Ethics in the lifestyle
by Eric Nevski
Ethics is probably one of the most important aspects in the lifestyle that has been talked about the least. As the lifestyle is very discrete and the alternative community is very small, it is almost guaranteed that you will make a certain name for yourself and your partner if you do not act courteously towards others in the lifestyle. The way you play within the lifestyle will most likely determine the way others will treat you in return.
As many couples meet online, some may assume that there is no such thing as ethics in the virtual world. One can easily hide behind a username or a chat window. That is simply untrue. Many couples who connect with others online participate in in-person dating and visit swing clubs. There the virtual world and the reality merge and you are no longer just a username. So, your actions online will probably determine how you will get treated in person. Since the community is very small, it is very easy to make a bad name for yourself if you don't play nice and you'll be totally cut off from the lifestyle as others will want nothing to do with you. On the other hand if you play fairly and are good to all couples and singles that you meet, you will probably end up being recommended to others and make lots and lots of friends.
Be polite and courteous to members who had courage and time to contact you first. Even if you are not interested, you should write a polite message back to them kindly declining the invitation without them feeling bad about their first move. It will be strongly appreciated, and you will appreciate it too when a couple that you may want to start a relationship with will turn you down gently instead of being rude in their response or the absence of it. Even if you are overwhelmed with responses, you should still write a quick "thank you - will get back to you soon" message not to appear ignorant.
If you meet online, always make sure that you have a picture of both of you in the shot with your faces in plain view. Even though many couples want to be discrete about participating in the lifestyle, it is still a deal breaker for many to be in the dark about what the other party looks like. After all, a physical attraction is a must when it comes to playing with another couple or a single. If you want to post a picture in your ad profile, make sure that both members are on it. As many couples choose to only present the female half of the couple, in almost all cases you will be asked for the picture of the second member anyway. If anyone, it is the women who are pickier than men when it comes to physical aspects of their potential playmates.
As you meet couples in person after introducing yourselves on line or just bumping into them at a lifestyle party, there are many other rules that you probably want to follow. If you are a couple where only one member is really into the idea of the lifestyle and another one is just going along with it, you probably won't have much luck with other couples as it is very easily recognizable. It is most likely a good idea not to join the lifestyle at all in that case, as it is almost impossible to have a good experience in such situation.
It is also important to make sure that people who you meet know exactly what you're looking for. If you are a couple who is looking to go no further than a soft swing - you should mention it to others up front as most couples who are into the full swap will consider it rude to lead them on into something they are not interested in. If you are a couple who is only looking to limit the interaction in the experience to only certain members, for example only for women to interact with each other with men just watching, you should definitely be open about that as well since other couples may not be interested in being limited to just that activity.
Newbies are usually very good about their new status up front and it is highly appreciated by the experienced couples. However, if you are a newbies, you may want to be very clear on how fast you want to move with another couple. As there is nothing wrong with a couple who wants to take their time in exploring the lifestyle, it can still be very frustrated for an experienced couple to lead them into it as the expected pace may be different. So, make sure to talk about everything beforehand.
If you are a single man, there is of course a standard set of rules like not to be pushy, be respectful to both members of the couple, understand that you are a guest in their relationship, etc. You will probably get more play from couples if you really tune into their relationship and find out what they are looking for and why. Couples will appreciate you giving them some space with the decision of playing with you and not putting any pressure on them in any situation.
Even though this lifestyle is for respected adults, there are many cases of couples who get stood up by their dates just like in high school. Sometimes another couple backs out of the date at the last minute because of having second thoughts, some get so nervous they pretty much wimp out on the spot. However, no matter what you reason is you should always notify your dates about the situation. It would be appreciated much more if you cancel the date at the last minute than if you never show up at all.
One of the main concerns in the lifestyle is still safety and staying STD free. It is very important to be upfront about your practice of safe sex. If you do not practice it all the time, but claim so to other members, it is only a matter of time until others will find out. As most couples rotate in the lifestyle between old and new partners, it is impossible to keep almost anything in secret. So, if you are not always safe, it is best to be up front with your potential partners. And if they still want to play with you, you may want to voluntarily take an STD test to prove them your clean bill of health.
Be polite to others and treat them the way you yourselves will want to be treated back. Enjoy!