Friday, August 21, 2009

Swing Club

It is our practiced opinion that swing clubs are a bad idea. Good ones might exist. We’ve only been to one, though the experience was sufficiently horrifying that we’ll never try another. My wife and I had found one online that looked promising. Their website was terribly designed and constructed, though it contained incredibly thorough information about the establishment. No pictures of patrons were included, as that would be indiscreet and in very bad taste. The interior of the building itself was, however, thoroughly documented, photographically. The various rooms looked a little goofy, but by what I could gather, were very clean and well-maintained. It was a secluded two-story house that had had its interior converted for the purpose of housing sprawling orgies. No exterior pictures were provided. It cost $50 per couple per night. The elaborate rules were all appropriate, made sense, and were laid out explicitly. Located in Irwin, it was a substantial distance from our place. On one summer Saturday evening, we decided to go.

The drive was long. Finding the place was relatively simple and consisted of big main roads, until the final few miles. The final few miles to the place were all through heavily wooded back roads. Houses were separated by no less than a mile each. We didn’t see many on our way there. It was late. There was no remaining sunlight and no streetlights. We drove through pitch-black woods until we found the place. The house looked like any other, except for the long gravel driveway filled with what must have been about a dozen and a half different vehicles of varying expense. There were a few decrepit-looking domestic compact cars, a new-looking BMW, and just about everything in between. At the entrance our IDs were checked. Our money was taken. Our shoes were removed – I’m not exactly sure why. The tour started immediately. Just around the corner of the entrance there was a hot tub. Nobody was in it, though it bubbled and looked inviting. All of the patrons whom we had seen entering thus far, as well as the couple who hosted the event, looked to be well over 40. This was a little discouraging, though we maintained hope that we’d find some people our age somewhere in the rest of the building. There was a meager bar and refrigerator in the connecting hallway. The contents of both were generously offered without reservation. Just past the bar were two large rooms that must have been living or family rooms back when the house served a more familial purpose. The one room had a giant TV with porn playing on it and a great number of people watching. We got a lot of stares as we walked through.

We were becoming more and more aware of a trend in the demographic that comprised the clientèle that filled this place. At the time, we were both 24. The next youngest patrons looked to be about 20 years older than us. Moreover, none of them appeared to be in very good physical condition. I won’t go into merciless detail, but suffice to say there weren’t any marathon runners or gymnasts in the house that evening. Compounding the discrepancy in age and physique between the other patrons and us was the discrepancy in general appearance. This is not to say that anybody had poor hygiene or was badly dressed but that the cultural divide between my wife and I and everybody else under the roof was very pronounced. Beyond this, most of the women were wearing various types of lingerie and the men were wearing robes or just boxer shorts. My wife and I were still fully clothed, though we were each wearing our nicest, most form-fitting attire. Walking through these two rooms was like walking a gauntlet. Other than the gracious hosts providing the tour, nobody said anything to us. I could see all of the women glaring angrily at my wife and all of the men looking at her like a piece of raw meat. It was very funny. I laughed silently to myself. At that moment, I knew that we wouldn’t be taking any of our clothes off at any point under that roof. I reconciled myself to that fact and simply began to view the experience as a sort of gonzo sociology adventure. At the end of the TV room, there were stairs that led up to the other rooms. Our hosts led us up and showed us each of the themed rooms. Christmas lights were strung up the stairs and down the length of every corridor. They were all basically bedrooms, with minimal decorations and a bed or beds in the center of each. There was also a “dungeon” with a sex swing in the middle of it.

Further lessons in etiquette and detailed explanations of the rooms were provided. A fully closed door was to remain undisturbed. A partially closed door was safe to peer through but not to enter. A fully open door could be entered at will. If people happened to be screwing on a bed in a room with an open door that meant that you could enter and watch the proceedings. If you wanted to participate in what was happening, you were to place a hand on the edge of the bed and wait for an invitation. If none was given, you were not to invite yourself further. Fortunately, we didn’t see any sex happening anywhere. Not so much as an errant tit. Contrary to our hopes, though in line with our suspicions, the people upstairs were no younger or fitter than the people downstairs. They were, however, much friendlier. The people upstairs seemed much more interested in keeping us around and talking. Fortunately, nobody propositioned us, though a few did corner us and talk to us for a while. They were all very nice.

After a while, we made our way back downstairs and decided to make a move for the door. When we had entered, the hosts were very emphatic about their no re-entry policy. Once you leave, you can’t come back that night. We were ready to accept those consequences. We made our way back down through the gauntlet, past the bar and the still empty hot tub to the entrance area. Once our shoes were on, we were out the door and across the parking lot to our car. When we were about halfway through the lot, I saw the male host emerge from the door. He was wearing a robe now and didn’t say anything as he watched us leave. I wondered silently to whom the BMW belonged. We drove quite quickly through woods, possessed of an irrational fear that somebody might be following us.

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