Swinging and the Scandalous Woman – Part 1

swingtown1.jpgWith CBS TV’s new sexually suggestive primetime show “Swingtown,” middle American may be getting it’s first taste of swinging – 70s style! With an sexy and interesting assortment of characters and a pulsating disco beat, “Swingtown” is popularizing a taboo topic. Get the Sex Education you might have missed in Part 1 of Scandalouswomen’s look at Swinging and the Scandalous Woman.

Paul C., owner of Playfulswingers.com, states that historically it has not been uncommon to find societies that have advocated having a lifestyle with multiple sexual partners. Furthermore both royalty and nobility in many cultures had consorts and concubines. Ancient Rome has been notable (if not infamous) for its enthusiastic acceptance of orgies and alternative sexual practices. However, though contemporary swingers celebrate those ideals, the actual practice of swinging in the 20th century began differently.

According to Terry Gould’s The Lifestyle: A Look at the Erotic Rites of Swingers, swinging began among U.S. Air Force pilots and their wives during World War II. In this small community, the mortality rate among pilots was significantly high. Gould reports that a close bond between pilots arose, with the implication that the husbands would protect and care for all the wives as their own, both emotionally and sexually, if the husbands were away or lost. This historical narrative is debatable, however, since it would have been highly unusual for servicemen’s wives to accompany them on any foreign tours of duty.

Other sources point to American Air Force pilots stationed in the California desert as the original participants in modern swinging. Though the exact beginnings are not agreed upon, it is widely assumed that swinging began amongst American military communities in the 1950s. By the time the Korean War ended, these groups had spread from the bases to the nearby suburbs. The media picked up on them in 1957 and promptly dubbed the phenomenon ‘wife-swapping.’ It wasn’t until the 1960s in Berkeley, California that the first organization, ‘Sexual Freedom League’, for swingers was opened.

Ultimately, an umbrella organization called the North American Swing Club Association (NASCA) (now NASCA International) was formed to encourage accurate information about swinging lifestyles all across America. Some subjective scientific research into swinging has been conducted in the USA since the late 1960s. The most recent study, based on an Internet questionnaire addressed to visitors of lifestyle-related sites, found swingers are happier in their relationships than the norm. 60% Of swingers said that swinging improved their relationship and only 1.7% said it made their relationship less happy.

Half of those who rated their relationship very happy before becoming swingers maintained it had become even happier. 90% Of those with less happy relationships said swinging improved them. Almost 70% of swingers claimed no problem with controlling jealousy, around a quarter admitted ‘I have difficulty controlling jealousy when swinging’ to be somewhat true but only 6% said this was ‘Yes, Very Much’ true. Swingers rate themselves happier (59% against 32% very happy) and their lives much more exciting (76% against 54% exciting) than does the rest of the population, by surprisingly large margins. There was no difference between the responses of men and women, although more males (70%) than females completed the survey.

This study, while enlightening, is of limited accuracy of the swinging population as a whole, due to its self-selected sampling technique. Internet-based sampling procedures create a substantial potential for bias. It is likely that those swinging couples who had stronger relationships were more motivated to complete the questionnaire. Alternatively, the stress that swinging may place on a marriage means that only those with higher than average levels of commitment to their partners are able to remain married whilst swinging.

Couples that have jealousy or strife issues caused by swinging will not usually stay in the swinging lifestyle and thus would have been unlikely to respond. ABC News reporter John Stossel produced an investigative report into the lifestyle. Stossel reported that over 4 million people are swingers, according to estimates by the Kinsey Institute and other researchers. He also cited Terry Gould’s research, in which Gould concluded that ‘couples swing in order to not cheat on their partners.’ When Stossel asked swinging couples whether they worry that their spouse will ‘find they like someone else better’, one male interviewee replied, ‘People in the swinging community swing for a reason.

They don’t swing to go out and find a new wife;’ while a woman interviewee asserted, ‘It makes women more confident — that they are the ones in charge.’ Stossel interviewed 12 marriage counselors about the lifestyle. According to Stossel, ‘not one of them said don’t do it’, though some also said ‘getting sexual thrills outside of marriage can threaten a marriage’. Nevertheless, the swingers whom Stossel interviewed claimed that ‘their marriages are stronger because they don’t lie to each other.”

Is Swinging For You?

More young women than ever before are trying it out, but to be sure it’s for you, check out these rules:

1. You might like swinging if you’re usually sexually confident and adventurous.

2. You won’t if you’re trying to mend a bad relationship or if you’re a jealous type.

3. Don’t be forced into doing something you don’t want to do at a party. No means no!

4. Always talk it through with you man (or men) first.


  1. I absolutely LOVE that show. I hope they keep it on. I’m enjoying the “scandalous” trend in TV lately – Desperate Housewives, Lipstick Jungle, Cashmere Mafia, and Swingtown!