Today’s Swingers’ Scene: Bigger Than Ever

Quick!  Turn on a fan!  It’s like the Sixties in here!

No, avocado-gold decors and shag carpets aren’t making a comeback, but there are some groovy things filling up the old-but-new-again bin—and swinging is among them.  In this era where you just about have to boil people before touching them, it almost seems hard to believe that swinging lifestyles are not only thriving, but even trending as big business.

According to clearing houses such as the North American Swing Club Association (NASCA), the renaissance of “The Lifestyle” as it’s called by those in the know is percolating rapidly throughout all classes and communities, fueling the expansion of efficiently organized events and the emergence of top-tier resorts and five-star excursions that cater to the unique needs and desires of swingers on a global scale.  As you might imagine, much of the growth in swinging—and a key difference between what’s happening today versus days gone by—is due to the internet.  Although the numbers are difficult to pin down accurately because of the confidential nature of the animal, it’s estimated that about two-thirds to three-quarters of today’s swing club participants meet up through popular lifestyle and club web sites.  Ultimately, what used to be strictly taboo is gaining significantly greater acceptance as time goes on and the idea that network and mainstream cable outlets have jumped on board is an indicator of how far things have come.  Even the Discovery Fit & Health channel has swung over to swinging, producing Secret Sex Lives: Swinging, a mini-series.  (Of course, being billed as a “reality show” likely means there will be very little that’s real about it, but it should still be pretty interesting.)

So, what’s behind the resurgence?  Is this trend just a throwback to the free-love movement or are couples having some sort of relationship A.D.D. these days?  Is the concept of marriage itself becoming outdated?  Or is all of this simply a sign that the pendulum is swinging (pardon the pun) away from uptight hypocrisy and over towards more evolved and open-minded sensibilities?

To get a handle on all of this, it’s important to understand that “The Lifestyle” is pretty loosely defined, perhaps by design.  Succinctly, swinging is generally about committed couples having sex with other people, but how that’s done these days takes on many different forms—along with differing rules and occasionally with double standards.  For example, it’s commonly acceptable for single women to participate in club events while single men are often prohibited.  Some clubs even have fairly arbitrary “attractiveness” gauges that limit joining in based on looks.  As with most things, there are pluses and minuses.  The point is there’s actually no singular “lifestyle” per se, but rather a broad umbrella that encompasses many different ways to go about it—all based on adult consent of course.  A common denominator, however, is that most see a key difference between swinging and cheating—a difference that is both a major point of attraction for those who enjoy the scene as well as a big reason why swinging enhances their main relationship rather than detracts from it.  Successful swingers attribute the feat to honesty, open communication and feeling secure—all of which help to solidify the foundation in their basic committed relationship.  They enjoy being able to safely add variety and excitement in close concert with their partner while preserving the security of their primary bond.

The swingers’ scene is thriving–and getting bigger all the time with about 700 clubs in North America alone.  It’s certainly not to the extent of being a completely hiccup-free zone yet, but more and more appear to be learning to live and let live.

Yeah, baby.  Groovy indeed.

(For more information about today’s Swinger’s Scene, we recommend visiting and  We also welcome all thoughts on the topic–pro or con–so please consider commenting and helping us to further publicize our content.  Thank you.)

Kickin’ a Sex Bucket

You’ve no doubt heard of a “Bucket List:” A summary of things someone would like to do/achieve during their lifetime (or in other words, before they “kick the bucket.”)  It’s a great exercise for a lot of reasons, but few extend the concept to improving their own sex lives.  At Sex Across America, we think it’s time to change that.

Keeping in mind that such a list should be both achievable and in tune with your own particular core values, the steps involved with creating your own sex bucket list are actually pretty straightforward.  Start your list with the “whats” and “whys” and try to make them specific and compelling.  Don’t worry about the “hows” right now.  The means for accomplishing many of your items will often present themselves down the road as a result of clearly defining them and having significant reasons in your thinking.  If you’re unclear about an activity or have a weak reason for it, chances are it won’t fly or you’ll just give up on it at some point.

