It may seem odd to think about having guidelines or rules when it comes to swinging, since swinging itself seems outside of a common rule of most relationships; no sex with others. Couples who engage in swinging are allowing their partners to hook up sexually with another partner, sometimes in the same room or bed, and other times in a separate environment. Some even allow their partner to hook up while they do not, perhaps just watching. So, with all the variables involved in this practice, are there actually any guidelines? Do rules apply in a situation that seems rule-less?
1. DISCUSS BEFOREHAND
Are you excited to dive into swinging? Are you elated that your partner is OK with this practice? Sure, you are, but that doesn't mean you don't have to talk about it first. Ideally, a couple who swings with other couples still wants to remain a couple post-play. This means it is absolutely imperative that the couple discuss what can happen, what they do not want to happen, what rules may be in play, and how to handle the situation before and after. Also, there is a huge difference between talking about swinging and actually doing it. So, make sure that your partner is really, truly on board with the actions. Having a completely honest discussion regarding the dos, don'ts and don't-you-dares of the situation will help keep things above board.
2. TRUST IS A MUST
Couples who successfully swing have the absolute trust in their partners. They do not keep secrets or do things that break trust. This can be as simple as understanding that your partner loves you and supports you, therefore anything they do sexually with another person has nothing to do with you as a couple. Or, it can be trusting that your partner will abide by the rules you have set up for the swap. If you do not trust your partner, then this is not an activity that is going to help you to trust them. Couples who do not trust each other will very quickly kill their relationship by engaging in swinging.
3. PUT YOUR SEXIEST SELF FORWARD
Since the idea is to have sex with another person, you should both be putting your sexiest self forward. This means make-up, well groomed, sexy clothing. Put in as much effort into preparing for the meeting as if you were trying to seduce a single partner. You don't want to show up to a meet up, party or club not looking your best. This will not bode well for you there. Most swingers are meticulous about their appearance and are dressing to seduce.
4. FIRST TIME SOFT SWAP
In the swinging community there is a term called the "soft swap". This is when the new couple will engage in activities that DO NOT involve sexual intercourse. They kiss, touch, perform oral sex, but do not have actual sex. Then, they either return to their original couple for sex, or separate and return home after play. Soft swapping is used in many different situations and for differing reasons, including first time swaps, new partner swaps, or it can be the rule of the swinging; no sex. For a first-time swinger couple though, a soft swap will allow the couple to truly gauge how they feel about their partner engaging in sexual acts with another person without actual sex being on the table. It is highly recommended to do a soft swap first.
5. SAFETY MEASURES
While it may seem pretty obvious, it is so important to engage in safe-sex practices during swinging. Swinging couples have a lot of sex with many different couples, or at very least with you, so it is very important to use safe sex practices such as condoms and dental dams. Most of the time there is some sort of STD testing reveal (meaning, the persons have themselves tested regularly) but it is still important to be safe. While this may seem like it takes some of the joy out of the experience, I guarantee that having an STD, STI or contracting HIV would put a damper on the idea of a free-for-all sexual experience.
6. DON'T DRINK TOO MUCH
Sure, you want to get comfortable and take the edge off, especially if you are new to swinging. However, you never want to get to the point where you cannot make conscious choices. Drinking too much can ruin a swapping experience in numerous ways; from passing out drunk, to getting sick mid-play, to breaking rules that you and your partner have set up in the heat of the moment, to doing something with someone that you would never do sober. Maintaining control during a swapping experience is very important, so this means not allowing yourself to get too wasted.
7. SAME ROOM/DIFFERENT ROOM
It is absolutely essential to decide if you want to be able to see your partner with the new partner or would rather be in separate rooms. There are many different schools of thought here, the first being safety. If you have any concerns about something unsafe happening when out of view of your partner, then same room rules may be the best way to go. However, if you want your partner to enjoy the encounter, but know that they won't be able to completely let go with you in the room then maybe separate rooms may be the best way to approach it.
8. EVERYONE HAS A FUN RULE
I think it goes without saying that if you find yourself in a situation where one of you (or one of the other people you are swapping with) is no longer having fun then the situation should stop. The idea behind swinging is to have sexual fun and pleasure as a couple, so if one person is no longer having fun, or has left the swap, then it makes sense to stop. Some couples do agree to continue on even if one person has ceased play, but truthfully it is more important to make sure that everyone is enjoying themselves. There is a term, taking it for the team, which means that one person may not have a strong connection with his swap mate, but he / she takes one for the team, if his partner is enjoying her / himself. Never do this. This is not a good way to end the evening, and it can and will cause jealousy and anger.
9. NO MEANS NO
In this day and age it seems common sense to understand that means stop in a sexual situation. However, in the heat of a moment, when people are starting to get sexually worked up, it can sometimes be tempting to try and persuade someone to keep going after they have said NO. This is absolutely NOT OK, and can and will cause much trouble for you, especially with the swapping couple. If you are ever in a situation where the person who you are swapping with says no, or even implies it, you are to stop immediately and reassess. Similarly, if you are feeling the need to say no, then do it. Never keep going in a situation that is making you uncomfortable.
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