Spouse-swapping, a popular Harvard pastime back in the swinging 1970s, has seen an alarming resurgence in recent months. Town officials have struggled with how to address the problem without casting blame on beleaguered couples who’ve been unhappily cooped up together for more than a year. A number of solutions have been proposed, including the possibility of issuing renewable spouse-swapping licenses, which would be available at the town beach kiosk and could become a reliable source of town revenue.
But this week, after consulting with the Parks and Recreation Commission, the Select Board decided against endorsing spouse-swapping, even to help balance the budget. Instead, board members are considering an outright ban, which could result in fines. In this way, the town could maintain the high moral ground while still cashing in on the virtual certainty of noncompliance.
If approved, the ban would be incorporated into the town’s existing Objectionable Behaviors Bylaw, which prohibits such popular activities as skinny dipping at the town beach and public nudity at the Prospect Hill overlook.