Swinging, in case you didn’t know, is a non-monogamous practice, participated in by consenting adults, whereby people explore their sexual fantasies with one another by participating in group sex or the swapping of sexual partners within a group. Ireland's swinging community, despite being shrouded in secrecy, is expansive, with diverse participants, ranging from young unmarried couples to mature, long-married partners. The idea of swapping partners can seem unconventional to many, but it's a part of the Irish social fabric that cannot be overlooked.
The operation of the swinging community in Ireland can be accredited to both physical premises and digital platforms. Clubs across Dublin, Cork, Limerick, and other Counties extend a welcoming hand to this friendly, open-minded community. These venues provide a safe and discreet environment where couples and singles can explore their interests. So too, has the digital age proven instrumental in connecting like-minded individuals, with numerous websites geared towards fostering the scene.
The swing community is centred around consent, trust, communication, and understanding. Participants must have an open and honest dialogue about their desires, limits, and rules. The community in Ireland is generally well-mannered and respectful, making it an environment where people's boundaries and relationships are taken seriously. It's not just about sex; it's about creating a space where people can express their desires freely.
It's worth noting that the Irish swinging community is cloaked in discretion to guard its participants from societal judgment. Even so, this doesn't detract from the community's vibrancy. Regular gatherings called 'Swing Parties' or 'Meet and Greets' are organised in discreet yet charming venues, which often feature themed nights, competitions, and interesting games, making for fun-filled explorations of this alternative lifestyle.
One of the main organisers of said events is a swing collective that go by the name ‘ENVY’. Starting in 2019, ENVY have quickly established themselves as the main powerhouse in the Irish swing community. Their social events offer people a safe, relaxed environment to connect with like-minded individuals, while their play parties have become the stuff of legends.
We managed to track down one of ENVY’s head organisers, Gemma, who was more than happy to share her views and experiences with us. Gemma had A LOT to say about swinging, Ireland and all things ENVY. Buckle up readers, this is a tasty one!
1. So Gemma, thank you for taking the time to talk with us here at Eden’s Temple and dish the dirt! Tell us about ENVY? The origins, how long is it active?, the ups and downs, how it's grown etc...
So we started ENVY back in 2019. It began with myself and my hubby Peter along with two other couples. We met at a club, had great fun together and we just all seemed to bounce off each other from a personality perspective.
After lots of chats, fun and lots of interaction, we all came to the realisation that something was missing for each of us on the Irish swing scene and so myself Peter organised some socials. One of the other couples did some parties and things were picking up a bit and getting exciting and just before one of said parties, around June 2019 (actually on our wedding anniversary!), the six of us were sitting having dinner before the party kicked off. It was there that we decided that we’d do this more, you know, more professionally and maybe launch as a brand. The six hands went into the middle of the table and we did the ‘one, two, three, go ENVY!’... and so ENVY was born.
So, that was the origin of it way back in 2019. We were really just kind of getting the wind under our sails as such and unfortunately we had a massive event planned for the March of 2020 and we all know what happened then.
We had this massive event planned, a marquee type event which had to be cancelled. Then the next two years were really tough trying to get the brand off the ground with restrictions etc. We didn’t let it deter us though. Once the restrictions were lifted, we had lift off and we’ve grown massively over the past 18 months or so.
2. What's the difference between an ENVY Social and an ENVY Party?
Basically, attending a social is a pre-cursor to getting an invite to one of our parties. The socials are just like any other nightclub but the dress code is a lot sexier and the topic of conversation a lot more interesting than your average night out. People use the socials to meet up with others they may have spoken to online and check them out in person. There can be a lot of sexy dancing and heavy petting but no play is allowed at the socials. The parties are where all the real fun happens. We host our parties in luxurious mansions around the Dublin area. Guests are welcomed for a drink or two and some nibbles and then tend to disperse throughout the house as the night goes on. You could see anything depending what room you walk into, from couple swap action to a full blown orgy. We also have a kink room that features a St. Andrew's Cross and other pleasure tools, things tend to get very steamy in the kink room! Depending on what you're into, there's a space for everyone.
3. For those interested, how do people get an invite?
So for anyone who is interested in coming to an ENVY Social, currently we predominantly do invites through fabswingers.com and fe
We do have a Tinder presence too and so we will personally vet people through that method as well. But all our vetting is a personal approach. We've met people one to one, we've met people as a foursome or six-some as well. We will have a lot of interaction with people if there's not a huge amount of presence on any of the alternative websites, we would do a more personalised vetting approach to those.
