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By Matty Silver, Sex Therapist on January 11, 2017 in Other

Come swing with me.

Come swing with me.

Last year a client came to see me to talk about an issue that was upsetting her. She was 39 years old and has been married to a man the same age for about 15 years. Neither had many partners before they got together.

They’d had a good sex life but in the past few years she has felt the passion was missing. She was getting bored and was thinking about what sex with other men would be like. She had no intention of cheating on her husband and when she read an article about a swingers club in their area, she was curious.

When she suggested the idea to her husband she was quite surprised that he was not upset. On the contrary, he seemed quite interested. It took them a while to find the courage, but they finally gave it a try.

They both liked it and it improved their sex lives for a while. They looked at each other with “fresh eyes” and had a higher level of sexual desire. But the one thing my client had not expected was feeling jealous when her husband had sex with women who, in her opinion, were better and sexier looking than she was.

Although she was an attractive woman she began to feel more and more insecure. She decided not to take part in swinging any more, but her husband became disappointed and blamed her for suggesting it in the first place.

As far as I know the topic has not been academically researched in Australia, but writer and comedian David Smiedt wrote an article some years ago about the local swinging lifestyle, which was published in GQ magazine.

Smiedt found swingers were a representative sample of mainstream Australia. Their age group was 30 to 45 and they were no more or less attractive than the people you see in a shopping centre.

Drug use in most swingers clubs is forbidden, as is drunkenness, and there is an enormous emphasis placed on good manners. Swingers are expected to show up to events in a well-groomed state, shower between erotic interludes, and make sure they always to practise safe sex.

Over the years I have spoken to couples that said they were attracted to swinging because it added spice to their relationship and they liked the excitement of an anticipated encounter with another couple, or sometimes a single woman. Swinging has a special attraction for women who want to experiment with their bisexuality or be the centre of attention of two males.

The couples believe swingers are generally happier in their relationships because they are more open-minded and adventurous, but all insisted on the importance of setting personal boundaries.

While swinging enhances or improves the sex lives of many couples, it’s not for everybody. If you want to try it but have insecurities, or you are not able to communicate well with your partner, swinging can ruin your relationship instead of improving it. Swinging only enhances relationships that are already strong and happy.