I Want To Swing, But I’m Scared Of Repercussions

Rosie Kay aka ThisKindaGirl
8 min readNov 15, 2023

This is one of the most popular questions I am asked.

I Want To Swing, But I’m Scared Of Repercussions. Last week, I sat down with a couple from Trinidad, who shared with me a concern that is familiar to most new swinger couples; they wanted to enjoy the lifestyle but were afraid of there being repercussions within their relationship. They had been to clubs and talked to other couples but were hesitant to take the next steps out of fear of jeopardising their marriage.

This topic is a very real concern, but luckily for them, because it’s apparent in most couples, it’s a topic that I have had a fair amount of experience helping people with.

After the session, I added ‘Write I Want To Swing, But I’m Scared Of Repercussions’ to my to-do list, and here we are.

I Want To Talk About Swinging, But I’m Scared

Before we get onto actions and repercussions, we first need to discuss another dilemma many people find themselves in: fear of discussing swinging and the repercussions afterwards.

Ultimately, the last thing you want to do is jeopardise your relationship or be made to feel like you have ruined the relationship.

I’m pretty sure that, like most couples, if you have broached a subject in the past and it hasn’t been ‘well received’ or maybe a certain behaviour or insecurity has triggered an argument between you, the last thing you want to do is lift the lid on it again. If the last time you mentioned the word ‘swinger’, you had a row, what evidence would suggest the conversation would go differently now?

But where do you go from here? Chances are you want to avoid bringing it up again out of fear of further rejection or argument.

I understand what it is like to be concerned about repercussions, but do you really want to live like this? Afraid of sharing? Are you afraid of displaying an interest in something? Afraid of another reaction?

Perhaps you just want an easy life where you don’t ‘rock the boat?’ if this is the case, look away now.

Overcoming fear of repercussions within our relationships is a crucial step.

Good, you are still here. You, like many thousand of others out there, know that staying quiet isn’t the answer and that sometimes, you have to be vulnerable and share if you want to experience and explore.

Showing compassion for your partner.

I always teach my clients how to show empathy for their partners, and even if they are initially hostile or not on board, the best thing they can do is empathise with them and look at the situation from their partner’s point of view.

It is far easier said than done, but it is an essential step to take.

It is important to remember that being on the receiving end of the ‘start swinging’ conversation (especially if they had no prior warning) will come as a bit of a shock. Fear, anxiety and upset are all perfectly normal, and sometimes, those ‘repercussions’ are expressed as anger, jealousy or mistrust. No one wants to be on the receiving end of these repercussions, but we have to look at the root cause, not the reaction, and in 99% of couples, fear is the real root cause of the upset, not the ‘suggestion’ itself.

As soon as we introduce the words swinger or open into our relationships, we present our partners with something that looks and sounds incredibly scary. And they are right to be scared; understandably, they too do not want to risk jeopardising the relationship, and they are fearful that they might lose you, as you suggested in the first place. It’s scary the thought of their partner thinking about swinging, and to many women, it’s incredibly threatening.

Understanding this and seeing things from your partner’s point of view is crucial. It’s not always the swinging itself, but what swinging ‘represents’. It’s a scary thought, anything that isn’t strictly monogamy.

Overcoming fear of repercussions within our relationships is a crucial step.

We must overcome fear to progress in life and get what we want. Sometimes we have to ask difficult questions, open up to others and have conversations that make us feel uncomfortable.

If we allow fear to manifest and override our passion for something, we will never experience what we want in life. Yes, opening your relationship is scary, and yes, being vulnerable with your partner is scary, but we can’t let fear or repercussions decide what we experience in life.

Sadly, many men get their approach all wrong, and they end up on the receiving end of a conversation that confirms their initial beliefs of what will happen if they talk to their wives about swinging.

It is these men who write to me to say, ‘Rosie, I asked my wife if she would have a threesome with a bloke at my work, and she said no and called me a pervert. I want to explore the world of swinging with her, but I’m afraid of us having another row; what can I do?

Was he going to face repercussions from her? Was she going to face repercussions from him? And what would be the effect on their relationship as a whole?

Unfortunately, I don’t have a time machine that I can use to go back to that ill-fated conversation, but instead, here are a few conversation starters that you might want to try. And just as a heads up, before you start talking about swinging, swinger clubs, open relationships or anything else, ENMish, start talking about sex and intimacy first. Get comfortable talking about sex, laughing about it, discussing how you enjoy it and making this less of a daunting step to take.

