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.