War Widow, Penny Swinton, whose husband Mark died tragically in the Afghan conflict, feels her decision to to recommence the hi-octane swinging lifestyle the couple once enjoyed together would have received his blessing.
Mark Swinton, serving in Helmand province with the 2nd Yorkshire Regiment, was killed when an IED blew off his legs and the genitals he had put to such effective use on Doncaster’s healthy and vigorous wife-swapping scene. Mrs Swinton said, ‘Many of the people at my swinger’s club have lost loved ones to the conflict. Sometimes it’s just a shoulder to cry on, but inevitably one thing leads to another. I really am itching to get back out there, although my doctor says it could just be a reaction to the antibiotics.’
‘Mark and I had an open relationship and I encouraged him to sleep with girls he found on the streets of Kabul – not easy as the Taliban were executing all prostitutes over the age of twelve, especially if they were caught with a book in their hands.’
And in a tragic twist Mark’s favourite ‘Jasmina’ was beheaded after a Taliban commander discovered she was up to page fifty-six of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, where Harry uses his wand to stun a deer. ‘I know that affected him deeply’, she said. ‘After that I encouraged him find stimulation by leaning against the jeep with the engine still running, which obviously puts one at risk of sniper fire.
‘But Mark knew the risks and he was very much accustomed to putting himself in extreme situations. Believe me, when you’ve picked up the keys to Fiona Sheppey’s Nissan Micra you’re prepared for anything.’
Swinton has been a tireless campaigner throughout the conflict and even sang a line on the Military Wives single in spite of a persistent rash. Yet Society has been quick to pass judgement. Friends have warned her against rushing into any scenario that involves multiple partners - to preserve Mark’s memory by keeping her dignity intact, to stoically maintain the role of ‘grieving widow’.
She continued, ‘Everywhere I look there are reminders of him - the posthumous medals on the mantlepiece, the gaffer tape, lube and handcuffs in the bedside cabinet.’
‘Perhaps you’d like to join in me in lighting a candle in Mark’s memory’
‘Er... no, not that one. Here, let me get you a cloth.’