Contrary to what many in the vanilla world believe, swinging can be one of the healthiest things a couple can decide to do with one another. But ONLY if they are already in a place of mutual trust and happiness in their relationship. Today we'll talk through 3 things that can tear a couple apart in the swinging lifestyle if not done properly.
1. Keeping Secrets from Each Other
We totally get it: Many who venture into the world of swinging are coming from relationships where keeping secrets from their partner was second nature, be it with the partner they decide to swing with or a past partner. We also understand that old habits can be very challenging to break. But if you plan to be in the swinging lifestyle, it is essential that you start telling your partner EVERYTHING.
You must start thinking of yourself and your partner as a team. A team must be on the same page in order to win. And in order for that to happen, all members on the team need to be in the know. In other words, don't hide correspondences you have with others, don't hide your feelings about a particular topic, and don't do things behind your partner's back. Instead, provide them with all of the info and give them the benefit of the doubt that they will be understanding of any and all information you provide.
2. Jumping in Too Quickly
We were guilty of this one ourselves when we first started in the swinging lifestyle: We were so excited to get started that we did so without fully thinking through what we really wanted or needed from our encounters. Luckily, for us, we didn't do anything that would have resulted in a relationship-ending catastrophe: instead, we had interactions (mostly Brenna with single men) that were less than positive. We didn't yet know how to communicate our needs and goals with our play partners.
One way we often recommend to newbies to start out slowly: Go to an event with the explicit commitment that you will not play. Instead, go to get a feel for the environment. Watch how other couples engage with each other and with other couples, how negotiations about play take place, etc. And even more importantly than the educational portion of this lifestyle event, go to flirt with other people! See how it feels to witness the one you love most engaging in a flirtatious nature with other people. Then, debrief after: Was it as hot as you thought it might be? Did you experience any jealousy? Do you both feel you're ready to take the next step? This toe dip into the shallow end of swinging will likely teach you a lot without doing anything that could potentially drive you apart.
3. Not Asking for Permission
Many couples, both newbies and swinging rookies, get to a place in their swinging journey where it feels safe to do as they please with others. Let's paint a scene: You're at a lifestyle house party filled with sexy folks. Your significant other is in the backyard chatting with other party-goers, and you are inside sipping on a cocktail. The hottie you've had your eye on all night comes over and makes his/her move. You think to yourself, "Well I don't want to miss out by stopping this to ask my partner if it's ok. And after all, he/she has seen me with other people already. I'm going to go for it!"
Now for some couples, this might work. For the majority, ESPECIALLY for brand-new lifestyle couples, this is a huge no-no. You owe it to your partner to check in with them and provide them with the chance to say, "Go for it," or "I would rather you didn't." Even more importantly, your partner could feel disrespected by your lack of communication. So even if they wouldn't have had a problem with the interaction, they are upset because permission was never granted. Trust us when we say, it's worth the 2-3 minute conversation with your partner about whether something feels right for both of you and is or is not on track to move forward.
We hope these tips will help you if you are considering joining the swinging lifestyle. It's an amazing lifestyle to be a part of, but it's essential that you are taking the right steps to ensure that you and your partner are on the same page with the decisions being made. Not only will it prevent arguments and misunderstandings, but it will also help you build your communication skills as a couple.