DISCLAIMER: This post has been written with positive intentions, for the purpose of sharing information. It was not written to educate, infuriate, irritate, or otherwise annoy. I am not an expert, and do not pretend to be.
These are real questions (LOVE questions!) I received over the course of an extended email exchange a couple months ago with a member of my bloggy audience, and my answers are based on my own experiences within the construct of my own marital relationship.
Your own experiences and your own relationship(s) are likely vastly different than mine. Feel free to share your insights in the comments section of this blog post and/or on your own blog.
Please adhere to The Rules when commenting, and give everyone the respect they deserve.
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A Feverish, Fuckerish Q & A: SWING(ING) CLUBS (no, not the golf variety)
Are the clubs at somebody’s home or are they downtown in the business district with a big sign that reads “SWING CLUB”?
Okay, I’ll admit I sort of snort-laughed at that question.
House parties are completely different, so for now I’ll just talk about the clubs.
I’m sure there are a variety of club environments and atmospheres, so I can’t definitively state that there are no neon signs. However, in my experience, clubs are members-only and they are discreet. Just as there are misconceptions, stigmas, and stereotypes applied to members of the GLBTIQ communities, there are an abundance of ’70s-style misconceptions about swinging. Perhaps that is why, from what I’ve seen, most people are not ‘out’ about being polyamorous or about swinging. Hence, there is a hold-harmless agreement and legal paperwork required before one can become a club member. And nobody plays at the clubs I attend unless they *are* a member.
The clubs we’ve visited in our area are set up as ‘Adult Recreational Clubs’; there is a facility (which hosts a variety of everyday functions, from weddings to corporate retreats), and there is a club that uses the facility.
The party I blogged about in December was hosted *by* the club, *at* the facility. The facility itself was a large ranch-style house with two cinder-block outbuildings, and indoor pool and hot tub, and a dance area, all set on 100 acres of land. We had to email with our request to attend before we were given any location information, and once we arrived at the party, we had to pay our fees before we could get past the front door.
At the prominent clubs in our area, there is a membership fee (remember, it’s a members-only type thing) plus a party fee. Sometimes clubs have bi-annual or yearly dues as well. Think of it this way: When you join a gym, you pay a ‘membership fee’ up front, then you pay monthly dues, and then you pay extra for step aerobics classes or basketball leagues, right? Same concept. Except you pay a ‘cover charge’ for each party instead of a ‘seat fee’ for a spinning class.
You say the clubs offer a safe, sane, sober environment so, there is no liquor?
It varies. The Mister doesn’t drink at all, and I don’t drink when I’m playing. It’s important to me that all parties are fully cognizant of their decisions and are 100% mentally engaged. Drunks are poor decision makers. And, in my opinion, if you need mood-altering substances to want to play with me, you don’t deserve to play with me. Thanks, but no thanks, if you know what I mean. So the event *we* attended was dry.
Other clubs have different rules. Alcohol consumption is somewhat discouraged in reputable places though, and *if* alcohol is allowed, it’s BYO and there’s a cut-off time, after which no alcohol can be consumed (10:00pm-ish). I imagine that’s because (1) they are concerned for the comfort and safety of their members, and (2) they would be subject to all kinds of legal ramifications otherwise.
Whose idea was it to go to a swing club? Did You enjoy it the first time?
It was a mutual decision, and it was something we’d talked about for a long time. Our previous swing experiences had been private events. While exploring our local clubs recently, we *visited* two, but only *attended a party* (read: played) at one (which is where I made friends with Sybian), and yes, I definitely enjoyed it. We’ll likely be going back to that club again in the future.
It should be noted that we researched our options carefully ahead of time (there’s tons of info online), we talked about various possible scenarios ahead of time (what if, what if, what if…okay, then what…), we set up mutually agreed-upon boundaries ahead of time, we stuck to those boundaries and maintained open communication with each other the entire time we were playing, and our focus was first and foremost on one another throughout the whole process.
I’m sure at the clubs, everybody must practice safe sex.
Safe sex is encouraged but not demanded. Latex condoms and lube are generally available in every room, and the use of towels/pads is encouraged, particularly for women who squirt or men who are heavy ejaculators. I used a condom (my own; I’m allergic to latex) on the Sybian; I did not (nor do I ever) use a condom with my husband.
One problem I think I would have is walking in the front door without having a Hard-On…with everything going on…I would probably have a tough time ‘being natural’…It’s probably not cool for guys to walk around at full attention, huh?
