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Swingers, Swapers, Polygamy, Polyandry and Open Marriage

Be it on TV (e.g. Big Love, Swingtown), the internet, the newspapers, church, the park, at work, or Walmart, it seems everywhere we look these days we run into people who are experimenting with various sexual and relational extra marital activities within their marriages. People have been cheating and destroying their marriages by having affairs for as long as their have been marriages. In the last few years we've become increasingly aware of something else that has apparently been going on for at least a few decades as well. It seems that these are mutually agreed upon affairs in generally strongly committed and loving marriages. My wife has expressed openness to trying this. I have to admit to being a little curious about it myself...but not so much that I'd risk my marriage. We are curious what other people think. We are especially interested in knowing what people think of it who have actually tried or are currently doing this. What sort of experience (good or bad) have you had?

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It's my observation that "open relationships" of all kinds are still very much under ground. Not accepted by society--it's ironic that cheating is still more acceptable. Yes, there's a lot more exposure but it really has made a dint in the average's person social values. I have many friends who swing and/ or are in polygomous relationships (I'm not one) and none of them dare to talk about it outside our circle of friends. (I have many stories about how telling the general public has led to personal and professional ruin.)

Things may change in ten years...but I'm not optomistic. It's something society in general has a hard time wrapping their heads around. Interstingly, one of the things that is titillating about being in an open relationship is that it is taboo. People love and get turned on by the danger.

Here's an interesting article about how open relationships are making their way into China:
Hi Dr. Trina,
Thanks for your observation. Without hurting anyone or endangering their anonymity, are you able to share any parts of the stories of your open-marriage, swinging, or polygamous friends? How they got into it? What sort of feelings they had to work through, any regrets or guilt or relationship problems that are directly attributable to their choices? Aside from the ones who were ruined by disclosing to the public, how has swinging been working out for your circle of friends? Any of them try it and drop it? What is the longest time any of the swinger coupes you know have been swinging? Do you know has swinging itself destroyed any of their marriages? Do they say swinging has saved, hurt, helped their relationship? Drawn them closer together or further apart?

Do you see any paralells between the current swinging/open marriage situation and the state of acceptance of homosexuality a few years ago? I wonder how that experiment is working for them.

And thanks for the article on swinging in China
My wife and I have been exploring swinging for a few years, and we've found it to be great fun and has brought us closer together.

We'd be happy to discuss w/ you if you have specific questions.
I'm so laid back and not much offends me, really but swinging just seems so wrong to me. Even if you guys agree to it, its still cheating no matter how you look at it. Are you guys religious? Please don't be mad at me or take what I'm saying as being rude but I just can't believe what I'm reading. I'm not even jealous but to know that my husband was touching another woman the way he touches me, makes love to me, etc, etc I would lose my mind. How can two people truly, I mean truly love one another and have the most respect for the other spouse when you are having sex with another person besides your spouse? I just don't get it.
HI Brandie, I found your post quite interesting particularly as you raise the religious dimension of sexual politics. As you have raised it I would like to respond as I feel quite strongly that religion and sexuality have been one of the chief tools used by the controlling elite in the manipulation our(the masses) consciousness. So when you ask the question "are you guys religious" I think its important to take a step back and examine what you are really saying. In the first place by "religious" I am assuming that you are speaking of Christianity or some derivative of the that religious system. As there are different types of eastern and western based religious systems that championed many group sexual practices and rituals. In ancient times most religions were based on what they called fertility cults who would have orgies in the fields at the beginning of spring to summon a good harvests that year. Many of these systems can still be found today, in the form of ritual magic in the west and highly ritualized tantric meditation practiced in the new age movement, mahayana buddism, taoist and yogi practice. Marriage itself as a contract is only a recent invention. The fact is religious systems have become tools of the governing elite to control the masses and one of the chief techniques they have employed is that of creating something in our minds called "cognitive dissonance".. for example... part of the extremist suicide bomber training involves giving the teenage boys pornographic material, which they are told is filthy and corrupt but they are encouraged to "study" this material, then nature takes its course the boys get turned on which initiates a kind of self loathing, and then they promise the teenage boys that if they blow themselves up they will get 72 virgins in heaven... so fueled on pornographic material, deprived of contract with women, and provided with the solution to this sexual frustration which is a strap on bomb with the press of a button they will have all of their sexual fantasies fulfilled... Brandie I think we all need to begin to learn to think for ourselves, we need to stop kneeling to these religion scams and at the end of the day do what is best for you and your partner. Swinging isn't for everyone and not everyone needs to experiences it the same way either. One of the most interesting things for me about sexuality is how different and unique we all are. Different things turn different people on, and over time peoples turn on's change as well. As far as religions go I don't see any of them as qualified to really instruct us on how to live our lives and what our value system should or shouldn't be. I trust in my own path. So long story short no I am not religious but I do believe in our eternal consciousness, infinite love and unity of all creation.
If you ask married couples who have been together 50 years or more, it is not because of an "open" marriage that they have stayed together, but rather because of being committed to one another. Marriage is built upon trust and how can you trust someone who says they love you but is intimate with someone else at the same time. It is not set up that way. Not buying the premise of open marriage. I do not think it ever works.
you have to be very very carious about this. you are letting someone return into your bedroom. Its not godly in my opinoin. Dont do it? even if your wife is fine with it just don't because you two will regret it or not I don't know.
How do you know a couple will regret experimenting sexually?

