Written by ky-ky

Other
7/08/2007


Katie (not her real name) is a 35-year-old Christchurch mother who is self employed.

She describes herself as an ordinary Christchurch mum except for one thing. She and her partner are swingers.

The slim, blue-eyed, former private-school girl says Christchurch has a reputation as the swinging capital of New Zealand.

It's impossible to know how many people are involved in swinging, but Katie, who has been involved for two years, says it's growing. As an example, she cites a recent party for swingers restricted to 40 people but with 100 others keen to come.

The Christchurch swinging scene, which Katie says is generally middle class, is well organised with events scheduled at least once a month. Unknowns are usually required to submit photographs and may be interviewed.

Swingers like Katie and her partner also list as couples on a website inviting contact from people interested in group activities. Katie gets about 30 approaches a day.

She says people who attend the swinging parties and events are loving couples who "lead normal lives with families and other things going on apart from swinging".

"They are just everyday people with good jobs and children. They're just looking for something extra.

"It's a good way for highly sexed people who want to play but who don't want to cheat on each other. It's something to do together and an extension of their relationship," she says.

The swinging scene has existed in Christchurch for many years, she says, but thanks to the internet and dating websites, it's now much easier to find out what is going on and how to get involved.

Katie went to her first swinging party two years ago after a couple she was friendly with invited her along. "I had always associated it with sleaze but when you go you see this is a normal group of people. Everybody is having a good time, everybody is smiling, everybody is respecting each other and if there is a problem you can leave."

Some of the parties have a different approach and she knows which ones to avoid.

At her first outing she had various kinds of sexual interaction with a dozen men. "Everyone was impressed considering it was my first time but I was right into it."

The party nights can be choosey about who is invited.

"You have to be a couple or a single woman. I know some guys are desperately looking for a woman so they can get into the swinging scene."

She says about 90 per cent of the single women who attend the parties are, like her, bi-sexual.

Parties are not free-for-all orgies, Katie says. "We have nibbles and drinks, and just talk about normal things. If someone approaches you about sex you can say no and it's all very polite."

Sometimes couples like to attend not to have sex with other people but just to have sex with each other while people around them are having sex, she says.

The scene suits only a certain type of person, Katie reckons.

"You have to be open-minded and really comfortable with yourself. Your fantasy is not always a good reality for some people."

"Martin van Beynen

The Press