In the 1970s there was a lot of talk of swinging. Back then the cliché was a fruit bowl in the middle of the coffee table with car keys thrown in for each one of the ladies in turn to fish out. I say cliché because being rather young at the time I can’t vouch for the voracity of this particular scenario. What just struck me as I wrote those last few sentences is that the guys had the cars and the women picked – randomly unless they studied the key fobs very carefully so they could find the guy they fancied with skilled fingertips digging through the car keys. It wasn’t that women were empowered, at all simply a product of the reality that men had cars and if women were lucky they learned to drive.
Moving forward to today things are a little different. We have had a genuine revolution in the way in which women are viewed in sexual terms. Some developments are good, some bad though on balance women are generally better off in terms of being able to choose their own sexual destiny, orientation and how they achieve sexual gratification. In the 1960s the sexual revolution it has to be said sounded good but from the accounts I have heard was more about guys getting it on with a lot of women rather than equality and freedom for all.
Women can now choose to have multiple partners if they so wish, be as laddish as they want or chaste and pure until Mr or Miss Right comes along. What has moderated the expansion of free love and swinging is to a certain extent the increase in sexually transmitted diseases generally and AIDS in particular.
Now everyone can learn about sex, the risks of multiple partners and the fun to be had from the full panoply of sexual play by careful research on the Internet (Not everything on there is true BTW!) you can take measures to protect yourself ranging from abstinence to careful, safe play strategies so that the fun doesn’t have to stop completely.
This means that every neighbourhood or circle of friends is a potential set of swingers. Or not, because while tales of swinging are great for erotic stories, the tabloids lascivious appetites and general sexual folklore not every neighbourhood is packed with swingers shagging each other senseless every Saturday night. Swinging does happen, in homes, clubs and even car parks across the country but to get hung-up on it is a mistake because there’s far more to adventurous sex than trying to put something in Mrs Bun the baker’s wife’s oven.