Over a million Brits admit they regularly enjoy group sex, while wife-swapping has risen 50 per cent in a decade. Closer investigates the surge in swingers
Kathrin Kocsis’s idea of a romantic night out is slightly more complicated than the usual drinks and dinner.
Instead, she and boyfriend Steve Kreisch, 39, prefer to attend one of the many swingers clubs that they frequent to meet exciting new lovers.
And for both of them, sleeping with other people gives them the variety and fun that they crave in their relationship.
A photographer’s assistant from London, Kathrin, 25, was introduced to the swinging scene by Steve.
She explains, “I’m bisexual so that’s one of the reasons I like to indulge. But also I’m extremely open, sexually – I like to experience different partners.
“I love Steve, but to me that doesn’t mean monogamy. I’ve probably slept with around 60 other men since we started seeing each other.”
Kathrin and Steve are some of the 1.5m Brits who happily admit to swinging. Of the people surveyed, almost half (47.7 per cent) said they like to swing with friends, while nearly one-third (27.3 per cent) said they prefer online hook-ups. And 18.8 per cent even invite couples they have met casually into their bedroom.
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Closer’s psychological therapist Emma Kenny explains the surge in swinging, saying, “One of the key factors is the rise of technology – people may have contemplated it years ago, but wouldn’t have known how to find people to be with, and so it stopped at a fantasy.
“Nowadays, it’s incredibly easy to arrange hook-ups, either at clubs, online or via apps specifically for group sex.
“Another huge contributory factor is that female sexuality is now seen as something to be celebrated, rather than repressed. Women feel able to say what they want, sexually. And many of them are more sexually fluid than men – they’re more likely to want to experiment sexually with women, despite having no desire to have a relationship with one, so they may suggest it their partner.
“Plus, it simply isn’t taboo any more. People will talk openly to their friends about any group sex experiences – it has become normalized.
“Some people may almost view the others involved as real-life sex toys.”
But Kathrin is clear that it’s only because her relationship with Steve is so strong that they can indulge in swinging.
She explains, “I’ve seen couples who are unhappy and bored with each other try swinging, and they invariably break up. They feel too insecure about their relationship and get jealous.
“We can do it because I know that Steve isn’t swinging because he doesn’t enjoy sex with me – we have a great time when we’re alone together. Swinging is like an add-on to our relationship, it’s something we can enjoy together. And neither of us gets jealous.
“We tend to go to clubs more than arranging meet-ups online. We will go along and see what happens – we have no boundaries.
“Sometimes we might be with three other couples on a bed, all touching each other. Other times, if we don't fancy anyone, we’ll just watch. We go with the flow. I do like to play with women, but Steve is completely straight.”
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Steve, a photographer, started swinging when he was 23, after finding himself heartbroken at the end of a relationship. He didn’t want another serious romance at that point, so turned to sex parties.
He says, “It seemed like an easier option, and since then, even when I’ve got a girlfriend, I will see if she’s keen to go to sex parties.”
When he met Kathrin three years ago, he told her immediately that he enjoyed swinging.
She says, “I hadn’t done it before, but I’ve always been open-minded and told him I would try it. I wasn’t nervous that first time. We went along to a party and met another couple. We had a few drinks and then moved to the ‘playroom’. I really enjoyed it – I had wondered how it all works, but it all felt really natural and instinctive, just like when you’re with only one person. And I’ve never felt jealous – I’m just not wired that way.
“We go when we feel like it. Sometimes it might be every couple of weeks, other times – like recently, when we’ve been moving house – we haven’t been for a couple of months. It isn’t the be all and end all for us – but it’s great when it happens."
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