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While monogamy works for some couples, others like to explore open relationships to spice up their sex lives. Swinging can be fun for married couples, people in committed relationships, and singles who want to explore sexual activities with multiple partners.

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Emily Morse Teaches Sex and CommunicationEmily Morse Teaches Sex and Communication

In her MasterClass, Emily Morse empowers you to talk openly about sex and discover greater sexual satisfaction.

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What Is Swinging?

Swinging is a sexual practice in which singles or people in committed, ethically non-monogamous relationships engage in sexual activities with other couples and singles as a form of recreation and socialization. Swinging can involve swapping partners, one partner watching the other partake in oral sex or sexual intercourse with another consenting party, or group sex with consenting singles or other couples. These activities can be spontaneous or planned and can occur at home or a party with other swinging couples. Those in successful swinging relationships (also known as swingers) report increased quality and quantity of sex both within and outside their relationship and a strengthened physical and emotional bond with their partner. Swinging is different from polyamory, another type of open relationship in which multiple partners develop romantic bonds among one another in addition to the physical connection.

7 Tips for Swinging

Here are some tips to help first-time swingers ease into the swinging lifestyle:

  1. Keep an open line of communication. The key to a successful swinging relationship is communication between partners. Swinging is all about trust. For the lifestyle to work without jealousy or pain, both partners need to be on the same page and feel secure in their relationship and goals. Sit down with your partner and be honest about what turns you on and what makes you feel nervous or concerned.
  2. Establish clear boundaries. Every swinging couple will have a few ground rules to ensure that they’re entirely comfortable with the lifestyle. For instance, some swingers only allow foreplay or heavy petting (sometimes called “soft swap” or “soft swapping”). At the same time, other couples encourage oral, vaginal, and anal sex while swinging (sometimes called “full swap” or “full swapping”). Some couples prefer threesomes, while others prefer to go their separate ways and have casual sex separately before coming back together. Talk with your partner to determine your comfort levels—and only move forward upon reaching a mutual agreement.
  3. Start slow. You don’t have to visit a swingers’ club or organize an orgy for your first experience. Ease into the lifestyle by watching porn or browsing swinging websites with your partner to discuss and fantasize about the kind of sexual partners you may want to invite into your relationship.
  4. Come up with a signal. New swingers may discover in the heat of the moment that they’re too nervous or uncomfortable about a particular situation—this is a natural response. However, you also don’t want to find yourself in an awkward situation without a straightforward way to remove yourself from it. Establish a code word or other signal with your partner so that you can both easily communicate to each other how you’re feeling throughout the experience. These signals can also help you and your partner encourage each other to continue or let each other know you’re not feeling quite ready.
  5. Practice safe sex. Practicing safe sex by using condoms and dental dams, and committing to regular testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is the best way to ensure you and your partner(s) stay healthy.
  6. Consider branching out. Once you and your partner find a comfortable rhythm for having sex with other people, consider new ways to meet other like-minded people. Swingers’ clubs, swinger parties, and swingers’ conventions are three places where swinging couples can meet for hookups—you may find other couples with whom you can form lifelong friendships.
  7. Pay attention to the etiquette. Swinging clubs, parties, and conventions will all have particular rules and etiquette guidelines to ensure everyone has a fun and safe experience. These include rules about alcohol, nudity, RSVPing, and more. Before you head to a swinging venue, look online to see their particular rules. If you still have questions, ask the host upon arrival.
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Let’s Talk About Sex

Craving a little more intimacy? Grab a MasterClass Annual Membership and learn more about communicating openly with your partners, experimenting in the bedroom, and being your own best sexual advocate with a little help from Emily Morse (host of the wildly popular podcast Sex With Emily).

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