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The phenomenon of swinging, or at least its wider discussion and practice, is regarded by some as arising from the freer attitudes to sexual activity after the sexual revolution of the s, the invention and availability of the contraceptive pill , and the emergence of treatments for many of the sexually transmitted diseases that were known at that time. The adoption of safe sex practices became more common in the late s.
The swinger community sometimes refers to itself as "the lifestyle", or as "the alternative lifestyle". John Stossel produced an investigative news report into the swinging lifestyle. Stossel's report in cited Terry Gould 's research, which concluded that "couples swing in order to not cheat on their partners". When Stossel asked swinging couples whether they worry their spouse will "find they like someone else better," one male replied, "People in the swinging community swing for a reason.
They don't swing to go out and find a new wife;" a woman asserted, "It makes women more confident — that they are the ones in charge. According to Stossel, "not one of them said don't do it," though some said "getting sexual thrills outside of marriage can threaten a marriage".
Nevertheless, swingers whom Stossel interviewed claimed "their marriages are stronger because they don't have affairs and they don't lie to each other. Swinging can take place in a number of contexts, ranging from spontaneous sexual activity involving partner swapping or adding a third or more participants at an informal gathering of friends to planned regular social meetings to " hooking up " with like-minded people at a sex club also known as a swinger club, not to be confused with a strip club.
Different clubs offer varied facilities and atmospheres, and often hold "theme" nights. Swinging is also known to take place in semi-public venues such as hotels, resorts, or cruise ships, or often in private homes. In , a study of the prevalence of nonmonagamous practices in the United States estimated that 2. Research on swinging has been conducted in the United States since the late s.
One study, based on an Internet questionnaire addressed to visitors of swinger-related sites, found swingers are happier in their relationships than the norm. Swingers rate themselves happier "very happy": This study, which only polled self-identified swingers, is of limited use to a broader application to the rest of society external validity owing to self-selected sampling. Some believe sexual attraction is part of human nature and should be openly enjoyed by a committed or married couple.
Some swingers cite divorce data in the US, claiming the lack of quality of sex and spousal infidelity are significant factors in divorce. Swingers are exposed to the same types of risks as people who engage in casual sex , with the main concerns being the risk of pregnancy and of contracting a sexually transmitted infection STI.
Some swingers engage in unprotected sex , a practice known as barebacking , while others follow safe sex practices and will not engage with others who do not also practice safe sex. A Dutch study that compared the medical records of self-reported swingers to that of the general population found that STI prevalence was highest in young people, homosexual men, and swingers.
In addition, according to the conclusions of the report, the STI rates of swingers were in fact nearly identical to those of non-swinging straight couples, and concluded that the safest demographic for STI infection were female prostitutes.
Although there is a risk of pregnancy, they are the same as monogamous sex and can be minimized. Solutions include a tubal ligation female sterilization , vasectomy male sterilization , or having a group entirely made of menopausal women. Other solutions include using condoms or the pill. Proper use of a condom with an effective birth control method minimises the risk of pregnancy and transmission of STIs. It may not be possible to trace a precise history of swinging since the modern concept is so closely related to basic human sexuality and relationships, and they vary significantly across time and cultures.
The modern concept of "swinging" is a recent Western phenomenon with no counterpart or meaning in many other cultures and civilizations in history in which monogamous relationships was the norm or which had religious or social prohibitions against such sexual practices. The "community of women" was practiced by several radical Anabaptist sects including the Batenburgers and the Munsterites.
A formal arrangement was signed by John Dee , his wife Lynae, his scryer , Edward Kelley and Kelley's wife Joanna on 22 April , whereby conjugal relations would be shared between the men and their spouses. This arrangement arose following seances which apparently resulted in spirits guiding Dee and Kelley towards this course of action.
The arrangement ended badly and destroyed Dee's working relationship with Kelley. One of the criticisms of communism was the allegation that communists practice and propagandize the "community of women".
In The Communist Manifesto , Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels suggest that this allegation is an example of hypocrisy and psychological projection by " bourgeois " critics of communism, who "not content with having wives and daughters of their proletarians at their disposal, not to speak of common prostitutes, take the greatest pleasure in seducing each other's wives.
According to Terry Gould 's The Lifestyle: US military personnel in WWII were not accompanied by their families and many especially in the USAAF, were single - the giant military bases where families live while accompanying a deployed soldier, sailor, aviator, or Marine are mostly Cold War creations.
Though the origins of swinging are contested, it is assumed American swinging was practiced in some American military communities in the s.
By the time the Korean War ended, swinging had spread from the military to the suburbs. The media dubbed the phenomenon wife-swapping. Later in the s in the heyday of the Free Love movement, the activities associated with swinging became more widespread in a variety of social classes and age levels. A key party is a form of swinger party, in which male partners place their car or house keys into a common bowl or bag on arriving. At the end of the evening the female partners randomly select keys from the bowl and leave with that key's owner.
According to economic studies on swinging,  the information and communications technology revolution, together with improvements in medicine, has been effective in reducing some of the costs of swinging and hence in increasing the number of swingers. Swinging activities had another surge in interest and participation in the late s due to the rise of the Internet. Some people object to swinging on moral or philosophical grounds. Most religious communities and moralists regard swinging as adultery , not withstanding that it is with the knowledge, consent or encouragement of one spouse to the other.
Some argue that strict monogamy is the ideal form for marital relationships and that sexual relations should only take place between marriage partners or, perhaps, between partners in a committed monogamous relationship. According to Mark Carroll, wife lending and husband lending was a Native American custom, especially within the family such as brothers.
He says that anthropologists have characterised it as "anticipatory levirate " — that is, in anticipation of a future levirate marriage - of the wife to her brother-in-law. Wife lending was a practice in pre-Islamic Arabia whereby husbands allow their wives to live with "men of distinction" to produce noble offspring.
The husband, who abstained while his wife lived with the other man, would then be socially considered the father of the child. After the arrival of Islam this practice was forbidden and was considered a form of adultery. Alice and Eric go to swingers parties and have sex with strangers. Sexologist Nikki Goldstein had a lot of questions after a "newbies" night at a swingers club. I slipped off in my lunch break to go lingerie shopping.
I needed a hot new outfit for the weekend. Some people love latex and leather but not me so much. I have a penchant for stay-up stockings too. As I slide my hands over the new bra I feel a thrill of electricity for the coming weekend. It inspires me to quickly get myself off right there before heading back to work. I feel smug at my desk all afternoon and count the minutes until the weekend.
Some couples like to go out for dinner or go out dancing on the weekend, but we like to go to swingers clubs or parties and get playful. After a couple of years of marriage and a couple more together prior to that, I told Eric that I had a fantasy of being pleasured by two men at once.
I just imagined it would stay a naughty fantasy. That was the turning point for our relationship. Eric and I have rules. We only play together, never apart. The whole idea is that this enhances our love life so being able to see, if not touch, each other at all times is a must. I love watching Eric with another woman across the room. Saturday nights are late nights. We catch a cab home together and debrief about the evening.
We climb into bed exhausted but satisfied. Alice and Eric are regulars on the swinger club scene. Sunday is fun day. After a sleep in, we lie in bed with coffee and rehash the evening, which usually ends leads to another romp. We invite some swinger friends over for a casual BBQ. One of the best things about being part of our community is that we are super social and enjoy hanging out with like-minded people. Eric and I have one particular couple we both love to spend time with.
When the chemistry is good between the four of you, your senses simply explode. A cacophony of hands touching you, mouths all over your body. The sensory overload is awesome. Our work friends have no idea what we do for fun and if they did, frankly, I think their brains would burst.