groomed for swinging

Groomed for Swinging

My brother and his wife were swingers.  My wife Julie and I have had many discussions about this marital lifestyle and its pitfalls. Over time, they have tried to gauge our attitudes about (or even availability to participate in) swinging. They groomed us for swinging over a few years. Here are examples of what we’ve seen and attempts to lure us into the lifestyle.

My brother and I were (and are) close, and we like to spend a lot of time together.  We were always the “life of the party,” until my wife came along and we adapted to getting together as couples. We live in small-town Iowa. They lived in a big city in Missouri, and he makes build-a-swimming-pool type money. So it was fun getting together with them.

Stories of their friends dominated our dinners and evenings out over holidays. Mark and Tina were one couple who often came up in conversation: “their” naked drive-throughs and dirty talk about how “they” liked to go to nude resorts (with a swinger reputation).  We heard stories of her nipple-piercings and many, many drunk night escapades.  Looking back, the sheer volume of information indicated they had a plan for us, and they tried to execute that plan New Year’s Eve 1999.

God does protect you against what your heart truly doesn’t want. Christ resides in me, and is so powerful, and was such a Master Engineer when it comes to our bodies that their plan didn’t stand a chance.  No matter how good it was.

New Year’s Eve 1998-99:  Our good friend owned a bar in our hometown, and we still spent Thanksgiving Eve, New Year’s Eve and some Christmas time there getting free drinks and catching up with friends.  He had a band and specials for New Year’s Eve that year and this third version of the bar came with a hotel, pool, and restaurant.  Not bad for a small little Iowa town.  We were going to meet my brother and his wife, my former college roommate and his wife, and another couple who were good friends with both my brother and me.

Twenty years hasn’t vanquished the memories imprinted from the experience. My brother was there early enough to get a corner table right by the dance floor. It put us close to the snack table and gave us pole-position to get drinks.  They rented a room so they wouldn’t have to drive; breaking this down later, it was red-flag #1.  We got drinks, had some munchies, and did a little dancing.  We planned our Y2K party for the next year at my brother’s house in Missouri (where my college roommate works as well) and talked about everything 20-30 somethings usually do.

At some point, my brother gave us a semi-legitimate reason to go to their room.  I don’t remember the reason we went, but it was weak. Soon my brother was showing me Hawaiian leis on the bed and was making “lay” references.  There were pornographic magazines on the room’s desk.

I sat on the edge of the bed and his wife, Connie, sat beside me. Her hand met mine.  Okay, I know this should have been an obvious giveaway, but they’d been married eight years. I’d known them my whole life, so the thought they’d try to seduce me had never entered my mind.  We sat there for a minute, her hand on mine, and I thought it odd, a mistake, and I hopped up off the bed.

Some years later my friend said the same thing happened to him and his wife later that evening and laughed it off saying, “As if we’d swap?!?”

Summer 2005 and beyond:  Pretty much the same group of friends as New Year’s 98-99 with a couple of new Missouri couples at a pool party with my brother.  We had seen the “friendship” between these new couples evolve. And knowing what we now knew from our experience, it was apparent they were all involved with each other sexually somehow.

A vacation photo album prominently displayed showed all of them naked. Then I stumbled upon images on a computer while doing some help-desk work for them.  And there were the interactions, a sort of “in group” language and laughter about things we were definitely on the outside about.

The same couple that was hit on right after us at the New Year’s party six years back talked about how my brother said he “got the short end” in trading with one couple, making body-type comparisons between his wife and the other guy’s wife.

Over the next 5-10 years, things meant to ease us toward normalizing that behavior in our minds would occur. Like my brother once walking in quite drunk, snapping my wife’s bra, and asking, “Do you need that on?” Or the predatory stares from the group at the pool or sporting events at his house. (We go down for a college football game every other year).

And other little things happened, like a friend’s wife telling me all the great things about my wife and me while her husband was doing the same to my wife. Alcohol is usually involved, but we were able to politely stay involved with this group over the years without taking their bait.  As we have all aged and the kids have aged, our friendships have actually grown with nearly all of them.

