Spiritual Swinging


Spiritual SwingingOn Saturday night, my play partner at the swinging party ordered me to the kneel on the floor and suck his cock, and I delighted in obeying. He triggered my excitement by coaxing “thank you, sir” out of me and commanding me to bend over.

I spent Sunday afternoon taking the first step to becoming a member of the Unitarian Universalists (you know, the ones with all the gay ministers and the crazy progressive sex-ed program). As I listened to the minister– the earnest and thoughtful minister– an epiphany hit me: swinging can be a path to discovering not only my own sexuality, but it can also be a model for how I want to interact with all people.

As such, this essay is about sex as a mirror for how we treat each other and how we treat ourselves. Coming back to the D/s play above, I did not realize in that moment the different spiritual principles that were already at work (of course not! I was very, very, wet). My play partner was helping me find a facet of my sexual truth. We were intensely present with each other. And I knew that he recognized my worth as a person from the way that he treated me outside of the scene.

Recognizing the inherent worth of the person with whom I am interacting, an essential Unitarian principle, can be tricky. How many times a day do I reduce people to their thoughtless actions? And in turn, how many thoughtless actions do I commit every day? The carefulness of the interactions between the people at the swinger party may have a purpose– to make people feel comfortable enough to share their vulnerable sexual desires with each other– but this didn't make me feel any less accepted. The simple transgression of sexual and cultural norms by being at this party created a kind of community in which I had the impression that everyone was trying to see through each other's baggage and communicate with each other on an open and non-judgemental level.

Communicating openly did not mean that I wanted to have sex with everyone, but I did feel encouraged to acknowledge everyone where they were on their particular sexual path. Meeting each other where you are on your path is another essential Unitarian principle. Swinging especially encourages giving your partners the freedom to follow an evolving sexual journey. Pegging, being tied up, getting fucked with an impossibly large wooden dildo, and deciding NOT doing anything sexual all occurred that night. Because there was both a social area and a play area, no one went into the play area if they didn't want to play. A few people just socialized.

The last thing that struck me as exceptional at the party was the way that sexual experimentation was detached from the culturally-ingrained dating practice of reciprocal sex. Meaning, in a “normal” sexual situation, I would most likely fuck the guy making out with me on the couch. But here, as my more experienced friend stressed to me a few times, you can just ask to do whatever sexual act you want with a person and leave it at that. Just making out was fine. Only giving a man a blow job was fine. At the end of the night, the host graciously played with me, and after I came, I asked him if I could do anything for him. He said, no, thanks, he was fine, and he just stroked my body for a long time. It was so delicious. I think that the multiple sexual experiences possible at a party takes the pressure off to engage in everything that we desire with just one person, leaving a wonderful space to try what may lie buried beneath the cycle of kiss-oral sex-fuck.

Yes, I believe swinging and spiritual practice together can help me understand how to create the ideal of interacting harmoniously in the world. I do want to try to see the worth of people that I interact with in “normal” life; I do want to meet them where they are on their life journies, and I do want to let go of culturally engrained expectations. I think I'll keep practicing at the next play party.


After several years living in a slightly humorless European country, Fanny Hill washed up on the friendly shores of Chicago. She enjoys chatting with the cashiers at the grocery store and the reciprocal smiling of strangers in the street.

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