History of Swinging

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The term swinging is defined in many ways, some of which are:

  • Recreational sex between consenting adults
  • A wide range of sexual activities conducted by three or more people

If we take swinging to mean a polygamous relationship (sexual relations with more than one partner) then its origins can be traced back to 10,000BC where a family were seen as a man’s property and a man could mate with as many unattached females as he wished to add to his family. A large family was seen as a sign of strength and wealth.

The Romans of 100BC were notorious for their orgies and could be classed as the first real swingers. Only when Christianity became the mainstream religion of the Roman Empire did sexual gratification become frowned upon. Sex was deemed as only for procreation and if anyone sinned by enjoying sex they had to beg for repentance, which required a financial donation to demonstrate faith. This did not come from Jesus Christ but from his followers whose main interest was to control the actions of the faithful.

In Egypt a man had one main wife, but as many secondary wives and mistresses as he could afford and during this era the Hebrews also allowed the man as many wives as he could support.

King Solomon supposedly had over seven hundred wives.

Around this time in India the emphasis was on spiritual union by Tantra, which could not be achieved through sex with one's own partner. Therefore, there was much wife swapping. Hinduism, and for that matter other Indian religions such as Buddhism & Jainism, actually allow for a man or woman to marry more than one person.

In the 8th century the Islamic faith grew and Muslim polygamy differed greatly due to the fracturing of the mainstream faith and the following of different Immams. In some Muslim countries, polygamy was common, while in others, it was often non-existent.

The Qur'an allows a man to have four wives at any one time. The Qur'an in verse 4:3 states:

"And if you fear you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry (other) women of your choice; 2, 3 or 4, but if you fear you may not be able to deal justly (with them) then only one."

This gives Muslim men the permission to marry up to four wives. It is a ruling that prevents Muslim men from committing adultery by legally marrying four wives.

Despite its attitude to sex in its beginnings, Christianity is not the only religion not to practice polygamy. In a complete turnaround of Christian doctrine in 1650, the parliament at Nürnberg, Germany passed a law stating that priests and ministers who didn’t belong to any monastery were allowed to marry and that every man was allowed to marry up to ten women. This was because so many men were killed during the Thirty Years’ War.

The Mormon religion of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints practiced polygamy and referred to it as "plural marriage”. This was by and large due to Joseph Smith, the founder and father of the Mormon religion, who claimed to have received a revelation on Celestial marriage.

In modern times it is reported that wife-swapping was initiated by British military husbands going off to war in 1914. Friends would arrange farewell parties and the men left behind would promise that if anything happened to a soldier, they would take care of his wife's needs both financially and sexually. This story has also been claimed to originate in the United States around the Second World War. Whatever its origins the phenomenon eventually spread to the American suburbs and was first reported on in the 1950’s. The phrase used was ‘Wife-swapping’ and took the form of ‘Key Clubs’ whereby parties were arranged and each male dropped his car keys into a bowl. The wives then selected keys from the bowl and whoever’s keys they took became her partner for the evening.

In the modern day this polygamous activity has taken the name of swinging, referring to a term from the 1960's and the days of open-sexuality and freedom of enjoyment.

Such was the growth of ‘Swinging’ that clubs were opened to cater for this activity with these originally being a group of people meeting at a private house.

The group of people itself was a club but soon establishments opened and the term became synonymous with the venue. By 1972 Southern California boasted 18 such clubs with others appearing in New York and Detroit.

There were basically three types of Swingers Club. The first being a nightclub affair, the second being a spa type establishment and the last being reminiscent of a Country Club. These were the main focus of swingers until the 1980’s when the publishing of swinger’s magazines helped them in finding other like-minded people. The late 1980’s heralded the arrival of the internet which coincided with the swinging explosion and the term became almost a common household term among adults. More or less every major city and town in the UK is now home to a Swingers Club.

In early 2006 the website Sensual Swingers was born as the latest site dedicated to Swingers. We hope you enjoy your time with us.

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