Let’s face it, we’re all a bit morbidly curious about what goes on inside a swingers’ club, what the codes of conduct are, and how they work. It is also true that movies and literature have filled our heads with preconceived ideas and stereotypes. So, when we were invited to go to a swingers’ club, our answer was a resounding yes: we made it our mission to explore this world and to satisfy all your curiosity.
If you’re interested in the world of swinging or have thought about going to a club but don’t have much knowledge about this way of life, don’t worry. We’re bringing you, firsthand, the answer to all the questions that may have crossed your mind – based on not only what we saw and experienced, but also what we had the opportunity to learn through our host, Javi, the owner of the swingers’ club we visited, Paraíso Liberal.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into this interesting world. We assure you that reading about our experience will not leave you feeling indifferent.
What is a swingers’ club?
By definition, these are places where couples can exchange partners. Of course, this is the basic idea shared by all such clubs, but there are clubs of all sizes and types, aimed at specific demographics. In this sense, diversity is also part of the swinger club concept. Something that is also common to all, undoubtedly, is the desire of its visitors to experiment.
What are swingers’ clubs like?
First of all, the layout of the premises is very interesting. In our experience, when we entered the Paraíso Liberal Club, the first thing we noted was a reception area where the person in charge of the club’s public relations was waiting for us. This person orients you and accompanies you into the club, especially if it is your first time. They will most likely ask you about your sexuality and orientation, what you expect, what you’re looking to get out of your swingers’ club experience, what you know about the club, etc. Our receptionist also showed us around the facilities to make sure that we wouldn’t get lost and that we’d get the most out of our experience.
The first place she showed us was the locker room, where we found lockers to store our valuables and change our clothes if we wished (going without clothes and just wearing a towel was also an option).
But be careful, as not all rooms are accessible to everyone: in many swingers’ clubs, there is a clear hierarchy in which women and couples have priority and full access to all facilities, while singles can only access the mixed public areas or spaces specifically for couples, as long as they have been invited by a single woman or a couple. We’ll talk in more detail about the rules and codes of conduct at swingers’ clubs later on.
Common and mixed areas
The club we visited consisted of a main room with a bar, just like you’d see in any nightclub, where you can meet other clubgoers and socialize. In this room, there were sofas and tables and a dance floor with pole dance bars for shows.
From here, we accessed a large heated pool with two jacuzzis (one mixed and one exclusively for couples), plus a large terrace where smoking was allowed. Being outdoors, the area is heated in winter, while in summer it is a perfect spot to have barbecues. However, don’t forget that we’re in a swingers’ club, so while enjoying the pool, we were surrounded by couples “getting to know each other” or having sexual encounters on any of the nearby sofas or beds, in the pools, or even in the middle of the hallway.
Once we got into the interior space, we found a long corridor with different rooms. Some of these rooms contained a bed where couples could have encounters while, at one end of the room, single clubgoers can observe everything through some bars. If the couple wishes, they can invite the single person to get involved in their activity.
Moving along this long corridor, we found another room with two “gloryholes”, for those couples who wish to have oral sex with strangers in a completely anonymous way. There was also another room with a sofa where singles could watch from the outside what couples were doing inside.
These areas are mixed and singles can observe and participate partially, but we wanted to get the full experience, so we accessed the exclusive area for women and couples or single guests.
Exclusive area for couples and singles
The first things we saw in this area were sofas and large beds where participants can have threesomes, orgies, and everything you can imagine. There were also some single beds in small bedrooms that offer full privacy since there are no windows or bars to let others observe from the outside.
Another type of room in this area contained large mirrors for you to be the protagonist and spectator of your sexual encounters. There were also saunas and showers (and guess what you can do in them…).
It should be mentioned that the mere fact that a single person is invited to this area does not give them free rein to interact with anyone – only with the person who invited them. This means that once the encounter between them is over, this single person has to go back to the mixed area. The same thing applies for couples; that is, just because all couples have access, doesn’t mean they can freely interact with other couples. Explicit consent between the parties is always necessary.
We were struck by the lighting in the rooms, which invited us to enjoy a more intimate atmosphere for the exchange, since most of them had very dim, red- or blue-toned lighting designed to spark eroticism for visitors. In some rooms, neon lights were used, while in others there was little or no lighting, to play with the senses.
Who may attend?
Previously, we talked about the hierarchy of the swingers’ clubs. It was made clear that these clubs give full access to women and couples, while single men have more restrictions and limitations because before they can access certain areas, they have to be invited either by a couple or by a single woman.
The aim is to avoid overstepping limits of any kind and ensure that women and couples always feel comfortable in a space where they can be themselves without any tense situations caused by men who show up with the wrong mindset about what a swingers’ club means (i.e., thinking it’s a brothel). With this, we want to emphasize that the fact that you’ve entered this kind of club does not imply that you are going to have a sexual encounter; this depends on the connection you have with other clubgoers.
What are the rules of the swinger’s world?
Several rules must be followed, while others depend on subjective issues or preferences:
- Consent: This is a world where there is much more talk about consent. For example, an open door means that people passing by can observe what is going on inside. However, if the door is closed, you are not permitted to open the door and join the encounter.
