20 Questions You Should Discuss Before You Join The Swinger Lifestyle

Before Ethan and I actively started playing with others we talked about the lifestyle for at least 6 months to a year, we went back and forth. Sometimes I wanted to jump in, and he backed off, other times he was ready and eager and I was having second thoughts. For some couples where one is more experienced than the other it's easy to let the more experienced partner take charge, in our case we were both new and we needed guidance, thankfully I had a great friend that helped us ask each other the hard questions, which I will now pass on.

Disclaimer: Ethan and I are not healthcare professionals, we are not swinger professionals, this is merely our experiences and offer advice we have used and found useful.


1. Do you want this or are you doing it for the wrong reasons? This was one of the first questions we had to discuss, Ethan wanted to make sure that I was doing this for us and not because he got excited about doing something outside the box. Having both come from monogamous relationships, living open or in the lifestyle isn’t something that naturally occurs when entering a new relationship. We established early on that we both wanted to explore and push the boundaries of a traditional relationship.


2. Why do you want to do this? As two nerdy people we both over-analyze every aspect of our relationships, so going through “the five whys” was natural for us. While I know I wanted to explore my sexual boundaries, part of my motivation was simply because I had a rather sheltered sex life - I had a few sexual experiences and one long term relationship prior to meeting my ex husband. So I wanted to experience more and I wanted to learn more from a variety of sources; sexual education was as important as the sexual exploration. Ethan’s reasons were different, he feels like experiencing these amazing highs and mutual self-discover will bring us closer together. It was something we shared together that made our relationship different from other relationships. Just because our motivations were different, it didn't mean that either of us were in the wrong. We have both been able to give the other person something they wanted.


3. How do you picture your first experience? This is another place where Ethan and I had different desires, I wanted to explore the club scene, I didn't care about making connections past the one evening, as long as we were being safe, I wanted to be the mysterious couple that came in, had fun and left. Ethan on the other hand wanted to find regular play couples, he wanted to get to know the other people we were inviting into our bed, he felt like the better we knew them the better the sex would be. We resolved this by doing both. Now we are actively seeking a friendship group and we will hit the club scene whenever we go on vacation. We made the decision to not enter the club scene at our home town, this has ensured that we are not simply fulfilling my own desires but are accommodating Ethan’s needs as well. Another very key consideration on the topic of first dates is whether you’ll be willing to play on the first date.


4. How will you handle jealousy? Jealousy can happen and at some point in this journey it will, I am lucky because Ethan is not the jealous type, when we play I usually get more attention than him and he enjoys sitting back and watching me. Now at some point we may find ourselves in a situation where he gets all the attention and how will I handle it? Ideally I will be able to sit back and still enjoy the experience and I hope to be able to let Ethan enjoy being the center of attention. We won't know exactly how things will happen but it doesn't mean we don't discuss it. The key here is to be able to maintain an open dialogue and to be comfortable enough to discuss your insecurities with your partner. What helped Ethan was differentiating between sex and love, we’d have sex with others, but we love each other and have our own special connection.


5. How will you handle aftercare? Being part of the lifestyle comes with incredible highs but after it can also come with some lows, I am naturally an introvert but no one can tell upon first meeting me, the few times Ethan and I have attended events I feel physically and emotionally drained afterwards, I don't want to talk to anyone, I don't want to snuggle, I like to go home and wrap myself up into a metaphorical cocoon and recover, this will usually last a day and then I’ll be ready for hugs and reconnecting. Ethan typically doesn’t require aftercare so he is happy to let me have my space and he's ready when I am ready for attention. A couple of days after we play I become slightly needier, I need to feel that we are still a solid couple. At first this behavior confused Ethan, why would I think he loves me any less, but it’s part of the emotional roller coaster, you have to take the low after the amazing high. Sometimes partners don’t need aftercare until a few days after they have had an experience, but each person has to be prepared for it.


6. What is your safe word? Having a safe word is important for anyone entering the world of kink, it tells your partner when you have reached your limit and to back off. Ethan and I have a safe word for when we play with others too. This is so Ethan knows when I am done. If he is really into the activity and I am not feeling it I will usually tell him I’ve had enough, that doesn’t mean I want us to leave, it means I am going to sit on the side for a while as he continues, but if I say the safe word it automatically means playtime is over.