As for the ‘hard-on’ issue… It’s pretty much a NON-issue. Some people walk around fully nude all night, others wear robes, others remain dressed unless they’re physically involved with somebody at the moment. When you’re watching, it’s basically expected that you’ll be hard. Also when you’re fucking. (Duh!) But most of the guys I saw who were walking around naked in the common areas (like in the pool area, for instance) either weren’t hard at all or were just at half-mast. I asked Mr Fever why that was (because of course I’m interested in checking out the equipment!), and he equated it to walking around naked in the men’s locker room at the gym. You don’t want your junk to accidentally stab anyone in the eye. Or something. Shrug.
It must really be something to walk into a place where there are 150 people in different stages of undress. Some eating dinner in the kitchen, some making love in the corner and one HOT girl moaning and sighing as she is riding the sybian (Awww… Isn’t that cute?) in another room. I think it would give me a sensory overload to be in such a sexually charged environment!
You’re absolutely right about the sensory overload. There’s a fine line between arousing and distracting. And it’s one thing to be coaxed along in your race to orgasm via aural stimulation (gasps and moans and shudders, oh my!), but it’s quite another for someone to start talking about their long drive home while you’re in the middle of a sex session. (True story.) Oy! And the excessive visual input has the potential to be hugely distracting. (Think: SQUIRL!)
There was one point when my husband and I were having sex in the voyeur room, and he was looking everywhere *but* at me, which really wasn’t working for me at all. It was an easy fix for us; I said, “I need you to pay attention to me right now, babe,” and he knew exactly what I meant by that. His focus immediately snapped back to me and he gave me the connection I was craving. But I can easily see how what was a small hiccup for us could be relationship-threatening situation for someone else. Overstimulation can create a disconnect between couples in that situation.
I enjoy both voyeurism and exhibitionism, but my stronger tendency is to be an exhibitionist. When other people are watching me ~ watching me masturbate, watching me deep throat a cock, watching me ride a Sybian, watching my pussy get pounded ~ I’m able to totally focus on what I’m doing, but at the same time, I experience a heightened awareness from knowing that I’m on display. It’s like I absorb all the energy being focused on me via other people’s stares, and I convert that energy into orgasm. It’s an incredible turn-on.
…having an open marriage can actually make your marriage stronger…
Not true. In our case, having a strong marriage is what has made opening up a possibility. Exploring sexual relationships with other people (secondary partners) has enhanced our appreciation for one another. Totally different concept.
Believe me, if the Mister had come to me and, completely out of the blue, announced, “I want to start fucking other women, starting today!”, I’d have freaked. Ack! Gah! Wha…?!?! I mean, I’m right here, right?
So, no. It starts with the relationship. We’re life partners and we’re friends. There are fantasies we wanted to make reality, and having other partners has been on the table since day one. (Literally. I was dating two men when he first met me, so other lovers hasn’t just been a what if… kind of possibility; it’s something we experienced in our relationship as we were building it.) So when we decided to explore swing, we talked about it (read: talked it TO DEATH) and agreed on our plan(s) of action(s), and have made our adjustments as we’ve gone along.
I’m glad to hear that it brings the two of you closer together after a good night at the club. I have also heard it can break up a marriage too. Personally, I think it would make a marriage stronger by opening up avenues of communication, just like You two are doing.
You’ve heard the whole ‘swing thing’ can break up a marriage, and I’ll be honest: You’ve heard correctly. The thing is, a lot of couples try opening up their marriage as a way to save their marriage. The root problem(s) is/are inside the marriage relationship itself, so having sex with other people as a way to solve those problems makes about as much sense as “Well, we’re on the brink of divorce, sooo… Let’s have a baby to save our marriage!” Head-Desk-THUNK.
My husband and I have a rule that nothing and no one can interfere with our dynamic. He’s my number one; I’m his. I’m lucky in that the man I married is very much my friend. We fit together really well as life partners. So we talk a lot and fantasize out loud and when we act on something (or someone) it’s by mutual agreement, and becoming involved with another person is never an attempt to replace one another. Rather, those outside relationships enhance our own dynamic. (Think: Compersion)
And then, of course, there are the practical considerations: One cock alone cannot perform double penetration.
The man says, “I want to become a swinger!” because it means SEXSEXSEX:
Think with your big head, please.
In my experience, men tend to think, “Woo-hoo! More pussy for me!”, but cannot handle it when the situation is reversed. It’s a double standard, and believe me: I’ve seen the fallout, and it’s UGLY.
So think of it this way: If your S.O. came to you and said, “I want to have sex with other men and also continue having sex with you,” how would you react? Would you be hurt? Jealous?
What if you were committed? Living together? Married? Engaged to be married?
Would you wonder why? Would you feel inadequate? Humiliated? Would you want to screen the other guys? Would you want to watch?
What if she wanted you both at the same time? What if his cock was bigger than yours? What if he got a different/bigger/louder/stronger response from her than you do?
Things to think about. And talk about. At length. Ahead of time.