“What’s love got to do with it?”. Tina Turner
Several years ago, Selene and I were invited to our first swinger’s party. This is what happened….
Yes, most of us have heard of swingers. They pop-up in Hollywood movies and tv series (I remember a scene from 6 Feet Under about Brenda’s parents), usually in the context of depravity of immoral behavior. You can find them in the travel section (think Hedonism Resort), but this won’t really explain swinging, either.
Movies and books would have you believe certain things about The Lifestyle, as swingers refer to their way of life, but of course they get it all wrong (Hollywood generally gets most alternative relationships wrong).
So what exactly are swingers?? Basically, swinger philosophy separates love from sex. Sex is fun, and sex with more than one person is even more fun, but love is something you reserve for your life mate. To a swinger, love is monogamous but sex is recreational.
Buddhist monk and punk rocker Brad Warner is not a swinger. In his book Sex, Sin and Zen, Warner relates his belief that all sexual contact leads to an emotional connection, and so should not be entered into lightly. According to Warner, you cannot have sex with someone and then walk away with anything more than casual friendly feelings for that person. Sex is a profound part of we are, he says, and has a deep impact on our being.
Swingers say, “no way!”
So let me tell you about my first swinger’s party…
A while ago, Selene and I received a personal invitation to a swingers’ party from a mutual friend. Swingers are aware that society at large does not approve of The Lifestyle, so you won’t be reading about the next party on facebook. You have to know somebody, and they have to trust you, before you get on the list.
And if you’re not on the list, you ain’t getting in.
So, here we are with our invite. What do we do? Neither one of us were swingers, but we were curious ( seriously, wouldn’t you be?). So, we laid out the rules for the night. We would attend the party, have fun, but only with each other.
What? Attend a swingers party as a sexually monogamous couple? And wait a second, is having sex in a room full of other people still monogamous if you’re only having sex with each other?
Let me ask that again, “is having sex in a room full of other people still monogamous if you’re only having sex with each other?”
And would we be pressured to share the goods? And even more important…. could we resist temptation…?
We found the address – it was a nice looking house by the ocean with no indication of what was going on inside. We parked, checked the time (the door was only open from 8 till 9), took a deep breath and knocked.
There was a pause – we could hear music and voices coming from inside. Then the door opened and our friend greeted us with a warm smile. She ushered us inside, and into what looked like any other party. Classic rock played on the stereo, while an eclectic mix of people mingled in the living room. Ages ranged from 30’s to mid-50’s, conservative to alternative. The dining room table was covered with tasty treats, from sushi, vegetables and dip to decadent brownies and seductive cheesecake. A small forest of red wine, beer and other spirits decorated another table, and everyone had a glass in hand.
There was no indication that this party was in any way different… until the clock struck 10.
We noticed people moving down the stairs. I poured my girl another glass of wine, we looked each other one last time, then descended the steps.
Suddenly, we weren’t in Kansas anymore.
Like most suburban homes, the basement was composed of a large rectangular rec room from which several other smaller rooms branched off. No 56” flat screen TV, sofa or Stairmaster in this room! Instead, we were greeted by two large circular beds on which several people were already in the throes of some good ol’ recreational screwing.
The ‘spare’ bedrooms were also occupied, most likely by couples desiring a more private experience. Glimpses into rooms as doors opened and closed revealed ultra violet lighting and mirrors on the ceilings. People in various degrees of undress stood and chatted happily in the hallway, jumping from last night’s hockey game to frank discussions on what, or who, to do next.
“You want to play with me?” A girl asked me saucily, striking a seductive pose. She then turned playfully to Selene, a twinkle in her eye. ‘I’ll fight you for him…”
So what happened next…? None of your damn business.
But I will tell you this… We were in no way pressured to join in or take part in anything we were not comfortable with.
So what did we take away from that night? Were we amazed by the lurid sex? The shameless displays of wanton lust? The amoral descents into depravity?
Not at all…. Quite the opposite, actually. Although I did really wish that sweaty naked guy hadn’t sat so close to us…