Why some couples are happy and successful in the lifestyle while others are not.

Happy lifestyle couples wearing Partners ID jewelry
Happy lifestyle couples wearing Partners ID jewelry
Everyone enters the lifestyle thinking they will be successful.
Anyone who has ever dipped a toe into the lifestyle arena knows that there is a fine line between happiness and chaos.  The very start of the lifestyle can be a very difficult road to navigate, and how it is managed can make the difference between long term success and big flop.  Why are some couples so happy after years together in the lifestyle while others are miserable?  What is the magic formula?
Happy couples seem to have figured out how to approach the lifestyle.
Having been in the lifestyle for many years and observing many couples coming and going, it seems there is a pattern to the happy couples.  It seems that couples who arrive at the club or a party with no expectations fair much better than the rest.  However, when part of a couple (or both) arrive with the intention of absolutely “getting something,” they do not seem to do very well in the long run together.  If people come into a swing club with this kind of an attitude it is a disaster waiting to happen.  It is not a good way to start an evening.  After all, you never know how things will go and you cannot be disappointed if you do not have any expectations.  More often than not, if one person arrives at the club fully expecting to play, what happens when you cannot make a connection with another couple?  Generally speaking a fight breaks out between the couple because of the disappointment.
Try looking at things from your partner’s side.
It seems like a logical solution for both parts of a couple to try to see things from the other’s perspective.  If a man wants to go to a swing club and informs his wife that he wants them to play that evening, how is she supposed to feel?  Relaxed and looking forward to the evening out or like she is going to work to get a job done?  What if a woman tells her husband that they better find a couple to spend the night with when they go to a private party?  Is he going to enjoy himself and have a good time or is he going to feel pressured to meet his wife’s demands?  Under these circumstances how often do you think these couples are going to spend their evenings swinging and how long can they remain happy together?
There is a simple way to approach the lifestyle that might help couples in the long run.
Let’s look at another way to approach the lifestyle.  You make plans with your husband to go to a swing club.  Before you leave the house he lets you know that his primary interest is having a fun night with you.  If you two happen to meet a couple you both like you will take it from there but he insists there is no pressure to do that; he will be happy just spending the night with you.  Or, a couple accepts an invitation to go to a private party.  The wife says she would like to go.  She tells her husband the same thing:  I enjoy spending my evenings with you.  If something happens, great, if not, we will have fun together.  With these scenarios, couples are relaxed and looking forward to a fun evening together.  Couples who take this approach tend to remain in the lifestyle for many years.
Consideration for your partner goes a long way in the lifestyle.
Once again, communication and respect go a long way in keeping couples happy.  If you have the confidence that your partner has your back, it makes the lifestyle so much more enjoyable.  Respectful partners do not expect their spouse to “take one for the team” or “do this for me”.  They do not ask their partner to do something that they would not want to do themselves.  If you would not want to be asked to play with someone that you find unattractive or undesirable why would you ask that of your partner?  If you would not want to be left sitting at the bar while your wife goes into the back room to play with someone else, why ask her to do this?  Requesting your partner to do something that they are uncomfortable with or have told you they do not enjoy, is selfish.  If a woman does not like anal, or gangbangs or playing with other women, don’t ask her to do it for you.  How would you feel if she asked you to play with another man “for her”?   If you find yourself in a situation and you are unsure of how to proceed, take a moment and consider this:  how would I feel if the situation was reversed?  How can a couple be unhappy if they are thinking about each other?
Other couples are aware of how you and your partner treat each other…
In the lifestyle couples will come and go.  You will take a look around one day and realize you haven’t seen so and so or this couple in a long time.  At times you can observe new couples wander onto the scene.  They come in like gangbusters.  They talk to everyone, they are loud and hard to ignore.  They try to touch and dance with everyone on the dance floor.  In the back room they never take the time to notice whether or not a couple is open to them they just touch everyone, waiting for a positive response.  Before you know it, this couple will disappear from the lifestyle.  Other times you observe couples who are always surrounded by single men.  When you peek into the back, she is playing with several men while her husband watches.  How long can this last?  Still yet, another couple you might notice is one where the husband is flirting with every woman he meets while his wife hangs behind trying to smile. We can all imagine how she must feel about the lifestyle.  Once again, if couples are not united when they are in the lifestyle, others can sense it.  Often times I have heard people say they will not hang around other couples if they are not connected to each other as this can be big trouble.
Things to remember for next time.
The bottom line?  Always remember that your partner must come first in the lifestyle.  When in doubt about how to proceed in a situation, take a moment to put yourself in the other person’s shoes.  How would I feel if I were my partner?  Would I want to be forced to play with someone who is unappealing to me or makes me uncomfortable?   Would I enjoy watching my partner flirt with everyone while I stand aside?  Would I want my partner pushing me into situations that make me uneasy?  If these are situations that I don’t want for myself, why would I want them for my partner?  If you always think about each other and make sure your partner is happy there is no reason you won’t last a long time in the lifestyle.  If this sounds like too much work for you, then you already have your answer.
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If you are a swinger and you have young children, prepare yourself…

