At the swinger meeting in Härnösand, the participants have sex in the pursuit of freedom.
There is no jealousy in our relationship, says Marcus, 41.
Norrköping, 19 October. After weeks of media coverage and greater interest in participants than one could meet, the doors to Eyes wide shut – the swinger party, which according to the organizer is Sweden’s largest ever.
The images spread quickly: women and men in extravagant masks, gold-colored rococo furniture, large paintings with naked bodies, candelabra rising to the ceiling.
The club’s website says about “party, glamor and world-class erotic atmosphere”. The evening culminates with the drama of the famous ritual scene from Stanley Kubrick’s film, with a hired director.
Just over a month later, after no media coverage at all (rather in secret from the outside world), there is a swinger meeting in Härnösand.
When we open the door to the apartment, we are greeted by a cozy home. The kitchen table is full of pick-me-up food. On the bench are lit candles, a wine box, and a couple of beer cans. The framing differs markedly from that in the Eyes wide shut pictures. At the same time, it is much more representative of life as a swinger in a small Swedish town.
Around the table, the participants sit and talk. They are wearing jeans, shirts, tank tops, and black socks – except for Malin, 23, who has a black lace bodysuit and leather skirt.
She sits on the lap of Marcus, 41, who is sitting closest to the door. They are a couple, live in the apartment, and are the hosts of the evening. They have been together for 1.5 years and met outside the swinger scene, although both have experience from it before.
– I became a swinger seven years ago. I was single and wanted to have sex with other couples, so I created a profile on Body contact and started looking. Today I arrange my own meetings and send invitations to maybe 100 people, says Marcus.
As an organizer, Marcus invites those he considers serious. The meetings, or dating evenings as they are called, take place in different places depending on the number of participants. If it is around 6-8, the place can stay at home. If there are more, it can be in a hotel, for example in Sundsvall.
– A dating night usually starts with eating something together. Then it usually solves itself. When someone gets hungry, he or she takes someone into a room and soon the others follow. Then we work for 3-4 hours, says Marcus.
Next to Marcus is Erik, 41, from Medelpad. He is the only single of the evening and has been to a couple of meetings before.
– I was invited by Marcus. He said that it is good to have single men because men often “run out” faster during the evening. Therefore, it can sometimes take a couple of men for a woman to feel really satisfied.
On the other side of the table are Mats, 46, and Josefin, 45. They are a couple, live in Sundsvall, and have been swingers for 17 years.
– Many people think that you become a swinger because you are not happy with your partner. For me, it is the opposite. When you start having sex with someone, it is almost unthinkable that you like exactly the same things. Somewhere someone will have to stand back because the other does not turn on anything. Being a swinger is a way to give that little extra to your partner, as a loving gesture, says Josefin.
She gets up from the table and goes to the bathroom. When she comes out again, she has changed into fishnet stockings, black shoes with stiletto heels, a short skirt, and a leather corset.
Lars, 42, turns over his shoulder towards Mats.
– What a nice wife you have, he says while Josefin sits down at the table again.
Lars is sitting at the corner of the table together and Madelene, 31. They are a couple and live in a place in Jämtland.
– A close friend of mine knows that we are swingers. He thinks it seems exciting and would like to try, but he does not dare ask his wife. She thinks that all swingers should be bundled together and shot. She said that once when they watched TV, says Lars.
All participants agree that there are preconceived notions about the lifestyle. That is why none of them want to put up with their real names in the report. That is a problem, says Malin.
– People seem to think that swingers are some kind of sex monsters who can not control their urges. They think we’ll get horny as soon as we’re alone in a room. You do not seem to want to think that these are normal people.
The group begins to move towards the living room. That’s where the photography begins. Step by step, clothes start to fall to the floor. Marcus looks at Malin as she poses with Mats and Josefin.
– There is no jealousy in our relationship. This is because we live with total openness, and there is no incentive to be unfaithful. If any of us feel that we want to try something new, we go on a dating night, says Marcus.
Madelene comes and sits on his lap. Marcus caresses her thighs while the camera flash strikes. She smiles.
– Doing this means that I get to experience the tingle from the first date over and over again while living with the world’s best partner.