Swinger Parents: Explaining Your Choice to Teenagers

Updated: Jan 8

Take yourself back to your teenage years. You may be experiencing a lot of changes, aka hormones just going to town in your body. It’s like a rollercoaster ride of emotions as your moods go up and down.


You might have experienced (or at least heard about) sexual intercourse. You get to talk about it with your friends, but somehow you think it’s awkward and taboo to discuss it with your parents.


Now think about how you could tell your teenage child not only about your sex life but also your swinging lifestyle. Your child is about to learn that s/he has swinger parents! Sounds tricky? Let us help you out.


Why a conversation is important

Adapting a swinger’s lifestyle while you have a kid (or kids!) is a tough call. It is not impossible to do, but it is a very bold choice. Discussing the setup with your partner is one thing, and talking about it with your child is another.


Of course, you would rather not have your child find out about it accidentally. Assume your child borrowed your phone to do something important, and then a message from one of your swinging companions appears.


One can imagine how awkward that could be. For a teenager, it would raise a lot of questions! And worse, you could be a cheater in your child’s eyes.

It would also imply that you are keeping your swinging choices as a secret as if it’s something to be ashamed of, when it is totally the opposite of that.



You’re lucky if your child comes clean and approaches you to talk about it. But what if s/he just bottles it up and resents you for a long period? No parent would definitely want that to happen.


Keep in mind that open communication is king. Honest and open communication plays a major role in dealing with explaining your swinging choices to your teenager- that and putting yourself in their shoes.


What to expect

If you were a teenager, what details about your parents’ sex life would you be eager to know? There are a lot of ways for this conversation to go wrong, but it will go the other way if it is well-thought-out.

One thing that could help is taking into account past difficult conversations you’ve had with your teenager.


You saying no to what they want, your first fight, talking about their first period, or your boy’s confusion about the changes going on with and in his body. It was a challenging conversation, but you pulled through, right?


Take a mental note of what approaches worked and what did not. You, of all people, know your child well, and that makes it easier to know what approach s/he responds well to.


This conversation should make your teenage child feel included. Keep in mind that they are in a phase of their life where their emotions are all over the place, and being included in a conversation about an important family decision makes them feel secure and that you trust them.



You are having this conversation not because you got caught, but because you made a conscious decision to include him or her in your life decisions.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Prepare Think of it as another swinging prep. Remember when you and your partner were just starting to consider swinging? Take that preparation and exert the same effort in this conversation. Set your goal. Make sure that as you go through the conversation, you’re getting closer to what you were hoping to get out of it. Inclusivity, security, and transparency with your child are great motivators.


  • Get straight to the point Do not beat around the bush. Another thing that is worse than being kept in the dark is being lied to, or getting fed sugar-coated nonsense. Make the conversation make sense. You are talking to a teenager, not a kindergartener. While I understand that you have to tone some stuff down, just make sure that it does not sound condescending or confusing.


  • Let them tell you when they’re uncomfortable. At the onset of your conversation, it would be nice to remind your child that it is okay to tell you to stop when some topics become uncomfortable for them. This might be information overload, so know when to pause and give them room to breathe or think about what you have just laid down for them. Give them time to process and digest this new information.

  • Let them ask questions. Swinging parents are not usual for a family. We’ve heard of the cool parents, the parents who are always on business trips, or the stay-at-home mom or dad, but most people have never encountered or heard of swinging parents. Allow your child to ask questions. They definitely don’t intend to pry, but it’s better that their questions be addressed by you than by other people.

  • Make it clear that this is a mutual decision between you and your partner. Above all else, you must make your child understand that both you and your partner have decided to adapt to this lifestyle. It would also benefit your goal to talk about the reasons, your deepest why, and why you decided to become swinging parents. Most teenagers would appreciate and understand stuff like this if they knew the reason why. A little enlightenment won’t hurt. Again, honest and open communication is key.

  • Lastly, assure your child that this does not change anything. One of the questions your teenager might ask would be “What does this mean for our family?” and it is perfectly valid. End it on a happy note. Make your child feel assured that this does not change anything within the current family dynamics. It might also be a great idea to make your child feel that they can go to you for advice when they reach that point in their life where swinging has also become an option in their relationship.


Becoming swinging parents is a bold move, but it does not have to be kept secret, especially from people close to you. Teenagers usually contribute their fair share of issues and problems in the family already, so do not let keeping your swinging choices a secret add to it.

One conversation is definitely not enough. Maintaining a home environment that is open for communication without any judgment could help ease any worries, doubts, or confusion that your child feels.


Swinging does not make you less of a parent. Your duty as a parent is to ensure that your child feels safe, secure, and included.


Final Thoughts

While we cannot guarantee that your child will fully understand your swinging lifestyle, the important thing is that you did your part.


As long as swinging does not interfere with your parental duties and obligations, at the right time, it might be easier for your child to fully accept and understand your lifestyle choice.


At the end of the day, what matters is that you have explained and discussed your swinging choices with your teenage child and embodied transparency in the family.


Having swinger parents may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but as long as your child accepts and understands, there’s no need to worry about it.

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