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Best Books on Swinging

Posted by Kinky Betty on

Ever wondered how to become a swinger or what swinging entails?  We've come across a great book to give you an introduction - How To Be A Swinger by JD Knight with eight easy steps to becoming a swinger. 

What is swinging?

Ask ten swingers what counts as swinging and you will get ten different answers. There is no right answer but, for us, it is more than meeting one on one for casual sex with different people or the odd cheeky threesome. 

Swinging evolved out of couples swapping partners but now includes meeting privately with others for threesomes (MFF or MMF) on a regular basis (rather than a cheeky grope after the pub), couples swapping with other couples, gang bangs with lots of men and one or two ladies, orgies or group sex with more than four people, along with many other things.

Lots of swingers attend swinging clubs where they could do any of the above or just have a drink and chat with like minded people. Many attend private house parties which can range from social with some cheeky flirting to full on orgy. Most just have fun in their own homes or a hotel room. 

Some would include dogging in swinging although that is a dying pastime. There is also the whole world of kink, especially BDSM, which is distinct from swinging. There is some overlap but a lot kinksters are not really swingers and a lot of swingers are not particularly into kink aspects. There are also overlaps with polyamory although for the vast majority of swingers it is about sex with no amorous intent. 

It a big and fun world so if you fancy reading more have a look through this list of books compiled by JD Knight and share your own thoughts in the comments or Naughty Corner Chat room swinging section.... 

Best books on swinging 

Anapol, D.M. (2011) Polyamory in the twenty-first century: Love and intimacy with multiple partners

Apparently, this is the first book on the topic of polyamory written for a general audience - for both those interested in practising polyamory and those who have no intention of doing so. Readers who would like to better understand what polyamory is all about will find answers here. People who already practice polyamory will find a careful analysis of the lifestyle and the various issues, concerns, and rewards that grow out of this lifestyle.

Barker, M.-J. (2018) Re-writing the rules: An anti self-help guide to love, sex and relationships

A friendly guide through the complicated - and often contradictory - advice that's given about sex and gender, monogamy and conflict, break-up and commitment. This book considers how the rules are being 'rewritten' in various ways - for example in monogamish and polyamorous relationships, different ways of understanding sex and gender, and new ideas for managing commitment and break-up where economics, communities, or child-care make complete separation impossible. This book considers how the rules are being ‘rewritten’ in various ways, giving you the power to find an approach that best fits your situation.

Barker, M.-J. and Langdridge, D. (2012) Understanding non-monogamies

This volume gathers contributions from academics, activists, and practitioners throughout the world to explore non-monogamous relationships. Featuring both empirical and theoretical pieces, contributors examine the history and cultural basis of various forms of non-monogamy, experiences of non-monogamous living, psychological understandings of relationship patterns, language and emotion, the discursive construction of mono-normativity as well as issues of race, class, disability, sexuality and gender. This volume will be of interest to academics and practitioners working in the social sciences and anyone who is seeking greater insight into the intricacies of non-monogamous relationships.

Bergstrand, C.R. and Sinski, J.B. (2010) Swinging in America: Love, sex, and marriage in the 21st Century

Drawing on an extensive survey of real people and over 40 years of research, this revealing volume proposes that a nonmonogamous lifestyle may be healthier for marriages than a monogamous one.

Swinging in America begins with what we know about swingers and the swinging lifestyle, based on personal narratives and over 40 years of sociological research comparing swinging and non- swinging couples on factors such as personal happiness, marital satisfaction, psychological stability, and personal values. The

second half of the book explores the historical rise and contemporary decline of monocentrism―the sexually monogamous marriage as the organizing principle underlying our culture―and the implications of this decline for new nonmonogamous relationships and marriages.

Davidson, E. (2021) Thriving in non-monogamy: An ethical slut's guide: Overcome jealousy, Enjoy Sex, and honor yourself

Thriving in Non-Monogamy will guide you through the process of getting in touch with your inner ethical slut, evaluating relationship values, honouring your needs and fears, and developing the tools to build relationships that work best for you.

Whether that means ethically opening up or improving a monogamous arrangement, this ethical slut handbook provides stories from people of all genders, sexual orientations, and relationship arrangements who confront their unmet needs, insecurities, internalized trauma, and struggles with open relationships. You'll also find reflection questions to help you approach your own arrangement with curiosity, openness, and compassion.

Fern, J. (2022) Polysecure: Attachment, trauma and consensual non-monogamy 

Polyamorous psychotherapist Jessica Fern breaks new ground by extending attachment theory into the realm of consensual non- monogamy. Using her nested model of attachment and trauma, she

expands our understanding of how emotional experiences can influence our relationships. Then, she sets out six specific strategies to help you move toward secure attachments in your multiple relationships.

Polysecure is both a trailblazing theoretical treatise and a practical guide. It provides non-monogamous people with a new set of tools to navigate the complexities of multiple loving relationships, and offers radical new concepts that are sure to influence the conversation about attachment theory.