Surprised swinger couple wearing Partners ID jewelry
Surprised swinger couple wearing Partners ID jewelry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are a swinger and you have young children, prepare yourself…

We were all packed and ready to head out on our first trip to a lifestyle resort. “Pack lightly,” my girlfriend had told me, “there’s no real need for clothing at this place.”

Well, I listened to her advice and as my husband and I said goodbye to the kids and thanked his parents for staying with them, his mother looked concerned. “Where are your suitcases?”

So this is the life of a swinger. Always being cornered with questions you would rather not have to answer.

Like the time at the airport, when my suitcase was buzzing loudly enough for people in close range to hear. “Oh, that’s just my electric toothbrush” I said with a laugh. My 9 year old daughter was quick to let everyone know, “Mom, you don’t have an electric toothbrush.” Kids!

Back in the day when we watched blue ray discs, naturally my husband stocked up on porn. He carefully took them out of the original packaging and put them into old empty cases with old tv shows and movie names on the cover. He’s so smart, right? We thought so until our son decided to borrow a few to bring to a sleepover party at his friend’s house. He was about 12 at the time. Although his friends were delighted with what he brought, the boy’s parents were not quite as happy.

Swingers tend to stay out late when they have an opportunity to swing. Getting dressed after drinking and having wild sex can be a bit of a challenge, especially for women when they wear complicated outfits. Things get put on inside out, upside down, buttons don’t match, panties are lost, etc. The other problem is that your hair and makeup are never the same afterwards. This should not be a big deal, after all, it is the middle of the night (or the early morning hours of the next day) and who is going to see you? Do you have children? They will see you! Trust me, no matter how late it is or how quiet you are, they will not only see you, but they will have questions.

Most swingers are smart enough to realize early on in the game how to outsmart these little kiddies. We put our slut wear and toys in a locked closet. We hide the key and treat that closet like Fort Knox. It is never opened when a child is present, no matter how young they might be. That key is never retrieved when a child is within 50 feet of the bedroom door. So why is it that the moment of truth must arrive when you are entertaining your parents and in laws? This is the typical moment that you realize you cannot outsmart your children. It occurs when your darling little angel appears in the living room wearing a school girl outfit clomping around in a pair of your hooker shoes.

How about the little cutie that runs to the door when it rings and stands innocently looking up at the UPS man while you are signing for a package. She reaches over and tugs the bottom of his pant leg. He bends down to greet her and she says, “My mommy has beautiful jewelry on her private parts. Do you?”

We have all heard about the dog who finds a condom under the couch and retrieves it at the most inopportune moment imaginable. How about when your son piles a handful of condoms that he has located in the cabinet underneath your husband’s sink in the bathroom into his toy truck. He is so proud to show your neighbor how he can open the back of the truck and dump the goods onto the floor. Your neighbor laughs lightly and looks at you wondering why on earth you and your husband need condoms.

