What If We Get Outed as Swingers?!
Part 3 | How to Handle It Before…and After
This is Part 3 of our 3-part series about being found out as swingers when you’d rather not be.
Part 1 | Why it’s a concern for many, and how it does/doesn’t happen.
Part 2 | Our experience with being outed by someone else.
Part 3 | How to handle it before and after (in case it happens to you).
This is going to come as a shock, but our number one advice is: communicate. A lot. Before entering the swinger lifestyle, talk with each other about your feelings and fears regarding how it might go if others found out you are swingers. Some things to talk about…
How Out Do We Want to Be?
One important conversation to have before entering the swinger lifestyle, or soon after beginning your journey, is this one. For some couples, the answer is “100% out—we’re OK with anyone and everyone knowing.” We’d guess that this is not true for the majority of couples, though.
There’s lots of arguments for and against being public about participation in the swinger lifestyle. This post is not going to explore those arguments. Couples have differing levels of comfort with folks knowing that they participate in the lifestyle. We’re not here to judge anyone’s approach. What this post focuses on is couples who would prefer to keep their swinging private and who have concerns about what might happen if that preference were thwarted.
Your answer to this question will drive a lot of your swinging decisions, such as where you swing (far away, neighboring towns, or in your own community), how you find other swingers, whom you will tell and whom you will not, and maybe even whether to get into the lifestyle at all.
Talk About What If
Assuming you’d prefer for your family and vanilla friends to not know about your goings-on in the swinger lifestyle, sit down and talk about how you would respond if that choice were somehow taken from you. The time to think about it and talk through it is now, not after it happens.
Think about the various areas of your life: career, family (parents, children, siblings, extended family), neighborhood, church and/or community groups.
- What repercussions are truly, rationally probable in each of those domains if you were outed as swingers to people associated with them?
- Do you believe swinging is wrong (bad behavior) or just private (somewhat embarrassing because it’s related to your personal sex life)?
- If you were outed, who would you want to hear it directly from you?
- Would you own it (stay in the lifestyle) or erase it (quit swinging)?
- Would you be willing to let some relationships go in the wake of an outing? Which ones? Which ones would you never be willing to let go if the other person could not accept your lifestyle choice?
Let’s say you decide to stick with swinging, hoping to keep it private, but do get outed in your community against your wishes. Somehow, someone puts it out there and it starts circulating. This is what happened to us. Here is what we learned from our experience:
- Don’t panic (at least not for very long). There is likely going to be some initial freak-out time, but then it’s time to put your heads together and do damage control.
- It’s important to stick together. This is the absolute worst time to circle the wagons and shoot inwards; in other words, don’t blame each other for the decision to start swinging. Revisit the reasons you decided, together, to be swingers and why it was a positive decision for you as a couple. Use that as your touchstone as you navigate talking to others.
- Be prepared for some relationships to change—some maybe for the better—and for some relationships to fall away.
- Be prepared to make some changes, either in your vanilla life or in your swinging life—depending on what you decide as a couple. Being outed will likely change some aspects of one or the other, possibly both. Maybe you will swing less frequently or only while out of the area. Maybe you will continue swinging just as you do now, but make a change in jobs or change your participation in your community in some way(s). Some vanilla friendships may fade away while you embrace lifestyle friendships even more.
- Be prepared to have some difficult, honest conversations with friends and family members.
- Expect your lifestyle community friends to support you. Reach out to them. You’ll be amazed at how caring, generous, kind, and supportive they are.
We get asked a lot by those thinking of entering the lifestyle: “How can we make sure no one finds out?” Our answer is honest: You probably can’t. Communicate about that possibility before it happens. Then, stick by each other’s sides and by your shared decision if it ever does.
What we have found for ourselves is that it was difficult to go through but, in our circumstances, ultimately liberating. Our world did change, but it did not implode. In fact, we are growing in ways we never could have had it not happened. Life is funny like that.
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.