Surprising Facts about Non-Monogamous Relationships
Swinging is all about having intimate experiences with your partner
Posted March 12, 2015
Interview with Anna Miller from 4 Real Swingers
Brit: Hi Anna, you are one of few who have publicly come out and told the world that you are a swinger wife. Most swingers do what they do behind closed doors. So, most people don’t quite know what exactly “swinger” means, what swingers do and why they do it. I am hoping this interview will shed some light on this lifestyle.
Anna: Hi! Thank you for opportunity!
I have noticed that many of the students in my Sexual Ethics classes initially think that a married swinger couple is a married couple who have an open relationship. So, my first question is, what is the difference between an open relation/marriage and a swinger lifestyle?
Anna: My first knee jerk reaction to that question is to say that an open relationship is one that won’t last very long, as compared to a swinger relationship… then I’d laugh a little and tell you this. Those are two very different types of relationships. Swinging is all about sharing your partner’s experience with them. Being able to be “open” about your desires, feelings, and then being able to act upon them as a couple, together. Swingers can have several rules that fit best for them as a couple. Some swingers only “soft play” where they may do oral, or maybe even same room sex with other couples with only touching allowed. Some swingers have a no oral and/or no kissing rule as they may feel that it’s too intimate. Some other swinging couples may have no rules what-so-ever, just as long as they are together. An open relationship, on the other hand, might be a couple where the female is free to leave the house on her own and pick up guys and girls, and have sexual relations with them, and maybe the guy can as well. If the female can and the guy can’t, this is usually referred to as a “hot wife” lifestyle.
Do you think swinger marriages/relationships last longer than monogamous marriages/relationships because the two parties have less incentive to cheat on each other?
I don’t have hard numbers on this, and I’m sure that there are multitude of reasons why marriages don’t work. I do know this, Bruce and I have been in the lifestyle for 19+ years, longer than we have been married, which is 15+ years now. If I were to describe our marriage, I would say we are completely and hopelessly in love with each other!
I think with any relationship, it’s a work in progress. Everyone has their up times and their down times, it’s a matter of how committed and deeply in love the partners are, and whether they can work through those down times. We have seen couples get into the swinging lifestyle as an attempt to fix a broken marriage, but as you may know, the swinging lifestyle is not a Band-Aid for a marriage. If you don’t already have a strong trusting relationship, the lifestyle will most likely not turn out good for you. On the other hand, as you mentioned, there isn’t the desire to cheat in a swinging relationship, so I would think that could be one less problem and/or complication. I think swingers as a whole are more open and in tune with their partners, and they are often more able to work through those down times.
Do some swingers ever get jealous when they see their partner with another man/woman?
Anna: As I mentioned before, we have seen couples come into the lifestyle, trying to fix something. Those couples often get jealous. We have also seen couples where the male persuades the female into the lifestyle, then the female finds out that she loves it, and kind of discovers her sexuality, and sometimes it’s more than the male was ready for.
What made you decide to opt for a swinger lifestyle? Was it an easy decision? Or did you have think about it?
It was an ex-boyfriend of mine that wanted to have a threesome, two guys and me, it never worked out, my ex-boyfriend got jealous before it even happened. I told Bruce this story when we were dating, and he asked if I still wanted to try it, to which I quickly answered yes! He asked one of his buddies, and we ended up having a great threesome, we even filmed part of it as we thought we may never do that again… lol! After that, we talked a lot about our experience, whether we might want to do it again, and if we would want to, who else we might bring into our bedroom, what fantasies to carry out, etc, and almost a year went by before we decided to do something again, this time with a couple, and they introduced us to some other swingers, the rest is history :). Overall the decision needs to be made by both partners, and both partners need to be completely comfortable about whatever their next step is. There is no “un-ringing the bell” with this type of decision, so if you are a couple reading this, the first and most important step is to talk to your partner, and find out what he or she might be interested in.
What are some of the main virtues of the swinger lifestyle?
Being open and honest with your partner, and not judging others.
Are there any drawbacks?
