This is Part 2 of Andy & Michelle's first trip to a swing club, please head on over to read Part 1 if you haven't already.
Negotiating the Details – Andy’s Point of View
Here's where that communication thing comes in again. (Just FYI in case you don't know it already, if you delve into the concept of consensual non-monogamy for more than a few nanoseconds, you'll hear somebody talking about ‘communication'. THERE IS A REASON FOR THAT. ‘Nuff said.)
We talked about what turned us on, and what freaked us out. The first thing that comes to my mind about swinging – is the idea of fucking people other than your partner. (Or if not fucking, then sexual interaction of some kind with a person other than your partner.) Things like naked hot tubbing…kissing… fondling… dirty dancing… oral…. mutual masturbation… piles of naked folks… all those intriguing things.
I'm pretty much a slut. And being male, I was raised with relatively few socially-acquired hang-ups about being a slut – at least in comparison to many women. So for my part, I was ready and willing to jump in and fuck anybody and everybody until my supply of Gatorade and condoms was exhausted.
If I was going to be honest, I’d have to admit to my wife (because she was sure to ask) that if an attractive individual propositioned me, that yes, I would indeed desire to sexually interact with said individual. That’s not an easy thing to say to the woman you love. I feared hurting her feelings. I feared that she’d think I loved her less, or was less attracted to her. I feared that she’d think of herself as something less in my eyes. But being able to share my honest desires with her, truthfully, has been wonderfully freeing. And even if I were to never sexually interact with another person, in one way, just being able to be completely honest with her about it is its own reward.
After we talked for a bit, M stated that she still wasn’t comfortable with the idea of fucking others. As the discussion continued, she revealed that she might enjoy maybe making out with, or some light petting with others, but that the newness of the whole situation and not knowing what to expect, she wanted to keep the evening as a “flirting only” evening, without physical interaction with others.
Now, aside from sexual interaction with different partners, the other aspect of a swing club that comes to my mind is the idea of having sex in front of others, or watching others have sex in front of you. That was the next topic of negotiation between M and I.
We'd been to a number of kinky events previously, so seeing public nudity, public sex, and all manner of crazy BDSM-related things was old-hat to us. We expected it, and we both found it not just acceptable, but arousing.
As far as our having sex in front of others, however… that wasn't quite so cut and dried. I think I’m less inhibited by the idea than she is, but I’m still not completely uninhibited about it. The idea of sharing my sexuality without shame or embarrassment holds great appeal to my sex-positive self, but old habits die hard. I’m 30-40 pounds luxuriant of my ideal body weight, and I’m not a fresh-faced 20-something any longer. So I’ve got some body image issues to get past. If I really think somebody is interested, or neutral, about seeing ME in the throes of passion, then I can be a bit exhibitionist. But I have difficulty assuming that, and therefore, I don’t have a huge comfort zone when it comes to public sex.
At the end of the negotiations on this particular topic, we came to the following two rules for the night:
1) We would interact on a flirting only basis – no serious physical interaction with others.
2) We'd also enjoy watching others having sex, but when it came to having sex ourselves, we'd either do it in privacy back at the hotel, or *maybe* off in a semi-private corner of the club if we were feeling particularly comfortable (and/or horny).
Negotiating the Details – Michelle’s Point of View
The negotiating was difficult for me. Even though I had already thought about the idea of another woman having sex with my husband, hearing him say it was… painful. It brought up all those ugly-duckling feelings I had as a teenager. I had images of a roomful of beautiful people all interacting with each other and me off in a corner, unwanted; completely irrational, and slightly knee-jerk, but very real to me nonetheless.
I think sex was the first topic we discussed. To me, the idea of having our first non-monogamous event at our first swing party during a trip to a different city just wasn’t wise. It seemed like we might be opening ourselves up to feelings of regret afterwards. As for flirting, kissing or petting, well…I was quite aroused by those thoughts and told Andy as much. I don’t think he was surprised by that at all really.
After much sharing and talking and thinking and talking and honesty and talking (sensing a theme here?), we decided on the two rules for the night that Andy referred to before.
Arrival and Orientation – Michelle’s Point of View
Our trip to Seattle was wonderful. We’d learned so many good things at the CSPC and met great people. We’d seen (and done) some new things and were both anticipating Saturday night. For me, I became more nervous as the day went on. These were not “my people”. I had no idea what to expect or what was expected of me, so I just tried to stay calm. We spent the afternoon at Jane’s house since we had checked out of the hotel already. To me, it felt like there was an elephant in the room all day long. We weren’t really talking about the upcoming party other than logistics about directions, times, etc. I finally decided to do my hair and makeup just so I could stop worrying about it. Of course, that gave me something else to worry about. When I dress for events I gravitate towards the fashion of the 1940’s and 1950’s. That night I had decided to do a retro 40’s look. I always feel sexy dressed that way and I know Andy likes it. However, I’d been told that the theme for the party that night was “Leather”, so immediately I felt like I was going to be out-of-place. It didn’t do much to help with my nerves, but there was nothing to do but soldier on
Since it was our first event, we had to go through an orientation. There is a tour of the facility, all the rules are explained and the new folks are introduced to the couple that owns the club. It was done quite well, and the facility was amazing, but I just felt uncomfortable. Everyone we interacted with was extremely pleasant, and I truly can understand how a single woman would feel safe attending one of their events, but it just was not my cup of tea. I felt like I was in a meat market and I wasn’t the one doing the shopping.
The main rule of the club is that the women get to decide what goes on, but I couldn’t help feeling like every set of eyes I walked by was sizing me up – it was disconcerting. At the BDSM events I’ve attended, it seems like everyone arrives with their partners, but this felt like being at a nightclub where folks are looking to “hook up”. I’ve never been into that one-night mentality and I’m sure that’s why I was so uncomfortable. I also was less than thrilled that the play space allowed no street clothing. I am not an exhibitionist. I understood that the idea is to make people feel more comfortable about playing in an open space, but part of my kink is what I wear. I wasn’t sure that stripping was something I was willing to do… especially just to have sex.
The “play space” was like nothing I was accustomed to – there were no racks, no crosses, no spanking benches, just beds – all different shapes and sizes of beds; some curtained off, some open completely, some for 2 people and some for 10. Beds as far as the eye could see. I wasn’t excited by this at all. I love to watch a good BDSM scene, but this was different.
Arrival and Orientation – Andy’s Point of View
So, the big day arrives. I’m a little nervous, but generally mildly so in comparison to say, our first few kinky events. There is an “orientation” at 6:00pm, to be followed by dinner, then playtime.
We arrive at the club which is nestled at the center of a large wooded tract, in a mostly suburban area. The parking lot and entrance are generally non-descript, but approaching the main building, we find that it’s actually quite beautiful. The landscaping is professional, with softly lit stone pathways through the trees, manicured lawns, and an upscale rustic feel.
The main building is the equal of high-end resort lodges, warm wood and copper accents everywhere, and a beautifully-sculptured copper wall-fountain gently burbling in the main gathering space. Tables and chairs are arranged around a hardwood dance floor, which is inlaid with borders of small, white, accent lights. Tropical plants and trees decorate the edges of the room, and large windows look out on the landscaped grounds outside.
I notice that a band is setting up as we step to the registration table. I have a brief flashback to the movie Eyes Wide Shut. The setting wasn’t quite as balls-to-the-wall opulent as a marble-and-gilt mansion with tuxedo-clad staff, but it was definitely upscale, private, and carried a palpable “members only” feel.
Orientation begins with a couple introducing themselves, and telling us they are two of the volunteer hosts for this evening’s party. They give us a brief background on the club, its history, and its goals, and then start us on a tour.
The first rules concern drinking. The club is BYOB, and only beer and wine are allowed – no hard liquor. Further, the drinking is limited to the main dining and dancing area. The play area upstairs is alcohol-free.
Leaving the main hall and dance floor, we climb the wide lobby staircase to the second floor. A balcony surrounds the dance floor for additional guests during dinner and dancing. Taking a few more steps, we arrive at a door. That door, they explain, is the end of the “public” area. Go through that door, down a hallway, and on the other end of the hall, and you will have entered into, as our hosts describe it, “a whole new world”. We all smile nervously, and when nobody demurs, the tour enters the hallway.
Along the hallway walls are hung artistic nude drawings and fine art photographs, and at the other end, we emerge in front of a large, open, locker room. Well-lit, and nicely appointed, it has a plethora of lockers and cubby holes, a number of sparkling-clean sinks, mirrors, counters, hair dryers, toilet stalls, containers for clean and dirty linens, and a large open shower area, tiled in gleaming white and black. It took me a minute to understand what I was looking at, because it didn’t look like a locker room. It looked like an extra-large, nicely-decorated, private bathroom. Completely unisex. There were even a few men and women in various states of disrobement walking around. Inside my head, the famous words came to mind unbidden… “Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore”.
Moving on from the ‘locker room’ area, we pass a large sunken pit, lined with pillows, and draped at the edges by wispy fabric, lit in a gentle blue glow by overhead lights. Across the way, in another pit with a large couch and a few overstuffed armchairs, a big-screen TV played porn – the sound turned down low.
We’d only been in the space for 30 seconds or so, and already I was turned on at the thought of what must go on here. The sounds of sex seemed a natural accompaniment. Mixing in with the lusty sounds from the video, very soft instrumental music played overhead on a sound system. The laughter and conversation between people in our orientation group subsided, replaced by quiet, almost reverent whispers.
From another room, the sound of a woman climbing quickly toward a climax reached us, a muted crescendo of raw sexuality. I glanced around at the faces of others in the orientation group, wanting to know if they were hearing and feeling what I was feeling. Their faces were a study in nervous arousal, with growing smiles. Couples exchanged small, subtle, reassuring touches … checking in with each other, and symbiotically enjoying each other’s reactions, as the sound of the mystery woman’s orgasm peaked, then faded to a series of sated moans and soft whimpers. M and I exchanged glances and smiles, and I found that I had to “adjust” a bit, as my stiffening cock was trapped at an awkward angle in my pants.
We entered a corridor through a large semi-circular room, lined on one side by what I can only describe as bunk-beds made for an adult playground. These were large, oversized beds, both above and below. The lower ones were obviously for the shy – they gave some tiny illusion of privacy by means of very sheer, wispy curtains that could be drawn. The upper beds offered no such privacy, but did offer a full and unobstructed view of the rest of the room, which was taken up by two very large play beds – king-size plus. I was struck immediately by the fact that the upper “bunk” beds were a voyeur’s dream, while the huge open play beds were an exhibitionist’s.
Our hosts asked us to sit, and we did – taking up the edges of a couple of the beds. They then explained a few more rules.
First, the obvious. “No” means “no”. It doesn’t mean, “maybe, ask me again later”.
Second, no street clothes allowed beyond the locker room. One needn’t be naked, but if you can wear it to the supermarket, it’s not “appropriate” for the play area. Most chose to wander around in towels, in lingerie, or simply au naturale.
Third, no men allowed on the third floor (up a flight from where we were presently sitting) unless escorted by a woman.
Somewhere around this point, M leaned into me and whispered, “Just so you know, I’m perfectly happy to NOT come up here at all tonight.” I grimaced a bit on the inside – that was something I was hoping not to hear. It was, however, something I thought I might hear, so I had prepared for it ahead of time. I mentally dialed back my hopes for the evening, tried to focus on the educational and networking prospects, and whispered back, “Okay, love”, and squeezed her hand in mine.
The rules complete, we got a brief tour of the rest of the play-space rooms, and then we met for a few moments with the couple that own and operate the club. The entire orientation process was friendly, and generally assumed that we were adults and could handle this kind of information. Our hosts checked in with us, gave us a lot of reassurance, and basically told us to take it at our own speed.