Home advances: In our little hometown, we’ve heard the rumors and seen somethings.  One evening we were with another couple at a water park with our kids. The gal, who’d had a few drinks, was showing pictures from a recent party and said, “Yeah, I think Jimmy slept at their place. That’s how we roll sometimes. We don’t care whose bed we end up in at the end of the night.” Considering they had come up in conversation a few times in that regard, we let the comment sit and moved on to other topics.

At a youth basketball game, my wife Mel was looking nice in jeans and a tank/sweater twinset. One of the moms we were sitting with asked if we were planning to have more kids.  I told her that’s impossible on my end due to a recent procedure.  At my remark, three dads, all good friends, turned around. One said, “If you need help with that, you’re looking at the three most viral men in town.” (They had 12 children between them.)  I laughed it off and moved on.

A pause on this one:  There is a couple we enjoy company with a lot. The wife and I are from the same town and share a lot of similar interests. We have developed a close bond due to training for races together and our work on school fundraisers.  My wife even discovered some writing of mine that involved me talking about her in a sexual way. (It was sort of a diary I once started but didn’t continue.)

We were at a “Spartan” race. As we headed to load up a van of eight people after the event, her husband Dean and I were the first to the vehicle. He was less stoic than usual, having now had a few drinks. (We’re good friends as well but don’t share the same upbringing.) We laughed together, getting a little racy about how good some of the runners looked in mud and sweat.  He said to me, “Well, I could really use me a little Mel.  I mean, she’s so hot today.”

I concurred with him, wondering where it would go. Then the rest of the group caught up with us, and the conversation ended.  We never picked it up again.

God’s plan:  My tempted, sinner’s heart wanted his wife. And knowing he wanted mine could certainly have driven something that would have destroyed a lot of things in our lives.  God guided and protected Dean and me. Even further talk or exploration of our earthly desires could have damaged our marriages.

I have always felt safe in my free will, making good choices most of the time.  Despite the grooming for swinging we received and living surrounded by people who embrace that lifestyle, we haven’t taken the bait. I do believe that God steers me away from temptation and Satan each and every day. My desires of the flesh are always selling me ideas. But He gives me the truth and the strength to obey his loving guidance.

I thank Christ every day for being with me and protecting me and my marriage from myself.

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28 replies
  1. Southernheat says:

    I’m glad you have not gotten into that lifestyle. However, I hope you have or will surround yourself with some Godly mentors and strong Christian friends. Yes, we are to be a light in the darkness and carry hope to those searching. But you being a light to people doesn’t mean they should be your closest friends.

    In my opinion, the object is not to see just how close you can get to the flame and not get burned. God has protected you but we have to use wisdom.

    My mom used to tell me: if you're driving on a mountain road you would drive as far from the edge as possible. You wouldn’t drive as close to the edge as you could for fear of falling and that’s how we should treat temptation to sin in our lives. I’ve never forgotten those words of wisdom. Please, be careful. Guard your heart.

    • Fiftyfitfidelity says:

      I have surrounded myself with Godly and unGodly friends. I have not condemned and separated myself from life and the people I work and live around.

      In my opinion, following that advice would have me ruining my relationship with my brother and close friends as well as people in the community. We can all exist around each other and I trust God a lot more than I trust myself or others to protect me. That's kinda the point of my story.

      To my mind, your kindly advice doesn't emulate Jesus's and God's love for us and the fellowship they demand in our relationships.

      Thank you for the response, but temptation and sin happen in all communities regardless of who's surrounding you.

    • SecondMarge says:

      On mountain roads I have driven, if I stayed as far from the edge as possible I would run into cars coming the other way. For me, excess in religious teachings can cause damage every bit as bad. Driving close to the edge gives the best scenery allowing for the pleasures of life. I believe one can do that without going over the edge or maybe only far enough to get the entire experience life is meant to give.

