We’ve all heard of swinging from the trees. But swinging under the trees?
Yes, swinging is back: A 2016 survey found that about 21 percent of American adults surveyed had been in a non-monogamous relationship. But more than that, partner swapping is finding its way to a younger crowd — and into outdoor activities, like camping and music festivals that reflect the wholesome, nature-loving vibe of modern swinging.
Swingers — they used to be called wife swappers, but the term indicates non-monogamous couples in general, particularly those who frequent events dedicated to helping them find new partners — have been around as long as there have been human beings.
According to ozzy.com they never went away; even in the most buttoned-up societies people have always had sex in any number of ways. But in Western culture, swingers have long had a distinctly behind-closed-doors vibe in the public imagination — dark clubs, often literally underground, and couples looking to spice things up with key parties and dalliances with their neighbors.
“They used to say when you turn 40 you learn how to eat olives, how to drink gin and how to go swinging,” says Mike Robertson, part of the volunteer management committee of Swingfields, a U.K. “lifestyle” festival aimed at swingers and the LGBT community. But now, he says, they get a lot more interest from young people who are attuned to music festival culture and are interested in swinging as well. Since Swingfields started in 2012, its attendance has soared from 200 to 750, with people coming from as far away as Canada and Hong Kong. Robertson says many would-be festivalgoers get turned away as organizers prefer to keep the event small and intimate. The festival has instituted a rigorous screening process — particularly for young single men — to try to make sure attendees are really part of the swinger community. They want people who’ll respect the festival’s emphasis on consent rather than tittering or expecting, as Robertson puts it, “some huge orgy.”
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