Watch the ‘Suburban Swingers’ episode here.
The idea of your partner asking you to go to a swinger’s club might sound like your worst nightmare…or your wildest dreams coming true.
It’s not for everyone.
Recently, I visited a swinger’s club for the first time, while filming the ‘LIFE: Done Differently’ series. The swingers club was called ‘Our Secret Spot’, located in Annandale, Sydney.
It’s a club that was started by an engaged couple, Jess, 29, and Lawrence, 34.
They’ve been in the ‘lifestyle’, as it’s commonly known, for a number of years.
And they say the number of people visiting their club is continuously on the increase.
According to the Australian Sex Census, 32 percent of long-term couples are open to a swinging lifestyle.
And with an average of seven events held in New South Wales alone, there are plenty of options for those curious.
To learn what attracts people to a life of swinging, I wanted to visit the club and see for myself.
Inside the club
The plan was to interview Lawrence and Jess during the day to get a tour of the club and learn about the lifestyle. Then later that night, I’d head back to experience the club in full swing (pun definitely intended).
At first, it seemed like a normal nightclub. There’s a bar, pool table, and dance floor.
It was only once I went upstairs into the ‘orgy room’, and then downstairs into the ‘dungeon room’, that I realised I definitely wasn’t in a normal nightclub.
Jess showed me the ‘voyeur room’ (a booth with a two-way mirror), the ‘open wet space’ and the various bedrooms that can be private, or roped off to allow people to watch all that happens inside.
After the tour, I was feeling better about what I was in store for. Jess made it seem all very normal. Well, as normal as a room with 5 king-size beds in it could be.
I left Jess and Lawrence to prepare for the night ahead, and went and had a delicious curry at a neighbouring Indian restaurant.
Classic pre-swinger’s club meal, for sure.
The party begins
Heading back that night, I was not sure what to expect.
I saw people of all ages, from 20 years old, to 70 years old and beyond, exploring their fantasies in the club.
Research shows the average age of swingers club members is between 30 and 45.
Now, I should point out that I was there strictly to observe, in the name of research, so I wasn’t going to be adding to that particular statistic.
Some patrons were more than happy to speak to me and explain why they were there.
Most were there to spice their relationship up and loved it.
Some people were a little concerned by my fully-clothed presence.
I saw…. a lot. More than I was expecting.
There were about 75 people there, spread over the three levels. Most started off mingling down at the bar area. I saw couples chatting, drinking playing pool. It seemed like they were sounding each other out – making connections downstairs before heading upstairs.
An upstairs is where the action was.
A young couple was making the most of the voyeur room, with a crowd of onlookers watching on from the reverse side of the two-way mirror.
Two senior couples (aged in their 70s, it seemed) all walked into one of the private bedrooms, closing the door behind them. However, given there’s no roof over the room housing one queen bed, the door is a mere formality.
Sound travels far in a club like this.
The group room was the most eye-opening. Several couples were making themselves at home on the multiple beds.
Other couples looked on, more timid, less eager to actually participate.
There were a few singles who would approach the couples to get in on the action. Consent is a big deal in the lifestyle – so if you’re welcomed to the group, you’ll be allowed to join. Otherwise, if it’s a ‘no’, you’re meant to back down and leave the couple/s to do their thing.
I would go into more detail, but then you’d have no reason to watch the episode now, would you?
I spent time talking to people there – on camera and off.
A big take-away I got from the experience is going to a swingers club with your partner can actually strengthen your relationship.
Going to a swinger’s club with a partner requires three big things: honesty, communication and trust.
Each is an important asset in any relationship.
Swingers still feel jealously like the rest of us, but they deal with that through communication, honesty, and trusting their partner.
They have to drop their ego as well as being open and honest about their feelings.
How many couples break up because they think the grass is greener, only to realise, it actually isn’t?
How many relationships could be saved by exploring the grass on the other side together at a swingers club, without breaking up?
Imagine how strong their relationships are. There is nothing to hide.
That then feeds into all aspects of communication in their relationship. They start to feel more comfortable talking about the more uncomfortable topics. The crush they are developing on their colleague or even their partner’s friend.
Swinging is not for everyone. It requires a high level of emotional intelligence, confidence, self-esteem, and communication skills.
All traits that are more desirable in a partner.
Their bond becomes unbreakable. If they can tell their partner they have a crush on someone else and work through that together, what won’t they be able to face together?
People have fantasies. The reality is, most are afraid to express those fantasies, afraid to be seen breaking the ‘normal’ way of living.
What is normal?
But what is a ‘normal lifestyle’? Shouldn’t we live life exactly how we want, and not worry about judgement?
The Swingers taught me we should live life on our own terms. Who cares what other people think, you only live once, live your life to the fullest and experiment with the fantasies and crazy ideas you’ve always wanted to do.
If you’re worried about your “vanilla friends” (as swingers call them), then maybe you just need new friends.
It might even save a relationship that is on the rocks.