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I wondered what on earth I was meant to do; I had no intention of living without sex

Posted on April 28, 2022

I wondered what on earth I was meant to do; I had no intention of living without sex

Thirteen years ago Mark Brendon was divorced, unhappy and recovering from alcoholism. Then he started swinging. He hasn’t looked back since.

The first time I went swinging was about 13 years ago. My marriage had ended unhappily, I had been treated in rehab for alcoholism, where I was told not to start any relationship for 12 months because another person could alter my mood.

At first I responded as you might expect: with a certain amount of curiosity, a certain amount of excitement, and some distaste because of the misrepresentations that one reads constantly or sees on television.

Although I am a firm believer in loyalty and stable backgrounds for children, I had always found sexual fidelity and monogamy incomprehensible. I could not see the point of monogamy. So I said yes.

Before the event I thought the women would be either professionals or desperate and the men would want to display their own prowess. The automatic assumption is that these are people who cannot obtain sexual gratification without going to places formally established for that purpose.

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On the contrary, what I discovered was a very civilised party. It was at a country house that is dedicated once a month to these practices. There were two or three reception rooms where you met people, drunk, ate from the buffet and chatted. Then upstairs there were the play rooms.

Play rooms generally take different forms. In this particular place there was one that was partially lit and one that was fully lit with a sex swing. There were jacuzzis and a swimming pool outside and a gazebo in the garden; anything you can think of to encourage fantasy.

There were about 50 or 60 couples. Swinging is predominantly couples; single men are kept to a bare minimum. The average age is probably about 36 to 40. This is one of the nice things about swinging the age groups do intermingle.

Swingers are predominantly middle class. They often work in the Armed Forces or law. There are not many civil servants. There are all sorts of people you would not expect, from television personalities and judges to lowly policeman or doctors and nurses. Wherever you look you will find a few swingers in any street.

The food is usually pretty ghastly. In Britain you generally find it is a cash and carry buffet for people who get the munchies when they have been playing too hard. Greasy pork pies, sausage rolls, the occasional sandwich and chocolate cake. People don’t tend to drink much and drugs are a no-no.

A friend of mine said ‘why don’t you come along with me to a swingers’ party?

Nowadays I will go to a club or party possibly once a month and maybe meet up with someone who gets in touch on the web once or twice a month. The number of partners you play with in one night varies. It is perfectly possible to not meet anyone you want to lay with; equally it is not uncommon to have five or six encounters.

One of the joys of swinging is that you can talk about sex which, after all, is on most of our minds a great deal of time very freely and without any fear of reproof. You can express appreciation of someone else. It is very much like the model of a traditional dance except instead of dancing you go to the play rooms if you so wish and play.

I really don’t understand when people say swinging is sordid or immoral. If there was coercion, if people were hurt, if Matchbox-dating there were unwilling participants, then I would entirely concur. But everyone I have ever met is a very willing participant. Indeed it is the women in general who take control.

The only times in my life that I have managed to be faithful and joyously so have been since I took up swinging. Obviously the word faithful has changed. But by that I mean I wouldn’t have a sexual relationship of any sort with someone in everyday life.

If you and your partner are going out in order to have sex and you hold her hand or give her a kiss while she is playing then it actually brings you closer. You are sharing what otherwise gets hidden behind the screen of a laptop or is a frustrating fantasy. The great thing about swinging is you can do what you want and be what you want without deceit.

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