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First Chapters

Lifestyles: Swingers

Swing Life
Zaak Fresh

This 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.
"Hi, Zaak. Want to have fun? "
the email read.

My rip-roaring bachelor weekends consisted of finding the most sensuous spot in a one bedroom apartment to watch flies die on the 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 a swinger.

Historical documents on ancient civilizations have revealed orgies to have been as common as that days rain.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 are 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 horizon.
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 wife-swapping.

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 email read.

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 their dog(s)?"

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 desires.

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 her also.

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 of others.

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
Freelance writer
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 feminist movement

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