7. What if you’re uncomfortable? I feel uncomfortable a lot, I know that it's mostly because of my own insecurities, but once I push past being self conscious I know I will have a great time. It’s ok to not always be 100% confident and comfortable, but you and your partner must be in total agreement that you are not obligated to do anything either of you don’t want to do. Even if you make arrangements to meet up with another couple, it doesn’t mean you have committed to having sex with them,. You could be a full swap couple meeting another full swap couple but on the evening you meet you might be only feeling like doing a soft swap, and that’s OK, there should be no expectations from either party.


8. Does one partner take charge? This is a question for each individual couple to decide, Ethan and I have a power dynamic where I am more forward and verbal, I usually say how, what, when, and where. But we both have non-verbal cues, he looks for those to know how to proceed, if he can tell that I am physically uncomfortable, I can give him a look and he will take over and shut things down. If I feel he is uncomfortable I will acknowledge and than he will again shut down the play time. If this doesn’t work for you, it may be better to have a word, phrase or gesture that can be used in a conversation to indicate that you do not want to take anything further, as opposed to guessing. I am naturally a people pleaser so if I don't have to disappoint someone than I am happier, he is very much a protector so when I need him to step in, he will naturally take over.


9. How will each partner deal with rejection? One of the misconceptions of being in the lifestyle is that we are all horny buggers that will fuck anyone, but the truth is we are just regular people, Ethan being more of a visual person has to feel a physical attraction, I am more of a sapio, so if I feel an intellectual connection to a duo I know that I will have a good time. We have yet to be in a situation where either of us have felt rejection, however Ethan is aware that I tend to be one that is usually the center of attention, as an older guy he expects it and is prepared for it, fortunately he enjoys watching. Even though we haven’t had to deal with rejection we have agreed that if one of us senses any disrespect, aggression or jealousy issues in the other couple, we will call a timeout and discuss whether or not we want to proceed.


10. What if one partner receives all the attention? Ethan expects me to be the one that gets all the attention, in this lifestyle, men are still mostly straight and all the women are considered bi-sexual so logically the female is the one that receives the majority of the attention. If things were flipped and I had to deal with him being the center of attention, I think it would be harder for me to deal with and it will likely make me more needy when it comes to aftercare, but I would not want him to stop enjoying himself. Part of being in this lifestyle is so we can help each other reach those sexual highs and I am not just in it for self gratification.


11. Will you have unprotected sex? This shouldn’t even be question, because it is of the upmost importance to practice safe sex, even with people you know well. But some people are willing to take the risk if they trust their partners. If you’re one of those people, you should get tested regularly and especially before having sex with a different couple. We always ask potential couples if they test on a regular basis. But we don't take the answer on word alone, we do a visual inspection before any penetration happens, and we always use condoms. Ethan and I also have STI tests on a regular basis, depending on how active we are at the time we will test every 3-6 months. Safe sex is an important part of having a great sex life.


12. Will you incorporate kink into your play? Ethan and I have regular kink sessions between ourselves but so far we have not incorporated kink into our swinging mostly because trust is a critical component of kink play and that takes time to establish. However during a recent foursome, the guy told Ethan that his girl likes to be choked and so he gripped her firmly around the neck, and even though he didn't squeeze this was his first time bringing this into the lifestyle. Incorporating kink play into swinging is a personal decision between you, your partner and the individual or couple you are playing with, and remember that consent and discussing limits and boundaries must be done prior to getting down and dirty.


13. Have you discussed your limits and boundaries? It is important to discuss each others limits and boundaries. If you are adamant you don’t want to be penetrated by anyone but your partner that is a limit and it shouldn’t be pushed. But if you say you only want to start with a soft swap, than a full swap is a boundary that can be pushed for. Ethan and I always start with a soft swaps and we decide at the time whether or not we want to do a full swap, there is no expectation that we will go all the way. We will seek each others permission as well as the permission of the other couple before we proceed to penetration.


14. How often will you play with others? You have to consider your schedules to determine how often you realistically can accommodate playing by yourselves and with others. When Ethan and I started discussing swinging, one of the things that held me back from jumping straight in was the fact that I didn't feel we had enough time to ourselves,. We were living apart at the time and would only see each other a couple of times a week, I selfishly wanted all that time to myself. We had plans to move in together a few months down the line and so I told him that I wanted to hold off playing with others until I felt that we had ample time to dedicate to us. We agreed and waiting until I moved in before proceeding. Now that we go to bed together almost every night we feel our relationship has grown stronger and we have enough alone time.

