likes and dislikes as a couple.  Work on the profile together so that you can be as honest as possible about what you are looking for.  You’ll need to have pictures of yourself because others will want to have an idea of what you look like.  But you dont need to have full face shots on your profile, or if you do then blur the face out.  You can always send a face pic once you are sure its not someone that you’d rather no have knowledge of you in the lifestyle.  Swingers are and should be discrete.

I’ll have a blog series soon about writing a profile.  Keep an eye out for that.

Meeting Swingers

Eventually you’ll find the right club, party, or meet and greet for you.  Going your first time is rather intimidating.  So I thought it might be a good idea to write a description of my experiences of these three types of events.

Clubs – Clubs are very much like any club you would go to outside of swinging.  They usually have pretty loud music to dance to, a good number of tables, and a mix of people from all walks of life.  What makes a swinger club different is that you will often see people walking around in more risque clothing or even nude.  Swingers are also a lot more friendly and you’ll see people hugging and kissing when they greet others they know well.  Most clubs are BYOB and you’ll either keep your alcohol in a cooler or some clubs will have a bar that you can drop your alcohol off at.   Some clubs are on premise which means they have a designated area that others can drop their clothes and have sex with other people.  But do not be alarmed.  These areas are generally in more secluded areas and you are never forced to go anywhere or do anything that you do not want to do.  If you choose to sit in the dance area and socialize, then you will be welcomed.  If you chose to peek in on the action, that is fine too.  No means no is a common message in the lifestyle and people will give you respect.

Parties – By parties I am really meaning house parties. House parties are parties that are located at someones home.  They differ from the clubs in that there will generally be more people playing at a house party.  No means no, is still in effect but those at the house parties are usually going there with the hope of hooking up.  House parties will sometimes have swimming pools, hot tubs, games, and other items that make them more intimate than a club.  Sex usually takes place in designated rooms of the house.  It is more difficult to get invited to a house party than a club, but some are open to everyone.  They are usually BYOB too.

Meet and Greets – M&Gs are usually held in a public bar or restaurant.  These get togethers are nice for people just getting into the lifestyle because there are no expectations of play from any of the couples. People will order food, maybe play a game, or buy drinks from the bar.  The language is lower key because, again, they are in a public place.  These are good ways of meeting other swingers that might like to get to know better at a later date and time.

Conclusion

The main takeaway that I want to leave you with is that getting into the lifestyle does not have to be scary.  You do not have to do anything that you are not ready to do.  Move at your own pace as a couple, communicate with each other more than you think you need to, and go to any event with no expectations other than just meeting and talking to really open fun people.

In part 4, the last segment of this blog I’ll actually discuss my initial feeling of A&Es “Neighbors with Benefits”.  As a swinger, I’ll give my honest opinion on how much of it is true and how much is made for television drama.  Then, in our April 1, 2015 podcast, Jennifer and I will discuss the new series at more length and the swinger gods willing have some fun sexy stories of our own to tell.

Jim

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