Swinger Lifestyle in the eyes of swinger club owner

For the past year, I've been hosting events once a month in Champaign-Urbana. Being in a college town, most of Country Club's members are much younger than what you'd see at your typical...

My first question is, what is the difference between an open relation/marriage and a swinger lifestyle?

L: While at first, the two concepts seem related, they’re very different in important ways. An open relationship is something that a person does in addition to their primary relationship, on the side, by themselves. Swinging is something that a couple does together. An open relationship involves going on dates, wooing and being wooed, falling in love, and sleeping with other people. Swinging does not involve the emotional side and is just about sleeping with other people.

How long have you and your partner been in the lifestyle? How did you start? Tell us your story. 

L:  My husband and I have been in the lifestyle since we started dating. I had always been interested in non-monogamy, but none of my previous boyfriends had been adventurous or secure enough to entertain the idea. When I met my now-husband, I had just gotten out of a long-term relationship and wasn’t interested in settling down, and I told him as much. I was considering dipping my toes into polyamory since that was the only term I knew that sounded vaguely like what I was interested in… He was opposed to that idea, but we discovered swinging as an alternative. We haven’t looked back since!

Do you think swinger marriages/relationships last longer than monogamous marriages/relationships because the two parties have less incentive to cheat on each other?

L: No, but I’d love to see the statistics on this if there are any! I think that “cheating” is something different from “swinging” entirely. As a swinger, it is definitely still possible to fall out of love with your partner, fall in love with someone else, date someone behind your partner’s back, etc. Even though we have sex with other people, there are still things that are “off-limits” that, if done, would still be considered “cheating”. There is so much more to a relationship than just sex!

What made you decide to opt for a swinger lifestyle? Was it an easy decision? Or did you have to think about it?

L: It was very easy for me!

Did you have ‘rules’ any when you started?

L: Most people tend to have strict rules when they first start out, but they grow more lax the longer you’re in the lifestyle. One of our early rules that have since gone out the window is a “no kissing” rule. We also had a strict “same room” rule. We still keep that when swinging with new couples, but it has turned into a “same house” rule for people that we are friends with.

How has swinging affected your relationship/marriage?

L: We have been swinging together since we met, so I can’t say that it changed our relationship in any way since there was no “before”. But, I am happier and more secure in this relationship than I ever had been with anyone else, and I ended up marrying my partner, so that’s something, isn’t it?

Do some swingers ever get jealous when they see their partner with another man/woman?

L: The people who do, find out pretty quickly that they aren’t lifestyle-compatible. There may be little things here and there that make you jealous, but if you want to stay in the lifestyle, you need to figure out what those are and avoid them. If the whole idea of seeing your partner with another person makes you jealous, then swinging isn’t for you.

How do we not get jealous? A lot of communication, and we have some ground rules. For example, we only hook up with another couple if we are both into both of them, and vice-versa. There are plenty of times where he is into her, but I’m not into him, so oh well, it can’t happen. No questions asked. And then, there are some more silly rules… For example, two of my past serious boyfriends have left me for a specific type of woman… As an example, let’s say, a short redhead with huge tits. My husband has had a serious girlfriend like that before, as well. Since I am a tall brunette with small tits, this repeated coincidence has made me insecure around that kind of women, and, as ridiculous as it is, they are off the table for him. It’s a silly, nonsensical rule, really. But it makes me uncomfortable, and he respects me, so it’s off the table. It’s important to respect your partner’s feelings, whatever the reason.

What are some of the positives, for you, of the swinger lifestyle?

L: My favorite thing about it is that it isn’t just about having sex with other people — it’s actually a lifestyle. There is a huge sense of community. We have made many lifestyle friends that we don’t even hook up with – they’re just people we enjoy spending time with. We invited swingers to our wedding. We’ve been invited to Thanksgiving with swinger friends. We meet each others’ “vanilla” friends and family. We dog-sit for each other. We go to music festivals, on cruises, on ski trips together.  Yeah, the orgies are great, but they’re not even the best part!

Do you have any advice for couples, wanting to get into the lifestyle? 

