A fresh, simple, easy to use community committed to be accessible to as many sex positive couples & singles as possible. We do this by providing a host of free to low-cost resources and networking opportunities within the Lifestyle. Members join for many reasons from personal relationships to business networking and more. A percentage of all membership proceeds are donated to the Free Speech Coalition.
"An open-minded and positive relationship with sex" is a good place to start when defining the term. This broad definition will certainly continue to develop over the years as the phrase becomes more mainstream.
The term sex positive has been in use in academics since the mid-1950s if not much earlier. At that time it was often used to define opposition to anti-pornography feminists. Sex positive was also used interchangeably with the term "pro-sex" and it began to include the idea that sexual expression could go beyond limits set or prescribed by society and that people can attain sexual freedom through the performance of sexual acts and sexual ways of being.
The following are several excerpts from the book "The Swinger Manual" by Just Ask Julie.
Reproduced with permission as a free resource. For the entire book, please visit www.SwingerManual.com.
What is Swinging?
If you ask a group of swingers what swinging is, you will find that every single person or couple in that group will give you a different answer. Some of the answers will be similar, others will be completely different. Each person or couple defines swinging based on what they are looking for and what they are comfortable with. I have not written this book to define what swinging is or is not, that is for you to do for yourself. The fact that you are reading this means that you have most likely already developed your own distinct definition of what swinging means to you.
The broad definition of swinging is "consensual recreational sex with others", however most now define it as "consensual recreational sex with others outside of your primary relationship, with consent of your primary relationship", whether it is a couple who has chosen to have sex with others together, or open the door for each to play with whomever they want. If we look back at the term, it originated somewhere back in the "Swinging 60's" when the term swinging referred to anyone who was open sexually, or the opposite of monogamous sex. Over the years it has taken on a new meaning; it has been adopted by couples to refer to their activities, and as such they often do not believe that singles can be considered swingers. Whether or not singles can be considered swingers is an on-going debate. Those who choose to engage in swinging with singles would often say that singles are swingers too. Others (including some who swing with singles) would say that singles cannot be swingers, but the couple who plays with singles is still swinging. My personal belief is that anything that a couple does sexually involving people outside their relationship is swinging; whether they are involving a single or another couple or 10 other couples; whether they are actually together while they are doing it or have agreed to allow each other to play in private. So long as both partners are aware of what is going on and agree to it.
As you can see, the whole trying to define swinging can be very tricky. In the end, the definition is immaterial to our discussion here because you have already established your own definition and your definition will probably change as you grow and learn more about your ideas and desires as they relate to "the lifestyle" and swinging.
Swinging vs. Lifestyle
This is another hotly debated set of terms. For the purpose of this book, we will use the terms interchangeably. However, it is important to understand that some people will put a great deal of importance on one term over the other. Some people feel that both terms are negative, because society has given them a negative connotation, and prefer not to use either term. So, while they may participate in the same activities that most people consider "swinging" they will declare that they are not "swingers". Some prefer the term swinging because they feel that the term "lifestyle" means that swinging is an all-encompassing part of their lives, while just calling it "swinging" makes it more of a hobby. Use whatever term makes you feel comfortable; just understand that because someone else uses a different term to describe their activities does not mean that they are more or less of a "swinger" then you.