CLEVELAND – Despite the discreet nature of those who participate in it, Tom Meyer, The Investigator, found out that "swinging" is an increasingly popular activity in northeast Ohio.
The investigation was an Action News exclusive.
Carol and her husband Dave have each had up to 15 sex partners in the five years that they've been swingers.
"We've had a couple threesomes and some foursomes," Carol said.
When asked how she feels when she sees her husband having sex with another woman, Carol said, "It's exciting."
Dave, meanwhile, had mixed feelings when he first watched his wife intimately involved with another man.
"It was excitement, lust," Dave said. "I was jealous. I was excited."
While AIDS didn't do much for the swingers' movement, it has grown recently with a reported 800 couples in northeast Ohio swapping partners. They use an adult publication and the Internet to make themselves known and to advertise upcoming events.
Swingers keep a low profile for fear that they might be judged too harshly, according to marriage and sex therapist Dr. Stephen Levine.
"Those of us who endorse conventional life want to label those people automatically sick," Levine said.
Dave and Carol might swap partners and visit strip clubs for excitement, but they're not ashamed of who they are or what they do.
"Sex with other people is fun," Carol said. "It's recreational."
"They can have sex with multiple partners without it being a secret," Levine said.
The free love and partner swapping usually occurs at nightclubs that host swinger events. Things might first look and feel like any club, but before too long, people are getting naked, watching x-rated videos and having sex in both private and group rooms.
Interestingly, the couple with whom Action News spoke said that they believe in the Ten Commandments, including the one that says, "Thou shalt not commit adultery."
"I really don't think it's adultery when you're doing something that both of you consent to or that all four of you consent to," Carol said.
Despite the fact that there are real medical dangers, swingers feel that they're taking a minimal risk, if any at all.
"Safe sex is always practiced," Carol said. "Condoms are always used."
According to Levine, swinging is a rule-changing experience -- it defies the norm.
"This is not something that is most people's cup of tea," Levine said. "It's one thing to have a fantasy about it. It's another thing to experience your spouse being touched intimately by another person."