Swinger Terminology: What You Need to Know to Communicate in Swinger Communities.

Nov 21, 2021

When people consider the world of consensual non-monogamy and swinging, minds race with the possibilities. And to be sure, stepping into “the lifestyle” and beginning the journey of how to become a swinger yourself is an exciting prospect. 

But despite all the fun of fancy swingers resorts, a swingers club, and parties, real swingers know that there’s more than just deciding to swing to make this lifestyle both sexy and sustainable. 

Let’s get started with the basics and break down some “need to knows” about the swinger terms and lifestyle: 

swinger terms
  1. The Lifestyle– A euphemism for swinging that can be used around people in more “respectable” settings. While it’s worth getting further clarification, this wording frequently means that someone is into the swinging scene. 
  2. Pineapples– Simply put, a fruit. But this particular fruit has become a low-key symbol for swingers. Check out the pineapple decor at most swinger resorts to see it in action. Wearing a pin, shirt, or a bumper sticker is a discreet way for swingers to connect with other swingers. 
  3. Full-swap– This means a couple is interested in switching their partners with another couple and participating in sexual intercourse with a member of the other couple. 
  4. Soft-swap– Unlike a full swap, a soft swap means that while some “light” sexual activities are on the table, like oral sex, fingering, or hand jobs, the only thing off the table is full penetration. Many swingers start soft swap before moving to full swap. 
  5. Swingers Club– These are clubs designed to bring swingers together. They frequently have a typical club or bar-like environment plus some sexier additions. Each swinger resort or club varies in its rules or requirements, so they’re worth checking out on a case-by-case basis. For advice on what to wear to a swingers club, visit the linked article for a 10/10 on your outfit. 
  6. Unicorn– The term used for a single bi woman interested in being sexual with a couple. As one of the most infamous swinger setups, a unicorn gets its name from being hard to find.
  7. Same Room– By saying that you’re interested in the “same room,” it means that you’d be interested in a full or soft swap in the same room as the other couple you’re swinging with. This touch of voyeurism is a big turn-on for many in the swinger community.
  8. MMF/MFM/FFM etc– All of these are referencing different gender setups for potential love interests. MMF would have two males, one female, so forth, and so on. While this terminology doesn’t show you what that relationship would look like, it does provide some information on who would be involved. 
  9. SafeWord– While not exclusively a swinger term, a safe word is used frequently in the swinger community. As having sex with other means negotiating a lot of boundaries, a safe word is an easy way to communicate a “hard no” for something sexually. Its uniqueness makes it perfect to use during intercourse efficiently and with little confusion. 
  10. Bull– A bull is a man who has sex with another man’s wife or girlfriend with the consent of both. Participation of the other man is up to your discretion and can look a number of different ways. Some men may prefer to watch during a cuckold, while others may just enjoy their wife going off without them to enjoy the sexual company of a bull. 
  11. Hot Wife– A hotwife would be the woman for the potential “bull” situation. This is a woman in a relationship that has the freedom to pursue other sexual relationships besides those with her partner. 
  12. Hall Pass– A hall pass is open consent to be sexual with someone else outside the relationship but on a temporary or one-off basis. A couple may reserve a hall pass for certain people or situations. 
  13. Exhibitionists– Exhibitionists get sexually excited by the idea or reality of being seen naked or involved in sexual acts. Especially at swingers resorts and clubs, this level of exhibitionism can be on display for others. 
  14. Voyeurs– This is the other half of exhibitionism. Voyeurs are those who enjoy watching other people naked or in sexual acts.  
  15. Top– Generally speaking, a top is a person more “in charge” in a power dynamic of a relationship. 
  16. Bottom– Bottoms are the opposite of tops; these people are more submissive to their “top” partner in a relationship. 
  17. Switch– This is a person who can “switch” between periodically being a top or a bottom. Frequently switches are in relationships with other switches to make this power dynamic work. They also may be in one power dynamic with their primary relationship and use swinging as a means to get in touch with the other side of a power dynamic
  18. Vanilla– Beyond just an ice cream flavor, vanilla goes to describe people who are less interested in sexual kinks or other interesting sexual setups- swinging sometimes included. 
  19. Double Penetration (DP)- This would be a sexual act between a woman and two men where she is penetrated both vaginally and anally by the different men. This can be pleasurable and potentially overwhelming for those involved. 
  20. Polyamory– A step beyond swinging, polyamorists generally form more lasting relationships with multiple people. Other similar terminology includes ethical non-monogamy or relationship anarchy. 
  21. Monogamish– A modern way of discussing some aspects of swinging. These people frequently primarily define themselves as monogamous but may have tendencies to want to play sexually outside the bounds of a traditional relationship. 
  22. Domme– Beyond simply being a “top”, a domme has a dominant sexual persona. In kinky and power play, sometimes sex isn’t even the primary objective. While not all the same, dommes mostly share that they enjoy being in charge and taking care of their submissives. 
  23. Sub/ Submissive– The opposite role in the domme/sub relationship. These people may enjoy being subservient or obedient to another person, either sexually or non-sexually. In committed domme/sub relationships, negotiated boundaries are carefully practiced to keep both parties safe. 
  24. One Penis Policy (OPP)– This is a relationship construct where the male-female couple has negotiated that they only play sexually with other women. The OPP has as a tendency to be misogynistic and is a huge part of why “unicorns” are so challenging to find. 
  25. Kitchen Table– This is a term to explain open communication. Saying that you practice swinging or polyamory “kitchen table” style means you’d be comfortable sitting around a kitchen table and discussing the logistics of boundaries with your partner and your partner’s partners. 
  26. Cuckold– This is when a man and his partner find sexual pleasure in having the woman having sex with other men. This may be in a “full swap” or “bull” situation.  
  27. Cuckqueanthis is the woman involved in finding sexual pleasure as her man engages in sexual practices with another woman.

And there you have it! These helpful definitions can help you (and your partner, too) get started in the swinger community. Remember that while these terms are fixed, your relationship doesn’t have to be. To be successful swingers, you need to find out what works for you and your relationship. And part of doing that may be playing around with new things. Always follow your gut and learn to trust yourself in these potentially complicated sexual setups. There is no one right way to a relationship!

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