Lady Sharky and I have had a somewhat quiet Bank Holiday weekend, comprised of mainly staying in and relaxing after and exhilarating night out on Friday seeing Hugh Jackman in Manchester. But we did venture out for a couple of hours last night to meet up for the first time with another couple we’d been chatting to on FAB (FabSwingers.com – the main Swingers website).
Contrary to what you might think, this was not a sexual meet-up. Very few ‘social meets’ (i.e. meeting up in a public place rather than in someone’s home or a swingers club) result in anything sexual. The first meet-up – just like any first date really – is just a casual social get-together (drinks in the pub in our case) to see if we all get on – although the advantage of having a flat in the city centre means that if we wanted to, we could decamp there if we did want to get sexy. In last night’s case, we got on really well and have agreed to meet up again as soon as our busy lives allow.
But we all agreed that as genuine practitioners of the swinging lifestyle, we do have to sift through a lot of nonsense online to find fellow genuine couples. So I thought I would take that frustration and turn it into a blog post into the key points that will make and break a Swingers’ online profile for us. It might also serve as a guide to anyone thinking about dipping their toes into this world. So here we go.
1. Like any other social media profile, it should give a basic overview of your personality.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are people out there with profiles who make it all about their sex lives. That’s ok if all you’re looking for is sex, and if you’re more about meeting people for one-off encounters in clubs then fair enough. But we’re the type of couple who like to chat and connect in a friendly way as well. Which means common interests beyond sex. You don’t have to get too personal, but maybe mention what else you like besides sex – music, films, books, hobbies etc.
The most annoying thing is people who message us with blank profiles. For comparison, here is a zoomed-out image of our FAB profile at a glance:
We have a sexy profile pic, a full bio which details both our sexual and non-sexual interests, our history in the swinging scene, our availability, our physical stats and some public photos (more intimate private photos are set to ‘Friends Only’ so can only be viewed by our friends on FAB).
Now compare this to the profile we received a message from the other day, at exactly the same screen magnification:
I’ve used censor bars to block their screen names, but that’s literally it. Their bio literally just says “Ddddx”, whatever the hell that means. Nothing about their likes or interests (sexual or otherwise), nothing that represents them as a couple, not even a profile photo. This “couple” sent us a message which simply said “You Got kik xxx”, referring to the messenger service. Like any social media platform, if a person wants to take you away to another platform to chat rather than chat on that platform, it’s an immediate red flag. Most likely what’s known as “pic-hunters” – people who just want to see you naked. Hey – we’ve got some basic pics on our public profile; you’re not getting anything more private until we get an idea that you are who you say you are.
2. Know what it is you are looking for from swinging
Look, we get it, we’re all here because we all like sex, and we’re prepared for our sex life to involve more people. But there are different degrees of swinging, and different reasons for getting into it – not all of them healthy.
Now, I’ve said this before, and I fully admit that this is my own opinion and is open to debate, but swinging – like any form of sexual kink (whether it’s BDSM, roleplay, toys or whatever) – should enhance an already great sex life. It will not repair a bad sex life, or spice up a boring sex life. If you can’t have great sex with just each other, how do you expect adding people is going to help? Last night we received a message from a couple who seemed unsure, who admitted that one of them had suggested swinging after a drunken night out.
That’s a red flag right there, so we’ll highlight it right now; Swinging as a couple is something that both of you have to want to do. If only one of you is into it, and the other seems to just be going along with it, then it’s not going to work and can even harm your relationship. (Also, drunkness and swinging don’t mix, and you will be kicked out of a swingers club for being drunk). We explained our beliefs regarding swinging to this couple, and they immediately disappeared from FAB. I suspect they hadn’t realised what they were getting into and we’d shone a mirror on their relationship. You might think that’s quite an assumption to make, but both of us have seen it before.
But let’s say you’ve made the decision to try swinging. As I said, there are certain degrees to the scene. Are you looking for Couples, Single Ladies or Single Males (you can set your profile to filter out who you’re not looking for so they can’t contact you)? What age range do you feel comfortable with (again, you can set your profile to filter out unwanted ages)? Do you have any preference towards swingers clubs, private meets at yours or their homes, or a hotel meets?
Once those parameters are established on your profile, decide what type of swinging appeals to you. Do you just want to stick to each other, but have sex in the same room as another couple? This is actually great fun and a good way to dip your toe into this lifestyle without the pressure of actually doing anything with anyone else. Some couples just go to swingers clubs to have sex while other couples watch and have sex around them. Watching is a big part of the lifestyle – if the idea of seeing another couple have sex, and them seeing you have sex, doesn’t appeal to you, then the lifestyle might not be for you. We’re all a little curious and voyeuristic at heart in this scene.
Perhaps you like the idea of ‘Soft Swap’, which for the purposes of male-female couples generally means ‘exploring without penis penetration’. So you might all be on the same bed, all kissing, sucking, licking, touching each other, maybe using toys on each other, maybe the ladies and gents explore some same-sex touching (even if they identify as straight) out of curiosity, but at the end of the day, still only having penile-penetrative sex with your partner (the kissing, sucking, licking and touching can still continue with the other couple while you’re having sex with your own partners though – use your imagination!). Like any kind of swinging encounter, always set hard limits beforehand so you know exactly what things are and aren’t allowed and agree a safe-word beforehand in case anyone feels uncomfortable. Soft Swaps are often used to test the waters before perhaps moving onto a Full Swap encounter – anyone who doesn’t respect your limits in Soft Swap is unlikely to get invited back for Full Swap.
