Maybe you’ve always fantasied about going to a swingers club, or maybe the last year of lockdown has made you crave a sexual adventure or two. If you’re keen to get out there when we emerge from the pandemic and clubs reopen, you probably have a few questions.
Don’t worry – going to a swing club is less scary than you think!
What is a Swingers’ Club?
A swingers’ club is a private venue where couples (and sometimes singles, depending on the rules)
Forget what you think you know – your average swingers’ party is less Eyes Wide Shut and more like a club night or cocktail party with sex. Each club is slightly different but most have some kind of central social area where you can meet people, mingle, chat, and get a drink. There will probably be a bar, and possibly a dance-floor.
What Kinds of People Swing?
Swinging is much more varied than you might think. While the majority of people you’ll meet at a typical swingers’ club will be heterosexual couples, you might also meet queer couples, trans and non-binary people, and singles of all genders. Some clubs don’t allow single cis men or only allow them on certain nights.
You’ll probably meet a lot of bisexual women. Unfortunately, some swingers club venues are still less than accepting of male bisexuality, though this is slowly changing. If you’re a bi guy, seek out a club that is explicitly welcoming of your sexuality – they exist!
Swingers can be of any race, political persuasion, socioeconomic background, age, and body type.
Am I Hot Enough?
When people imagine swing clubs, they tend to think of rooms full of young, thin, rich, impossibly beautiful people. The reality is much more down to earth.
There are a small minority of swing clubs that vet potential members according to a specific criteria of perceived attractiveness. These standards tend to be ageist, fatphobic, classiest, and often Eurocentric or racist. We recommend you avoid these venues.
The vast majority of swing clubs do not expect you to look a certain way. Beauty and attraction is infinitely varied and if you’re not someone’s type, you’ll be someone else’s ideal cup of tea. So yes, in a nutshell – you’re hot enough!
Do We Need to Be Members?
Some clubs will allow you to attend as guests once or twice before committing to a membership. Others will expect you to register as members before you can get in. Check the rules before you go so you know what to expect.
Either way, bring photo ID and expect to have to give your legal name and information such as your address and phone number. Don’t worry – good clubs understand that privacy is essential and they are bound by the same data protection regulations as all other businesses. Membership is
Some clubs offer membership for free or a nominal fee. Others charge anything from £20 up to £100 or more per year for a couple’s membership.
What Should We Wear?
Check the dress code before you go. Some swingers clubs have specific rules, or run certain dress themes on specific nights. In general, avoid street-wear (jeans, hoodies, trainers, etc.) Men are unlikely to go wrong with a smart button-down shirt and trousers, and a pretty dress or top/skirt combo is usually fine for women. If in doubt, smart black is always a winner.
Some clubs also allow, or even encourage, more outlandish dress and fetish-wear such as latex, leather, bodysuits or harnesses, fishnets, corsetry, and so on. In some areas of the club such as playrooms or wetrooms, you might be expected to strip down to underwear or full nudity.
Do We Have to Play?
No good club will expect you to engage in anything you don’t want to. If you just want to sit and chat, that’s fine. If you want to just have sex with each other and watch what’s going on, that’s fine too.
What Do We Need to Discuss Before We Go?
If you’re considering swinging for the first time, you both need to be on the same page about rules and expectations. Are you open to playing with others, or only with each other – or are you just going to watch this time? Can you play separately, or is it together only?
You might set limits on what you’ll do with other people. For some couples, this means that all sex acts are okay but that kissing is for the primary couple only. Others agree that they can engage in oral sex with others, but not penetration. There are no right and wrong answers, only what feels comfortable for you and your partner.
You should also chat openly about any fears, insecurities, or nerves that come up. It’s natural to feel nervous before your first swing club outing, but you should feel excited, too! If the thought fills you with dread, you probably shouldn’t take the plunge.
Have a game-plan for what you will do if difficult feelings like jealousy come up on the night. If so
How Do We Meet People?
Swingers are a friendly and sociable bunch. Chances are, if you hang around in the social area, you’ll soon get chatting to people. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself, join groups (socialising, not having sex!) and strike up conversations at the bar.
Everyone was new once and people like to welcome new folks into the fold. Don’t be afraid to say that it’s your first time and you don’t know anyone yet.
What If We Meet Someone We Fancy?
If you’ve been chatting to someone and you’d like to take things further, at some point you’ll have to ask. There are several ways to do this and you can phrase it however you feel comfortable.
A phrase we like is, “we find you [both] really attractive and we’d love to head to the playroom and see how this develops, would you be into that?” You can also seek consent for one specific action (e.g. “may I kiss you?”) and allow things to flow from there.
Remember: it’s okay if you get a no! Swingers are used to being asked to play, and anyone who has been in the scene for a while is comfortable saying (and hearing) both yes and no. It’s not a reflection on you if you get turned down.
And if you get a yes? Well, then you can all share your desires, communicate limits, and see where the night takes you.
Any Last Swingers’Club Top Tips?
- Remember that consent is everything. Being in a sex club doesn’t give you carte blanche to do anything without explicit permission. Before you touch another person or escalate what is happening, always ask. If you don’t get enthusiastic consent, don’t do that thing.
- Always expect to use protection. Condoms for penetrative sex should be a minimum expected standard. Some people also use barriers for oral and hand sex – it’s up to you and the people you’re playing with. Default to the preferences of the most cautious person in your encounter.
- Get a sexual health screening in plenty of time before you go, and expect to be asked about your testing practices and results. If you start swinging regularly, aim to get tested every 3 months. By the way: it’s better to describe test results as “negative” rather than “clean.”
- Don’t get too drunk. A glass or two of wine is fine, but being plastered can easily lead to you doing things you’ll regret. Too much alcohol can also erode the ability to give and receive meaningful consent, especially in casual encounters. Drugs have no place in swinging and if you’re caught with them, you can expect your membership to be revoked and the police to be called.
- Tempting though it can be, never “take one for the team” (have sex with someone you don’t fancy just so your partner can get access to their partner.) This leads to terrible sex at best. At worst, it can lead to regret, resentment, and even feelings of violation.
- My golden rule: swinging won’t ruin a great relationship or marriage, and it also won’t fix a broken one.
Most importantly, have fun!
Amy Norton (she/they) is a sex writer, blogger, and pleasure product afficionado who has been running her site, Coffee & Kink, since 2016. She is a polyamorous, queer femme and lives in the UK with her nesting partner, cat, and frankly ridiculous collection of vibrators.