ASN's Ask Dr. Ziggy: Is There a Difference Between Older & Younger Swingers?
Greetings, fellow swingers!
It's another issue of your favorite magazine, and we're back with answers to your questions. Remember, your questions don't have to be just on swinging.
I'm going to address a question that has come up in several of the Swingers Forums I visit on a regular basis:
Is there a difference between "older" swingers and the "new" crop of couple/singles entering the lifestyle? Now, I'm talking about AGE differences and not length of involvement in swinging activities.
Well, as a good researcher does, I put together a small survey asking that question exactly! Moreover, I wanted to know if there were differences in attitudes towards swinging context and activities.
Difference in Attitudes
Do you think there is a difference in attitudes between "new swingers" (under 45) and older swingers (over 45) and, if so, what is the difference?
- "Yes, younger swingers are more vain and seek more physical reassurance and mental assurance, whereas more mature swingers already have that and are just looking for sexual contact."
- "I think more mature swingers are more secure in their relationship."
- "Yes, the younger generation seems more exhibitionist than older ones. It's more mainstream now."
- "As older swingers, we find it is more about friendships and not as fussy about how perfect the other couple may be."
- "There does seem to be more bisexual males among younger swingers, or at least a more open acceptance of it."
- "Yes. As a person in the "older" category, it seems that the "new" swingers seek out quantity in their sexual encounters, where the older group seems to seek "quality" encounters instead."
- "More mature swingers tend to be less conscious of society's opinions, less PC. Most bi couples I know are at least in their mid-40s. Also, we look for different things. I find [as I'm] getting older, a social/cerebral connection is much more important than it used to be."
- "The development of one's sense of self is the most profound change with age in this lifestyle."
- "Yes. Older swingers tend to be more engaged as a committed couple and in the lifestyle. The younger swingers seem to be experimenting and not here for the "forever" and more into the odd date and play night."
- "We're in the older category and have little experience with younger swingers. Just recently, we did play with a young (39) couple. There was no apparent difference in their attitude toward swinging or life in general."
- "I think the older are still more "in the closet" and fearful of public ridicule. Also, the older men are less seasoned on the topic of consent and are more likely to touch without permission. The younger seem more open to sexual fluidity and are more likely to resist labels. Also, more couples below 45 seem to discuss consensual non-monogamy very early in relationships. They are also more likely to use condoms since they've grown up with this being a more above-ground conversation."
- "Younger are more liberal in their sexual views."
Now, these are good examples of the type of answers we received. I chose those that reflected that of the majority of opinions. Overall, it seems that there are perceived differences between the "old" and "new" swingers, and those differences reflect a generational shift in social attitudes on expected behaviors whereas, with older swingers, consent was inferred and readily removed if someone stepped out of "bounds." With the "newer" swingers, consent has to be determined beforehand (and at each step of the sexual interaction). Also, and this something I can attest to; newer swingers are more concerned with the play interaction and less with the formation of possible friendships, etc. On the positive side, younger swingers are more accepting and accommodating of sexual fluidity, as it were.
Experience with Transgender Individuals
In keeping with the newer sexual denominations that have been introduced in today's sexual context, I asked the following question:
In your experience, how many transexual individuals have you met in the swinging lifestyle? Do you think transgender individuals are common in swinging? What is the impact on swinging activities and attitudes?
Some of the answers that represent the majority view:
- "Only one, and it wasn't someone we played with sexually. Just became a friend."
- "Met none. Not sure how common they are."
- "To my knowledge, I have never met a trans person in the lifestyle. When thinking of the males that I know in the lifestyle, I don't honestly know how they would respond to a transgender individual. What impact does it have on swinging activities/attitudes? I think that there is the potential to have miscommunications and missteps during an encounter if there isn't clear dialogue prior to an encounter to ensure all aspects of safe, sane, and consensual norms are discussed."
- "We met only a few. I don't think it's common, but it wouldn't surprise me if their numbers grow. My answer in one of the previous questions applies here — the one about people in communities of alternative sexual expression expecting us to be their enthusiastic champions."
It seems that transgender individuals aren't quite common in the lifestyle, but I don't think in most instances they would be repudiated or harassed (however, one never knows). Your choice of sexual partners is always yours as well as what turns you on or off.
I have some other interesting questions and responses to the survey, if you're interested, I'll post them in the next issue. I would love your feedback, opinions, suggestions, etc.
Thank you for reading.
This article originally appeared in the April 2019 issue of ASN Lifestyle Magazine.