Gould, T. (1999) The Lifestyle: A Look at the Erotic Rites of Swingers

Is swinging merely an invention of sexually permissive modern times? As Gould discovered, the phenomenon has roots that go back thousands of years. From prehistoric fertility rituals to Dionysian festivals, from the nineteenth-century Onieda commune to the twentieth-century social mirror of films such as Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice and The Ice Storm, spouse sharing has always been a part of human sexual practice.

A deeper biological urge seems to motivate this pleasure-seeking practice, one that combines two paradoxical urges: the drive to seek long term partners for raising offspring and the equally powerful drive for sexual and genetic variety. Lifestyle couples have resolved these conflicting urges.

The Lifestyle gives us a controversial and unique understanding of what it means to be part of a fast-growing subculture of consenting, mainstream adults who are changing the rules of sexual behavior for pair-bonded humans. Then again, perhaps they aren't changing anything at all.

Hardy, J. and Easton, D. (2017) The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Freedoms in Sex and Love

For 20 years The Ethical Slut has dispelled myths and showed curious readers how to maintain a successful polyamorous lifestyle through open communication, emotional honesty, and safer sex practices. The third edition of this timeless guide to communication and sex has been revised to include interviews with poly millennials (young people who have grown up without the prejudices their elders encountered regarding gender, orientation, sexuality, and relationships), tributes to poly pioneers, and new sidebars on topics such as asexuality, sex workers, and ways polys can connect and thrive. The authors also include new content addressing non-traditional relationships beyond the polyamorous paradigm of "more than two": couples who don't live together, couples who don't have sex with each other, nonparallel arrangements, couples with widely divergent sex styles, power disparities, and cross-orientation relationships.

Kent, J. and Barker, M.-J. (2021) A world beyond monogamy: How people make polyamory and open relationships work and what we can all learn from them

One in five Americans are thought to have experimented with 'monogamish,' open relationships, swinging, polyamory, or relationship anarchy and more with the knowledge and consent of

all those involved. But to make these relationships work consensually, non monogamous people have to supercharge relating skills like communication and negotiation, skills that can benefit us all, whether we love many or just one. A World Beyond Monogamy draws on the first hand experience of scores of people from six continents who are writing their own relationship rules, as well as on the expertise of biologists, sociologists, psychologists, and philosophers.

Knight, J. (2022) How to be a Swinger in 8 Easy Steps

JD Knight’s How to be a Swinger offers a detailed and logical route to pass from monogamy into the exciting world of threesomes, foursomes and more. Focusing on communication and compersion, this book offers solid and tested advice for those seeking to enter the brave new world of swinging.

Lehmiller, J. (2018) Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How it Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life

Based on Lehmiller’s monumental two-year study of sexual fantasies involving more than 4,000 people from all walks of life, Tell Me What You Want offers an unprecedented look into our fantasy worlds and what they reveal about us. It will help you to understand your own sexual desires and how to attain them within your relationships, but also to appreciate why your partner may have sexual proclivities that are so different from your own.

Labriola, K. (2014) The Jealousy Workbook: Exercises and Insights for Managing Open Relationships

In this workbook you will find 42 exercises with supporting text, developed by a professional relationship counsellor and refined by hundreds of clients trying to find their own paths through jealousy. They range from basic (Exercise Two, Clarify Your Relationship Orientation) through challenging (Exercise Thirty-Four, Imagine Looking Through Their Eyes and Being In Their Shoes). All can be done solo, with a partner, or under the supervision of a helping professional, and all can be done before a problem emerges or in the throes of a jealousy crisis. Along the way, you will find solutions to the issues that bedevil even the most happily open relationships.

Labriola, K. (2010) Love in abundance: A counselor's guide to open relationships

Kathy Labriola, a relationships counsellor who has worked for many years with singles, couples and groups in polyamorous and open relationships, sets forth some of the realities of alternative lifestyles: dealing with some of the common relationship- disrupters, managing jealousy, choosing compatible partners, combining BDSM with polyamory, distinguishing between sex addiction and polyamory, and much more.

Loree, K. (2022) Open deeply: A guide to building conscious, Compassionate open relationships

Therapist Kate Loree—who has practiced non-monogamy since 2003, and who specializes in treating clients who also practice non-monogamy—pulls no punches as she uses vignettes based on her own life, as well as her clients’ experiences, to illustrate the highs, lows, and in-betweens of life as a consensual non- monogamist. Interwoven with these stories are thorough explanations of how attachment theory impacts non-monogamy, how blending cutting-edge, neurobiology-informed grounding skills with effective communication skills will make even the most challenging conversations regarding non-monogamy manageable, and more. The result is a compassionate, attachment-focused template for non-monogamy that will allow readers to avoid pitfalls and find adventure while concurrently building healthy relationships.

Ley, D. (2012) Insatiable Wives: Women Who Stray and the Men Who Love Them

This enlightening work investigates the history, incidence, and causes of a unique sexual lifestyle pursued by increasing numbers of couples. This sexual practice, a form of sexual non-monogamy, is distinguished from swinging and polyamory in that the husband rarely seeks sexual contact outside the marriage except for participation in group sex with his wife and other men, while the wife is permitted and often encouraged to pursue unrestrained sexual encounters with other men. The author includes interviews and comments from couples living the lifestyle throughout the U.S., and presents the stories in an attempt to determine the history of this sexual practice and its role in society and in relationships. He explores the psychological, social, biological, and evolutionary underpinnings of this uncommon and socially taboo behaviour in an effort to make it more comprehensible to those engaged in the lifestyle and those who are just curious.

