Socially acceptable swinging...
We've had a lot of support from people since opening, from both seasoned swingers to people with absolutely no connection to the lifestyle. We've also had some interesting questions and comments from those who may feel that a liberated lifestyle may not be the 'done thing'.
It got me wondering if swinging is really an immoral act... and a few comments from a lovely lady member this weekend inspired me to post here.
What is an immoral act anyhow? Immoral is defined as something that is doesn't conform to socially accepted levels of morality. That's a little difficult to pin down, as any historian will tell you, morality is something that changes over time and across differing cultures. What may have been seen as immoral within your grandparents lifetime (homosexuality, unmarried parents etc) would now be deemed nothing of note. Likewise, what may be seen as morally acceptable behaviour - 'anyone for a pint?' - within the East Midlands may be deemed completely incompatible (and possibly illegal!) to differing cultures and legal systems across the world.
Immorality can be seen as something that is unethical or bad. In fact, there are a number of synonyms for 'immoral', including 'wicked, evil, unprincipled, unscrupulous, dishonourable, dishonest, unconscionable, iniquitous, disreputable, fraudulent, corrupt, depraved, vile, villainous, nefarious, base, unfair, underhand, devious...' the list goes on. However, I don't recognise the act of swinging within any of those words. Seasoned swingers will be aware of the unwritten rules of the lifestyle, and woe betide any who go against them! We only play with other consenting adults. Drugs are a no-no to us as it removes the safety of consent. A little alcohol is great, but drunken fumbles are against the code, not only because it reduces performance, but also because of the idea that a drunk playmate isn't a fully consenting playmate. Are we wicked and evil? Most of us have a perfectly normal family life and professional-level careers - we're not exactly James-Bond Villains, our wickedness may come out with a leather outfit, but that's as far as it goes.
Perhaps the act of swinging could be seen as dishonourable or dishonest? Again, no. Couples that play together have to be completely honest with each other, and keep open communication to have a happy swinging relationship. Dishonesty just doesn't work and ends up creating a bad experience for all involved. We're all human, and all make mistakes of course, but any unfair or underhand swinging experiences are not the goal we're looking for.
So, is swinging immoral? Some may see it as something that isn't for them - of course, we all get up to what is right for us in our own bedrooms and behind closed doors - some people like tantric sex, others within a committed, religious relationship may only ever have one partner, others maybe in a long term NSA agreement, some like to entertain a nudist/naturist lifestyle, others get their kinks with baking...everyone is different. However, the comment from the lovely lady member this weekend did make me think - why is it deemed socially acceptable to go out to get drunk at a weekend, cheat on a partner without using protection and wake up with a hangover? Such encounters are seen on TV dramas and films, and shared on social media and are deemed the 'norm'. Others may have sex with multiple people with no respect given to their partners or protection taken against unwanted pregnancy or STI's. Such acts could result in wider society being harmed with the wilful spread of disease without care or the promotion of non-consensual sexual activity.
Swinging is none of these things. Safe, happy swinging requires a couple who have a loving, sexually open relationship to communicate, create their own rules, have safe sex and explore their sexuality in fun and adventurous ways. It's no different from other adult weekend hobbies really. Whereas some don wet suits and harnesses to go surfing or rock climbing, we're packing condoms and have a different use for ropes. Is that really something that may be deemed 'immoral'? Perhaps it's because swinging takes place behind closed doors and none of us can tell what our neighbours are up to...