November 15, 2019

What is a Sex/Swingers Club?

What’s a sex club? You may not have heard of one, but if you live in or a near a major city, it’s likely that there’s one nearby. A sex club, or a swinger’s club, is a space for individuals and couples to sexually explore in a public space, possibly with others. Some people like to go just to watch, others go to engage only with their partner, and still others go with the intention of finding a third or fourth (or more!) person to play with. I’m here to help you get a sense of what to expect from a sex club, including some of the do’s and don’ts that come along with visiting one.

First things first… sex clubs will have an entrance fee and most of them offer a monthly or annual membership to get in. Check the website for pricing, as there are different prices for couples, single women, and single men (single women get the most reduced rate, single men, the highest).

Photo by Alexander Popov on Unsplash
Photo by Alexander Popov on Unsplash

As far as dress is concerned, most clubs have some sort of dress code listed on their website so that you know what’s appropriate. If you can’t find it, call and ask. Clubs typically have a locker room in which you can change into whatever sexy outfit your heart desires. Many clubs also offer a theme of the evening, so you may wish to dress according to the theme itself. Again, check the website or call if you’re unsure.

Once you’ve made it to the club, the outside entrance usually seems like a sketchy warehouse. Since people value their privacy, some clubs prefer to be inconspicuous for the comfort of their clients and the community in which they reside. You’ll know you’re in the right place if you see other people dressed in semi-sexy attire headed towards the door. But check out the reviews of the club online first! They’ll usually have a comment or two about the entrance so that you can get a feel for it.

When you arrive in the club, one of the workers will typically give you a tour, review the rules, and be available to ask any questions/introduce you to others (if desired). They will also review their cleaning process with you, as they want to maintain a good reputation of providing sanitary services. They are usually very friendly - take advantage of being able to ask questions and get their inside scoop on what to expect!

Photo by Joe deSousa on Unsplash
Photo by Joe deSousa on Unsplash

As far as demographics go, there’s usually a decent balance of men and women, especially since often, single men must be accompanied by a partner or couple to gain entry. The age range is usually those in their late thirties to late fifties, though most clubs will make mention of their usual demographic on their website. The thing to remember is that you’re a normal person, which means, you’re going to see “normal looking” folx too! The exception to this might be if you go to an exclusive or higher-end club in a major metropolitan city where they restrict who they allow access to the club. Additionally, most people are generally focused on health/safety, so don’t be afraid to ask for what you need to ensure personal health is maintained.

Different sex clubs offer different rooms, themes etc.; however, there are some general givens with any club as far as what to expect. Most clubs will have multiple rooms with a variety of privacy offered. Some rooms will have a door that you can shut if you want complete privacy and don’t want anyone to participate. Other rooms will have a mixed level of privacy, such that there might be a curtain or rope that you can put over the doorway or windows so that others can watch, but cannot participate. Lastly, there are rooms that are completely open for play as indicated by no door, an open doorway, etc. so that anyone is welcome to come in and participate (with consent, of course).

Depending on the type of club you go to, what the rooms offer will vary. Most clubs will have rooms with beds so that you can engage comfortably. Most clubs have “special” or themed rooms, such as a BDSM room with different tools to tie a partner up to, or a “princess” room that will allow you and your partner to role play as a daddy-daughter duo. Some clubs will have rooms with glory holes, multiple beds for multiple people to play in at once, rooms with a massage table, a room for wax/fire play, a room with a gynecological table to “play doctor,” etc. Many clubs will have some variety so that you (and your partner(s) if you bring them) can explore different fantasies.

Some clubs will have a bar, some will be byob, and some will not allow alcohol at all for the sake of ensuring consent. Most clubs will also have two sides… one in which you can dance, drink, chat with potential playmates, and then the “sexy side,” where you can go play and explore to your heart’s content. A lot of people like to start on the dance side to get warmed up and scope out the crowd, but some are ready to dive right in. Do what feels most comfortable for you!

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

There’s definitely some etiquette involved as far as sex clubs go. It’s not necessarily a giant orgy (though there are sometimes rooms for that exact purpose) where anyone can fuck anyone they want. Consent is key and the clubs are usually very clear about this and will kick people out/ban those who do not follow that rule. Of course, there are many different ways to ask for consent in a club. Many people find it helpful to approach another person/couple and get to know them first. Chat a bit, make conversation, discern interest, and then discuss boundaries/limitations (which means you need to go in knowing what your boundaries are!) before going off to play. Others may go into an open room and allow folks to approach them in the midst of sexual interactions to ask if they can play too. This is fine, just make sure you know your boundaries/limitations and communicate them (and of course, make sure you’re engaging in safe sex). Many of the people at the club want an enjoyable and consensual adventure and would welcome a “no” just as much as a “yes.” There’s no fun in engaging with someone who bursts into tears in the middle of an interaction because they really didn’t want to play in the first place.

As part of consent, the clubs are very focused on the confidentiality of their clients, meaning that usually, cellphones are not allowed except in designated areas to ensure the privacy of all parties. In spite of that, you may run into someone you know at the club, which could be a little uncomfortable at first. Most people have a decent sense of decorum and don’t want people in their community to know they’re going to the club (for personal/professional safety, etc.), and therefore, are unlikely to say anything. If you’re worried about it though, reach out and ask. Be brief, be polite, and ask that they keep that information to themselves. There’s no guarantee that your confidentiality can be kept though, and if it could impact you personally/professionally, consider going to a club out of your state to avoid running into someone you might know.

If you go, you are not required to engage with anyone for any reason and you won’t get kicked out simply for being there. Plenty of people enjoy being watched while they’re having sex. Plenty of folks also just like a more free/open-minded space to dress a little sexy, enjoy themselves for an evening, and go home and make love to their partner. At the end of the day, consent is key, and if you’d like to go just to get a feel for what a sex/swinger’s club is like, there’s no shame in that!

While going to a sex club may seem intimidating at first, it’s a great space to meet like-minded individuals, make friends, and potentially more! If you’re interested in checking one out and you’d feel more comfortable bringing a friend along the first time, do it! Again, you don’t have to engage, so if you want to go just to get a feel at first and then play more later, that’s perfectly okay! Go explore your wild side and have fun!

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Julie Labanz, MA, LPCC-S, CST

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