One of my little angels had an assignment at school to draw a picture of her family. Everything was fine until I look at the shoes the mom is wearing. They were red and giant. I asked her what kind of shoes those were and she said, “Like the ones in the closet. You know mommy, that closet.”

We were having dinner at a restaurant for my husband’s birthday and it was taking a long time for the food to come out. My son was restless so I gave him my cellphone so he could play a game while we waited. Next thing I know he turns the phone around and says, “This lady has big boobies!” I forgot that on our trip we had taken some photos with friends while at the beach. She was totally nude so when he turned the phone around I heard my mother in law gasp. When I act like I can’t imagine where that photo came from my son was quick to tell everyone there are more pictures!

The moral of the story is, if you swing and you have children, you can prepare all you would like, but trust me, they will think of things that you don’t. They will find what you hide and they will share with others what they know. It’s the chance you take!

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A unicorn explains why she is in the lifestyle and what she is looking for.

Unicorn wearing Partners ID jewelry
Unicorn wearing Partners ID jewelry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This blog was written for Partners ID by Kennedy M., a single woman in the lifestyle.

Most swingers prefer to keep the fact that they are in the lifestyle to themselves.  At times it can be challenging, especially when we find ourselves in situations that are hard to explain.  Imagine how hard it would be for vanilla people to wrap their minds around a unicorn!

Not long ago, while taking notes in a board room for an important client, I received an email with a subject line that said it was an important message from Joe (a close friend’s name).  I was busy and did not look at the return email address.  As soon as we took a break for a few minutes I scrolled down and clicked on it.  To my surprise there was a close up picture of a black man’s dick.  Before I could click delete, a male coworker was standing behind my chair asking if that was my new boyfriend.

When I am not blogging about my lifestyle experiences I have a job that is quite vanilla; complete with meetings in board rooms and client lunches.  For obvious reasons, I do not discuss my private life where I work.  When colleagues ask what I did over the weekend, I usually tell them, “The usual; a movie, some dinner” etc.  I am single and the company I work for would be horrified if they really knew how I spend my weekends.

I am a unicorn, a single girl in the swinger lifestyle, for those who do not know the term.

I did not discover swinging alone, but found myself single after a lengthy relationship in which we were a swinging couple.  I was very much in love with my boyfriend and was heart broken when he ended it with little explanation.

I am not soured by this nor do I hate men.  I am, however, wary of putting my heart out there again in fear that I will find myself in the same situation.

When I was finally ready to go back out after the breakup, I returned to a place where I felt very comfortable in the past.  My former boyfriend and I were swing club rats and spent at least two nights a week in our local establishment.  We had a nice circle of lifestyle friends, many of whom had reached out to me after the break up.

My first night out alone was a little bit scary.  I was unsure how I would be received by some of the women.  I knew I was not looking to intrude on anyone’s relationship but would they know that?  I had never really known any unicorn but had heard some women speaking poorly about them in the past.  I did not want that to be me.

For the most part, the women were happy to see me and welcomed me with open arms.  One or two seemed a bit uncomfortable with all the attention the men lavished upon me (which I in no way sought out but as most unicorns will admit, it is hard to avoid).

The first few times I went to the club I felt a little awkward.  I needed people to make me feel like I belonged there.  It didn’t take long for couples (some I knew, some I did not) to ask me to join them in the back room.  After a period of time I started receiving invitations to parties.  I also started having men ask me to accompany them to the club when their wives were out of town.   I have always declined to do this but I do know other unicorns who have no problem with this.   Although I knew why I was there, I wasn’t sure others understood why I chose to make a swing club my night life of choice.  I overheard women asking each other what exactly I was looking for.

