Stop Swinging: Throwing the Baby Out With the Bathwater? No, Not Yet


Stop Swinging: Throwing the Baby Out With the Bathwater? No, Not YetI have been having an internal debate on hanging up my hat on swinging, or my club wear as the case may be. At this point, I’m questioning if the good outweighs the bad.

The first thing bad thing has been to confuse the high from oxytocin from NSA sex with something real and to get fooled. It really sucks to have someone tell you that they love you and paint a great picture of the future to the point that you make career decisions, consider moving closer, and even introduce the kids. And then for them to turn around and dump you by text because…. Because, why? Because of their jealousy issues and control issues. Because of discrepancies in fighting styles and miscommunications. But, ultimately because we’re not the people they had idealized and put on a pedestal and never were.

It also really sucks that people you thought were at least somewhat sensible turn out to be complete gossips with half the story. Or more likely a sugar coated version of a quarter of the story. My favorite quote about swinging is that “it is the biggest pit of vipers since high school.” Thus, I’ve found another life lesson that turns out to be applicable to swinging: to quote Maya Angelou, “When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.”

Several people who I immediately didn’t trust have proven to be completely untrustworthy. Mrs. Bear showed me she was untrustworthy the first time we played when she intentionally broke one of our two rules. That should’ve been enough to make us move along but I was a young and naïve newbie then.

It also sucks to find out that someone who you implicitly trusted would tell you what he thought you wanted to hear rather than trust that it was ok to tell you the truth. Or trust in you enough to know that it was ok for them to let you know they changed their mind. It also sucks for them to get really upset and hurt and then having to deal with the fallout after you believed their explicit “Yes” the first time. So it sucks to find that Cooper’s recent advice on may not be valid.

Plus a whole lot of things specifically related to swinging that suck, at least, for me.

I don’t like that some people, including staff, at certain clubs don’t respect that a closed door means “Keep The Fuck Out”.

I don’t like being held down.

I don’t like being insulted during sex.

I don’t like being ordered around during sex.

I don’t like hands around my neck and the threat of being choked.

I don’t like my hair pulled.

I don’t like it when people don’t listen and fucking stop doing something when I tell them I don’t like something.

I don’t like being repeatedly asked to do certain sexual things when I said No.

I don’t like that for some assholes “No means No” really equals “No is just the starting point for negotiations”.

So at a minimum I will certainly chalk up recent experiences as more life lessons to be more cautious. At this point I am also planning a break on any new playmates for a while. I realize there are a lot of great people out there. I have met some of them. There are also a lot of assholes and a few outright predators. In any event, for the time being it seems like more fun to spend time with known awesome people than to work hard to separate new potentials from those who are “drama”.


Ms. Scarlet is a newbie non-monogamist. She lives in a really Red part of fly over country, hence the name Ms. Scarlet. She likes contact sports, massages, rum, fast cars, ice cream, and good oral sex - not necessarily in that order. You can find her discussing the latest sex news and other things on Twitter as @MsScarletBlogs


  1. Um, wow. That list of things “specifically relating to swinging” makes me think twice about my curiosity about swinging. I’m active in the kink scene, where doing ANY of that boundary violating crap without negotiating it is unacceptable. Seriously there are people that do that? That sucks and I’m sorry it happens to you.

    • Boundary violations, instability, non-consensual initiation of kink, etc.. This stuff isn’t unique to swinging, but that’s a terrible way to defend swinging.

      Ms. Scarlet, reading how you’ve met people through swinging who have violated the agreements they made with you flat out pisses me off. I like to think we’re better educated, better emotionally prepared, and better able to listen and communicate and agree to play in ways that are healthy and pleasurable.

      But I have to remember and unfortunately… we all have to remember, there’s no bar for entry into the world of non-monogamy. Anyone can call themselves a swinger, a polyamorist, a non-monogamist, anyone can have multiple partners. Not everyone does it in healthy, considerate, desirable ways and that sucks, and… I’m sorry.

      But, @PolyRedHead, this shit isn’t unique to swinging, it’s unique to life, to people and it’s horrible that it is, but it is. I’ve been the shoulder for more than a few people who have struggled with having agreements violated in the heat of the moment, who’ve been pushed well past their breaking point during scenes and were unable or unwilling to put an end to it for various reasons, I’ve been party so more than a couple people who have run roughshod over multiple other people emotionally and nearly spoiled those people on non-monogamy for good.

      The kink scene is not immune to this, nor is any other scene or community, but the fact is we need to deal with it. The bar for entering and becoming the member of a typical swing club is -very- low. The bar for maintaining a membership at a dungeon is a little higher and usually requires a little education and the acknowledgement from a couple people that the new person is safe. It’s a -better- system but not perfect. The number of male “doms” out there that think they know how to dom a woman but really just want to get what they want out of someone, all other considerations be damned is insane, it’s just as rife as the perception of single males in the swing lifestyle.

      At the end of the day, swinging is just a path to getting what you want. You don’t have to call yourself a swinger, you don’t even have to “swing” with other swingers. There are multiple ways to have casual sex, casual relationships, or multiple partner encounters without dealing with “swingers”, but if you -are- looking for that and you approach swingers like you approach other random people you may meet… with caution, consideration, and an open mind, you may find people that really will fit what you want.

      • PolyRedhead on

        Thank you for the thoughtful and thorough reply to my quickly dashed off comment, Dylan. I agree that there are jerks, boundary violators, and botched negotiations in nearly all communities involving humans, kink included.

        Yet in my time in the kink community, I have managed to avoid being non-consensually choked, insulted, or restrained, ever. Maybe it’s a combo of luck, clearly asserted boundaries, and partner selection. It horrifies me to think that such behavior would be okay with swingers. I like to believe it would not be tolerated in a kink group, although perhaps that’s my rose glasses, as I hear regularly of serial predators in kink as well.

        Your point about many ways to swing is well taken. I admit to a fascination with clubs and their perceived glamor, though.

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