Friday, December 16, 2016

The C-Word: Swingers and Cliques

Overall Trends, a Look at the Numbers

As insiders and party hosts in a swinger community in a major city in the Southeast, Claire and I realized that we might not be perfectly placed to judge whether our local community felt clique’ish or exclusive to some participants. In order to get a broader idea of how people felt about this issue locally, we sent out a questionnaire, to which we received 26 responses. Interestingly, out of these twenty-six responses, twenty respondents were women and only six were men. We wonder if this response from our local LS simply reflects a broader trend, where women are socialized to place more importance on and pay more attention to inclusion in social groups.

Twenty-five respondents confirmed that they had noticed the presence of cliques in their local LS community; while one claims to not have noticed their presence. When it came to defining the criteria by which the respondents felt judged, looks were the most significant factor (64%), followed by age, which tied with “swing status that is considered on the fringe of LS norms” at 55%. Other factors that were mentioned, in order of decreasing importance, were “coolness, (45%)” “socioeconomic status (32%),”  being “too shy (36%)” or “too outspoken (27%).” 

Sixteen respondents answered the question: “If you answered "yes" to behavior or status that is considered outside of LS "norms," do any of these apply?” Playing “full open” was the most common reason provided for feeling “judged by the community on play status, cited by 50% of the respondents, followed by “desiring a higher degree of connection with LS partners” (44%), “rarely play” and “sport fucker” tied at 38%, followed by “dating or seeking partners outside the LS community” (19%), and “being in polyamorous relationship” (13%) and “being a unicorn” (6%). Keep in mind, that for both these questions, participants could check off more than one category.

In the general trends category, when asked whether “the LS is more, less, or the same when it comes to how judgmental the community is in all aspects of accepting other people, not just conventional LS sexuality," 46% answered “the same as society as a whole,” 42% said “less judgmental,” and 16% said “more judgmental.”

Respondents’ Written Answers:

Question One: If you answered "Yes" to the question about LS cliques, what is your feeling about them? Have you felt included/excluded by these cliques? What do you think the common "glue" is that binds the clique or cliques together? The most obvious criterion for separating the written responses was based on whether the respondent felt included or excluded by the cliques.

Insider View:
“We're a part of a few cliques, and have seen the situation from both sides. It makes it difficult to make new friends or even to get laid sometimes, because you're talking to the same group of folks all the time. Cliques are convenient, and provide a low-energy way to socialize without making the effort to make new connections.”

“Part of the ‘glue’ is people have to pass a test of being say trustworthy, fun, engaging, looking for similar experiences etc., so it's a natural selection process.”

“I don't see ‘cliques’ per se. I see groups of friends who become closer due to shared interests, life stages, or just generally feeling a connection, besides just good sex. For my partner and I, the friendships are just as important as the sexual side of things, so it's possible people outside of our close knit friends could see us as cliquey. We don't try to exclude anyone; we just have friends we intentionally try to spend time with.”

“I feel like these groups exist in all social situations in life. People don't normally stand strong when they are on their own; they seek out others like themselves or people they want to be like.”

Outsider View:

“Mainly just excluded. They are hard to penetrate.” *

*We don’t know if this was an intentional double-entendre or a Freudian slip, but it’s priceless.

“It's almost like high school.”

“Drug use. Physical appearance. Coolness.” **

**Authors have not seen more drug use in the LS than you would expect in a socially active group in the same age range. We feel that the two comments tying drug use to belonging to “the clique” may reflect a group that was previously more active and that overlapped with the rave scene.

“Excluded. Seems as though having known ppl over time is the common denominator and age range.”

“Excluded. Mostly judgmental females keep their comfort buddies around and are fake friendly to others.”

“Felt excluded. There seems to be many things that could be the glue. All the girls may be bi, heavy drinkers in the group or may do drugs, group has known each other for years and doesn't allow others to be included or invited.”