We recently had another discussion about how often we would want to play with other couples. Between work commitments and child obligations the amount of actual “free” time is scarce, and so I determined that I would be happy with swinging once every two months, whereas Ethan has a little more free time on his hands and he would ideally play once a month. We compromise by meeting somewhere in the middle, and since he has more free time, he is the one that looks for new friends and screens couples and once he finds a couple he likes he catches me up and adds me to the conversation.


15. What is your budget for lifestyle activities? Ethan and I like to attend lifestyle events and to meet couples of neutral grounds. However, the cost of traveling and attending lifestyle events, along with meeting couples for dinner, getting hotel rooms, and so forth, can add up quickly. For example, our recent trip to vegas cost us around $2000, and the cost of attending one swinger event was around $200 and we didn’t even have dinner that night. Of course, there are ways to keep costs down, such as hosting your friends, but since Ethan and I do enjoy immersing ourselves in the community some money is expected to be spent.


16. Will you play solo? This is a question that comes up time and time again, couples looking for either a unicorn or a bull will contact us asking if we play solo. This is a boundary for us, if we feel like there is another person or a couple that we want to play solo with we will ask each other for permission, and each situation is evaluated on an individual basis. Playing solo can be dangerous territory for couples that do not have a strong relationship or have communication issues. Having sex with anyone is an emotional and vulnerable event and it could easily lead to feelings developing. No one with the right intentions will go into the lifestyle with hopes of coming out with someone new, but it can happen, and the risks increase when you allow each other to play solo.

I had a long term friend of mine asked me to play solo recently, and I asked Ethan how he felt about it, he asked me what my intentions were and I was honest that I wanted to play with the other guy because he was so experienced and we had a long friendship and I didnt feel he was a threat to my relationship with Ethan. Ethan gave me the green light however the play session never happened.


17. What is your endgame? At some point, one of you might decide that you are done with the lifestyle, and the other might be ok with that, or might not be wanting to stop playing. We’ve spoken to a few people where one partner withdrew from the lifestyle while the other continued and played solo. Would this be something you’d consider? Or would a major argument ensue because of it? Recently, I decided I wanted to take a break, but Ethan had not yet finished pursuing his initial intentions for entering the lifestyle. Our decision was that Ethan would continue to find couples and screen them, but we’d delay playing until I felt ready to play again.


18. What kind of playmates would you be looking for? It’s challenging finding a four way connection so your choice of playmates is an important topic to discuss. What is most important to you in a relationship will not necessarily be what you are looking for in a play couple. While I personally do not place a high value on looks there are other things that come into play, I find myself highly attracted to well kept, educated men and women, if I happen to find one that is well endowed and high stamina then that’s a bonus. Ethan has a long drawn out obsession with thigh gaps, he also likes women with striking features, but body aesthetics aside he ultimately values a connection that can last beyond the bedroom.


19. How much are you willing to share about yourselves? You will likely want to protect your true identity for a number reasons, but it’s difficult to have a conversation with new friends if you’re always avoiding personal questions. So, you might want to discuss what information you’re both willing to share with others, and whether or not you’re willing to share R-rated photos. You might also just want to tell new friends that you do not want to share personal information so you can avoid personal questions altogether. In our case, we don’t share our true names, phone numbers, and any details of family and jobs. I also have a moratorium on sending any nude photos.


20. How will you find friends? There are many ways to find new friends including apps like 3Fun and Feeld, websites like Kasidie.com and sls.com, as well as clubs and events. Ethan does most of the searching for us and he tends to use apps, and I tend to look for events and clubs because it’s how I prefer to meet people. Be sure to subscribe to my blog or check back in the future when I post a review on the apps and websites where you can meet like-minded couples.



Anytime you embark on new territory in a relationship its always best to do it with your eyes open wide. When I was younger and a little dumber I would have a starry eyed view of living promiscuously, I had no problem having sex without feelings, I automatically assumed I would feel the same way when I entered the lifestyle with Ethan. I was wrong, I became worried that Ethan would judge me, this contributed to my need for aftercare, thankfully I had entered this lifestyle with someone who was considerate and understanding of the ups and downs. The questions above cover many subjects and for some people they might sound repetitive and redundant, but it is designed to cover similar subjects from different angles. Ultimately I want my readers to have an open and ongoing dialogue with their partners, this way you will have a more fun and less fall outs.

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