Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Eyes wide open, mouth shut: hands-on reporting from my first swingers club

Posted By on Tue, Jan 11, 2011 at 7:57 AM

click to enlarge Eyz Wide Shut Tampa Swingers club lover

“I’m 31-years-old and this is the first time I’ve had dick problems,” announced the strip club bouncer from the bed at the center of the swingers club. “I have a big ass dick and y’all are making me nervous.”

Other couples were scattered about the room on the faux leather furniture caressing each other. Single guys locked outside "Lover's Lane" pressed their faces to the foggy glass doors. A row of military men crowded the couch beside me, watching the bouncer try to spark an erection atop his girlfriend---a glamor girl with gauze wrapped around one wrist and pole dancing bruises dotting her long, thin legs.

On my other side, Rebecca Ammon and her friend Samantha

sat on towels, waiting to be orally pleased by Rebecca's husband and Samantha's regular swinging partner, a Henry Rollins lookalike. Unfortunately the bouncer's excuses were making Rebecca laugh too much for her husband to perform his lingual duties.

The evening started in the tamer half of the Tampa swingers club, Eyz Wide Shut, where Rebecca was hosting couples speed dating. A little under two dozen people piled into booths in the backroom of the refurbished warehouse space amid several table games and a buffet offering a few fried finger foods. In many ways the event was similar to regular speed dating—plenty of flirtatious smiles and obvious mismatches. However, this version had four people at each table trying to make a connection instead of two, and along with the regular introductions there was the occasional nipple flash or crotch grab thrown in. As a single male—the most detested entity at a swingers club—I volunteered to keep time, though there was one young man who went through the gauntlet alone, announcing to couples that he was new to the scene.

The crowd was comparable to the clientele at an Applebee's on a Friday night. Yes there were the lumpy people and the quiet couple who looked amazing for senior citizens, but there were also a few surprisingly attractive individuals. Unfortunately these types tended to flaunt their sex appeal by acting hyper sexual; the bouncer dry-humped his girlfriend while announcing that he was going to put on a show for us. I was also surprised by the number of new or curious couples, though most seemed more interested in the prospect of having sex in front of strangers than with them.

click to enlarge Eyz Wide Shut Tampa Swingers club hallway

After speed dating, pairs zeroed in on potential connections at the bar. Single men sat alone in booths, watching. One or two couples danced to the kind of 80s rock you’d expect from the strip clubs down the road. When new couples arrived, everyone stopped and stared. There was even more gossip and shit talking than at a regular bar. All were sizing others up, competing for attention, and trying to line-up liaisons.

The obvious conversation opener was to ask how long a couple had been swinging or what rules they played by; each couple has their own set of ever shifting guidelines regarding what kinds of sexual exchanges they’re comfortable with. To make things even more complicated, it’s rare that both partners are equally matched. As a result one person often has to settle for a less appealing fling so their regular partner can hook-up with the object of his/her affection for the night. This is a whole new realm of marital love. Swinging is not for romantics. Sex necessarily becomes removed from the ideal of “love making.” It transforms into an act of little more emotional significance than kissing a stranger. Sure anyone can preserve their sexual integrity and say no to any sexual request at anytime, but in reality there are complicated social dynamics at play that reinforce casual sex as the norm. Your partner may get angry if you spoil his/her hook-up by refusing to pair off with the lesser party. Or, a good friend may get offended if you’ve slept with most everyone else in the club but don’t want to play with him. What results is soap-opera drama, plenty of shit talking, and yes, even jealousy.

I followed Rebecca, Samantha, and their men from the bar into the much more scandalous half of the club. This section has a row of smaller suits with dark lighting, minimal décor, beds that can be easily wiped down, and windows with blinds open to the inner corridor. A small torture chamber is stocked with a few fetish contraptions like a gynecologist's chair and a St. Andrew’s cross with Velcro straps. Across the hall is a functional locker room with an open shower and bathroom stall.

The open play room, Lover’s Lane, acts as a sexually charged lounge where couples meet and get warmed up before retreating to more private rooms. Some watched the bouncer writhe atop his girlfriend on the center bed. Others fondled each other. I sat with my arms folded wondering how thoroughly the owners could possibly sterilized a beanbag chair, let alone the entire room.

Finally, the bouncer dismounted and zipped up his jeans over designer underwear that had never been removed.

“Don’t act like you can out fuck me girl,” he told his girlfriend, who reclined clothed on the bed. “Before me, you had never been fucked for more than thirty minutes before.”

The older swingers in the room shared knowing smirks. When the couple exited to get more drinks to help loosen up for their big performance, the remaining occupants took bets on if the pair would return.

“My dick might not be giant, but I can always get it hard,” Rebecca’s husband said.

click to enlarge Eyz Wide Shut Tampa Swingers club torture chamber

“It’s true,” Rebecca lamented, as she had recently experienced a string of impotent husbands whose wives her husband had no trouble fucking.

For journalistic purposes, I followed the four into a private room with three slick mattresses lined up side-by-side.

“If you’re not going to participate, then you have to at least take off your pants and jerk-off in the corner or something,” Samantha said, laughing.

Luckily the others agreed that no one actually wanted to see this. Rebecca turned the lights low. The shadows of single guys in the hallway pressed against the windows. These men paid substantial covers just to peer into rooms with the hope of being invited in. Rebecca’s husband smashed his junk against the glass to discourage them.

Samantha began playing with her Henry Rollins lookalike boy-toy; his wife had opted to stay home with the kids that night. Samantha warned me that I should have brought a raincoat---a joke I didn't fully appreciate until Rollins made her squirt, repeatedly. Rollins claimed he could make any woman squirt with what looked like an advanced bowling grip. Rebecca took him up on the challenge.

Samantha, who had joked the entire night about performing an "Eiffel Tower," actual found herself in the middle of one. Rollins pounded her from behind while Rebecca’s husband knelt in front of her, receiving oral sex. To complete this architectural monument to human sexuality, Rebecca’s husband high-fived Rollins, forming an Eiffel Tower of nakedness over her. I started to laugh, which probably didn't do much for the ambiance. It was time for me to excuse myself for the night before I became just another single man leering on the outside of the action, desperate to be invited in.

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