“I am completely new, but my first experience was, to say the least, a bit unnerving. While I did notice some absolutely respectful single men who approached me and my partner with manners and good conversation, there were also the other types. One such individual walked up and put his arm around me, immediately complimenting me to my partner. He then, in under a minute and with awful beer breath, asked if he could grope me.”
The above is a quote from a comment Openlove101 recently received, and I found myself nodding in agreement as I read what she wrote. I too have been the recipient of single guys’ tactless approaches. Several years ago, John and I were traveling and decided to check out the local swing club. This club was a maze of floors and rooms with all avenues meeting in a common area.
I was a little nervous, so John and I sat in the common area for a while, and to curb my nerves, I suggested that we venture into the playrooms. I was barely on the bed before arms were creeping through the curtain in an attempt to touch me. John quickly curbed this behavior by telling the guys to stop, we were not interested. Well, this intrusion further added to my nervousness, and now all I wanted to do was go back to the common area.
As an owner of a swingers’ club, I was familiar with single men. I also knew that not all of them were like the ones I had encountered in the playroom. I gave myself time to calm down. I wanted to enjoy my evening, but I also wanted to feel as though I was the one calling the shots. If I was interested in you, I would let you know.
This is exactly what happened next: I spotted a single gentleman across the room. We made eye contact and I smiled. He approached and I began a conversation with him. John of course, was right beside me. It wasn’t long before I felt comfortable enough to enter the playrooms again, this time with my husband AND this single man. Same night, two very different interchanges. I was thankful that I didn’t let the previous occurrence keep me from engaging in what turned out to be a wonderful play experience.
Of course, just like this woman pointed out, not all single men hover, lurk, or come on too strong. There are plenty of single men who are respectful, courteous, engaging, and a joy to be around. But what about the guys who just don’t seem to get it?
These guys can’t be getting ready to attend a swingers’ club or party thinking, “ I wonder how I can completely screw up my chances of engaging with another person or couple?” I’ve seen the good, bad, and ugly with the single guys in our clubs, and yes, some just think a swingers’ club is an easy venue in which to get laid, but the majority genuinely want to be a part of the lifestyle. So how can we as a swinging community engage in conversation with these guys in order to school them in the art of connection? What tidbits of advice can we share with these guys that will bring about more positive interactions for everyone?
What if there was a quick and simple guide for single men to reference… something like a list of no-nos. It would be aimed at these prominent players in the swinging arena to make sure they are putting their best selves forward. I mean, who doesn’t love a MFM every once in a while?!
I reached back into some of my own experiences as well as those of other women and couples in order to compile a succinct list. A list for those men serious about swinging and serious about being their best. So, take note single guys, this will absolutely help you if you’re serious about entering our world.
#1 – Don’t Come On Too Strong
When was the last time you went shopping and the salesperson zeroed in on you the moment you stepped foot in the store? As they endlessly followed you around the store, pointing out items or products in the hope of making a sale, you no doubt felt less like a respected patron and more like prey. This is exactly how fellow swinger club patrons feel when you, the single man, hone in, set your sights, and go in for the kill. I mean, think about it, how do you respond when you feel as though you’re being pressured or hunted? More often than not, the intended result ends up being the polar opposite of what you were expecting.
If you waltz up to me and start touching me, I’m immediately going to create space between us. I’ll move into protection mode, which if you haven’t already guessed, will reflexively cause me to distance myself from you and anything happening with you. If you approach me and/or my partner calmly and with a sense of interest in who we are as people and not as conquests, your chances of engagement are more probable. But even then there are no guarantees. Just like with dating, it might take more than one “date” before the possibility of taking anything to the next level. Swingers are NOT sure things… never forget this!
Yes, you’re in a sexy environment, but just because you’re in a swingers’ club, don’t fool yourself into believing that everyone in attendance is there to have sex, and especially don’t enter a swingers’ club with the expectation that others are there ONLY to have sex with you. Some couples and singles frequent a club simply because of the sexy vibe. John and I are big proponents of no expectations when attending a club. We consistently tell newbies when they ask about attending our club, colette, to simply visit and enjoy the evening with each other.
Look, I know you’re looking forward to a successful and sexy evening, but you have to go back to the basics. You have to respectfully NOT start off the conversation with sex! Don’t intervene on anyone’s personal space; absolutely no unnecessary contact. Don’t put your arm around any woman or make any sexual gestures or references. Believe me, if she’s interested, she’ll let you know.
