These are my personal musings about the sometimes strange and frequently wonderful world of libertine sex and the tale of my journey into it. All references to living individuals are entirely anonymised. This blog is based entirely on my opinions and experiences and makes no claims to be representative of the whole swinging community. I hope you find something here to entertain you, amuse you, titillate you and perhaps even make you think. While sex appears to pervade our culture more than ever before, I believe that even today nowhere are we as unfree and tangled up as when it comes to the full erotic enjoyment of our bodies, hearts and minds. So if I manage to provoke some thought, I'll be glad. If you use this page only to help a sneaky orgasm along the way - enjoy!

Friday, 26 February 2010

Why people swing - or is sex EVER just sex?

Yes I know, guys, it's time for less thinking and more adventuring, but there is simply too much going on in my life for the erotic muse to kiss me. So please indulge my thoughts at least for one more post!

When I chatted to my vanilla friend about swinging the other day, she remarked how brilliant she thought it was that I could get all my sexual needs met this way. Whilst this is of course true, I can produce any number of orgasms by myself with the help of a friendly dildo, a bit of porn and my middle finger. Sexual needs taken care of! Oh, no, there is SO much more to it than that and I'd like to put forward the radical idea that it is never, ever, ever "just about the sex". In the same way that things are rarely just about "love" or "money" - these things always stand for something more.

Say somebody in the family dies and one of those notorious fights over the inheritance breaks out. Do you genuinely believe that fight is ever JUST about the money? Sure yes, it'll come somewhere on the list of what the fight is about, but really you're fighting about a million different things. You're fighting about who got more attention when they were a child, who sacrificed more of themselves to be their parents perfect child, who did more for them as they were older.... The list is endless and of course unique to each family.

So what about swinging then? If it's not just about the sex, what IS it about then? A million different things! As human beings, we all have principally the same basic needs, but for each of us they fall into a unique pattern based on our make-up and experience. Sexual needs will be somewhere on that list, yes. I can tell you my little list of needs that is satisfied by swinging - there's novelty, adventure, fun, confidence, rule breaking, autonomy (big one that one!). And then it gets more complex as I get into my specific sexual preferences. Why is it that I get turned on by being submissive or by being slapped? Why do some people like to be dominant and do the slapping? Many vanilla people would no doubt simply call it sick, many non-vanilla people are scared to ask that question. It is perhaps for fear of being pathologised or because once they know, they feel they might have to stop what they love. Or perhaps just the fear of what they may find in their minds!

And then there's this: most in the life-style find it ok to say they're in it just for the sex or kicks. Being in it just for anything else has the whiff of being dysfunctional, dangerous or sick, and makes us feel a little disturbed. Of course, I personally like playing on the edge, because I was overprotected as a child and I get a big kick out of fighting that. And of course, a history of not feeling at all wanted by guys leads me to feel particularly desirable when a guy is so dominant that he wants to possess me completely sexually. That doesn't make me sick, it just means that I know myself. We all have stories like that, if only we choose to look. Guys may like to be dominant sexually, because they feel small or overadapted in some other way. Or there might be a different unique reason. Let's not be ashamed of that, be aware of it! We also all have lots of needs that we deny, because they are socially unacceptable or unacceptable to our permanent partners. So if we come across someone who meets our complex needs, that will trigger some potent feelings - if you are a person who is aware of their feelings. If of course you think it's safer to tell yourself that it is "just about the sex", then that's your call. I do however think that you are in denial and missing out on a huge opportunity for self-knowledge. So I repeat - I don't believe it is EVER just about the sex.


  1. Such an interesting analysis. You are so right that no area of human conduct is free of the myriad of conflicting motives that fly about us, and sex in all its forms is no exception.

  2. Thank you! Looking back at this a couple of months later, I still think it's a valid analysis and I stand by it. However, I have to admit that at the time it wasn't at all written from the place of a neutral observer. I'd just been severely attacked for falling in love inappropriately and been told by the person's enraged wife that I was nothing to him and he may as well have cheated on her with a prostitute.
    That comment hurt me beyond belief, but
    I'd promised not to write about the situation itself and have no communication with the people involved. So what this post is really about is me screaming my pain at him in the only way I felt was possible at the time and desperately defending myself from my attacks against myself. So perhaps, if you want to read it again in that light, you may be a little less impressed with my analysis.

  3. No, far from it. Actually, I had guessed that something like that must have been involved. But what did your husband think, since it involved, as you say, inappropriate love? And, in the final analysis, was it love?

  4. Actually, my husband didn't feel remotely threatened by the relationship. Firstly, he felt that our own relationship was completely solid and secondly, his philosophical premise is that there is nothing at all wrong with loving more than one person. I'd been completely straight with him from the beginning about everything I did with the person in question and what I felt for him. It was also clear that neither my lover nor I had any desire to leave our partners, that was never the point. So from my personal paradigm there was nothing at all "inappropriate" about what I felt, but there certainly was when it comes to the unwritten rules of swinging - in most people's books and definitely my lover's wife's!!!

    Was it really love? You tell me what love is and I might be able to answer that question! But I'll let you have my analysis for what it's worth. There was beyond a shadow of a doubt "a physical attraction more addictive than heroin" (not my words, Stieg Larsson's but they fit perfectly). I also had a deep longing from him which I didn't just sense in my loins, but also in my chest - to me that's the physical feeling of being in love. I was frequently preoccupied with thoughts about him and never felt as burningly alive as when I was either with him or talking to him. Finally, I cared about him in a way that was both protective of him and concerned about his happiness and pleasure.

    So the question is, what do we make of those symptoms? Do we call them love? Do we call them infatuation? Are they just the hormonal consequence of an intimate physical relationship? What's love anyway? If we go with M. Scott Peck, we'd have to distinguish between the "feeling of falling love" and actual love, which he defines as "making an active contribution to someone's spiritual well-being". The former to him isn't love, but merely attachment. Then we could loosely bring in some Jungian thinking, which would probably state that we fall in love with people who exhibit some of the traits we have suppressed in our own personality (tick!). Finally there are the different types of love - most simply eros, philia and agape, but I've recently found out about ludus, storge, mania and pragma. For me clearly eros (perhaps with a hint of mania), for him a little more ludus maybe, a kind of game. Does that make it "not love"? For sure, a different kind of love than I have with my partner of 16 years, which has a greater component of philia now. I simply cannot answer this question objectively, but subjectively, yes, I would still call it love.