As a general means for identifying your potential items and their reasons, here are five quick tips to get you going:

1.  Know thyself first.  Some barriers you may have might be the legitimate result of your socialization and/or prior experiences, but perhaps you haven’t consciously figured out why you feel the way you do about some things in your sex life or if you’re now better prepared to change them.  It’s hard to plan when you’re unclear about your own wants and/or limitations, so do a self-assessment to determine your sexual strengths, weaknesses and potential.  Take the time to sort these things out up front and see where there’s some room to explore.  Be candid with yourself regarding areas that you feel are solid or could honestly use some improvement.  Brainstorm a thorough list of things you’re still curious about–and then prepare to safely explore them when an opportunity arises.

2.  Fantasize, fantasize, fantasize.  This tends to be a bit tough because fantasies are often very personal and difficult to communicate fearlessly.  Additionally, there’s a rational risk avoidance in sharing a fantasy because if it’s actually played out–and fails–then there may be tremendous disappointment all around.  Well, true enough, they’re rarely ever as perfect in practice as they are in your perfect thinking, but that’s missing the point.  They’re supposed to be fun, intimate and exciting, so just plan accordingly.  Keep the first few times as simple as possible (the less complex, the better the chances are for success) and even if it falls a little flat, learn from the experience and try again.  Additionally, even if you come up with a fantasy that doesn’t lend itself to playing out in reality, the exercise of imagination will eventually spark other ideas that will work.

3.  Attitude for altitude.  Ramping up a high sense of adventure, especially if you’ve gravitated to a fairly consistent sex routine over time, can be a bit of a challenge but it’s worth it to push the edge of the envelope when developing ideas for your list.  Building your list and then tackling the items on it should be viewed as a major positive as opposed to drudgery or just going through the motions.  Even if you’re taking small steps at first, make each one count and keep reinforcing the attitude that you’ll keep moving up, even if you trip a little along the way.  Remember, even if you involve a particular loved one, this is something you’re doing for your own happiness and well-being.

4.  Knowledge breeds confidence.  Just as you wouldn’t take a road trip without checking a map (or, these days, setting your GPS), doing a little bit of research about a potential activity helps set a more solid foundation to build on.  With the explosion of legitimate sex-positive resources out there these days, it shouldn’t take much effort to find out important details for just about any potential item you’re considering for your list.  (If you’re really stumped about finding useful information, however, feel free to drop us a confidential email and we’ll do our best to help point you in the right direction.  If your concern isn’t necessarily private, or the answer could help others as well, then please consider posting your question below as a response to this article and we’ll try to address it there.)

5.  Give a little to get a lot.  People are much more inclined to be supportive when they feel they’re receiving equal support.  If you’re going to be doing the activities on your list with someone in particular, involve them in this process and find ways to be able to support their ideas whenever you can.  They’ll be much more likely to back your wishes in return (not to mention the potential benefits for improved communication and shared intimacy).  Another strategy is to develop your lists separately and then compare them to see if there’s any overlap.  If so, try starting with those items once you get the proverbial ball rolling.

Bear in mind that while planning is important, you’re not looking for military rigidity and precision (unless, of course, “Shock and Awe” just happen to be your thing).  Adding a spontaneity component affords you flexibility and can add to both the intimacy and excitement of an item on your list.  And while some items may find their way to your list as “once in a lifetime” events, don’t be so quick to push them away from the table once you’ve checked them off.  Just because it seemed like it would be a one-shot deal doesn’t mean it has to stay that way.  If it was fun and satisfying, just use your imagination to work it in again sometime if that’s feasible.

It’s a sad thing to reach the end of one’s life with regret over missed opportunities.  It doesn’t have to be that way at all.  A little bit of thought and planning now will not only help open previously unforeseen prospects through sharpened focus, but also go a long way towards ensuring a fulfilling and exciting sex life.  Start that journey right now–and make your own destiny.

Defining Sex in America: Can It Be Done?

(2/1/16)  Larry Flynt is a genius.  Having taken a $2,000 investment in an Ohio bar and turned it into a publishing empire valued in the hundreds of millions would be reason enough to hang the G-label on him, but the more valuable accomplishments of Mr. Flynt’s career are found in the social and legal battles he initiated to protect expressive and sexual freedoms in America.  It wasn’t always pretty–and there were certainly tragic casualties along the way–but his inspired efforts helped an entire generation (and hopefully, many more to come) define a clear line between personal rights and government interference.  He could have just let his bar go bankrupt, but no, he had a different idea instead.  Genius.

