A Dubai based psychologist, who is currently counseling four couples of different nationalities, has warned of a disturbing trend of swinging partners among couples living in the UAE.
Dr Roghy McCarthy, clinical psychologist of the Counseling and Development Clinic in Dubai, told the Gulf News that these couples had engaged in sexual activities with other couples in the privacy of their homes or social clubs abroad.
"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," she said.
"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.
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.
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," she added, noting the moral, physical and health-related dangers of such activities.