“We are fairly new to the LS and it seems that more experienced people/couples judge us. We are still exploring our comfort level with different things. If we don't full swap, we're not welcome with certain groups.”

“Sometimes included, sometimes excluded. It depends on the crowd, and who in the crowd is inviting people to a relatively small event. Some people in cliques have been friends for years, some flirt better and more often, some are sport fuckers while we like to get to know people before sex.”

“I thought I was included, but soon found out that I am excluded or somehow ‘forgotten’ about. What amazes me is that I introduced several Couples to each other and they have become great friends, who have broken off in their own clique. I love to see others happy. It makes me sad that there are cliques because it makes LS feel less inviting and less open.”

“When I first entered the LS, I was quickly able to identify the cliques and did try to get close to those certain people just because they seemed to stick together, get out and do more. It is very hard to break through so I stepped back. No hurt feelings or anything. Just too much work and not that interested, at least not as much as I'd have to be to make it a priority in my life.”

“I think cliques are unfortunate in the LS. Having traveled heavily to other states this is definitely more an Atlanta trend than elsewhere. The common glue seems to be people with an elevated sense of self worth. Cliques often center around social or economic status. I've been judged on many occasions for seeming too active, when in actuality I'm far more socially active than sexually active.”

“Because we're ‘social swingers’ (vs. notchers) and being relatively new, having ‘community’ is something we crave. We really want to be invited and accepted into the groups that are culturally ‘us.’ We empathize with how time, and trust-accrued makes a group cautious new people. Certainly we'll find ‘our group’ in time, but (especially with social media), it feels like we're looking through a window at a party we weren't invited to. Ask us again in 6 months.”
“You have those that extremely fit and tan oh and don't forget they have money, no kids and all the time in the world to work on their looks. They only hangout with others just like them, and look down and talk down to those that are not like them. You also have those that pretend to be your friend just to meet those you hang out with, just so they don't have to find that couple to play with, they just take our couple. These pretend friends will not say a word to to us again until they see us with a couple they want to get with.”***

***The Authors have not necessarily seen this dynamic play-out for a group of people or even any people that have all these qualities -- fit and tan, no kids, money. There is a smaller group that has been in the LS for a long time. They are good-looking, fit, and tan. However, they don’t stand out in terms of their income level and most of them have kids and live in the suburbs. This group seems exclusive because they have known each other for so long and no longer attend many mainstream LS events.

Authors’ Reflections

The authors are not surprised that looks seem to be the number one category where people felt judged. The reason for this is that most people are looking to hook up, and in an environment where people do not know each other well, looks tend to be the number one criterion for picking sexual partners, outside and as well as inside the LS. The inside/outside perspective on cliques does not surprise us either. People who feel comfortable and accepted in a group have less reason to reflect on whether everybody feels as included and accepted as they do. Members of a group may not feel like they are consciously excluding others, but simply feel like they are socializing with the people they know and with whom they have the most in common. On the other hand, people who, at any time, have felt excluded from a group or judged by a group; tend to be more motivated to examine the reasons for this. The distance of being an outsider often gives people perspective. For example, it’s often easier to give advice to friends, than to see how it applies to our own lives, or take the same advice ourselves. People often take privileges for granted, even if those privileges are as simple as being accepted by other people.

Like high school, people mentioned situations where the cliques weren’t just judgmental towards outsiders; at the same time, there is an in-group dynamic of behavior to which the members are expected to conform. The unspoken fear is that if they don’t conform they will be cast out of the group. Two examples of in-group “policing behavior” mentioned by respondents had to do with couples seeking greater emotional, not just physical connection with their partners and with couples playing with other couples who were outside the group.

Finally, it is worth noting that we may all have misjudged some people as being snobby and exclusive if we were intimidated by their appearance or other attributes and it seemed that those people did not make an effort to reach out to us. Not all people who are conventionally attractive are social extroverts; some are shy and introverted. They may not mean to exclude others, but simply are unaware that people may want to interact with them. Their own shyness and introversion may prevent them from reaching out, not a sense of “superiority” to others.

