Initial disclosure: I write this from the perspective of a white, married male. My perspective is what it is. We write about things we’ve noticed and seen from a married, white couple’s perspective concerning what we noticed regarding racism in the lifestyle. We’ve asked a few of our Latino friends in the lifestyle to comment or even write this article themselves, but no luck. Even still, we have gotten confirmation that a lot of what we’ve seen has been pretty accurate in terms of their experience and we welcome anyone’s comments below.
We feel like this is an appropriate time to have a discussion about racism in the swingers scene. Considering there is, and has been, a lot of problems with racial tension in our country today, we believe the beginning of healing starts with having the discussion.
We want our discussion to be respectful, honest and matter of fact. This is especially interesting because I recently decided to do some research into the swingers movement in America and found that according to a huge study done by Gilbert D. Bartell in 1971, they surveyed and studied swinger couples and swinger parties, they found that blacks [as well as homosexuals] were not welcome at early 70’s swinger parties.
Honestly, it seems like not much has changed in 2020. Our swingers experience is limited to the Chicagoland area, so perhaps our perspective might not reflect what is happening in other cities. However, most of the parties we’ve been to have been majority white. As a couple that enjoys swinging with black and Latino couples, here are a few other reasons why we think there is a problem with racial bias in the swinger scene:
• Most of the flyers and promotions we see on the web promote pictures of white, blonde, skinny women. Rarely – if ever – do you see people of color in these promotions.
• We have personally spoken to couples who made racial comments about certain parties or clubs being “too dark” for their liking. Needless to say, we didn’t continue being friends with those people. When we get the feeling a couple is racist we immediately exit the conversation and move on. If they persist, we usually will say something. Everyone has different ideas of what they are attracted to, but making racial comments is unnecessary.
• Based on the pricing structure of most parties, we can’t imagine some people actually being able to afford it. When you have to pay several hundred dollars to cover hotel costs, ticket entrance and drinks – it makes it seem like the swingers lifestyle is only for the wealthy white people with a huge amount of expendable income. There are two ways to look at this. Either you think there is no financial gap between people of color and others, or you admit there is an economic disparity. This isn’t to say that there aren’t wealthy black people, but just that it seems that the struggle is real. We have to wonder why events seem to be priced so high. Is it to keep people out or just to keep the right people in?
• Doing an advanced search in our area on Kasidie for couples with “beautifully black” or “yummy chocolate” skin complexion within a 50 mile radius of Chicago, with the filter: online at least “doesn’t matter,” we only yielded 5 profiles. This is horrible. You mean to tell me that there are only 5 black couples with pictures, online ever within 50 miles of Chicago? Granted, not everyone completely fills out their profile but what does this say about the majority of couples on swinger websites? Not sure if we would find different results on other websites, but Kasidie is considered a pretty large website.
• Lastly, we feel like there might be some striking cultural differences that we don’t really know about that are factors within a black or Latino couple’s decision to try swinging. Some of our Latino friends we’ve met have mentioned struggles with jealous husbands, or female shame or guilt for being too sexual. Women seem to have different expectations in the Latino culture and being sexually forward isn’t seen as favorable for women, but ok for men.
What are your thoughts? Have you noticed a good mix of color at parties and clubs or are most of the parties you’ve been to largely snow bunnies? Do you think that there is an issue with race in the lifestyle? Please share your comments below.