How do you meet swingers?

How to meet new people, surprisingly, seems to be one of the more controversial topics within the swinging and lifestyle community. Time after time I have seen a new profile join one of the swinger dating sites, and ask some version of “We’re new here. How do we meet people?” And some number of more experienced people will jump in and give some advice. And that advice varies a lot. Sometimes other experienced people will even start giving different advice and tell the first responders that they are wrong.

Fact is, there are a bunch of viable ways for naughty would-be and experienced lifestylers to meet new friends. Let’s make a list, with pros and cons.

1) Online profiles and swinger websites. There is a long list of sites in this market, including www.kasidie.com, www.swinglifestyle.com, www.sdc.com, www.lifestylelounge.com, and many others. The above are some of the sites that are most widespread around the country. One of the big issues with swinger sites is that the market is highly fragmented, with many, many sites that are popular in a small area only, and it can be difficult to find the “right one” as a result. All sites have a function where you create a profile with photos and descriptions of yourself, and you can meet people online by sending emails and chat messages.

Pros of meeting through profiles: Memberships are relatively low-cost and most sites provide an option to have a profile completely for free, or at least a free trial period. Profiles are organized geographically and you can search by area, age and any number of other characteristics. In theory communication back and forth can be rapid. Profiles can work for you if you take good photos, are good at writing, and are patient. It can be lower stress to approach people electronically than in person. If you do arrange a meet-up, it can be private and intimate, either in a restaurant or at your home. Also sites frequently have listings of parties and events that you can try out.

Cons of meeting through profiles: Most newbie swingers are frustrated at how poor communication on profile sites is. On the whole you should expect somewhere between 50%-80% of initial messages you send to be ignored or not responded to, and you become pleasantly surprised when someone writes you back in a timely fashion. People are disappointed when they do not quickly get a lot of invites, or invites from profile types they are not interested in. There is an endless list of ways that people might lie or misrepresent themselves on their profiles, including giving inaccurate information about their age, height or weight, or even pose as a couple when they are in fact single. Photos can be misleading, old or unrepresentative. In general you should expect to do a lot of sorting and expect the process to be slow when meeting folks through profiles.

2) Attending events at swing clubs and large hotel parties. There is a significant industry of for-profit lifestyle parties, at permanent club locations and in hotels, where a group has rented out some or all of the facility for the evening.

Pros of meeting at clubs and events: At least on the right nights, large numbers of people attend and you have the opportunity to encounter many potential friends at once. Clubs and events usually have a dance floor where you can dance for fun, and use dancing as a means to attract others. Many people are staying overnight at the hotel or club so that you may be able to hook-up right there, or at least in the same facility.

Cons of meeting at clubs and events: I have long thought the ease of meeting people at events is often overstated. Yes, there may be lots of people around. But those people are usually engrossed with their own partner, their established clique of friends, and it can be hard to start conversations. Also if the music is loud and the lighting is low, that can add to the difficulty of talking to people. In general I think events work great for outgoing and party-animal types, but not so well for shy and introverted people. Also, events can be expensive! Membership fees, entry fees, additional costs for your hotel room, meals, transportation, clothing to match a party theme… we could easily be talking $200 or more for a night and sometimes much more. The transition from party to your room for playtime can be awkward, because you usually need to leave the party entirely. Finally, there are a number of states and many areas that have no landed clubs at all, due to demand or local laws. Hotel parties are somewhat more common but are also irregular.

3) Travel to lifestyle resorts and on cruises. There are various permanent resorts in warm climates that cater to lifestyle destination travel. Swinger cruises are also available.

Pros of resorts and cruises: They are destinations, so you know most people there are pretty invested in the idea of meeting other lifestylers. The experience is very intense, and you can immerse yourself in the lifestyle culture 24 hours a day. If you make repeat visits to the same resorts, you can make friends in other parts of the country or world. You may be able to be casually nude in most or all of the facility. And if you aren’t successfully meeting other swingers, you are in a warm weather resort with beaches, luxury, etc.

Cons of resorts and cruises: The biggest one is cost. Resorts and cruises are expensive to start with, and lifestyle-dedicated ones tend to be even more expensive. Some are couples-only, so if you are single you aren’t allowed in. If you make friends, you probably can’t see them again for a very long time.

4) Bar meet-and-greets. Swinger websites often adverse casual meet-and-greets in bars or restaurants where you can meet new people and catch up with old friends outside of a sexually charged environment.

Pros of bar meets: The mental bar to entry is pretty low, since you know there won’t be any nudity or sex at these events. Just people mingling and talking with each other. Sometimes bar meets are well attended and there are lots of potential friends to meet casually. You can easily post your own meet-up if nobody else is in your area.

Cons of bar meets: Some of the same cons as events. If a meet-up is crowded, people will again be engrossed in their cliques and old friends, and it might be difficult to break in. Bars can be loud and it can be difficult to hold a sustained conversation. It helps a lot to be socially confident or outgoing. Of course, they are not set up for hook-ups if you find you would like one. Also the number of attendees varies, and you could end up in a small group with nobody you are interested in.

5) House parties. People will throw parties in their own homes, or occasionally host a small party in a hotel room. These fall in two general groups: larger parties with open invitations, frequently announced on swinger sites, and smaller parties that are invite-only. Larger and more open parties often expect you to pay a modest to moderate “donation” at entry.

Pros of house parties: You can meet people in a casual social setting. Most house parties have a social area and a separate dedicated play area where open sex happens. Conversation tends to be easier do to the casual and quieter setting. Cost of attendance is relatively low. There is usually a potluck or snacks available, though you are generally expected to bring your own alcohol. Sometimes the hosts will allow a limited number of guests to stay overnight. And if you want to play, you can play right there at the party, and uninhibited orgies can develop.

Cons of house parties: They can be pretty intense experiences for newbies, if they are not used to seeing nudity and sex right in front of them. Nevertheless, nobody is required to participate in any activities and can say no to any invitation, and just hanging out and watching is completely acceptable. Heavy drinking is a temptation at house parties. And they are obviously a lot of work for the hosts.

6) Introductions from other friends.

Pros of introductions from friends: If you like someone, and you also like another couple, you can use your judgement about social interactions to introduce your friends and see if they get along. You can potentially build small, tight-knit groups who might all be socially and/or sexually compatible and could have highly enjoyable group parties.

Cons of introductions from friends: You or your friends might not have good judgement about who might like who, and you might be introduced to someone inappropriate for you. Some swingers are territorial about their friends and aren’t interested in sharing them. It can take a while to build these social networks and this is rough going for newbies.

7) Combinations of the above. For instance, you can message couples through their profiles, and instead of meeting privately in person you could arrange to meet at a party or event. This has the advantage that if you don’t click, you can move on to other people at the party. You can also invite your friends to a party with you, and create a party-within-a-party.

I will expand on most of these in the future, but please let me know if you have any comments so far.

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