We do have exceptions to those rules. Of course, if people are traveling from a distance, we will have to put that sort of personal verification type of approach to it because we do have to approach that a little bit differently.
In regards to the parties, we do prefer our party invitees to have attended an ENVY social and received some verifications from that ENVY social because really at the end of the day, if you attend an event for 200 people and you come out of it with no verifications, we're not really sure how well you interacted at a social level.
We have to be mindful when we're looking at each event, at each party event. We do a lot of research in the background when deciding on the guest list (demographic, theme etc..).
Registering your interest for a party, even at the very early stages of something being advertised, there's no guarantee obviously that you'll get an invitation because it depends on how many invites we've put out there, how many singles we've allowed for, how many couples we've allowed for and obviously the overall head count of the property.
There's a lot of different pieces to apply to a party invite. So even if you do register interest at the very early stages of advertising an event it does not guarantee that you will get that.
4. Have you ever been to any events in other countries and how do they differ to the ones in Ireland?
Well, so far, myself and Peter have been to clubs in the UK and the UK is very open. We've been to a few clubs over there and different types of events as well.
All six of us went to, actually there was, I think about maybe 20 of us in total, actually went to the Torture Garden kink event in London last year. And it was probably the best experience we've had, probably about a thousand people in the place.
There were different floors and different things going on, and we just absolutely loved the whole vibe of it. The kink community is slightly different to the non -monogamous community. Kinksters are very open people.
And so everybody just was so warm and welcoming at that event. So I think that was probably the best we've had. Now, we're not kinksters by definition I guess but I love the dress -up, cosplay element of kink, so it was a thoroughly enjoyable event.
5. For those curious and wanting to strike up a conversation with their partner, have you any advice on where to start?
I mean, my husband, Peter, obviously knew that I would be open-minded enough to have the conversation or certainly put the, you know, put the little nuggets of information out there.
However, I do know that the conversation itself can be quite daunting if your partner appears to be quite closed to any sort of alternative lifestyle maybe.
So it's a little bit hard to kind of, I suppose, give advice on how to approach that or what to say or what to do because everybody obviously has a different way of communicating with their partner. But I do think that the key word is communication.
And although it is a scary conversation to have with someone who you've built a life with and you do love, but, perhaps there's just something missing for you as an individual or maybe you just want more in your sex life.
Maybe your sex life is quite fine, but you just want to pop a bit of spice in there.
I don't believe there's any room in this for people going ahead and just doing all of this stuff behind someone's back. To cheat on a partner anyway is just not in my vocabulary anyway but to cheat and set up a whole lifestyle around going to events and parties and socials and stuff like that, without the other person being aware, is morally just not okay and the whole stance that we have as a community is ethical non monogamy.
It's ethically not correct to go ahead and start up this lifestyle on your own just because you're afraid of having a conversation with a partner who you potentially believe will be close to this conversation.
So that would be my number one piece of advice, do not do this behind someone's back. If you are afraid it's going to potentially end your relationship with this person, you have to weigh up what it is you want in life.
So I think people really need to think about 100% if this is the lifestyle they really want to immerse themselves in. And if it is, if they look at themselves, they truly think this is the lifestyle for them, then really you've got to grow a pair, you've got to accept the consequences of the conversation, but you have to have the conversation, end of.
6. Ireland is often accused of being 'old fashioned' and 'stone age' in its views towards sex, do you agree?
Yes, I do agree with that 100%. There is a certain demographic still here in this country that have a very catholic shame approach to sex.
They probably can't even say the word sex! And anything seen outside of marital sex, missionary position, whatever you want to say, I would definitely think that people have a view that that's all weird stuff. On the flip side, I've heard people suggest that anybody who is in a non monogamous relationship, open relationship, kink lifestyle, anybody who's into any sort of ‘alternative’ lifestyle would say maybe we're ‘normal’ and everything else is alternative which is a very interesting way to look at it all!
But there's a lot of old fashioned stone aged views and approaches to just non monogamy in general, like it's “promiscuous” and “you can't be doing that!”.
Tinder is a hookup site, it really is. I've been banned over four times, I think, because it's clear I'm not there to date and that goes against their community guidelines, of course, and the only reason you get banned is because someone reports you so even on Tinder people can be a little old fashioned when they look at the likes of me there just for sex. But you know, even the whole online dating thing seems to raise a few eyebrows for people in general anyway.
7. What do you think needs to happen for it to change?
I think the younger generation coming through, you know, are so open -minded, way more open -minded than at times even I am.
With that mindset coming through over the next 20 years, I can see this country being a very, very different country when it comes to opinions and views on sex.
