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The upside-down pineapple is way more than just cabin door decor
The upside-down pineapple is way more than just cabin door decor (Photo: jchizhe/Adobe Stock)

Unlocking the Secret Code: Upside-Down Pineapples on Cruise Ships

The upside-down pineapple is way more than just cabin door decor
The upside-down pineapple is way more than just cabin door decor (Photo: jchizhe/Adobe Stock)
Ryn Pfeuffer

Last updated
May 9, 2024

Read time
5 min read

Have you ever noticed that upside-down pineapple symbol on a cruise ship and wondered what it's all about? Whether you're just simply curious or keen to heat up your cruise experience, this guide has got you covered. Get ready to unravel the mystery behind this discreet signal and discover how to add spicy fun to your next cruise.

What does an upside-down pineapple mean?

The upside-down pineapple symbol has a very specific – and sexy – meaning in the world of consensual non-monogamy (CNM). It's commonly used as an identifier within the swinger's community, often displayed on clothing, jewelry, and door decorations, or even in event names like "a [upside-down] pineapple party."

For the uninitiated, swinging is a form of CNM where partnered individuals enjoy sexual exploration, camaraderie with similar souls and bonding through shared escapades. It can encompass a wide range of experiences, from attending parties and social events to more private encounters with other couples or individuals. If you're wondering more about swingers and swinging culture, check out our comprehensive guide to swinging on cruise ships.

An upside-down pineapple is a subtle signal that someone is in the "lifestyle," or LS, to signal interest in potential play. (The pineapple doesn't have to be upside-down to signal swinger activity. Placing a pineapple by the front door is said to indicate a swinger party is underway.)

Per, the origin of this public identification symbol remains a mystery and its popularity surged in the 1990s. It first appeared on Urban Dictionary in 2006 and received a dedicated definition in 2017. Throughout the 2010s and beyond, platforms like YouTube and Reddit exploded with upside-down pineapple discussions.

Interestingly, the pineapple has signified hospitality, warmth, and welcome in various cultures for decades – particularly in Western societies where they were once rare and treasured. In swinging culture, that meaning takes on a saucy new role.

So, do swingers actually use the upside-down pineapple symbol?

Absolutely! The upside-down pineapple symbol isn't just a trend; it's a secret code swingers use to connect with like-minded individuals, whether they're cruising the high seas or scrolling through dating apps. Adventurous guests hang upside-down pineapples on their cabin doors on cruise ships, subtly signaling their openness to swinging.

But the unconventional use of the pineapple symbol doesn't stop there. Dating apps like Feeld are rife with pineapple emojis, indicating users' swinger status and their desire for non-monogamous connections. Dive into the world of #swingtok on Instagram and TikTok, and you'll find a pineapple paradise, with swingers proudly flaunting their lifestyle.

It doesn't end with mere symbolism – swingers go the extra mile, sporting pineapple badges, sipping from pineapple-topped straws, or even donning pineapple-themed accessories like necklaces or anklets, all in the pursuit of thrilling encounters and newfound connections.

What other symbols do swingers use?

Back in 2017, the New York Post got tongues wagging with an article uncovering signs that your neighbor might be into swinging. Among the symbols they highlighted were a black ring on the right hand, a garden adorned with pampas grass, and accessorizing with anklets, toe rings, or thumb rings. They even mentioned subtle hints like moving your wedding ring to the right hand or decking out your front yard with white landscaping rocks or pink/purple decorations. And, of course, the cherry on top (or should we say pineapple?): an upside-down pineapple door knocker.

What's the protocol for connecting with someone displaying the upside-down pineapple?

When it comes to connecting with fellow swingers, there's no instruction manual, but here's a nifty trick: Slip a note under the door of a cabin flaunting the upside-down pineapple symbol. Drop your cabin number and a convenient call time, and maybe add your Instagram, Reddit, Kik, Telegram handle, or SLS profile. (SLS, or SwingLifeStyle, is where swinger enthusiasts mingle online.) This way, you can chat beforehand and suss out mutual interest before making rendezvous plans.

A word to the wise, though: Don't jump to conclusions. Just because someone's door is pineapple-adorned doesn't automatically make them part of the swinging scene, or that you'll be a match.

When initiating a chat, keep it breezy and relaxed as you get acquainted. Sneak in a subtle mention of the LS without diving into specifics. You'll sense it if they're in the know; if not, their reaction will speak volumes. It's a straightforward way to test the waters without plunging too deep too soon.

Keep this in mind, though: While pineapples often serve as whimsical symbols at LS events, seasoned enthusiasts may not use them in this context. Yet, on cruises, you might bump into novice couples looking to add some spice to their relationship, employing pineapples as a playful hint. It's not necessarily a red flag, but it's wise to recognize that these couples might not fully grasp the intricacies and communication nuances of group play in the LS community.

Final thoughts on pineapples, the lifestyle and your cruise experience.

If swinging is your scene, you might find a dedicated swingers cruise a more ideal getaway. Companies like Bliss Cruise charter ships exclusively for swingers, providing a tailored experience. However, if you're just curious or enjoy the excitement of pursuing partner-swapping adventures, keep an eye out for those upside-down pineapples wherever you go, even beyond the cruise scene.

If you're curious about the swinging lifestyle, tune in to The Sexy Lifestyle podcast for an insider's perspective. And for swingers seeking to connect with like-minded individuals on a cruise, there's a dedicated Reddit community just for you.

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