Swinging or partner swapping is a non-monogamous behavior, in which singles or partners in a committed relationship engage in sexual activities with others as a recreational or social activity. Swinging can take place in a number of contexts, ranging from spontaneous sexual activity at informal gatherings of friends to planned regular social meetings to "hooking up" with like-minded people at a swingers' club. It can also involve Internet-based swinger social networking services online.
The phenomenon of swinging, or at least its wider discussion and practice, is regarded by some as arising from the upsurge in sexual activity during the sexual revolution of the 1960s, made possible by the invention of the contraceptive pill and the emergence of treatments for many of the sexually transmitted diseases that were known at that time.
The swinger community is sometimes referred to as "the lifestyle", or as "the alternative lifestyle". The term "swinging" has largely replaced the older term wife swapping which has been criticized for being androcentric, for presuming that the partners are a married heterosexual couple, and for presuming that it is the male who is in control of the sexual activities. Additionally, the term "wife swapping" or "partner swapping" is criticized for not accurately describing the full range of sexual activities in which both singles or couples may engage, which is not limited to conventional sex with a person other than their regular sex partner.
SDC – Swingers Date Club