How did married couples deal with swinging but not cheating?

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Cheating is one of the biggest marriage issues that can outright ruin your relationship. But did you know that millions of U.S. couples are still having sex with other people and exploring their naughty fantasies without all the shame and guilt that cheating brings? How do married couples deal with it all? They are swingers! Let’s explore some of the main swinging and cheating differences!

Is Swinging Cheating?

Firstly, swinging is a consensual and ethical non-monogamous activity. Therefore, it is not a form of cheating. In swinging relationships, two monogamous partners can agree to engage in sexual activities with others. Swinging also encompasses group sex.


What’s more, it differs from other types of non-monogamy. That includes polyamory or open relationships. Some swinger couples enjoy the activity as a means of exploring sexual activities with outsiders. Others can view swinging as their sexual fetish. Also, not all swingers are in monogamous relationships. Some swingers can be in open relationships, and many single women and men can be swingers. 


Still, some people can be quick to judge swingers and brand them as cheaters. This view is completely false. It fails to comprehend the dynamics of non-monogamous relationships


In case you are still unsure, swinging is not a form of cheating because it requires consent from both partners. In the swinging lifestyle, couples often attend large sex parties or intimate partner swapping activities together, meaning that they consciously agree to it without doing anything behind their partner’s back. 

Swinging and Cheating: Their Differences

One of the biggest reasons why people should stop associating cheating with swinging is that it could be a form of slut-shaming. It could also make swingers feel alienated. It might persuade them that they’re making the wrong choice.


So let’s clarify the differences in more detail: 


  • Cheating involves people being deliberately unfaithful without their partner’s knowledge.
  • There are many different types of cheating. That includes physical and emotional affairs.
  • Swinging is a healthy and consensual sexual activity based on the premise that humans should explore sexual connections with multiple partners.
  • Monogamous couples, couples in open relationships, and polyamorous partners can practice swinging. 
  • Swinging also appeals to people who want to swap partners with another couple or experience group sex with their loved one. 
  • Cheating can lead to new emotional connections that could ultimately ruin a marriage. 
  • Swingers practice their sexual adventures with other people responsibly but have an exclusive emotional relationship with their primary partner.
  • Swinging couples have a relationship based on open communication, honesty, and understanding. 
  • In some cases, swinging can count as cheating if your partner contacts another swinger and has sexual relationships with them without your consent. 

The Number of Couples Swinging

While research on non-monogamy is still relatively sparse, some studies show that 2 to 10% of people have tried some kind of swinging in the U.S. Other data shows that around 4% of American couples are active swingers. While that doesn’t sound like a lot, it actually means that 1 in 25 couples are swingers. Therefore, there’s a high chance that your next-door neighbors are currently having a steamy gangbang in their basement!


To put things in perspective, there are nearly 3 million married couples swinging in North America. What’s more, some experts believe that women are more likely to push their husbands into swinging. 

Does That Mean Swinging Is Normalized?

Many certified sex experts believe that swingers are less emotionally troubled compared to monogamous couples. The reports also show that swingers have happier marriages. Plus, they have higher levels of marital communication and take greater satisfaction in sex. Swingers feel less isolated compared to monogamous couples. This is probably due to the fact that they frequently have intimate physical relationships with like-minded people. What’s more, swingers are less jealous of others. 


But is swinging accepted by our society, or is it still considered taboo? Swinging made its way into the mainstream during the 1960s. The next decade was even nicknamed the “Swinging ‘70s” due to these practices becoming more popular. Today, swinging is still not regarded as the most comfortable topic to talk about at your office vending machine. While we have come closer to understanding the benefits of the swinging experience, it’s still taboo in our society, especially because it interferes with “normal” monogamous relationships. 


If done correctly, swinging can work wonders for married couples who want to get intimate with other people and experiment sexually. Yet, it’s highly unlikely that swinging will become a “normalized” activity for all monogamous couples. 

Will They Normalize Cheating Too?

Since swinging doesn’t count as cheating, it doesn’t praise or promote infidelity. It’s unlikely that swinging will solve a couple’s problems with cheating or normalize it entirely.


In fact, cheating leads to broken trust and can eventually end a relationship. If you’re in a committed relationship and you want to have sex with others, one way to do that is to agree on an open relationship. In such a relationship, one or both partners can consensually seek out other people for sex. This doesn’t count as cheating, and you don’t have to be a swinger to do it. 

Why Couples Cannot Take Cheating

So why exactly can monogamous couples accept swinging and not cheating? Simply put, cheating happens without the primary partner’s knowledge. The biggest problem with cheating is that it leads to a complete break in trust for monogamous couples. 


For example, if a man has several sexual partners and his wife finds out, she could feel betrayed and hurt. On the other hand, swinging requires a conscious decision made by both partners. Both swinging partners can agree to change up their sex life by experimenting with other couples or several people at once. 


Ideally, swinging shouldn’t damage your relationship, but you’ll need to know what you’re doing, and you’ll have to respect your partner’s rules. As mentioned, swinging can turn into cheating if one partner ignores the other’s rules and has sex with other swingers without the primary partner’s permission. 


Unfortunately, there is no way to know how swinging will feel for you unless you try it. A lot of couples who fantasize about doing it for years and finally try it can end up disappointed. To others, swinging can change their lifestyle for the better and make them much happier in their marriages. 


If you want to try something new or if you are sexually frustrated in your relationship, the safest and least damaging way to proceed is to talk to your partner. You can bring up topics such as open relationships, threesomes, swinging, and even polyamory to see what your partner thinks. 

However, while talking is a lot better than cheating, you shouldn’t try to force your partner into swinging and think that it will help save your broken relationship. You should make the decision together or even visit a marital therapist if you are dealing with serious problems.