The most common alternative term for swinging is “wife swapping.” Not “husband swapping,” “spouse swapping,” or “partner swapping.” “Wife swapping.” This term says four things to me.
First, participants must be married. Sorry, singles; you’re out.
Second, participants must be heterosexual. To each husband goes a different wife.
Third, and the one that gets right under my skin, is that this is for the decision-making men. The husbands swap their wives as commodities to be exchanged.
Fourth, participants are not interested in sharing their experiences and other partners together, but instead pair off with others for separate liaisons.
As our society becomes increasingly progressive, “wife swapping” gets less respect as a term, being replaced by more neutral terms like “swinging” and “partner swapping.” Still, I suspect that most people recognize “wife swapping” more readily than “partner swapping.”
This brings me to a couple things I have observed that bother me about swinging, on which I have ranted before: the M-bi bad / F-bi good double standard and a generally accepted contempt for swinging single men.
Couples can be both-straight or M-straight and F-bi, and couples seeking a second woman for FFM/FMF threesomes is so common that it is cliche. The openly both-bi couple seems to actually be rarer than the elusive and highly sought “unicorn” (swinging bisexual single woman). M-bi and F-straight couples seem to be even rarer still. Single men are considered a dime a dozen and disposable.
Groups and clubs focus on couples and (assumed bisexual) single women. Single men get excluded or are permitted under special circumstances only. Despite this rant, I do understand and appreciate this, to some degree. Single men are very common in the lifestyle and could easily flood a club when there is no limitation. Just look at the membership of almost any sex-focused web site to see the disproportionately high volume of single men seeking a quick and easy hook-up. It is a stereotype for a reason.
However, the attitudes sometimes go too far. For one thing, bisexuality in swinging women is encouraged, practically expected, while bisexuality in swinging men is frowned upon. Even on sites where people anonymously state sexual preferences, men still identify as straight, but then contact us and claim to be bisexual. Why the inconsistency? Which one should we trust? We have passed on a few couples and singles who may have otherwise been viable playmates because they were profile-M-straight/message-M-bi and we could not trust that conflicting first impression.
As I said, F-bisexual seems to be the standard, but are that many of us women really bisexual? More than a few horror stories include one woman panicking and running away, or one woman in a FF coupling only doing it to put on a show for the men. While I want everyone to have a good time, I do not want to be with a woman who checks every few seconds whether her male partner is pleased by our performance. Until recently, I did not even feel comfortable with the idea of men being present when I tried FF; I wanted that experience to be for just us participating women. What happens if I wind up with a bi-for-show or bi-to-please-him woman?
Again, there are a disproportionately large number of swinging single men and most couples seek FFM/FMF threesomes. This results in some interesting attitudes, one being a general contempt for the single men. On almost every swinging forum that I have visited so far, some couple (often still just beginners themselves) posts a huge rant about how the single men have no place within the lifestyle. The whiny couple invariably is seeking a single woman for FFM/FMF threesomes, but words their complaint as “singles do not belong in the lifestyle.” From where do you geniuses expect to find your single female? I get that these couples do not want single men and that some single men are obnoxious, but I think that the whiners are mostly being remarkably narrow-minded. Still, this happens enough, and I have seen enough discussions about swinging single men, that I find the whole situation pretty sad already.
Despite how open and progressive our society and the swinging subculture have gotten about sex, including women’s enjoyment of sex, both still seem to be heavily driven by standard heterosexual male preferences. Within swinging, homosexual men and single men need not apply, bisexual men should claim to be straight, and women of all sexualities should be bisexual exhibitionists. Eesh. I am going to go masturbate and fantasize about a 3M2F grouping that features at least as much MM contact as FF or MF contact.