Swinging culture on the rise in Vancouver

Who needs monogamy anyways? The taboo of alternative relationships is a thing of the past


Reported by Sasha Zeidler

Vancouver is seeing a major increase in the swinging community, and not the dancing kind.

Swinging, which is now more commonly referred to as being “in the lifestyle”, is a practice of non-monogamy where sexual relations take place between couples. In recent years, the clubs, websites, and people involved in alternative sexual lifestyles have seen a drastic increase in popularity.

Chuck, who asked that his real name not be revealed, and his wife have been in the lifestyle for three years. He says his favourite part is meeting new people, and the conversations that ensue.

“We met people from Boston about a month ago. We met for a drink and they were fun and turns out they were big Trump supporters,” he said. “We had a big political discussion with them and then he screwed his wife in front of us and it was just a fun evening.”

Club Eden, a private members club that provides parties for those in the lifestyle, drew about 60 people per event when it first opened in 2008. The owner, who prefers to be called Eve, says gatherings can now attract up to 400 members.

When things began to change

A pivotal moment in this popularity increase, according to Eve, was when Facebook added “In an open relationship” as a relationship status options.

“It’s not swinging that’s growing, that term is going out. It’s that a more open-minded approach and less judgmental emotional attachment is forming,” she said. “With the millennials, they’ve grown up with the Internet to be much more accepting of alternative lifestyles, of the LGBTQ community. There’s been a much more organic education process.”

An anonymous representative of FetVancouver.com, a BDSM and fetish event listing website, said in an email that swinging is just an aspect of a larger subculture that is based on mutual respect, like any other relationship.

“That is why we are seeing this explosion of acceptance with the clubs, with the parties, with the lifestyle in general. Because it isn’t just swinging anymore,” said Eve.

Swingers at a Club Eden party show no shame towards their alternative relationships. Photo by Club Eden

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