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‘I love watching him having sex with other people’: 8 swingers tell us their secrets


Whether they admit to it or not, most people have at some point fantasised about indulging in group sex.  

But what if you want to give swinging a try for real – are there secret rules you’re supposed to know before you go?

by Violet Fenn - Picturea by Liberty Antonia Sadler for Metro.co.uk

Polyamory, non-monogamy and swinging – what are they and are they right for you?

Will anyone care if you just stand around watching?

And what if you’re single – will you still be welcome?

I spoke to people – both married and single – about their sexy secret lives. They gave me the lowdown on nerves, etiquette and why you need to plan in advance.

How did you get into swinging in the first place?

Sarah, single: My ex had the fantasy and I found it hot. It was something we talked about throughout the relationship.

Tess, single: I was incredibly nervous the first time, to the point of wearing a masquerade mask because I thought if I could hide my face, then people wouldn’t really see me. But I had loads of people approach me.

Naomi, married: Our relationship started with sex in an elevator, so we’ve always enjoyed exploring new things when it comes to sex. We chatted online to a couple who didn’t swap but enjoyed having sex with each other in the same room as another couple and we thought it was something we might enjoy.

Jo, married: We were part of the BDSM and fetish community for a long while before getting involved with swinging. It was a very gradual process over a number of years, with much discussion about boundaries and limits. I discovered that I had little problem performing sex acts in a fetish environment, and got a kick out of it – my hidden exhibitionist.

Swingers' Lifestyle: The Questions You Are Afraid to Ask

Marc, married: I’ve always been fascinated by it, because you can fantasize about having as many people to play with as you want. It wasn’t until 2007 that I had my first proper swinging experience through a website. I had bags of nerves and was equally excited – which is the whole fun of swinging.

Leonie (married to Marc): I had my first swinging experience at the age of 19 – I met a couple through a newspaper advert – and I’ve never looked back.
illustration showing three pairs of feet at the end of a bed with clothes discarded around them

(Picture: Liberty Antonia Sadler for Metro.co.uk)

What makes a person want to have sex with someone other than their partner?

Naomi: This might sound really bad but the people we play with are just like sex toys to us. I don’t mean we objectify them, but – in a nice way – we use them to enhance our own sex. And there’s nothing better that watching your fella pleasure another guy. Sex is just sexy! I also think you learn even more about your partner by watching them with someone else, whether it’s a guy or a girl.

Jo: I’m bisexual – I love my husband, but sometimes I just want a female to play with. And I love watching him have sex with other people – he’s so into it and I can watch him having pleasure without having to do anything myself – sometimes I can be a bit lazy. But there’s no jealousy – they’re not the ones going home with him.

Ben (married): Frankly it’s just so f***ing hot seeing other people pleasuring my partner. I find her the most hot and sexy woman I know – the fact that others do makes me happy and proud and horny. And in ‘normal’ sex, you never get to see the whole of you partner during the event. When you are watching them with someone else, you can see their whole body reacting and it’s wonderful.

Leonie: Marc always vets people first and that gives me a kick – it’s almost like being made to have sex with someone else, that’s an extreme turn on for both of us. And two cocks are better than one.

Sallyanne, single: I like swinging because I like group sex; I like watching other people have sex and I quite like being watched while I’m having sex. Part of it is to do with the idea that sex can just be fun with other people – it doesn’t have to be such a big deal.
metro illustrations

(Picture: Liberty Antonia Sadler for Metro.co.uk)

Has swinging affected your relationship, for either good or bad?

Tess: You have to be very secure as a couple, because you never know how you’re going to react until you see it ‘in the flesh’.

Naomi: I think you have to start swinging with a very strong relationship where you communicate well. Each step we’ve made, we’ve discussed and not moved on unless we were both 100% happy. The swinging is great fun, but nothing is as good as the sex we have when there’s only the two of us.

Swingers' Lifestyle: The Questions You Are Afraid to Ask

Jo: We had years of negotiating the BDSM scene beforehand so we have a strong relationship where we talk a lot about boundaries and what we are comfortable with. I know my limits and I’m unafraid to say when I don’t want to do something, or if I don’t want him to do it.

Marc: To me it strengthens our relationship because a lot of couples have certain needs and desires but never talk about it. We share our fantasies and if it’s a no, that’s fair enough. You’ve also got to have a lot of trust in your partner, because we’re inviting someone else into our space.

