Words and phrases and acronyms you might run across as you read our posts. We’ll add to this list as we use them, which means this list will grow and evolve as the blog does.

People use some of these terms in different ways, so we want you to know what we mean when we use them.

boundary, boundaries | physical and/or emotional limits — things a couple or individual will not do, or will not do…yet; boundaries may be situational rather than constant and universal

consensual non-monogamy (CNM) | this term is more or less used by us interchangeably with “lifestyle,” though that may not be technically correct — CNM says “we have talked about it and made a conscious choice to share our intimate selves with others outside our marriage/relationship”; in other words, we are defining the terms of our own sexual relationship in some way other than monogamy — and we don’t do anything without explicit consent of all involved

DP | either means “double-penetration” or “Desire Pearl” — best to check the context to figure out which | to be fair, we usually use this to reference double-penetration — vaginal + anal — of which Elle is a fan

date, dating | when we use it, unless we specify otherwise, we usually mean meeting up with another couple; just like in the single world, a date may or may not end up with sex involved

dating site, dating profile | generic term for any of a number of online websites intended to help singles and couples find others to date; you set up a profile for yourselves and look at other people’s profiles to determine if there is both interest and feasibility for dating

ethical non-monogamy (ENM) | see CNM, above; ethical non-monogamy presumes that everyone involved is being up-front, honest, and transparent with their intentions, boundaries, rules — and respecting all others involved. We like it even more than CNM because it also includes a host of other important ethical behaviors, like good communication, consideration for others’ feelings and needs, and — most importantly — mindful sexual health practices

exhibitionism | being turned on by being seen, watched — without touching

hall pass |euphemism for when one partner gives permission to the other to play separately, rather than as a couple; usually, “hall pass” is used when one or the other partner goes out without the other, not so much for separate room play — often used when partners are separated by distance, such as when one is out of town on business

hotwife | a married woman who dates on her own, with the permission and encouragement of her husband, sharing what happens with her husband after and/or during (via texts, video, photos)

intimate, intimacy | our euphemism for physical sexual contact, may or may  not include actual sexual penetration; we sometimes say “get intimate with” or “share intimacy with” as a synonym with the term “play”

Lifestyle (LS) |see CNM, above — this term (most often preceded by the article the) is used to define what swingers do, and yet it’s really the hardest to define because it takes so many shapes; we tend to capitalize it in order to differentiate it from the generic idea of living a lifestyle, having a lifestyle, or the common adjectival use such as “lifestyle blog” that’s more associated with homemaking and crafting than swinging | we think of it this way — being in the Lifestyle means defining your own sexual relationships as you see fit, not according to societal norms

meet & greet | an event designed to bring those in the LS together to get to know one another in a relatively relaxed and no-expectations atmosphere, often at a bar, restaurant, or similar — the goal is to chat and get to know one another, not to hook up (yet)

monogamy | we use this to reference a sexual relationship between two partners exclusively

play | being physically, sexually intimate with others — could be your partner or other(s)

parallel play | playing with your own partner in the same room with, maybe on the same bed or couch as, another couple or couples

same room play | taking part in play within the same room as your partner, but with a different partner or partners

separate room play | taking part in play in the same building/location but a different room as your partner, with a different partner or partners — in such a way that you can’t touch, see, or communicate with each other during play

polyamory, polyamorous | loosely used by us as a synonym for non-monogamy; really, a lot of folks — perhaps more accurately — use this term for people who are in intimate, loving, ongoing relationships with more than one partner

rule, rules | we tend to use the term “guidelines” for this in reference to ourselves, but many swingers define rules as those tenets they have agreed upon that are not situational and should not get bent or broken during the course of dating and/or playing

sapiosexual | a person who finds intelligence sexually attractive or arousing

swap | exchanging partners with another couple or multiple couples

full swap | includes sexual penetration; fully having sex with a partner other than  your own

soft swap | engaging in just about everything other than sexual penetration with a partner other than your own, according to your established boundaries; usually involves reconnecting with your own partner for fulfillment of sexual penetration

swing, swinger, swinging | to engage in CNM, someone who engages in CNM, engaging in CNM

unicorn | a single female who plays with couples; so named due to relative rarity (as compared with single males interested in the Lifestyle)

vanilla | people, events, and activities NOT associated with the LS

voyeurism | being turned on by seeing, watching others — without touching

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featured photo | Pisit Heng