Are you and your partner ready to dive into the swinging lifestyle?
Swinging can be a great way to meet new, exciting people, enhance your sex life, and explore parts of yourself and your partner that you may not even know to exist. It is a wild, fun world of threesomes, foursomes, orgies, swapping, and fantasies brought to life. It is also really intense.
While that intensity can be a wonderful thing, it can also strain your relationship. You’ll have to face complicated feelings like jealousy, insecurity, and doubt. But if you’re both genuinely ready and take steps to put your relationship first, you can make swinging work for you.
But how do you know if you are ready?
We’ve put together a list of the top 15 signs you and your partner are ready to swing. If you can say yes to each of these, you can begin this new adventure together, confident that you have the tools to navigate this new world of sexual freedom.
#1 You are Both Confident and Can Handle Jealousy
Stepping into the swinging lifestyle is like when you first start dating. While it can be thrilling, fun, and a great way to boost your sex life, it also comes with the risk of rejection and quite a bit of jealousy, even if you aren’t typically a jealous person.
No matter how secure you may feel, seeing your partner kiss, touch, or have sex with another person will likely stir up feelings of jealousy and insecurity. It’s important to recognize those feelings and deal with them together when you have them. Good communication is everything.
You might think it’s better to have never experienced jealousy in your relationship. Still, the truth is that having experienced jealousy in the past gives you something to look back on when those feelings come up again, making future envy easier to handle.
You must also be ready to deal with rejection. There will be times when you are interested in another person or couple, and they just aren’t feeling it. That’s a normal part of the swinging lifestyle, and totally okay. Just know that the right people for you are out there, and don’t let rejection shake your confidence in yourselves.
#2 You Feel Secure in Your Relationship
Sometimes couples get into swinging, thinking it might fix a troubled partnership or revive a waning sex life. Unfortunately, this creates more problems than it solves.
Opening your sex life to new people should only be done if you and your partner already feel entirely secure and happy in your relationship. While rewarding, swinging is also challenging. You and your partner must be willing to face those challenges together, working through any difficulties with love, empathy, respect, and compassion for each other.
If you’re interested in swinging because you’ve become disappointed in your sex life or to fulfill a sense of wanderlust, stop and work on the relationship first. Once your relationship is on solid ground, you can consider stepping into the swinging lifestyle together.
#3 Your Sex Life is Already Good
Swinging can add variety, spice, and a bit of kink to your sex life, but it can’t fix a troubled, waning, or entirely gone sex life. Swinging should never be considered a replacement for the sex you aren’t having.
If your sex life is on the rocks, work on improving your sex life before considering swinging. Figure out why your sex life isn’t meeting your expectations, and work to fix that. You should always have more sex with each other than with partners outside of your relationship. So, build your sex life into something satisfying and great before inviting someone else to your bed.
#4 You Trust Each Other Completely
Swinging requires a great deal of trust between partners. It’s all too easy for a sexual encounter to turn romantic, derailing even the best relationships.
When deciding to swing, you should both be confident that the other person will respect the boundaries you set together, both sexually and romantically. You should also have faith that your partner won’t allow sexual relationships with other people to cross the line into romantic relationships and will stop things if they begin to feel romantically attracted to someone else.
#5 You Know Each Other Well
While no one expects you to read your partner’s mind, you should be able to read their expressions and body language reasonably well.
You must be able to tell when your partner is uncomfortable, feels unsafe, or isn’t into it. They may not be able to express these things outwardly, especially if they feel pressure to proceed or agree to something they aren’t sure of. They may also not want to disappoint you.
Because of this, you should both know each other well enough to sense discomfort and uncertainty so that you can pull your partner aside to talk things out before deciding whether to continue.
#6 You and Your Partner Have Excellent Communication
Once you start swinging, you will need to be able to communicate your feelings before, during, and after playing with other partners. You must be able to express feelings of insecurity, envy, jealousy, and uncertainty with each other. You also need to be able to discuss these things when they come up, making sure you both feel heard, understood, and loved so that conflict can be quickly resolved,
You should also be good at communicating positive things, like your love for each other, trust, and patience. Swinging can be scary. You need to know that your partner is in this with you 100%, and the only way to be sure of this is to practice good communication.
#7 You Have a Safe Word and Code Words
Sometimes it will be essential for you to communicate a feeling to your partner without letting others know what you are saying. You may be meeting a new couple, preparing to swing, or even in the middle of a sexual encounter with another person or couple. In these situations, you’ll need to be able to tell your partner how you feel without pulling them aside or letting the other parties know what you are saying to each other.
Things You Should Have Code Words or Signals for:
- This is going great
- I’d like to continue
- I like this person
- I don’t like this person
- I’m uncomfortable
- I want to stop
- I’m feeling jealous
- I feel overwhelmed
Think about your feelings about swinging and decide what signals you will use, whether a unique codeword, a hand signal, or ordering a specific drink to serve as a message to your partner. This will make encounters with others run more smoothly and ensure that both of you are comfortable.