I will tell you “what I was, and still am, looking for.”  I love to dance, I love to dress sexy and I love to have fun.  I like to meet new people and I love to have sex; both with men and with women.  I like the comfort and the warmth of the lifestyle.  It’s a great place to go to as you do not need a date, or to make plans with others.  You just show up and hang with the people who are there.  You can spend an amazing night, have great sex and kiss the other people goodnight.  I can go home and sleep alone in my bed.  Nobody to answer to.  I can stay until 12 midnight or go home at 4am.  I can do what I want with no strings attached.  If I am looking for some one on one time, there are always single guys who are more than willing to spend the evening with a unicorn.  The best part is, I do not have to be alone with them.  We can choose a private room to play but I am not in a scary situation with a stranger.  If I want to be with a couple, no problem.  If I want a gang bang, that’s my choice.  The best part for me is that I leave alone.  I am not looking for a boyfriend or a husband or anything else.  I am looking for a good time.  That’s it, that’s all.  I can not speak for every unicorn as we are all individuals.  I have gotten to know a few who spend time in this swing club and we are not all on the same page.  I will not go into the back room with someone else’s husband if she is not in the club to approve.  Most of the other girls have no problem with that.  I also will not date a married man with or without the wife’s permission.  I will only play with someone’s husband if she is present, but even then, I prefer to make it a threesome.  Most unicorns I have met don’t really have any rules.  They are out for themselves and offer no apologies for what they do.  They prefer to be alone for a variety of reasons and although they love the attention they get in the clubs, for the most part, they are not looking for anything more than a good time.

I have tried to imagine how I would feel if there was a unicorn around when my boyfriend and I were together at the club.  We did not really know of any at that time so it is hard to say.  If unicorns are respectful of other’s relationships then there should never be a problem.  I would suggest making sure that if you choose this route you pay a lot of attention to the women.  If you are flirting with their husband and ignoring them, this will be a problem for sure.  Since you have no one to offer to them, you must flirt with them as a couple.  Always try to put yourself in the woman’s shoes and ask yourself how you would feel if the situation were reversed.

Unicorns are a great addition to the lifestyle if they understand the rules of the game.  Some think they are the stars of the club because they get a lot of attention.  Perhaps it would be better to just think of yourself as another component to the lifestyle.  Although we bring an added element to the lifestyle, the lifestyle could easily exist without us.

Nobody ever asks what single men are looking for in the club.  Why the double standard?  It seems a question I hear often regarding unicorns.   I am looking for sex just like they are.  I just happen to prefer the no strings attached variety.  I don’t want you to call me in the morning.  Really, I don’t.  More often that not, I also don’t want to play with you again.  It was fun once but I am not looking to repeat the experience regardless of how awesome it might have been.  I am not looking for you to cuddle with me or tell me how beautiful I am.  Please do not tell me about your problems and I will not bother you with mine.  The truth is, I don’t really care, I just want to enjoy my night out.

I do like to try new things and am very open minded.  Sometimes that seems to make some women feel  a little threatened.  I am not a slut or a whore because I am a sexual person.  When I was in a relationship I did not feel as free to explore things as I do now.  Perhaps that is why it is hard for you to relate, but that doesn’t really give you the right to judge.

People have asked me many times why I am not out looking for someone of my own.  It is a valid question but again, I am enjoying being by myself.  When I am ready to be in a relationship, I can assure you I will not be fishing for someone in a swing club.  Perhaps one day I will meet a nice single guy at a lifestyle event but who knows.  For now, I am very happy to be a unicorn and have no plans to change that any time soon.

 

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Is a key party just a more polite way of saying swinger party?

Friends at a key party wearing Partners ID jewelry
Friends at a key party wearing Partners ID jewelry

 

 

Key party?  What on earth is a key party?!

Believe it or not, the subject of swinging was brought up recently by my mother; yes, my mother. The funny thing is, this isn’t the first time.

I can remember when I was in my late teens, we bumped into a woman who lived down the street. The woman kissed my mother on both cheeks (which I found very odd since this woman was born and raised in NY) and admonished my mother for not joining them at their last party. “We have been dying to get you and Dan to come to our parties! Trust me darling, you will love them!”