Question Two: If you are comfortable, and can do so in a way that does not directly identify yourself or any others involved, can you describe a situation or situations with clique behavior or people being judgmental in the LS?

“Reputation as never playing in a big one.”

“Not being invited to parties that your so called friends have. Exclusion from party invites.”

“Being told that we were ‘bad swingers’ because we were more emotionally involved.”

“Have been told people would not approach us because we were intimidating based on our sexy appearance ?? But that comes across to us as judgmental without even getting to know us.”

“Race: African American couples are always left behind. It's not the same when is a mixed couple. Same happens with Latinos and older couples.”****

****Authors tried to think of age cut-off, but this was too generic. We think people tend to be more forgiving about age if the couple, in question, are good looking, in shape, and have other qualities that make them interesting and attractive. Sex appeal and sexual performance are not always age dependent. Taking into account that, the authors live in the Southeast. There is a definite trend where bi-racial couples are more represented in the local (predominantly white) LS community than couples where both parties are minorities.
“From inside our clique we've been judged as sport fuckers for playing with people outside our immediate circle. Cliques run the risk of turning into co-dependent or poly relationships, so we try hard to branch out.”

“We were not quite ready to full swap with a couple so the other male got all pissy and tried to damage our professional careers on a public LS not cool. Very glad I never did have sex with him!”

“I would just say that there is a kind of capital in the LS. All of this is optional. We get to be picky about who we choose to share our very limited time with. And we don't get offended when others would rather spend time with others. It's all good.”

“On multiple occasions at Trapeze, despite friendly introduction, I've been literally completely ignored. This has also occurred when attending with a fellow unicorn. The acceptance of unicorns is the biggest myth in this community.”

“On the group FB page once, there was a small ‘hate’ or ‘judgment’ discussion going about soft swappers in the LS. At the time we were soft swap. It's aggravating to feel like i'm just tease because I won't fuck everyone who hits on me! I also get irritated for being judged because i'm willing to soft swap with people I wouldn't necessarily fuck. We are in fact full swap but do a lot more soft than full, because we enjoy foreplay and teasing. The buildup is what we enjoy as much as sex. Interestingly enough once we became full swap some of those haters spoke to me like they were just meeting me.....guess it's easy to forget we've met when I was merely a softie back then ;-)”

“People not inclusive with conversations by turning backs, whispering, or making quick getaways. This behavior feels like I am not worthy of their attention or time. Typically females do this. Males are pretty respectful and not as bold. Feels like high school, but worse because in high school, I was considered "cool". I seriously never felt so rejected socially until being in LS. Makes me more insecure and anxious. Also, more self conscious and worried about how I am perceived. Ironically, this actually makes me appear closed off, reserved, bitchy, or bored -- all because I am afraid to do or say wrong thing or I feel that just by being there and breathing, someone might make a judgement about me. Typically I am an extremely positive, happy, social, friendly, and secure person. I am successful in my career, loved by my family and vanilla friends, and have a nice, sweet life. However, recent interactions, exclusions, and gossip from others have dampened my spirit within the LS community.”


Most responses analyzing reasons people felt excluded in the LS had to do with being new and not knowing anybody, having a reputation for not playing, being soft-swap, and anxiety about “not getting asked to the dance,” reminiscent of high school. Couples wonder why their “supposed friends” didn’t include them, why other people “made the cut” and they didn’t and feelings get hurt.
Claire and I have been on both the inside and outside of the “group” phenomenon and can see both perspectives. In some ways, our experiences as outsiders at other times in our lives inspired us to be more outgoing and host parties, so that we could foster a more positive sense of community. Ironically, however, once you are a host and get to know people and either form or feel included in the group, you may lose touch with what it’s like to be an outsider. You can become so busy catching up with all the people you know, that you don’t realize that you are part of a bubble. This survey was a reminder to us and hopefully to others to reach out and make an effort to talk to people and make them feel more included. This does not mean you have to have sex with people you are not attracted to, but does mean that, as a community that is very harshly judged by the outside world, swingers can all benefit by being better ambassadors.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Lady or the Tiger: Women's Desire

This could be about the time we talked in a party or club, or it could be every date you ever went on, where you wanted the girl and you wondered what it was that made the difference between ending the date or conversation by having that girl six ways to Sunday or with a chaste kiss goodbye.

