Swings and roundabouts: Management of jealousy in heterosexual ‘swinging'couples

Department of Psychology, University of Sussex, Falmer BN1 9QH, UK.
British Journal of Social Psychology (Impact Factor: 1.76). 07/2007; 46(Pt 2):459-76. DOI: 10.1348/014466606X143153
Source: PubMed


Swinging involves consensual mutual involvement in extra-dyadic sex. Jealousy in swinging couples is an interesting topic for social psychological research, because it is a common and acceptable response to a romantic partner's real or imagined infidelity. This qualitative study examined the management of jealousy among four active heterosexual swinging couples living in southern England. Participants highlighted the importance of discussion and negotiation to develop a shared couple identity and shared rules and boundaries that allowed them to manage jealousy so that they could better enjoy swinging. Rather than seeking to eliminate jealousy, swingers may manage their feelings of jealousy in order to increase sexual excitement and arousal. This study adds to our understanding of jealousy among swingers and the broader issue of jealousy in intimate relationships.

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    • "We expect that having experienced past partner infidelity would alter the way that individuals experiences jealousy in their current relationship; therefore, we hypothesize that controlling for past partner infidelity may reveal an effect of the jealousy-provoking vignettes on T. Exclusive sexual access to a partner is important to many people (Sharpsteen and Kirkpatrick 1997), though some (e.g., polyamorous individuals) may feel otherwise. Polyamorous people do feel jealousy, but generally find it more manageable than monoamorous people (de Visser and McDonald 2007). Jealousy, therefore, may be experienced differently by people in monoamorous vs. polyamorous relationships. "
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    ABSTRACT: Jealousy evokes strong psychological responses, but little is known about physiological effects. This study investigated whether actively thinking about a jealousy-provoking situation would result in a testosterone (T) response, and what factors might mediate this effect. We examined T responses to imagining one’s partner engaging in one of three activities: a neutral conversation with a co-worker, a flirtatious conversation with an attractive person, or a passionate kiss with an attractive person. Women in the flirting condition experienced a significantly larger increase in T relative to those in the neutral condition; the kissing condition was intermediate. In men, there were no significant effects of jealousy condition on T. These findings are consistent with the Steroid/Peptide Theory of Social Bonds, such that the flirting condition elicited a ‘competitive’ T response, and the kissing condition elicited responses consistent with defeat.
    06/2015; 1(2). DOI:10.1007/s40750-015-0023-7
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    • "Compersion is often described as the opposite of jealousy­—not just the absence of jealousy, but the experience of an opposite emotion (joy or happiness) when learning that a romantic partner is sexually involved with another lover. There is some support for the claim that jealousy and compersion are opposite emotions (Duma, 2009; Visser & McDonald, 2007). However, compersion has only been studied in relation to polyamorous relationships. "
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    ABSTRACT: Research investigating the relationship between jealousy and relationship satisfaction has yielded conflicting results (Demirtas & Donmez, 2006). Additionally, few scholars have investigated the impact of compersion (positive feelings for a significant other when he or she is involved in a rival romantic relationship) on relationship satisfaction (Duma, 2009). We predicted that there would be a significant interaction between gender, jealousy/compersion, and relationship status on relationship satisfaction. We reasoned that one's relationship goal (e.g., to be exclusively monogamous) will greatly affect how jealousy and compersion impact relationship satisfaction. Of our 302 participants, relationship status significantly interacted with emotional jealousy and compersion, such that those in monogamous relationships were happier when they had higher degrees of emotional jealousy and compersion had no effect on relationship satisfaction. In contrast, compersion positively predicted relationship satisfaction for those in non-traditional relationships. An understanding of the goals for each individual in a relationship may be important in understanding what types of emotions will positively or negatively impact one’s relationship satisfaction.
    Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality 11/2014; 17.
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    • "Secrets from the partner can be interpreted as a sign of unfaithfulness. Establishing rules that define the difference between sex and feelings prevents swinging from being perceived as a threat to the relationship (Visser and McDonald 2007). One of the primary motivations for swinging is the possibility to see one's regular partner having sex with another (Jenks 1998), and this often fulfils couples' sexual fantasies. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to describe the sexual scripts related to ‘swinging’ in Norwegians with particular emphasis on issues related the prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We conducted qualitative in-depth interviews with 6 men and 6 women, including 5 heterosexual couples, 1 married man, and 1 single woman, all recruited from Internet groups for swingers. The results showed that the positive outcomes of swinging included the opportunity for participants to explore their own sexuality, see their partner have sex with others, and enhance their self-esteem. Swinging allowed them to act on secret fantasies and intrapsychic scripts. Negative attitudes towards male homosexuality, fear of STIs, and fear of being exposed were reported as problematic consequences of the lifestyle. Furthermore, the swinger script was more clearly defined for clubs than for private settings. In private settings, the swinger script typically borrowed elements from available scripts outside the swingers subculture, such as friendship or dating scripts. The lack of rules to protect oneself from STIs among the older swingers, and among swingers in private settings, may represent a potential threat to sexual health.
    Sexuality & Culture 03/2014; 18(1). DOI:10.1007/s12119-013-9181-6
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