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Swinger Etiquette: Navigating Rejection in the Lifestyle – Saying Thanks but No Thanks

Couple wearing Partners ID Lifestyle Jewelry giving the thumbs down signal.
Couple wearing Partners ID lifestyle jewelry rejecting another couple.

Rejection is never pretty.

Regardless of how we dress it up, rejection is still ugly. It is hurtful and often feels personal.

For everyone in the lifestyle, this is something we must face at some point, either as the rejector or the rejectee. Let’s face it, this is normal. Everyone will not like everyone else, and we will not be attracted to everyone. The tricky part is letting people know we are not interested in a kind way.

Swinging is a lot like dating.

Swinging is a lot like dating except there are more people involved. Dating is fairly straightforward: one person must like one person. If this happens, the two will move forward. Swinging is much more complex. With each additional person thrown into the mix, finding a match becomes much more difficult.

Every couple in the lifestyle will agree that couples finding couples can be complicated.

Swingers often take to dating sites like SDC, Kasidie, Quiver, FriendFinder, SLS, etc., to find other swingers. They scan photos and read profiles in the hopes of finding attractive and like minded couples to meet.

The process on swinger dating sites generally involves one couple picking out another and sending them an email expressing interest. The receiver of the email will open the profile of the sender and begin with their photos. If there is any spark of interest, they will read the profile.

If the receiver of the email likes what they see, chances are they will respond to your email.

What happens if the couple opens the email and has no interest?

Many times they will simply delete the email and forget about it. Obviously you will realize they are not interested right?

Many couples feel this is the easiest way to convey there is no interest. Some couples feel you owe some type of response to the people who sent the email. It would seem logical that no response means no interest. If you reply to the person, you must reject them in the email. How is that kinder?

How do you reject someone without hurting their feelings?

Is it possible to turn someone down without hurting their feelings? It seems that whatever you say will cause some pain. Often times couples say they simply reply: “We are not a match.” Surely the couple reading that email will take it personally, especially if their profiles seemed to align. This truly is the kindest possible response. No need to explain why, just a simple reply to let them know.

Sometimes couples feel compelled to be honest

Honesty is the best policy, right? Here I have to disagree. There is no need to explain that one of you is not attracted to the sender. No need to comment on their age, weight or other physical characteristic. There is never a reason to be cruel or hurtful.

If you specified in your profile that you are looking for something specific that does not match the sender, then it is ok to point that out. Even in this case, there are ways to say things without being mean.

What if you are not interested in a couple you meet in person?

Rejecting couples in an email is not that hard. What happens when you are face to face with a couple and you have no interest? If this is a couple that approaches you in a club, it is easy to walk away. You make an excuse about going to the restroom or wanting to dance. When you do not return, that should be easy for them to understand. If they seek you out upon your return, letting them know that you would like to walk around and talk to other couples should hopefully be enough.

If a couple is trying to join you while in a play area, usually simply not responding to their advances is enough to let them know. For the bolder couple who does not seem to pick up on non verbal cues, saying no thank you should send them on their way.

The most complicated situation comes when you have agreed to meet in person after exchanging text messages or emails. It is probably a good idea to make your first meeting for a quick cup of coffee. If there is interest, you can always move to sharing a meal.

If your date with another couple is over a meal, this can be more complicated. You and your partner should think about this beforehand and come up with a plan. A simple gesture that you agree upon will let each other know how you are feeling. If one of you wants out, the gesture will let your partner know. The plan should include a way to graciously end the date as soon as possible. This can be followed up with an email explaining that although you thought they were very nice, the chemistry was not there.

What about the couples who simply won’t take no for an answer?

Rejection is always hard because you know you are hurting someone. If the other couple is gracious, this makes it easy. When the other couple simply won’t take no for an answer, it can lead to a much uglier situation.

We have found ourselves in situations where a simple no thank you has turned sour. In a case like this it is important to remember that it is not your problem, but theirs. While we chose to take the high road and be kind, there are couples who somehow feel entitled to your time and attention. Whether this occurs online or in person it can be frustrating. Blocking the couple online is a no brainer.

In person, it becomes a bit more difficult. Avoiding them seems to be the only way around a future problem. If they hang out in the same club as you, chances are you are not alone in your dealings with them. Eventually these couples are isolated because of their behavior.

Bottom line?

At some point in time you will have to reject couples and couples will reject you. Do not take it personally, simply move on.

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