Swinging – or the swinging lifestyle – is a reference to non-exclusive sexual activity that’s usually experienced as a couple, and in the recent past it was often referred to as “wife-swapping”.

Swinging was considered part of the sexual revolution that took place in the 1960s and 1970s, although its origins took root in ancient times.

One writer, Terry Gould, claims that swinging started during World War 2, when it became popular with US Air Force pilots and their respective wives.

However, it was unusual for Air Force wives to accompany their husbands on tours of duty, and other sources claim that the original participants were those posted to the California Desert, beginning in military communities in the 1950s, before gaining popularity in suburban society. In a Rome, nude group sex and orgies were depicted in mosaics and artwork of the time, so “swinging” was indeed popular in early European society.

Swinging is generally an organised activity, with over 3,000 clubs and organizations existing worldwide; over 1,000 of which have an online presence. Most European cities have at least one swinging club, although they aren’t really publicised amongst the general community. You have to be “in the know” and be introduced by a friend or associate, or sign-up to a website.

In Malta, with the country having an outwardly-conservative society, there are no publicly advertised swingers clubs or sex shops per se. In the past, when a lot of military were based on the island, Strait Street in Valletta could well have provided an opportunity to take part in more adventurous sexual activity, but today, the scene is more underground. An online search gives the details of several sites with the details of swinging couples and groups – rather than clubs – in Malta. One site mentions “Couples (both bi and straight) and bi-females most welcome.” Single males, however, are generally discouraged from joining in with the activities. Obviously, safe-sex is important, and anyone partaking in such activity is implored to practice this by the couples taking part.