Exposed: The secret lives of swingers

An insider pulls the sheets back on this mysterious sexual subculture and offers tips for joining the fun

By Tracy Clark-Flory

Published October 3, 2013 11:30PM (EDT)

            (<a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-240286p1.html'>photovibes</a>,  <a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-496606p1.html'>Julia Ivantsova</a> via <a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/'>Shutterstock</a>/Salon)
(photovibes, Julia Ivantsova via Shutterstock/Salon)

One way to deal with premature ejaculation is to think of something un-arousing during sex -- say, your grandma or dead puppies. But Daniel Stern decided to take a different, less conventional approach. He jumped headfirst into the world of swinging -- also known as "the lifestyle," in which couples hook up with singles and other couples -- and tirelessly put his sexual performance to the test. The result? He conquered his sexual insecurities and wrote a book all about it, “Swingland: Between the Sheets of the Secretive, Sometimes Messy, but Always Adventurous Swinging Lifestyle.”

At moments, it reads like a self-discovery memoir à la "Eat, Pray, Love," only with super-graphic group-sex scenes. For the most part, though, it is an insider's exposé of a mysterious sexual subculture, and a guidebook for wannabe swingers. You'll find gonzo descriptions of a suburban orgy right alongside carefully considered tips on pubic grooming protocol.

Readers who are interested in entering the lifestyle will be endlessly intrigued and titillated by "Swingland." But those interested in a journalistic account will be disappointed to find the book dominated by tales of Stern's own exploits. To his credit, Stern is candid about his inglorious moments -- the time he hit his head on a ceiling fan in the middle of a gang bang, for example. But for every embarrassingly bloody encounter, there is a scene like the one in which he thinks he's killed an elderly woman at an orgy after giving her an orgasm that causes her to colla...

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Tracy Clark-Flory

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