Being a swinger in Chicago

The lowdown on the partner-swapping lifestyle.
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Male, 35, Lakeview
I was at a party at a club and someone said there was a private party in the VIP room, a swinger party. I was approached by some people there. For single males like me, that doesn’t really happen—you have to be a really good-looking guy to be asked to join. It’s something that is run by couples and single women and includes very select single males. I was curious about it because every guy’s fantasy is to have two girls at once. It is the craziest thing you’ve built up in twenty- or thirtysomething years all into one. I just felt as if it was the wildest, craziest thing you would ever do.

I got lucky—the first people I messed around with at that party were the nicest people in the world—I’m still friends with them. Here’s how it works: If girls are okay with it, then anything goes. If girls don’t want to have sex with that person, then they don’t. If they want to mess around with girls, then they do. It’s not as if you have guys getting naked and sticking their you-know-what in people’s faces. You have etiquette.

The first time, I had the same nervousness as with any other girl. Am I going to perform? Is she going to like me? When I was with a couple for the first time, I was worried whether everybody was going to have fun. But then I found somebody I really liked, and we were both into it. I wanted to do what that person wanted to do. Some guys find they can’t perform because they are in a situation they didn’t expect, and guys have bigger egos than girls do. When the girl is in control, these guys don’t know what to do.

Regarding couples, there’s such a thing as taking one for the team, but I won’t mess around with anyone I don’t want to mess around with. I suggest getting into it with somebody else. It’s a lot better as a couple than as a single.

Chicago has a good swinger scene, but it’s not the best—Arizona, L.A., Miami and Denver have bigger scenes. In the summertime, it tends to be better in Chicago because you have out-of-towners. They’ll have miniparties, 20 to 25 couples. They’ll meet at a club and two or three couples will go home together. I’ve seen these parties at all the downtown clubs.

FIRST TIMER’S TIPS * Wear condoms. People in the swinger lifestyle are the safest people possible. I’ve never been in a room where I didn’t see condoms on everybody. I know people who get tested every six months—it’s like being in the porn industry. * To get into the swinger scene, you need to find a selective website that caters to lifestyle people (not Craigslist or adultfriendfinder.com). Go to a site where you have to be approved by somebody or certified by other members. People won’t take you seriously unless you do that. Google Chicago lifestyle for websites. These sites don’t use the term swinging. If you Google swinging, you get some of the cheesier stuff. * Have a special word to let the other person know you’re uncomfortable. If one of us says peaches and cream, we drop everything even if the other person is having a good time.

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