I had sex at a swingers club and liked it 

Our sex columnist says goodbye to Atlanta, but not before visiting a swingers club

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The difference between the reputable clubs and others has to do with honesty and safety. The members belonging to the reputable clubs are dominated by consenting couples. Clubs like Trapeze offer nominal "Single Male" nights to minimize the potential for creepsters and offer couples and single women a safe environment.

Many swingers meet their playmates off-premise, such as online swingers forums like swinglifestyle.com, sdc.com, fetlife.com, or lifestyletonight.com, before eventually taking it to the club. On average, swingers clubs do not offer members STD screenings or background checks, which is why responsible swingers take it upon themselves to do the necessary research to ensure their safety. At the very least, condoms and a desire to quiz your potential partner about his or her sexual history are necessary.

A swingers club is no different than your standard nightclub where you hope to find a partner — sexual, romantic, or otherwise. For many of them, it's a slow process that involves taking the conversation outside the Internet, eventually progressing to telephone, then perhaps coffee or dinner dates. Once everyone feels comfortable, educated about each other's histories, and the ground rules have been established, the sexual play can commence. The process can take months.

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On average, swingers clubs do not offer an economical entry price. At Trapeze, a two-month membership for couples is $50, plus nightly fees: $40 on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays; $70 on Fridays; and $80 on Saturday, its busiest night of the week, which sometimes can bring in as many as 400 people. Single female membership costs $50 for a three-month membership, with a $15 nightly fee. The club also offers deals, depending on the evening's theme, such as free entry on Service Industry Night (SIN). For single males, in particular, the rates are inflated. At Trapeze, a one-month membership costs $100 and a two-month membership is $150. Nightly fees are $45 (Thursdays) and $75 (Wednesdays and Fridays). The remainder of the week, only couples and single females are allowed.

Throughout the evening, Trapeze employees will walk the grounds to make sure everyone is playing fair. Voyeurism is not frowned upon, but the rule is for the person doing the looking to ask the persons at play if they are OK and comfortable with them viewing. If comfortable, those doing the playing will consent. They might even ask the person to join. There is, however, no guarantee that if one goes to a swingers club, either as a single male or female, or as a couple, that sexual relations with any other club members will be had. Relations are reserved to be determined by those at play. If a club employee notices a person creeping too close, or notices anyone who appears uncomfortable or objects, the creepster is ejected from the club, along with the surrendering of the person's membership.

At one less reputable club, according to a former patron who commented on condition of anonymity, the game is manipulated by the owners to ensure a return in their clients, single males in particular. "During the week [Tuesday and Thursdays] around lunch time [known as the "Afternoon Delight Party"], the single men are charged a fee to come to the club," says the former club patron. "The two paid ladies act at hostesses," he continues, "but their job is to lure the single men in to be repeat customers because single men are charged a lot more to attend any party."

"During regular party nights [Friday and Saturday nights]," he says, "the ladies are supposed to mingle with the crowd, but make sure that the single men don't go home unhappy [*wink*] if they strike out with meeting and hooking up with a couple or single lady."

"The ladies are paid 50 percent of the day's door fee for single men, with a $300 minimum for three hours or more of 'socializing.' On the night parties, they are paid a set fee somewhere around $50 to $75 to show up, depending on the crowd and party type."

"Some people know and don't care," he says. "Others don't come back when they find out, but the married single men usually will sneak a day party in to get laid." He discontinued his membership and club visits after he discovered this piece of information.

File this under: Things you need to know when fucking at a swingers club.

Part of the former patron's concern, aside from the deception and health risk of unknowing club members, is the environment created. Normally, he says, swingers clubs are safe for women, as they play a heavy role in the lifestyle rules and actions. Conversely, in this type of facility, he found it created hostility from the men, and thus put women at risk because the men expected sex. When a woman, presumably a real swinger and not a paid player, denied a single male member, there was resentment. Acts conducted by these men with legit female swingers also appeared to be more aggressive in nature, and not in the way that a consenting BDSM fetishist would participate with a female of similar sexual preferences.

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