The context of swinging, couples need not be married. They should at very least have a little history together and familiar with each others’ emotional needs. This is a very important rule when it comes to being comfortable approaching other couples who are in a swinger lifestyle. The general rule of thumb is that swinging works best when couples view swinging as an enhancement to their existing sexual relationship, rather than to replace a fail one.
If you are thinking of enter swinger lifestyle good communication is critical. There are many different kinds of swinging. Remember whichever one you choose is good as long as your partner and you are clear about what you are doing and why. Sex is a powerful part of human experience and the pleasures that may be found in swinging can generally be reached only when both partners are sensitive to each others' needs. Each must put their partner's confidence and comfort first. From a more realistic point of view, there will always be another party, another personal ad, another dance, or another convention. There may not be another chance to save an exploration into swinging if one partner becomes overwhelmed with it and forgets to treat his or her primary partner with sensitivity and respect.
It is important to remember swinging is only a primarily social activity. The normal social customs of meeting people and initiating a conversation are really not that different than at any other type of social interaction. The process by which associates become close friends is not that different either. The key social behaviors that tend to be appreciated in the swinging community are responsibility, friendliness, flirtatiousness, open-mindedness, and most importantly stability with regard to one's primary relationship.
It might be worth thinking about whether there are any potential situations that you feel you would be more or less comfortable in and then discuss these with your partner. The pros and cons of whether or not you and your mate are compatible with the swinging lifestyle or even interested in it are many. Whatever you do, be sure that both of you are committed to it before ever trying it out.