The Reluctant Husband – What Happens When She Wants To Swing But He Doesn’t?


what happens when she wants to swing but he doesn't

From an outsider’s perspective, we probably seem like the ideal couple to start swinging. Mid 30s, married, physically fit, attractive, fun loving. But beyond that, we’d always hung on the outskirts of “normal”, even before we met. I’d had my share of bisexual experiences, while he was an exhibitionist/nudist of sorts. We’d even actually met naked, at Hedonism III in Jamaica! He was there as a single man, while I was there with a girlfriend. It would seem as though swinging was meant to be, just a natural progression of sorts.

A few years later, we found ourselves married and living in Las Vegas. As all of our friends and family were back East, and we found ourselves spending a lot of time together. A lot. While lovely at first, we started to get a little tired of spending our weekends just going out to eat and coming home and watching chick flicks. We reminisced about Hedo, talked about my bisexuality, and decided we needed to find some open minded friends to hang out with. After a few misguided searches (hello Craig’s List!), we stumbled upon a few lifestyle websites and decided to check out some of the parties. At that time, we never really contemplated swinging, per se- we just wanted to get out of the house, meet some fun people, and hopefully make some friends.

We started going to a few meet & greets and parties, more for the socialization than anything else. I enjoyed the flirting, meeting new people, dressing in my sexy outfits, while my husband enjoyed talking and socializing. Once it was time for the after party, though, we’d head home. However, I started getting more and more curious about what actually went on at the after parties. My husband was less inquisitive. “It’s just people up there having sex,” he protested. “Why would you want to go see that?” “I don’t know…I just think it would be interesting. It could be sexy. Maybe I could be with another woman again there? Or maybe more?” After a few more conversations, he finally relented. I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t want to at least check it out.

The first few after parties were a mix of awkwardness and titillation. Everyone went back to a hotel suite, where the women changed into lingerie, danced, everyone flirted, and couples would gradually wander back into the bedroom areas and start having various levels of sex. My husband, ever the nudist, found that getting at least partially naked was encouraged, and embraced that side of things, eventually getting a reputation as “Naked Guy.” I was able to make out with girls, and we gradually started making a few friends that we started hanging out with outside of the parties. We even went to an on-premises club one night, and again, although we did not play with other couples, we had a great time dancing, drinking, and hanging out in the hot tub. We started to become semi-regulars at the various parties and events and gained a circle of amazing friends. We posted pictures, read the websites, browsed the forums, and looked at profiles and photos. Still, the most that ever happened at any of these parties was girl-play for me. I wanted more. My husband didn’t. Watching the couples (and singles) go into the various rooms, watching the women and men gain so much sexual pleasure from their exploits, hearing the stories, seeing husbands and wives take delight in the enjoyment of their partners, it was something I wanted to experience too.

My husband didn’t share my enthusiasm. “Why would you want to be with someone else?” “Why would you want to see me with someone else?” I found it hard to articulate why. Somehow, “I think it would be hot” didn’t seem to cut it with him. I tried to emphasize that it wasn’t because I was unhappy or dissatisfied with him, but because I was attracted to the newness, the excitement, the thrill of it all. I was curious about what it would be like with someone else; how I would feel seeing him with someone else. And I wondered, “Why doesn’t he want this?” Any other man, I thought, would love this idea. Getting to be with another woman while seeing me enjoy myself too.

From everything I read, it seemed like in most cases where the couple wasn’t totally in agreement about swinging was because the woman was reluctant, not the man. What was wrong with us? What was wrong with him? He didn’t even like the idea of admitting that we were, on some level, “in the Lifestyle.” Whenever someone inquired at a party or event, he’d always qualify it by saying, “we’re not really swingers or anything…we don’t do any of that hard core stuff.” I found myself chiding him about that, reminding him that sounded rather insensitive and borderline judgmental, all the while hoping that maybe, one day, we’d “graduate” to some of that “hard core stuff.”

Despite my husband’s reluctance, we still inched forward in our Lifestyle adventures. Somehow, we found ourselves not only at parties in public-ish venues, but private parties, house parties, small gatherings. He became friendlier, less likely to shy away when women showed him attention and affection, and received some oral stimulation on a few occasions. He became freer with me as well, not becoming as tense when men as well as women were a little more physical with me, and we even discussed the possibility of me being with another man while in bed together after a particularly fun party. We had our setbacks, though. One evening at an on-premises club, he got a little too drunk and went further with a woman than he felt comfortable, and I was in a situation, that while innocent, looked pretty bad to him. So we talked. Talking…that’s probably the greatest benefit this Lifestyle has had to us; it increased our communication, even about things that weren’t always easy. Looking back, I guess we achieved what we initially set out to do: to meet people, have fun, and become part of a wonderful group of open-minded friends.

