Swinger Lifestyle

Exposing My Swinger Lifestyle

John and I were recently featured in a news article titled, “Swinging Gran Says Threesomes Make Her Marriage Stronger and Sex With Strangers is Empowering.” It was originally posted in a UK online news feed and within hours the story was global. It reached places like Australia, Hungary, Ireland, Albania and Taiwan. Within a 24 hour period we had been featured in over 40 publications and had even made the television news in China.

But I really sat up and took notice when the story made its way into the Daily Mail.

The article garnered hundreds of comments, some of which were incredibly supportive and understanding about the swinger lifestyle (others not). Here are just a few:

“The great thing in life is we’re all different. My wife loves sleeping with other guys and I love watching. It makes us happy and we’re very much in love. Doesn’t make us worse than you, just different.”

“My wife and I’ve been swingers for about 5 years and met some lovely people who’ve become good friends. It was a mutual decision to start and took about eighteen months before we actually met another couple, and anything we decide to do is again by mutual consent. The social side is just as important as the sexual interaction, and we never play with anybody unless there’s a mutual attraction from all involved. On any swingers site, probably 3/4 of the members never actually meet anybody and are just there for the fantasy or to play games. It’s not for everybody and many regret they ever started, but most people dream of doing it but never do. Oh, my wife and I are 64 and still very sexually active.”

Other comments were from those neutral about couples embracing a relationship model that works for them and wanted to take the opportunity to remind society how important it is to be more accepting of people who choose to walk a different path:

“I just saw your story on the Daily Mail and wanted to leave a message to hopefully undercut the closed-minded comments. I think it’s sad that people conform to our preconceived standards of love and marriage because we’re indoctrinated into it against our natural instincts via Bronze Age fairy tales of sky wizards, regardless of how miserable it makes many people. We’ve accepted miserable marriage situations to such an extent that we have sitcoms such as “Married with Children” that revolve around it. We’re expected to laugh along with these shows believing that as long as you’re happy, nothing else matters.”

“It’s absolutely astonishing how these “godly” people judge. If it doesn’t involve you… why do you care? BRAVO to you, Jackie! In your 50’s and loving life! Continue to do what makes you happy! Your adult children have made their own lives…..you’re teaching them to follow their own path and own it!”

I silently read through each and every one of the hundreds of comments:

“Sorry but I feel if you want to go and sleep around with other people then you should not get married or be in a relationship. And if you do swing then it should be kept private, not plastered all over a newspaper.”

“Animals!”

“If you’re really not at all bothered by your partner being so intimate with someone else then you cannot really love them.”

And my personal favorite:

“I’ve always dreamt of having two men at the same time… one is cleaning and one is cooking!!”

But seriously, it was hard not to become frustrated at the lack of knowledge out there about the swinging lifestyle. There were so many comments about how John and I must not love each other if we swing, or that we have no respect for each other or that we don’t take our relationship seriously. The more I read, I began to see a common theme in the critiques, a repetitive stream of baseless phrases derived from hearsay rather than experience.

Oddly enough, the comments were having the opposite effect: the more I read the more energized I became. Instead of making me feel bad or upset about speaking out, I felt inspired! It was producing a “nobody puts Baby in the corner” kind of moment for me. Sure, it would’ve been easier, I suppose, to not to do the article, but I’m impassioned by this lifestyle and I believe in what the lifestyle can do for a relationship. Besides, if I only spoke to those who agree with me, then I would never have the chance to learn, nor the opportunity to teach.

What if I had dismissed the notion of getting reacquainted with my husband John because of his swinging lifestyle or business? I’m so thankful that I didn’t let preconceived notions about what he was involved in control my decisions. I’ll be forever grateful that I took the time to see life from another point of view and took the time to listen, to really pay attention to what he was saying about the lifestyle.

I know how easy it can be to think we know something when in reality our knowledge stems from years of instruction rather than finding out for ourselves whether something is true or not. Thank goodness I gave John the benefit of the doubt; otherwise, I would’ve missed out on the most loving, caring and nurturing relationship I’ve ever experienced.

What would I say to the naysayers? Well it depends. Sometimes I think there are those in life who simply appoint themselves “the official naysayers,” and take issue with just about anything. To those people who feel the need to try and put people in their place, I wouldn’t say anything… they aren’t who I’m trying to reach anyway. But to those who seem to be posting a question deep inside their doubt, those standing on the outside looking in, the fringers, I do have something to share.

I want them to know that, yes, it’s possible to love your partner and be in a committed relationship while having sex with others. I would tell them that an outside  sexual encounter won’t have a negative bearing on your relationship but could actually be beneficial.

I know this.

I know, because I’ve seen it and experienced it.

I’ve taken that deep breath and looked outside the teachings of my youth, put those teachings to the test and found that not all of them ring true. I’ve debunked my own theories about how life is supposed to unfold or what a successful relationship is supposed to look like. My relationship with John looks nothing like what I was taught was supposed to work in a partnership. But it does work. It is working.

I would tell these people that it’s okay to test what you think you know. It’s okay to change your mind. You’re not wrong and someone else is not right, nor are you right and someone else is wrong. Your relationship isn’t about being wrong or right, it’s about what works for you and your partner, whatever that is.

John and I have decided that swinging is something that works in our marriage. That’s the bottom line, not whether it works or doesn’t work for someone else. You have to find what works… you! That’s the beauty of learning and exploration; the quest, the search, the knowing. Those who never give up the search are the people who will succeed in their relationships. They’re the couples who have prepared and packed for the long haul.

Last but definitely not least, to those who took the time to comment in support of swingers or those in open relationships, I applaud you.

Thank you for your loving reinforcement of the lifestyle.

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