Who Knows Their Bedroom Secrets? Communication Privacy Management in Couples Who Swing

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Swinging is a lifestyle choice where members of a couple seek out other couples or sometimes singles, with whom to engage in sexual activity. Swinging is a lifestyle associated with the 1960s and 1970s, but Americans still engage in swinging activities today. Because of stigmas associated with this practice, swinging couples often keep their lifestyle concealed from family and friends. These couples have a unique lifestyle that requires strong communication and boundary management styles. Scholars use communication privacy management theory to examine how individuals or couples disclose private information and how this private information is then co-owned by both parties. ... continued below

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Sova, Melodee Lynn August 2012.

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  • Sova, Melodee Lynn

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Swinging is a lifestyle choice where members of a couple seek out other couples or sometimes singles, with whom to engage in sexual activity. Swinging is a lifestyle associated with the 1960s and 1970s, but Americans still engage in swinging activities today. Because of stigmas associated with this practice, swinging couples often keep their lifestyle concealed from family and friends. These couples have a unique lifestyle that requires strong communication and boundary management styles. Scholars use communication privacy management theory to examine how individuals or couples disclose private information and how this private information is then co-owned by both parties. The purpose of this study was to understand whom swinging couples disclose their lifestyle to, and what risks the couple experienced from the disclosures. The swingers disclosed to friends in most cases and were concerned about risks of stigma, privacy, and relationship termination. In this exploratory study I showed that swingers’ privacy management seems to align with the components of CPM in concealing or revealing their lifestyle to others. However the findings also indicate that swingers utilize self-disclosure for recruitment into the lifestyle, and that the disclosures seem to be more spontaneous then strategic. Future research should look further into the privacy management of swingers, as well as other ways in which they manage their stigmatized identities.

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  • August 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • March 4, 2013, 2:02 p.m.

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  • Nov. 16, 2016, 3:47 p.m.

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Sova, Melodee Lynn. Who Knows Their Bedroom Secrets? Communication Privacy Management in Couples Who Swing, thesis, August 2012; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149665/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .