**** Update: The link to this podcast episode is currently unavailable. But I’m leaving this post here because there is some interesting information. If you would like, you can still visit Poly in the Cities and listen to my second appearance on Episode 26
I am very excited about today’s post. I recently had the opportunity to appear on Episode 8 of the Minneapolis based podcast Poly in the Cities. I would like to express my thanks to the hosts of the show, Jennifer, Craig, and Amy who were incredibly welcoming. We had an excellent discussion on Poly and Swinging.
You can listen to Episode 8 here and find all the previous episodes by clicking the image below. Then scroll down to read my post-recording thoughts on the episode.
Poly and Swinging:
Polyamory is defined as having multiple loving relationships. The configurations of those relationships can vary greatly. While poly people don’t usually deny having sex with their multiple “loves”, they do tend to focus the discussion on feelings and relationships.
Swinging is often understood to mean non-monogamous recreational sex between couples which is devoid of feelings. But the swingers I’ve come to know and love (yes, love) over the years have a much more complex philosophy about love, sex, and relationships than is often assumed. Many of my friends identify themselves as polyamorous, but they are also swingers who enjoy sex for its own sake.
Yes, there is a difference between polyamory and swinging. There are also a lot of similarities. Many people, myself included, fall somewhere in the middle. I want to connect with people sexually, and oftentimes that’s all it is. We have a physical connection that is fun and sexy. We enjoy our playtime together, but there isn’t much interaction and relationship beyond that.
But I would say that type of situation is the exception, rather than the rule. For me, swinging encompasses a variety of connections. My husband and I have made friends in this lifestyle. Sometimes those friendships lead to sex, but oftentimes they don’t. We may simply enjoy a friendly flirtation or meet for a game of tennis. Other times, things start out sexual and change gradually. Over time, we realize that we have created a relationship that includes feelings of deep connection.
So how do we label these multi-layered friendships? All too often I think we tend to look for ways that we can distinguish ourselves from other groups. One of my favorite parts of the podcast discussion was when Amy described the concept of a non-monogamy umbrella. There is room for all of us to co-exist under that umbrella. And just because I might enjoy a purely sexual relationship with one partner, doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a more feelings based relationship with another. I’m a fan of exploring and celebrating the many expressions of non-monogamy and embracing all my non-mongamous friends.
Interestingly, all three of the Poly in the Cities hosts came to polyamory via dissatisfaction with some aspect of the swinging lifestyle. It was unfortunate to hear some of their negative experiences when they first attended some local sex parties. That really hasn’t been my experience. Even when I’ve had encounters that were less than sexy, they were still interesting in some way. My hope is that any person who desires to enter the world of non-monogamy can find their perfect balance.
Responses from around the web:
Prior to recording, I took to Twitter to get some insight and thoughts from all of you out there. I’d love for you to continue the discussion on Twitter by tagging @SabrinaSwings and @PolyInTheCities. Here are a few of my favorite responses.
@Greg69Sheryl: There’s a full spectrum of choices between swinging & poly. People should choose where they’re comfortable! @Krystalla3… some of us can successfully do both. Some poly folk can swing at times without deep attachment.
@franklinveaux: Swingers can learn from poly folks that emotional entanglement is okay, and not something to be feared. Poly folks can learn from swingers that sex for its own sake is okay, and not something to be derided.
@liveandletloveca: Can’t we all just get along. Different shades of non-monogamy. Not better. Not worse. Different.
Join the discussion:
Click the image below to listen to the podcast today! How do you identify? Are you strictly swinger, strictly poly, or do you land somewhere in the middle? Leave a comment!!