When Allie and I started this adventure we did not sit around the dining room table discussing the rules with endless conversations. We jumped in and had fun. We were (and are) on the same page with a complete understanding of what we enjoy doing in the lifestyle. That said, over the years I have observed some common-sense facts that may be helpful to those of you getting started.
1. There is no right or wrong way to enter the lifestyle. There is only "your" way. Maybe you are the type of couple that needs to have numerous conversations before you dive in. Perhaps you want to start with full swap in different rooms. None of that is as important as communicating and being on the same page as your partner.
2. Avoid couples who are not on the same page aka "drama". These couples are harder to spot when they are hidden behind a profile on a dating site but are easier to detect when you meet them in person. If one half of the couple starts talking 'shit' behind their partner's back, run for the hills. Avoid drama at all costs and move on. If a couple is not on the same page, it won't end well.
3. Swinging cannot fix your relationship. Period. It might enhance your relationship. It may even bring you closer but it will not fix problems. I've seen it first hand and it is not pretty. A fine wine with dinner can make a meal more enjoyable. But if one of you is doing this to push your partner, I can only compare it to pouring wine down a drunk's gullet. If there is a problem in your relationship, swinging can be like a magnifying glass that may blow up your problems at an astronomical rate. Please be on the same page before you jump in bed with others.
4. Stand on the shoulders of giants. Swinging has been around for a long time. You don't have to reinvent the wheel. Be respectful to all swingers past, present and future. An author once said, "We are like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, so that we can see more than they, and things at a greater distance, not by virtue of any sharpness of sight on our part, or any physical distinction, but because we are carried high and raised up by their giant size." During your travels, you will likely meet people older and younger than you. More experienced and less experienced. You can learn something from everyone.
5. Now that I have quoted a fancy-pants author, I will add, "You don't have to over-intellectualize swinging." See observation 1. It is great to hear other's experiences but you should not feel a need to model your behavior based on what others do in the lifestyle. Every couple is unique. As long as you are communicating well and respect your partner and others, you will fit right in.
6. Play at the lowest common denominator. When you are on the same page with your partner you will understand what you and your partner want to do and be able to express your desires clearly to another couple. If a couple does not want to play at your comfort level, don't take it personally. Move on, keep interacting and you will find a couple who enjoys playing the way you do.
7. Never break your rules during play. If you and your partner have discussed doing (naughty sex act) and in the middle of play it comes up, make sure you discuss or get a signal from your partner before plowing ahead.
8. Be approachable, outgoing and smile. Confidence is sexy. Many new couples have a preconceived notion that swingers are going to jump their bones as soon as they arrive. It might happen but more times than not, new couples are frustrated as to why they got little to no 'attention' at the event. Many swingers don't want to jump in bed with a couple that is unsure of themselves...aka potential drama. So it will be up to you to get to know people and make them feel comfortable with your newly found sexual appetite.
This is your adventure. Hold hands, dance and flirt with each other. When you are having fun together, chances are, others will notice and will likely be drawn to your energy.
9. Try to have no expectations other than having fun with your partner. If you approach any swinger outing with a, "let's see what the night brings" attitude, great things are more likely to happen. If you have an agenda, checklist or bed-post that needs marking, you will likely become frustrated. Relax and go with a flow. It's not a race, more like a jog in the park with your partner and new friends. You might have the legs to speed way ahead of them, but where is the fun in that?