The Main Line Is Kinkier Than You Think

Swinging, sex toys, and gossip

I’ve just discovered that people I know are swingers. Again. This keeps happening to me. Let’s just get this straight right now: I am not a swinger, have never been a swinger, and am quite certain I never will be. Further, I hang with a pretty straight crowd, so if I know people who are into swinging, chances are most people do. [SIGNUP]

The latest is that friends of friends swing, according to the grapevine. I’ve also heard more than once that one local Main Line country club is rife with swingers. I wonder if this phenomenon is exclusive to those with too much time on their hands or suburbanites who need a thrill. And doesn’t it always seem to be the people you least expect? I know a number of members of that particular country club, and I can’t for the life of me imagine any of them swinging anything but a putter, but you can never tell.

Recently, I heard that a few husbands were golfing when one man disclosed the details of his wife’s sex swing—yet another type of swinging! Like a Jolly Jumper for grown-ups, I guess. This is no hot young couple either. (What a mental image! Ugh.) Absolutely anybody can be kinky, apparently. Isn’t it kind of unfortunate when we hear the gory details of others’ sex lives like the telephone game? One thing I’ve learned for certain: When you involve other people in your sex life, there’s no way it will stay secret. Why is a middle-aged man sharing this information with his golf buddies? What people do behind closed doors is between them—or should be. If they enjoy wild nights on their swing or invite neighbors to join in, fantastic. Just maybe don’t do your wife the disservice of announcing it to all your friends. I’m sure this woman would die if she knew it’s become public fodder.

I used to live in a very small community. And contained. On-an-island contained. After living there for many years, a friend of mine confessed that she and her boyfriend had started swinging. Really swinging. My friend, who thankfully did not try to recruit me, proceeded to tell me some of the people we both knew locally that were swingers. (Obviously she knew them better than I!) It turns out this little place had quite a sizeable population of swingers. Imagine finding out that teachers, coworkers, bartenders and bank tellers you know are having key parties. (Key parties, for those who don’t know their local swingers, involve throwing your house key into the pot … The thought of disrobing for whomever happens to draw my house key makes me shudder. You have to know I’d end up with the old, saggy-butt man or the missing-link hairy guy.)

Do these people realize that this information spreads like a social disease? Maybe they don’t care. But these are parents, professionals and seemingly upstanding members of the community. Bad enough that acquaintances like me find out, but what about the parents of the teacher’s students, or the boss at the bank? In small communities, that’s entirely possible. Probable. (Note to all the local suburban swingers, we know who you are and wish we didn’t.) These people are jeopardizing their reputations and the “normal” lifestyle I’m guessing they hold dear for sex. Sordid sex with others. Or in Jolly Jumpers. It’s a high price to pay for a thrill.

Of course my friend’s relationship ended—badly. I can’t help but wonder how big a role the swinging played. By the time they broke up, a whole lot of people knew about her extracurricular activities though. I don’t even want to think about the health issues or the toll that swinging could take on a relationship. I do know there’s no way in hell that watching my husband’s key get picked out of the bowl by someone younger or thinner than me isn’t going to come up in a future fight though. The jealousy would get really ugly. I further know that if my husband was blabbing about our sex swing (ha!), and I found out about it, he’d be hanging from it until the cleaning lady cut him down.