How Can Swinging Become More Accepted?
Having a Youtube channel has provided some of the most interesting insights on views of sexuality, I must say. Despite our Instagram and Twitter pages being public and available to the masses, we receive mostly words of support and appreciation for our work on both pages. But Youtube? Oh, that's been a whole different beast....
One of our Youtube videos, Hotwifing vs. Cuckolding, recently went viral, shooting from a few thousand views to almost 70k in just a couple of weeks. Along with all of these views came, you may have guessed already, the haters. Some were snarky and judgemental with their comments on the video, saying things like, "How can these people talk so casually about cheating on their partner?" Others were downright hateful, such as one of the most recent: "This is disgusting, Just kill them all."
I've been shocked and saddened at these responses. The truth is, Brian and I live in a vacuum, surrounded by sex-positive and enlightened individuals who seek to understand us, at least on some level. But Youtube has been a dark reminder that we still have a long way to go in terms of acceptance from the general population. Speaking from personal experience, the struggles and challenges we face as a nonmonogamous community can seem daunting, especially with such hateful comments floating around regarding our chosen lifestyle. But the point of this post is not to dwell or complain. Rather, it's a call to action!
What Can Be Done?
Brian and I are two of the lucky few in the swinging community that face few serious repercussions for being "found out" as swingers. We don't have children, neither of us have signed any ridiculous agreements with our company regarding our personal lives, etc. One of the reasons we chose to use our real names on the podcast and put our faces on social media is because we wanted to encourage others like us to do the same. The more of us that show the world that we're unashamed of our lifestyle, the more normalized it will be. Despite the negative comments on our Youtube videos, I hope we got even just a few viewers thinking, "Well, they aren't hiding in the shadows. In fact, they seem proud of who they are. Maybe being a swinger isn't as big of a deal as I thought!" If you can find a way to do the same, publicly express your passion and pride for the lifestyle, please consider doing so, for the benefit of the entire swinging community. Strength in numbers!
We also know there are many nonmonogamous folks out there that are terrified to be "found out" by friends, family members, and/or colleagues. Some in hiding have a very good reason to be afraid. Maybe they signed a morality clause at work, which archaically prohibits them from speaking online or in other formats about nonmonogamous sex. Or maybe they have children they worry would be bullied or ostracized at school if word got out their parents are swingers. If this describes you, please know, we respect your personal journey and empathize with your situation. But I bet you could still find 1 person in your life, one person who doesn't currently know that you're a swinger, one person who wouldn't ruin your life if you told them. Please, tell that one person.
During the many years that LGBTQ people have fought for equal rights and societal acceptance, a similar message was spreading within that community: Be brave enough to come out to those you haven't yet. The reason? It's really easy to judge or even hate a group of people you are completely unfamiliar with. Aunt Laurie may feel zero guilt about her negative outlook on the gay community. That is, until her nephew comes out to her. Now, she has a face associated with homosexuality. Now, she's more likely to empathize.
Nonmonogamy is similar in this regard. Despite the fact that recent studies suggest upwards of 20% of Americans have participated in some form of nonmonogamy, most in the "vanilla world" don't associate it with someone they know and love. To them, swingers are nameless, faceless sex-crazed strangers, different from them in every way. Wouldn't they be shocked to learn that their best friend since college or trusted next-door neighbor participate in the lifestyle? And let me clarify, they may be shocked in a good way, as in understanding, or at least tolerant, of the swinging lifestyle for the first time in their lives!
I'm not delusional enough to believe that all of our problems as nonmonogamous folks are solved with the items outlined above. It's far more complicated. I'm not pretending, for instance, that any of this will fix the hatred toward nonmonogamy by religious zealots carrying their bible verses around as weapons ready to throw at us. But what I am saying is this: We deserve to live in a world where we aren't threatened for our sexual proclivities, where we don't fear loss of our livelihood because of who we choose to fuck. That world is a possibility, but not without more of us stepping out of the shadows to speak our truth. So, let me ask you, what have you done lately to further the cause?
Send us your stories of "coming out" to a friend, family member, or someone else in your life. We may feature you in a future post or even on the podcast! Send responses to firstname.lastname@example.org