#2 – Don’t Be The Creepy, Lurking In The Shadows Guy
One of my least favorite things in the world is being scared… just ask John. When someone steps out unexpectedly from the shadows, my fight or flight radar goes off. I’ll scream and then my brain will make a split second decision as to whether I need to start running or swinging (lol… no pun intended)! This fight or flight response can end up being the exact same feeling a couple will experience when you, the single guy, is creeping around.
I’ll let you in on a little secret—if you’re hoping to connect with a couple on your night out, creating a fight or flight response from potential partners by lurking around in the shadows is NOT the way to go about constructing a safe environment in which to present yourself. If part of your own fantasy is to watch couples inconspicuously, some clubs (like colette) have options for just this sort of desire. This way you get to explore your wild side without infringing on others trying to do the same thing.
#3 – Don’t Be A Peeping Tom
Our club, colette, has a variety of play areas. Some are completely private, some are group/voyeur areas, while still others are what we classify as semi-private areas, all of which have separate rules and guidelines. For instance, a semi-private play spot will have both surrounding sheer curtains and thicker more private curtains. When either of these curtains are closed it means just that… the space is closed. This means no reaching through the curtain, no pulling the curtain back and peeking inside, no standing in the space where the curtains touch in some telepathic attempt to force the curtains to part!
If the sheers are drawn then yes, you can watch, but remember, no trespassing past the curtain. The only thing you’ll achieve by breaking these simple yet effective rules will be to forfeit what could’ve been a great night in a great club! Of course all clubs are different, so it’s imperative that you, the single male, research and then follow the rules in the play areas.
#4 – Don’t Be The “Brewers Droop” Guy
Alcohol, liquid courage—that “treat” we give ourselves after a hard work week or a way to relax and unwind. I’ve had many a beautiful evening engaging in conversation with single men who slowly sip on a drink, but I’ve also fallen prey to the “had one too many” guy who constantly repeats himself or becomes too touchy feely or worse, obnoxious. More often than not the “one too many guy” can forget about sex. I find this twist to the evening interesting, as sex is usually the operative for a single man attending a swingers’ club or party. You see, all that liquid courage comes at a price, and usually that cost is a limp dick! Did I really just type that?!
No, but seriously, this is what tends to happen. This “brewers droop” is a very real result of overdoing it in the alcohol department. According to a recent article from “Impotence Guide,” having one too many can and with extended alcohol consumption result in what’s called alcohol impotence.
As William Shakespeare said about alcohol, “It provokes the desire, but takes away the performance.”
#5 – Don’t Be Afraid To Put Yourself Out There
Not long ago, John and I hosted a meet and greet at one of our clubs. A newbie single man attended the event. He said he had read a past blog I had written on single guys and had come prepared. Not only was this gentleman dressed to the nines in his slacks, dress shirt, and sport coat, but he pushed through his own fears to engage in conversation. He asked questions about how to go about approaching couples. We were in a group setting, so he received a lot of feedback:
“Engage with both members of the couple.”
“I’m a single guy also, I’ve found that bringing a nice bottle to share with a potential couple or single is a great way to break the ice.”
“Don’t just sit at the bar all night… but don’t be the creepy guy who follows couples to the back either.”
Everyone was hurling all sorts of advice his way. I sat back in wonder. See, it’s not so much that swingers (well not all) don’t want single men in attendance, but damn it, they wanted them to be civil! Everyone was more than willing to help this guy out with pointers and were pleased with the fact that he even cared to ask.
Look, here’s the thing, like I said earlier, not all couples will engage in play while at the club, but that doesn’t mean they don’t play outside the club. This is yet another reason why it’s so important to be engaging with couples or singles regardless of the night’s outcome.
Later in the evening, this “newbie” sought me out and thanked me for providing a place in which he could explore a different side of himself. As I watched this man walk away, I realized he was one of those guys who “got it.” He had taken the time to prepare, engage, and put his best self out there for the world to see.
Listen up single guys… if you want to enter the world of swinging, take the advice above, but more than that, be yourself. The swinging community accepts and embraces honesty, respect, and individuality, so put your best foot forward, and I promise you’ll come away with truly memorable experiences!
John and Jackie Melfi are married swingers and in an open relationship. They were featured in an ABC News Nightline special report “Getting ‘Naughty in N’Awlins’: Inside a New Orleans Swingers Convention” and are the force behind the industry famous colette swingers clubs in Dallas, New Orleans, Houston, and Austin and the award-winning blog Openlove101.com with over 20 years of combined experience in open relationships and coaching thousands of couples.