Since getting into the swing of things (yes, pun intended) requires a bit of prep work, you'll want to talk it out first.
Others—like hopping into a sex swing for the first time—may feel a bit more intimidating.
Many people may not even know what a sex swing is, which is why we asked Victor Tobar, national buying and merchandising manager at The Pleasure Chest, and sex swing enthusiast, to explain. “My first experience using a sling was at a sex party at a dungeon in NYC. I was with a date who was in the sling, and I think we were both a combination of nervous about trying something new—particularly about trying something new in public—and also really excited about getting to try this new kind of bondage,” Tobar says.
But really, the swing is not that complicated (nor are they only available at sex parties—more on that later): “Think of a swing in a playground, but for adults,” says Tobar. “They vary in shape, so the partner who is on the sling is either fully or partially reclined. Some slings have one or more points that connect to a bolt in the ceiling, and some come with free-standing frames, so you don't have to get out your power tools,” he says. One thing all swings all have in common is that they give the partner standing on solid ground more access to their swinging partner’s bod.
Since getting into the swing of things (yes, pun intended) requires a bit of prep work, you'll want to talk it out first. "Introducing the idea to a partner can be as simple as talking about trying new positions, or it can be focused on trying something adventurous and fun that will level up your experience of intimacy," says Santos, a Pleasure Chest employee who’s experimented with sex swings before.
To get the lowdown on what it's really like to use a sex swing, we asked sexperts for everything you need to know before giving it a go.
Okay now that you're both on board, how do you actually take the thing for a test drive? If you're looking to experiment with using a sex swing at home, first of all, you're going to want to buy cheap, says Reid Mihalko, a sex and relationships expert and emcee of this year's Sex Expo. Figure out if you're into it before investing in a high-end swing (just beware the cheaper ones are less comfortable so you may find yourself wishing for a little more padding). Sex swings can range in price from under $100 to up to $500.
To get the scoop on how to start swinging, check out a local feminist sex-toy shop where you can chat with an expert who might be better equipped to guide you than Google, says Mihalko. (He named The Pleasure Chest, Babeland, Good Vibrations, and Smitten Kitten as top picks in New York City.) Depending on the type of swing you get, you may have to do a little home renovation/installation, so for first timers or apartment dwellers, look for free-standing swings or slings you can put over the back of a door.
Trying one out for the first time can require a bit of troubleshooting—just like a swing on the playground or a hammock, it moves as you’re trying to climb in (duh) and get settled. “It took a little bit of figuring out,” says Tobar. “A little bit of laughter can help to ease the tension of trying something new.”
“People use sex swings for many different reasons,” says Tobar. Number one, they certainly spice things up—using a swing can allow you to try different moves that you just couldn’t do lying on a bed or couch. Secondly, he explains, there’s an element of bondage and power play going on, since the person in the swing is more restricted than they’d normally be. “Most importantly, I think, sex swings induce a sense of adventure and fun. Being suspended and bound, and at your partner's mercy can be incredibly exciting. He also notes that since using a swing requires a lot of trust, it can feel like a really intimate activity.
“My date being in the sling opened up a world of possibilities, because I was totally in charge, and got to create a range of different sensations for her, which felt amazing for me," Tobar says. "Something I really liked about it was being able to create a prolonged sensory experience that wasn't solely focused on penetration—think massaging and oral." During penetration, all that momentum translates to extra intensity and having straps to hold onto can give you the leverage you need to hold a position longer, he says. The most stable sex positions for swinging tend to be ones where you and your partner are facing each other—the swinging partner is on their back with their legs apart and the standing partner is standing between them.
Most importantly, "go in with a playful attitude," Mihalko says. "Make this more about playground fun and adventure and exploration—the hot and sexy will show up later. Once you get the hang of it, it will naturally become sexier and hotter over time."
Think of it as releasing your inner child in a very adult way. “I think slings are very useful for creating a sense of letting go. Once you're in a sling, you get to physically and emotionally lean into it, and open yourself up to different kinds of experiences,” says Tobar. “For me, being in a swing feels liberating. This is the time where I get to let go of control, and just allow myself to be in my body, and to feel the different sensations my partner is taking me through.”