I Went to A Swinger’s Club. Here’s What Happened....
When it comes to sexual exploration, I’m no stranger. I’ve done just about everything. I’ve slept with most genders out there, been to BDSM clubs, gone in public while wearing fetish gear, and even spoken to porn stars. I’ve always found sexuality to be an innate part of humanity that should be embraced.
One thing I didn’t ever really do, though, was go to a swinger’s club.
Swingers clubs are pretty much as freaky as you can legally get without it being a private event. In them, you meet other couples or singles. After meeting, you chat, and then have sex with them...most often, on premises. It’s a thrill for thrillseekers. So, I went out to New York City’s Bowery Bliss to check it out.
Bowery Bliss is spearheaded by Adult Socials, one of the biggest swinger promotion companies in America. The venue itself was pretty nondescript, right near Bowery and Chinatown. At first glance, I actually thought the venue was abandoned. (Hint: it wasn’t!)
Inside the building was a three story clubhouse. The first level looked a lot like a regular bar. There were regular sofas, a nice bar setup, and televisions. The only difference was that there were locker rooms for clothing, and a notice saying that it was a BYOB establishment.
The next level was a bit kinkier, with private rooms and a wooden cross for a flogging session. The third level involved a series of beds, none with a single divider. I took a deep breath. This was going to get wild.
Rules Are Rules
The first thing that happened when we entered the venue is that we were immediately schooled on the rules. The owners, Jack and Jill, made no qualms about explaining how strict they were. Simply put, consent is key—and it had to be enthusiastic consent. Anything less was a “NO!”
They also explained that you had the right to stop mid-act if you are not comfortable. If someone keeps going, it’s considered sexual assault. According to some regulars, people have actually gotten arrested for this in the past. It’s not just Bowery’s rule, either. It’s New York City’s law.
Other things that were brought up was the BYOB policy, rules against sex shaming, a strict camera ban, and the policy that came along with the lockers. It was fairly straightforward.
So Here’s What Went Down
The first thing that I noticed was that people were friendly to me—way friendlier than I expected them to be. I spoke with older folks about our backgrounds, what they do, how they found things. The interesting thing was that when I spoke to older couples, nothing really initially broached the subject of sex. It was that chill.
The clientele were impressive in their own right. They were upscale. They were, for the most part, the type of people who wear tailored suits and couture to work. They were attractive, and educated. It was hard not to feel a little intimidated, since I was wearing streetwear and sporting neon blue hair at the time.
I eventually clicked with a young finance guy and his girlfriend, and things quickly got hot and heavy. Admittedly, I was getting shy. People who know me might find this to be a bit strange, but hear me out. I generally only get naked and horny around people I know and trust.
When I do have flings, I prefer to do them in my own house away from prying eyes or people I don’t know. Even so, I found myself taking my top off on the third floor. As soon as eyes turned to me, I turned beet red and ran downstairs. We eventually settled into a private room, and things proceeded to get sexy again…
Until we went out for more people to join us.
At this point, I felt a little overwhelmed, but it was for reasons that might surprise others. The reason I got overwhelmed was because I, plain and simply, don’t know how to react when clean-cut people find me attractive. It’s a holdover from years where people who looked classy made an effort to make my life hell.
Most of the time, flirting doesn’t register with me at all. I just assume people are being friendly. With people who have a particularly sophisticated look, I generally assume they are joking or have an ulterior motive.
The people at the club, though, were clearly genuine in their interest in me. When it’s put up in my face the way it was at a swingers’ club, I literally didn’t know how to handle myself. I froze like a deer in the headlights.
So, being freaked out by the sudden interest classy-looking people were taking in me, I made up an excuse and left.
I left the club in a state of shock. It took me about a week to fully unpack what happened at the club. No one pushed me into doing anything I didn’t want to do. It wasn’t as if I was hurt. But, at the same time, something in me clicked. I just didn’t know what it was for a couple of days.
After thinking it all over, I realized what it was. It was my initial thoughts about who found me attractive. The night I had at the swingers’ club taught me that I’m not just the hardcore party crowds’ type.
I’m used to people in the music industry finding me attractive. I’m used to people who are diehard ravers finding me attractive, as well as goths. But clean-cut finance folk? NOPE! It was a night that forced me to confront a lot of the negative messages that I internalized about my looks when I was younger.
Being hit on by a finance guy off Wall Street might sound like no big deal, but it was for me. I was always told I was “not that type of girl.” People like that generally avoid me, and don’t even want to speak to me. Or, at least that’s what I told myself after decades of others saying the same.
The night at the swingers club was a step way out of my comfort zone that I very desperately needed. It held a mirror up to my face and made me realize I judged others based on their clothes, not on their personalities. It made me realize that I have a problem with assuming people hate me when they don’t.
It forced me to realize that, hey, maybe I should drop my preconceived notions of myself and others. Just because I had bad experiences with preppy types in college doesn’t mean they are all hateful towards me. More importantly, it made me realize that I might just be more attractive than I thought.
Having been to everything from porn conventions to BDSM schools, I can honestly say that most sex-related stuff have a certain level of body positivity attached to them. The swingers’ club, though? That went above anything I experienced before.
That night at the club, I saw people of all shapes, ages, and sizes go at it. People twice as old as me were having sex while others watched. Wall Streeters mingled with roving artists. Everyone was into it, embraced it, and was happy.
Going there made me realize how ingrained a lot of negative messages I heard were. People found one another attractive, even when they weren’t runway models or porn stars. Everyone found the beauty in the human body, and there truly was a type for everyone.
I was glad I went. I’m going back there, too. I have a lot to learn. If you ask me, everyone needs a wakeup call like that once in a while.
Cover image via @killingk_es