Take It From A Swinger — Kissing Is Just As Intimate As Sex

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Take It From A Swinger — Kissing Is Just As Intimate As Sex

The concept of tokenization is not lost on me.

I get that swingers, especially at the beginning, might want to hold something back. Something unique to just their “marriage bed.” Something for your primary partner and them alone.

It makes sense, I get it.

In my primary relationship, there are two things off-limits outside of the of us.

1. Orgasming in her mouth is reserved for me, though this is more of a foolhardy form of a safety thing.

2. Anal sex is reserved for me as well. Similar to the above, there are safety issues, sure, but mainly I like knowing that’s reserved for me and me alone.

We have friends who don’t swing in their own bed, to them, the bed is as sacred (to use a word I hate due to its religious connotations) as the acts that happen in it. This makes sense to me. So, see, I get it.

I don’t get the “no kissing” thing, though.

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Browsing profiles on swinger dating site, I’m inundated with people saying kissing is a must, what’s the fun without kissing, kissing is the most important part to me, and on, and on, and on. But then a few profiles creep in, maybe 5-10%, saying kissing is fine, as long as it’s not the opposite sex. Or kissing is fine, just no tongue. Or the only thing off the table is kissing.

I’ll be the first to say that everybody has a right to have the rules that make them feel comfortable. The rules that allow them to do this thing that we do, this complete breaking of tradition. Rules are important, they’re helpful, they make us stronger, happier, safer.

But I just don’t get this one.

And I blame Julia Roberts.

Well, not really Julia’s fault, aside from the fact that she was so damned good as Vivian in Pretty Woman and she caused all of America to COMPLETELY forget the fact that she was a hooker (not a profession generally embraced by mid-America — I, on the other hand, LOVE hookers) and accept everything about her.

Because she only kisses for love.

So, no kissing. Sex, yes. LOTS and LOTS of sex. But no kissing.

Not on the mouth anyway. Neck, sure. Boobs, bring it. The lips down below, why not?

But surely you can’t kiss on the lips, ‘cuz that’s for  … I dunno, it was a Disney movie. Prince Charming?

Regardless of the tokenization theory, I don’t believe that anyone would have this rule if they hadn’t been told by SOMEONE (Julia Roberts, other swingers, etc.) that kissing on the lips is somehow more intimate.

But let me throw right out there the thing that just infuriates me: “It’s fine as long as it’s not with the opposite sex.” 

What? How do the women in the lifestyle not offend themselves with this one?

This doesn’t imply, this outright SAYS that two women kissing is less important — less “real” and less intimate — than a man and a woman kissing.

The other version I've encountered is, “Kissing is fine, just no tongue.

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The sentiment didn’t bother me because they were newbies and feeling their way but once we got in there and tried to play this way …

Have you ever tried this? Go on now, go find your partner, start having sex, and kiss — but no tongue.

EVERY kiss was like one of those creepy brief familial kisses. And these kisses have no business being in a play situation.

It was actually far easier to do the whole no kissing at all thing than this weird plan. Luckily, they felt weird too, so the next visit, real kisses were perfectly acceptable.

So, let me restate for the record: Whatever floats your boat. You don’t want to kiss play partners, don’t kiss play partners. That’s fine.

But sit back for a moment and think about why you’re really doing that.

Remember, the same intimacy things have been said far more often about sex than kissing. And if I were to go up to a friend and kiss them, it’d be far more acceptable (though likely still surprising) than if I went up to them and put my package in their hands.

Intimacy isn’t about the acts. Intimacy is the bond your share with your partner.

It's the “she’s coming home with me” feeling you can hold onto.

The idea that the one thing none of these other playmates can or will do is be married to your partner. This is your connection.

You sure don’t need to artificially construct it by hypothesizing that kissing is somehow less intimate than your penis in that very same throat.

Think about it.

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Cooper S. Beckett is the co-founder and host of Life on the Swingset: The Podcast since 2010, author of swinging & polyamory novels A Life Less Monogamous and Approaching The Swingularity, and memoir My Life on the Swingset: Adventures in Swinging & Polyamory.

This article was originally published at Life on the Swingset. Reprinted with permission from the author.