Wednesday, March 2, 2011

An Attempt to Explain the Female vs Male Bisexuality Double-Standard Among Swingers

Female bisexual behavior is considered almost de rigueur in the swinging lifestyle while male bisexual activity is generally considered unwelcome -- although not unknown.  This discrepancy has been getting much attention of late; potentially causing fissures in a community already embattled by those with opposing moral views.  In an effort to bring some perspective to the matter, I thought it would be useful to lend my view on why this discrepancy exists.  At the end of this examination I will detail where I stand on the argument.

The reason male bisexuality is discouraged in the lifestyle is to empower women.

Now bear with me...

The old chestnut in swinging is that women are in charge.  This, of course, is utter bullshit.  In the lifestyle, as in most other things, it is men and women making decisions together.  A relationship between two people, whether in the lifestyle or the vanilla world, consists of series of compromises, of give and take.  Otherwise none of us would be able to make even the smallest decisions as a couple to get things done in life without a fight, or worse yet, without resorting to deceit.  As they make these compromises, members of the couple will tend to fall into the same roles.  Negotiation tactics are developed for dealing with different situations.  This, in fact, is why the lifestyle works best for people with good communication skills and possess the ability to compromise; this is what makes strong relationships.  (An aside... I believe the lower divorce rate for marriages in the lifestyle has more to do with these skills than anything to do with sexual gratification.)

Entering the lifestyle is one of the most high-involvement decisions a couple will make.  Typically, the male-half wants sexual variety and the female, while also desirous, is hesitant to put the relationship at risk.  In order to gain her buy-in, the male assures her that she will get to "call the shots".  This is a legitimate tactic commonly employed outside of swinging.  You give a little in order to get a lot in return.

At swinger clubs, women will typically engage in bisexual play with each other.  During this time, the guys watch the action and wait to be allowed to join the game.  This is a way for women to call the shots.  It works on multiple levels.  First, when women play with other women they will more than likely have the undivided attention of the men; it gives them the opportunity to feel desired, which makes them feel good.  Next, it gives them the opportunity experience sexual novelty.  However, neither of these are the most important reason, which is that it allows the women to decide with whom their partner will have sex.  The women, are in-effect, vetting potential sexual partners for the men.  If the woman does not play with a woman, odds are neither will her partner.  Further, even after having played with another woman, if the female half of the couple feels that the other woman could be a threat to the relationship, the other woman would be discarded as a potential play partner for the male half.  However, if all goes well, then male-half will be allowed to have sex with the other woman.  The female half calls the shots, and that was bargain.

The best part is that it works.  After all, most men are happy "just to be there".  The mere possibility of having sex with another partner keeps men interested.  This explains why it costs twice as much for single men to join a swinger club than it does for a couple or for a single woman to join -- and the single men are always there!  Just being there is gratifying, and if something were to happen?  All the better.

Men playing other men breaks the deal.  By doing so, men would be taking back some of the control they yielded to their partners.  It messes with the dynamic because women would no longer be the gate keepers of the men's sexual activities and thus would feel like they are adding risk to the relationship.  Swingers have cultural understanding of this dynamic and this is why they protect it.  It's not done at a conscious level; it's simply a case of, "We've arrived at this point, and it's working."

So where do I stand on whether or not male bisexual behavior should be more widely accepted in the lifestyle?  I contend that it is tacitly accepted and regarded as another natural variation in the lifestyle.  The reason we don't see more of it is because it done exclusively in private between consenting parties, and not in the open, where the current, functioning dynamic is holding the whole works together.  In other words, you will rarely, if ever, see it at a swinger club.

My wife and I love swinging and while we love intimate encounters with other couples in a private setting, we would like to continue to be able to go to clubs and meet new couples.  I am a very sexually open person and will advocate anyone's right to sexual self-expression, however if discouraging male bisexual behavior at the swinger clubs means more people will enter the lifestyle, then I am, much to my chagrin, on board with it.

I hope this rant adds to this discussion and helps clarify my position on this delicate topic.

(In an attempt to reach a broader readership, I've asked that this entry be cross-posted on Life on the Swingset)


  1. >Men playing other men breaks the deal. By doing so, men would be taking back some of the control they yielded to their partners.

    Not sure that is really the case for everybody. I do know that this is not the case for us. I respect my wife, but I did not hand over full control of my/our sexuality.

    I had this discussion times on message boards, and that experience leads me to believe that you are over-thinking this. If one applies Occam's razor to the situation, then it become clear that the exact same behavior can be at least as good (or better) explained by simple homophobia.

  2. Thanks for the comment.

    I heartily agree with you that it is not the case for every couple and that there is likely a homophobic component to this bias in some cases. Still, I think the prevalence of this bias across the vast majority of swinger communities, traversing socio-economic levels as well as geography, points to cultural mechanism at work that we do not sense at a conscious level.

    Another thing that I have found interesting is that swingers regularly go to gay bars and have a great time. While there, we were around a lot of male-male activity and it was never a problem for anyone. I know this isn't the best example, but I do think it speaks some to the level of acceptance that most swingers I know have for gay men.