“The Lady or the Tiger” is a short story, written by Frank R. Stockton. In the story, a semi-barbaric king decides to punish a courtier who falls in love with his daughter, by forcing the courtier to choose between two doors: one with another woman behind it and the other with a tiger. The Princess finds out what is behind each door and tells her lover. The mystery of whether she sends her lover to another woman or to his death remains unresolved at the end of the story. The Lady or the Tiger, not only refers to what lies behind the closed door, but to the inscrutability of the Princess, herself; and by extension, female nature. Is she a “lady” or a “tiger”? Or, if she is both, which one is the man going to get? 

At the same time, women can feel equally puzzled about men and their desire to have sex with us. We might have thought that we really hit it off. We were in the mood to have sex with you, but then you gave us a chaste kiss goodnight instead. When it comes to sex and other people’s attraction to us, women often have just as many insecurities as men or the same challenges reading men as men have reading women. Being in the swinger world reinforces the cultural stereotype that men are sexually always ready to go. In the Lifestyle, the only thing that tends to stand in the way of a man having sex with an attractive woman is his wife, the other woman and timing.

The world of swinging can feel very transactional, especially if people feel the pressure to have sex with strangers to make it a “successful” night. This causes both men and women to lose sight of the factors that cause us to have a real physical connection with each other. Often the best swinger sex we have had has been with men we met and flirted with at previous parties. The time lapse, without the pressure to immediately have sex, made the flirting and anticipation far more pleasurable.

Women’s Insecurities

We worry that you may have rejected us purely on a physical level. Was there some checklist to which we didn’t measure up? This can be exacerbated when we encounter men who “neg” us. This type of man spends his time talking to us about the more perfect and desirable women he’s been with. We don’t know if this is a conscious strategy to destroy the woman’s self esteem, or bolster his ego, as being a desirable catch. He may be hoping that if he then offers the woman some little crumb of validation, she will fall into his lap, like a ripe peach, and demand nothing in return.

Sexual. If we have had sex before, and we thought it was good, and then you distance yourselves from us, this can make us feel pretty insecure. Sometimes we’d like to give you a booty call, but we’re too shy or afraid of being rejected. We don’t know if there is a non-crass word for women experiencing the equivalent of “blue balls,” but this is what men do to us when they leave us with our hearts racing, our senses melting with desire, and nothing but our imagination to keep us company.

Personality. Did we talk or text too much? If a woman passionately expresses her opinions, is intellectually engaged with the world around her, and doesn’t agree with everything you say, do you think she’s a bitch? Some men want a woman who is purely an object to be possessed, preferably an inexperienced and malleable ingenue. Some women are into this. However, some of us want to be in a relationship, even if it’s a mostly physical one, where we are treated like equals and men are interested in our thoughts, personality, way of engaging the world, not just our bodies.

Emotions. Some of us desire to emotionally connect, but we don’t want to be perceived as needy or a clinger. Is the man just there for a superficial friendship and a fuck? Is he only looking for a “lite” relationship, with no feelings and no connection? Does he only want to engage us when we are happy? If men are open to emotional connection, how deep are they willing to go? We are not necessarily talking about love and romance. This could be the emotional connection of us sitting together on a couch and sharing things that make us vulnerable. If we are alone and feeling sad, is this the kind of emotional connection that makes it ok for us to call you to come over?