Leonie: We actually met on a swinging site so we knew where we were from the start – it wasn’t a shock discovery.

Sallyanne: It may well strengthen a good relationship – or at least not damage it – but it will completely stuff one that’s already in trouble. The idea of trying swinging to patch up a relationship that’s not working is really… No. Just don’t. Not only will you fall out with your partner, but there’s a likelihood of other people getting caught up in the mess and that isn’t fair on them

If you’ve ever swung as a single person, how did that pan out?

Tess: Having been single for a couple of years, I decided I needed to do something for me. This wasn’t about the sex; it was pushing my boundaries and taking myself out of the norm. I discovered a place, which is a naturist spa during the day and turns into a club in the evening. For me, it was about the whole experience rather than just the sexy side of things.

Naomi: I’ve never been to a club as a single person but given all the friends I’ve made now, if I was single and there was an event I fancied going to, I wouldn’t have any concerns about going to the clubs I know.

Ben: A warning – as a single guy, you have to be very forward in getting involved in play and there is a risk of coming across as a creep. The phrase ‘sharking’ gains a whole new meaning as a male thrashes across the 20 person jacuzzi with his ‘fin’ poking out of the water. It’s not a good look.

Swingers' Lifestyle: The Questions You Are Afraid to Ask

Sallyanne: I did loads of swinging as a single girl. Now and again I would find myself somewhere that was all couples, and some of the women would eye me a bit suspiciously, and there were the nights where there was absolutely no one I found attractive. But there were a lot of really good nights. I had a few threesomes and once a foursome that was me and three men.
three people kissing

What advice would you give to someone who wants to try swinging but is scared of taking the plunge?

Sarah: Spend some time thinking whether anything else might be going on in the relationship. But be prepared – it might well result in damage to the relationship that you can’t recover from.

Tess: As a single female, I’d so go for it.  Do your research, chat with people online first. Yes, it’s bloody scary but after you’ve done it the first time, you realise people into that lifestyle are the most genuine, honest and safe people you’ll meet. You won’t be alone for long.

Swingers' Lifestyle: The Questions You Are Afraid to Ask

Naomi: Be sure of what you want and if you’re in a couple, talk a lot about it before you start anything so you’re in total agreement. When you meet someone, always make sure they know exactly what you’re after and don’t be swayed into anything more until you’re ready for it. But never say never.

Jo: If in a couple, talk to each other about it. Have agreed codes to get you out of situations. Talk afterwards about what worked and what didn’t. And if you’re unsure then wait. On our first trip, we decided we were just going to have sex with each other, see how we liked the atmosphere and go from there. There are always other opportunities.


Why isn't a major fetish site allowing people to share photos of period blood?

Ben: Take it slow! You’re under no obligation to swing at a swingers club and ‘no thanks’ will be respected. See if you are happy just being part of the event before diving in head first – as swinging crosses a lot of the social norms we’re typically brought up with, it can be a bit of a system shock.

Swingers' Lifestyle: The Questions You Are Afraid to Ask

And ‘head first’ is a good rule – if the action causes relationship issues, then a disagreement over oral is a whole lot better than anything else.

Sallyanne: If you’re a couple, talk it through, lots, before your first time. Don’t pressure a partner who really hates the idea, the consequences won’t be nice for anyone. It’s worth promising each other that, if it all goes wrong or is disappointing, neither of you will blame the other. Also, maybe have an agreed signal or to for ‘Help, get me out of this’ or ‘Yes please, let’s ask them to play.’

Marc: Try it once and if you don’t like it, don’t do it again!

And finally – a useful checklist (thanks, Ben!)

Handy hints for swinging

  • Cleanliness is important. Clubs usually have lots of showers – use them.
  • A lot of clubs run a buffet during the evening (people burn a lot of calories) – make sure you know when it’s on and get to the front of the queue.
  • Many clubs don’t have a licensed bar – check whether you need to bring your own alcohol.
  • A little booze lowers the inhibitions, too much leads to bad decisions.
  • The locker keys are usually on rubber wrist straps  – tuck the key back under the band, or they get awfully rattly and distracting at crucial moments.
  • Those ‘beach storage’ wrist bands are great for carrying condoms.
  • Take more condoms than you think you’ll need.

Swingers' Lifestyle: The Questions You Are Afraid to Ask

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