I’m still new to the Lifestyle, but I quickly learned that swingers aren’t easily shocked. They usually want to hear about your sexual preferences within the first five minutes after being introduced. But tell them you’re a single woman who first entered the Lifestyle by heading solo to a swingers club and most are taken aback.
It’s a reaction that still surprises me because I’ve never met a community of people more pleasant and non-threatening than swingers. Yes, I was nervous that first night – and during many firsts to follow – but for taking the risk I was rewarded with a great night club experience despite not hooking up with anyone.
As with anything else, there’s a typical order of progression for people who become swingers. Most of the couples that I’ve talked to say that they found the Lifestyle in one of two ways: In the past there had been a threesome, maybe with a former partner, that everyone now insists just sort of happened. (Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink.) Or the Mr. knows that the Mrs. had a girlfriend during her university years and the curiosity is killing him.
The couple begins to talk about expanding their sexual opportunities. From there, they discover the online Lifestyle dating sites and maybe have a few encounters with other eager couples. They may eventually walk into a swinger’s club not entirely certain that they want to have sex in front of other people, but “Oh, what the hell.”
Three days after learning that the Lifestyle didn’t go out of style with electric blue hot pants, I was just as curious as my coupled friends had been about the erotic possibilities of swinging. But unlike them, I didn’t have a primary partner. I didn’t know about the websites. I didn’t have any late-night encounters with girls during my college years.
Maybe I can chalk that last one up to attending commuter schools, but I don’t really know how the Lifestyle escaped my attention until I was 40-something. If I was going to find out what it was all about, jumping in at what many consider the deep end appeared to be my only option.
So I put on something sexy and took the plunge into a swinger’s club. Alone. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the effort people made to help me feel welcome was a surprise.
The manager gave me a tour and introduced me to staff members who answered every newbie question I could think to ask – and I had a lot of them. I accidentally sat down for dinner next to one of the club’s owners, who gave me its complete history.
I met a couple about 10 years older than me who became my first friends in the Lifestyle. They clued me into the club’s unwritten rules, including which sexual activities happen where so that I wouldn’t find myself in a situation that I was unprepared to handle.
What made the strongest impression though that evening was the realization that I felt more comfortable there as a single woman than I have ever been at an average or vanilla nightclub. I think because I saw that swingers give the “no means no” mantra more than lip service. They live it.
In the Lifestyle, safer sex is about more than condoms. So it may sound odd to people that my first experience in the Lifestyle was at a swinger’s club, but I don’t think I could have had a better introduction.