Swinging can be a truly liberating experience, especially when it happens between trustworthy and honest partners with whom you feel free to be your true self. But like everything in life, it isn’t perfect. You can meet amazing couples. And you can also meet some absolute nightmares. So how can you avoid partnering up with the wrong couple?
Like any relationship, certain red flags can warn you of approaching drama. Here are potential warning signs to look for in swinging couples so you can sidestep that drama and focus on the fun.
1. Crossing boundaries
Pleasure happens when boundaries are clear for everyone to see. Mutual respect from all parties is critical. Different people have different comfort zones when it comes to sex. It is important to find the middle ground where everyone feels safe.
A major red flag is when the other couple disrespects you and your partner’s comfort zone. This can take many forms from not paying attention to your personal preferences about messaging to completely ignoring limits about safe and acceptable behavior. For example, a couple that persists with one-on-one messaging when you have clearly said that you prefer group texts is displaying a lack of regard for your communication preferences. A couple who insists on bringing illegal substances to a date after you say you aren’t comfortable with it or try to have sex without condoms after you say that is non-negotiable is obviously willing to put you (and themselves) at risk.
Sometimes what looks like a disregard for your boundaries is a misunderstanding. Avoid miscommunication by clearly sharing your preferences and rules from the start. You can’t expect anyone to read your mind, and you won’t know if a couple is deliberately crossing boundaries if you haven’t laid them out. If a couple wants to do something outside of your comfort zone, speak up. They aren’t a good match if they continue despite knowing you’re not okay with it.
2. Not Communicating
Speaking of communication, not clearly communicating with you is another potential red flag. For instance, if they invite extra people to your swinger date without discussing it with you, be on alert. You want play partners that you can trust and know they are being upfront with you. You want couples that are honest and don’t hide relevant information like a change in their STI status or if they change their policy about using condoms.
Letting things “naturally flow” sounds nice, but without clear consent being communicated, you are risking trouble. You don’t want to endanger your reputation because another couple couldn’t communicate their preferences with you in a mature manner. We aren’t saying you need an extreme level of communication but we are saying too little communication leads to trouble. If there isn’t strong & open communication, it is probably time to find another swinging couple instead of risking any drama.
3. Spilling Tea
Another sign to be on the lookout for when you are chatting with swinger couples is to listen to what they say about others. Are they passing along rumors and gossip? That’s a big red flag. Today they are talking about other couples, but tomorrow they might be infringing on your privacy and spreading rumors about you.
Gossiping about even small details is a sign they can’t be trusted. We know gossiping can be fun, and reality TV has proven that vicariously reliving dirty details is a super popular activity. Remember that if they aren’t mature enough to respect the privacy of others, you can’t expect them to magically change when it comes to your privacy.
To be fair, talking about other swinger couples can be justified if it is done for a good reason. For example, if they know someone is lying about health issues or some other serious issue, then sharing information is the right thing to do.
4. Troublesome Couples
Obviously, swinging should be consensual with everyone. Unfortunately, that isn’t obvious to everyone. There are some couples where one partner seems to be much keener to engage in swinging, while the other doesn’t seem to be as enthusiastic about it. When swinging, it takes four to tango. When you meet a couple, you might realize only one of them does the talking and the walking. It could be that their partner is a shy swinger, but sometimes it is because they are not fully into the idea of non-monogamy.
Couples that don’t seem to collaborate well with each other and don’t operate from a place of love, understanding, and acceptance in their relationship can potentially bring you as a couple more headaches than pleasure. Paying attention to how they interact with each other can help you spot drama-filled couples. You want to stick with couples that have a healthy level of love, appreciation, and understanding between them. None of us have a perfect partnership 100% of the time, but why should we risk our relationships by bringing in unneeded drama from failing relationships?
5. The X factor
One of the red flags you can look for in the beginning would be seeing photos or receiving messages from only one partner while the other one remains unengaged or invisible. If one partner makes excuses on behalf of the other or the couple doesn’t seem to be open to equally introducing themselves and sharing with you, there is a chance you are dealing with an X factor A.K.A. the missing partner, or the nonexistent partner. Other warning signs of an X-factor situation are when the dating profile is incomplete or only has photos of one partner.
For many couples, it is normal and OK for one of the partners to be the one who takes the initiative in finding other swinging couples. However, if they refuse or postpone introducing their other half using various excuses every time you try to get to know them, it may be the case that they are misleading you and that their partner doesn’t know that they are looking for swingers or that they don’t have a partner at all.
6. Lack of Inclusion
If you feel like a couple shows a lack of willingness on their end to get to know you both before the meeting, try to take a step back and talk to your partner about it. Everyone is different and has different comfort levels when it comes to opening up with new swinging partners. Before you become too deep with a potential play partner, you should hear from both partners to ensure they are both aware and consenting. You want to ensure a happy four-way connection and avoid any imbalance.
The swinger community is fluid, and while some are totally open to engaging with one person, others prefer to stick to having a great time with couples exclusively, and these preferences should be recognized. Ultimately, no one should feel excluded or invisible, and if interaction with someone leaves one of you feeling this way, let your partner know.
7. Forceful or Tactless Behavior
Healthy communication is a big plus and a turn-on when meeting new dates. When the couple tries to rush things, fails to communicate their needs, listen to yours, and be transparent on the first date or while exchanging messages or calls, it can mean that they may just not be compatible with you two. If rushing things turns to pushiness to the point you feel overwhelmed or like your time isn’t taken into account if they are trying to skip getting to know you as a couple on a level you feel comfortable with, that can be interpreted as a red flag. No one should feel pressured to meet, especially when they don’t feel ready to move to the bedroom with the couple just yet. Some couples are just interested in doing it as quickly as possible, with very limited prior interaction, while some may require more basic bonding, and that haste may feel too much.
Each couple has their tempo, dating rules, and personal schedules they need to keep up with, and when the other side seems to jump into touching and flirting too quickly or brushes off the fact that you can’t meet just yet while expecting you to follow their tempo, that could be a red flag. Remember to follow the beat of your drummer.