Swinging and STDs: “Playing” It Safe

Being in an open relationship is fun, and exciting, and most couples that end up being swingers, almost never want to go back to being in a monogamous relationship. However, we cannot disregard the fact that, just like most things in life that bring us great satisfaction and enjoyment, it comes with a risk. One of the biggest roadblocks for couples that may be thinking of getting into the swinging lifestyle is the risk of STDs. It’s never a fun topic to discuss, but it is one we should not avoid.

First of all, I must say this. HIV or any kind of STD is not very common in the swinging community, or let’s say, no more than it is in the regular world of monogamy, contrary to what most may believe. The community is so small that if anyone is guilty of spreading anything, word gets around very fast and those individuals become known. Despite this fact, whether you are in an open relationship or an experimental single person, having sexual relationships with multiple people, does increase your risk of getting an STD.

So now comes the big question. What do swingers do to avoid getting an STD? First of all, let’s be very clear on one thing. The only thing anyone can do to completely prevent STDs is to abstain from sex. What we all try to do is be as careful as possible in doing everything we can to minimise our risk. I do not think I need to give an education on practising safe sex. Regardless of whom the couple is and how you may believe that you know and trust them, regardless of how healthy they may look, use a condom! Condoms are always very available at any swinger event that you go to. Whether it’s a house party or the playroom at a swingers club, condoms will be available in ample supplies. Though it very rarely happens, couples or singles who suggest to you that they would prefer not to use condoms, do not be afraid to say no to this, as this is not the norm in the lifestyle community. Safe sex is a general courtesy that is practised amongst most couples in the swinging community.

Some couple uses different strategies to minimise their risk. Some groups only play exclusively with each other. All the couples within that group are regularly tested and disclose their test results to the other members of the group. Even in this situation, using condoms is still strongly recommended. Some couples that prefer to be extra cautious avoid oral sex with other couples all-together. Everything comes down to your personal preference and comfort level. Make sure it is firmly communicated between you and your partner what the rules are when it comes to practising safe sex with other couples, and stay within the boundaries of those rules.

The steps you take to protect yourself from the possibility of getting an STD in the swinging community is no different from the ones you would take if you were a single person with multiple partners. Taking caution is your sole responsibility, so be responsible for the decisions you make in the playroom. If you so happen to have any kind of STD yourself, be courteous enough to disclose it to those you are going to play with.

STDs are not something we encounter very often in the lifestyle community. In seven years I have not knowingly encountered anyone with and STD. I have heard of individuals one or two times, but most couples are very careful and rest assured they will be as interested in protecting themselves as much as you are.

One thought on “Swinging and STDs: “Playing” It Safe”

  1. You are right to say that STDs are not very common in the swinging community and the strategies you mention for minimizing risks are very sensible ones. There have been some very alarming reports in UK newspapers during the last few years and although they are based on very questionable data, we have been contacted by a lot of couples who were near to being frightened away from the swinger lifestyle by them. Our advice and response can be read at:


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