UAE | General

Disturbing trend: Swinging Couples in the UAE

Shocking but true - some couples in the UAE have been swapping partners

  • By Sharmila Dhal, Senior reporter
  • Published: 00:00 May 12, 2011
  • XPRESS

Dr Roghy McCarthy
  • Image Credit: XPRESS/Francois Nel
  • “Some do it on a regular basis... one to two times a month while others have indulged in it at some point in their lives” Dr Roghy McCarthy, Clinical Psychologist, Dubai

Dubai: A Dubai based psychologist has warned of a disturbing trend of partner swapping among couples living in the UAE.

Dr Roghy McCarthy, Clinical Psychologist of the Counselling and Development Clinic in Dubai, who is currently counselling four couples of different nationalities, told XPRESS that these couples had engaged in sexual activities with other couples in the privacy of their homes or social clubs abroad.

She has counselled 10 such cases over the past five years in the UAE.

The French doctor said swinging couples in a committed relationship like a marriage usually agree to engage in sexual activities with other couples for a variety of reasons which may not be the same for both partners.

Some do it for variety or curiosity while others look at it as a social interaction to satisfy their or their partners' sexual desires.

Mutual agreement

"The agreement is usually mutual but in most cases I have dealt with, one of the partners is a victim. One of them floats the idea and the other agrees just to keep the so-called marriage going for fear of breaking up the marriage for the sake of the children, financial comfort or social stigma of divorce," she said, noting that the couples are usually well-off.

Dr McCarthy said the couples come from different nationalities and are above the age of 20. "They are caught in an unequal marriage where one is ready to do anything to be accepted by the other."

Swinging is common in the West and does not involve money, she said, noting that it reflects a combination of voyeurism and exhibitionism, besides a deep sense of emotional insecurity among those involved.

"Couples come to us for marriage counselling and we chance upon their swinging when they open up about their intimacy," she said.

"Some do it on a regular basis which could be one to two times a month while others have indulged in it at some point in their lives."

"The partners do not connect with each other emotionally. They have no love or respect for one another, only a sense of emptiness which they seek to fill," she said.

"The victim in the relationship needs to gain self-esteem and confidence to be able to say no," said Dr McCarthy, noting the moral, physical and health-related dangers of such activities.

Comments (10)

Share your views
  1. Added 13:31 May 12, 2011

    Must remember NOT to visit Dr McCarthy if I have any personal issues I want to discuss with a counsellor. I don't want my personal problems splashed all over the newspapers.

    Ken, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 11:19 May 12, 2011

    This is shocking to know that even a country like UAE is now the victim of Western culture onslaught. Western culture has penetrated so much in our society that the sanctity of marriage, chastity of women, honour and respect between a husband and a wife are being forgotten which is shameful and alarming. It is disgusting. Being a Muslim, my heart bleeds when I see this promiscuous behaviour among legally-married couples from whichever religion they come from. Islam protects the chastity of women and safeguards the honour of all men and women in the world. Islam is a liberator of humanity. Only if people could compare Islamic culture fairly with other cultures, the truth will come out.

    Syed M.A. Hashmi, Sharjah (U.A.E.), United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 11:12 May 12, 2011

    This is a very unhealthy practice. This is a way of 'legal prostitution'. The most sad thing with this is, we cannot stop or prevent by law. Only people involved in such things sould think about its morality.

    Sulfi, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 10:42 May 12, 2011

    It is no surprise about swingers. If you come across social networking sites there are many details about who are residing in Dubai and particularly from the sub-continent which is most shocking, given their culture, tradition and family values. Dr.McCarthy has very well-defined about the partners interest which is the absolute reason.

    Thameez, Abu dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 10:20 May 12, 2011

    Why should a doctor like her reveal such practice exists. She will not be trusted by her clients again although she did not mention names. This is a private matter.

    Larry, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 10:11 May 12, 2011

    Everyday I become sure that these people do not differ from animals in their sexual behavior (anyone, anywhere,anytime, it doesn't really matter) but it surprises me that they do not know that the difference between humans and animals is a brain to think.

    Shery, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 09:58 May 12, 2011

    Oh..you will find this all over facebook...so many of them offering / seeking for swinging couples...the content posted in their profile is so vulgar , nude pics etc.. it's sad and suprising that its going unnoticed. it obvoiusly works full fledged

    Observer, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 09:04 May 12, 2011

    Why are such blanket unfounded statements such as 'swinging is common in the west' allowed into this article? IT IS NOT COMMON and has the same undertone as it does here, it happens, yes, as it does all over the world, but it is not common. Common is a 'cold' where everyone has it once in their life. Come on you can do better

    jimmy blue, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 08:19 May 12, 2011

    So BAD...i dont know wat will happen if things will go this way..it will effect badly on their own kids..end of the world..thats what i can say...

    Fatima Khan, Abu dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 06:23 May 12, 2011

    If this is an upward graph then this needs to be curbed. Compromises made to save a marriage is good, but then making "these" compromises would only end up with the spouses getting more apart from each other. Besides, doing this would only pose a poor example for the next gen to follow. However, can this be termed a "compromise"??? One way to solve this is strong refutal by either one of the partners thereby taming the other.

    Tina Vibin , Kollam , India

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