Maybe we won’t move any further. Regardless, we’d found a spot that suited us for now…even if he doesn’t want to accept that we are swingers!


Devin has navigated her way through the lifestyle as both a married and single woman. She seeks to quiet the slut-shaming voices in her head, be present in the moment, and push her boundaries, all in the throes of friendship, community, relationships, and love... With a little submission for good measure.


  1. I love this article… So well put. It was nice to hear a female’s point of view on the topic. Getting into the lifestyle can be a slow process. Many partners can feel reluctant out of fear of emotional connection with others or the change in the dynamics on their own relationship.

    • I don’t understand why I’m always the one that want to see the partner Or wife be with another person. That is the reason that you get married say that you are for each other only. I’m not putting down others that want to do that but I’m just saying why in the hell with anybody that is married want to share the person that they are married to her supposed to love only them.

  2. CuriousWife on

    I’m glad I stumbled upon this article. I am very enthusiastic about exploring my sexuality with my husband by entering the lifestyle, but he is very reluctant. We went to an on-premises club recently, and while he was very tense while we were there, we had the wonderful sex in ages when we got home. He had said he wanted to return, but when I showed a little too much enthusiasm while we were on a lifestyle website, he got angry with me. I very much want us to do this together, but understand that if he is not ready, he is not ready. He even expressed confusion about not being into it more. I guess we will see what the future holds, but I appreciate knowing that there is hope. 🙂

    • I guess I understand it from the husbands perspective, because I have been there even though it was my idea to give swinging a try in the first place. For one thing we found that swapping with another couple as I had originally envisioned wasn’t the long term norm. It is hard enough for 2 people to click but having all four click to the degree of wanting to have hot sex just didn’t seem to happen as much as pairing. And then I discovered that my wife was a much hotter commodity in these situations than I was. I did allow her some discretion to have overnight encounters solo. Being with her afterwards did lead to some periods (several days to weeks) of hot sex, but I also did feel a sense of being left out at times. Being a guy I also felt like I should be able to protect her and control the situation. I think I was headed towards a level of comfort, but she finally said one night that she loved me, but she didn’t feel that I would every be comfortable with her developing relationships with other men. And just like that it was over. So yes… from my perspective there is hope, but you may need extreme patience and a strong ability to see things from your husband’s tortured view point, allowing him to feel that he has some control, as things progress.

    • Why would you want to get married if you want to have other men/other women. It really doesn’t make sense to me that you want to have a marriage and say that this person is the love of your life and you want to spend the rest of your life with them but then be shared with other people/strangers and feel OK with your marriage. I have read a lot of things on these websites about the lifestyle and it seems to be contradictory in the explanations of why they want to do things with other people. If you are married then you are supposed to be together with each other but not being shared with other people. Why don’t you just get a divorce and then you could do whatever you want to do with anyone you want to do it with

  3. We’ve been to several parties, but I do it for her, and her alone. I don’t want anyone but my wife, and she can’t understand that. She drinks to loosen up, and after what I felt was her being taken advantage of in a drunken state at our first party, I’m just not into it. I go simply so she can socialize, and keep an eye on her. We have met some nice people who understand what our boundaries are, but I still wish we could find groups with other interests. Sadly, I will soldier on, since I do not want her to feel like a bird in a cage, even though she knows I don’t like it. What I can’t tell her is how much it hurts for her not to understand me.

    • Obviously your wife doesn’t give a damn about your feelings. I’m sure your wife understands that you don’t want that and she is just saying shut up and deal with it and you are not putting your foot down and saying no. If she wants to have this kind of lifestyle and you do not want to then let her get a divorce and then she could do whatever she wants and you don’t have to worry about what she’s doing. Your wife wants her cake and eat it too but have you choking on the cake that she is preparing for you.

  4. I understand this somewhat. We’re in the lifestyle because it brings sexual pleasure to my wife and it’s a highly interesting experience for me. But it doesn’t turn me on. Sure, I can do what needs to be done, but I’m really only excited to be with her. Once the experience of it wears off we’ll see what happens.

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