A number of people have heard about the swinging lifestyle, but fewer people are aware of what polyarmory actually means and how different it is to swinging. What follows are some of the key differences between the two that will allows you to determine if this is actually something that may be tempting to you or something you want to avoid. They are indeed two completely different lifestyles and with a better understanding it will make it easier for you to decide which one applies to you.
First of all swinging is much more than just recreational sex. The lifestyle is about forming new bonds through friendships as well as having different partners in a swapping scenario whether it’s at home or in special clubs. This is often referred to by some people as being similar to friends with benefits whereby the alternative is much more about the love and relationship side of a couple. It is more akin to having a number of boyfriends or girlfriends where sex is only part of a normal relationship.
Another difference is that a swinger is still seen as being in a monogamous relationship whereas in a polyarmory relationship they are not. The reason for this is that the swinging lifestyle is really based around the actual couple whereas polyarmory is more about individual relationships. Dates occur or sex happens away from the other partner rather than beside them where they know everything that is going on at all times.
There is also a difference in the length of time that each encounter lasts. Swingers engage in short term relationships, while polyamorous people tend to engage in normal more long term relationships. It is almost identical to the one they currently have with their main partner. People in the swinging lifestyle tend to be more discreet whilst polyamorous people want it to be out in the open. Polyamorous people will engage in normal everyday activities with their other lover whenever possible.
Clearly there are aspects of both relationships that overlap, so you cannot state that a certain number of rules only apply to one kind of lifestyle. It can be quite common for people to move from one to the other at various times depending upon the people they come across during their lives. Some people who are in a poly relationship may actually still swing with their main partner, although this is more unusual. However, every part requires a firm understanding between partners as to where their own individual boundaries lie. It is important to make these boundaries clear or the relationship can be in danger of failing.
You will, therefore, see that they are not the same things and the differences that exist between them are indeed extremely important to know and understand. Yes they both require a lot of trust, honesty and openness, but perhaps now you will see why some become swingers whilst others prefer a different kind of lifestyle instead.