Michaels, M. and Johnson, P. (2015) Designer Relationships: A Guide to Happy Monogamy, Positive Polyamory, and Optimistic Open Relationships

Designer relationships may encompass: people who bond emotionally but not sexually; people who agree to be non- exclusive; single people who have occasional lovers or friends with benefits; multiple partner configurations where long-term bonds exist among all or some; partnerships in which people are kinky and that make room to explore kink.

The possibilities are limitless, and thinking about a partnership as something people can craft allows for flexibility and change. Relationships can open and close or have varying degrees and kinds of openness as circumstances demand. In the context of a designer relationship, decisions are made mutually, consciously, and deliberately. This book explains exactly how you and your loved ones can design your own life and love.

An essential guide to exploring and practicing non-monogamy, which prioritises your mental health and wellbeing. Suitable for any stage in your journey, it provides advice on understanding your 'why', setting boundaries, finding independence, cultivating self-compassion as well as practical considerations.

Powell, D.L. (2018) Building open relationships: Your hands-on guide to swinging, polyamory, and beyond! 

Are you totally great on the theory of open relationships, but feel like you don't know how it works in practice? This new book is an all-inclusive guide to beginning and maintaining your non- monogamous life, no matter where you fall under the non- monogamous umbrella. Complete with worksheets, discussion starters, examples, and hard-won lessons, this book will give you all the tools you need to be more successful in non-monogamy.

Riley, T. (2020) Ethical Cheating: Exploring the Swinger Lifestyle

Ethical Cheating explores the Swinging Lifestyle, which characteristically includes couples, who swap or share partners. Many people outside of the lifestyle define swinging as cheating while participants within the lifestyle see it differently.

While our society is structured around monogamy, consensual non-monogamy is more common than you think. Statistics show that while 90% of people expect monogamy, infidelity is as high as 70% of all relationships. We expect monogamy, but we can’t maintain it; we cheat anyway. Whether it’s emotionally, physically, or both. Ethical Cheating explores how to have the best of both worlds. With consensual non-monogamy, there is sex outside the primary relationship and it’s not cheating.

Ryan, C. and Jethá Cacilda (2012) Sex at dawn: How we mate, why we stray, and what it means for modern relationships

Sex at Dawn challenges conventional wisdom about sex in a big way. By examining the prehistoric origins of human sexual behavior the authors are able to expose the fallacies and weaknesses of standard theories proposed by most experts. This is a provocative, entertaining, and pioneering book.

Irrefutably shows that what is obvious—that human beings, both male and female, are lustful—is true, and has always been so. A controversial, idea-driven book that challenges everything you (think you) know about sex, monogamy, marriage, and family. A wonderfully provocative and well-written book which completely re-evaluates human sexual behaviour and gets to the root of many of our social and psychological ills

Scoats, R. (2021) Understanding threesomes: Gender, sex, and consensual non-monogamy

Interest in sexual threesomes is significant, but how much do we really know about them? Why do people engage in them? What influences people’s interest? And what are the longer term ramifications of a threesome? This book explores these questions and more; contextualising the findings in relation to wider norms of gender, sexual behaviour, and relationships.

Drawing upon more than 50 interviews and 200+ qualitative surveys this book offers a rich and in-depth analysis of contemporary threesome behaviours. The findings suggest that threesomes are a complex and multi-faceted sexual behaviour. A behaviour which simultaneously resists and maintains norms of monogamy, serves important roles and functions for individuals and relationships, and is both highly desirable but potentially risky.

Taormino, T. (2008) Opening Up: A Guide To Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships

Relationship expert and bestselling author Tristan Taormino offers a bold new strategy for creating loving, lasting relationships. Drawing on in-depth interviews with over a hundred women and men, Opening Up explores the real-life benefits and challenges of all styles of open relationships - from partnered non-monogamy to solo polyamory. With her refreshingly down-to-earth style and sharp wit, Taormino offers solutions for making an open relationship work, including tips on dealing with jealousy, negotiating boundaries, finding community, parenting and time management. Opening Up will change the way you think about intimacy.

Veaux, F. and Rickert, E. (2014) More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory

Can you love more than one person? Have multiple romantic partners, without jealousy or cheating? Absolutely! Polyamorous people have been paving the way, through trial and painful error. Now there's the new book More Than Two: A practical guide to ethical polyamory to help you find your own way.

Wenzel, S. (2020) A happy life in an open relationship: The Essential Guide to a healthy and fulfilling nonmonogamous love life

For anyone curious about open relationships, here is a valuable handbook from an expert in love, sex, and communication. Relationship therapist Susan Wenzel--who is in an open marriage herself--delivers skillful advice on how to navigate the complex emotional landscape of multi-partner relationships, from polyamory to swinging.

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