So it'll be interesting to watch over the next few decades and see the kind of evolution of Ireland in that way because it is happening and it will happen. The UK, Europe, they're all very open and they've been open about this lifestyle for years and we'll eventually catch up with them.
8. Should non-monogamy be more mainstream?
I don't necessarily think I would like our non -monogamous kind of parties and events to be so mainstream that they're just, yeah, it's just on the corner of the street there in that building and everybody knows about it! Because I think the draw to our types of events is that it is in the shadows and it is a thing that people do together as a couple maybe or as a single exploring his or her sexuality. That's their privacy and their private time and they like going to those events and they're liberated by doing it, but it's because they're doing it together or they're doing it maybe a little bit in secret and it's a little bit secret for them.
So while I do think we'll catch up with other European countries in our opinions and our views towards sex and our approaches to all of these events I do think that it will remain somewhat private and in the shadows, which I would agree with.
9. Do you have any kinks or fetishes yourself?
I'm not a Kinkster by nature really. I do love the cosplay aspect to it and the theatrical side of it to be fair. I’m a big fan of latex or wet look outfits. I love how it looks and feels on my skin. When we went to Torture Garden although I'm not immersed in that side of life I do find Kinksters far more open and the theatre of that event was right up my street (even if I didn't partake in anything of actual kink nature). Kinksters have very little inhibitions and are extremely open to whatever it is you're into. I like this side of it. Friendly people just allowing their fellow humans to be themselves. I love a kink event and I’ve grown to love a bit of flogging when it's done in the right hands - I've been lucky to experience this with a couple of really well weathered Kinksters who made it an amazing scene for me - and I feel if I really let myself go I think I'd be able to take quite the flogging to be fair.
I suppose in general perhaps you could look on hotwifing as a kind of fetish really. Recording footage or taking pics of me in some sexy compromising positions and sending them to an unsuspecting husband can I think be classed as a fetish perhaps?
10. What's your favourite sex toy?
So I have been blessed with the gift of coming easily both vaginally and clitorally so sex toys are not a huge thing for me as they'd be only out of the wrapper and I'd be finished! But I've tried wands and although they can be strong enough to strip wallpaper in some folks hands, I did like that. I do have a strap on which I would use as a dildo when the mood is extremely horny and there is no husband or extra spice available to me haha but in general my actual favourite sex toy is my husband's cock!
11. What's the funniest and/or wildest sexual encounter that you're willing to share?
Funny story, I guess, with one of the downsides of the early days, which turned out to be fun. Our very first party, we had 75 people arriving on the Saturday and on the Thursday, the landlord, landlady, whatever, canceled our booking. We realized last minute that on the listing, there was a flat at the base of the property and we started asking questions about, you know, do we have access to this? And the landlady was like “oh, no, no, I stay there when there's someone staying in the house!”. So we all kind of put the panic boots on and we started asking a few more questions and then she just started getting freaked out and she canceled our booking!
So we've our very first party to pull off here with 75 people arriving within 48 hours and no venue! I was driving around laneways close to where we live, I left work and everything, driving around looking for fancy properties in Dublin, knocking on doors to see could we have a party in the house, could we pay them to take their house for a weekend.
And on the Friday, we did pull it off and in true ENVY style (we always fall on our feet) we secured an absolutely fantastic property! That was our very first party and we couldn't have picked, or we couldn't have been blessed with, I should say, a better property because it was just phenomenal.
So the bar was set extremely high from that on, but yeah, we pulled it off and we still continue to get surprised by these things and that's the nature of the model that we have, you know, renting high scale properties for our get-togethers. Always room for surprises!
12. Tell us about your plans for the future?
So after originally starting as a group of six (three couples), the ENVY collective is now four. The other couple that have stepped away, they are more on the kink side of life and that's where their path is. That's where their journey is and that's what they've really found themselves exploring more.
So, coming soon, we will have a brand spanking new ENVY website and an ENVY app on the way. The idea is that we will have our ticket for events sold through there aswel as allowing the community ‘weareENVY’ grow and interact.
A verification process will be applied to people signing up for the use of our website and our app. And again, there's no guarantees of receiving an invite just because you’ve registered an interest. But we do hope that in time, everyone who's verified, vetted and registered on the ENVY app will be able to attend any socials or parties that come up and everyone will be free to explore their sexual fantasies in real luxury!
Looking to explore your innermost desires and share sexual experiences with new partners in luxurious settings? You can find the ENVY website right here. Follow them on Instagram @weare_envy and follow the hotwife adventures of Gemma herself @gemmahotwife
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