The Language We Use in Swinging
Swinging, a social-sexual recreation, has adopted a number of words and terms. These words, for the most part, differ in meaning according to the set of people who use them in the lifestyle. One example is soft swinging or soft swing. Both terms are in wide usage in the swinging lifestyle today, but have meanings different from the first use. A typical meaning is sex only with ones regular partner, but in a setting where others also have sex. Soft swinging was invented and first used by Club WideWorld, a swing club in Southern California, in the 1970s in the clubs ads in the Los Angeles Free Press and has since become a recognized world around the world.
This was discussed in the book The Other Americans: Living in Emerging Alternative Lifestyles published by Lifestyles Press in 1978: Swinging in Southern California developed at the outset into swing clubs and party houses offering what in New York is now called on-premise swinging. At the end of 1971 there were no fewer than twenty such clubs and party houses in the Los Angeles/Hollywood and Orange County areas. You went to the party to swing, not to socialize for the purpose of being invited to a party elsewhere. All swinging was right there on premise. The terms Open and Closed (swinging) were not used but both were practiced at the same party. It was here that the term soft swinging was invented, by Wide World to differentiate from most swinging practiced in Southern California. Soon the terms soft swinging, hard core swinging, and just curiousswinging were in general usage in the area. Soft swinging, also called by some soft core, referred initially to a social environment conducive to swinging but without pressure to swing. Hard core swinging meant that all were expected to swing, even required. Another term greatly misunderstood and misused is the Lifestyles Community. Some today consider lifestyles to be an alternative word for swinging, and lifestyles community as including all who are swingers. The truth of the matter is far different. This term has been used for many years by LSO, Ltd., also known as The Lifestyles Organization, in referring to its entire organization including members, associate swing clubs and resorts. Others, swingers or not, are not included. A better and more accurate term for the whole of swinging is the Swing Community. The word Lifestyles, especially when capitalized generally refers to The Lifestyles Organization or one of LSOs companies, such as the annual Lifestyles Convention, Lifestyles Tours & Travel, Lifestyles Resorts or any of the events of any of these companies.
Robert McGinley, Ph.D.
CEO Lifestyles Tour & Travel