Is this a balanced relationship? Shame, usually for being judged as needy, might prevent the woman from reaching out for help. It probably has the same effect on men, to an even greater degree, as they are socialized to be self-reliant and independent. For a man to ask for help, especially from a woman, may feel like weakness. A healthy relationship is like balancing a bank account. One person can’t be drawing it down and the other depositing in, all the time. There has to be some give and take.

What Turns Us On

Your desire turns us on. That’s right: raw, animal lust. Even in the transactional swinger context, it doesn’t matter if you didn’t know her two hours ago and you won’t see her again, two hours afterward. If you desire us, in the moment, and we are attracted to you, it’s on. Your desire for us and our body is the ultimate turn-on. It’s a hunger. And it’s vampiric. You feed on us and we enjoy being “consumed;” as we, in turn, enjoy consuming you. Your hunger feeds ours. 

Feeling seen and noticed by you. Some of us women are so sick of pursuing men, and worrying that we will be perceived as needy and rejected. This feeds into a gender stereotype, but most of us like when men, to whom we are attracted, actively pursue us. The problem is men have the same fear of rejection and we may not always be giving you a clear signal that we welcome your attention. This results in a standoff that leaves both sides a bit confused and frustrated.

The fact that you are looking at us, and not just at us as one of three or or four other options. If we see you scanning the room or looking utterly detached and uninterested, it turns us off. Your desire and interest is manifested not just by your gaze, but when you notice something about us that sets us apart.

Conversation. People whose chief topic of conversation is themselves or some hobby or interest of theirs, that they have not bothered to find out if we share, are a turnoff. Try to find a topic of interest that we share and that engages us. If you are interested in us, rather than coming up with some overly general question like: “Tell me about yourself,” which leaves most, non totally self-involved people at a loss; ask something more specific like “what keeps you busy?” or “what are you passionate about?” A good conversation is like an enthusiastic game of tennis. You want to run to the ball and serve it back, it’s not just this formulaic back and forth of “call” and “response.” We both like originality -- people who have unusual stories or who aren’t afraid to challenge popular wisdom.  

Touch. So many men we have desired lost their chance with us (or put it on hold) because they did not just reach out and touch us. The best way is to start with with something relatively low-key and see if the woman is receptive. Take her hand in yours, or rub your fingers across her cheekbones, the top of her hand, the back of her neck. Based on her reaction and how well she responds to this, work your way up to bolder moves, of touching and kissing, based on her response at each stage. Claire and I may not be representative of all swinger women, but we love a variety of erotic or intimate things men do with us-- the light feeling of fingertips that makes our skin electric, being able to be comfortably silent with somebody, kissing that grows increasingly more passionate and hungry, looking into the other person’s eyes, and seeing our own desire mirrored in theirs.

That you are protective, make us feel safe, and show your concern for us. We are turned on by your strength AND your sensitivity to our vulnerability and when we see that you are protective of both our emotional and physical safety -- when you call an Uber for us at 3AM and make sure that we get in safe; when you give us a hug and tell us that we’re not “too much” for you when we talk openly about things in our past that have hurt us; this makes us feel safe enough to surrender to you, to be at your mercy, when you passionately bend us over and take us in the living room.

That you are thoughtful. We notice when you do little things for us like help us figure out why that lamp wasn’t working (we didn’t think that the light bulb could have possibly been a dud!) or when you take an interest in what we do and follow up by asking how things are going. Or when you go out of your way to bring us a book about a topic we expressed interest in. You don’t do these thoughtful things to get tally markets on some kind of relationship score card. You do it because you care. Feeling this warmth makes us feel warm in other ways. 

When you show us your vulnerability. Seeing your vulnerability is just as enlivening for us as it is sharing ours with you. Sharing what makes you who you are, not merely what you do, is a turn on. When you reveal your humanity, it makes us feel safe to reveal ours in return. It makes us more comfortable, especially when we can feel free to be a little silly, and not worry all the time about playing a false role of perfection.

