Just about everyone is sexually curious to some degree. Some curious folks begin swinging organically, and some find the lifestyle after looking for a specific sexual experience. After casually researching the swinging lifestyle and growing even more curious, the obvious question arises – am I ready for this? To answer that question, checking in with yourself about your preferences and expectations could be a good test.
It is important to say that sometimes almost ready is ready enough! If we waited to do things until we were completely sure, there would be a long list of things we would never have attempted and missed out on.
Having certain characteristics is a good indicator of a match between your personality and the swinging lifestyle. Here are a few things to consider to help you decide if you’re mature enough to take the plunge.
Being respectful of others and not judging
Being open-minded about various lifestyles is common for people in the swinging community. You may not be interested in trying every available option, but recognizing that we are all different and have our own path to follow is an important component of being a good community member. Being accepting of others’ choices that are different from yours is also a sign of maturity and confidence in yourself. Being clear about who you are and your values is important to a positive swinging experience. Why? Because knowing what is important to you makes it less likely that you will make choices that you regret down the road.
Keep in mind that having confidence in yourself does not mean being totally free of insecurities. All of us have some aspects of ourselves that we’d like to change. This is perfectly normal. But being able to put things into perspective and not getting hung up on perceived imperfections is part of adulting and makes you more attractive to other people.
Capable of honest communication
The ability to recognize and communicate your feelings is another important characteristic of people who enter the swinging lifestyle successfully, as is the ability to receive feedback from others about their wants and needs. It may seem like swinging is all about sex, but it’s actually more about communicating and connecting with others. A certain level of maturity is required to talk about what sexual activities you are comfortable with, to establish limits, and to convey your feelings after an experience. Talking shouldn’t exist only during events and parties, but after them too. Explaining things you loved, hated, and want to do again is a great way to stay on the same page with your partner and any couples you hope to see again.
Don’t rush it. If you need some time to process your feelings, then give yourself that time. One sign of maturity is being willing and able to communicate even in awkward situations.
Nurturing of your primary relationship
This is actually one of the most important aspects. Swinging will not fix a broken relationship. The thrill of something new may put a temporary patch over some cracks, but temporary is the key word here. If your relationship is not healthy to start with, then swinging is probably just going to push things further downhill quickly. If your relationship already has a few cracks in it, the lifestyle can possibly widen them to the point of no return.
The importance of feeling secure in your relationship and knowing that you are each other’s priority cannot be overstated. That can give you both the comfort and confidence to navigate your lifestyle journey successfully. Disagreement on some things is natural (what couple doesn’t argue?), but if you are feeling insecure about your relationship, small misunderstandings can lead to big drama and a lot of jealousy.
Passions can run high emotionally as well as physically, especially during experiences early on in your swinging journey. It helps to be able to identify your feelings and communicate about them openly and honestly. It is also important to be able to listen to your partner’s feelings about an experience when their perspective is different from your own without getting defensive or dismissing their feelings.
Regular communication is critical to navigating this path especially since you won’t be sure what to expect around each corner. Don’t just talk about your rules and expectations before an event; also take time to discuss what turned you on, what turned you off and what surprised you. Share what you felt when you saw your partner being pleasured by someone else. Some of your feelings will probably be difficult to sort through at first. Give yourself time to feel all the things you feel. Talk to your partner about what they can do to help you feel more at ease and ask what you can do to be a better partner too.
Careful of your privacy
Take time to consider how much of a lifestyle change you are looking for. If, like most swingers, you think about the lifestyle as being a bonus activity rather than central to your core identity, you’ll likely want to maintain some distance between your vanilla world and your new, exciting sex life. Take a few simple steps to protect your privacy from the start so you can focus on the fun of your new adventure rather than the fear of being found out. Don’t use your real names when setting up profiles on swinger dating sites and consider setting up separate email and/or texting accounts.
On the other hand, if you decide that you want to immerse yourself fully in the lifestyle and announce your swinging to the world, privacy will be less of a concern for you. You’ll still want to take some steps to protect yourself though.
Once you and your partner are pretty sure that you want to give swinging a try, set aside some time for additional reflection. There are no wrong answers to the questions below, but how you respond will give you a very clear indication of if you are secure enough for swinging. Remember to be completely honest with yourself.
These are just a few potential questions to know if you are ready for swinging:
- How open are you with your partner about sexual fantasies and wishes?
- How do you feel about sex?
- How would you feel if you knew someone was watching you during sex?
- Could you observe others and how would it feel to you?
- Thinking about your partner being pleasured by someone else makes you …
- How strong is your current relationship?
- What are you hoping to get out of swinging?
When the time is right
There is no deadline for joining the swinging lifestyle, and you are not in a race with anybody. Take your time to mull things over so that you and your partner can be confident that this is something you want to try. Being confident doesn’t mean that you have to wait until you’ve resolved all of your fears and anxieties about swinging because that’s unlikely to happen without getting some lifestyle experience under your belt.
Keep in mind that swinging is more often a “learn as you go” activity. You don’t have to have all the answers right now. Nevertheless, you should discuss your wishes and needs with your loved one – before and after an adventure. You’ll see that those needs are fluid, constantly changing (which is not a bad thing). If you’re concerned about moving too fast, start slow!
Take it easy. Take a look. Enjoy your journey while you look forward to a bunch of sexy stops along the way. You can take one step at a time and change course as you go if you choose. And when the time is right, start your adventure with confidence.