Swinging (sexual practise), also known as wife swapping or partner swapping is a non-monogamous behavior, in which partners in a committed relationship engage in sexual activities with others as a recreational or social activity. Swinging can take place in a number of contexts, ranging from spontaneous sexual activity involving partner swapping at an informal gathering of friends to planned regular social meetings to "hooking up" with like-minded people at a swingers' club.
The phenomenon of swinging, or at least its wider discussion and practice, is regarded by some as arising from the freer attitudes to sexual activity after the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the invention and availability of the contraceptive pill and the emergence of treatments for many of the sexually transmitted diseases that were known at that time.
The swinger community sometimes refers to itself as "the lifestyle", or as "the alternative lifestyle". The term "wife swapping" or "partner swapping" is criticized for not accurately describing the full range of sexual activities in which both singles or couples may engage, which is not limited to conventional sex with a person other than their regular sex partner. Other terms sometimes encountered are wife sharing, partner sharing and wife lending, which describe similar concepts, usually in sociological or anthropological research.
Reasons for swinging
People may choose a swinging lifestyle for a variety of reasons. Many cite the increased quality, quantity and frequency of sex. Some people may engage in swinging to add variety into their otherwise conventional sex lives or due to their curiosity. Some couples see swinging as a healthy outlet and means to strengthen their relationship. Others regard such activities as merely a social and recreational interaction with others.
According to 2005 estimates by the Kinsey Institute and others, swingers account for two to four percent of married couples with numbers in excess of 4 million people in North America. As of 2011, some experts believe that there are as many as 15 million Americans swinging on a regular basis.
Swinging sexual activity can take place in a sex club (also known as a swinger club, not to be confused with a strip club). Swinging is also known to take place in semi-public venues such as hotels, resorts, or cruise ships, or often in private homes. Different clubs offer varied facilities and atmospheres, and often hold "theme" nights. Furthermore, many websites that cater to swinging couples now exist, some boasting hundreds of thousands of members.
- Orgy: having sex with more than one partner at the same time in the group of two or more couples.
- Threesome: three partners having sex in a group. Either two guys and one girl or two girls and one guy.
- Bi-Sexual: person's acceptance of and participation in multiple sexual orientations. Bi-sexual are willing and open about having sex with both men and women.
- Wife-Swapping: couples who meet and exchange partners for sexual encounters.
- Swinger Party: gathering of open-minded couples and individuals who get together to explore their sexual boundaries and maybe party a little bit. At the swingers party multiple partners often enjoy the sexual action by watching from the sidelines.
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