After months of persuasion, married couples, single women and others agreed to open up on their passion: swinging. Tall with long blonde hair, she gets literally thousands of offers of sex on swinging websites and at parties. It also means she calls the shots when it comes to choosing who to meet and where.
Hotels and penthouses in Cardiff, where she lives, are in. Travelling anywhere to meet others is out. They were engaged and wanted to try it and see what happens. They had booked a hotel room for the night and driven over, specifically for this. I don't think people realise how much pressure that adds - they have booked a hotel on the expectation that they are going to get something out of you. The conversation was initially just normal. They got me a drink and we chatted for a little bit.
She went to the loo and he told me how nervous she was. I slept with both of them, one at a time and then together. I really enjoyed it, I fancied both of them. There's something about girls who enjoy stuff like this.
They were going to dinner, if I wanted to come. She was brunette, very feminine, pretty, dark eyes. They were going to Chapel [a bar and restaurant] so I went along with them. We had some food and some wine there. They had been recommended the Dead Canary [cocktail bar] so they asked if I wanted to go and have some cocktails. After a couple, I went back with them. That was really fun and I still speak to them now. At Christmas I send them a picture of me in my underwear.
This study of heroin in a Welsh town shows the addiction, violence and tragedy in a small corner of Wales. A victim of horrendous domestic abuse made a secret recording as her boyfriend threatened to cut off her head.
This is her story. The story of Billybanks is the story of how a working class community in Wales was left to rot because they lived on prime real estate. This is the story from inside the city's street sex trade.
Deep in the northern fringes of the Brecon Beacons an old farmer is keeping an isolated, beautiful chapel going. This is the beautiful, poignant story of the remote Welsh chapel where there's only one worshipper left. Beaten with hammers and forced to eat pictures of dead relatives, the victim of 'one of worst ever domestic abuse cases' tells her story.
Yes, the swinging scene really is big. And it's a world away from the middle-aged couples you might imagine chucking their BMW keys into a bowl before a spot of wife-swapping. Apps and websites have meant a massive increase in swinging in the last decade. And two people at its heart are Mike and Cathy, a married couple in their late thirties or early forties who run one of the biggest swinging websites in Wales, Social Swingers. Not that you'd ever suspect that when they walk into a branch of Coffee 1 in Swansea.
They are well-presented with warm smiles. After offering to buy the coffee they take a seat, looking slightly apprehensive despite their smiles. It has taken a lot negotiation for them to agree to meet. It's not, but that doesn't mean it's not extremely secretive. The potential ramifications of people becoming aware of what they do are huge. Mike and Cathy first got involved in the scene in and turned it into a business in , quitting professional jobs to do it full-time. Their website spans the UK and also has a large audience in Europe and America.
The scene is also getting bigger in west Wales. So if the image of keys in a bowl belongs firmly in the s, how does swinging actually happen in the 21st century? That's how Laura describes her first swinging party. She is 30, has a well-paid job in Cardiff and an open relationship with a partner who's significantly older. My partner and I had agreed that if at any point either of us are not OK with what's going on we can communicate and leave.
I was dressed as a mermaid which involved wearing fancy dress stockings and my tits out with starfish on. The people in front of us in the queue had not changed yet and they have a look through their bag.
It was full of latex and they seemed happy with that! They took a seat by the bar and watched as others arrived. There were lots of black outfits, latex and bondage gear, people walking in wearing a dog collar attached to a lead and lots of military stripes and s sailor outfits. Heading out on to the deck to get some air, they got talking to a couple him in boxer shorts and her in an Ann Summers basque and decided to head to the basement together, where people on benches were sat down watching the woman being spanked.
It is just a preference - like you with beards I guess. So went the reply when Marie politely declined a sexual advance on an app, adding that she was not a fan of beards.
It was deeply unpleasant, but not unusual. Anyone who's spent more than a minute on the internet will know how quick people are to hurl physical abuse and sexual threats, especially to women, as the normal rules of interaction go out the window. It happens all the time on Twitter, and it's a regular occurrence for women on swinging apps. They occupy a lot of Mike and Cathy's time on Social Swingers. If we catch anyone doing it, bang, they're out.
Would you go into a park and lop it out? I don't want to see that. As hideous as this is, there is another problem which is the scourge of the online swinging community: catfishing. This comes in many forms but in this context it's where people set up fake accounts using other people's details and photos. You use a fake email. Then, bang, you are now them. You could be dealing with someone who is in the judiciary and these people don't want their personal lives smeared or out in the public. People could exert a lot of influence on these people.
They could be blackmailed. Cheating is still a thing in swinger relationships. So say husband and wife Neil and Melissa, from Llanelli. They are a professional, home-owning couple in their early thirties who have a young child. Although I felt a bit guilty at what I did I also felt the excitement from Melissa, which made us different for a little bit but was also exhilarating. We all agreed it was to happen, albeit mostly by accident. I can say what is on my mind and so can Melissa. I don't think it is self-assuredness because I have always been quite insecure about different parts of my life, who I am, my body and the rest of it.
If you are in a loving relationship, how can you have feelings towards your partner if you don't? From my point of view, the enjoyment outweighs the jealousy. Genuinely, when it tends not to work is when there is one person who is more into the lifestyle than the other. At this point, Cathy laughs and they exchange a look. As long as you talk about it and explain your feelings, where you can put things right. That is how you set boundaries. What everyone seems to agree on is that the boundaries of cheating are very clearly defined.
There are rules. If you are jealous you have to talk about it. It is a matter of necessity. Your relationship depends on openness. Drawing on an extensive survey of real people and over 40 years of research they propose that a non-monogamous lifestyle may be healthier for marriages than a monogamous one. Think about how many monogamous relationships break down or have difficulties because a partner is exchanging flirty texts with someone else.
To one partner it's harmless fun, while to the other it's a gross betrayal. Both sides could be right and it's a matter of perspective. But in a swingers' relationship necessity dictates that these conversations have already been had and the boundaries established.
Marie, the unicorn, found herself in the middle of a couple's jealousy issues. They seemed quite disappointed. I couldn't believe they were surprised! You are asked by couples to join them in fulfilling their fantasy. Our first meet was for one thing: sex. But we connected, in more ways than one and now we are a couple.
Sexually-transmitted infections are a large part of the stigma around the scene.