The History of Swinging

Historically, it has not been uncommon to find societies that have advocated having multiple sexual partners. Furthermore both royalty and nobility in many cultures had consorts and concubines. Ancient Rome has been notable (if not infamous) for its enthusiastic acceptance of orgies and alternative sexual practices. However, though contemporary swingers celebrate those ideals, the actual practice of swinging in the 20th century began differently.

According to Terry Gould’s The Lifestyle: A Look at the Erotic Rites of Swingers, swinging began among U.S. Air Force pilots and their wives during World War II. In this small community, the mortality rate among pilots was significantly high. Gould reports that a close bond between pilots arose, with the implication that the husbands would protect and care for all the wives as their own, both emotionally and sexually, if the husbands were away or lost.

By the time the Korean War ended, these groups had spread from the bases to the nearby suburbs. The media picked up on them in 1957 and promptly dubbed the phenomenon “wife-swapping.” Supposedly there were also “key clubs” where husbands reportedly tossed their house keys into a pile in the center of the room where they were drawn at random by the wives. The owner of a selected key was the sexual partner for the evening.

This historical narrative is debatable, however, since it would have been highly unusual for servicemen’s wives to accompany them on any foreign tours of duty. Other sources point to American Air Force pilots stationed in the California desert as the original participants in modern swinging. Though the exact beginnings are not agreed upon, it is widely assumed that swinging began amongst American military communities in the 1950s. One of the earliest records of a swinger’s organization was “The Sexual Freedom League” which was set up in California in 1963.

It wasn’t until 1963 in Berkeley, California that the first organization, “Sexual Freedom League”, for swingers was opened. Ultimately, an umbrella organization called North American Swing Club Association (NASCA) was formed to encourage accurate information about swinging lifestyles all across America. Watch some 50’s or even 60’s movies and you would think that the only meaning of the word swinging was being lively or trendy. The same goes for the lyrics of many songs that were written before the 70’s.

By the 1970’s the use of the word swinging meaning, non-monogamous sexual activity, had spread to the U.K., although the term “Wife Swapping” was more commonly used. This probably came about because the British style of swinging was neighborhood based where married couples in a small local community would get together for regular swinger parties. Wife Swapping is a term that continues to be used by the tabloid press even today but swingers have long since decided that it is both an inaccurate and derogatory description of their activities which denigrates women to the status of a possession that can be swapped at the husbands will.

By the 1990’s swinging had become quite an organized activity on both sides of the Atlantic. Many clubs whose aims were to put swingers in contact with one another were in existence by the middle part of the decade and there were several which went a stage further by offering premises at which swingers could not only meet but also hold swinging parties. In Britain, clubs like created nationwide networks of swingers with regular parties for their members to attend all over the country. On the continent, purpose designed swinger club venues were springing up offering excellent facilities to party, relax and socialize in. Unlike the experience of those who tried to create similar clubs in Britain, the ones in countries like Holland and Germany had the full backing of the local authority and operated totally within the legal system.

The birth and rapid development of the Internet opened up new possibilities for swingers in the 21st century. Swinger dating sites were still a rarity as late as 2003 but by 2005 there were so many that the word swinging almost became synonymous with Internet Swinger Sites. Despite this proliferation of opportunities for swingers and the hi-tech facilities it offered for locating like-minded people, the reality is that they have done little to increase the amount of swinging that goes on. The most likely reason for this would appear to be that the swinging lifestyle is something that many people may find appealing at a fantasy level but shy away from when the prospect of acting out their fantasy is offered. In 2008 this factor leaves many online only swinger sites with a problem from having too many fantasists wasting the time of genuine swingers.

Swinging has clearly come a long way since the 50s but some would argue that it has much further to go. They prophesize a future where monogamous sex will be a thing of the past and human beings will properly recognize the distinction between love and sex, understanding that happy love relationships can naturally co-exist with free recreational sex.

What is Swinging?

It’s been said that swinging is “social and sexual intercourse with someone other than your partner, with the full knowledge and consent of that person.”

