Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Dark Odyssey Research: When Does Swinging Become Cheating?

While doing research for the next two books in my Dark Odyssey series at Ellora’s Cave, (current books: Spring Break and Summer Sins), a topic came up that sparked my interest: When does swinging cross the line into cheating for swingers?

I was interviewing a couple and singles involved in the BDSM and swinging lifestyle, asking a variety of questions and this topic came up by accident. One couple commented that another couple they knew, who were swingers, had recently divorced because the husband was cheating.

I was confused. After all, isn’t that what swinging is all about? Being open to experiencing sexual interaction with other people, while maintaining a loving relationship as a couple? Swingers are free-spirited when it comes to exploring their sensuality. Many couples I interviewed have been married or in relationships many years, and have been swingers or into BDSM the entire time. I’ve notice a strong connection and attentiveness between the partners. They claim to have a sincere desire to understand and meet each other’s physical, emotional and sexual needs. They try to look their best and enjoy having fun as a couple as well with their interactions with other people—and it’s not always about sex, it’s social too. I had to ask how and when the line was crossed from swinging into cheating in this particular relationship.

They didn’t mind me asking. Was the husband cheating because the wife didn’t know about the woman, I asked? No, she knew, the situation was the problem. The wife had a job which required her to travel out of town. During the days that the wife was away, the girlfriend moved into the house and lived there. She was acting like a replacement, not a play partner. The wife would’ve been okay with a play partner, where her husband occasionally saw her. She wouldn’t have minded the woman participating in a threesome, but the other woman refused to come around or meet the wife. When the wife objected, claiming her husband was crossing a line, the husband disagreed. This woman wasn’t respecting their limits as a couple and he wasn’t respecting their limits in their marriage. He refused to stop seeing her. It no longer became a social interaction, it became an intimate and emotional relationship that invaded the wife’s space and undermined their marriage. Line crossed. Marriage ended, sadly.

At Romanticon October 9-12 in Canton, Ohio I’ll be doing a workshop Researching Erotic Novels With or Without the Flogging with authors Cindy Jacks and Wendi Zwaduk



Cris Anson said...

A thought-provoking blog. Just where IS the line that shouldn't be crossed? Probably different for every couple.

Kathy Kulig said...

Thanks, Cris. I think it every couple in this lifestyle has their own boundaries, or should have.

Maria said...

Good post - I've wondered about this very question myself.

Dena Celeste said...

It definitely depends on the couple and their particular limits. Communication is vital in this matter, very, very clear communication. One thing I like about BDSM is how often we can get into detailed contracts and/or negotiations for additional relationships. I'm all for pushing boundaries, but deliberately, and with full consent from all involved.

When hubby and I dipped our toes into swinging, it was with certain agreements in place, and the understanding that we'd get each other's OK before venturing past certain points. Also, it was mandatory to speak up if something happened one of us didn't like. We both had to be okay with the situation, or it wouldn't work for us.

Kathy Kulig said...

Thanks Maria, I was asking this couple a different question when this came up so I thought it was good to explore.

Excellent points Dena. Both partners have to be up front and honest when exploring their sexuality and pushing boundaries or problems will arise. thanks all for sharing your thoughts.