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Relationships, Sex, Good Love

What's it *Really* Like at a Swingers Party?

Goodfeedstaff founding_member

Image via Feeld

Spoiler - its not what you'd think.


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When most people hear “swinger party,” they’re usually imagining 70’s key parties, deep in suburbia with conversation pits and quaaludes. While that’s a fun aesthetic (bring back the conversation pit!), modern swinger parties are a little less disco and a lot more normal than you’d expect.

Usually, the host invites people they’ve already met and typically people they’ve already played with, but it’s also common to get an invitation on a lifestyle site like Kasadie, FetLife, or Feeld and just meet the host at the party. Some parties are so big that the environment becomes almost like a club, whereas smaller parties of three or four couples are more like regular cocktail party that just happens to end with everyone naked.

A private party is definitely invite only.

Unlike clubs, if you’ve been invited to a swinger party, your host has vetted you and your partner and decided that you’re a good fit for the kind of party they’re hoping to throw. While most swingers will default to the more the merrier, it’s good manners to ask before extending the invitation, and always let your host know that it’s perfectly okay to decline. Unless it’s a solo woman, in which case, it’s probably okay. Which leads us to…

The entrance fee all depends.

It’s not uncommon for swinger parties to charge an entrance fee. This covers the space (even if it’s in the host’s home, it’s going to need cleaning before and after), the time spent vetting invitees, any fun stuff like sex furniture or sex toys, and mixers and snacks. Of everyone I’ve known that throws these parties, no one has ever gone above breaking even.

However, the entrance fee will depend on who you are bringing. Generally, couples have a certain fee, single men will have a fee equal or higher than the couples, and single women will have a highly discounted rate, or will get in free. This is because most couples are open to swapping with another couple, or are open to threesome play with another woman. Couples open to threesome play with another man definitely exist, but they are more rare. The entry fee variance isn’t a judgement call, it’s just demand and supply.

There are different kinds of swaps.

Most swinger parties cater toward couples that are looking for full swaps, which means trading partners and each having full intercourse. While it can be a lot of fun, that’s obviously a pretty big step for newer couples. There is also a step in between called “soft swap.” This usually involves everything but penetrative genital sex— oral, fingering, making out, etc. Typically, couples fool around with each other’s partners and then as things heat up, switch back to their own partners for penetrative sex.

Of course, you never, ever, ever owe anyone penetrative sex or any kind of sex play at all. But it’s considered generally good swinger etiquette to be upfront if you’re a soft swap couple. This saves other couples from accidentally being too forward and approaching you for a full swap, and it gives other couples a fair out if it’s not what they’re looking for. If you’ve been invited to a small party, it’s good form to let the host know ahead of time.

Plan to BYOB.

Most hosts will provide snacks, water, and mixers, but if you’re going to a private party, it’s good manners to offer to contribute. Unless you’ve been specifically told otherwise, it’s BYOB. Unlike a club, you should bring a full bottle and plan to leave it there unless there are very extenuating circumstances. The swinger community is all about sharing, so plan accordingly.

It’s totally okay if you don’t drink alcohol and you shouldn’t feel pressured to bring any. But it is nice to bring a small host gift, like snacks (you can’t go wrong with a nice fruit, chocolate, or cheese plate) or a nice non-alcoholic beverage.

Dress to impress.

Private swinger parties can be a little harder to dress for than a club. Whereas a sex club is all about showing skin, a private party is usually a little more reserved. When in doubt, go with cocktail attire, especially if it’s that one outfit that is just a little too revealing for most occasions. And remember that you’ll be getting down to your underwear, so this is the time to bust out the sexy stuff.

This is the zero drama zone.

If you and your partner are new to this, make sure you have a lot of conversation ahead of time about your limits, your comfort, and how you’d like the night to go. Do you need to be together at all times or is it okay if you split up into different groups at the party? Work it all out ahead of time. Similarly, as you’re chatting with the other guests, this isn’t the time to talk about an upcoming election or anything else that has the power to be divisive or a huge bummer. This is supposed to be a nice little escape from everyday life, so keep it light, fun, and flirtatious.