Do You Swing?
I’ve always thought of myself as unshockable but the first time I went to a swingers’ party, about a year ago, I was stunned by it.
Before I even saw them, I could smell the 15 couples having very public sex in every possible position and configuration, on a series of beds pushed together in an enormous white bedroom.
Before I saw them I could hear the grunts, groans, sighs and farts of sex, then the occasional slapped bum or orgasmic moan.
If there were 30 people having sex on the beds, there were probably 20 more standing around watching them, naked or virtually naked, touching each other and themselves, making eye contact with any other spectators they fancied.
A hard-looking bottle blonde wearing a Central Casting rubber porn outfit was strapped into a leather hammock which hung by a rope from the ceiling, pleasuring a queue of about 12 men.
There wasn’t a condom in sight. Contrary to all my preconceptions about gorgeous people having gorgeous group sex, like in the movies, everyone there looked fat, tired and just a bit weird.
It was a `private’ party in a big, isolated house in the countryside. The hosts and hostesses were the two late-40-something couples who own and live in the house together.
I went along, reluctantly, because my partner had been into swinging before he met me and had loved it. I was disapproving but, I have to admit, hugely curious.
As I’ve got more used to the atmosphere – the painful small talk over cheap wine and cheesy dips at the start, the amateur pole-dancing, the sense of being eyed up from every which way – I’ve grown increasingly excited by these parties.
I resented my partner for wanting to take us down this road, mild self-loathing fury that I’ve grown to enjoy it myself and tremendous sexual arousal watching others have sex. Then there’s sudden sex with some gorgeous stranger while my partner joins in or watches.
Swinging has inspired insecurities, jealousies and petty rows between us. But it also keeps our sex life fresh, and allows us to believe, if only for a few hours, that middle-aged people who drive a Ford Focus, shop at Walmart and enjoy power ballads, can still go to the dark side.