Ironically, while a lot of progress has been made in defining sexual freedoms, Americans still cannot agree on what “sex” itself is.  Images of a U.S. President wagging his finger and fiercely proclaiming, “Ah did nawt have sex-shul relations with that woman” might be a semi-humorous example of this dilemma in practice (even if just a self-serving one), but apparently it’s just the tip of something bigger.

Among a wide range of adult males and females, a recent study by the Kinsey Institute found that there was a significant lack of consensus on what kind of behaviors are actually being defined as sex.  While the basic peg-A-into-slot-B notion (penile-vaginal contact) seems safely inside the bin, all bets are off when it comes to just about anything else.

For example, fewer people concurred that it constituted having sex even in penile-vaginal scenarios if the male didn’t orgasm.  Additionally, the study found that 20% didn’t agree that anal intercourse constituted sex and 30% felt that oral activities shouldn’t be included in the definition.  Perhaps not so surprisingly, about 50% of those surveyed stated that masturbatory behaviors did not qualify as sex, even if the contact was performed by someone else.  The bottom line:  What seems to be a fairly simple concept in principle is apparently anything but.  The question is:  Is that a “good” or a “bad” thing?  While there are certainly medical and educational ramifications in these findings, the social and legal aspects merit attention and serious discussion as well.

Diversity is a productive ingredient in any evolved society, but divisiveness tends to create a vacuum that is often filled with reactive shortsightedness–and sometimes worse.  Just ask Larry Flynt.

What say you?

Think Kink!

Photo credit:
Photo credit:

(1/1/16)  It wasn’t really all that long ago that kink was considered uber-taboo.  Fortunately though, the masses appear to be finally waking up and smelling the 21st century.  What was once strictly confined behind tightly sealed doors or within close-knit underground communities has garnered much more sunlight in recent years and even become rather fashionable.

To be sure, kinky lifestyles are nothing new, but there does seem to be a new, more positive trend emerging when it comes to exploring them.  With the advent of the interwebs, access to lifestyle information became much easier.  Additionally, for those trying to keep their exploration under the radar, the anonymity offered on the net afforded reasonably safe access.  The flipside, however, is that it also enabled a lot of misinformation and, in many cases, unnecessary confusion.  That said, the upside is that more and more people feel less alone and isolated in discovering and acknowledging their feelings and sexuality.

While there are way too many factors to list involved with how things got from there to here, suffice it to say that various forms of media played a large role.  In the 80s and 90s, authors such as Anne Rice, John Warren, Jay Wiseman, Jon Jacobs, Will and Gloria Brame, Philip Miller and Molly Devon were instrumental in capturing a wide range of concepts and making them understandable to the masses while pioneering filmmakers such as Bruce Seven, Ernest Greene and Luc Wylder (who directed the widely acclaimed The Master’s Choice series) helped pave the way with kink-lifestyle portrayals on the screen.  As these efforts gained increasing interest, more widespread attention built through such mainstream projects as 9 1/2 weeks, The Story of O, Secretary and Stanley Kubrick’s epic, Eyes Wide Shut among others, culminating with the recent 50 Shades frenzy.  Whether reality or fantasy based, as these works expanded imagination and understanding, they inspired a new generation with willingness and confidence to push their own perceived boundaries in safe and fun ways.

Ironically, with all of the wonderful information out there now, the trick today when you think kink is that there’s no singularly universal way to go about it.  Even the word itself means something different to different people.  Therein lies the beauty–and the challenge.  Pushing yourself to find the unique things that really turn you on beyond the common and mundane is a highly personal and intimate experience–and one that’s unique to each person.  As long as the activities involved are among consenting adults and reasonable precautions are employed to ensure that no harm occurs, just be yourself and resist any temptation to have to justify yourself.  It’s your life and you have every right to seek out experiences that bring you joy and fulfillment in whatever way works best for you.  People, being funny animals, tend to prefer putting things (and occasionally, other people, for that matter) into neat little categorized bins, but that’s counterproductive for both creativity and confidence.  Forget the labels.  They’re generally useful as a common frame of reference in communicating, but beyond that, they belong on jars, not on people.

So, confidently shake off the imagined shackles of Boringville and start heading towards the growing understanding–and acceptance–found on the road to Kinkytown.  The time has never been better to Think Kink.