Sex Party 101: Lifestylers are the New Swingers


As part of the self-proclaimed San Francisco ‘glitterati’ (we had several names), I had seen pretty much everything. Sex. Drugs. Partying until noon the next day. Tutus at 5:30am on a Wednesday morning as a leftover from a Tutu Tuesday party somewhere downtown. You name it, I probably saw it at some point. As an always open-minded person, nothing ever really rattled my feathers but I still had become quite a bit more desensitized to it all. Or so I thought!

Have you ever seen the movie Eyes Wide Shut? Well, all that sex party stuff—it’s very real and pretty much its own societal subset of lads and lasses. There are hierarchies, rules, cliques, fashion, niche personas, nomenclature, and pretty much anything you would think of that would make up some sort of half-respectable subculture.

When I moved out of San Francisco at the end of 2012, I thought I had escaped the Sex Party epidemic that seemed to be spreading effortlessly into every district encumbered within the city lines (and outside of sometimes); but I was clearly wrong. It seems that every big city has its own version of sly and slinky passion-pits.

Within the first few weeks of moving to Seattle I had actually made a few good friends through the Burner scene (if you don’t know what Burning Man is, you should Google it but don’t let it frighten you). I’m used to how eccentric some of those people are and can get and it never really bothered me. That whole ‘transcendence’ crap was actually becoming my cup of tea (sort of). However, I got a tad taken off guard whilst at an “ABC (Anything But Clothes) Party” when I went to go check out the upstairs ‘talent.’ The DJ talent, you pervs! Haha.

Everyone had great costumes. Costumes made out of paper bags, tape, gems, etc. If you’ve ever been to an ABC party you know what I’m talking about. My costume was personally made out of some fancy-schmancy paper I got at a craft store and my date was the solar system. Don’t ask. Anyhow, we were having a great time at the party dancing and mingling with our friends. The DJ was awesome downstairs, but this place was HUGE! I mean, it was basically a mini-rave. We had to go wonder and check out the other music rooms.

My date had decided to go grab us a couple drinks as I was talking to some people fantastically traffic-cone-and-reflector-clad. As I stood there, I noticed a non-descript set of stairs half behind a damaged curtain. The grossness of the curtain didn’t even come as a shock to me given that we were in some tavern-like hanger dancing to techno music. Plus, I was thinking “there’s got to be some dope music upstairs too and I want to check it out!” When my date returned with our drinks I told him about the creepy staircase and we went to go check it out.

As we reached the top of the stairs, we noticed a few people heading down that were basically naked. Did this set off any red flags with me? Not really. We were at a crazy party and people were half-naked as it is in their falling-off costumes. What happened next is what I was not prepared for. As we walked into the doorway all we could see was masses and masses of ornate pillows with groups of people f*cking on them. People jacking off watching other people get off, people f*cking doggy style, reverse cowgirls, sucking each other’s bits, I mean whoa. Alrighty then! My date’s mouth immediately dropped and I was just sitting there like a deer in headlights. I was expecting a DJ in here, man!

To say the least, I was taken by surprise. That’s not exactly what I was expecting at a party, upstairs, in some shack-like big building! Aren’t these people getting splinters!? Are they tested? WTF is going on!? My date and I had to crack a couple jokes to break the tension that had ensued; stuff like “how boring, they’re only doing missionary, we could totally show them up.” Except, I wasn’t really into showing them up and he was kidding. We both were not really down with the, eh hem, activities. When I mentioned the “swinger party upstairs” to someone at the party that I knew, they had corrected me that they were called “Lifestylers.” Well, I’m sorry I’m not cool enough to know the bang-a-rang terminology! I mean, seriously. Could this night get any more interesting?

Regardless of how crazy this night turned out, this story is not to be outdone by the numerous other fancy-pants…or no pants…flings I’ve been so lucky to accidentally stumble into and have discovered something more down under. In fact, if you keep reading, I will be posting other more fun stories and they get a lot weirder and more interesting, so buckle up for this racy rollercoaster!

In case you’re someone that has their mouth slightly agape at this new revelation, let me just say that Lifestylers are not bad people. Most of them, if not all, have very stable lives and jobs outside of their own little private freakshow. Some are married, some are single. Some are voyeurs interested in learning new moves as sort of a live Kama Sutra re-enactment, and occasionally, yes, you run into a complete inappropriate creep.

I am actually friends with many of these people and they’re great people. This “lifestyle” (you can see maybe where the term catches on) is definitely NOT for everyone, though. I metaphorically sit in a non-judgmental paradigm for sure, but it’s something I could never do. There is certainly a part of yourself you have to let go. And it just matter how much of your whole self you’re willing to compromise.

You have to let go wanting to ever be monogamous with someone and having an intimacy you share with only one lover, you have to give up feeling special in a way that to me isn’t worth losing how I define my self-worth—if that makes sense. At the same time, you have to hold on to your emotional intelligence. You and your partner need to be at a complete emotional and physical equality with each other.

All in all, you just have to be aware of what swinging is all about, be respectful and non-judgmental, but stay aware of the good and bad parts. Some people can be really pushy and clingy in these groups. Be smart in your interactions with people and don’t be afraid to hold your ground if you’re not interested. I, for one, will always be a spectator, but not a participant or a voyeur. To each their own!

From one Sozzled Sister to another – if you decide to jump into the f*ckfest with way too many moving parts, please stay coordinated and get tested!


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