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7 rules you probably didn't know about swinging

There are always rules in a civilized society. It's what keeps us sane, and stops us from murdering our neighbours for playing Eminem at 5am on a Tuesday morning. And swinging, just like any arrangement in which consenting adults must interact with each other, comes governed by its own set of rules. Just like your nan's Bridge Club.

Keep in mind, of course, that each individual swinging society will come with its own commandments. But, just in case you're curious, here are a few that are likely to be set in stone…

Come as a couple, and leave as one

Swinging, unlike many of the more secretive sexcapades, involves your partner. You're not coming to get away from them, you're coming to expand the parameters of your relationship. Many swinging partners will not admit singles into the fun – after all, that'll leave someone standing out in the cold while everyone else gets busy. And no one wants that. 

Be on time

The tardy swinger does not get invited to the festivities next time. No matter how good looking they are. 

No means no

Admission to a house full of partially-clad bodies might seem like a free pass for hijinks, but consent is just as important on an individual level as it is in any other circumstance. If the woman hanging from the ceiling in a full-body latex catsuit tells you to leave her alone, you leave her alone.

Always RSVP

How rude, to be invited to a swinging party, and not respond to the invitation. Treat it like any other special occasion: if you wouldn't do it for your best friend's 30th birthday party, you shouldn't do it now.

Bring a gift for the hostess

The location of swinger's parties are many and various (though most of us like to picture them happening in large The OC-style mansions), and even if things stay civilized and elegant, someone's still going to have to get the stains out of the bed-sheets the next day. So bring a bottle of something, or a nice cheese. There's likely to be some downtime between orgies, you might even get to have some of it. There's never a bad occasion for cheese. 

Wear the right clothes

Comfort is obviously important, but if you come to a party in trackpants where everyone else is clad in expensive lingerie and Chanel dresses, you're unlikely to get your pick of the bunch on the night. Read the tone of the invitation, and dress to impress. Even though, all going to plan, it's all ending up on the floor.

Be clean

Coming straight from the gym, even if that's when you're your most limber, is not a sensible idea.