- Jackie and John Melfi have been sleeping with other people for four years
- The married couple, from Texas, say the swinging lifestyle brings them closer
- Pair, both 52, say it helps with 'trust and communication' in their relationship
By UNITY BLOTT FOR MAILONLINE
A former banker who has been swinging with her husband for four years says their unusual sex life has made her feel more empowered than ever.
Jackie and John Melfi, both 52, regularly sleep with other men and women, go to swingers events together and even treat each other to surprise threesomes.
Now the pair, from Texas, say they are determined to debunk the myths around the swinging lifestyle
Unusual lifestyle: Jackie and John Melfie, 52, engage in sex with other people (both men and women), go to swingers events together and even treat each other to surprise threesomes
'But it's great for my and John's trust and communication. I believe it's to thank for the success of our relationship.
'It keeps me young. Being introduced to the lifestyle encouraged me to say yes and try new things in life. I've learned to let go and I'm no longer concerned about what people will say.'
Jackie added: 'Being encouraged to be openly sexual as a woman has blown my mind. Exploring and having positive reinforcement and affirmation from my partner is great too.'
While the couple usually meet sexual partners at swinging events, they sometimes treat each other to a surprise threesome.
John, who has two children and two grandchildren from previous relationships, explained: 'I once got an attractive man to come into our bedroom and surprise Jackie while we were having sex.
'I've also organised for a friend to stay with Jackie and keep her "entertained" when I've been out of town before.'
He says that while some people might find their lifestyle 'odd', he loves seeing how 'happy and confident' it makes his wife.
'Our love is real and we're just like any other married couple,' John insisted.
The pair started dating after Jackie split from her second husband. Despite feeling their 'instantaneous connection', Jackie was a little surprised when she found out that John owned a number of swingers' clubs.
She says: 'Due to John's work, the topic came up pretty early on. I'd grown up in a traditional and conservative household where we went to church three times per week.
'John, on the other hand, had always been very open-minded and had his first threesome after graduating from high school.
'I had some misconceptions as I'd been taught swinging wasn't positive at all – I thought the couple must not love each other, or were using it as an excuse to cheat.
After discussing it for a few months, Jackie finally felt comfortable enough to give 'the lifestyle' a try.
'Meeting John gave me the freedom to explore that side of myself,' she said.
The couple found a man on Craigslist who was willing to meet them in his hotel room.
'I was really surprised,' said Jackie. 'I'd been so nervous and had so many fears going into it, but it was so different from anything I'd experienced. There were so many emotions and they were all incredibly positive.
'It really did bring us closer. Having so much love and compassion coming from John in that situation made me realize all the possibilities of swinging.
'Everything suddenly fell into place and I was free to express myself sexually.'
After that experience, the couple started swinging more regularly with both men and women. Within a year of the two of them first meeting, they were husband and wife.
Now, four years on, they attend swingers' clubs and events and meet like-minded people through adult social networking sites.
Jackie says: 'There could be months in between experiences, or we could spend an entire weekend with someone. For it to be enjoyable, there needs to be a lot of trust and a high level of emotional comfort.'
'John and I talk about everything and share our fantasies with one another. If John makes a comment about an attractive woman walking past, it's not a taboo. I love that we can do that together.'
She added: 'Our children are happy for us too – they see me and John as role models and ask for advice. I'm glad I've been able to show my kids the positive impact an 'open' marriage can have.
'It's fostered a lot of honesty and openness. My children feel comfortable talking about sex with me and expressing their feelings.'
In 2015, the couple set up their website, openlove101.com, to educate anyone wanting to experiment, and to debunk the misconceptions of swinging.
Through the site, the couple have coached and counselled thousands of curious people trying to decide if swinging is right for them. They help others by sharing their personal experiences and knowledge.
'When you imagine the typical swinger, it's the '70s image of swapping keys and wife-swapping But it's much more than that,' said John.
'In my clubs, a lot of people come just to watch, to be watched or to soak up the sexual atmosphere. Swingers are really varied people, you don't just have to swap partners to be one.'