Well there’s always the fact that you have to go back to work on Monday, and that you don’t get to spend more time with your swinger friends!
In broad strokes, what goes on at a swinger party?
Swinger parties can vary a lot. We once threw a party where we had close to 40 couples, and all of them were having sex with someone pretty much the entire night… It was a pool party, so it was warm outside, our air conditioner couldn’t keep up with all of the body heat! But for the most part most of the swinger house parties we have been to start out with people talking around a bar, or kitchen island, eating some food, and having drinks. As the night moves along, some couple might hook up with other couples and escape off to a bedroom for some fun. Some other couples are more voyeuristic in nature and might play with other people out in the open. It usually completely depends on the couples, and no two parties are ever alike. If you are a new couple and go to a house party for the first time, don’t think that you have to have sex with others, we have all been the new couple before, and understand that it’s a process that not everyone can jump into with both feet the first night.
Do single people attend swinger parties?
This depends a lot on the host of the party, and the group they have there. We have seen singles at parties, but it’s a little bit rare, when there is a single there, it seems that it’s usually one person, and not a “group of singles” or anything like that. Usually it’s a swinger couple's friend that they play with, someone they brought along to the party.
How do you guarantee safety at swinger events? For example, how do you keep out psychopaths or plain idiots?
Ha… we have had a few sociopaths over the years, and sometimes it takes meeting a person like that a few times before you might realize their true personality, overall those types get filtered out. I can say this… In the 19+ years we have been going to swinger parties, we have yet to see a fight. It’s just usually not that type of crowd.
What happens if you meet someone at a swinger party who you had no idea would be there and who wasn’t exactly the kind of person you were hoping to interact with, for example, your dentist, your first-grade teacher or the guy in the cubicle next to you? … And did that ever happen to you?
This hasn’t happened to me personally, but it has happened in front of me a few times with friends bumping into other people they know. Friends of family, co-workers of family, etc. It’s usually an awkward moment for both, but overall they realize that they are both there doing the same things, have the same interest, etc.
If people are thinking about trying out the swinger lifestyle, what sorts of things should they take into consideration?
Anna: Bruce once told his buddy to think about the sweet sounds his wife makes while they are having sex. His buddy replied to him, yes, ok… Then Bruce said now turn up the volume about 2 times and that’s what she will sound like when she’s having sex with someone new :) On the serious side of things, it’s all about communication with your partner. Make sure that you both have agreed to whatever rules you set, and don’t break them!! Take things slow, and at a pace that you both can feel comfortable and most of
all have fun!
Do people ever opt out of the swinger lifestyle after trying it out? If so, what are their reasons? Do they come back?
We have seen some couples come into the lifestyle and then get out, usually we don’t hear much of anything from them when they leave. We have had some really good friends now for about 14 years, and they took about a 4 or 5 year time out of the lifestyle, they got a little burnt out on traveling, partying, etc., and wanted to spend more time with family. They are back now and it’s like they never missed a beat.
If a couple wants to try out the swinger lifestyle, how do they get started?
Today there are so many online resources, as well as local club listings, and swinger personal ad sites, we have found that most areas have a website that might have a larger local population than others. LifestyleLounge.com is pretty good, we have friends in different parts of the country on c4p.com or sdc.com. AFF seems to be kind of where a lot of people start out, but a lot of those ads are fake, and watch out for guys pretending to be a girl and/or couple. I’d suggests any lifestyle site that verifies
their members through other members.
You have a site devoted to the swinger lifestyle, and I noted that you can also become a member of the forum there. Can you provide the contact information for the site and tell interested readers how to become a member?
Anna: Our site mainly features myself, as well as my husband’s and my experiences in the lifestyle. We host swinger parties, they broadcast them live on our site, as well as do weekly webcam shows, and weekly photo and video updates. We have a good swinger club listing, and the forum. To find out more information you can check out www.AnnaMiller.com or www.SwingingAdventures.com (they both go to the same site).
Berit "Brit" Brogaard is the author of On Romantic Love