My wife and I have experimented with including other people in our sex life, and it's been very fun and has brought us closer together.

We never play separately, and we feel more free to express ourselves sexually with each other.

As to whether it's godly or not. I think that's up to each person (or couple) to decide if that's a factor.
So.. here's some advice. Remember when you started dating your wife? And you tried things you normally wouldn't have tried if it weren't for her, and she did the same for you? It's almost the same thing. Try it. Start small. Maybe if she's bi-curious try with a female first. Maybe she has a fantasy that you two can try. If at any point either (or both) of you become uncomfortable, then stop. Most 'swingers' are very accepting and they do not push. If you like it, great! If you don't - then you don't ever have to try it again.
Michael- Thank you for inviting me to respond. I'd like to think of myself as being open-minded or somewhat sexually progressive, but my site: does not advocate alternative relationships; instead it advocates alternative thinking about relationships. For that reason I agree with the mindset behind an open marriage, but not the act.

Let me explain what I mean in three parts.

Part1- Cheating Is Not Real

I denounce words and phrases like: Infidelity, Cheating, Having An Affair, Being Unfaithful, etc., because these terms are not real. These are false terms that permeate our society, like the goings-on of Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and the like - they mean nothing but somehow when they enter our consciousness we're all supposed to take notice and/or be alarmed.

It reminds me of a time in my youth when I was driving my mom to the grocery store. Some guy in the turning lane directly in front us started having car trouble, then stopped right as the light had turned green. My mom took the liberty of "blowing the horn" for me, as she was quite offended by this guy's transgression - and quite frankly even more offended that I hadn't responded quickly. I can still hear her words, "Why didn't you let him have it?"

Well after that, I did. I took her advice and for years, I let drivers “have it" when I felt they had offended me. But one day I realized two things: I always felt like crap afterwards, and I had never been in a car accident. So was I really offended, or just conditioned to think I was?

Cheating is no different. Why should we make ourselves believe someone else's actions or desires are our fault? Why should we have to do something about it? Especially when it means losing our cool.

Think about that for a minute.

Part 2 – The Reality of Cheating
Most of us on this forum are highly educated via a combination of formal training and real-world experience. With that said, we all know in our hearts why the ones we love seek other partners. However, we are just too ego driven to admit it. But admitting it frees us from being offended or having to “blow our horn.”

What exactly am I talking about?

We Cannot Be Everything To The Ones We Love

Every human being on this planet seeks fulfillment. And Cheating is about satisfying a need we can’t find in out partners.
What’s a nice way of saying, “You’re not a good lover, a good listener, or provider?” Or better yet, how do you tell a partner “I can’t be me when I’m around you?”

Answer: You can’t. Divorce says it loud and clear though.

Part 3 – Cheating – Why You Should Allow It

First, let’s talk about sex being used as a marriage stimulant.

You and your wife both know what sex feels like. It’s good only when both partners are really into it or connected. For that reason, having sex for a recreational purpose is like having sex for the purpose of having sex. Acts such as these seem to benefit hormonal teens, but adults on the other hand, know how this will play out.

You Won’t Get Anything Out Of It


Sex by itself doesn’t connect to your soul. It’s the equivalent of eating too many chips or french fries – seems good at first but you’ll eventually get bored.

For the above reason I use a technique that makes my wife feel like she’s free to make her own choices, and this (not swapping) has done wonders for our marriage.

I call it complementing the motive; the concept involves making my actions inconsistent with that of a Cheater or any other “It’s all about me” behavior.

Have you ever experienced that weird Catch22 of telling someone not to do something? It makes him or her want to do it even more, doesn’t it? Well, I do the opposite. Instead of hiring detectives, constant questioning, or checking my wife’s phone records or email. I encourage her to make decisions that benefit her. I talk openly about guys I think she may be attracted to. I ask her to take off her wedding ring when we go out. I condone guys approaching her, as she’s still very attractive. More importantly, I talk to her about being more selfless. I challenge her on giving back to the community, or how she can help others. In short, I focus on making her a better person, or the things they make a person truly fulfilled.

Know what this does?

It takes the energy out of making her want to be with another guy, because the average guy doesn’t do what I’m doing. I also make sure I cover the basics of what women really find attractive in guys.

I’m not sure if I answered your question but I talk about all of this in my ebook: Let Her Cheat.

It would be my pleasure to send you a copy. Please join my email list and I’ll send you a copy when I finish making updates.
This is thought provoking... but it sounds like the thoughts in my head.. i want to explore.. i want to meet other men, i want to feel adored again.. apart from my husband adoring me etc.. is it ego.. yes.. do i want another lover.. no.. its not sex... its something...
anyway. thanks for your thoughts mike..
Some of those who use this site are not christian and do not believe in that nonsense. So arguments that use the bible or christianity as a way to support your arguement are not convincing me.

I do enjoy reading the other comments from couples who have tried it and had it work.


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