What is Swinging?

“Swinging” is the practice of ethical “sport sex,” or engaging in sexual encounters with no emotional attachment. Swingers resist any emotional connection with alternative sexual partners and tend to roam in couples. Swingers often hold a distinct bias against polyamorists because they often are uncomfortable with the “feelings” end of sexual encounters. Many times, swinging can be an introduction into polyamory as many individuals feel that a physical connection is less threatening to their relationships than an emotional one. Anonymity plays an important role in the swinging community, and often aliases are used when they are participating in swing activities. This behavior is for the protection of the individual from their activities becoming public and leading to undesired consequences such as alienation from family. It is also a tool used to separate the feelings from the sexuality. I also have been told that there is an element of excitement with not knowing the real name of the sexual partner. Additionally, except for the swing clubs and sex parties, they tend to have different community expectations due to their avoidance of emotional connection. These expectations are discussed in later chapters. Should they make friends within this community, there are often strong boundaries about sexual play among their friends.


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