Polys and Swingers: the Great Divide

Man in Bed with Three Women

Can’t we all just get along? Often these two groups set themselves in opposition of one another even though they both operate outside the confines of mainstream culture, choosing to love differently in non-monogamous relationships. Polyamorous people will say poly is all about love and relationships; and swingers are all about sex and wild parties. But swingers do engage in  longer than one-night stand relationships and complain polys don’t respect or are jealous of their less-committed lifestyles.

Swingers are often scrutinized and feel a need to hide their practices while poly people are often more open about their relationships (pretending you don’t have two wives can be difficult.) These two groups, you would think, should be compatriots, but often the decision to be out about one’s lifestyle is what separates them.

Swingers often see themselves as normal everyday people that crave a little excitement now and then. They don’t see their lifestyle as anything unusual, perhaps just more adventurous than most. And some of their relationships with other couples do become long-term, not unlike those of poly people.

Polys are often people that live many aspects of their life apart from what is considered mainstream – the types of work they do, other social activities they enjoy, and the environments they choose to live in.

I don’t understand the judgements I hear from one group to another as I see more similarities than differences. These two non-monogamous groups should be championing one another and encouraging a wider acceptance from traditional relationships and lifestyles. Some people that begin experimenting with swinging end up in polyamorous relations.

Swingers and Polys: How do view one another as a subculture? Is there a crossover?

Tell us what you think!

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8 years ago

Polyamory can begin on a trip to the grocery store; swinging is generally a female or couple only experience based on physical attraction. You can find a new lover who doesn’t want to swing; but if 2 people hit it off at a swinger event, there’s going to probably one or two other people involved–their partners. Polyamory is the ability to love more than one person deeply, care about and for them deeply, and want the layers of them, not just sex. Swingers I think fall into two categories: The first, a couple loving sex and ok with their partner… Read more »

8 years ago
Reply to  Holly

Hi holly, my name is Allen and I’m interested in learning more about polyamory, Ive been in a mono relationship before and after 13 year it became boring, we’ve talked about bring others into our relationship but never went through with it because of her insecurities, sadly the relationship ended and i looking for a partner but i don’t want a repeat of the last relationship, I’m looking for something a little more exciting and challenging at the same time, like two female partners to keep the spice in the relationship, i was wondering if you could provide me with… Read more »

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