Alex, a commercial real estate agent, is sitting across from me in a booth in a North Jersey pub, watching a guy make an awkward pass at the middle-aged woman at the bar.
Alex is getting turned on. Her short black skirt riding perilously high. Because, you see, Susan is his wife. Happily married couples are having lots of sex — with other people.
The listing — one of dozens posted for New Jersey each month — announced to male members that the couple would be on the prowl tonight, looking for someone to satisfy her. Want to investigate the lifestyle? Try adultfriendfinders or sdc. New Jersey has hundreds, some active, some dormant. New ones crop up all the time. Or, to put it simply: The guy had to be fit and a nonsmoker. He had to be well-endowed and able to prove it with photos.
He had to have stamina, had to agree to safe sex and had to be willing to be watched and possibly videotaped during sex. Oh, and he also had to be willing to pay for the hotel room. In the swinging world, women make the rules. About a dozen men all sizes, all races, all ages and physiques — from beer guts to washboard abs respond to the post. The couple then traded e-mails with three studly types, ultimately deciding the unmarried year-old landscaper, now the skinny guy sitting at the bar, would be the best fit.
He was chosen because Susan found him attractive and his profile included testimonials from previous SLS women. The guy has game. And just as importantly, judging by the photos, when this guy pulls down his boxers, he could make Secretariat blush. Sometimes the relationships last a while. In case you were wondering: The landscaper lived up to his billing, and at last check, had scheduled a return engagement.
Why should a husband want to watch another man have sex — often great or, at least, better sex — with his wife? But, outside the house, Alex is mostly a voyeur. For him, swinging is a spectator sport. There are large swingers clubs — Saints and Sinners, Pure Bliss and South Jersey Sex Friends, for instance — and smaller groups that cater to nudists or somethings or interracial couples or the handicapped or fetishes.
Most swingers tend to play in their own age neighborhoods, rarely straying more than a decade — although sometimes a something couple in good shape can hook up with a pair in their 20s.
The older couple might have the means to pick up the tab for lavish getaways. But whatever the desire, one thing is certain: While non-swingers might view swinging as a depraved behavior that threatens marriage and the family unit, research indicates that swingers, by and large, believe they have strong, loving and committed relationships.
He says he has seen the damage done by swinging. Sexual adventure might be exciting for a while, but it gets old. Are they momentarily rebelling from a life of always doing the right thing? Do they crave the confidence boost that comes from being attractive to someone other than their spouse or partner? When you ask swingers — or sociologists — why they do it, there are as many answers as there are sexual positions. Professor Edward Fernandes of Barton College in North Carolina is the leading academic authority on the study of swingers and the swinging lifestyle.
Sex, Lust and Non-Monogamy. And singles certainly have different motives than couples. Swingers usually are looking for people who share their sexual interests.
They consider their marriages strong, but seek the sexual variety their spouses cannot provide. Four percent of male swingers are older than Down there, 10 bucks gets you in. And with a D. Before they head downstairs to look over the crop, Bill and Diana relax on a couch in the lobby.
The couple — both divorced, in their late 40s and now living together — have been swinging for about five years. Recently, their steady hook-up couple decided to take a break from swinging because of pressures from real life — kids, a job loss, bills piling up.
So, Bill, a retired cop, and Diana, a restaurant hostess, are searching for new friends. The couple must be fun, a little kinky and drama-free. For them, it all started at a Super Bowl party six years ago when Diana was seduced by another woman. The men were watching football. A bunch of women were sipping wine in a hot tub, and eventually Diana and the other woman were left alone.
Three orgasms later, Diana was hooked on sex with a woman, and she and Bill now swing a couple of times a month. Today, Bill and Diana are full swappers, hunting for a couple that includes a bisexual woman. Diana, however, does the choosing, and Bill is fine with that.
At hotel parties, which usually are invitation-only, couples mingle in a ballroom or bar, flirt, link up, then head to a room.
At a house party, also by invitation, there usually is one large room where the action takes place. An orgy erupts, but not everyone participates. To make sure the female party-goers are satisfied, a few extra hard-body or somethings are invited. Singles are the fastest growing swinging demographic, but that often leads to conflict, Fernandes says. Women want the extra men, but some of the guys tend to be aggressive and cocky.
Swingers, even with the use of condoms, risk being exposed to herpes or HPV, which can lead to cervical cancer. HPV also is linked to throat cancer, making oral sex risky, too. Research shows 2 percent to 6 percent of swingers contract sexually transmitted diseases — a surprisingly small number — and most of those have had contact with singles.
And, of course, no one is forced to have sex. In the swinging world, politeness is expected. You ask before you touch. And, after spending weeks in and around the swinging world, I recognized the note had an air of authenticity.
A great many have kids they love dearly. You pass them in the supermarket. You see them at baseball practice. You work alongside them. Swingers are just regular folk. In fact, couples often have pretty intense sex again when they get home. Maybe non-swingers — including office gossipers and marriage counselors — hear only about the relationships shattered by affairs and threesomes, because successful swingers keep their lifestyle secret. We might go back to it — or we might not.
Either way, the memories are great. Lori is poking at her Cobb salad on a rainy afternoon as she explains how she got into swinging. Lori is an attractive woman in her 40s who is trying to look younger. Her straight brown hair reaches to her waist — unusual for any female older than But the key is those first three words: She craves the attention. I was going to have to cheat, get a divorce or talk him into swinging, and swinging seemed like the best option at the time.
There was a long pause. And then he agreed. Studies show about two-thirds of the men reported having suggested swinging to their female partner. Less than one-fourth of the women admitted to have done so.
At some point, Lori let her lover in on a secret: She likes to be dominated. A corporate headhunter, she enjoys being tied up and lightly spanked, her long hair pulled. After giving orders all day at work, she enjoys being taken, in role play, against her will. Her husband was too vanilla, but her new lover gladly fed that desire.