#8 You’ve Had the Talk
Before you swing, it is crucial that you have talked in depth about your feelings, hopes, desires, fears, and expectations for swinging. You should both know what the other hopes to get from swinging and what worries or concerns they may have.
A Few Questions to Ask:
- What does swinging look like for you and your partner?
- How often do you want to swing?
- Do you want to have full swaps or soft swaps?
- Are you worried that you will feel jealous?
- Is swinging crucial to your relationship?
- How will swinging make your relationship stronger?
- What would cause you to want to stop swinging?
#9 You Both Want to Swing
For a couple to swing successfully, both partners must be enthusiastic and confident about the decision to start swinging. If one of you is hesitant or unsure, it can make swinging very difficult. You must both genuinely want this. Non-monogamy isn’t for everyone, and it isn’t easy. If one partner is pressuring the other to swing, it will almost certainly lead to disaster, even without meaning.
A few questions to ask yourselves:
- When you talk about swinging, do both of you tend to bring the subject up?
- Do both of you express enthusiasm toward the idea of swinging?
- Does either of you feel hesitant or uncertain?
- Do you both feel genuinely ready to start?
#10 You’ve Read Up on The Rules and Etiquette for Swingers
Like dating, swinging has its own set of rules and etiquette. There are expected behaviors for meet and greets, sex parties, sex clubs, orgies, and group sex. Before your first swinging date, read up on these rules and expectations. This will avoid problems and help both feel more confident in every swinging situation.
There are also swinging lifestyle terms and lingo. Reading up on swinging will help you understand what is being said and provide a framework for navigating the lifestyle. At the very least, you should know the difference between a soft swap and a full swap, understand color codes (red, green, and yellow), and know the difference between an orgy, meet and greet, and a sex party.
#11 You’ve Set Clear, Specific Boundaries for Swinging
Every couple has their own boundaries when it comes to swinging. Some only do soft swaps together. Others prefer to swing separately, meeting their sex partners outside the home. Others have an anything-goes policy but don’t allow kissing. Only you can decide what you are comfortable with. Will you be present for sex, or will you have sex in different rooms or locations? How much do you each want to know about your partner’s sexual experiences with other people? Do partners need to be chosen together?
Make sure to talk about your boundaries together. Decide what is okay and what is a definite no. Remember that your limits may change as you get more comfortable with swinging, and be sure to check in with each other regularly to adjust boundaries where needed.
A few things to talk about:
- Oral sex
- Penetrative sex
- Anal sex
#12 You’ve Discussed Protection and Safe Sex
There are always risks when sex is involved, but you can minimize those risks by playing safely. Talk about the safe sex practices you want to use and set clear boundaries for the use of protection. Also, get tested for STIs before you swing and then regularly after you start swinging. Swinging must always come from a place of love, which means protecting your loved one’s sexual health.
#13 You Are Both Prepared to See Your Partner in a Sexual Situation
Even if you choose to swing separately from each other, there is a good chance that you will either see or hear about your partner in a sexual situation with someone else. It can be helpful to face any insecurities or feelings of jealousy head-on by first playing together with another couple in the same room. Soft swaps, threesomes, and sex parties are other great ways to ease into the swinging lifestyle. If you aren’t ready for that just yet, it’s okay. You could try visiting a strip club and watching your partner get a lap dance to see how you feel about it before jumping into the swinging lifestyle head first. However you choose to do it, take your time. There’s no rush.
#14 You Are Both Willing to Step Back or Stop
Just as it is important to be willing to see your partner in a sexual situation, it is also important to be ready to step back or stop swinging if your partner is uncomfortable. You never know how you’ll react to a situation until you’re in it. Sometimes something will seem like a great idea until you are in the middle of it and suddenly realize that this isn’t for you. When deciding to swing, both partners must also be willing to walk away if the other no longer wants to swing or simply isn’t ready to start. Your relationship must always come first.
#15 You’re Both Excited to Take the Next Step
So, you’ve talked things through, done your research, set clear boundaries, and eased into things. Are you ready to start swinging? Here are a few questions to help you decide.
- Do you both get excited when discussing sex outside your relationship?
- Do you get turned on by the idea of your partner touching or being touched by someone else?
- Do you get a rush when looking into the different opportunities to swing?
- Do you fantasize together or role-play different swinging situations?
Stop & take a moment to reflect. Did we bring up any areas you might want to improve before starting? The more prep work you do, the better your entry into the lifestyle can feel. Perhaps you’ve answered yes to all of these. Then you’re probably ready to get started! It’s time to look into the various opportunities to swing and plan your new adventure. If you remember that your partner and your relationship always come first, swinging can be a great addition to your sex life and partnership. Good luck!