When you give us the freedom to give to you in a way that enriches us, not because you feel entitled to it; but when you let us show you that we care, without demand or expectation; and when you trust that we are giving to you of our own free will, because we want to show you that you matter, not because we have to.

Balance is one of the sexiest things a man can have. It manifests as both a desire for connection and a maintenance of independence, as intellect and emotional intelligence, as the areas where we agree and those where we do not, and as space for both silence and conversation.

Friday, November 4, 2016

"Mansplaining" Sex to a Swinger Chick

Her Fatal Flaw
As a woman who has worked in some traditionally male-dominated fields, I have experienced my fair share of “mansplaining” aka “the practice of explaining something to another person, in a condescending or patronizing manner, often a man to a woman, and in situations where the listener may have as much or more experience than the person doing the explaining.”

So how does mansplaining play out, when it comes to sex? In one memorable line, from an otherwise bad movie, “Pretty Woman,” Richard Gere’s character makes that most cosmopolitan of generalizations: “Nothing can shock me” to a street-variety call girl (who really is just a kind-hearted country girl at heart). She replies: “That’s interesting because most people shock the Hell out of me.” 

Shock is not the right word, but most of us, regardless of how much experience we have, still have the capacity for surprise. When the topic is sex, we can, as curious Swingers, always learn something new, or at the least compare notes on the kind of kinky fuckery we like. So, if I have one “fatal” flaw it’s curiosity. I am every archetype of female culpability in that regard. Before the Serpent will have even finished his first sentence, I’ll have plucked the Apple of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and bitten into it, its juices dripping from my chin and fingers. When Bluebeard gives me the key to every room in the Castle and tells me there is only one room I must not enter, I will not be able to rest until I have entered that One Room.

The Perplexing Encounter

So, it was curiosity that motivated me to meet a person who had a very specific Checklist of every quality he found desirable in women, made it clear to me that I was not on it, yet with whom I knew I had common interests, and who told me that perhaps we could help each other out in our respective searches. At the most, I thought we’d have a fun discussion of sex or other topics. At worst, I expected I might get the the backhanded compliment of “You’re not really my type, but I have a friend…” Afterwards, a male friend of mine asked me how that visit went.

I answered: “I’m very perplexed. I think I just sat down for two hours with a man who knew I was a swinger, who explained to me that all male behavior is motivated by the desire to find a repository for “ejaculate” every 48 hours. Imagine my shock upon learning that most men don’t care about my thoughts and personality, they just want to have sex with me.”

My friend laughed. "More like every 4 hours, but go on. How did you end it?”

I answered: “I’m still not sure if he made a veiled offer at the end or not, but it if he did, it was something like he is looking for a woman “who is capable of the self-restraint of not talking and not texting, whom he might be willing to see on a once-weekly basis to “teach” her about sex, but only on one condition.”

“What was that?”

“That she doesn’t fall in love with him.”  

My male friend was sympathetic. “Well, there’s a very simple answer to that.”

“Hmmh? What’s that?”

“Ask for a dick pic. Respond accordingly.”

Her Miseducation and Reprobate Choices

So the question that Vanillas must be wondering is: “Has anything I have seen or done as a Swinger shocked me?” The irony is no. I have had great sex, I have had good sex and I have had average sex. Sex is kind of like pizza. It’s still pretty ok, even when it’s just average. I don’t have sex because I have low self-esteem. I don’t have sex because this is how I get validation. I don’t have sex because I don’t know how to say “No.” I actually have pretty high self-esteem, I have plenty of other things I do in my life that provide me with validation and I’m pretty good at saying “No.”

