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Sex with Dr. Jess


July 20, 2015

Swinging Advice from the Cast of Playboy TV’s “Swing”

As the host of PlayboyTV’s Swing, I have the unique and humbling experience of working with couples who are willing to share the most intimate details of their relationships. The cast of the show is comprised of couples from all corners of the country who take a non-traditional approach to happily ever after: they identify as Swingers who open their relationships up to consensual extramarital sexual encounters.

Though couples who swing face their regular share of challenges (every marriage is hard work!), many believe that the communication and openness required to navigate the Lifestyle deepens their connection, intensifies intimacy and leads to a lasting erotic connection.

Swinging certainly isn’t for everyone, but almost everyone is intrigued by this alternative arrangement and I receive hundreds of questions related to the lifestyle every year. Since the cast of PlayboyTV’s Swing is comprised of experienced “expert” couples, I asked them to weigh in on some frequently asked questions.

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How do you know if you’re ready to swing?

Christopher and Maribel (pictured left): You never really know when you’re ready. You may think you’re ok with everything and then it happens and your emotions go into overdrive and you’re in a fit of jealous rage. Communication is definitely the key. We’ve met couples who’ve jumped in with both feet and full swapped as their first introduction to the Lifestyle (LS) and it’s worked out well for them. We’ve also met couples who went to a LS meet and greet, which is pretty much as safe as you can get in the lifestyle and were completely turned off to the idea. I honestly feel as though communication is the best ammunition, however you never really know what you’ll be ok with and what you won’t.

Kimberly and Michael: Sometimes knowing you are ready takes baby steps. Just like any life decision, take one step at a time and if at any time it does not feel right, stop and communicate. I think the number one key to being ready is to have talked extensively with the person you are embarking on the lifestyle with. We talked and talked, and then decided, for us, the moment of truth would ultimately be looking into each others eyes at key moments and communicating about those feelings that come up unexpectedly. When with couples new to the LS we always make sure they have room to communicate at any time.


Kimberly and Michael

How do you communicate boundaries in the Lifestyle?

Janel (and Stephens): When it comes to communicating boundaries and expectations, I generally go for the most unsexy phrase of “Stevens and I were just tested in February. It’s so important to us to know our status, how about you?”

And “I like to call the Lifestyle outsourcing. I am allergic to pain so if you like to be spanked let me introduce you to my boyfriend.” For some reason people appreciate my bluntness:)

Nikki and Daniel: Communicating boundaries is easy when you ask about the other couples boundaries first. It allows you to explore how they conduct themselves and provides them opportunities to open up as well as ask you your boundaries.

Chad and Letisha: Boundaries are up front and there’s no gray area. We aren’t passive aggressive in our rules and we don’t want you to be either. Letisha enjoys spanking and a guy who takes the lead but don’t even think of putting your hands near her neck. We’re here to bang, not asphyxiate each other. 😉

Chad & Letisha

How can you improve communication with your partner (and others) in the lifestyle?

Nikki and Daniel (pictured left): Use swinger vocabulary to explore ideas, but don’t try to conform your relationship to that vocabulary. Explore the lifestyle at your own pace and according to the values you hold in your relationship.

Swinger Vocabulary includes the full spectrum of “Swapping”, from Soft, Girl/Girl Only to Full, Completely Open.

In almost all instances of asking someone what they consider Completely Open, I hear everything from “totally open” as long as they are under the same roof to solo play dates (with or without specific rules governing those solo play dates).

Using those terms as goals or check marks or specific milestones to achieve is the sure way to undervalue the unique dynamics of your relationship.

Additionally, many swinger (or monogamish) vocabulary terms may be controversial in certain circles. In some circles, exhibitionists are not swingers, despite the fact that they enjoy the open minds of the swinger community. Same thing with voyeurs. Even more regional volatility comes from the openly bi-males. Our society made leaps and bounds in the past week for civil rights, but there’s still a lag in bi-males receiving the same acceptance as bi- or lesbian females.

What are some misconceptions about The Lifestyle?