I thought it was odd that this woman spoke about parties as though they were a regular occurrence at her home and I thought it more odd that my parents were invited and were declining the invitation(s).

As we walked away I asked my mother why she didn’t want to go to this woman’s parties. She turned and looked at me as if to decide if I were old enough to hear her answer. Apparently she thought I was, so she told me that this woman and her husband were throwing key parties once a month at their home. Key parties? I searched my brain for a possible explanation for what a key party could possibly mean but I came up blank. I looked at her and shook my head to show her I had no idea what that meant.

“A key party is where you go to someone’s home and at the end of the night you all throw your house keys into a pile. Each woman picks a key and goes home to spend the night with the man who owns that house key.” I can remember trying to wrap my head around what she had just explained to me but there was no part of me that could make any sense of this. I had so many questions but I chose to continue with the most pressing:

“What if you pick a key and don’t the like the man it belongs to,” I asked. “Exactly the reason I would never want to participate in a key party” my mother explained.

So you randomly pick a key and that’s what decides who you go home with?!

That didn’t help my head to understand this whole thing. My mother’s answer confused me as much as her explanation of the party! I couldn’t help but think that she would be ok with the whole thing if she could choose the man with whom she would spend the night.

Is this what adults did? How come I had never heard about this before? Neighbors were sleeping with neighbors? The woman who was throwing these parties had a son who was a good friend of mine. Did he know about these parties? What did he think? Who else was going to these parties? I had so many questions! When I tried to bring up the subject of these alleged key parties of few days later with my mother, she simply said she was joking. She said that was what she had heard but didn’t really know if there was any truth to it. That was the last time we talked about it. Obviously, it was a conversation I never forgot.

Fast forward to yesterday. I am no longer in my late teens so perhaps now I am really old enough to hear the truth.

“Someone told your father that there is a whole group of younger people where we live that are swapping wives,” my mother reported. “Your father seemed shocked but I reminded him that way back when, everyone at our country club up north was doing the same thing.”

I asked if she was referring to those infamous key parties she had once mentioned. “Oh, no, this is something different. For years, many couples at the club were sleeping with each other. Everyone knew about it.”

Everyone but me…

Before I had the chance to ask, she named a few couples that did not surprise me to hear about, but did not include herself and my father. I didn’t ask and she didn’t say anything more. Although I can’t say for sure, I don’t think they were swingers. Maybe I am wrong, but since she knows a small bit about my lifestyle (kind of a don’t ask don’t tell type thing), she certainly knows I am open to swinging.

Does every adult get invited to a key party?

When I was newly married and had moved with my husband to a new state, I remember hearing about a key club in a nearby community. I was shocked to hear mention of this “key party” thing again. I was once again curious as to whether this was something common amongst married couples. Eventually, someone did approach us about attending one of their parties but we declined. When we had young children and were relatively newly married, it was as far off my radar as could be. I couldn’t in a million years imagine ever wanting any part of that.

Obviously, over time, we changed, but it was when the time was right for us. We also never took part in a “key party” for the same reason my mother claimed she did not. If I were going to play with someone else, I didn’t want to leave it to chance. I wanted to choose the person who would be good for me and I wanted to do it with my husband right there.

Maybe swinging is just not that uncommon…

The thing that interests me the most is not the history of the key party, but rather that they seem to be relatively common. When my mother mentioned this latest discovery about the young group where they live having sex with each other, my fist inclination was to say that it seems swinging is much more common than even I had realized. She looked at me funny and said, “Who said they are swingers?”

This always brings me back to the same question: Are married people having sex with friends but not referring to this as swinging? Are “key parties” not swinger parties? In my book, married couples who are having sex with other married couples are swingers. From what I am realizing, it is actually very common and it seems to be very wide spread.

It seems people don’t like to be labeled. This is not something new either. Perhaps if we found another way to refer to swingers more people would want in. Maybe we can just call swingers fun couples. I would bet that if that was the term to replace swingers, more people would admit to their open minded ways. After all, who doesn’t want to be a fun couple?

