Ever wondered what happens at a swingers party?
No, it’s not just keys in a bowl and giggling while you smooch your neighbour.
Photographer and author David Haslam has spent eight months documenting swinger culture in southeast Michigan, after being welcomed into a community of sexually adventurous swingers.
He’s now launched a Kickstarter to turn the photo series he captured into a book, called Swing Strong: The Naked Truth, which will explore the culture of swinging in the 21st Century.
If that book gets funded, David plans to follow it up with a guide to swinging, and a more in-depth look at the lives of the swingers he met.
As a non-swinger, David’s journey into the world of swinging was pretty eye-opening.
He first got introduced into the culture by a friend who met her husband through sex parties, who suggested he photographed swingers she could introduce him to.
From then on, David went to sex parties – ranging from small, intimate gatherings to massive hotel parties with 80 people in attendance – and interviewed and photographed the people he met to find out more about the culture of swinging.’
‘The lifestyle is considered on the fringe or even taboo in most parts of the “vanilla” world,’ writes David on the book’s Kickstarter. ‘For those that embrace the naked truth of it, the rewards can be amazing, life long, and life changing!
David says that he met all kinds of people who identify as swingers, ranging in body type, profession, personality, everything.
‘All consider themselves swingers and all currently live within a hundred miles of downtown Detroit,’ he explains.
‘After that, what they have in common ends.
‘The diversity is amazing! the answer to some of the questions we posed were very surprising. Swinging is NOT a large group of people, living in run-down trailer parks, having free sex with everyone and anyone.’
The photographer discovered that swinging culture doesn’t fit the stereotypes.
It’s not about keys in a bowl, ‘run-down trailer parks’, or a sexual free-for-all. There are rules, regulations, and a lot of respect.
‘There are protocols in place,’ he says. ‘Rules to be followed. A certain social structure to be observed.
‘However, nudity, total freedom of sexual expression, thoughts, and desires are fully open and accepted within these groups.
‘Good strong friendships form, and fun and enjoyment are nearly universal.
‘And it is safe when the rules are followed, which they nearly always are.
‘Swingers watch each other’s backs, and trouble makers and rule breakers are removed from the organized swinging groups.’
Good to know.
He discovered that the sex parties are attended by single people, who come along with swing partners, and couples, many of whom started swinging after years together to bring some excitement to their marriage.
There tend to be more men than women, and, as a result, women find it easier to have as much sexual pleasure as they fancy.
The culture is incredibly respectful of women, and enthusiastic consent is always taken into account. Condoms are always used, too, so everyone stays safe.
David hopes his book will give people a glimpse into the world of swinging, not only to break down stereotypes and make people a little less judgmental of those who swing, but also to give people who are interested in trying out swinging for themselves a taste of the action.
‘As you peruse the book, notice that almost everyone is smiling or laughing,’ says David.
‘This lifestyle, a world within a world, tends to make its occupants very happy.
‘As with any group of human beings, problems arise on occasion, some of them major.
‘However, the very intimate nature of the lifestyle activity demand a level of trust and support to enjoy the benefits.
‘As a result, close friendships often develop very quickly.
‘It’s been compared to having your cake and eating it too! This is the wonderful world of swinging.’