Unsplash/Kenny Eliason – Picture has been edited by Les 3 sex*

Review · Swinging

23 January 2024
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Swinging typically refers to non-monogamous sexual behaviour, often considered a lifestyle, where coupled individuals engage in sexual encounters with other people while in the presence of their partner. Studies have shown that swingers, or people who swing, share specific socio-demographic characteristics; they tend to be married, cisgender, heterosexual people. The swinging lifestyle gained popularity and awareness in the 1970s, where several researchers investigated the reasons behind participation in these activities. In more recent studies, swinging is often affiliated with other forms of consensual non-monogamies, such as polyamory and open relationships, which can make quantifying the number of active swingers difficult. Research conducted on the subject of swinging has been influenced by sociohistorical context; early studies on swinging were most concerned with explaining the origin of this sexual practice which was considered deviant. The HIV/AIDS epidemic, towards the end of the 20th century, then brought on a series of studies on the risk of contracting STIs through swinging. Moreover, several researchers have investigated the influence of swinging on relationship stability and sexual satisfaction. Recent works consider the specificities of gender roles within swinging communities and the ways in which these sexual practices reproduce or subvert power dynamics in heterosexual couples.

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swinging, swingers, co-marital sex, partner-swapping, alternative relationships, consensual non-monogamy, ethical non-monogamy, lifestyle

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