For us, extended foreplay in a sexually heightened setting deepens our bond.
Photo by Roman Khripkov
With the lights dimmed, it?s hard to make out the faces of the other people in the basement of the club. What I can see are the moons of thrusting bottoms, the bobbing of heads, the shapes of legs and feet in the air. Trance music thumps as my boyfriend and I maneuver through the darkened space. For some, what we see at this swingers sex club would shock them. For us, it?s just another Saturday night.
We don?t come here to swap partners, though the idea is to arrive without expectations or rules. The only rule we do have is that we will stop any activity if one of us asks. In its weird way, watching other people have sex and then having sex in front of other people ? even sometimes playing with other couples ? has deepened our bond. To some, this might seem bizarre ? that going to a sex club has brought us closer. At the same time, it?s also kind of obvious why this is so.
Let me frame it another way: You go to a club with your partner where other people are having sex. With your partner, you watch those people. While watching those people, you fool around with your partner as well. This turns you both on. Maybe you then even have sex, which arouses you more. There?s something incredibly exciting about making love in front of other people. Then maybe you actually fool around with some of those other people. Looking at it from this perspective, it?s pretty obvious how attending a sex club could enhance a couple?s relationship.
We don?t go to this club because we?re bored of each other. Instead we frequent this swingers sex club because we have a strong relationship.
I wasn?t always like this ? so open and unfettered. I was very jealous when I was younger. I couldn?t imagine watching my lover enjoy another woman?s body. I became jealous when my lover even looked at other women.
I also didn?t understand swingers. I remember writing about swingers in my twenties for a magazine. My biggest question was how the couples dealt with their jealousy. I couldn?t wrap my head around it.
The thesis of my article was that men, bored with their marriages, dragged their wives to swingers clubs as means to justify having sex with other women. This was how they rationalized ?straying? from their wives. I even went so far as to call it ?institutionalized cheating.? The partners were cheating on each other but within the confines of their marriage. Of course, I didn?t know what I was talking about. Like many people in their twenties, I was an idiot.
Now in my forties, I finally get it. I?ve been married once, and I?ve seen how the passion can die in a long-term relationship. I comprehend how playing sexually with other people can revitalize a marriage in which both partners are bored with each other.
This isn?t to say that my boyfriend and I are bored with each other. On the contrary, we are very much in love. We frequent this swingers sex club because we have a strong relationship. Because we?re so connected, I want my boyfriend to experience pleasure, and part of that is exploring our bodies with other people.
And yet, going to this sex club isn?t really hinged in having sex with other people. We?ve never done a full swap, and quite honestly I?m not interested ? at least for now. It?s simply exciting to be in this rebellious situation, and the arousal is intense. Together we explore our boundaries and limits, and our connection grows as a result.
There?s no real way to put your finger on ?who? the club?s demographic is. Let?s say it?s everyone. But that?s not true either. It?s everyone, but only the most sexually adventurous of us.
We always start the evening on the dance floor on the club?s main level. There, we check out who?s in attendance. That?s the thing: all walks of life come to this club. There are club-goers in their twenties and those in their sixties and everyone in between. There are men with perfectly pumped bodies and guys with some extra weight. There are slender gals, curvy gals, and even curvier ones. People are of all races and ethnicities frequent the club. I?d say it?s pretty hetero-normative, and yet a few queer people do attend. But still, there?s no real way to put your finger on ?who? the club?s demographic is. Let?s say it?s everyone. But that isn?t true either. It?s everyone, but only the most sexually adventurous of us.
Distinctions slip away behind the doors of this venue. So do pretensions. While there is a middle-class vibe to the space, I?ve also seen a couple show up in a Ferrari. In a world where we are asked to follow so many rules about what we show and do with our bodies, being so open is refreshing. You have the freedom to do whatever you want (as long as there?s consent). The norms of sexual behavior are smashed open.
Minutes pass ? more time than we would have spent at home in this same position. We would?ve already been undressed by now. We would have already had sex and finished.
After a stint on the dance floor, we typically go to a set of booths and choose one to lay down in. We embrace in the darkness, kiss, and grope. My boyfriend?s hands roam over my body. He lifts my skirt to reveal my bare bottom. I never wear panties to the club.
Another couple nears. The female, a blonde, asks me: ?Can I touch you??
?Yes,? I say.
Her fingertips stroke my butt. I kiss my boyfriend while she touches me. By and by, the couple moves on.
?It turned me on to see her touch you,? my boyfriend says.
He kisses me more deeply, more passionately as a result. Minutes pass ? more time than we would have spent at home in this same position. We would?ve already been undressed by now. We would have already had sex and finished.
Instead, our foreplay is extended. That?s really what this experience is for us: one long bout of pre-sex sex.
Of course, each time we attend the club, I feel differently. I?m up for different things ? I feel more or less adventurous. The people at the club are also different depending on the night. The whole mood of the place, the energy, depends on who?s in attendance.
It?s about both of us getting off on each other while playing together in front of other people, watching other people, and maybe even playing with other people ? but always with each other?s consent.
Finally, we go down to the basement of the club. That?s where the real action takes place. The private rooms all have open doors. In one room, a man takes a woman from behind as she buries her face between another woman?s thighs. In a second room, a group of naked bodies surge up and down like waves on a bed. In a third room, three women orally pleasure three different men. On an upraised cushion in the main room of the basement, a man licks between a woman?s legs while another man uses her mouth.
My boyfriend and I take a seat on one of the couches set around the perimeter of the main room. We continue to hug and kiss. Another couple sits down beside us. Soon, the woman?s hand crawls to my leg. My boyfriend?s hand crawls to her thigh. Her fingers move to my crotch. It feels good to be stroked by another female. There?s a particular way that a female touches you that is different than the way a man does. I relish the sensation of her soft caresses.
But then her male partner?s hand moves toward me. His fingers are coarse and I don?t enjoy them. I get up from the couch and lead my boyfriend away by the hand.
?What?s wrong?? he asks.
?I?m not into that guy,? I say.
This is our agreement; if one of us doesn?t like something, the deal?s off. I wasn?t enjoying it, so I stopped the activity. I can tell my boyfriend was enjoying it though. He probably could have sat on the couch for longer with that couple. But coming here is not about one of us getting off. It?s about both of us getting off on each other while playing together in front of other people, watching other people, and maybe even playing with other people ? but always with each other?s consent. It?s a heightened sexual environment, and that?s a thrill. It?s escapist ? a physical, mental, and emotional rush. In the end, though, it?s about us being together.
The only way for this work is with respect. If one of you wants to do something and the other doesn?t, then you have to respect your partner enough to stop. Luckily I?m more secure with myself now. I understand that I can be attracted to other people and my boyfriend can be, too. It doesn?t mean that we don?t love one another. Instead, coming to this club is an expression of that connection.