We get a lot of email and other communication from people interested in the swinger lifestyle but unsure how to talk to their spouse or partner about this interest. Most often, but not always, it is the male partner who reaches out to us and wants to know how to talk to his wife.* The scenario is usually that the husband has been reading blogs and listening to podcasts and learning about the lifestyle but is uncertain how to approach his wife without making her feel as if she is “not enough” for him, without hurting her feelings, without ruining the good thing they already have going on.
And we’ll start there: We feel it is imperative that a couple already have a good thing going on between them before seeking to invite others into their sexual relationship. Our contention is that swinging should be something that we seek to enhance our relationship, not to fix it if it isn’t working for one or both of us.
What’s Your Why?
Tip number one for talking to your partner about entering the swinger lifestyle is to know why you are interested and what you would like to get out of it.
If the honest answer is that you’re unsatisfied with the sex in your current relationship, it may be healthier for you to seek couples counseling rather than inviting others into your bedroom. No matter how or when you approach your spouse about swinging, if you’re doing it as a way to avoid working on the issues within your partnership, it’s not likely to work out as you’d hope.
A more promising “why” is that you already have great sex together and you’re thinking that spicing it up with novelty and variety would be hot and fun for both of you. A good “why” is that you want your spouse to get some sexy attention and hot interaction just as much as you hope to for yourself.
If it boils down to “I think this would be a fun and exciting addition to our already smoking hot love life,” you’re probably in the right zone.
Right After Sex is Probably Bad Timing
Probably shouldn’t have to say this but — the best time to bring up swinging is likely not immediately after making love or fucking. It’s highly possible that your partner might interpret that line of conversation as a critique of what just occurred.
Likewise, it might be a performance inhibitor to bring it up before or during sex. You know your partner best. Maybe throatily whispering something like, “I’d love to watch another man do this to you” mid-foreplay would intrigue her. Maybe it would cause her to freeze up. Maybe saying, “I’ve fantasized about another woman going down on you” before doing so would pique his interest and arouse him. Maybe it would prevent him from staying erect just because his mind would be working overtime trying to figure out what was behind that remark.
Assess Where You Are Now
A couple who already watches porn together, uses sex toys alone and together, and openly talks about fantasies, kinks, and desires together is probably more than ready for a chat about swinging. On the other hand, if you currently don’t do much or any of those things together as part of your sex life, the leap to inviting others into your intimacy might feel like a bit much.
In that case, start by introducing some of those things into your bedroom. See how your partner responds to being invited to watch porn together and then the response to what you watched. See how your partner responds to sex toys being incorporated. See how your partner responds to the idea of light bondage (like handcuffs) or to being blindfolded or to temperature play. See how you partner responds to the idea of sharing fantasies with one another. In other words, talking about swinging may be part of a much longer process of introducing sexy novelty and excitement to your current sexual relationship.
Base your decision about whether or not to talk about swinging on the reaction you’ve gotten to other sexual exploration.
Having The Talk
Once you do decide to bring it up, we have a few tips that may make it go more smoothly:
1 | Frame your conversation in terms of exploring swinging together, as a united couple, as equal partners in a sexy endeavor.
2 | Avoid starting out with, “I want to start swinging” or similar you-centered declarations. Something more like, “We have such a hot sex life! I‘ve been listening to a podcast about couples who swing and it intrigues me that we might enjoy exploring that together as a couple. Would you listen to an episode or two with me?”
3 | Base where you go from there on your partner’s reaction.
4 | Value the relationship you already have above the fantasy of swinging. If your partner out-and-out rejects it and never warms up to the idea, remember that you’ve already got an amazing and fulfilling sex life and there are other ways to enhance that without introducing additional people to your bed.
5 | Make certain your partner hears and feels that you’re looking at this as a sexy addition you’re hoping you’d both enjoy rather than a replacement or expression of dissatisfaction with what the two of you have going on now.
6 | Give it time. Often, a partner needs a few days (or weeks) for the idea to marinate and may come back with half a dozen questions. Take that opportunity to share podcasts, blogs, or other resources with your partner.
7 | Listen more than you talk. Let your partner question, express concerns or fears, and tell you what does and doesn’t appeal about the idea. Avoid trying to talk your partner into or out of their feelings. Acknowledge them. Share your own concerns as well as hopes for what swinging might offer the two of you.
8 | Explore and learn about the lifestyle together over time before jumping right in. Make it a couples project you undertake together rather than you getting your partner to do something.
*We have found that once a couple starts out in the swinger lifestyle, the roles often reverse. The husband who was eager to broach the subject often becomes more reticent and the wife who was initially hesitant often becomes an eager participant in lifestyle activities and events. That’s probably a Medium story for another time!
We are Mr. & Mrs. Jones, swinger lifestyle podcasters. If you like what you read here and want to learn more about the swinger lifestyle and/or We Gotta Thing, you can find our podcast episodes and much more at WeGottaThing.com.
We love reading (and writing) about sex, sexuality, and the swinger lifestyle on Medium. It’s entirely worth the $5/month subscription. Care to join us?