- Behavioral conduct: Going to a swingers’ club does not imply that you will be allowed to enter, and even once you enter, the existing rules and codes of conduct as to what you may and may not do will be clearly explained. No behavior that is out of place, obscene or demeaning to anyone is allowed unless it is consensual.
- Division of rooms: As mentioned above, there are mixed rooms and exclusive rooms to promote respect and delimit where access is allowed.
- Identity and anonymity: Many of those who attend adopt false names to maintain anonymity. Other people have no qualms about sharing their name or profession, and even join swingers’ groups or use applications to meet other swingers before going to a club.
- Capacity: This depends on the maximum capacity of the premises, although there are times when all the beds are in use and the only space available for encounters is the hallway. As we have already said, if all parties give consent, encounters can also take place in the hallways.
- Use of cellphones: Clubs usually do not allow visitors to take out or use cellphones, so these are usually left in the locker room.
- Alcohol and drugs: People who are intoxicated are not allowed to enter. If there is the slightest sign that someone will not keep their composure and will not respect other people, they will not be allowed to enter; thus, people who are under the influence of any substance will be denied.
- STIs: Because the swinger’s world is one in which you have sex with many different people, it is normal to use many different methods of protection. Therefore, the club provides you with protection methods and hygiene materials. In addition, clubgoers are usually very cautious about the risk of possible infections.
Maybe after reading all this, you have even more questions. It’s logical; we had them too. That’s why we interviewed Javi, our host, who has years of experience in managing swingers’ clubs, to answer all our questions and satisfy our curiosity.
Interview with Javi
Sexologists (S): Who typically goes to swingers’ clubs?
Javi (J): Nowadays, it is a practice that has become better known and is booming, so to speak. But I have noticed that the people who exchange partners today are people who, perhaps, are more shy. This is because it is more difficult for them to open up to other partners.
S: What types of personality profiles come?
J: Of course, here we have to differentiate between the profile of couples who like exchanging partners. For them, it is a kind of culture or ritual. And then there are the people who come sporadically, who come to try it out and do not come back.
S: So, it is a world accessible to everyone?
J: Yes, but the people who go to swingers’ clubs the most are people we could say have, to a certain extent, a medium-high economic level, because it is a world that costs money. Regarding age, we could establish an average of around 30-40 years old, although you can find very young and very old people. Regarding orientation, the people who come most often are heterosexual people.
S: How should you dress in a swingers’ club?
J: There is no dress code as such, but many people dress more provocatively, such as in lingerie or in a more erotic way. There are also theme parties, where people dress according to the theme, whether it’s BDSM or Ibizan, for example. In this way, you can explore fetishes linked to forms of dress, materials, or textures, or even the fashions of a particular time period, such as the aesthetics of the ’80s.
S: It is a world surrounded by fetishes?
J: You can practice BDSM, some fetishes… anything consensual is allowed in this place. But it’s not because it’s a swingers’ club that more fetishists go there, but simply because they are particularly open-minded people, with few misgivings about showing themselves as they are sexually and letting themselves go.
S: And what about sexual orientation?
J: As far as sexual orientation is concerned, you can see bisexual couples who take advantage of partner swapping to try people of a different sex from their partner, but it is not common. On the other hand, it is even less common to see lesbians or gays in a swingers’ club; they have their own subculture and have other ways of relating to each other concerning partner exchanges.
S: How have swingers’ clubs changed since you started?
J: Now they are clubs where people go to do more than just have sexual encounters, like dance, socialize, and get to know each other. There’s a bit of a window dressing effect, so to speak. Many of the couples who come do not share a partner. They come intending to experience and live the night and above all to observe what happens. Add to this that new couples are not as recurrent as before. It used to be much more spontaneous, much more direct. There was a mentality that a swap club was a society rather than a club where you could see those types of people more commonly.
S: What were the origins of Paraíso Liberal?
J: I had previously worked as a waiter in a swingers’ club called Imperio. They put me in charge, and I did very well for about 7 years. Then there were problems in the business and I had to leave Imperio and set up my own club here. I got started in this world because my ex-wife and I were also swingers. So I began as a client, and then I got into the business and started working in the swinger world.
S: Finally, what is the best day of the week to come?
J: Saturdays are the most frequented day, along with Fridays. The best time to go to the club usually starts at 11:30 p.m. The peak is later at night, in the early hours of the morning, when people feel more “liberated” because they’ve broken the ice, know each other better, and know what they want to do and with whom they want to do it. Apart from that, there is also the factor of substance abuse. Since clients cannot stay overnight at the club, many of them are inhibited by the fact that they have to drive home. Therefore, I intend to expand the club and reserve a “hotel zone” so that all those who come can enjoy themselves without any regrets.
After getting to know firsthand the ins and outs of this nocturnal world, we have discovered that there are multiple (and almost infinite) ways of giving and receiving pleasure and of relating to others. It is no surprise that these types of practices have been going on for a long time, because sexuality is about precisely that: exploring, getting out of the routine, fulfilling fantasies, enjoying, learning about oneself and others, and so on.
That is why we encourage you to allow yourself to break free of your limitations and question the ideals of restrictive partners who may be holding you back from achieving true sexual freedom. Modesty should not be an impediment, now that you know there’s an alternative and that you don’t have to force yourself out of your comfort zone if this is not what you’re looking for.