The Soft Side of Swinging...
Why bother?
By: David Lawrence

That’s not exactly the first thing you want to hear at a LifeStyle club. But that’s the joking response Joan and Bob got when they told another couple they were “soft swingers.” Before we probe further (forgive the pun): “soft swinging” refers to the range of playful, sexual activities, other than exchanging partners for intercourse.

And quite a range it is!

Soft swingers define themselves as people who simply enjoy being voyeurs, or those who just like groping and gaping on the dance floor (and staying vertical!), or couples who say they’ll do most anything up to having intercourse with someone other than their date, partner or spouse.

Here’s Why Bother

Joan and Bob love playing with others, on and off the dance floor, but want intercourse to be something they hold in reserve for their “one and only” special partner. It’s still all very pleasurable, they say, and really stimulates things when they get home. Joan is quick to add, “Except for that first encounter, everyone we’ve met in the LifeStyle has been completely understanding. “We’re up front about things, and we’ve never had a problem. People really respect our limits.”

Sarah and Steve have a similar opinion when it comes to the intercourse/intimacy factor. As Steve says, “We talked about this a lot. To be honest, I brought it up first because I was craving sexual variety. So we talked. And talked. And then discovered there’s a lot we can do within the lifestyle that feels good, very good, even to orgasm. But without intercourse.”

“We now have a small group of like-minded folks we’ve met at clubs and parties who feel the same,“ Sarah notes, “and we get together for soft core play several times during the year.”

Anna and Jeff are a long-term married couple who enjoy spicing up their relationship with what they term, “harmless variety.” The best part of the lifestyle, they say, is watching each other, “do a whole lot of dirty dancing at a club with others on the dance floor.”
“I love wearing sexy clothing,” Anna says, “and getting a group of women engaged on the dance floor. I lose myself in the flow and sensuality of the moment.” “And I really love watching all that,” Jeff emphasizes.

Tracey and Mick have what they term, “a rich fantasy life.” Soft swinging only enhances their fantasies, they say. “We find ourselves having lots of sexy conversations with people at clubs,” Tracey says, “and then we talk about things, together, for the whole week after we go. All that talk translates into some steamy nights at home.”

“Soft swinging meets our needs for sexual exploration,” Mick says. “We’re okay to watch and play around with others in rooms. There’s no mystery about how and why things can get so hot. After all, a lot of sex doesn’t involve intercourse.”

Linda and her husband Ron have been soft swingers for six years. She’s also a licensed psychologist with an active family practice. Her professional take on soft swinging is that some LifeStyle couples don’t want to separate intimacy from sex. “It’s easier to set the rules and everyone can play because there’s something uninhibiting or non-threatening for everyone,” she says. “For example, anyone can be a voyeur without being rejected. And it’s great fun to be an exhibitionist or simply cop a feel without more intense interaction.

“Soft swinging is also terrific for people just getting into the LifeStyle because you have can have lots of pleasure without taking lots of risk. And it doesn’t mean you’re going to end up going any further. Rubbing bodies on the dance floor without being serious can remain a lifetime pleasure. A side benefit is that you can tell non-LifeStyle people about your dirty dancing escapades – and don’t be surprised if you find yourselves very popular dinner guests!”

In sum, Linda’s perspective seems to be typical of soft swingers: the soft swinging LifeStyle offers an intriguing chance to expand sexual experiences without getting into a realm of intimacy that might create hurdles.

“We’re in the frame of mind that there are some things in the LifeStyle we’re comfortable about and some things we’re not,” Anna says. “There are boundaries we’re happy with, as individuals and as a couple. Defining those boundaries has been enlightening, especially since many couples never have conversations about their sexual desires, let alone try new things.
“In short, this is a way we can have our cake and eat it, too. Or suck it! Oops, was that too nasty to print?”

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