Are we swingers or polyamorous?
Since everybody these days needs a name or label to describe everything that happens around us, I decided to talk a bit about polyamorous vs swingers, are they different, is so, why?
The reason is that yesterday my wife and I got together with a few couples for drinks at a local bar. Since was a slow night, we had the chance to talk about many things like we always do, and one of the themes that came across the conversation was polyamorous vs the swingers couples, to be honest, the opinions were very different and the facts were, that we realized, that we all, had a different version about both types of relationships. But we all agree, that the only thing both types of relationships had in common, was that the sex is consensual in both cases.
Well, here I’m today, researching and once more trying to see why we want to complicate our lives so much! But in any case, here are the answers…
Swingers vs Polyamorous.
They are both parts of “open marriage”. The distinctions between open marriages are based on the motives for participating in an open marriage and on the nature of extramarital relationships.
“Couples in open marriages may prefer different forms of extramarital relationships. Couples who prefer extramarital relationships, emphasizing love and emotional involvement have a polyamorous style of open marriage. Couples who prefer extramarital relationships, emphasizing sexual gratification and recreational friendships have a swinging style of open marriage. These distinctions may depend on psychological factors such as social sexuality and may contribute to the formation of separate Polyamory and swinging communities. Despite their distinctions, however, all open marriages share common issues: the lack of social toleration, the need to keep the relationship as a duet, and the need to manage jealous rivalry”
Polyamory: (from Greek πολύ poly, “many, several”, and Latin amor, “love”) is the practice of, or desire for, intimate relationships where individuals may have more than one partner, with the knowledge and consent of all partners. It has been described as “consensual, ethical, and responsible non-monogamy“.
Swingers: Couples or singles who choose to have an open relationship, allowing their partners to have sex with other people, with their permission. Also known as wife swapping or partner swapping, is a non-monogamous behavior in which both singles and partners in a committed relationship engage in sexual activities with others as a recreational or social action.
Well, so far it looks the same, just different wording, but it really goes beyond that, let’s go a bit deeper…
The main difference between both is the philosophy. Many couples in a Polyamory relationship say that swinging is a form of a polyamorous relationship, because of the similarity between both, Consensual non-monogamous relationships, the difference is that polyamorous couples add feelings to the equation, and do not consider themselves singers in any way. “Unlike the swinger’s community, polyamorists aren’t in it for the sex, they say, they’re in it for the love.”
On the other hand, swingers have their own culture, language, and practices, Swinging is often referred to as “THE LIFESTYLE” and used to be called “WIFE SWAPPING” back in the days. It includes a wide range of sexual activities commonly conducted as an organized social activity between three or more people. It’s often engaged in by a primary couple and can be seen as a modified version of monogamy, involving sexual exploration without romantic or emotional bonds. Swinging is definitely a “couple-centric” relationship. Couples maintain their core relationship as the main focus.
And the key and main difference are with vs without romantic or emotional bonds. The relationship between swinging and polyamory has been always controversial, mostly because polyamorous couples hate to be called swingers, they say that they have a “Responsible” Non-monogamy relationship while the swingers are like wild animals! Really?
The “poly vs. swinging” debate has died down over the years, these two forms of “open marriages” have learned to exist without tripping over one another, basically because this day, we are way too open to new things, new waves, and more respectful toward each other. But one thing is for sure… Swingers are outnumbering polyamorous way too fast! Main reason why? Is way more open-minded people that are tired of being judged for what they do, or to be labelled because sexual preferences or lifestyle.
The bottom line… don’t matter if you have a polyamorous relationship or a swinger relationship, just be happy and real, don’t let others think for you!