Many confuse swinging with wife swapping (swapping) as a lot of swingers are not married or may be single. A lot of swingers like to think of it as swinging for fun, that enjoy sex, meeting people as a opposed to a steady monogamous relationship with one person. Swinging is a popular recreational activity for broad minded adults. The most common method is an adult male & female couple, meeting other couples for sex and sometimes ongoing intimate relationships.

In a nutshell swinging is about having sex with other people, it may take many forms; Parties/Orgies with partner swapping or group sex Gang Bangs Couples meeting up and having sex with each other Watching your partner get bonked by lots of people Specialist swinging ie; finding swingers with fetishes to play out fantasies. Swinging is also known as the lifestyle or the scene, swinging may take on a wide variety of different forms.

Swinging clubs may be either on-premises or off-premises. At On-Premises, you may interact sexually with others at an event, for off-premises you would arrange at an event and go back to a house or somewhere else with other people.

Swinging gained more awareness and grew in the 1960′s, aided by the availability of better contraceptives and a more progressive outlook by the nation as a whole. Hence the phrase ‘The Swinging 60′s’.

Good communication is essential to avoid disappointment; often it’s a good idea to find out what is expected when meeting blind to avoid unpleasant encounters. More often than not one partner would be interested in swinging but have no idea how the partner would react, rather than arranging a meet then springing it your spouse at the last minute, engage them in chat about their fantasies and see how they react when you mention four-in-a-bed scenarios. This way you have a better chance of success.

There’s a big difference between swinging and cheating, as most swingers are open and honest with their partners they are unlikely to be receptive to people cheating on their partners in order to have sex. Most of the swinging community is made up with like minded swinging couples that like to share, unfortunately there are a lot of single males that try to get into the action and its not unknown for a single male to turn up to a swinging partner without a partner using the old ‘she couldn’t make it excuse’. Single women and single bi-sexual women are generally welcome at most clubs, single men and bi-sexual single men are to a lesser extent.

Many people starting off in the swinging world try to get their friends involved, you should remember that what is fun and seems natural to you may not be for them, better to ask yourself if you are open to risk loosing their friendship. Another thing to consider when encouraging people you know to engage in the swinging lifestyle is that if you end up having sex with them on a regular basis emotions could come into play and this could lead to complications.

Remember, everyone has the right to say no, if you meet someone and for whatever reason find them not suitable be honest and tell them why as tactfully as you can. This is a two-way street so don’t be to upset or offended if it happens to you, it goes with the territory.

Nowadays there are more risks, we will cover that on another day, condoms reduce the risks considerably but there are other things you may catch or that might be transmitted so be careful.

The term “swinging” was first used by a Minister, who told his congregation there were weird people who were swinging back and forth from bed to bed, in the same manner as monkeys. He seemed to think they were doing something new but he was wrong! Even in Jesus’ time it was common and acceptable behavior for the wealthy to have many wives, concubines and slaves for their sexual pleasure. Several women rulers availed themselves of their power also, by keeping male slaves and consorts to satisfy their sexual needs and desires. What was considered new and weird in our present unenlightened sexually- controlled society has been considered normal and acceptable conduct by even early Christians as well as many other religions, cultures and civilizations in history.

Africa, Iran Egypt, China and Japan were among many countries that have lived a “swinging” lifestyle for centuries. In France, during Queen Marie’s time; wild orgies were the norm, until she lost her head for being a taker instead of a giver!

In more recent history, many world leaders — even those of the religious community have openly or secretly enjoyed their sexuality while trying to deny others the same rights and opportunities.

Ben Franklin was known to be a nudist, while enjoying his sexuality by “swinging”. In today’s moral mud-slinging climate, this brilliant statesman would not be allowed to hold a political office. The moral majority today would have hung him out to dry, just as they did Gary Hart! Today, people are only considered worthy of public office if they can almost be considered for sainthood! In many cases it’s just that they have been sneaky or secretive enough to keep their swinging natures from being known. (Adapted from “What Is The Swinging Lifestyle?” By Shirley Sez, S.&R. Productions)

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