What do you do when you go to a sex club or swingers club for the first time? What behaviors are expected? How do you interact with someone that invited you, or with others that you meet there? We don’t grow up learning scripts for sex clubs (generally speaking!) so it’s up to our adult selves to learn how to navigate these new social/sexual situations. Hopefully this piece sheds some light on some generally accepted modes of behaving.
Many sex clubs have sets of rules that will help guide members’ behaviors. Club Sesso in Portland offers the following list:
- No Cell Phone Use (including texting or swapping phone nunbers)
- Ask Before You Touch- Ask Once and Only Once
- No Means No
- Do Not Stalk People
- Treat Everyone with Dignity and Respect
- Do Not Open Closed Doors or Curtains
- Do Not Interrupt Others
- Do Not Be Creepy
- Do Not Masturbate Outside Play Areas
- Clean Up Your Own Mess
- Use Common Sense!
The list seems pretty intuitive, right? It’s surprising how many people I’ve seen break the rules, intentionally and unintentionally. On the whole, though, I’ve witnessed respectful behavior and good communication at Sesso.
But what about the more subtle and complex interactions for which rules aren’t made explicit or posted?
Or what about when you meet your long-time sexy friends at the sex club and you or they end up hooking up with new people before you have a chance to check in?
What happens when you meet a new friends with benefits at the club and they end up hooking up with someone else?
We once brought a woman as a guest, who I had met on a dating site and had a date with. I didn’t expect us to have sex and I knew she was interested in socializing and checking out the space. And yet, when she ended up going into a room with a couple she met there, leaving us to wait for her for an hour until she was done so we could drive her home, I ended up feeling a little resentful. Not because I felt like I had a right to have sex with her, but because the communication between the two of us was sorely lacking.
Communication is key. Proactive communication is the best. Have conversations with your partners, new friends, potential new hook-ups, etc before anything happens: flush out who, what, where, how, when, why. Make agreements before entering a social/sexual space so that you have a foundation from which to explore. This does get tricky when you are going with a new date or meeting them there, as perhaps those more explicit conversations wouldn’t naturally take place yet, so it’s even more important to buck up and talk about your expectations, desires, and comfort levels. Part of navigating a social/sexual space like a swingers club is social intelligence, too: what would it tell you if someone you brought left your side to go hook-up with someone else without an explanation? That kind of exclusive behavior can signal a lack of interest unless there has been some explicit verbal communication to provide more robust information.
“Hey, you’re really cute! I’d love to play tonight if we get the opportunity, so let me know if you’re up for it!”
“Hi friends! We’d love to play tonight, but we’re also open to playing with the new people we met here tonight. So if we don’t play tonight is that okay with you?”
“I know we’ve only had one date, and there is definitely no pressure for us to do anything, but I would love to hang out more and have some time to talk with you more while we’re here together.”
How do you navigate sex/swingers clubs? How does it feel different operating as a couple versus a single person? Have you encountered especially tricky situations, or can you imagine what some might be? How did you resolve them, or how would you want to?