VENICE, CA— Never have I witnessed the depravity I witnessed among the swingers…
That was going to be my opener. But then I didn’t really witness any depravity among the swingers and thought to reconsider. (I did. I’m sticking with my gut.)
As it turns out, the swingers I met all seemed surprisingly normal for sex maniacs. I felt right at home among them.
Although, I gotta say, trying to suck up to my ex-wife with a line like, “I’ve probably been with six thousand women in my life, but every time I look at (you), I fall in love again,” would probably have ended badly. Like, searching-for-my-severed-johnson-by-the-side-of-the-road badly.
Actually, the swinger who floated that one—John Lynch of the San Fernando Valley’s Velvet Swing club—has maybe as little to do with normal as anyone I’ve ever met. (And I mean that in a good way.)
But he was the exception. The rest of the swingers I met, scattered across SoCal, were downright ordinary by comparison.
But damn were they neurotic.
Swingers: Will you please decide what to call what it is you do and then call it swinging? Because, I mean, Marriage with benefits? The lifestyle? This hard-on everyone has for reframing has gone far enough.
Swingers, if it’s just about making the act of banging someone else’s spouse sound better—and it is—it already sounds good enough. Stop gilding the lily. You’re going to jinx it.
Actually, you probably already have. Because what was once, by all accounts, a simple, beautiful act—wife-swapping—has become a complicated morass of what-you-will-and-won’t-dos.
Everywhere I went, swingers kept talking about the different levels of swinging.“You don’t have to go all the way,” I was told, again and again and again. As if that were a good thing!
People went on and on about soft and mild swing and wild swing and- It’s easier understanding Eskimos talking about snow than swingers talking swinging (though, in fairness, global warming has drastically reduced the number of words for snow.)
Still, I thought swinging was swapping was knocking boots in the next room with the neighbor’s wife. Au contraire, I was told, some people go to swing parties and never even take off their clothes!
I don’t know about you, but I drop a hungee taking the wife to a party that exists for the sole purpose of having sex with other peoples’ spouses we’re having sex with other peoples’ spouses. Period.
I was told of couples—Hell, I met them—that only go to swing parties to have an audience to watch them banging…each other!
People—OTHERS ARE WILLING TO PAY YOU FOR THAT SORT OF THING! WHY DO YOU THINK AL GORE INVENTED THE INTERNET?
Did you know the trend in swinging on both coasts and Ohio is for the ladies to hook up with each other while their husbands merely watch? Which is such bullshit! The whole reason guys talk their wives into swinging (and that’s always the way it goes down) is so they can bang other women—not so their wives can!
(Yes, we dudes always talk about wanting to watch two or three or four or five ladies going at it. But give us a choice of either watching or getting busy and I guarantee we’re in the dog pile. Which is where we belong.)
Thank God for the NASCAR states. At least swingers in the Southeast still have strong traditional swinging values. Mano-a-womano, I was told. Full contact. Old school. At least in Dixie they understand choice isn’t good for swinging.
Because swinging isn’t Coldstone Creamery. Though it might be hot to have a swing party there, everyone just slathered in butter brickle and toppings… But, otherwise, people don’t need all the confusion. They simply want to party like it’s 1979.
Now, in case you’re wondering wherefore I speak—and you’ve got a right to—I did actually attend a swing party. It took place in the shadow of Knott’s Berry Farm in the heart of the OC (no, not with the cast of the show), and was put on by the folks at Lifestyles.org (a happy coincidence of an URL if ever there was one).
The best way to get a feel for who the attendees were is to go down to your local post office and imagine everyone there dressed in horny little outfits. In other words, they were your neighbors: The hot ones, the old crabby ones, the chubby ones with camel toe (both male and female camel toe).
I saw a broad demographic of breasts come out as their owners played table games (it was Casino Night). I also saw a formidable sybian that reminded me of a mechanical bull that would shortly—I was assured—be put to good use.
In the end, though, I didn’t stay to see the sybian—or any other pulsating phalli—put to use: good, bad or otherwise. I’m not the type to exploit my status as journalist to actually stay around to get the story. Even if the story does involve watching people have sex. Plus, it was obvious no one was going to get busy till I left.
Which brings me to my next-to-last issue: Why are swingers so obsessed with confidentiality? Almost no one would go on camera to talk about swinging. Seems they don’t want people to know they’re swingers. No shit. I was told people worried about the consequences if their kids or parents or employers or ministers found out they were swingers.
Come on, people: Everyone understands aberrant behavior. Everyone has a kink or two. Some folks just won’t admit it. Do you really think those people would use revelations about your colorful sexual practices to deny you the school board position they want or the child custody you won because you actually take care of your children?
This is America. You’re consenting adults taking part in a form of consensual sex the Bible forbids. Of course someone’s going to use that fact to try to screw you. Forget my questions regarding confidentiality.
Which brings me to my last issue or, more accurately, conundrum: More than one swinger I met claimed to be big fans of those champions of tolerance Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Laura. I kid you not. And I got the feeling that, if I’d had the huevos to ask, I’d have found a lot more fans. Granted, I was in Orange County (now I get why they call it a “hotbed” of conservatism). Still, I was floored.
Am I crazy or is there some serious get-researchers-down-here-asap-to-dissect-brains type of compartmentalization going on?
I can’t count the number of times I heard swingers claim they’re the ones who have true family values: They aren’t getting divorced and busting up families out of sexual frustration or feelings of being trapped, stifled, and bored. They’re staying married. So what if they sleep with the neighbors when no one’s looking?
And you know what? When you think about it, it’s not a conundrum at all—I take back the conundrum part, too. Swingers actually do their part to promote family values, they don’t just pay them lip service as a political wedge issue. They do that, they can listen to whatever damn fool they want on the radio.
The swingers I met down OC-way actually taught me a lot, including something that could make me a pretty penny in Washington. You see, it was among the swingers where I came to understand where the real swing vote in America is: It’s among the swingers. They’re everywhere in this great land of ours. Just spend five minutes searching the ‘Net if you don’t believe me.
And they’re sick and tired of people trying to make them out as perverts. They’re sick and tired of people poking around in their monkey business. And they’re sick to death of hacks like me writing sensational diatribes at their expense.
Swingers just want to be left alone to bang each others’ spouses in peace. And in the end, isn’t that what we all want?