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Swingers who play separately from their spouses; why do we call this swinging?

couple in bed
Every swinger has both their own definition of what swinging is and their own rules regarding how to play.  For some, swinging means planning an evening with their spouse and making a date with another couple.  Their course of action usually involves getting to know another couple by having dinner at a restaurant or meeting for drinks before initiating any kind of sexual contact with them.  Others, prefer the swing club approach which is generally meeting another couple while at a swing club and heading either into the back room or meeting outside the club that evening to have sex.  Some couples make dates with people they meet online to go their homes or a hotel for an evening of sex as couples.   Not all swingers think swinging means playing side by side with their spouse.  Some prefer to play in separate areas while at private parties or in clubs while others go out on dates alone with men or women to have sex.  The question is, if someone is going out on a date alone with someone other than their spouse, is this really swinging?  Are we calling this swinging because the spouse knows?  According to Dictionary.com, a swinger is a person who engages in the exchanging of spouses for sexual activities.  One would have to conclude from this meaning that dating people outside your marriage is not actually swinging at all.
Most swingers will agree that being in the lifestyle has brought their couple closer.  They must have a tremendous amount of confidence in both each other and their relationship to make this work.  Trust is extremely important because without it, swinging won’t work.  For many couples in the lifestyle, a big part of the “thrill” is watching their partner with someone else while they too, are enjoying themselves.  The most connected couples seem to always let the other person know they are there for them by a simple touch or caress while they play side by side with another couple.  What happens then, if the couples are not playing side by side?  Obviously this takes even more trust especially when their spouse chooses a private room to play with someone else.  There are couples who reported that they prefer not to see their spouse playing with someone else and therefore playing apart is better for them.  One woman who prefers not to play near her husband said that when she is alone with a  man, she is free to make love with them but when her husband is present she can only f*ck them.  I can’t help but wonder how she would feel if her husband said the same thing.  For me, I have never considered it making love while swinging.  I prefer to refer to it as playing.  There is no love involved for me but perhaps that is just me.  When I asked her to clarify, her response was that she loves many things such as reading books and cooking but I failed to see the correlation.  Playing apart from your spouse, no doubt, allows you to be more intimate and personal but is that really the best thing for your marriage?
Let’s examine couples who date separately from each other.  This would mean that one of the couple is going out to meet someone for sex and the partner is not.  Some men reported that they encourage their wives to meet men for sex.  They say the turn on is hearing all about it when she gets home.  Some men said their wives have lost interest in sex and are fine with them meeting other women outside; some even reported long standing relationships with the same woman “for sex”  for years.  My question is:  is this really swinging?  Everyone is different and every couple has their own rules but it seems that using the word swinging at this point is questionable.  I have heard the term ‘swinging single’ but have wondered if perhaps the correct term is really ‘open marriage’.    The term open marriage refers to couples that have relationships outside their marriage, which can be either sexual, love or both.  The difference is that in an open marriage the spouse is not involved whereas in swinging, the spouse is.
I realize it is  not important what we call our lifestyle choices but it is important to make sure it is working for both members of the couple.  On a swingers blog I recently read something from a woman who was recently separated from her “swinger” spouse.  Apparently he kept asking her to meet men on the outside and to phone him while they were having sex so he could listen in.  She eventually met a man who she fell in love with and left her husband for.  It would seem that this danger always exists when someone is left alone to have sex with someone else, no?  Just like the woman earlier in the article explained, when she is alone with a man she makes love to him but when her husband is there she cannot.
Swingers take risks in the lifestyle but for it can be a calculated risk.  For some that means never playing with the same couple twice, always playing side by side and always including your spouse in your conversations with other swingers.  This really eliminates the chance for any type of intimate relationship to exist between swingers.  When we leave our partners to go spend time with someone that they are attracted to we really have no way to gauge what could happen.  For some this works, for others it does not, but perhaps we should have different terms to identify different styles of swinging.  It would eliminate a lot of anxiety and questions about couples before you get involved.
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