article had to be from a hands-on perspective. Did that bother me?
Hmmm. Not as much as I thought before this writing began. How could
it? My love life was on hold. And I was the only one holding it.
Zaak. Want to have fun? "
the email read.
rip-roaring bachelor weekends consisted of finding the
most sensuous spot in a one bedroom apartment to watch flies die on
window sill. My love life put the B in boring and the N in non-existent.
It was press the panic button time. I was down-n-out from feeling down
and out. So, I decided to put my mouth where my fantasies were and become
Historical documents on ancient civilizations have revealed orgies to
have been as common as that days rain. In the U.S. sharing sex got its
start in the 1970's. That free love movement, with all of its idealistic
platforms, expounded the notion that sex could be romantic, unrestricted,
by conventional morality at the same time.
Actually, that was the springboard for swinging.
Since then a new century had rolled in, and the entire
sexual revolution had further passed me by. The carnal free fall
came and went and still I could not get laid. This is a story about
my participation, co-mingling, with the late night crowd; whose methods
vary, with similar motives, and morals were negotiable. With a plethora
of sexually transmittable diseases rocking the boat the risks were great,
with a downside that was dangerously steep. To swing is to forget the
mounting risks that accompany that behavior.
This account is about the sights, smells and sounds of
virtually unlimited sexual freedom and indiscretion between those who
married, single and everyone in between.
Names of clubs and advertisements about such places to fornicate cannot
be changed to protect anyone. If ever innocence were lost it is with
swingers who meet strangers with hopes to become friends. Around and
around it went. There were no victims only volunteers.
Swinging, also known as wife swapping, has been around
seemingly forever. That free-wheeling, roller coaster, sex craze
had grown yearly in the U.S. with no leveling-off on the
U.S. Air Force fighter pilots during World War II were swingers. Living
for the moment was paramount. In those days none of them were sure if
they were going to return alive. Fliers would organized parties to say
good bye to their wives and girlfriends. If something fatal happened
to the pilot on the next mission, surviving pilots were to take care
of the killed ones wives when sexual needs arose. These hush-hush arrangements
persisted near Air Force bases throughout World War II and into the
Korean War. By the time the Korean War ended, these passion groups had
spread from the bases to the nearby suburbs by the 1950's. The media
picked up on them in 1957 and promptly dubbed the arousing phenomenon
Modern swinging had always been about couples, and how they remain dissatisfied
with the way their lives are without it. Every national swing convention
in the U.S. is couples only. Today marriage is less important so non-married
"couples" have been generally accepted but some swingers prefer
only to participate with married couples. The whole 'I'm locked in to
marriage you have to be locked into marital bondage like me', mystique
came to mind. In New Jersey they play at clubs with inauspicious names
as: Toga Joe's, Beginnings and The Farm Club. Single men are infrequently
allowed to participate. When those special nights open up those clubs
are sure to raise lots of money. Everyone knows men are virtually always
horney. And to invite us in to an open sexual realm is a guaranteed
cash cow or stallion as it were. Amongst married swingers single guys
night is to be avoided. The million to two ratio usually turns-off most
swinging duos. Though, some couples prefer single men. When compared
against the percentage of single men who do, not nearly as many single
women participate. Single women who are bisexual see swinging with another
woman as safe; because the other female is safely locked-in to a marriage.
I desperately wanted to join the swinging, live for the moment, fraternity
for different reasons; all of which centered on my own libido. The future
be damned. Nothing short of the earth being knocked off its axis was
going to impede my ached for progress. To locate potential action I
chose the internet web site approach. After more near hit-n-misses than
anyone in my sexually lowly position would dare to admit, one late afternoon
I finally got a nibble. "Hi, Zaak. Want to have fun? " the
Unlike most other introductory emails this one seemed a bit over-blown
by way of its we have all know each other for years familiar coziness
by the person writing me. Did I care? Heck, no. After a barrage of email
tag that seemed to have no closing stages we set up a person to person
meeting. Initial meetings are all the same. That one was no different.
It was lousy. That is not to say that it got off to a disastrous start.
Because it did.
My God, it was hot that day. The three of us agreed that a friendly,
outdoor, environment would be least pressurized and with little scrutiny.
