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Negotiating Rules in the Swinging Lifestyle

One of the biggest mistakes new swingers report to us is that no rules were developed before they started to swing....

And almost every one of the couples that have told us this follow it up with, "That didn't work at all." Swinging is made successful by carefully negotiated boundaries. Without said boundaries, the chances of one party (or both) doing something relationship-shattering are high. Having a conversation (or ten) about the limitations you each want and need in your swinging dynamic before you ever get naked with other people will alleviate so many of the common issues experienced in a nonmonogamous relationship. Today we will provide some over-arching topics you should discuss carefully before starting your swinging journey!

How Do You Each Feel About Kissing?

This can be a big one for swinging newbies. Kissing is often seen as a very intimate act, and one that some couples would like to reserve just for each other. It's important to keep in mind here: This one is likely to change as you become more comfortable in the lifestyle. Even if you decide in the beginning not to kiss other people, it's possible, and even likely, that kissing others will feel far less invasive as you play more. Still, it's an important topic to cover as you are starting out in the lifestyle.

Which Type of Play is Best?

Many couples stick to soft swapping (or no penetrative sex) when they first begin in the lifestyle. Others want to start with same room play only, as they don't want their partner to be out of eyesight. There are so many different formulas of play available in the swinging lifestyle, and it's important to decide as a couple what makes the most sense for you. Our recommendation: Start slow, and work your way up as you feel more comfortable. For us, when we began, I wanted Brian within earshot of me. Knowing that he could hear me made me feel sexier and more secure, allowing me to focus on the pleasure of the encounter fully. As we evolved in our play, we have opted to play mostly in separate rooms, both with singles as well as with couples. It allows us to leave something to the imagination, and the sexy story-telling later on drives us both crazy!

Condom Usage

We all know we SHOULD use condoms, but that doesn't mean everyone does. While it is certainly our recommendation that condoms are used EVERY TIME you engage with someone besides your partner, this is ultimately a decision you will need to make as a couple. This topic, from our perspective, might be the most important of all: We've had couples tell us, for example, that they were outraged to find out that their partner stopped using condoms with a regular playmate. In other words, the boundary was not set ahead of time that condoms were to be used at all times, so one partner felt he/she had the discretionary power to choose when condoms could be eliminated from the equation. Talk this one through carefully....

Digital Communication Boundaries

With the vast majority of swingers now meeting via swingers sites, the need to discuss how you feel about digital communication is essential. Chances are, you will spend a good deal of time talking to others digitally before you ever meet them in person. One recommendation we make for new swingers is to ensure that will parties are involved in the chatting. For instance, if you are speaking with another couple, use an app like Kik or Telegram to add all 4 people into the chat. That way, there is no question about what is being said, and nobody has to feel left out. Either way, ensure you discuss as a couple the ways in which you are comfortable communicating with others.

Party Rules

At a lifestyle party, it's so easy to get wrapped up in all the sexy fun that's happening. It can truly be intoxicating, and the perfect recipe for disaster with your partner if clear boundaries are not outlined ahead of time.

Some of the items we recommend discussing before heading to any event: What level of play is acceptable at the party? Are you both comfortable venturing off on your own, or do you need to stick together? How much alcohol consumption is acceptable? And finally, what cues will you use for given situations? (ie. Play is a go, no i'm not interested, etc.) Don't wait until you are at the event to have these discussions. We also recommend having this talk before EVERY major event you go to, not allowing one conversation to be a blanket statement for every one you attend.

The most important piece of advice we can provide in terms of setting rules and boundaries is as follows: Allow them to be fluid and evolving. As you gain new experiences and learn new lessons in the lifestyle, your perspectives on these topics will likely change. When Brian and I began in the lifestyle, we had a lot of rules, most of which have gone by the wayside. We learned over time that for us personally, the rules felt stifling and didn't allow for us to experience the lifestyle to its fullest. That being said, I'm so glad we set the boundaries in the beginning and talked through them every step of the way. It helped to ensure we stayed on the same page and got the most fun possible out of every encounter we had!

If you would like more information or an individualized approach to setting boundaries as a new couple in the lifestyle, check out our services at!

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