Have you ever wondered what it’s really like to be a swinger? Not the things you see on TV, but what real life swingers actually think about the lifestyle? A Reddit thread had users who, used to be, or are currently swingers describe what it’s like. Here are some of the most interesting responses.

1. Always Have Rules

We have rules that need to be followed. Safety is always key. We trust each other but if one of us does not like the other’s partner we can veto it (it doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.)

2. Unrestrained Love

For me it’s very simple actually. My SO is amazing, caring, intelligent, kind and deep personality. She loves me and I love her. I don’t want to take anything away from her life by being in it. I can’t make anyone love me and I’m happy she does love me. I don’t want to be questioned and restraint in my life.

3. Sandwiches

How do you handle your roommate eating your sandwich? It’s not very good if you keep you and your partner’s food separately. But if you agreed on sharing all the food and made clear rules from day one about who buys and when and who gets to eat what. Then you also get to eat someone else’s sandwich if it happens to be there when you’re hungry.
Well, people are not sandwiches but you get what I’m trying to say.

4. Polyamorous

I have a girlfriend and a boyfriend. I’ve never really experienced jealously. When I see my partners with their partners or lovers, it makes me happy. When we’re all hanging out together and one of them hugs or kisses their partner, I feel joy and excitement that they’re happy. They feel they same for me.

5. Lots of Communication

My husband and I are open. We both expressed interest in incorporating others in the bedroom, early on. We eventually figured out that we were just fine not being around each other and having our own separate adventures.
It takes constant dialogue. I don’t think it should be something that should be tried just to save a relationship. If there isn’t a strong foundation, what you have is going to crack as soon as the first wave of jealousy hits it.
It’s also crucial to never dismiss any feelings. Talk, talk, talk. Re-evaluate the situation periodically. And get tested regularly.

6. Your Relationship Must Be Top Priority

We went into deciding to do group sex situations with a very solid understanding of what the other wants/needs and would like to try and experience. I had prior experience with such situations, which made it easier for him, I think. I proposed the idea because I’m of the belief that humans just are not monogamous creatures, and limiting ones sexuality is what usually leads to infidelity. We are totally and completely devoted to each other and do not put the incorporation of others into our sex life before the actual intimacy of our monogamous sex lives. What has proven to be absolutely crucial is being open about how we feel about absolutely everything.

7. A Girl On The Side

I like girls and guys. My partner loves women, but he’s a straight guy. So sometimes I want to go on a date with a girl, alone. Sometimes I want a girlfriend on the side. Luckily, my partner sees that as a cool thing, and doesn’t feel some sort of injustice about it. I imagine that other guys might not feel so accommodating about the whole thing. Of course, my partner knows that any moment he could come home and be tied up by some random hot girl, and myself so I guess he feels like it evens out somehow.

8. Be Clear Upfront

My experience has been pretty fucking awesome, as long as you both have the right type of personality, are extremely comfortable in your relationship and set hard/soft limits on day 1. Then be prepared for those limits to be pushed.

9. Happy To See Them Flirting

It makes me extremely happy to see her flirting with other people. I think the thought behind that is: “Oh, look at her go! I’m glad I can make her feel so free! I’m glad she wants to be with me. Holy shit, I hope she has great time!”
For us it has worked very well. 4 years and it has just been getting better all the time.

10. A Little Jealousy

Yes, there can be some jealousy and weird feelings at first. But once you try, you realize how fun and freeing it is, and you also realize that there is little basis for jealousy when you have a real strong bond with your SO.
It really does make things more interesting and spice them up! We’ve had couples over for play (the key is to allowing each other to call the shots. if I’m uncomfortable, situation is over; same if he’s not comfortable. we make decisions together!), we’ve been to swingers clubs, and we’ve both been with people when we are away from each other. It’s all a different and uniquely exciting situation.

11. Easier For The Female

As far as gender–I have a ton more sex than he does. It’s harder, I think, for a dude to find women to sleep with in an open relationship if he’s being honest about everything. It comes across as skeevy. Meanwhile, I have my partners over and we have dinner together (me, partner, boyfriend/girlfriend) and everything’s cool.

12. Sex Is Sex

The trick is to keep everything above-board and to prioritize the primary relationship. I’ve slept with other people. I’ve dated other people. I even fell in love with a girl I dated. But my partner is always, always #1.
As far as handling other people sleeping with him…it’s not a big deal. Sex is sex. As long as he doesn’t hide things from me and practices safe sex, I’m fine.

13. Must Want To Watch

The best way to make it work is if you find it to be a turn-on to see your partner with someone else. Otherwise, it can get uncomfortable.

Rob is a writer and comedian based in Louisville, KY. Follow @robfee on Twitter.