A photographer is sharing an intimate look at the secret lives of swingers after being welcomed into a local community of sexually adventurous people.
Photographer and author David Haslam, 52, spent eight months recording swinger culture in southeast Michigan, photographing and interviewing participants at their sex parties.
He has now launched a Kickstarter to raise funds to publish the images in a book called Swing Strong: The Naked Truth.
Haslam is not a swinger himself, and had no experience with the community until earlier this year.
That’s when a friend who used to be a swinger herself, until she met her husband at one of these parties, suggested he photograph the swingers, and introduced him to a few of them.
From then on, he spent months attending their sex parties, which ranged from small gatherings to hotel parties of around 80 people.
Haslam says that the ones he’s met and photographed are all ‘regular’ people with normal jobs, despite what those outside the community might think.
‘The lifestyle is considered on the fringe or even taboo in most parts of the “vanilla” world,’ he wrote on Kickstarter.
The ones he met come in all types: They have different income and education levels, work in different fields, are racially diverse, and have all different body types, from fit to overweight.
Both singles and couples are known to attend these parties. Sometimes, the couples are married and started swinging after years together to spice things up.
‘Swinging is not a large group of people living in run-down trailer parks, having free sex with everyone and anyone,’ he explained.
‘There are protocols in place. Rules to be followed. A certain social structure to be observed.’
Condoms are almost always used, and there is a trust among the group where strong friendships form.
‘Swingers watch each other’s backs, and troublemakers and rule-breakers are removed from the organized swinging groups,’ he wrote.
Though the group is mixed in most ways, Haslam said men outnumber the women at these parties.
‘As a result the women always get plenty of action if they want it,’ he told The Sun. ‘As a matter of fact, the entire culture, at least from what we’ve seen so far, is controlled by the women. No means no. People are protective of the ladies involved.’
Women he has interviewed have also told him that they are more comfortable with men who are also swingers than those they meet outside the community.
Pictures from the parties show couples and groups of three smiling in bed. They hug, kiss, and cuddle.
They’re pictured in various states of undress, with opposite and same-sex couples touching each other.
Haslam is currently raising funds for a ‘pilot’ book but hopes to turn the photos into a series.
‘I think people are curious about swinging and desire a peek into the world, or for those who might be interested in trying it out for themselves. It is also a vehicle for self-expression, both physical and intellectual, by the participants,’ he said.
‘Many of them would not be considered sexy by mainstream standards, yet they exude confidence and sensuality in every aspect. It has been an unexpected benefit to help many individuals portray their sexuality.’