I was all set to shit all over this. I spent most of the '90s/00's on the periphery of swingers clubs etc. On the one hand, goths and rivetheads. On the other hand, alternative medicine. On still the third hand, I knew a lot of cover bands. As such, I knew the bouncers, I knew the DJs, I knew the dabblers.
So when somebody says
“Kinky Salon is different because it’s volunteer-run, it’s a community first and foremost, and you know you’re joining in as part of something,”
My eyes they get to rollin'. Been there, heard that, same song, different day. These clubs are always different because they're always volunteer-run, they're always a community first and foremost and you always know you're joining in as part of something. That's the schtick. That's the banner they wave. That's the flag they hold aloft. Casual sex for unity! Fuck a stranger for freedom!
But then we get to this:
“As it turns out, the first ‘key parties’ weren’t about sexual pleasure so much as a response to the existential issues triggered by facing the highest death rates of any branch of the U.S. military during the war,” Ryan told me in an interview. “These guys had a one in three chance of dying during one of their missions in the Pacific. They got together and had sex parties, not as a way of getting more sex … but as a way of deepening the bonds that held their deeply interdependent community together. The tacit understanding was that the men who survived would look after the widows of those who didn’t.”
Yeah, that jives. The folx at these clubs, in these circles, running in these cliques?
- integrate poorly with society
- can't get laid without some bizarro ritual like a swingers' club
- suck at making friends
- view the "external world" as uniformly hostile
It's been my experience that the deeper in you are, the more fucked up your relationships are, the less likely you are to adhere to societal norms, that more likely you are to reject everything normal simply for being normal, and the more likely overall you are to view life as an existential struggle between "us" and "them" where "us" is always oppressed by this monolithic, unthinking "them" that is A) uncool B) too focused on appearance C) a slave to fashion and society D) did I mention uncool?
I hung out with an interesting crew my first couple years at college. They started bonding over "friday night disco hour" where they'd roll a PA into the dorm lounge, dress up in disco clothing and dance for an hour (I did not participate). But they hung together otherwise, moved in together after Freshman year, etc. I slept with two of them but I found out from the one I wanted to but didn't that outside of my interactions with them, they were having regular orgies. What started as "disco hour" became more of a coded sex cult where you were in or you were out. She wanted me in, but I was too busy transferring to another school.
And having friends. Friends outside of disco hour.
I was the only one.
Never made that connection before: "Sex clubs are for people who feel at war in their every day." It explains a lot.