Swinger\'s Not Just on Playgrounds Anymore


By: Tanya Holt

Dave\'s marriage had hit the rocks. His wife had lost interest in sex,
and Dave did not know how to deal with it. He did not know whether she was
bored with him or simply bored with sex. In his search for an answer Dave and
his wife attended a swinger\'s party. This would eventually end Dave\'s marriage,
but it would also lead him to greener pastures.
"She did not want to share the lifestyle with me, and sharing is an
important part of swinging. Swingers swing to enhance the relationship with
their mate, not to destroy it," Dave said.
Dave met his second wife more than 15 years ago at a swinger\'s party.
The couple has now turned their lifestyle into their business. For the
past nine years Dave and his wife Dawn have run their own swing club in the
Chicago suburbs.
"We own Couples Choice, and though it\'s listed as a swing club it\'s a
lot more social than people imagine," Dave said.
This socialness includes dances, special theme parties, dinners and
vacations. The couples who attend are also interested in learning about
relationships, meeting new friends and for exposure to something new. One of
the most common misconceptions is that people come just to have sex. However,
this is an option at Dave and Dawn\'s club. Their club is known as an ‘on-site\'
club. This means that Dave and Dawn provide bedrooms for their members\'
enjoyment.
"Ours is an on-premise club. We have bedrooms where sex does take place,
but only if it is consensual. We do not force our activities on anyone," Dave
said.
Dave adds that having sex is something most people associate with a
swing club, but often this is not true.
Bob McGinley, whose self-given title is the grandfather of swing,
believes many people have misconceptions about swinging. He says swinging
cannot be categorized as mate swapping or as group sex. In fact McGinley
believes swinging cannot be put into a category at all.
"Putting a label on the activity is wrong. People call us swingers
because we have sex with someone other than our mate, but you don\'t call someone
a tenniser because they enjoy hitting a ball over a net. Someone involved in
swinging is also involved in many other things . . . it\'s really unfair to label
that person a swinger," McGinley said.
McGinley has been involved in the swinging lifestyle since 1969. He has
since founded Lifestyles Organization in Anaheim, Calif. His organization holds
a swing convention every year and this year he expects more than 3,000 to attend.
This weekend convention offers people a chance to educate themselves, socialize
and make new friends. This is what McGinley thinks draws so many to the
convention. He does not believe most come simply for the sex, and that most
people who attend are not what generally comes to mind as ‘swingers.\'
He believes Americans are uncomfortable thinking about sex, and out of
this uncomfortableness the misrepresentations of swinging adults are born.
"Swingers are not just beautiful, horny and young. Because someone is
more older does not mean, they lose their sexual desire. People\'s most common
misconception about sex and swinging is that it\'s for the young and that is
simply not true," McGinley said.
McGinley, who has his doctorate in psychology, conducted a 1979 study on
senior citizens and their sex lives. His study concentrated on the seniors who
travel America in their recreational vehicles. His study found that swinging
among RV people is as common as their mud flaps displaying their names.
"Older people do not lose their sexual desire just because they are
older. In fact, many senior citizens become are more comfortable with their
sexuality than many young people. They tend to lose their inhibitions with
age," McGinley said.
When Bob and Linda met 17 years ago they had both just been burned.
Linda had recently gotten out of an \'open-marriage,\' and Bob had just divorced
his first wife. Both wanted to change lifestyles before embarking on another
relationship and swinging helped the couple do this.

The couple who are now in their late 50\'s have their own swing club, Perfect
Pairs, in Orlando Fla. Their club is an off-site club. No sex occurs at the
actual club, but what people do once they leave the club is up to them. The
club has been going strong for nine years, and their marriage has been just as
strong for the past 17. They believe the strength in their marriage comes from
their swinging activities.
"There is very little divorce in this lifestyle. Most