Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Couples’ Evolving Expectations in the Swinger Lifestyle

Soft Swap vs. Full Swap


Some couples start off with female bi-sexual play only and later decide to expand their soft swap definition to male/female. For some, penetration is thought of as more “intimate” than oral sex and they want to reserve that for their relationship only. Some soft swap couples may progress to full swap if they become more comfortable; others are not open to ever full swapping. Others are more situational and will list their status as soft swap because they do not like the full swap expectation. However, they are open to it if they feel comfortable with the other couple. For some, starting off as soft swap gives more time for foreplay and building of chemistry with another couple before the expectation of anything more. Some couples are full swap from the outset, without the progression from soft swap. It all depends on the couple and their comfort level. It’s important to communicate about these comfort levels with your partner and have agreements regarding how far you will go. Be mindful of how alcohol can loosen your inhibitions. In order to avoid next day regrets, it’s important that all agreements and changes to them are made while sober, or least relatively sober.

Same Room vs. Different Room

Claire and I also wonder how many couples change their swing status from same room to different room and whether this is linked to the time they have been in the LS and their comfort-level with the LS. Both of us have different room preferences. We are not bothered by same room, but simply find it distracting. Some couples prefer same room because they are turned on by watching their partner with others. One woman preferred same room because seeing her partner with someone else eased her anxiety. She found that her imagination could get the best of her with separate rooms, fostering some insecurity. In contrast, another couple may prefer different rooms because seeing their partner with someone else might actually cause some anxiety, and they would rather not see this. It all depends on the individual. Another couple disliked separate rooms because they felt it was too much like going out and “dating” other people. Same room increased feelings of togetherness and gave them a boundary they were comfortable with.



Rules about Communication

Couples may also change their rules regarding communication as they progress in the LS. Some may begin swinging by placing certain limits on communication with the other couple, such as restricting text messages to same sex partners only, communicating only within a group text or chat group, and/or limiting frequency of communication. As a couple grows more comfortable with the LS or even with a particular couple, they may decide to loosen or change these rules. On the other hand, we have heard a few stories of couples who restricted their communication rules even further after being “burned” by another couple or single who pushed against their boundaries or became what they perceived as “too close” to one or both of them. It is our experience that most swingers are respectful of each other’s boundaries, regarding communication or otherwise, and that this prompts most couples to relax their rules, over time.

Social LS vs. “Sport Fuckers”

One of the biggest differences in swing styles is what Claire and I call, for lack of a better definition, the dichotomy between Social LS’ers and Sport Fuckers. Keep in mind that these are two extremes and most people may find themselves somewhere between the two; or, as a couple, or individual, they may evolve in one direction or the other. The Social LS is comprised of people for whom the LS is their primary social life. They feel an affinity with the fun-loving, socially outgoing and open-minded personalities this culture often attracts.

Social LS does not mean the people are not interested in sex, it simply means that sex is not the primary reason for being in this friend group. The Social LS approach to sex is that if it happens, it happens, and that is great, but they are not going to judge or exclude you based on whether or not you have had sex. These people are typically just as happy going to a bar with you and hanging out, attending concerts, music festivals, going to dinner, camping, motorcycle riding, as they are having sex. Social LS people also often wind up supporting each other in their personal lives. In other words, they form true friendship bonds in the LS, and engage in regular outings with LS people that are very much vanilla and invisible to the outside world.

While some people use Social LS as a somewhat derogatory term for people who never have sex, Claire and I find that this is not really an accurate distinction. There are social LS people who rarely have LS sex and there are social LS people who are quite DTF (down to fuck), and those who cover the range in between. Social LS simply means you have some real friendships in the LS and the LS is an important part of your vanilla social life.

At the opposite end of the extreme from the Social LS, are the Sport Fuckers. These are the people who tend to fuck once and move on and notches on a bedpost count more for them than long-lasting relationships. The “Sport Fucker” can also comprise different styles. Some people may be turned on by anonymous sex with people they do not know and will never see again. They often travel for the LS or limit their interaction with the local LS to going to a club or party once in a blue moon. For others, the LS may be so divergent from their more conservative vanilla life that they have to compartmentalize the two and prefer no overlap.

The other category of “Sport Fuckers” would not attend a “vanilla” LS outing like bowling or a concert; however, they frequently attend parties and clubs and may be well known by others in the scene. Their concept of “friendship” in the LS does not expand beyond a half hour of small talk before heading to the playroom or a bit of female/female stripper pole antics on the dance floor. They may know many people in the scene and engage in your standard pleasantries, but are not very interested in non-sexual interactions or repeat play. They are very much “one and done.” In order to successfully interact with this couple, you have to accept that this is the way they are and that not take their lack of desire for further connection personally. Their reason for being in the LS is purely sex. They may be into novelty and they may be uncomfortable or simply uninterested in connecting with other people on a deeper level.



Challenge of 4 - Way Match, Moving to “Full Open”

Finding two people that hit it off enough in order to have sex is challenging enough. Now imagine trying to find a match among four people, which is the case for couple swaps in the LS. The difficulty of finding a true four-way connection, in which opposite sex partners are both attracted to and comfortable with each other, prompts many LS couples who start off limiting themselves to couple-couple swap offs, to move to a full open status. How couples define “full open” may differ, but generally speaking, this term means that you do not limit your swinger play experiences to four way couple swaps. You could limit full open to only playing at the same time and venue. Some couples may feel that anything else is too much like dating as a single; while others are comfortable going out on separate LS “dates.”

Conclusion

These are simply some of the main areas in which Claire and I have noticed couples evolve or diverge in their LS expectations. The caveat is that we are discussing expectations AS a couple, as opposed to different expectations that may exist between the two individuals within the couple.  As always, we welcome any comments or feedback from our audience.

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