I am a swinger because I enjoy sex. That doesn’t mean I have sex all the time at Swinger parties or Clubs, or that I am attracted to all people. Many veteran swingers have sex with strangers far less frequently and with more choosiness than a lot of outsiders would imagine. For me, being a Swinger, simply means that I enjoy the freedom of interacting in an environment where people have fun, are open-minded and if there is chemistry and mutual attraction, it is on and the only game-playing is the enjoyable kind.

I think many Swingers are like me. They lived the first halves of their lives as very respectable people. Then they reach a point, where they achieved the things that respectable middle-aged people are supposed to achieve. They see other people documenting their lives on Instagram, convincing themselves that the next promotion, car, house remodel, vacation or the achievements of their progeny are going to make them happy. And they ask themselves: “Is this all there is?” We don’t have remorse. We have regrets. We wonder what if? What if I had had the confidence I have now, when I was younger. What if I had reached out to that boy or that man? What did I miss out on? And some of us reach a point, where we decide to step outside the "little boxes" and walk off the (proverbial) Reservation, and in that walk we achieve a kind of freedom. "In the vanilla world, men propose and women dispose. As a swinger, I’ve learned to propose as well as dispose. I’ve been accepted and I’ve been turned down, and I’ve learned not to take it personally. What another person desires has more to do with that other person, than it has to do with me.  It doesn’t matter if you look like Gwynneth Paltrow if their desiderata is Sofia Vergara...or Wesley Snipes, or they simply have had had one too many cocktails or have to run home to the babysitter that night.

The Money

"In the financial world, whether you are  a man or woman, it doesn’t matter if you are an idiot who couldn’t find their way out of a brown paper bag when it comes to EBITDA, people are very nice to you when you are “The Money” -- aka the person who can write the check. They may "think" you are an idiot; however, their self-interest and desire to get their hands on “The Money,” inspires them to treat you (at least outwardly) with a lot of respect. In the world of Swinging, at least the one I interact with, women are "The Money.” This has to do with the simple fact of supply and demand. There are more more men wanting to interact with attractive, sex positive women who can process the idea of NSA (no strings attached) sex, than the other way around.

The kinds of acts of sexual harassment and aggression that politicians and tycoons seem to regularly get away with don’t happen in the swinger world, where I interact. When men first enter this world, some might think they get to run around like a teenage boy playing Grand Theft Auto, but they are quickly brought in line, and made to understand that if they want to continue to frequent this world, they have to first make sure that both the woman (and her partner as well) are ok with his advances. I have had far more rude things (the kind that were so exotic, I had to look them up on the Internet) said to me or in my (virtual) presence in the male-dominated business world than I have ever heard of or witnessed as a swinger. I have heard of far more disturbing abuses of women from respectable housewives married to extremely successful, prominent men, at the top of their professional field, than I have ever heard of or witnessed in Swinging. 
Delvaux The Great Sirens (1947)
When you have a cohesive swinger community, it tends to be self-policing. It’s in nobody’s interest for the women to become uncomfortable and leave. The main tempest in a teapot, I witnessed in an online Swinger forum had to do with anonymous reporting of “offensive” pictures. The debate centered on whether this was the work of online “policing bots” or a traitor in the community. Swingers like their nudie pics. Those pictures don’t necessarily turn me on, but they don’t offend me either. I recognize that people enjoy posting these pictures and looking at them, and I am glad they have an appropriate place to do this. I haven’t seen anything that involves illegal or degrading acts. When I do go to that forum, I tend to glance over the nudie pics, while appreciating the more original montages or the sex-humor memes.

Because Swinging is a sub-culture that is misunderstood and very harshly judged by the mainstream, Swingers are very protective of their privacy. You can’t come into this world as a gawker, you have to put “skin in the game.” The Community solved the problem of deleting the fake profiles by a simple process of validation of members by members. I guess this would be like a virtual AA meeting, but for deviants. “Hello, my names is Claire. And I am a slut.” And in that world, people who come from very different backgrounds and have very different beliefs on every subject, on which it is possible to disagree, have found a common ground to validate each other.