So…what exactly is swinging? Why do we not hear nor talk about it in general conversations? Why do people run from the idea of sensually exploring?
Well, I recently spoke with Wendee, co-owner and operator of The Rabbit Hole, an Adult venue situated in Adelaide, South Australia. Wendee stumbled across the swinging scene in the late 90’s and now identifies as polyamorous. The Rabbit Hole Parties is owned and operated by the 4 individuals within her polyamorous and open relationship. The venue is a safe space with an openness regarding exploration of sexual desire and diversification in the form of social and swinging events for all sexual identities and orientations, genders, desires, ages and ethnicities.
Wendee believes she has learnt some of her most valued life lessons whilst being able to explore and express her erotic desires including tolerance and appreciation of diversity, the broad meaning of consent, the experience of autonomy and the importance of sex-positivity within our modern world.
Swinging Vs. Polyamory
Often swinging is confused with polyamory. This is primarily due to the lack of education and stigma surrounding sexual diversity. So, to break it down for you, here are some simple definitions…
- Swinging: a couple that prioritises their intimate emotional relationship, but enjoys exploring physical intimacy with others.
- Polyamory: the practice, or desire for emotionally intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the consent of all parties involved.
- Polygamy: a person is married to more than one person.
- Polygyny: 1 man has more than 1 wife.
- Polyandry: 1 woman has more than 1 husband.
Smashing the Stigmas of Swinging
Like any form of sexual conversation, swinging has a lot of taboo and stigma surrounding it and as always, education is key. So I asked Wendee to help me identify the common misconceptions associated with the wild world of swinging.
Myth: Swinging is cheating
Cheating is when one has something to hide or lie about, whereas, swinging on the other hand, is a mutually agreed and consented activity that a couple discusses and generally engages in together.
Myth: Swingers have indiscriminate sex
Swingers are just normal people, meaning they too are picky when it comes to choosing a partner in regards to attraction and chemistry.
Myth: STIs are widespread amongst swingers
STI’s are a risk despite of what form of sexual relation is undergone. However, non-monogamous individuals are especially aware of the risks and therefore, extremely cautious with regards to safe sex etiquette. Due to the frequency of unfaithfulness within monogamous relationships, there is actually a strong basis of research opposing this myth.
Myth: People who swing aren’t happy in their relationships
This myth is in fact, quite the opposite. Successful swinging involves a new found level of commitment, communication and trust that other couples may never achieve.
Want to become involved in swinging but not sure how?
Here’s some advice from an expert!
- Talk to your partner and make sure you voluntarily agree and mutually consent.
- Discuss boundaries.
- Go at the pace of your slowest partner for optimal support.
- Prioritise your relationship- check in and communicate with your partner often.
- Be patient, compassionate and understanding with each other.
- Recognise that you are navigating unchartered waters and be empathetic in the sense that everyone makes mistakes.
- Learn about safer sex. Correctly use protections in the form of condoms and dams and undergo regular testing.
Ultimately, as stated by Wendee; “Sex is necessary and crucial for human survival, not just from an evolutionary standpoint, but also from a holistic viewpoint. There is too much shame and judgement around the if, when, how, who and where we do sex”.
Just like The Rabbit Hole, Flirt Adult Store is dedicated to educating and promoting sexual diversification in what Wendee believes is a ‘predominately sex negative world’. So even if swinging isn’t necessarily ‘your thing’, don’t shy from it and don’t discriminate. Develop a sound education and open yourself up in order to create a sex-positive, diversity accepting and compassionate world where we as humans can feel liberated and comfortable within ourselves and within others.
Social Media Handles
Facebook: The Rabbit Hole Parties
For more information on not only swinging, but other non-monogamous relationships, please contact Flirt Adult Store or The Rabbit Hole Parties. Wendee also recommended Australia’s largest casual dating website (Adultmatchmaker.com.au), podcasts including ‘We Gotta Thing’ and ‘Swinging Down Under’, as well as the book ‘The Ethical Slut’ for further education.