Here is an example of what I mean:

I love what we have, and I love that I can be so open with you. I want our relationship to be cherished and nurtured and for us to discuss our fantasies with each other.

I value what we have, and I love that we can talk about sex. I want to find a way for us both to express ourselves in a supportive way.

I’m not looking to replace you, cheat on you, or disrespect our relationship, but instead explore this desire I have to be xxxx; how do you feel about that?

If your desire to talk about intimacy comes from a place of love, understanding and relationship growth, then chances are your partner will be a lot more receptive.

I’m Afraid Of There Being Repercussions If We Play With Other Swingers

Let us go back to the start of this article and discuss further the topic of actions and the fear of repercussion, or shall I say, being able to act on our desires without the fear of repercussions. Because let’s face that is what we all want to experience when swinging.

So, last week, I spoke to a couple who shared a concern similar to most new swinger couples: they wanted to enjoy the lifestyle but were afraid of repercussions within their relationship.

Was he going to face repercussions from her? Was she going to face repercussions from him? And what would be the effect on their relationship as a whole?

I know I have asked a lot of questions, but these concerns are concerns that we have all had at some point, or will have once we start in the lifestyle.

No one wants to face repercussions, and sometimes, the world of ethical non-monogamy can feel like such an alien place. Here’s something to consider: in all our monogamous relationships, or those relationships we are familiar with (friends, family, parents), we are taught that if one partner displays any form of non-monogamous action, it will result in us facing the consequences. Flirt with another woman? That is not acceptable. Chat to another guy online? Nope, I shouldn’t be doing that. Allow another couple to buy your wife a drink and maybe kiss her neck? Absolutely not. So, to suddenly be told it’s okay for all of these and far more intimate things to happen and to happen without any repercussions is kind of strange.

Ultimately, we don’t have anything to base it on, and maybe in the past, before you discovered ethical non-monogamy, there had been repercussions, so now you are unsure as to whether there still will be.

It’s no wonder it can feel like such an alien concept.

How To Create A Safe Space Within Your Relationship

To overcome the fear of repercussions within your relationship and to make sharing your desires with your partner (and listening to them) more effortless, you need to ensure your relationship is a safe space where sharing your desires or acting on them is something you both feel comfortable doing.

What we need to do instead is get better at verbalising, but more importantly, get better at listening to each other instead of listening to what we want to hear.

If you react negatively when your partner is open with you and displays a level of vulnerability, you will inevitably damage your relationship. I am not saying you should be enthusiastic when you are not or feel pressured into anything you are not comfortable with.

But what you should do instead is acknowledge that their opening up to you in the first place took a great deal of courage, and listening to them without judgment is the first step.

If your first response is negative, you could potentially reject your partner, and they might feel alienated. This initial rejection may lead to a situation where neither of you can discuss intimacy or explore vulnerable emotions within your relationship. I understand that you may initially be hostile to Ethical Non-Monogamy, but try showing compassion before judging.

You must also consider this: even if one of you isn’t interested in pursuing something, sometimes we shy away from telling our partners the truth out of fear of repercussions. How many times have you reluctantly agreed to something just to keep the peace or avoid an argument?

It’s exactly the same predicament; we are scared of repercussions, so we keep our mouths shut.

Before I saw a previous partner being intimate with another woman, I, like you, was convinced that seeing my partner with someone else would be a step too far, and from the moment I cast my eyes upon him and her together, my world would crumble, and I would be left relationshipless, manless and angry.

I can now confidently say that this didn’t happen. Quite the opposite happened. And whilst it didn’t turn me on per se, what it did do was make me realise that sex was just sex and sure, she was enjoying it, and yes, he was enjoying it too, but it didn’t mean all the love he had for me was suddenly sucked out of our relationship in a giant henry hoover. Or that I suddenly felt differently towards him. I wasn't angry at him or her. Neither was I jealous. Instead, I was relieved. I could see what was happening, and I could see how he was enjoying it. There were no repercussions as we reconnected afterwards and shared our thoughts, both positive and negative and found that if we allowed each other to explore (within our rules and boundaries), it meant we could do so in a way that wouldn’t threaten our relationship.

Before I go, I want to share this: if you, like many people, say there will not be repercussions but end up punishing your partner for something that you don’t like (that is still within your rules), then I’m afraid that to me is a red card. Yes, you can talk to your partner afterwards about it and share, but if seeing him have sex with a woman who is a size smaller than you means he gets into trouble, then I am afraid the problem isn't him or her; it’s how you as an individual see your self.

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Rosie Kay aka ThisKindaGirl

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