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Swinging, sometimes referred to in North America as the swinging lifestyle, is “non-monogamous sexual activity, treated much like any other social activity, that can be experienced as a couple.” The phenomenon (or at least its wider discussion and practice) may be seen as part of the sexual revolution of recent decades, which has occurred after the upsurge in sexual activity possible due to safer sex practices that became prevalent during these same decades.Swinging has been called wife swapping in the past, but this term is now archaic, as it is androcentric and does not accurately describe the full range of sexual activities that swingers may take part in.

Swinging activities can include (but are not limited to):

  • Exhibitionism: having sex with a partner while being watched.
  • Voyeurism: watching others have sex (perhaps with the above mentioned partner).
  • Soft Swinging or Soft Swap: kissing, stroking, or having oral sex with a third or fourth person. This may be in the form of a threesome or group sex, or partners may literally be swapped.
  • Full Swap: having penetrative sex with someone other than one’s partner, which is the commonly understood definition of swinging (though not necessarily the most common type).
  • Group Sex: An all inclusive term for activities involving multiple partners in the same vicinity.

Typically, swinging activities occur when a married or otherwise committed couple engages with either another couple, multiple couples, or a single individual. These acts can occur in the same room (often called same room swinging) though different or separate room swinging does occur. Sex on these occasions is often referred to as play.While the vast majority of swingers are heterosexual couples, a major part of Lifestyle activities are bisexual in nature. A large portion of female swingers, while they may or may not identify as bisexual, are interested in female-female sexual contact. Male-male contact is very rare, and usually never allowed in at a Swing Club/Party

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