< SWITCH ME >

We watch porn. We masturbate thinking of a beautiful stranger who rubbed elbows with us on the bus. We create erotic scenarios that keep us up at night long after turning off the lights. We have sex with our partners and think how great it was – and how we could have enjoyed it even more if they would have done that/said this/been a bit more tender or a bit more aggressive. Maybe we even wish someone else was in the room.

If you’re in a relationship, there are ways to improve your sex life and involve your loved one. If you’re single and looking for an adventure there might just be a nice couple out there looking for, well ... you. That’s right; I’m talking about swinging.

Swinging since ancient times

Long story short, swinging is when people swap partners with each other during sexual encounters. Apparently it emerged from Western cultures, but we’ve all heard stories, dating back from Roman times, when exchanging lovers was common. However, swinging became much more popular during the sexual revolution of the 1960s, when contraception and newer treatments for STDs eliminated many obstacles for its fans.

swinging
Image: zazie_ (CC BY-NC)
Many heterosexual (and also homosexual) couples turn to swinging to spice up their sex lives.

Nowadays the phenomenon is both widespread and discussed more openly. According to a study by the Kinsey Institute in 2005, 2-4% of married couples practiced swinging, while the highest numbers have been reached in the United States.

People swing in private homes or clubs with strangers or acquaintances. Now that swinging is “out of the closet”, the need for a comfortable spot shared with people who have the same sexual preferences has grown. Swing clubs therefore emerged
all over the world, providing people with such spaces and much more. These
clubs usually keep a low profile, but can be easily found online, featuring detailed descriptions of the parties they host, the rules of the house and the clientele they intend to attract.

Let’s go swinging in...

London

It was through the magical powers of the internet that E&M came across Fever Parties, one of the most sought after swing clubs in London. The business took off in 1998, when three couples decided to break out from the dull 60-year-old swing
scene, which they found to be a big turn off. They wanted to create a “clean, uplifting venue” with “young, selected partygoers”, according to their spokesman, George Wells. It’s not an easy club to get into. Before getting excited, you should know they only allow people who are “slim and attractive” and under 40 years old. On top of that, single men are banished from the premises and public figures are discouraged to join – Fever doesn’t like the media attention.

swingers
Image: dance_photographer (CC BY)
The Burlesque can be a great theme for a swinger party.

 The club is careful in creating a high-class, top of the hill image, which sets it apart. The parties take place in different locations to keep things fresh and interesting. Another reason for this is people’s opinion of swing clubs. “Owners often imagine (wrongly) that everyone at our parties must get very drunk, which makes them reluctant to rent to us”, he said.

However, this thorough vetting of the clientele and the general secrecy surrounding the events may seem a bit too much. Apparently there is also the matter of security. According to the spokesman, when the business took off it received a lot of bad press from tabloids writing scandalous pieces about their clients. Even though the privacy law has improved over the years, the club continues to do background checks on its partygoers.

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