Kristal & Mike: I think a lot of newer couples find out fairly quickly that the the social elements of the lifestyle, along with a refreshing sense of freedom, often far outweigh the sexual elements. The sexual element can be more of a consequence of the lifestyle rather than the primary motivation.

How did you introduce the possibility of exploring The Lifestyle to your partner?

Kimberly and Michael: Michael and I were newly dating when we got into this, so I think it was an easier conversation than had we been married for 20 years.

Michael and I first brought it up to each other, because we had each separately been exposed to the lifestyle in some way. Michael found out a new friend was into it and I met a guy at a party who, in the most icky way said “Hey, you know, we are swingers?” while “dancing up” on me. It was such bad form on his part that I was turned off immediately. But I still went home and talked to Michael about it. In turn, he told me about what he had heard about his friend and the story was not positive. It sounded as though this friend was forced into it by her husband. So we were not off to the best start, but we were curious enough to ask the friend.

The story Michael had heard was all wrong — she had not been pressured by her husband and they explained the situation. They took us to a party where they let everyone know to let us set the pace. It was a good start.

If I had to approach my partner today, I would find an online article or forum that was about more that just the sexual aspect of the lifestyle. I think finding info about the relationship benefits may be a more approachable way to go about it. Since in the lifestyle, we have developed better communication and a deeper sense of trust and solidarity, my body image has improved. I now see super sexy women who have real bodies, something the media tends to pass over. I feel more secure and sexier than any time ever in my life. This is about so much more than sex, and I think that is a great angle to start with.

How do you express interest in another couple?

Chris and Maribel: I let my beautiful wife take the lead usually. I’ll pretty much talk to a tree if it won’t run away so my comfort level differs from hers dramatically. As long as she’s comfortable, I can usually find something I like about someone. For as much as we like to make connections with the people we play with, I’m not dating you. I don’t have to love everything about you. If I’m absolutely turned off by someone, she’d know. That’s the benefit of being together 19 years, I suppose.

How do you handle rejection?

Michael and Kimberly: Rejection is easy.

Online: no answer IS an answer. do NOT take it personally.

In-person: just as for a single person, no one is everyone’s cup of tea. It is what it is. The reason there are so many different brands of everything is that people are different. Period. Do NOT take it personally!

Nikki and Daniel: Remember that people spend equal time on rejections, whether they are rejecting or getting rejected. Most people don’t want to reject you in person because we all know it sucks.

How do you handle any potential discomfort after an experience with another couple? 

Chad and Letisha: The morning after we talk about the experience in depth. Very rarely have we had to discuss something that’s maybe made one of us uncomfortable but it’s certainly happened. Talking about it when it’s fresh prevents a possible build up of resentment or animosity and leads to more enjoyable swinging experiences in the future.

Kristal and Mike: Talking the morning after is also a fun foreplay to reconnecting with your significant other leading to some primal love making just as a reminder to you both that ultimately you are doing this together to enhance your relationship not to replace each other.


Kristal & Mike

What are some challenges in The Lifestyle? 

Kristal and Mike: The LS fantasy can be far different than reality.

Guys fantasize about having a FMF threesome, but unfortunately, most girls come with guys that want to participate which then becomes FMFM. It’s not a bad thing — just not the fantasy either.

Girls fantasize being with another girl, but again, it’s hard to find that unicorn, so the girl has a guy and the G/G play just became a foursome whether it be full or soft.

Girls fantasize about doing a full swap but the other guy can’t get it up, keep it up, or get off. It can be frustrating and disappointing for all involved.

Guys go into the LS with no prior erectile dysfunction issues but then find out they may have stage fright and need assistance from our little pill friends. That can be demoralizing for the guy as well as for the girl — both wonder “what’s wrong with me?”.

Also, most guys have been in monogamous relationships, therefore, condoms were not necessary. Unfortunately, the guys have to learn how to perform with condoms and that
can be difficult. Plus, some girls have an allergic reaction to latex so then special condoms have to be on-hand.

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