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Dealing with Jealousy

There are many different opinions about jealousy. An interesting dynamic can sometimes arise in couples new to swinging, a dynamic which has inspired the community adage that "the more
enthusiastic member of a couple will get the couple into swinging, but the less enthusiastic partner will keep them there." As Carol Queen puts it in Exhibitionism
for the Shy
,

"The swing community has noticed another prevalent dynamic in
couples where one partner, more often than not the man, has more
enthusiasm than the other. He has had terrific fantasies about
freewheeling sex and plenty of it, and he finally convinces his
initially reluctant partner to give swinging a try. When they get to
the party, she has a great time and is high demand, while he thinks
the party’s a dud… Before you pack up your sexy outfit and fistful
of condoms, take some time to consider and negotiate how you will deal
with the chagrin of the less popular partner if such a dismaying event
happens to you."


In other words, some jealousy may spring from insecurity: if I’m
worried that I’m not valuable enough to keep my primary partner’s
interest and love, or that fewer people will be interested in playing
with me than with my primary partner, I may be more apt to get
jealous. For the latter case, some of these fears may be alleviated
by choosing, at least initially, to only swing together as a couple;
this way neither partner can be left out.

Sometimes jealousy may spring from feelings of scarcity rather than
feelings of insecurity: the fear is that "there’s only so much
love and so much pleasure and so much intimacy to go around."
With this in mind, I’d like to quote from the NASCA Guide to
Swinging
,

"The Myth of the Scarcity of Love is the popular belief that
‘love is scarce,’ which encourages hoarding. Hoarding, in turn,
created the very scarcity that was feared to begin with. The myth’s
premises are that each of us has a very limited amount of love to
give, spend, or sell; that if this is divided among several people,
each will get less; that love can be saved; and that in order to be
valuable, true love must be exclusive."


To end this section on a more practical note, many couples find
that the secrets to dealing with jealousy tend to revolve around good
communication, keeping agreements, reassuring each other as to your
love and commitment before and after playing with someone new, and
listening to each other’s emotional concerns and taking them seriously
whenever they arise. If jealousy becomes an issue for you and your
partner, you might try working on some or all of these things.

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