Polyamorous Mom: Swingers Clubs Are Not For Me

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swingerI’m a full-time working mother of three children, married to a wonderful man while dating others. This column chronicles our challenges, boundaries, and successes in a polyamorous marriage. 

I am in Jim’s arms on a large mattress in a dimly lit room trying to concentrate. The female partner of a couple next to me has a tiny squeaky voice that jars me out of any pleasure each time she speaks. Just as I relax again, some girl across the way chirps up “Ok Jenny! It’s your turn!” Oh yeah, and everyone is bare ass naked. This, my friends, is a swingers club and the place where I discovered swingers and polyamorous people are very different folks under the large umbrella of non-monogamy.

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend Jim had a milestone birthday and hesitantly broached the idea that we try out a swingers club. We had been chatting about trying to be more social together, maybe some grumbling on my part, and while a swingers club wasn’t quite what I had in mind, I gave it some thought. I pictured a classy nightclub with a fancy bar and beautiful people milling about, flirting, chatting, and drinking. Since Jim ensured me he didn’t want to ACTUALLY swing, but meet some new people, have some fun. I talked to my husband Allan and gave Jim a confident “yes.” Perhaps I would even kiss a little, if Allan was OK with it, or at least be turned on by our new and exciting surroundings.

That night we rolled through the city, Jim in some slacks and a sharp button down and I in a dress shorter than anything I’d worn since college, and headed into an inconspicuous part of town. I glanced around nervously. This was more a renovated house than a classy joint, but Jim gently reminded me swinging wasn’t mainstream and couldn’t be installed in blazing lights downtown somewhere.

We ring a bell, waiting outside with a bunch of other people, and I feel like a little kid waiting to get into a secret club. A friendly 40-something man lets us in, takes our names, membership fees, and introduces us to his wife who is bustling around the place in lingerie serving drinks and checking on the buffet. It was nothing like my mind had conjured up. It’s a bit like walking into a 1970s swingers cliché, but homey.

The cliental isn’t quite what I expected from the website. The guidelines of “under 50 and physical fit” seem to be pretty loose and rarely applied. The crowd mingling about the bar, on the dance floor, below erotic and graphic paintings and photography, are a smattering of ages from 25 to 60 and a vast variety of body types. For now, everyone is clothed. A lot of the women are in slinky dresses or lingerie and most of the men are in slacks and nice shirts. It takes Jim and I awhile to settle in after our tour of the club area and the “recreation rooms” upstairs. The recreation rooms are all mattresses, mirrors, and sex equipment. On this kinky furniture, you can do it 1001 different ways or hang from the ropes on the ceiling, I kid you not.

The first thing that hits both Jim and I after a couple hours is that there is little flirting — and a lot of drinking. People are friendly enough, but it isn’t an atmosphere of seduction. It’s more like everyone is just hanging around dancing and drinking and waiting for something. At midnight, a gong strikes and it’s announced over the PA “the recreation rooms are open!”

Upstairs, the party sets a new tone. Not only IS everyone naked, but you HAVE to be naked. Tall, short, thin, wide, black, white, all nekkid and ready to go. A couple rooms are taken up by groups of couples either all participating together, or just next to each other while others look about for a place to get going, or just take in the sights.

What might be hot and naughty, I’m finding more intriguing. How men and woman hop from one partner to another like they are playing table tennis. Sex is not a sacred act to me by any means, but I’m wondering what’s so appealing about doing it this way?  There is a quick transition between pleasure and the next partner, though the larger groups are going at it a little more fervently.

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