Art’s World – Is Swinging Still Popular?
The swinging lifestyle has been around for centuries in various forms, but it is only in the past fifty or so years that it has become a popular part of life for many people. The short, quick answer to this articles headline is…….yes, it is still popular. Fact is it is probably more popular and bigger part of the American landscape now than it was in the 60’s and 70’s. As someone who has been part of it since 1981, I have seen the popularity grow and in the last ten years the majority of people coming into the swinging lifestyle are mainly in their forties, fifties, sixties and beyond!
There are several reasons why the popularity today and the older age group, first and foremost technology. Back in the 60’s and through the 80’s there was no internet, no Wifi, swinger sites, adult sites, books, seminars, etc. All there was were a few “swinger” type magazines that had personal ads, with and without photos. The only way to meet prospective couples or singles was by sending a letter through the magazine for a small fee (usually $1 per letter), to the advertiser’s code number. Then the magazine would forward those letters to the person advertising. A long drawn out process, but that was how it was done back then. There were also a few “off premise” swing clubs scattered here and there around the country where you could meet other like minded couples. However, these were social gatherings with adult themes, but no sexual activity taking place. So you either went to a nearby hotel, back to a couple’s home or made arrangements to meet at another time. Of course there were the big, expensive swinger clubs like Plato’s Retreat in New York City.
Another reason for this move towards older, more mature couples coming into the lifestyle today is relatively simple. They are now empty nesters, many retired and feel it is their time to enjoy life in a much different and fun way. They have torn away the shackles of prudishness and decided to live out fantasies many of them have held onto for years. Being older and able to explore this way of life with their new found freedom is what has driven so many older couples into the lifestyle with resounding success.
With today’s technology you can hook up with someone and find out about someone almost instantly via the internet and e-mails, rather than the several weeks it used to take. On the internet there are literally hundreds of swinger’s clubs and sites you can find. There are swingers clubs located in every one of the fifty states. Here in Florida there are well over a dozen different ones and at least four or five right in the Tampa Bay area. There are also yearly swinger conventions in Texas, New Orleans, Las Vegas and elsewhere that draw many hundreds of couples of every age, profession and economic status. There are the swinger getaways like Hedonism in the Caribbean where swingers from all over the world converge. Taking it one step further there a number of companies that specialize in lifestyle getaways aboard some of the top cruise lines in the industry. It is estimated through various surveys from groups like NASCA International that about 3 million people in the United States alone are involved in the swinging lifestyle in some capacity. For all you know, your next door neighbors could be in the lifestyle or people you deal with in your everyday life. Swingers are the perfect example of “Never judge a book by its cover.” They come from all walks of life, they are every age, they are tall, they are short, they are fit, they are a little overweight, they very attractive, they are just average. Simply put, people in the lifestyle could be anybody and you would never know.
One quick example with us happened many years ago that proves the point. We went to a swinger’s house party and while couples were just socializing and having snacks a couple came in and my wife and I were shocked. It turned out to be a couple we had been bowling with for 3-4 years and none of us ever had a clue that we were all in the lifestyle. We had a big laugh over it, did get together and had a great time and nothing was ever mentioned or talked about it at bowling. As I have said many times in doing seminars on swinging, people do not wear a big “S” on their chest. So never assume someone is, or isn’t, lifestyle just by how they may look or act.
Another big factor of the lifestyle is friendship. We have found, and I have heard this from most everyone in the lifestyle, that friends in the lifestyle are the most honest, down to earth, real people you will find. They are there for you, rain or shine, happy or sad with no questions asked. It goes way beyond the sexual with most all couples in the lifestyle. You become family going to cookouts, family gatherings, dinner, the movies, even vacations together. It is a total bonding experience unlike other friendships. To this day I still maintain close friendships with people we swung with thirty years ago who have moved, gotten out of it or have had health problems or lost a spouse. When I lost my wife in 2002, the funeral was a mix of family, vanilla friends, porn stars, adult industry people and swingers. Now that is one very diverse group, but everyone got along.
As I mentioned earlier, back in the day there were no books or videos or anything about the lifestyle that you could learn from. Now that has changed and there is still room for more information about the lifestyle. I am currently in the process of writing a swinger’s guide for mature couples that I began several years ago but got sidetracked by another book I was writing and had published last year titled “When Swing Was King” about the big band era. It is available on Amazon.com. If all goes well, I hope to have this swinger’s guide published by spring as I know there is an audience out there who are curious about knowing more.
Naturally sex is a big part of the lifestyle and offers up more than enough opportunities to make fantasy a reality. As I mentioned in an Art’s World feature a week or so ago about women’s sexual fantasies, this lifestyle can open that door for both sexes. However, as much fun, exciting, pleasurable and enjoyable the sexual encounters are, the lifestyle goes far beyond that. So now your question may be, “How do we get into it as we have fantasized about it?” This is my simplest advice. First of all talk openly and honestly with your partner about it as this must be a mutual decision. If you can honestly say your relationship has these four very important qualities then you might be ready to give it a try. The four qualities are: true and complete abiding love for one another, total trust of each other in every way, complete honesty with each other and above all, absolutely no jealousies whatsoever. If you possess these four qualities in your relationship you are off to a good start. If you don’t, then do not even think about trying the lifestyle. Swinging is definitely not a cure all for sexual problems in a marriage. Those are for a counselor to solve, not the lifestyle.
In a follow up feature on the lifestyle next week, I will get more into the various clubs, meet and greets and other activities that are part of the lifestyle and it’s continued growth. Unlike the 70’s and 80’s when none of these avenues were available, there is a wealth of information and a wide variety of places to go and activities to take part in even before you take that major first step in letting your sexual being get unleashed. In the meantime I hope you enjoy this feature and gave you a much better idea of what the lifestyle really is all about.
Art Koch National Features & DVD Editor, NightMoves Magazine and AAN