I have nothing against swingers. Like me, they are living an alternate lifestyle that makes them a fringe community and I fully support them in their right to have sex the way that they want to with whoever they want to.
I have been a to a number of swingers parties over the years in several different venues (usually to give a kink demo and be the scary entertainment for the night) and I never liked any of them. Here is my short list of reasons why. This is all based only on my experience of course. It is entirely possible that there are swingers parties out there that have policies in place to fix these problems, I just haven’t seen it.
At these events, your presence implies consent. So you can expect, especially if you are female, to be touched without your permission and that the physical activity will continue to escalate until you say no. Unlike at kink events, there is no explicit consent policy. They are very clear that no means no, but they haven’t quite made the leap to requiring a yes. That makes me very uncomfortable, because it means that someone who doesn’t like confrontation is likely to allow something to happen to them that they don’t want to happen, simply because their body language isn’t enough to deter the person and they can’t bring themselves to say no. And I have, in fact, seen exactly this happen.
In many couples that I meet at these parties, it is very clear that one of them is really excited to be there and the other one is very uncomfortable and would rather be somewhere else. This feels like coercion to me and I don’t like being a part of it or anywhere near it. I like my kinks and my sex to be full to the brim with consent. But not just consent, ENTHUSIASTIC consent. I want to know that the person wants what is happening, not just that they are allowing it. And because of the large number of people who are there (somewhat) against their will, there is also a lot of…
At the mainstream parties, nearly everyone is drinking / drunk. At the not-so-mainstream parties, people are also under the influence of many other things. Drug and alcohol use is common and accepted in the swingers community as a lubricant to get people over the hump (ha) and willing to do things they normally wouldn’t do. Again, this bothers me. I don’t want the people I play with to need help. I want them to be into what we’re doing when they are sober, too, not just when they can’t think straight. This also muddies the water of consent significantly.
So, those three are the big reasons why swingers parties make me uncomfortable. And they are the big reasons that I give to others for why they might not like the experience. But there are a few more reasons that are more personal and specific to me.
As I have discussed before, kink is my sexual orientation. At most kink parties, sex is allowed, but out of all of the kink parties I have been to, all over the US, I have only ever seen people having sex a hand-full of times. Sex doesn’t make me uncomfortable, I have no issue with it. However, I very rarely participate in it with play partners. It’s something I restrict only to my closest of partners. I’m not monogamous by any measure, but I am selective. At kink parties, this has never been an issue. Everyone is very respectful of boundaries and has an attitude of “It’s ok if you don’t want to have sex, there’s lots of other ways we can have fun.” But at swingers parties, sex is pretty much all there is. It is the end goal of every interaction, so if you’re not willing, you become an annoyance at best, and people get suspicious of you, like you don’t really belong. And maybe they’re right. So I don’t tend to go unless I have been invited for a specific purpose.
The other reason I don’t go unless I’ve been invited is the cost. At most swingers parties, sexual discrimination is normal and expected. While single women can attend for cheap, or even free, couples generally pay a very high rate (in my opinion) and single men are gouged, if they are allowed to attend at all. They have some good reasons for why they do this. The idea is that, if they didn’t, the place would be over-run with horny single guys. However, there are many other ways to approach that problem that handle it without being discriminatory in pricing. The cost also tends to cause another issue:
Since the parties are expensive for couples and men, that drives the average age upwards. I end up feeling very out of place as a young person. At most of the parties I went to, I was one of the only people under 40 and usually the only male under 40. On the bright side, this usually got me some extra attention, but as I discussed in #4, it usually wasn’t the kind of attention I wanted, especially since…
They Don’t Know What Kink Is
I mean, a few of the adventurous ones like to get a little rough sometimes and might even venture into some bondage. But break out the needles and snakewhip and they are running for cover. I walked around once with a flogger strapped to my hip and I felt the same way I did when I swam through a school of fish on a scuba dive. It was like there was a bubble around me that everyone instinctively wanted to stay out of. Much like Vegas, swingers parties cater to a very narrow slice of sexual deviance. They are fine with you being promiscuous, just don’t get weird, and certainly…
Don’t Be Gay
Now, this one doesn’t affect me personally, but it’s one of those red flags that makes me feel unwilling to spend much time around the culture. Homosexuality is pretty much non-existent, and any acts of the same will get you ostracized in a hurry. Now, the occasional pair of girls making out is perfectly fine, they can even go down on one another if they want, so long as there are dicks involved somewhere. But if you go to the party exclusively as a lesbian and want nothing to do with cocks, you will have a hard time (ha) finding people willing to play. If you are man that is looking for men, you are simply not welcome. And male/male acts are a quick and easy way to make everyone there dislike you.
Anyway, that’s been my experience, and that’s why I don’t spend time or money at swingers parties.