Everyone is a little bit different, and good sex is going to be a little bit different for every person. As with any type of community, swingers come in many different shapes and forms. We are going to cover the distinct types of swingers and nomenclature you will likely encounter as you explore the swinging lifestyle.
This is more about learning the many different shades of gray in the swinging lifestyle than it is about applying labels to stereotype people or box them in. People can be a little bit of two things, a little bit of three things, or even a little bit of everything. There are no swinging police that are checking paperwork to make sure you stay in your lane – unless you are attending a swinging costume party and like to be frisked by sexy people! This list will show you the many options available to you and your loved one to find your own sexy path in the swinging lifestyle. Every path has different curves, and whichever path works for your relationship is the right path to follow.
The main types of swingers are Soft Swap, Full Swap, and Swayers. Those groups are further broken down by “same room play” or “separate room play”. The rest of the non-swinging world is referred to as Vanilla. Vanilla are the “plain” or “standard” people who are not involved with any of the different “spicy” swinging lifestyle options. Vanilla people can be loads of fun but if you want risqué fun then seek out the swingers & other groups of sex-positive people.
Just because you attend a swinger party doesn’t mean you have to sexually play with anyone. You can attend as a sexy voyeur or exhibitionist. You can relax, enjoy a drink, participate in sexy conversation, and be yourself without fear of being judged. Many different types of sexual fantasies are more common than you’d think, and sex-positive people are willing to share those fantasies aloud. Even if no one else shares your fantasies, swingers are don’t judge you for sharing them. Many curious first time visitors start as this.
Soft swapping swingers are people that like to engage in foreplay and other sexy acts with other people, but reserve full penetrative sex for just their partner. Soft swapping could include kissing, caressing, playing with breasts, oral sex or anything else except for penetration below the waist. Many soft swap couples prefer this style so they can have fun without crossing boundaries they have set for themselves. Some couples find full sex with someone other than their partner too intimate, but they enjoy the excitement of soft swap.
You’ve probably figured out what full swap swinging means – full, penetrative sex. Seeing your loved one having full-on sex with another people can be emotionally intense, especially if you’ve been together a long time. Heck, it can be emotionally intense if you’ve only been together a short time! When you full swap, it’s more likely that you’ll pair off and focus only on your play partner. Full swap play sessions often begin like a soft swap but tend to ramp up quickly as couples pair off.
Swayers is a less commonly used term but it describes a good amount of people. Newbies especially will want to learn about swayers. Swayers are typically vanilla, and enjoy being vanilla, but sometimes dabble in swinging. Often this dabbling occurs on vacation or when there’s a special opportunity or occasion. Swayers will “sway” across their vanilla boundary to engage in the swinging lifestyle for a short period of time. They reap the benefits of the sex-positive community without engaging in any of the complications that can come from committing to the lifestyle. Swaying couples are like students who give themselves a hall pass to have some extra-curricular fun.
Unicorns and Single Men
When talking about swinging, we usually focus on couples because people in the swinging lifestyle are usually coupled up. There are many great people in the swinging world who aren’t coupled up – the swingles. These are the single men & women that enjoy the swinging world. Single ladies are called unicorns and single swinging men are called single men (isn’t that easy to remember). Couples can check out this article to better understand how they can find & connect with a swinging unicorn.
Same room is, predictably, when you all play in the same room. It can be a threesome, foursome, or moresome in the same room. It is up to you to decide if you want a big king-size bed or separate beds. Separate room play is when you exchange partners and head to separate rooms for your sexy play. They both can be super fun & sexy. You can read our article to figure out what fits best with what you enjoy.
While we are covering the different types of swingers let’s clear up a few things about exploring sexuality; specifically, the biased bisexuality in the lifestyle. The lifestyle technically welcomes people of all types of sexuality. Realistically, guys are often expected to be straight heterosexuals and women are expected to have a bit of flexibility, and they are actively encouraged to be bisexual or at least bi-curious. Thankfully, the newer generation of swingers (20 & 30 year olds) tend to be more accepting of guys who may or may not be curious about bisexuality.
Polyamory and swinging are very different concepts even though they might seem to be similar. Yes, both swingers and poly people can have multiple sex partners. Swingers tend to play with many partners without making a long-term relationship commitment to those partners. Strong friendships may form between play partners, but swingers don’t usually form an intense, emotional, loving bond. Swinging is more about physical pleasure and sexy fun, not love. Poly people, on the other hand, have love at the core of their relationships.
Phew! That’s a bunch of information. Hopefully this was a good learning experience to better figure out your personal preferences and desires. We encourage you to worry less about the labels and more on having a fun time in the lifestyle.