Female sexuality has long lived in the shade of male sexuality. When you think of it, we’ve only just scratched a surface of it. It was in mid-20th century that the clitoris has been “discovered” and only recently has the science fully recognized its importance in sexual pleasure, as it is the only organ that exists solely for that purpose. Sexual emancipation or understanding own sexuality and sexual preferences is still new to many relationships. The traditional roles of women have long constrained sexual pleasure, placing it behind marital or relational duty.
The feminist movement has given a voice to the culturally or socially repressed sexual desire. We are slowly progressing from shame to understanding. There are many women who still feel like their sexuality does not fully belong to them, but their partner. Psychologist Sara McClelland from the University of Michigan speaks of the concept called “intimate justice”, as a framework of research of women’s sexuality in the light of many historical, social and cultural factors.
Owning sexuality and giving yourself a permission to fully explore it is a new endeavor for many women.
Swinging relationships are a context which welcomes curiosity and exploration, without judgement or pre-imposed expectations. The open-mindedness of the swinging community welcomes individual differences and removes norms that exist elsewhere, replacing them with freedom to explore.
This is why swinging relationships can do a lot to empower women.
Owning Her Sexuality
Swinging relationships are consensual relationships. This means that each voice within it must be heard. Unlike traditional relationships, in which women can take it as their role to meet the sexual expectations of their partner without ever communicating their preferences, swinging relationships demand more active participation around communicating needs and decision-making.
This is not to say that traditional relationships cannot be sexually liberating, but to emphasize that swinging relationships start with communication of sexual and romantic needs. It is a context that facilitates exploration of sexual self with no prejudice. In swinging relationships partners acknowledge that their partner’s sexuality is not theirs to claim. There’s no monopoly over their partner’s desire.
In traditional relationships it is common that over time the feeling of duty replaces sexual desire. When a couple takes each other for granted sexually, boredom takes the place of pleasure. In swinging relationships, a woman can own their sexuality, without a pressure to box it into a specific role relevant for their partner.
Swinging relationships also allow women to look into their fantasies around bisexuality with their partner’s support. The context is free of restraints and welcomes questions about the self. It provides the opportunities to try different things and better understand what attracts her.
Tuning Into Her Own Needs
In swinging, a woman learns to pay more attention to what her needs are. She is prompted to explore and verbalize them so she can communicate them to her partner, and other swinging partners. Swinging relationship, in that way, facilitates deeper self-understanding. Each partner needs to check in with themselves and ask:
– Is this okay with me?
– What would I like to be different?
Swinging relationships reinforce self-understanding, as a woman uses each new insight to enhance experience. She can be openly curious about her needs and try different types of swinging without a pressure to commit to having just one. She can experiment with opposing needs – to dominate and be dominated, to watch and to take part, to play soft or hard, to push boundaries or stay within her comfort zone.
Security and Freedom for Her
For many women, a secure relationship is also a constraining one. There are plenty of roles and rules, and not too much space for exploration. Swinging relationship can only exist if there is trust and intimacy between the partners who allow each other freedom.
Mutual acceptance, agreement to trust and keep each other safe helps woman find her emotional anchor in a swinging relationship, while knowing that she can freely dive into exploring sexual pleasure. While in a traditional relationship a woman usually compromises choosing security or freedom, in a swinging relationship a woman can have both.
There are no pre-defined rules that surround a swinging relationship – a couple needs to figure out their own swinging rules together. A woman is invited to explore more than what was in the social or cultural template she has been raised with. She can experiment with different roles without feeling that there is a certain pre-determined category she needs to fit in as a woman. In the lifestyle, women are not judged based on their other social roles.
Acceptance and Validation
Swinger communities are open-minded and accepting of individual differences. Many of its members are in swinging because they appreciate the diversity of people that they can meet and connect with. Individuals validate each other on multiple levels.
A woman is likely to get more compliments from both the same and the opposite sex. It’s not just her partner that validates her good looks, charm or wits, but also other men and women. Though confidence should not depend on external validation, it still feels good to be recognized by other people, especially if you find them appealing.
Women that have been enjoying the lifestyle for a while now know that seeing another beautiful woman is not threatening. It is an opportunity to experience joy along her and enjoy other woman’s beauty, or with her permission, play with her partner. There’s little room for comparing yourself to others in a self-judgmental way. Swinging exists because one size does not fit all. Not needing to compare yourself to others feels liberating.
Experiencing Stronger Partnership
Swinger relationships are based on mutual trust, care, love and appreciation. Only a strong relationship can support the lifestyle. Most couples that start swinging experience an improvement in the quality of their communication. Knowing that you are invited to share and that you are really being listened to improves the quality of a relationship overall.
The couple is also experiencing more pleasure in their sex life. Being able to share intimate moments with other people together reinforces the trust and acceptance that got them into swinging in the first place. They learn more about what feels good and bring the knowledge back to their bedroom. For women, this is beyond important. The partner acknowledges her as a sexual being with different needs that can change and evolve and is curious about exploring them with her. With no pressure to “deliver” performance in a relationship, a couple learns to be patient with each other’s needs. For many women who are just learning what feels good, this is invaluable.
Curious about Ways Swinging Can Empower You?
Talk to other women, and ask about their experience with swinging. You will find that the community is welcoming and supportive towards people who are showing curiosity and open-mindedness. Your insecurities are just as welcome as your strengths.
Enjoy the experience and learn from it. Be gentle with yourself in self-exploration and pay conscious attention to how you are growing as a person. There are many ways in which swinging can empower you. Approach it with a positive attitude, ready to claim your right to experience pleasure and a deeper connection with yourself, your partners and other people you engage with.