I have been having an email conversation recently with Paige from the Swinger Diaries podcast (see their website at https://swingerdiaries.wordpress.com and find their podcast on ITunes or your favorite app). They have asked their listeners (which include me, obviously) for opinions on several questions which they would then discuss on a future episode. One of the most interesting questions they brought up was, “Why do experienced swingers frequently only play in the same room?”
If you are a new person to “the lifestyle,” let me explain what this means. Obviously, one of the central parts of swinging is where a couple meets other couples or singles and decides to “play” (have sex). But there are innumerable variations on exactly how this works. One key distinction is “same room” versus “separate room,” and most swinging couples have a policy about this. If they are “same room only,” that means when it is time to get it on that couple has a policy that all sexual activities need to happen, well, in the same room where they can see and hear each other. They might also expect everything to happen on the same bed, right next to each other.
Other couples prefer “separate room,” where the pairings split up into different rooms for sex, perhaps closing the door for privacy. Some couples go so far as to set up dates completely separately from their spouses, which are often called “hall passes,” but can also be thought of as a version of “separate room.” [Or separate house, separate city, separate state… etc.]
But back to same room play. It is very common for newbie swingers to have a policy that they are going to have sex in the same room, only. It is also common for couples to relax that policy over time, and go with the flow about same room/separate room, or even develop a preference for separate room sex. It is generally accepted that relaxation of a same room only policy comes from increased comfort with being apart from their spouse, or discovery of and/or increased interest in the benefits to separate room play.
But a significant number of lifestyle couples keep their same room only policy, even after some years and a lot of experience. It is not surprising that couples will continue to enjoy same room play, because there are a lot of reasons why it is fun and enjoyable (reasons coming up, below). But it is more surprising that they will maintain a policy that precludes doing anything else, because many couples that initially were same room only (including us) discover that separate room play has many advantages and pleasures as well.
It is particularly noticeable that experienced same room only couples frequently go out of their way to say that their policy is NOT because of jealousy or insecurity, but solely because of the things they like about playing in the same room. I am probably telegraphing that I don’t entirely buy this position, for reasons I will explain later. But for now, let’s go through a list of reasons that same-room play can be fun and enjoyable. These explanations are not mutually exclusive, and a given couple might identify with any or all of them.
1) Four (or more) people all on the same bed is a lot of fun, and there are many sexy positions and combinations that can only happen with a group playing together. If you have more than two people together, one person can experience a four, or six, or more-handed massage. Or get to have oral and vaginal sex at the same time, with different people. Or get to take turns playing with one person, than another. Or simply get to see a whole writhing pile of bodies all engaged at once. There are lots of other sexy things like this, but you get the idea.
2) A large percentage of couples have wives who are bisexual, or less commonly, husbands who identify as bisexual and are public about it. If someone is bisexual and wants to have sexy play with both halves of a couple, they are going to have to be in the same room (or same bed). We also have other observations which support bisexuality as a main motivation for same room play. It is easy to get the idea that basically all women in the lifestyle are some flavor of bisexual – just scan a bunch of profiles on a swinger dating site, or listen to anyone who likes the lifestyle club or event scene. However, we are both basically straight, and we have come to enjoy both same room and separate room play (as well as hall passes). In our adventures we have encountered a lot of straight or at most bi-comfortable women, and a clear majority of couples that we do separate room and hall pass play with have straight (or bi-comfortable) wives. When the desire to play with both is not there, the advantages of separate play become much more compelling.
3) Many swingers are voyeurs and get a thrill out of seeing life sex in front of them, and particularly live sex with their life partner in it.
4) Pure logistics. If you are swingers who mainly meet people in clubs and at hotel parties, you have to leave the party to go play. You are probably going to a hotel room – it might have more than one bed, but usually just one room. If you want to play in a separate room or even building and only one of you has interest from the other couple, where is other the partner going to go? It is true that the partner could stay at the party and independently look for his/her own experience but it is easier to just say “we only play together.”
All of these reasons are very legitimate and understandable reasons to enjoy playing in the same room. But, going to the next step and excluding all other possibilities? There has to be more going on. I’ll give my ideas about that in the next post.