Reality TV in Atlanta has featured brides, housewives, auction kings, R&B divas, doctors, pastor's wives and now (brace yourself) swingers.
And no, we're not talking swing dancers from that 1996 Vince Vaughn film "Swingers."
We're talking couples who choose to have sex with other couples. Discovery Fit & Health is airing a four-part series about them called "Secret Sex Lives: Swingers."
And since this is Discovery Fit & Health, we see no nudity, nothing salacious at all. (If this had been on Cinemax or Showtime, well, that's a different story.)
Instead, it's a sober, close-to-documentary-style series which involves some serious discussions about the morality and secretiveness of this choice.
Four couples are featured, all first names only. They are of mixed races. I have no idea if they're representative of swingers in general but they're mostly attractive, young and articulate. One couple even just had a child.
I'll write more about the show itself next month before it airs and after I talk to some of the participants and the executive producer. Here are a few quick observations after viewing the first episode:
- The couples refer to swinging as "the lifestyle." As in, "Are you in the lifestyle?" It seems to be a very gentle euphemism for what it is.
- One couple, before the woman became pregnant, had such a voracious sex drive they had sex "five or ten times a night." Yes, that's what she said. She is now struggling with her own body image post baby and is reluctant to get back into the lifestyle because of it. Her husband pressures her for a threesome with a female colleague and she resists.
- It's disconcerting to see one of the men object when his fiance wants to tell her best friend about their "lifestyle" because it's "private" - while being filmed for a TV show that will be available to millions of households.
- It's not all fun and games. At one "lifestyle" party, one man new to the idea is jealous when his wife goes upstairs to talk with another guy.
- One woman feels guilt about the lifestyle and goes to a pastor to seek some religious guidance. You can imagine how that goes down.
Here's a trailer: