Swinger's clubs are one
things you hear about in movies, but just never expect to run
As such, I put them in the same category as other mythical Hollywood
like wookies or Keanu knowing how to use a computer. I never
I would find my way to one, but somehow I did.
A couple years ago a friend of
having a birthday party at a restaurant in his Dallas
At the time I was relying largely on an already-antiquated GPS to
me there. Well, it got me close, but we ended up in the empty
lot of a business next door to our actual destination. There was
this old-looking wooden building with no windows and just a sign on the
side with the name of the place [which I won't mention here]. We
realized this wasn't the restaurant we were looking for, so we backed
and found our way to the actual place.
Over dinner we mentioned our
"You mean the swinger's club?"
one of the
guests asked, amused.
Dani and I were both like, "The
I was trying to get my mind around this. I wanted to know more,
no one in attendance had been there... or at least no one would admit
having done so.
We went bar hopping much of the
the night, though not to the swinger's club. Around 1:30am we
track of the rest of the gang, so I talked Dani into going since it was
only a block away from the other clubs we had just been in. We
got as far as the doorman.
I was wearing a t-shirt and
The guy about my age working the door was okay with letting me in like
that, but an older guy, probably the owner, came in just as the first
was getting ready to take our cover and pointed out that I didn't have
a collared shirt on. That was one of the multitude of rules they
had posted on a sign by the door.
Quick moral of the story up to
You have to get dressed up if you're hoping to get naked with relative
We (okay, I) left
and that we really really missed out on something new and
Some of you know how I am about exploring out-of-the-way places, how
obsess over finding out what's just up ahead. By some
that's exactly what this was: urban exploration.
That night when we returned
home, I found
the club's website, and they were really insistent on the collared
etc. there as well There's always MySpace if you want to
swingers, but I wanted to see them in their natural habitat. I
the safari experience of mingling in the same space, not merely looking
at them on the other side of the screen like a trip to the zoo.
closest we had managed at that point was to see a few patrons in the
lot on their way in, but since it was so late by the time we arrived
night, there wasn't much traffic.
We joked about going back to
the club every
time we were in the area, but a couple years went by without us ever
made a return trip.
One night a few months back,
Dani and I
were in Dallas to see a friend's band play, but they were done by 12:30
and left the bar themselves soon thereafter. We didn't really
to hear too many more bands by that point, so we were at a loss for
to do on a Friday night. "How about the swinger's club," I
to Dani. Apparently the couple beers I had bought her earlier had
kicked in and she said, "Sure. What the hell."
I happened to have on a
this time for some reason. Dani should have known better than to
tell me what to wear that night.
We made it over to the club
late in the
evening once again. It was around 12:45 or so when we got there,
so the guy working the door just waved the cover. You can join as
a "member" of the club for an annual fee (I forgot the price), but we
only going route of the "single-night membership." We signed
avowing that we were neither cops nor journalists. I knew from
about the place that this club in particular had previously had
with both parties in that order, with the latter following up on the
of the former that had disrupted the perceived privacy and safety of
scene some years ago.
Once Dani and I were inside the
we found additional reasons why they didn't bother to charge the "new
to come in. For one thing, there weren't a lot of people on the
Further boosting our near-VIP status was our relatively young
Whereas at 33, I normally feel like I'm among the oldest in the room at
most bars, here the crowd looked to be in their late 30s on into their
50s. We went over to the bar and I bought a couple Cokes for Dani
and me, then we picked a booth and sat back and people-watched.
Apparently Saturday nights are
option to see a lot of action. This Friday night was fairly thin,
but having a smaller crowd gave us more of a chance to concentrate on
following the few people who were there. The low numbers actually
made it somewhat easier to keep track of the cards with only a small
There was one table in the
middle of the
place with two couples who seemed to know one another, most likely in
biblical sense as well, but they didn't mingle with anyone else
They seemed almost to be detached from the rest of the patrons and left
shortly after we arrived, though we couldn't find any reason to take
Two or three other couples were
bar and/or playing pool in the corner where there were a couple of
I would like to say they were playing to see who hooked up with whom,
unfortunately no one did anything to support that fiction or just about
any other I was composing in my head while we were there.
Besides us, there was another
guy in his late forties and a thirtyish woman. They went off by
toward the back of the bar opposite almost everyone else there, and
really mix with anyone. I tried to talk Dani into going with me
talk to them, but she chickened and held our position at the thirty
From there we were privy to the
of the night. In the middle of the bar was an open area that
as a dance floor. There was a fortyish black guy who almost
was celebrating his release from the suspended animation capsule he had
been encased in since the late 1970s. He was doing some dirty
with his girlfriend. Actually, she was doing most of the dancing
by grinding up against him while he grinned and smoked a cigar.
a couple of the other women from by the pool table came over and joined
in dancing, though not really with the guy, even doing a conga line of
three girls. It wasn't anything over the top, but it was more
you would see at a Baptist wedding reception, certainly.
Once the dancing got going
one of the bartenders joined in, a very heavy blonde woman in her
This was when the clothes started coming off. She took off her
and was dancing around in a bra that almost certainly had to have been
featured one of those Discovery Channel shows with a title like
Marvels" or something. She was huge pretty much everywhere.
I can say that without any qualifiers since we saw pretty much the everywhere
when her shorts came off and she continued dancing with the rest of
in a thong. Either this spectacle or the fact that their wives
already on the dance floor brought a couple of the other guys over from
the pool tables. Admittedly, they couldn't dance, but they played
It was like stand-up comedy
Dani wanted to leave at one point because we were laughing pretty hard
when the dancing was getting going, and it was getting really obvious
we were laughing at the people on the dance floor. Honestly, I
laughing more at Dani than at the patrons. And this was just a
night, apparently. According to the fliers on tables around the
including ours, there was to be a "sexy dance contest" in three weeks
then. I definitely wanted to check this out. If the casual
dancing was this wild, I couldn't imagine what we might find on a
It was a funny scene, but at
the same time,
I thought it was nice that they had a place to cut loose without people
judging them... except for the two of us. A few years ago Dani
I went to a strip club for a friend's bachelor party. I had never
been to one before, and neither had most of us who were there with the
bachelor. Most of us had gone to dinner together before arriving
and admitted that we were kind of nervous and not sure what to expect
than scenes from tv cop dramas, but in addition to the obvious
of naked women, the evening itself turned out to be surprisingly fun
not the least bit awkward. I loved the fact that the strip club
a place where sexuality was thrown up so unapologetically in your face
that you were desensitized about it by the end of the night.
were completely un-selfconscious (especially the dancers, obviously),
for the most part that same attitude was what we found at the swinger's
As far as I'm concerned, it's
these places exist, even though they aren't really my thing. I
been back to either a strip club or the swingers club, but I would
rule out a return eventually. I appreciated that it was sort of a
mini convention for a group with a common interest. I've been in
comic book stores and run across the hardcore role-playing gamers
around the tables in the back. They seem so out of touch that
likely don't have a broad circle of friends, just people who make fun
them for being different. But the comic book store was a place
they had one another and got to live out their fantasies to some
At least with the swinger's club it didn't require much imagination to
empathize with the basis for the fantasy.
After maybe forty-five minutes
or so of
people-watching that night, we got up and wandered around a bit.
I talked to the bartender at the other end of the place. She was
more my type, although I don't know if the help is normally encouraged
to or prohibited from flirting with customers. She was in her
forties and was fairly small, maybe 5'2" or a little better and
Whereas most of the patrons were dressed in causal but nice clothes,
was wearing a white see-through shirt made of some semi-transparent
material with nothing else underneath.
I asked general questions about
and I'm sure I must have come off like a vice cop considering neither
nor I were drinking or mingling in a club where the purpose is
to meet other people. We talked to her quite a bit, but it was
late and people were leaving with almost no new ones coming in.
looked like we were down to the leftovers who didn't get picked for a
that night, so we left well before last call. Yes, on our
Just the two of us. Seriously.
I definitely want to go back
and see what
it's like on a night with heavier traffic. I want to actually
to actual swingers in their actual, real-life environment next
If I'm going to be scientific about it, maybe I could have a lab
by opening up my own club. I've already got the name picked out: