Reading through some of the various threads here (and elsewhere) I've noticed a trend of folks to want to draw a pretty distinct line between "swinging" and "polyamory" - however those get defined. In general, it seems we want to paint the "swingers" with the brush of "meaningless, risky sex participants" and poly being almost exclusively focused on the "love" aspect (although the sex is often a part too).
Broad brushes you think ?
One of the important points we often see raised is that the "meaningless sex" part is often (not always?) raised in the demeaning and dangerous way it affects the ladies. The same of course could be said about the men in many situations.
But reading this, and just thinking it through made me wonder about the implications of drawing such black & white conclusions.
Having browsed a number of the so called "swinger" sites over the years and spoken with quite a large number of the participants (if chatting & email can be considered "speaking"), one thing we noticed in a fairly large number of these participants is their expression of wanting MORE than just sex. Most of it's expressed in terms of "friendship", i.e spending quality non-sexual time together etc.
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ...... what do we have here ???
Now I'm not supposing that very many of these folks are prepared, or even desire, to attempt the path of polyamory - by it's loftiest ideals. As a matter of fact it's a possibility that not many of them are even familiar with the concept & practice.
Their expression of desiring "more" (than sex) - what does that mean ? So to me it raises a couple questions........
1> Should we be looking at "swinging" etc as a "gateway drug" to something bigger ?
2> Should we maybe be reacting in a kinder & more loving fashion to these folk realizing that they may be feeling/experiencing their desire and curiosity for reaching out for something "more" - maybe in the only way they know how ?
What do you folks think ??