A spacious high school athletic field it was. We must have walked the
cinder running track enough times to qualify for the Olympic team. Rarely
does one perspire enough to equal pools as I did and live to write about
it. The only thing drier than our three-way conversation was my throat.
Boy, was I thirsty. I don't know, there was something about the way
she introduced herself as "I'm the dog walker." that made
me uncomfortable. I felt interrogated by them. The entire time I prayed
for an exit line. Anything to rid me of this prolonged question and
answer session. There was the back and forth verbiage as to what each
of us liked and disliked. It went round and round.
1. How are you?
2. How bout those NJ devils?
3. How long have you been swinging? Number three is where everyone lied.
"Oh, we just got into the lifestyle," is the standard line.
No one was willing to go on the record as being sexually recycled. The
tedious cascaded into the pointless when I asked the dog walker, "Do
you pour yourself a glass of water when you go to clients homes to walk
Her reaction was overwhelming. Suddenly, there were miles between them
and me. One would have thought that I admitted to a murder. Or worse,
being a democrat. The look in her face reminded me of my father when
he finally got to the bottom of who caused the household calamity.
"I would never think to go into the refrigerator for myself!"
She snapped, nearly toppled her K-Mart, easy to assemble, halo in the
process of her proclamation. "Maybe you would. I'm a Christian
woman who.... If I could have yawned with my mouth closed she never
would have known how boring she was. Amidst the initial religious barrage
I was unable to take the high ground to spew that swinging and religion
are not on the same page. Silly me, she was going in the refrigerator
to feed the dopey dog. You get the point. Mentally, all of her oars
were not in the water.
Swinging can be easily perpetuated through parties, cruises, clubs,
and web sites. Most clubs are informal in nature and membership is generally
through another members referral. The clientele comes from all walks
of life. No one knows their total number but swing life grew yearly.
Organized swinging can be found throughout every social stratum in the
U.S. It was helped along by the media that is not as conservative as
it used to be. Increasing numbers of magazines and newspapers write
about swinging as a touch more normal than was dreamt of in decades
past. TV programs talk about swinging almost as though it is a common
occurrence. Certainly, it is not the taboo that it was. Swinging has
changed somewhat. What makes it different from historical sexual activities
involving multiple partners is that it presently exists in a climate
of sexual equality between men and women. Few places will you see the
sharing of power between couples more noticeably than in the swing community.
The Internet provided the big boom in the wife-swapping lifestyle. With
its global wide reach and instant communication, the internet allowed
millions to communicate privately about all of their wants, needs, and
Continuing with recollections of my lust tour, a couple saw my email
address on a popular web site and decided to contact me. This was the
first in what turned out to be a three stage interview process that
started with the husband named Les. Some people say less is more. Not
in this case. The day was nice and clear and so were the signs of problems.
The Hi, how are you meeting was arranged faster than was the case with
the first pair on the athletic field. I began that day thinking how
the three strikes and you're out rule must apply with my research. Bang.
There was a problem at the outset. Les was late. And I'm talking very
late. I sat in that diners parking lot long enough to convince arriving
and departing customers that either I was the parking lot stalker; or,
casing the place to hijack the next to arrive pastrami truck. Given
how hungry I was from the long drive and the waiting that was not all
that bad an idea. Finally, he arrived. Alone. Not being gay that did
not help my mood any. No matter. I figured, I'd come that far. Why not
see what happens.
We went inside the crowded diner and sat. Before too long the place
nearly cleared out. It could not have been my personality, could it?
Lets hope, its not my ex-wife doing the answering. The conversation
between he and I was ok. Actually, it was above that. We verbally danced
with talk of occupations; with both of us having somewhat similar backgrounds.
I chose to only have a beverage. No longer being an alcohol drinker
it had to be a simple soda. That was when it hit me. Sniff. Sniff. Vapors
of heavy drinker came through Les pores and my nostrils were vibrating.
Not a good sign. I did not feel comfortable in the company of a drinker.
When I was one of them it made more sense. Now that sanity has oozed
into my body it bothered me. Anyway, we went back outside. He said the
next meeting would be with him and his wife. He closed by asking me
what I'm into; and I confessed to being hopelessly straight. When I
asked him the same question he surprised me by saying, I'm into everything.
