The term swinging is in use since the 1950s, although the idea of swinging is definitely much, much older than that. In the past there were various cultures that allowed for some sort of non-marital sexual relations. Usually this was a privilege of noblemen, though there were other examples too. For instance, the ancient Romans viewed non-marital intercourse as a totally normal thing, and furthermore, approved of them. This can be regarded as an early form of swinging.
As mentioned, the term came to use in the 1950s. It is considered that the modern day swinging began in the American military communities, at one point after the end of World War Two. The exact date is impossible to pinpoint, however it is in the late 1950s that the media have got a hold of rumors of these practices, and started investigating them.
Over the years this practice has been called by many derogatory names. But what stayed as a dilemma, is should swinging be considered adultery? From the legal point of view, in the states where adultery is illegal, is there was a court proceeding, anyone engaged in this practice would be considered an adulterer, as the law defines all extra-marital sexual activities as adultery, regardless to the knowledge, or consent of the spouses.
However, on the other hand there are certain statistics that were recently collected, and that speak quite clearly in favor of swinging lifestyle. And those statistics state that over 90 percent of the people who admitted they were engaged in swinging practices feel that swinging had improved their relationship with their spouse, and enhanced their marriage.
But the question of adultery still stands. Especially since there is one significant topic raised in regards to the swinging. That is the question of jealousy. Although most pairs engaged in the swinging activities felt positive about them, a large number of them admitted that they are having issues restraining the feelings of jealousy when swinging. So, that raises the same question again. If most of the people engaged in this practice feel jealousy for their spouse, could this practice be called and considered adultery, even if consensual? This is still somewhat unclear, as, frankly, this topic is still somewhat of a taboo, even in this modern society.
We should consider the definition of the word adultery, in order to try and establish some more facts. If you check out online dictionaries, you will find that most of them define adultery as a: “extramarital sexual activity that willfully and maliciously interferes with marriage relations.” Now the important part is “willfully and maliciously.” If one takes into consideration that swinging is only considered swinging when it includes the knowledge, and approval of both marital partners, how can there be talk about “willful and malicious interfering.” Obviously, swinging does not fall under this category, and therefore should not be considered adultery.
However, it is a general consensus today, that although this practice is legal, and perhaps not adulterous by itself, that it is something that most couples prefer to stay away from. There are numerous reasons for such an attitude, but that is another story.