Lifestyle is a term I both love and hate. While not liking labels on a person, I realize that lifestyle is a part of us. That part I like. The part I hate is that saying you have a lifestyle can pigeon hole you to the point that if you deviate from it – you are deviant. I don’t want to stay in any lifestyle or category at this point in my life.
I have always hated labels. I find that in each community I enter, others need to place you in a category. When I started dating my ex-wife, I wasn’t gay enough. It was clear that her friends, who had been with the same sex for many years and had never been with the opposite sex, had a strong opinion about me. I had been married to a man and had a daughter with him. Therefore, I was not really gay. (keeping in mind the generation and the time). Then there were the categories inside the community of lesbians. Lipstick, dyke, hardcore, etc. I was new in the community and took it all in. I realized to some; I would always be a fraud, an imposter. We were together for 15 years. One of the biggest issues and arguments centered around a conversation when she asked me to identify myself as “something.” I honestly responded that I was bisexual. This was, in fact, the truth. I still liked men. That made my wife very upset. I didn’t want to hurt her and had held back, placing myself in a category for that reason. That was the first time I hurt her with the truth.
At the beginning of the year, I challenged myself to move forward. I wanted to live my life differently. This was difficult because of the pandemic, but I was determined to make some changes. My lifestyle was pretty solitary. I was recovering from a breakup, dealing with my stepfather’s death, helping my Mom move forward, and worrying as the typical mother would about her kid. All of that on top of the pandemic was a bit much. A friend of mine was dealing with a recent breakup and managing being on her own again. We shared our concerns and situations and bonded over our mutual need to change our lives and explore new things, particularly our sexuality.
The Private Affair is one of two swingers clubs in our area. They offer a very diverse range of lifestyles, and all are accepted. I was intrigued when my friend mentioned checking it out. The pandemic made this even more difficult. Not only because of lockdown limitations but because it isn’t exactly the kind of place you would think would be safe from spreading germs. Our first attempt to go was canceled due to a spike in positive covid cases. We rescheduled and were able to go last weekend.
To say I was nervous is a huge understatement. We both were. We had both decided we wouldn’t partake in anything – it was a recon mission. Neither of us felt compelled to be swingers. We both wanted to branch out and do something new and exciting. However, we both also wanted to be cautious and safe. We also both felt that if the mood hit us in a way we weren’t expecting, we wanted to act on it. It was like planning an invasion of a fortress. All the while, we laughed and joked and were excited about possibilities. Caution would probably win out, and we knew that.
We arrived to find the most welcoming and polite, and understanding people we had met in a while. The energy in the main room was tangible. The first thing I noticed was how accepting everyone was. There were all shapes and sizes and colors. There were casual outfits and string bathing suits as the attire. We went safe with jeans and sweaters, but we weren’t the only ones dressed that way. It did give me hope that I may have found a place to wear some of my more sexy outfits!
We arrived and paid our membership fee. We both signed up for a year, sight unseen. I think we both knew things were going to be ok, the creepy drive into the woods to the club notwithstanding. We went upstairs and were met by our “greeter.” She was beautiful in a sequence mask and little back dress. After dropping our stuff in a locker, we were given a tour. It was easy in the evening, so most of the rooms were available with open doors. The themes varied from hunting camouflage to a batman theme. They also had a BDSM themed room with a wench and various bondage options. After we toured the rooms and the store of outfits and shoes, we sat at the bar to take everything in.
They offer food and set-ups, alcohol is BYO. There is very little difference then being at a local bar or establishment. Except, of course, for the porn on the televisions mounted in the corners of the main room and the poles for pole dancing. The dancing hadn’t started, and most people were still arriving and getting settled. It was comfortable. My friend and I sat and chatted and took it all in. Some people came over and introduced themselves and chatted with us. We were clearly the newbies.
It was a good experience. We are both wanting to go back. I even mentioned it to my current relationship and he is down to join me there. It was a big step for me and I am happy I took it. I am excited to see where this goes. As for “the lifestyle” I think I’ll keep with my original plan. My lifestyle is how I decide to live my life.