    I do not think that the bias against bisexual males is done out of malice or homophobia in most cases. (Again, in *most* cases.) I think that what has occurred is that an environment has evolved, in the swinger clubs, in which the agreement that most swinger couples have made with each other can be realized.

    I also think that things will change... evolve? In the 70's, occasional male-male contact was accepted, while female-female contact was less accepted. There was a different dynamic at play. Who knows what the future holds? A lot can change in 20 years.

  3. Occam's Razor does not apply to male bi-sexuality in the swinging community. Einstein's - 'Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler, is more appropriate.

    If you go by Christopher Ryan's example of how to determine what guys are turned on by - do a search of the sexual act on any porn site. Perfrom a search of male bi-sexuality on Pornhub. I performed the search myself and came back with zero results.

    Guys are not accepting of male bi-sexuality in the swinger communities because of homophobic tendencies. A vast majority of the swinging community don't have fantasies about male bi-sexuality. If guys wanted bi-sexual experiences, they would fantasize about it. if guys fantasized about it, there would be a huge stash of videos on Pornhub, Youporn, etc. it does not exist as something guys are interested in and that's why its not accepted in the general swinger community.

  4. I feel like saying a guy that doesn't like penis is the same as a girl that doesn't care about boobs. Am i a homophope? No it's just a preferance. We are allowed preferences. That's the point of the lifestyle.

    But I will say this, people that are not in the lifestyle do not have a say. Nobody really gives a shit about their opion.

    Ms. Swapfu

  5. I think that (at least in my area) the bi-male issue is only an issue with swinger males in large groups and less so in more private setting with partners who are more comfortable with one another and are agreed to not advertise or out the other males. Homophobia is alive and well but males who get past that and even allow for "indulgences" prefer to still be seen as "men" in public and "versatile" in select private situations, only.

    With time I'm sure the bi-male issue will become more openly acceptable and maybe we can even hope to lose the label all together and just be men who don't have hang-ups about sex & sexuality. Until then I'll just remain an anonymous participant...

  6. Thank you for the comment and participating in the discussion. I'm sure experiences vary. 'Just wondering where you're located.

  7. I think this issue has been WAY overly complicated and blown out. Choice is the basis for the lifestyle and if a man chooses not to participate in activities with another man why is that not acceptable? If a woman chose not to play with another woman would we brand HER as homophobe? NO! Because it's her choice. So WHY is it not acceptable to apply the same rule to men. For that, why not to the clubs and resorts. It's a free planet, if you don't like the club rules, LEAVE. If you don't like the planet I suggest you leave that too.

    SwapFU I know (and appreciate) where you are coming from and your stance and whether or not I agree with you (which I do), I still have to ask. WHY is the swing community giving one second of attention to a self-repressed bi-sexual man who is only trying to stir publicity for his own selfish gain. "Flamers" did nothing for the gay community save for a nasty reputation. Please swingers don't let pissed off self-repressives do the same thing for OUR LIFESTYLE.

  8. > Choice is the basis for the lifestyle and if a man chooses not to participate in activities with another man why is that not acceptable?

    It's perfectly ok to do something or not do something (as long as it's between consenting adults).

    That's not what this about. This is about stopping others from doing what you don't like to do.

    E.g. You don't have to be gay to think prop 8 is disgrace.

    > It's a free planet, if you don't like the club rules, LEAVE. If you don't like the planet I suggest you leave that too.

    Because any form of protest is bad, right?

    The subject is has been discussed to death on all the swinger boards.

    I summarized it like this:

    - Males can't be bi. There is only "straight as an arrow" and "total fagot".
    - You have to remove every mention of "gayness" from your profile.
    - Any hint of being open minded (like accepting bi men) makes you totally gay.
    - Writing on the a profile of a "bi-curious" couple makes you totally gay.
    - Having a testimonial from a "bi-curious" couple makes you totally gay.
    - Having a testimonial on a "bi-curious" couple's profile makes you totally gay.
    - Not flaming somebody on the message-board who's is gay makes you mega gay.
    - Any rumor of you not totally hating bi couples make you totally gay.
    - When in doubt, you're gay. Not just bi, but flaming gay.

    Every guy knows that, when you are playing with a couple and the guy is "bi", when you least expect it,
    he will stick it up your pooper, instantly turning you gay!

    So the only correct way to fix your profile is to change your lead pic to that of yourself, holding a shotgun, standing over a dead gay guy.

  9. We don't want this discussion to deteriorate. We suggest anyone who wants to further discuss this topic can do so elsewhere and we would like to thank everyone for their input.
    The Fu

  10. You are absolutely correct. If men are bisexual, women are no longer the center of attention which they do not like at all.

    The other reason women don't like male bisexuality is that American women of the past 2 generations are not as attracted to men and therefore 2 men doesn't do anything for them visually. Most of my female friend prefer to see the female body naked.

    If women were into watching males together, you would see an explosion of male bisexuality. That is never going to happen because women, as you have stated, don't want to give up the power. I am bicurious but have never found a woman willing to help me explore my bicuriousity. Interestingly, 90% of my gfs have been bicurious and wanted me to help them explore (which I did gladly).