As this is the first time we've done an article about swinging, we'll present the topic from a newbie's perspective. So let's look at what swinging is all about and how to get into it, together with a review of Fab Swingers (fabswingers.com). Fab Swingers is an old online community for swinging that exists not only in the United Kingdom but in English-speaking countries worldwide, from New Zealand to the US. You can scroll down to the review if you're already a somewhat experienced swinger.
Many people feel tentative about trying swinging if they are new to it and are over 50. However, there are swingers of all ages worldwide. And these days, you can meet them not only at swinging parties but also using hookup apps and dating apps. As a result, swinging appears to be more popular than ever.
Read on to learn more about swinging and our Fab Swingers review.
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What is swinging?
Swinging is when you and your partner enjoy having sex with others. This might be in threesomes or partner swaps. Or you might like to have other couples or people watch when you have sex, watch other couples having sex, or have sex in the same room as other couples having sex.
Swinging, while falling into the category of non-monogamy, is not the same as having a completely open relationship or being into polyamory.
In its loosest definition, an open relationship means you and your partner can have sex with others as you see fit. It could also mean the ability to have other relationships outside your relationship and partake in swinging.
On the other hand, polyamory means that you and your partner can have other partners. You can be romantically involved with more than one person at once. This could include having another partner in your relationship, or it could mean that you and your partner have other relationships outside your own.
When swinging, your partner is always present if you have sex with others and you aren't getting romantically involved with anyone else.
Soft swaps and full swaps
Soft swaps is sex without penetration.
For example, your partner may have sex with someone else while you're watching but won't do the penetration. Or you may have a threesome, but you've explained to the unicorn (the third person) that you don't want to practice penetration with them. It could also be that you and your partner swap partners with another couple, but neither of you engage in penetration.
Full swaps mean any of the above but with penetration.
The first time someone told me about someone having a threesome, I found it very peculiar. It was one of those things you'd not heard of growing up. Then I grew up and moved to California (the land of free love). After that, I started writing sex, love, and dating articles and working for online dating sites. Now, if you're swinging, I say good for you.
Swinging is nothing abnormal. Many people get turned on by having multiple partners in situations like threesomes or gang bangs. Others get turned on by having people watch them having sex with their partners. Some get turned on by having their partner watch them having sex with someone else. Some like to "swap" - find a couple and swap partners, often having sex in the same room or nearby.
Multi-partner sex is one of the most common sexual fantasies; one study found that nearly 90% of men and women have this fantasy. Of course, that's not to say that everyone wants to act on their fantasy, but it does show it certainly is nothing strange.
Studies in the US and Canada found that one in five singles have been in ethically non-monogamous relationships, where all parties agreed to it being an open relationship. No cuckolding. And the UK is no different—the numbers are pretty much the same.
Studies in the US also found that about 2.5% of people identify as swingers, while almost 5% have tried something involving swinging. In the UK, there were an estimated one million swingers in 2017. Other research in the UK showed that 2.5% of over 40s actively partake in swinging.
Non-monogamy isn’t a new thing
Now, this might sound outrageous that so many people are in ethically open relationships, but have you ever read a book about the British aristocracy? Their house parties used to be infamous. Back then, most couples had separate rooms. And at night, house guests took advantage of this by running around and meeting their lovers. So partner swapping was very much a real thing!
One might think that this was because of arranged marriages. But consider other cultures. Have you ever heard of the French and Italians taking lovers? I've heard of it. I'm sure you have, too. And in those cultures, it's often more culturally accepted.
What’s not been the cultural norm is to speak about it openly with your partner. That’s changing now. People feel that for romantic relationships to truly work, they need to be honest relationships.
This trend is more prominent in younger generations, where talk about non-monogamy and polyamory is more prominent than ever.
Of course, all of this isn't about swinging. I'm just trying to make a point that sex with people other than your partner is one of the most common things in the world. As common as having a cat, in fact - about one in five people have cats.
Some people feel that swinging can help deepen your relationship with your partner. It's all about your partner enjoying having sex while you're in the room or at least in the same house. It's a very open approach to non-monogamy, and it's one where you never leave your partner's side.
