Fearing the future at a swinger’s club
On New Year’s Eve I had a date. A customer wanted to dance with me into the new year at a sex party. Now attentive readers may begin to wonder about such madness, paying me so others can have sex with me for free!
Well noted, yet my customers have very good reasons to employ me for such occasions. Most don’t even know where to go, which of the many parties in Berlin? Further, they would never dare attend such an event themselves; they need a knowledgeable guide, as Dante did in the Inferno.
Someone wants to try out the scene, at best grimy, red-light style. It’s different to a hotel date, truly a flirt with the gutter. As an alibi I’m the notoriously ever-horny babe on his arm who enjoys frequenting such places, my world. He’s just an observer, one who doesn’t take off his clothes. And this, without anyone suspecting he’s a voyeur – he is, after all, with someone. At most of these parties one knows how to categorise me and my guests, and there’s excitement when I bring someone new. Better than only ever the usual suspects, the clan of regulars. Someone is ordering the expensive champagne at the bar no one else can afford. Someone else is new here, still to be impressed. Someone has to marvel at the fabulous latex hoods, be afraid of a spanking session, someone still must get a bit of a shock by the carnival of fetishes they’ve seen in porn but never in the flesh.
Oh, and you want to experience all that, too, dear readers? From the safety of the observation post? Follow me!
A small swinger typography
For starters, a short introduction to the common roles at such a party:
First, we have the timid couple, shy newcomers like you. They are probably here because they want to revitalise their marriage – but uh-oh, he’s looking at other women too much. So they sit for the most part, holding hands in the corner in their brand-spanking-new latex and leather outfits. It is not hard to imagine that these types sit at a bank counter or a DIY warehouse during the day.
Their counterpart is the very open couple – they invite everyone for a threesome regardless of interest. Yet they often salvage an overly chilly vibe and are indispensable for breaking the ice.
The rough & tumble: You’ll find them in a side room, or whatever they’re called, a torture chamber or a dungeon, and the first thing you see is their red-hot ass they’re sticking out for their torturer. Hard smacks, only one of which for me would trigger a nervous breakdown, whereas she takes it with a low moo. Perhaps to love so much pain you must also somewhat hate your body? For it is often the exceptional bodies, the highly overweight or extremely skinny, who allow themselves to be treated like that. Let this be a lesson, shocked observer: people are diverse.
Near them another typical couple gads about, the pseudo-dom with his indecisive slave. The pseudo-dom always makes a bit of a fool of himself, either because he’s constantly trying to overwork his sub, to then be respectfully reminded of SM etiquette by his indignant spectators – or because he seeks to avoid precisely that, boring his purported slave because he gives her so laughably little to do.
On the dancefloor, but also on the couches, is esoteric territory where the whole thing is a spiritual experience. They enjoy taking a lot of time with one person, touching them, or their astral body, very very slowly, mindfully.
Then, of course, you have the vain pretty people who dance alone, modelling their beautiful bodies but then don’t do anything with anyone.
They are not to be mistaken for the other pretty people who are remarkably willing. They are mainly professional prostitutes, invited and paid for by the club just in case—which can really be worthwhile if you’re used to the fees in the knocking-shop. Today I’ve come with one client who paid me for everyone else.
Sometimes artists put on shows, do body painting or Japanese shibari bondage, in which tied-up bodies bob like taut sacks from the ceiling. On occasion there will be a dom on duty, an adept sadist on standby should a lonesome submissive be without a partner or to assist when couples want to experiment. Then there are the good spirits who work the bar, hand out condoms, lend out toys and discreetly clean up here and there.
All of this, of course, with gender identities of all kinds – gay, lesbian and hetero couples as well as trans women, who tend to be shy and coquettish, silently enjoying their own feminization. They are always incredibly sweet and excited when I, a cis hetero woman lesbionically/non-lesbionically flirt with them, marvelling at their gorgeous legs, their beautiful get-ups, and whatever else is under their skirts. They are usually the only darlings with whom I initiate the flirting, so I don’t have to fear my client’s jealous reactions, and so he doesn’t turn his attention to another woman he could like better than me and not even have to pay. That would be unfair to the other woman.
But the main character is the emcee, of course, the organizer, usually a woman – the best swinger clubs are all led by women I would claim – usually a dominatrix, or dressed in this style, who warmly greets all the guests, knows their names and their likings, the secrets partners alternately confide in her, and who creates a lively atmosphere. Who has a problem that shouldn’t be exposed? Who is shy, but secretly wants to take centre stage? Who needs peace, and thus a bit of shielding? A highly complex diplomatic responsibility requiring social intelligence and political savvy, it did not surprise me to see one of these leading ladies with the Left Party in the Bundestag under her real name, Simone Barrientos. The same person I witnessed addressing select gentlemen as the emcee, Julietta, at one of her big parties: “There is a wife here, a bit older, riddled with a body-image complex, whose birthday wish is to have a gangbang on a gynaecologist’s chair – and naturally it would be good if there were a few volunteers so this isn’t humiliating for the poor dear…” She ended up finding five volunteers, and the recipient drove merrily home with her husband.
