Talk of the swinging movement usually conjures up images of long-haired men and women clad in bell-bottoms and dashikis in a sweaty knot on a shag rug. While wife-swapping was a staple of “The Swinging ’70s” dating scene, it didn’t begin there. The origins might surprise you.
Christopher Ryan, author of Sex at Dawn, (the book that caused quite a stir back in 2010 when it attempted to debunk monogamy using evolutionary theories), sat down for an interview yesterday with ReasonTV to discuss his work and revealed where modern day swinging first started: with your grandfather. Well, only if he served in World War II.
Believe it or not, Word War II fighter pilots were the first to toss their keys in a bowl, hoping for a chance at their friend’s hot wife. Ryan says, “World War II fighter pilots had the highest fatality rates of any division of the military. When they were back on base, they had these key parties where they would sleep with one another’s wives.”
In interviews with the fighter pilots, what they found was that it wasn’t really about sex (these studs could have any single woman at any port of call). The reason they were hooking up with their co-worker’s girlfriend was implicitly more chivalrous. Ryan concluded, “They were doing this to create bonds and affiliation and love among the group because 25% of these guys didn’t survive the war. They knew they were facing these odds. And they knew that if they didn’t come home, their buddies would take care of their wives and children because they had developed this love and trust.” Sigh. Oh history, how do you even make doin’ it with your neighbor’s wife look so romantic?
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