We spoke to Dr Lori Beth Bisbey, who had this to say on the topic of non-monogamy: "Opening up a relationship can be brilliant however only when your relationship is strong. If you are having relationship issues, deal with these before attempting swinging. When you are feeling secure with each other, jealousy disappears. Swinging works best when you are nothing but feeling good about yourselves. Excellent communication skills are essential."
Boundaries and consent
If you're seriously considering swinging, you need to consider your boundaries. Many people start with soft swaps - no penetration - but there are other things to consider.
What kind of swinging do you want to experience?
- Having sex in the same room as another couple or couples
- Having sex with someone else in front of your partner
- Your partner having sex with someone else in front of you
- Swapping partners with another couple
- Having sex together as a group (gang bangs)
What kind of boundaries will you have?
- Your partner only having sex with you
- You and your partner kissing other people
- You and your partner going down on other people
- You and your partner having penetration with other people
- Having threesomes without penetration or with penetration
- Having threesomes only with another male, another female, or both
- Only having sex or playing with others in the same room or other rooms
- Seeing a person or a couple once or multiple times
- Protected or unprotected sex or both - for example, penetration may require a condom, but it's OK to go down on someone not wearing a condom
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider. When you meet other singles or couples, you also both have to confirm in the moment if you like the person or couple and want to proceed or not. What's more, you might have to decide if it's someone you want to have sex with or someone you want to have sex in front of.
There are so many levels and nuances to swinging.
Parties, apps, and friends
Some people don't want to engage in swinging with friends and acquaintances. Others only want to engage in swinging with friends and acquaintances as it makes them feel safer.
Some couples like attending sex parties or parties for swingers, while others don't. They find that swinging should be something intimate happening between closed doors.
Some couples find that using apps is an excellent way of finding a third person or couples for swinging. Other couples don't like putting their faces on an app or only use apps where they can use incognito mode. Some prefer apps dedicated to swinging, while others are happy to use mainstream dating apps like Tinder and Bumble to find matches.
As someone who has used Tinder and Bumble a lot, I know people use Tinder and Bumble for threesomes, swinging, and polyamory. So you will find profiles where the user says they are looking for it.
There are also adult dating sites like AdultFriendFinder, where you can find many swingers. But you'll also be fed a whole lot of nudity. Other apps, like Feeld and 3Fun, are more dedicated to a particular lifestyle.
Solving relationship and sex problems
If you’re looking for a spark in your sex life, swinging might bring you that. Trying out your fetishes can undoubtedly add a spark.
However, before you even begin to consider hooking up with other people, you need to learn to communicate in the bedroom. Do you praise your partner when they do something nice? Do you tell your partner when they do something you dislike? Do you talk to your partner about your wants and needs? If not, you must do this before going anywhere near swinging.
Involving more people in your sex life will lead to complications if there aren’t open communication lines.
Likewise, while swinging might add a spark to your sex life, it won't solve your relationship problems. If you feel there are issues within the relationship, you're better off getting counselling than trying swinging. But, of course, if you think the problem with your relationship is that you aren't swinging, then it's another story.
After sex care
People who participate in swinging tend to debrief with their partner afterwards. They talk through the experience, including anything that made them feel great or uncomfortable. They show that they love each other, cuddle, and reaffirm that they are in a romantically monogamous relationship.
Jealousy, misunderstandings, and awkward situations arise when you don't enjoy swinging as much as they do. So you need to talk through your experiences so that it allows you to reach new depths of intimacy. It also helps you establish what you want moving forward as you'll learn as you go; maybe you discovered that threesomes aren't your thing after trying them.
It’s crucial to be able to have these talks with your partner.
Real life is nothing like the movies. You must be prepared to experience and deal with different things.
Likewise, even if you're pro-swinging, you might have some weird thoughts after trying it for the first time. Most of us were raised with prejudice; even if we consider ourselves liberal, trying something new can lead to thoughts of shame. Sex is natural, but that hasn't been society's take on things for centuries.
What to do before you start swinging
- Start communicating about your sex life at large
- Start communicating about your relationship at large—ensure both parties feel loved
- Decide on what types of swinging you want to try and where you want to start
- Decide on your boundaries
- Decide how you will talk about the experience afterwards to make you both feel loved
- Decide on whether you’ll discuss your swinging adventures with others and, if so, how much to reveal
- Decide how you want to meet other swingers
- Decide if you’d be OK to have online sex with other swingers
- Make it clear that if one of you finds the swinging lifestyle is not for you, that's OK
You may also want to set up some code words you can use when meeting with potential couples and singles for swinging. For example, a night might start out great, but once the sex gets going, one of you realises that they don't want to have sex with whoever they're with. Maybe they're too rough or say inappropriate things. Of course, you can tell them to try something else. Still, if you feel uncomfortable and want to leave, you might want a couple of different ways to communicate that to your partner.
Is swinging for those over 50?
Of course, it is. If you are sexually active, you can try out any form of sex that’s healthy and appealing. Some younger couples also enjoy swinging with more mature ones as they have another level of sexual experience.
If you've never done swinging before, I'm sure it's easy to think that older couples have "calmed down" and don't do it. But, on the contrary, those involved in "the lifestyle" seem to stick with it. Unless, of course, it was just a phase they were going through. You'll find on many swinging apps that many people are at least over 40.
Fab Swingers—the oldest swingers community on the web
Fab Swingers has been around since 2006 and is a trusted community for swingers. Their verification process alone is something that helps keep fakes away. To join, you must take a photo of yourself holding a piece of paper with the site's name. After providing this photo verification, it will take an average of three hours before you get access to the site.
Most apps out there today don't have this strict photo verification process. Some sites have it as an additional extra; you can get verified if you want to. However, on Fabswingers.com, you must get verified. As a result, fake profiles are few and far between.
Moderators also check profiles.
Fab Swingers is more of a social media site for swingers than a dating app. You don't swipe yes or no on photos. Instead, after creating your profile, you can update your status, send friend requests, and so forth.
Being more of a social network makes sense as you aren't looking for a new romantic partner (though you may end up finding one if you're single!), but rather people with whom you can talk about swinging, go to parties and swing with.
For that reason, Fab Swingers is a good starting point for swinging compared to most dating websites and dating apps.
The following functions are available:
- Create a profile
- Upload photos (max six per day up to 187 photos)
- Forums and clubs you can join, or create your own
- Live cams
- Ability to chat with several people at once using your camera (paid feature)
- List of sex clubs/swingers parties
- A Meet Now function (if you want to meet people today for a hookup)
- See who’s viewed your profile (paid feature)
- You can hotlist people whom you want to get in touch with
Profiles don't contain much information, just basic details about sexual orientation and what people are looking for. However, there are some other odd bits and ends you can fill in, such as if you have any tattoos and a bit about yourself in general.
Overall, the member profile quality could be better. Still, as people are very active, you can get to know people through messaging.
Pros and cons of Fab Swingers
Let’s have a closer look at the pros and cons.
- Inclusive of all genders and sexual orientations
- Couples and singles can sign up
- Easy sign-up process
- The strict photo verification process
- A free membership allows you to use the site, and it works properly
- Fake profiles are rare
- If you're a woman, you'll likely get unsolicited dick pics
- Profiles aren’t very detailed
- No app, but the website is mobile responsive, so you can use it on your smartphone
- The website design leaves a lot to be desired
A paid membership only costs £30 for close to a year's membership, but you can also do 90 days for £12.50. However, you don't need a paid membership to use the site. If you want to chat with multiple people at the same time or see someone's distance from you or who's viewed your profile, it's useful. It also gets rid of all the ads.
Unlike most other dating sites, the subscription doesn’t automatically renew. You can pay using your credit card and then repeat the payment when necessary if you wish to continue.
Testimonials from around the net are generally positive for Fab Swingers. However, as it's a site with a sex focus, you will think of people as freaks if you're looking for no nudity or dirty messages. It's not exactly a vanilla site, but it's a very welcoming community for people looking for sex and swinging.
Live cams are basically like live porn videos sometimes. If webcams aren't for you, you can stay away from them.
Also, the site doesn’t sell your data to third parties, there is no automatic renewal of subscriptions, and so forth, so it’s not a scam site. And there’s full site support.
Are you ready to swing?
Overall, it’s a great site if you want to find people to chat about swinging, attend events, and meet up with other couples. And unlike other dating platforms, you can be confident that the people you talk to are real, thanks to the photo verification process.
It’s a great swingers site, even if the web design leaves much to be desired.
Swinging will never be for everyone, but why not give it a go if you and your partner want to spice up your sex life with something a little different?