Steve Mason's December 2001 column Why Women Swing elicited some interesting responses from our readers. Excerpted here are a few:

The best of all possible worlds...
I am a 40 year old woman and my husband (who is 45) and I have been in the swinging lifestyle for about five years. During that time we have met a number of other couples in the Lifestyle, and have corresponded with a great deal more. I won't try to tell you why I think women get into the Lifestyle, I'll just tell you why I enjoy it.

I infered that you seem to think the only reason women are interested in men is to benefit from them materially or maternally, and that sex was just a tool women use to secure these things. You seemed to find it hard to understand that a woman would have sex just because she likes sex! I like sex, and most of the women (though not all) I've encountered in the Lifestyle like [love] sex too. I have the best of all possible worlds; the financial and emotional security of a happy marriage, and the ability to enjoy myself sexually with not just my husband, but other men and women as well.

I agree with you completely when you say it allows women to be sluts while still maintaining their reputations as upstanding, middle-class women. One of the first things that surprised me when we started swinging was how "normal" everyone seemed. The women at swing parties are the same ones you'd see at PTA meetings, the grocery store, or working in the office next door. I've met women in the Lifestyle from across the entire social spectrum, from down-to-earth blue-collar types to the wealthy upper-crust. However, I prefer, and am most comfortable, with those close to my own age and social status.

I am somewhat of an exhibitionist and enjoy wearing sexy clothing whenever it's appropriate (like when the kids aren't around!). Swinging is the ultimate expression of my exhibitionism. It is a huge turn-on for me to know that others are becoming sexually excited watching me have sex with another person. The effects of this excitement often last for several weeks afterward and really enhances the sex between my husband and me in between our swinging adventures.

I don't know what gave you the idea that the husbands/boyfriends in the Lifestyle are composed of beta males. Is this because the women are in charge (which you correctly pointed out)?

My husband, a retired Army officer, is not a beta male. We've known a number of other men who are in typical alpha male positions: police officers, military officers, attorneys, businessmen, college professors (we live in a college town), etc. I will confess that, in general, I don't care much for these types of men as they tend to be pushy and selfish. Beta males, on the other hand, can almost be too passive and sometimes have trouble "getting it up" because they feel intimidated by the presence of another male (I guess this makes sense; if two males are present one of them will be sub to the other -- either that or a fight will break out!)

The one thing that I do see in common among them is that many are voyeurs and seem to enjoy watching their wives/girlfriends being "sluts" as much as they enjoy being with another woman themselves. Several times my husband has just sat and masturbated while watching me enjoying myself with another man and/or woman. Other men have done the same while watching me or my husband having sex with his wife. I don't mind watching, especially if I'm still recovering, but if I get turned on enough I'll just join in rather than try to get off by watching.

Sex wasn't that great...
I am in my late 40s. During my 30s, my husband (now ex) and I spent about seven years swinging. Every Saturday night we went to The Club. It was our entertainment. It was something we did together. The sex wasn't that great, but the anticipation and the uniqueness was. It was something we did in secret from the rest of our everyday friends and family -- like the excitement of having an affair but you both are a part of it. The problem with swinging is that you don't get the personal involvement between two people that you do when you are seeing someone; whether it be legitimate dating or an affair. So after an exciting sexual encounter you are often left with an empty feeling the next day. I did mention that I am now divorced but the swinging was not a factor in it. When we stopped swinging -- we really had nothing else left in common, and that was part of the breakdown of the marriage.

Now that I am single and have done swinging, I don't feel the need to be part of that scene. I still have a healthy sexual appetite but want my partner to be caring about me and making me enjoy the experience to the fullest.

Everyone deserves a cheap thrill...
In my opinion, and based on my experience, women swing for the same reason men do. Everyone needs, and at some points in life deserves, a cheap thrill occasionally and what better way to get that thrill than from sacking out with a stranger?

When I ask married women about it, they usually say something to the effect that they get tired of the same old same old, and a fresh dick is better than divorce. I agree. If I were married to a woman who was that bored with me, I would be thrilled that she got laid someplace else a few times a year as long as she came home afterward -- especially if she never objected to me having my turn. If I were married, I would not feel cheated if she told me beforehand that's what she was going to do, but if I found out later, I'm afraid it would anger me and I'd feel cheated.

What if...?
Your question is an easy one to answer. Why do you think women swing? They love their man, but maybe they want to try different men and they have husbands who loves them and won't break up. It is the best thing to do in your life.

Have you ever asked yourself "what if...?"

Response is still encouraged!
To Women: Please give us your general age grouping (20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, etc.) and tell us what attracted you to Swinging.
To Men: Why do you think women Swing?
To Respond:

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