I don’t have to emphasise how marvellous I think it is that such a woman, a real human being, is active in politics. She really knows what empathy and courage mean, and if there were only one reason for me to vote Left again, then it’s Simone Barrientos.
Now, if you don’t exactly find this motley gathering erotic in all of its minor drollery, its bizarreness, it is undoubtedly moving from a human perspective. Here these people can show themselves as they are, and doing so creates community. And people in a sexually aroused state are, in a touching way, beautiful. Eroticism makes the ugly beautiful. It is the negation of ugliness. There is no ugliness in eroticism. Everything can arouse, become part of the general arousal. A spontaneous, unregulated equality in loving recognition of all differences. Lived utopia. To illustrate this with an example: I once saw someone with restricted growth dancing in children’s sized leather boots, otherwise naked. His member, which among those of short stature is known to be standard in size, was erect, reaching down to his calf. A tall blond lifted him gracefully onto a table and had her way with him, using his small body entirely according to her will. And I believe according to his as well, as he had her wondrous breasts at eye level. You see such images at such parties everywhere you look!
It was clear the first time that I would be bored at any normal party. Why all that flirting when you have to change locations just to have sex? Just to end up in a filthy bachelor pad? Right at the party and again with someone else right after, that’s paradise!
My perspective on this paradise has changed over the past years. I used to regard it with naïve excitement, as the disclosure of a world I wanted to belong to for the rest of my life. Nowadays it all seems anything but certain. This paradise, too, as all paradises, is endangered, threatened by the meddling of illiberal politics, by the banning spree of the neo-conservatives. These censors are unable to differentiate between play and earnestness; they are as limited as a Facebook algorithm. Tying or hanging someone in ropes from the ceiling, flogging them or depriving them of their senses for the purpose of mutual pleasure is seen as if it were real torture! Regardless of how the persons involved perceive it, it suffices that its public image sends “the wrong message,” corrupting the youth – the age-old Philistine argument. One wonders, is it the cynicism of hate-filled Philistines or immeasurable stupidity?
Above us hedonists, menacing clouds are gathering: the dull, hypocritical Christian muff of political correctness, would-be public interest and the hallowed image of the woman as a chaste Mother Mary. A woman should only mount a gynaecological examination chair to inspect the progress of her desirable pregnancy, not to be shagged by five men in a row while quite possibly licking an ice lolly (Nobbly Bobbly!).
The prohibition of this carnival does not mean the elimination of eroticism. Nor its de-democratization. It is now again as it was in the 18th century. The ruling class claims not only all the glitz and glamour solely for itself, but also the smut of our souls. We should be working, not fucking all the time. We should not be living equality and classlessness at the orgy but enhancing the gross national product.
Not that this threat would take away our lust, on the contrary, the dance on the volcano just gets wilder the hotter the ground gets. Lust always lusts for ruin.
The moment at hand
Midnight! The countdown, then cheering, we run as we are, half-naked onto the street to see the fireworks, hugging all around, bubbly and screaming, sweat suddenly cooling in the air. An odd break with a slight trepidation. Not so many ran out after all, a dozen naked maniacs. It seemed to me a short bright moment of silent panic, because this year, 2019, perhaps nothing will remain as it was. And I forgot my client inside, what a faux pas! Then the student at the coat check called us back in. The emcee was holding her New Year’s speech! She was already standing on a small platform, and in the throng before her I retrieved my customer. I had missed half the speech, which was as expected punny, not all too profound. Maybe I’m being unfair to the emcee because she’s not my Julietta. But I did not expect what happened next. And it showed me that despite all sympathy I was still observing these people from above, in my intellectual conceit, me the silly philosopher!
There were yellow vests. Gilets jaunes. Sponsored by our very own Joe from the petrol station, wearing his riveted loincloth and nodding. He was already putting on the first vest, an irresistible gesture, contagious, too. In no time those neon yellow things distributed themselves through the crowd, cellophane rustling. My customer, frowning, said we shouldn’t partake. But I wanted that thing no matter what, and of all people my favourite trans buddy of the evening was charmingly passing one to me. I allowed myself to get carried away, waved to him excitedly as he, inconspicuous in his black suit, removed himself from the camaraderie of which he was not a part: the community of people with existential fear, fear of the future, who weren’t only threatened with the condemnation of their perverse private lives but also had wholly other existential troubles. Suddenly, they stopped being a filthy lot, becoming down-to-earth working people, employees, gig economy workers, people who weren’t exactly poor, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to afford the admission, but not rich either, lower middle class; the petty bourgeois who have a little something to lose, but when they do lose it they are really poor, really fast. And there was nothing to protect them from decline. Nothing to set their hopes on, no solace. 2019 – no cause for celebration. So we partied. It was only midnight, early for Berlin standards. It was still so early, so early in this new year. Nothing had even happened yet!