My impressions of him faded. As did visions of a future with this couple.
The second meeting was at a local bar near the diner in a back woods,
roundabout, way. After that we went back to the diner where I first
saw him. Holy cow, all those meetings should have resulted in a Presidential
appointment. Rather, I left them after those two meetings feeling that
swinging with them was not for me. After that, we called back and forth
to set up a sexual encounter, but there was nothing to follow. I began
to feel that maybe Mister Worldly (me) was simply out of his league.
I promised myself one more try. It was a two-strike Monday when Ruth
emailed me back, and a fast face-to-face action session was on.
Finally, I was able to get right to it; ahead of yet another tedious
round of Q & A. Besides, she said her husband liked to watch. That
was fine with me. She said, Park around the corner because I have inquisitive
neighbors. After I got her address I drove there with hope that all
would be pleasurable once I arrived.
I found the house with near ease; that being a roadway first for me.
Once inside her cluttered home I could not stop thinking that I was
in the center of a pet shop that just closed for the day. Animal smells
were everywhere. Not animal-like odors, which might suggest human passion
gone to excess, but actual animals. No matter, I was determined. A tetanus
shot at the entrance door should have been administered to me as a precaution.
She was a nice, soft spoken, woman. Her husband was at work which was
ok with me. When I sat on the couch she removed her blouse, and the
sight of her bare got me going. There was only one problem. I am more
of a romantic than I wanted to believe. The sex was entirely mechanical.
I did this and that; while she did that and this. I wanted to make this
swinging episode all that I had seen on the internet. The problem, however,
was that I had no emotional feelings for her. That, in and of itself,
prevented me from having a truly nice time.
On the way out I thanked her for seeing me. She gave the impression
that she had fun; though I could sense that something was missing for
Conclusion: Whether they admit it, or not, swingers are emotionally
lonely people. Having emailed with more than my fair share this was
apparent in every conversational exchange. Part of it stemmed from them
wanting to feel attractive and wholesome at the same time. They had
serious voids to fill. One thing about getting attention; it is one
of those things that everyone imagines they want until they get too
much of it. Then it becomes a burden as with most other lifes inconveniences.
More than half of swingers I conversed with longed for an emotionally
and sexually satisfying relationship with their mate. And to fully realize
that they turned to sex beyond their own marital vows. It is that lack,
that gap, between what was desired from the significant other, and what
was actually being felt which made the chasm noticeably wide. The solution
was to go outside the traditional marriage of the dissatisfied, in search
Swinging is the ability to share and forget that loneliness is the reason.
Those married couples I interviewed said swinging would be part of their
lives permanently. My best guess as to the future of swinging is that
as more people begin to think of themselves as "open-minded"
and "sexually positive" swinging will continue to grow and
prosper. While sex was always good for the moment, it often failed to
satisfy the other twenty-two hours in our day. Most couples I interviewed
with were not overly attractive. All too often I was told, "We're
not Ken and Barbie."
From the first time I heard that I thought it was a strange remark.
I thought everyone had the self confidence to be Ken and Barbie, if
in no other place but their own thoughts. And I am the first one to
holler, Beauty is only skin deep. I found it strange how couples could
not wait to tell me how happy they were in their marriage, and how their
spouse was their soul mate. Excuse me. Inherent in the soul mate foundation
there needed to be remnants of monogamy. I mean, really. If you're so
content with your spouse, what do you need another person for? Perhaps,
mine are thoughts of one who is leery of anyone who wants me as a friend.
If a person was truly happy there seemed little need to have to tell
everyone about it.
Not to come away from the whole experience as an entrenched prude, but
rooted friendships can surely come about from a more conventional setting
than sexually sharing. When the idea arose to research this topic I
knew there would be purely fun, unexplored, chapters out there for me
to absorb. Little did I anticipate how, after getting knee deep in the
lifestyle, the entire swinging experience would be quite sad.
© Zaak Fresh September 2003
Single, New Jersey
Bowling Green University -- English & economics
1. 1953, Alfred Kinsey published his ground-breaking Sexual Behavior
in the Human Female
2. The Feminine Mystique, which was to become the handbook of the growing
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