What is the swing lifestyle?

Ducky Doolittle
Profile Picture of Ducky Doolittle Ducky DooLittle is a sex educator from NYC. She is also the author of "Sex with the Lights On: 200 Illuminating Sex Questions Answered". Ducky has appeared in the New York Times, HBO's "Real Sex", "The Morning Show", MTV, NPR, "The Howard Stern Show" and Playboy TV, to name a few.  Full Bio
Q:

My boyfriend really wants to go to a local swinger party for couples. I am so curious but I am nervous too. Can you give me an idea of what to expect at one of these?

A:

Yes, I can! But keep in mind that every party will be a little different. I can give you enough insight to help you navigate your way around your first party and determine for yourself if the swinging lifestyle is for you.

It’s important to know that whatever kind of sex party you attend, you are never obligated to have sex with anyone or do anything you don’t want to do. You can always show up to check out the scene and, if it’s not right for you, you may leave.

These parties and events may happen in a club that might resemble any nightclub. Or sometimes they happen in private lofts, homes or at larger swinging lifestyle events that take place at hotels and resorts.

If the party has a website, often they will post rules and entrance policies. These bits of information will help you outline what kind of people may be attending and what you might expect once inside the doors. Some rules might seem odd or strict, but experienced promoters know how to create a filter and ensure the right people make it through the doors.

Expect to pay a membership fee. Sex in a public place is illegal in most cities so many of these sex clubs are "members-only." They require you to pay a membership fee to gain entrance and this meets the legal requirements for sex on the premises. This also helps ensure they know who is attending and makes it possible for them to control who can gain entry.

Once your big night arrives, try to mingle and flirt! Everyone is there for the same reason, to meet and possibly play with other sexy and curious people. Most parties will have couches, chairs, a number of mattresses spread around the room, some padded bondage benches or other comfortable surfaces for you to explore. There may be an hour or two of mingling before anything happens or you may find couples and triples playing on every available surface from the get go.

If you do want to play with others, bring your own supplies. The party will probably provide condoms and lube for free, but I recommend you bring your own safer sex supplies, including lube, condoms, dental dams and gloves. Every individual defines what safer sex is for them and will be expected to respect each other’s decisions. Always listen to your instincts and never do anything you don’t want to do. Having my sex play through a safer sex barrier has always made it possible for me to relax and have peace of mind. I have had people turn down a sex act with me because I refused to do it without a latex barrier, but these are my standards. If you choose to have unsafe sex, then you cannot have sex with me. You too can set your own standards and be prepared.

If you see someone you find hot, ask them if you can give them a kiss. If they say yes, lean in and kiss! Gently ask for permission if you want your sex play to progress. Lean your body up against theirs and ask, "Can I touch you here?" Asking for consent can be your dirty talk. And if they are not ready for more, it gives them the opportunity to slow things down. If they say no, just smile, say thanks and move on to your next adventure. You have the same right to consent to each bit of sexual progression; slow it down or stop it at any time.

If someone approaches you and you are not interested, you always have the right to turn them down. Be kind and polite with your refusal. If someone turns you down, be polite and simply look for your adventure with someone else.

Sex parties can be a great way to explore your sexual curiosities, a wonderful way to learn how to talk dirty, and a fun means of picking up new sexual techniques. Shave, shower, smell good. Wear something that makes you feel beautiful. Prepare for anything and expect nothing and you are bound to have a great time!

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