So let’s say everything’s gone well and you want to swap partners with your new swinging friends. Decide whether you all want to stay in the same room (“Same Room Swap” – more common) or whether you want to branch off into separate rooms (“Separate Room Swap” – less common, but some people do like it. Personally not for me as, like all sex, swinging is still an intimate act between Lady Sharky and myself and I want to see her having a good time, even if we’re both having sex with other people. But each to their own.)
There are other dynamics as well, such as an arrangement where one member of a couple will play while the other watches, but these extra dynamics like everything else should be detailed on your profile, not just to attract people who are into that sort of thing, but to deter people who aren’t.
So yes, know what you want to get out of swinging before you set out on the journey, and let people know on your profile, because it’s frustrating conversing with people who don’t know what they want. We’ll help you as much as we can, and one of the purposes of this blog is to provide an overview of what’s out there to help you decide, but at the end of the day, you get out of this world what you put in.
3. Photos aren’t essential, but they do help.
First off, don’t put anything online you’re not comfortable with. We will never judge any couple who doesn’t want to put photos on the public side of their profile.
Encounters at a Swingers Club do involve a certain amount of just engaging with anyone who’s there and seeing a) who you find attractive and b) who you get along with. But you’ll find most swinging meets – including quite a few encounters at clubs – are pre-arranged online. This is why certain clubs have a reputation for being ‘clique-y’ – it’s not that people are ignoring you, it’s just that they’ve come to meet specific couples they’ve met online who they feel comfortable with as they’ve engaged them online first. Hence why having a FAB profile is advised in this lifestyle. And whilst chatting online can reveal whether you get along with someone, physical attraction still plays its part, like any dating situation. Because that’s what this preamble is, you’re just dating as a couple. So photos do come in useful, because you can have all the interests in common in the world, but swinging will be hard if there isn’t physical attraction.
You don’t have to show your face publicly on FAB. The photos don’t even need to be particularly sexual on your public profile. Maybe for the gents, a neck-down portrait shot in your underwear and one cock shot (because let’s face it, we guys are proud of what we’ve got). For the ladies, a neck-down shot of maybe a nice figure-hugging dress or lingerie. If you want to include anything more explicit or sexual activity, that’s up to you, maybe tasteful full nudes, boobs or penetration pic or whatever. But for general privacy’s sake, it’s recommended that you keep your faces out of the public photos. Just enough so that people can get a rough idea in their head of who the people described in the text in your profile are. People do have sexual preferences when it comes to height, weight, muscle mass, beauty regime, body hair and ethnicity (for the record, we don’t discriminate on any of these things, but you don’t want to get into a conversation with someone and find out further down the line that they don’t like something that would have been revealed in a simple photo).
Like most people on FAB, we leave the more explicit photos for our ‘Friends-Only Pics’ which, as the name suggests, can only be viewed by those we add as a friend on FAB; people who’ve liked our public profile enough to engage us in conversation first. We don’t add people to our friends list until we’ve established that we get on in conversation. But even in these private pics we don’t show our faces (well, I do, but I don’t give a shit. Lady Sharky likes to keep her face private though, much like on here). Face pics tend to only be exchanged through private messages as a sign of trust, and you can upload photos onto FAB without them appearing in your Public or Friends-Only galleries for the sole purpose of exchanging on messages. Some couples who’ve been messed around a lot will ask that you send a face pic straight away to avoid time-wasters – these tend to be couples with extensive profiles detailing their swinging history, so generally they can be trusted. If someone with barely anything on their profile messages us asking for Face Pics straightaway, then that’s a definite red flag for us and we won’t respond. Same with people with barely anything on their profiles who send us friend requests without messaging us first. It’s all about being vigilant and using common sense, like on any social media site.
There is also something called ‘Photo Verification’, where you take a selfie as a couple, holding up a piece of paper with your screen name on it, send it to FAB and they will ‘verify’ you as a genuine couple. You can filter out people who aren’t photo-verified, which is really useful in weeding out the fakes. Once you meet couples in the real world, you can leave them a public verification stating that they are who they say they are. Verifications are often a deal-breaker for couples, so even if you haven’t met anyone yet, it’s always worth verifying yourself. Your verification photo isn’t available to anyone on the site. Whilst FAB is a free site, you can pay for an upgrade to either Silver or Gold level which gets you a few more features (which are actually useful, unlike other sites) and larger photo albums. Having a Silver or Gold badge is another form of verification, as scammers aren’t going to pay to try and scam you. We’re Silver members, which costs £5 for 50 days; you don’t need to give them any bank details – we pay by text (the Gold badge is mainly for people who want to play on webcam and host a really large amount of photos on their profile, neither of which we’re bothered about).
4. Use the winks
Winking at another profile is a useful way of letting a person or couple know that you liked their profile, but don’t want to outright message in case you’re not what they’re looking for. If they wink back, then it’s socially acceptable to message them. Play it by profile – really popular lifestyle couples who live the life every day, with lots of FAB friends and upcoming events, and an extensive public persona will receive loads of winks so yours may get lost. If you genuinely feel you have something to offer them, then you can message first – as always, be polite. The worst they can do is not reply. But for people for whom swinging is just one small part of their life (like us – yes we have a blog, but we have a lot of other non-swinging stuff in our lives as well), the winks are useful. We’ll always wink back if we like the look of you – or may just message you outright if we’re not busy.
Phew! Well it was part rant, part guide, but I hope you found it an enjoyable read. If anyone is on FAB, you can find our FAB profile here. If you feel like messaging us, put ‘Sharkasm’ in the subject heading so we know you found us through this blog.
Be Safe and Be Sexy,