If you’ve never done it or even if you don’t know anyone who has, the whole (swinging) lifestyle thing may be a little bit scary. This may be because you haven’t experienced it and it’s all kind of a mystery to you from a distance, because our far-from-perfect society is full of prejudice and judgement for much of what falls out of the ordinary, or because, honestly, you never really thought of it and you ended up on this page because you were looking for something else. Stay! You may be enlightened!
Before we kick off, here is an indispensable minimal glossary for you: with “the alternative lifestyle,” “the libertine lifestyle” or simply “the lifestyle” we refer to doing things like swinging, going to erotic and sex parties, fetish, kink and BDSM, orgies, and pretty much anything outside the lifestyle pertaining to the traditional romantic and sexual relationship. Hence the “alternative” in it. Ok, we agree, the term is not ideal but it’s the best one we have right now.
Over the past years, we lived in and traveled to many different countries and cities, for vacation or work, which gave us a unique opportunity to see and experience the dynamics of the lifestyle in all its cultural diversity.
Based on this personal experience, we have composed for you – the lifestyle newbie – a short list of the essentials for a smooth entry into this vibrant and fascinating community. So, let’s start with the most important.
1. Arm yourself with information
This is not just a fancy way of saying “google things,” but a serious recommendation which goes beyond knowing the lingo and what kind of outfit to expect on people (if any). What it literally means is “go local”: find communities, clubs and events around you, read their descriptions, inform yourself about the costs, policies, facilities they have, dress codes, people’s experiences and pretty much anything and try to draw some conclusions about the kind of people you may meet there, what kind of atmosphere to expect and whatever interests you.
Don’t expect that all “lifestylers” go to all the sex clubs or swinger events in your area or that they all know each other. This works pretty much like anything in life and different people (read: people of different age, sexual orientation, taste in music, sex preferences, etc.) tend to like different things.
It may be the case that there are not many places in your neighborhood, or even 100 km around you and this is something you need to find out. Checking our map can be a good start.
And if you really end up not finding much, this still does not have to mean that nothing is happening. Many people almost exclusively do private gatherings and these are, as a rule, invite-only and sometimes even friends-only events. Or they just prefer meeting people in private. So, keep looking.
Needless to say – we assume you live in a country in which what you are looking for is legal. Otherwise, things can be a little bit more complicated, so make sure you inquire about this. Getting in trouble with the authorities is not fun.
2. Join a community & make some friends
But what if there is no community in my country? There is almost ALWAYS a community. You could start with international online platforms like the well-established SwingLifestyle, SDC or IOL. Both are rather big and whether they are of any use may in the end depend on where you are. Some countries, for example, have their own communities and they work much better for the locals than the international ones. For example, if you are in Germany, JOYclub could be a better option or, if you are in France, this could be Wyylde. There are many other online platforms, of course, but we will stop our free advertising here.
Some of these online platforms are similar to, say, Facebook, only without your aunt reading your updates or that annoying friend of yours with her daily baby photos. And, of course, with much more nudity. Age-wise, there are really no rules, although people’s profiles normally have this information and you can easily navigate the membership by looking for a specific age group (or avoiding one) until you find some people you would like to approach.
You may have some concerns regarding privacy and this is, of course, justified. For one reason or the other, many people (if not the majority) are not particularly keen on their colleagues, relatives or even friends knowing about their alternative activities and they are cautious when it comes to disclosing their identities. As for the online platforms, in our experience at least, they (especially the big ones like the ones we mentioned here) are doing a rather good job of verifying authenticity of people and protecting your content. But, be sure to double-check this before joining.
Money matters and the alternative lifestyle, much like any other, is a business for some. And while being a member of an online community of this kind is normally free of charge, using some of their advanced features may come with a fee. Fees start from several euros a month and paying it may mean full access to the member base, discount for events and so on.
As in any community out there, friendships matter here too. And before you jump to any conclusions, no, you do not have to get intimate with everyone you talk to, nor do you have to become friends with everyone you’ve been intimate with. Friendship here works much like anywhere else. (And it’s not like that in life in general the boundary between friendship and sex is super clear, while we are at it.)
You can as well go to a club, on a regular night or to an event (normally with a theme), and get social face to face. For many people this is how things start, but unless you have someone with at least some experience to take you, we suggest you take some pre-steps. We will cover club-going in another post, because this can’t be properly done in a couple of paragraphs, and focus here on what you could do before making this step.
3. Don’t do it alone (if possible)
This is obviously all more easily done if you come as a couple. In principle, couples are looked at more favourably and they often pay less (per person) to enter events or become club members than single men do. Single women are a different story. There is a reason for this but this we will address in another post (or you can try and figure it out yourself, it’s not too difficult).
As a single man, you may think this is not fair and in a way you are right. On the other hand, the whole lifestyle thing started with swinging – which is de facto a couple business. Couples make the majority of any of the communities and others – including club owners, event organizers or community businesses – simply play along.
On the other hand, many couples look for single individuals to play with, either male or female, and this is a good point of entry for singles. Here as well, things are a little bit different depending on your sex. In case you are a single boy, prepare for some fierce competition. If you are a single girl, and especially if you are an attractive single girl, it may happen that couples compete for you (google “unicorn hunting”). Whichever it is, at the end of the day – for better or for worse – it’s the couples who rule the game.
4. Leave your prejudices behind
Being a part of the libertine lifestyle requires an open mind, while judging others on the grounds of sexual preferences or tastes is especially not tolerated. If you are not used to this or you find the people who enjoy watching their partner being pleasured by others to be weird, the lifestyle is probably not for you.
Of course, being excited by the thought of your partner being physically intimate with a number of random strangers is very different than actually experiencing this. You may think you would like it but then, bummer, the scene makes you cringe and the next thing you know is the hell breaking loose between you and your partner. So, whatever you do, think it through and, if you are in a relationship, discuss these things with your partner before going further and make sure you are on the same page when it comes to the things you want to do and especially the things you don’t want to do. Seriously, do it and don’t spare words.
Also, keep in mind that the people in the lifestyle are not any less normal, average, interesting or smart than you are. They have regular jobs, families, children; they also go to “regular” parties and have sex missionary style. They are only a little bit more open to exploration when it comes to their sex life, for which we firmly believe that, if done well, can do much good for the relationship and one’s quality of life.
5. Take it slowly
Remember, it’s a lifestyle we are talking about here, not a weekend escapade, and one does not adopt a new lifestyle overnight. We think this is a good thing, especially when you are sailing in uncharted waters. And while being informed, prepared and open-minded are certain advantages, your own journey will be different than that of anyone else. You may like it a lot in the beginning, but you may as well realize it’s not something you would eventually enjoy much. You may like it but you may end up doing it on occasions, not necessarily every weekend or every several months. This is all fine. It’s the mindset that counts.
But – if you are not sure at first and you may think you don’t really belong to the libertine club, be sure of one thing – you are not alone. This is something many couples experience, especially in the beginning and it should not discourage you. If you are still curious, you have to try it for yourself and not let others decide for you.
Lastly – be safe. We are not going to tell you here that you should wear protection, that you should be mindful of the hygiene or to be careful when choosing playmates. We assume you know all this and you know what adult responsible behavior is. But still, we say it because it can never be stressed enough.
Now, go and have fun!
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Wannabe sex & travel blogger and co-founder of Hedonomads