Sans Pareil editor Robecca Leyden sat down with a member of Auckland’s swinging scene to get an insight into what really goes on behind closed doors.
Swinging was something I’d always wanted to do, and it was simply down to timing that it was yet to happen. I proposed it to my current partner and he really liked the sound of it. Initially, the idea came up because we were discussing our sexual histories. I’ve always been a sexual person. Growing up, I was the friend who tried everything first and reported back what it was like. Sex has always been very important to me. My partner was quite the opposite and had not been with many people sexually, let alone explored his kinks.
After hearing my stories, he wanted to discover more about this world, his desires and his own sexuality. After we talked in depth, we decided there was an imbalance in our sexual experiences and wanted to centre it. It brought us together and I was excited he wanted to share this with me.
We started by approaching single girls for threesomes – something I had done a fair bit in the past. Once we had a few very successful threesomes, the next step we were interested in was a sex club. We had heard about CKK through the grapevine and wanted to see for ourselves. It definitely exceeded any expectations.
Walking in for the first time was a bit overwhelming. As soon as you walk in there are toys everywhere, people walking around in robes or naked. There were giant cages, crosses, handcuffs and whips involved.
We had the best time – and not just like that either. It was actually meeting other people that was the best part. They were the nicest, most non-judgemental, kind, compassionate and intelligent group of people we have both ever come across in such a random coming-together. The misconception is that these clubs are filled with dirty, perverted people, only older couples or single men preying on young girls. It’s just not the case at all. Everyone was very aware of everyone else’s wishes and made sure to respect that.
At one point, we were standing with a couple we had made friends with and another man – who we hadn’t yet met – stood in front of us naked while informing this couple that a friend they came with was feeling uncomfortable and needed them. They were able to immediately swoop in and help her feel a bit more at ease. They did a good job of it too, because later that night I saw her naked, strapped on a cross being whipped.
Because we were new to the scene the owner actually sat down with us and proceeded to tell us the general guidelines of the whole swinging scene. Firstly, he told us not to tell or bring our friends along. I thought this was a strange thing to recommend, as you would think this would be bad for business. But as he continued, I learned a lot about how special swinging can be.
He told us that most of the older couples had been together for over 30-plus years, and this mainly came down to the fact that they had created a sacred space to exercise their desires, together. There were no secrets; no sneaking, no lies. They had created a safe space outside of their regular lives, which existed beyond their friends, beyond their families and was only privy to them. They come up with their own rules that they’re comfortable with and could exercise their fantasies in this sacred space.
Secondly, he said we needed to remember that this fantasy world is what we do together. It exists only for the two of us, and we shouldn’t explore this alone or with other people. Once you explore or exercise these desires outside of your relationship, that’s when it can become dangerous. But if you do it right, you can discover so much about yourself and each other, you start to discover an overwhelming sense of trust and enlightenment with your partner because you both are starting to open up on one of your deepest areas of yourself.
Before I explored this area of my sexuality, I did feel scared and sometimes worried there was something wrong with me. Like people would freak out if they knew. Once I started to see how large the swinging community is, how open and honest, and how happy and healthy they are not just personally but also relationship-wise, I started to realise how silly it was for me to think like this.
Obviously, I’m not suggesting it’s for everyone, but if the couple is honest and open with each other then the experience can be freeing, exciting and rejuvenating for your relationship.
Afterwards, we were absolutely buzzing! I felt so connected to him. The complete honesty and openness, especially with such a delicate area, made me so attracted to this man who felt comfortable enough to let me into his deepest fantasies. We couldn’t keep our hands off each other for at least six weeks. We never experienced any awkwardness. It allowed us to ask each other questions, learn more about each other and feel connected in a way we never thought possible – in a way I’ve never experienced with any other partner I’ve been with.
I felt empowered, strong, and in control of my own desires. I was only there for myself and I was extremely excited and turned on. It felt amazing that I could choose to act on what I wanted without feeling judged or objectified. I do think people presume feminism and swinging don’t mix, but that’s just because of the misguided stereotypes – that men dictate what happens. Which in my experience is very much not the case.
This article originally appeared in Vice New Zealand