History of Wife Swapping Today what we called "a swinger lifestyle" was previously known as "wife swapping". This term is use to describe a form of recreational social and sexual intercourse between consenting adults. It is simply being open about you sexual feelings and being adventurous about it. Wife swapping probably began since the dawn of time. From our history records at museums and in libraries we can find some sort of written documents from the ancient Rome and its' orgies.