To decide whether swingers lifestyles are a type of infidelity you need to approach the idea with an open mind. Swinging, partner swapping or, more recently, couples touch has been around since the dawn of mankind. Still looked down on by a large part of society as “weird” it is becoming more prevalent all the time and gradually more accepted. The question is, is it still a form of infidelity?
First though, a little bit of history. Although swinging in one form or another existed a long time ago, Ancient Rome appears to be where it became popular over two thousand years ago. It has always remained on the fringe of western society but other societies such as the Inuit, the Orya of New Guinea and some South American Indian tribes have used it to help them survive. Some historical figures such as Mary Shelley (author of “Frankenstein”) and Benjamin Franklin are known to have practiced swinging.
Oddly enough, swinging in America seems to have originated with the US Air Force during World War Two. The pilots and their wives formed a tight-knit community around the air bases. Possibly helped along as a “stress reliever” due to the high mortality rate among pilots, swinging became an accepted part of these communities. By the late 1950’s swinging had become commonplace throughout America.
Nowadays, it is very common and almost at the point of being an accepted part of society. Clubs and websites are common and most suburbs have a “swingers group” nestled away somewhere.
Just being common does not automatically make it right, however, so let’s consider whether it is infidelity or not. Probably the main point to consider is the fact that swinging occurs when both partners agree so nothing is happening without the other partner being aware of it. Interestingly, it naturally requires good communication, honesty and trust between the partners to make it work.
An already unstable marriage or a marriage where one or both spouses shows jealousy would probably not be a good base to experiment from. Not a great deal of research has been done but the little that has seems to suggest that marriages which incorporate swinging appear happier and suffer less from affairs. Most marriage counselors, while not necessarily suggesting the practice, stop short of advising not to. Many couples believe it has made their already happy relationships happier.
Naturally, you must consider the possible health risks associated with multiple sex partners but safe sex practices, such as using condoms, reduce the risks to a level no higher than normal. More of a worry are the mental effects. How would you feel watching your partner enjoying sex with someone else? A healthy relationship should be able to accept and even enjoy this as part of the sensation. To stress a point, jealousy would have to be handled very carefully in a swinging situation.
Overall, swinging should really be approached as a possible addition to a relationship rather than as the solution to a problem. Good communication between spouses should be able to resolve whether it’s addition would be a good thing or not. Whether to add it or not would have to be a joint agreement to avoid possible conflict between partners where one may feel obliged or coerced into taking part. Truly, it would be hard to consider swinging an infidelity however, as both partners must agree to participate and both can agree on mutual ground rules and boundaries.