    • MarriageHeat says:

      By "excess in", we assume you mean adding to what is actually commanded (love) and prohibited (sexual relationships outside heterosexual marriage) in the Bible, a view we also share. As in all things, though, live by our convictions. Still, we should examine them from time to time and always refrain from judging and condemning those of others. (Not to imply that you did.)

  2. LovingHusband4Her says:

    I want to warn that passive masculinity can be toxic if you don’t defend loved ones.

    It's like what the Israelites let happen in the temple:

    Matthew 21:11-20 New International Version (NIV)

    11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

    Jesus at the Temple
    12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’

    I would not tolerate any lewd comments or sexual advances, no matter how small the town is. In my opinion, that’s not how friends joke. I would take action against this, fiftyfitfidelity.

    [MH notes: Loving but firm action, we hope.]

    • Fiftyfitfidelity says:

      I do not remember my exact quip back to them, but it was funny and direct shooting them down. We are in the midst of redefining what is appropriate to say and not say and I pride myself in keeping the relationships I have and not judging and calling it quits on friends. I can say I do not have strong friendships with any of the three.

    • A Better Pastime says:

      I love what you state LH4H where say "passive masculinity can be toxic". In today's world where masculinity is under total attack, where are MEN to be found? In my opinion, any man who would make such comments to another man's wife and states that he is a Christian, is definitely not a "brother" and should not be treated as one with passivity (or "love" as some like to call it). These kind of comments are "intentions", as in "I desire to have sex with your wife" (or "I covet your wife"). King David took his "brother's" wife, impregnated her and then killed his "brother" to cover it up. All of the actions that King David performed were the result of "comments" like these. Any man making comments like these to another man's wife should be treated with a response that weights those comments as the end result of King David's actions with Bathsheba: they are no different. Where is the courage of a husband to "protect" his wife? Toward that end, wive's have a duty here to tell their husbands of another man's demonstrated intentions. Her husband may not see, or have eyes to see, another man demonstrating his covetous intentions toward his wife. I'm with you LH4H: release the grizzly or if not it may cost you your life.

    • SecondMarge says:

      I don’t agree with the opinion that another man seeing me and appreciating how I look is a negative or in need of my husband “coming to my defense”. To me, that would be a sign of weakness in the relationship. Jealousy is a negative to be avoided. I was extremely modest until my pregnancy. Then several people saw me naked and many more my breasts while breastfeeding. I became casual about it and while moving my son from one nipple to the other both were exposed to my sister’s husband. He obviously enjoyed the view (as well he should) even though I didn’t think my massive milk filled breasts were that attractive. Many husbands enjoy their wife going braless or even topless in an appropriate location. I see no masculine weakness in such activities. Nor anything against Christ’s teachings. We are discussing going to a clothing optional resort. If we do, he wants me to at least go topless. If I do I expect people will look and some may have desires. As long as no one acts on those beyond a compliment or some natural blood flow I see no reason my husband would not or should not enjoy it. We all are allowed to view it differently but I’m glad my husband didn’t feel the need to attack our brother in law for enjoying the sight of my body. Unless there is unwanted and inappropriate touching, no macho act is needed.

    • A Better Pastime says:

      Not a "macho act", or an issue of "jealousy": it's just men knowing men. This is what I think: women do not know men, women don't know the rules of engagement between men (just like men don't know the rules of engagement between women), women do not know how to be a man, women do not know what it takes to be a man, and women are NOT men: as much as they might like to think that they do (know the rules between men), or even are. A woman can never be a man…ever!

