FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -- From tiny towns to big cities, KCTV5’s Gina Bullard has lived all over the country. But within months of moving to Kansas City, she was at a bar when she got a proposition like she has never gotten before.
It was from a couple looking for a lot more than friendly conversation. Then it happened again somewhere else. She was on a date when they were both approached. That's when she knew, people we interact with daily and people we trust will remain a mystery.
So, she started asking some questions.
Come on in to the secret world of swingers
“I absolutely love looking over and watching my husband do something with someone else,” said a female swinger.
Swingers are people in committed relationships looking to hook up with other people.
“It’s just about sex,” she said. “It went from bizarre to I’m really turned on by this.”
KCTV5 has hidden local swinger identities and given them fake names because they have families, kids, friends and all who don’t know about their life without limits.
Scarlet started swinging a year and a half ago. She’s been married for four years. After a dry spell in the bedroom, she and her husband got invited to a private swinger’s party. At first, they just watched, but at the next party, they added someone else into the mix, making it a threesome.
Scarlet told KCTV5, “I was just absolutely amazed. It was the most wonderful feeling.”
“Was it another woman or man,” KCTV5 asked.
“It was a man. Believe it or not,” responded Scarlet.
KCTV5 asked, “how often do you swing?” Blaze, who is a male swinger, replied with, “it just depends.”
For Blaze, getting into the lifestyle started as a typical male fantasy, having a threesome with his wife and another woman. Flirting with the idea, they explored swinger clubs around town.
Swinger clubs are adult only clubs where anything goes, you bring your own alcohol, and anyone can watch. In Missouri and Kansas, clubs like that can operate because they don’t need liquor licenses. They’re private parties in private buildings.
“We watched everyone out there dancing having fun,” said Blaze.
In the beginning, Blaze and his wife just sat back and observed, then it escalated to touching.
The third time was a charm as they had sex with another couple.
“Do you get jealous seeing your wife with someone else” KCTV5 asked.
Blaze responded, “No, no, I will admit the first time it’s kind of strange.”
The couple is going on 22 years of marriage and swinging for 21 of those. Now, they go to private lifestyle parties at homes, hotels and even Airbnb’s.
All the swingers KCTV5 talked to, on and off camera, say it’s a huge underground social scene.
According to social psychologist Dr. Edward Fernandes, the average age of swingers is between 36 and 55. They’re typically college educated and have a household income between $40,000 and $200,000.
Fernandes says up to 8 million people in the United States are swinging -- that’s around 2.5 percent of the population. That number goes up to 12 million in North America.
Even so, their choices are still viewed as taboo. That’s why the people KCTV5 talked to say your neighbors, politicians, police, teachers and religious leaders are all hiding their steamy encounters.
KCTV5 asked, “are there a lot of swingers in KC?”
Timmy Gibson, who is a relationship coach and Christian Pastor, responded with “oh yeah!”
Gibson works with several swinger couples and says it’s a serious decision that requires communication and trust.
“I think it’s the excitement people are looking for, something different, something new,” Gibson said.
If you are looking for signs of swinging, let’s set the record straight. The white rock in front of someone’s house doesn’t mean a thing. The same goes for a crystal balls or garden gnomes. Keys on the bar or table at a restaurant? Not a sign.
You may have heard about a certain Overland Park neighborhood being filled with swingers, not anymore. Now, swingers say they’re everywhere and there are some identifiable signals.
Pineapples show you’re welcoming everyone in. If you see a woman sporting anything with a unicorn on it, they could be looking for some fun. Swingers call single females looking to join couples a unicorn, because they’re so rare.
Another hint, black rings worn on people’s right hand.
KCTV5 asked if he would recommend this for couples.
Gibson responded, “no.”
Gibson says the majority of swinger couples he’s worked with say the men are open to multiple partners and the women want monogamy. That’s why when the wife concedes, and they get into the swing of things, instead of a happy ending, they end up in his office.
“She was doing it because he wanted to, they did it and its just wreaked havoc. In a relationship, you should never do anything outside of what is beneficial for both and pleasing to both and pleasurable for both,” Gibson said.
“Is swinging a sin?” asked KCTV5.
“As a sin, I think people would view it as infidelity as cheating,” responded Gibson.
But he says it’s not that clear cut. If you reference the bible, King David and his son Solomon, had hundreds of wives and concubines.
Swingers say the secret to staying together is having no secrets at all.
“In their minds, it’s the most honest. I’m being open about my attraction to other people, I’m going to do it openly with your consent,” Gibson explains.
“Would you rather your spouse go out and do stuff behind your back or would you rather know they are and that they’re doing it safely?” Blaze added.
A secret network of people all around us, sharing their deepest darkest desires.
“It’s a hobby. Some people have book clubs some people go bowling. We sleep with our friends,” Scarlet stated.
Of course the internet is making swinging easier than ever. There are countless online groups, meetups and events. They’re even organized around specific activities and interests.
Whether it’s game night or coffee, there’s something and someone for everyone.