L: Communicate communicate communicate before, during, and after any experience. Before you even leave the house, when it’s just you and your partner alone together, talk about what is on or off the table for the evening. Don’t leave it up in the air, to see what happens, to see what you feel like “in the moment”, especially if there may be alcohol and/or impaired judgment involved later. If you decide that a soft-swap may be on the table, that doesn’t mean you are committing to it, just that you’re open to the idea. If you decide that penetration is definitely off-limits, stick to it. Even if later on, in the moment, you decide that you’ve changed your mind — don’t do it. Stick to your rules, at least the first few times you go out. There will be plenty more opportunities, no need to rush anything. Take it slow, and have one-on-one discussions with your partner each step of the way to make sure you are on the same page when you are both clear-headed.

During the act, keep communicating. Let’s say the two of you decided ahead of time that you will full-swap, and now you’re getting it on with another couple for the first time. Before each step, ask both sides if what you’re about to do is okay. Ask your partner, “Is it okay if I kiss him?”; ask the other guy, “Is it okay if I kiss you?”. Always get consent. Even if you’re all good, and in the middle of fucking the guy while your partner is fucking his girl beside you — make eye contact with your partner to make sure they are having fun and everything is still fine. It doesn’t have to be a big thing; just have quick check-ins, often. If someone is uncomfortable/jealous/unhappy, you want to find out right away, and not let it turn into a big deal or an argument, later.

After you get home, the next morning, talk to your partner about what happened. Was there anything that made you uncomfortable? Excited? Embarrassed? What turned you on/off? What did you learn from this, and how will it affect next time? Be open about your feelings. You may have really long discussions about everything when you first start out, and eventually, you will hone in on your boundaries and your turn-ons/offs.

If people are thinking about trying out the swinger lifestyle, how do they get started and what things should they take into consideration?

L: Getting started is as easy as Googling “swinger clubs in [area]” for your closest city. Some people prefer to meet with other couples two-on-two, but I recommend getting started with a group, instead. Meeting individual couples in the lifestyle can be hard at best, and awkward or sketchy at worst. There are sites like FetLife and lifestyle lounge, or worse… Craigslist. What if you meet up with someone, and then just don’t click? How do you politely decline without hurting their feelings? What if they turn out to be nothing like their pictures? What if they turn out to be nuts? If you go to a party instead, your chances of meeting someone you actually like are greatly increased. You can also feel more comfortable just mingling, with no pressure or expectations. If you hit it off with someone, take it where you want to. If you don’t, it’s easy to excuse yourself and walk away. If nothing else, maybe you’ll make some new fun and interesting friends. We can see that you are also hosting events.

Can you tell us more about it? 

L: I started Country Club a year ago after my career led me from Chicago to the college town of Champaign-Urbana. For four years before that, my husband and I were very active in the lifestyle in Chicago. Once in Champaign, we would drive back up to Chicago almost every weekend to reconnect with our lifestyle friends. We missed having that community! But, we grew sick of I-57, and I knew we couldn’t be the only swingers in central Illinois… So I decided to do something about it.

For the past year, I’ve been hosting events once a month in Champaign-Urbana. Being in a college town, most of Country Club’s members are much younger than what you’d see at your typical lifestyle club – our main demographic is grad students, though we do not enforce an age limit. I call Country Club a “social club” because it focuses on connecting people, rather than on the sex. We are very newbie-friendly, and most of our events are off-premises. Most of the time, we host free meetup events at bars around town, but we like to switch it up every once in a while. For example, we once hosted a formal masquerade ball; and a daytime pool party mansion takeover called “Champagne Flutes & Bathing Suits” where we provided free unlimited champagne for our guests.

Though we have a name and a professional-looking website, Country Club is not profitable, or a business – it’s actually just my (expensive!) hobby. I started Country Club to make new friends and to throw fun parties for those friends, and I’d say it has been very successful at that. In addition to running Country Club, I have a demanding full-time job and am a part-time student taking evening classes toward my master’s degree at UIUC.

You can also get more information about club at http://www.lifestylecountry.club

 

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