      Is it ok for my wife to forbid me to interact with a woman that she has told me is intentionally vying for my attention? I would assume so because we never hear that it's not ok for a woman to be jealous: jealousy appears to have only a negative connotation when it comes to a man being jealous. Why would I simply not heed her wisdom and see her love for me, her family and her Lord in that? What LH4H is describing is not jealously at all (or "macho"), but his biblical design of a husband. Nowhere in Christ's teaching's? How about Matthew 5:28 (But I tell you, everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart)? That's just for starters. How many extra marital affairs do you think will be committed today in these United States because a man gave a woman (not his wife) a "compliment"? How many children's lives do you think will be crushed this week in these United States because a divorce was finalized because a man a gave a woman (not his wife) a "compliment"? How many murders do you think will be committed this week in these United States because a man gave a woman (not his wife) a "compliment"? I'm not being fanatical: these are just the statistics and I believe that there is nothing wrong in challenging feminist rhetoric. This is typical rhetoric, vilify the just and rational response of the innocent individual for the bad behavior of the other. When I used the word "brother", I was using it in the "christian brother" (not sibling) context and within the context of church discipline from Matthew 18:15-17 (Matthew 18:15-20 15 "If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.). You can say that I do MUCH prefer to skip the bureaucracy of verses 16 & 17 myself. ;-> Overall, my response is that these are rules of engagement that exist between men, and men only: a woman can never understand this, nor fully appreciate it, and that by trying to make a man to think or act more feminine and engage more like a woman is pure fallacy. Not certain how my response will play out with the MH editors…but we'll see.

    • CrazyHappyLoved says:

      I'm pretty sure that your questions were rhetorical, but I don't think any of those bad things happen because of a compliment. They happen because of the response to it.

      I think the clear distinction to make is that those "complimenting" in this story were *not* Christian brothers but people who seem to have been living a swinging lifestyle and feeling out the author and his wife for their openess to being a part of it. So the author had to figure out how to be in the world without becoming "of" it.

      I also think that the "rules of engagement," like most human interactions, aren't the same for all men. Some might see those who choose to engage with "offenders" differently than they do as less manly. I think they just use different skill sets to deal with those situations. Discussing the issues with your spouse and deciding how to respond in those situations IS a viable option and doesn't detract from the headship of the husband nor feminize him.

    • LilaY69 says:

      I understand what SecondMarge is saying here…

      I think CHL did a good job at summing it up though. It's really about the circumstances.

      I've had a few of my husband's friends give me compliments. I don't think they were out of line or even inappropriate. I've gotten compliments from other women, why treat men differently?

      As long as they don't go over the line, I think if anything it is a turn-on. I think we're conflating sexual advances with someone who is just giving a compliment, because I think they're two different things.

      I mean, I know at least some of us would enjoy seeing another couple having sex, or being watched ourselves. My husband and I for sure would, it's definitely one of our fantasies, and one that hopefully we'll be able to experience. In fact a few have recently written about such fantasies or experiences of this.

      If we can visually appreciate another person or couple in this way, [recognizing that not everyone believes we rightfully can], how is giving a compliment so different? I think simply receiving a compliment, whether it'd be by a man or a woman, is actually a very positive thing.

      Doesn't everyone has their eyes on the female body? Let's not pretend that a man isn't appreciating an attractive female body. I like getting compliments whether it's from my husband's friends or not.

    • SecondMarge says:

      A Better Pastime

      I can’t imagine we could disagree any more on this subject. I think the gap between a compliment and cheating is the Grand Canyon and very few people jump over it. I believe almost all cheating happens for emotional reasons, not lusting in one's heart. But I hope your thinking brings happiness to you.

      If a person has an inappropriate compliment for me I can reply in a sufficient manor without the need of my husband stepping in to prevent me from lusting back. His being rational in no way reduces his masculinity in my eyes. Nor does the fact he has no need for jealousy.

    • MarriageHeat says:

      Heads Up: We won't be approving any more comments on this thread; it's becoming less and less civil and we don't have time to keep editing comments to make them so. If you have questions about what's allowed in comments, there are guidelines in the top (or hamburger) menu.

  3. CrazyHappyLoved says:

    I get what you are saying, LH4H. When I was being "groomed," similar instances took place. Our friend would look down my shirt and say "Oh, no bra. Nice!" And I would blush like crazy because the attention turned me on. But at the same time, I never understood why my husband didn't get upset about it. Now, we were in a totally different situation. We were already not walking with Christ and having other partners outside of our marriage. And swinging was the next step for us. It took almost losing our marriage to straighten us out.

