Swingers, straight couples who swap sex partners or have group sex, have some of the highest
rates of sexually transmitted diseases, Dutch researchers said.
The researchers at the University of Maastricht based their findings on the data on patients seeking treatment in 2007 and 2008 at three sexual health clinics in South Limburg, Netherlands.
During the study period, there were just under 9,000 consultations at the three clinics, in which 12% were identified as swingers.
The study, published online ahead of print in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections , found swingers were among those with the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections -- young people and gay men.
The combined rates of Chlamydia and gonorrhea were 10% among straight people, 14% among gay men, just under 5% in female prostitutes and 10.4% among swingers.
While other risk groups for sexually transmitted infections, such as young straight people and gay men, are systematically identified at sexually transmitted infections healthcare facilities and provided with appropriate services, this is
generally not the case for swingers, the authors said in a statement.
The new Sexual Offences Act does not “finally put gay group sex on a par with straight group sex” as widely believed. Gay group sex is now legal. Heterosexual group sex is not.
Almost all hetrosexual group sex is a ‘brothel’ and therefore illegal under the Sexual Offences Act 1956. This is because judges have preposterously extended the definition of a brothel in various decisions. Under Winter v Woolfe 1931 two or
more couples having illicit intercourse under one roof is a brothel whether or not the women are paid. Under Kelly v Purvis 1983 two women being ‘lewd’ with a man is a brothel even if no vaginal or oral sex takes place. Clearly these definitions
criminalise most group sex and swinging encounters.
The House of Commons Research Paper (00/15 7/2/00) that accompanied the Sexual Offences Bill on its passage through Parliament confirmed “in some circumstances group sex acts between heterosexuals might involve the commission of an offence under
section 33 of the 1956 Act of keeping or managing a brothel, as an element of reward is not necessarily required (Kelly v Purvis  1 All ER 525)”.
Swingers themselves are not actually prosecuted but group sex impressarios - swingers club owners and organisers - certainly are, as you reported in the case of the Garden of Eden in 1998. I don’t believe the owners of gay premises or gay event
promoters have ever been prosecuted for running a brothel or living off immoral earnings as the owner of the Garden of Eden was, despite public and group sex being endemic in most gay establishments as everyone knows.
The fact is that in the UK it is legal to organise and provide premises for group sex between men but not between men and women. Not only is this an open and shut case of sex discrimination against women, it clearly violates Article 8 (privacy)
and Article 14 (non-discrimination) of the UK’s obligations under the ECHR.
Swinging is a safe, international, middle class and increasingly popular leisure choice for married and courting couples. Yet contrary to its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights,
the United Kingdom effectively criminalises swingers in contrast to the high degree of tolerance it rightly extends to gay men for precisely the same activities.
This provides the justification used by unethical elements in the press to harass swingers even in their own homes. The British government promotes bigotry against swingers by funding an NGO that campaigns against
swingers by pretending contrary to the scientific evidence that their lifestyle is detrimental to any couple's relationship.
The British government should recognise its responsibilities under the European Convention on Human Rights to respect the sexuality of swingers and stop discriminating against them. It should cease to fund the NGO
that campaigns against swingers and investigate whether it has breached its charitable status; and should legalise swingers' activities and lightly regulate their dedicated premises through Acts of Parliament.