Several people have written in to Mike Hatcher asking what’s the difference between open marriage and swinging? Several readers thought it was the same thing and that there is no difference between the two. Just what exactly is the difference between an open marriage and swinging? At first it does appear on the surface that they are the same thing, but delve deeper into the intricacies of both options and you will soon find that there are indeed some differences especially to everyone involved.
Open marriage basically involves a married couple agreeing that they can be with other people in a sexual sense away from their marital bed. This takes away the idea of people having an affair and cheating on one another, because they believe that their love and bond is strong enough and cannot be damaged by either partner spending time with someone else. They agree to have a relationship outside their marriage, but the other partner simply does not want to be included.
Swinging on the other hand is a little different. It generally involves two couples who swap partners for sex normally in the presence of one another. They may visit a swingers club where there is no real sense of building an actual relationship. It’s just a way for them to have sex with others without there being any kind of emotion or feeling attached.
It has to be said that an open marriage is often seen by many people as being a genre of swinging. The rules are slightly different as to what is allowed and the time frame that is spent with the other person. Take for instance, in an open marriage, the person may go for dinner, walks or anything that involves a normal relationship and yes there is sex. Whereas swinging is purely sexual and virtually nothing else.
It is perhaps best to say that neither option is classified as cheating as in most cases cheating requires a degree of trust to have been damaged. In both lifestyles, everybody involved is aware of what is happening and indeed with whom. It is, therefore, important that there is complete honesty and understanding at all times for either option to really work because there is always a chance something could go wrong. Make sure to discuss any potential discomfort in what is going on immediately, so the matter can be resolved as a couple. Problems may indeed occur in the marriage or relationship, but this is a chance that people are willing to take.
So those are the key differences between an open marriage and a couple who are swingers. One thing that does come across is a clear understanding and a great degree of trust between the couple for either of these things to occur. If either interests you, then do make sure you talk it over with your partner and do your research because even though it undoubtedly works for some it can often lead to all kinds of problems for others.