    I think, when the idea of swinging is a turn on (and for many of us it is, but we don't do it just because God said not to and we trust and obey), we aren't offended by such comments. We take it in stride because we understand the draw. And we don't expect non-Christians to be obedient or live by the standards God sets for His children, to recognize His authority over them. What we do hope to do is set an example and show that we don't *need* to be disobedient to have a hot, selfless yet mutually satisfying marriage. Obedience is always the most rewarding path, though it isn't cost-free.

    But, if our spouse was not of the same mindset, s/he might be hurt or confused if we didn't speak up when someone made a pass at them. It might feel like they were not valued, not worth defending or fighting for. It's a really personal thing for each couple how to respond to such situations. I imagine it's even more complicated when family, someone you really love, is involved.

    • LovingHusband4Her says:

      Absolutely, you’ve got it!

      Personally, this particular topic brings out the grizzly bear in me. I wouldn’t hesitate in telling my brother he crossed a yellow-black line in our relationship; that way we can move forward together. Sinning is always dressed up with being normal. Cuz everyone is a sinner even the most spiritual people we know.

      This is truly a wonderful story. I am so happy y’all persevered. I don’t want to dimish that. May God bless you. Keep fighting the good fight.

    • Fiftyfitfidelity says:

      The other thing is my wife and I have always had conversations soon after or the next day about these instances and were able to see the subtile, non direct, nature of most (the direct from the three guys, again my retort shut it down).

      This is more a story of our strength in our marriage and in God and that you can be a boat across the water of temptation if you trust God to cut through sending a wake through all the advances.

      Also these occurred over the first 15 years of marriage, not so much anymore now that we've all slowed down :D.

    • JAM777 says:

      I am single but I am curious, should a husband or boyfriend react strongly to someone's comments towards their wife or girlfriend's looks or attractiveness?

    • Fiftyfitfidelity says:

      My wife is a strong woman and if I thought she was in a situation for me to step up and defend her I would do that in a heartbeat.

      All of these were done in jest and not by a stranger or someone who was being overt and in her face. I have stepped in on a couple of occasions to be sure it was "just a misunderstanding" but going off on anyone who compliments or comes on to her indirectly is more about me feeling insecure and/or in a way telling her she's helpless.

    • JAM777 says:

      Those were my thoughts as well!
      Obviously, I would lay down my life for my future wife when it came to physical harm or would step in for a strong situation of verbal abuse!! But otherwise, getting angry at someone for their God-given right to freewill and having their own opinion doesn't make sense to me….

      It's like those people who voice their ridicule for my financial status or the pigmentation of my skin, for me to get angry and all bent out of shape doesn't make sense to me…

    • SecondMarge says:


      Please clarify. You said you were already having other partners and the next step was swinging. Cheating is far worse than swinging. If you already were having other partners how exactly was God stopping you?

  4. Southernheat says:

    I didn’t mean you shouldn’t be friends with nonbelievers. How will we be witnesses to them of the love of Christ if we aren’t not around them. I just meant I hope you have some other strong believers in your life. We all need mentors and people who help us grow and also hold us accountable. People who speak into our lives and help us grow so we have more to give when we are around those who need the love of Christ.

    • Fiftyfitfidelity says:

      Got it. I haven't elaborated much on our friend circle, but the majority of them are believers and examples to us and others of healthy relationships. Thanks for commenting and replying!

  5. SecondMarge says:

    Temptation has visited you often. We had one such situation. We decided to just leave their home and say goodnight when their intentions became apparent. But we did have great sex with each other once we got home.

    • Fiftyfitfidelity says:

      That is very similar to many of these incidents for us…We didn't leave abruptly but just kept it on the level before leaving.

  6. LlK says:

    I know it's been a while since you posted this but we are new here and reading through all the stories. You wrote that God protected your heart, and I have to agree, HE does protect our hearts at all times, in amazing and wonderous ways. How can I praise Him enough – for I never can – for His protection and His providence. He did keep my heart safe until I met my second wife and we have a marriage that He is guiding and forming and molding to His purposes. Thank you so much for sharing, your story gives us great encouragement and gives us yet more things to praise Him for!

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