12 Things Channel 4’s “Swingers” Taught Me About Swinging

By now, Matt and I talk about sex almost as openly and as easily as we talk about the weather. Sex isn't just something we do, in a way, sex is also a part of who we are. As a BDSM educator, my attitude to sex and kink is a bit like how I should imagine a District Nurse's would be towards a healthy diet and exercise: People fuck. The way that people fuck might look very different to how I fuck, but people still fuck, regardless.

So when we caught an episode of "Swingers" on Channel 4 last week, we didn't shy away.

We have to be honest and say that swinging has never had any appeal for us, but then we also have to be honest and say that sticking things up our rear entrance (or even kinky fuckery in and of itself) was, at one time time, of no interest for one or both of us, either. While we may yet still need to be pursuaded to join in with these adults-only parties, we at least learned a few things.

1. First Things First, You Need To Become A Member

Oh ho, so you thought that you could just rock up, slip on in (pun fully intended) and have a good ol' time? Wrong, my friend, very wrong. First, you'll need to cough up some ID, then there's the membership payment, then you'll need to be personally vetted. While dogging is always a cheaper, faster alternative, you also run the risk of being attacked, sacked, or featured with your Johnson out in the headlines of the local news. Best print off an application form, eh?

2. You Don't HAVE To Try Swinging (But Then It's Kind Of A Waste If You Don't)

That was one of the nice things about the club (Liberty Elite in the UK, if you're interested), you don't HAVE to get involved. Want to hook up and fuck someone new? Of course that's the place. Just want to dance or chat and socialise with other potential suitors? That's cool too.

3. You Don't HAVE To Be Attractive (But It Does Help)

Liberty's owner, John, made no bones in his answer to this question: the club is for "nice" people, he insisted, and the club vets people on how nice they are, not how hot they are. However, "good looks get you far in life, in all fields" he says. Read that however you will.

4. Unicorn Hunting Is Kinda Rife In The Swinging Community

A "unicorn" is a bisexual single woman who is up for a threesome with another (normally heterosexual) couple. They are rare to find and in very, very high demand (hence the mythical name). Because of that, unicorns can be picky - and they can afford to be, you know, because of the number of couples who want to bed them.

A couple kiss in a hot tub, suggests sex, flirting
There's even a hot tub, too!

5. Some Swinging Clubs Have Really Bizarre Rules

Strip off before entering the dungeon area? But, why? When I used to attend a BDSM club then that was never a rule, and in fact, anything even remotely to do with sex was almost certainly off limits, full stop! Naturist camps too don't force nakedness, so I was curious as to why a swinging party did.

Oh, and on the topic of rules, condoms are a must for all and anyone in these places - absolutely no excuses.

6. The Judgement Happens At Swinging Parties, Whether You Want It To Or Not

Look, nobody pays to go here for drink and dance, okay? They just don't. Everybody is there to screw, which means to say that everyone is looking for that someone screwable. The thought of being judged for my fuckability is, for me, a turn-off in itself. Not because I'm in any way insecure - absolutely anyone is fuckable - but because I am/we are all much more than just holes on legs (just about 😉 ).

7. The Dreaded One-Penis Policy Exists In Swinging, Too

In the poly community, a "one penis policy" is seen as a major red flag and is the act of a partner only being allowed to have female partners so that the male partner does not feel jealous or insecure. I know that polamory and swinging are vastly different, and yet hearing one woman ask her partner whether she was allowed to play with "guys and girls, or only girls", my little poly heart was sent in to protest. That's unethical and, I hoped, an exception here, rather than the norm.

8. When It Goes Wrong, It's Kind Of Ugly

At one point in the show, a swathe of bodies poured onto one of the beds and the young lady mentioned above was left in tears, with only her (presumably very disappointed and in multiple ways) husband to console her. They ended up having sex on the bed next to all of the action anyway, but they were still not a part of the pile of bodies like they'd set out to be. That means to say that, for those of us who are perhaps a little more realistic about our chances of really scoring some action, we're less inclined to try swinging. There comes a time when we all might decide that the cost to our self-esteem isn't worth the fantasy of that maybe threesome, or maybe moresome.

A man with his dog, suggests dream man relationship partner goals
My perfect match!

9. No Kidding, Some Of The Attendees Are Kind Of Hot

One of the gents attending had a rule that, if a potential suitor for his "hotwife" (a woman who has sex with other men with her husband's permission) did not use proper punctuation, the deal was off. In polyamory, that can be seen as a veto, and again, vetoes are often seen as controlling and unhealthy (a polyamorous person should be free to date and have a relationship with whoerever they choose to have a relationship with). While I would generally vote against vetoes, having my partner/s select suitors for me based on their level of intelligence/basic human decency/dog ownership status was rather attractive.

10. That One Spanking Scene, Tho...

Whoever that was, call me. Seriously, call me. Okay, so maybe not quite so seriously, but still. That thing when a Dom paces around a spanking bench and you just know you don't dare move a muscle? We don't have the room for a scene like that in our flat, and I need it! Our bed is in the far corner of the room, which kind of limits a sadist. Still maybe one-time play sessions in a suitable space might be fun? Hmm...

11. I'd Probably Catch Something At A Swinging Club

Feels, people, I'm talking about feelings. I'm a demisexual, which means to say that by the time I want to have sex with you, I'm probably already head over heels in love with you. I'm not thinking about how thick your dick is, I'm imagining what kind of car you drive. I'm not wondering how good you are with your tongue, I'm wonderng what meal I can most impress you with, or how soon is too soon to meet the parents. The thought of us both walking out of here and this having meant nothing to either of us? Nope, I can't. I'm a poly person, I have too much love to give!

12. We May Have Uncovered A Lil Something, Though...

I don't think I need to tell you how the night ended, I think you can probably guess, and I think you probably know (more or less) what was on my mind. We didn't discuss it as such at the time (it would have been kind of hard on my part, but anyway), but it was something that we discussed the next day, and both agreed that it had a positive influence on us both. Voyeuristic? Exhibitionistic? Perhaps both? Who knows, I only know what I do know now.

That's it for me for this post, Twisties! Have you ever tried swinging? Would you be inclined to try swinging? Why or why not? Would you have rules for who you would or would not swing with? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

Stay safe & have fun,

Helen xx

Psst... you can catch Swingers on 4 on Demand or online here!

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