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What to consider before visiting a swinger club

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I was in the Netherlands the first time I went to a swinger club. Neither my partner at the time nor I had been to Europe, and we had certainly never been to a sex club. Without really knowing what we were getting into, we got dressed up and were excited for an adventure.

Our taxi dropped us off at a mansion in a secluded area where we were greeted by a guide who registered us, shared a few ground rules, and gave us a tour. After a few drinks, we wandered to the upstairs rooms where couples and groups were engaged in various sexual activities, from flirting to screwing.

I sat down to people-watch when a very sexy and buxom woman came and sat next to me. Without saying anything, she looked at me intensely and then kissed me. When we were done kissing, she gave me a sly smile and while she walked away she said in French, “bonsoir.” 

While the whole scene was extraordinarily hot, it was also really confusing. Was it the norm for people to start making out without asking consent? What did my partner think of what just happened? Should I follow her and try to talk to her? Or should I just sit there stunned? (This is ultimately what I did.)

While that experience turned out to be sexy and fun, going into a club like that without having a sense of what to expect, what your boundaries are, and what you hope to get out of it can be an overwhelming (and possibly negative) experience. Here are a few things to keep in mind and talk to your partner(s) about before embarking on a similar adventure. 

While that particular club was in Europe, the ones that I have since been to in the U.S. and Canada, including one here in Pittsburgh, share similar features. There tends to be a bar and a dance floor; one or more big open spaces for group sex; an area with BDSM equipment; and rooms with doors that you can close if you want privacy, or leave open if you feel like being an exhibitionist. 

What this should tell you is that people enter into these spaces for a variety of reasons. While one person may desire to be seen having sex with their partner, another may want the energy of an orgy, and another may be interested in meeting someone new for an anonymous rendezvous (and this is by no means an exhaustive list).  

Thinking about what sort of experience you want to have and clearly communicating it with your partner(s) and those you interact with at the club is important. If you don’t yet know what you want, it is also okay to spend some time in the space and see what feels exciting to you, if anything. 

I would even suggest, as a new person, that you give yourself latitude to enjoy the energy of the room without feeling pressure to directly participate. You can still have fun at the pool table, bar, dance floor, hot tub, or as a spectator in some of the public areas. 

There are any number of ways to enjoy the excitement of the space and to feed your erotic imagination. But the most important thing is that you listen to your own desires, honor your boundaries, and communicate openly with your partner(s).

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