Imagine arriving at a nice venue, probably a big house in the city or the nearby posh suburbs and being introduced to people who, for the most part, are reasonably good looking and well mannered. They are dressed cleanly and nicely and so are you. More importantly, they’re there for the same reasons as you are.
You sit down with your friend/s or another group and open the drinks you brought with you, you being a nice guest and all. The aroma of liquor, cologne and perfume permeates the air. A pall film of cigarette smoke hangs in the air as you start conversing and as the night progresses other individuals, couples and groups join your gathering. You start to mingle and talk to strangers or familiar faces you have seen before. Eventually you spot a lady with her girl friend/s or a straight couple checking you out. They approach you and spark a conversation with you; they get to know you, who you are, what your orientation is, whether you’re straight, bi, or gay. They might get your friend/s to join in the conversation, they then, in an even and well-mannered tone, ask you if you’d be interested in joining them in one of the many rooms in the venue. You either decline tactfully or oblige gracefully.
You, either alone or with your friend/s join them; the couple or the ladies, in the room and things start progressing further away from idle chatter and more to the realm of intimacy and sensual contact. The straight couple asks you join them or to watch them make love. They might allow you to touch the female but not the male. Or maybe the ladies ask you the same things; watch or participate. Then more people ask to join your room, again, you can accept or decline. They engage in sex acts in the same room as your group. People come by and ask if they can watch or participate in your room, yes or no. the evening goes on with more couples and individuals coming and going. You exit gracefully and return to the lounging area, you get a drink and engage in more conversation with a different set of faces, they might be interested in some activity with you or they may not. You call it a night. You look for your company, if you had any, or maybe you try to ask someone, a couple or a single female to accompany you to your home and party there. You thank the host/s for their hospitality and give them your details. You leave quietly and set off into the night.
So narrates “Luigi”. He is in his early 30s, reasonably good looking, with a well put together appeal and a mild and charming attitude; he cuts an imposing figure and is everything you’d expect from a high-powered lawyer in the field of corporate finance. “Luigi”, as we would address him, has been in his practice for a little over eight years. A bachelor with a devil-may-care attitude, he exudes the qualities any man would want to possess, almost the quintessential gentilhomme. “Having confidence…confidence in yourself and your peers is key to living and enjoying this lifestyle.” What lifestyle is that you ask? The lifestyle of a swinger.
According everyone’s trusty and dependable source, www.wikipedia.org, a swinger, specifically, swinging is “is non-monogamous behavior, in which singles or partners in a committed relationship engage in sexual activities with others as a recreational or social activity. Swinging can take place in a number of contexts, ranging from spontaneous sexual activity at informal gatherings of friends to planned regular social meetings to hooking up with like-minded people at a swingers’ club. It can also involve Internet-based swinger social networking services online.” Our friend Luigi puts it more eloquently “We are those who enjoy sharing ourselves with others freely but without reckless abandon. We are those who enjoy the fleeting frills of life, the excesses that we all at one point, surely, crave and desire, but only some of us, we lucky and daring few seek and realize.” He adds “Monogamy is all well and good, but when you have the chance, the opportunity to experience something greater, something that is transcendent, you have to grab that opportunity and make the most out of your life, your experience.”
“My first swinger party was way back when I was still in law school. It was hosted by this wealthy couple who held it in one of their homes here in Manila. I was really apprehensive. God I was such an awkward guest!” Luigi recounts how he was invited by one of his “brods” to a ‘special’ party and how he was briefed as to what attendance to this party would entail. “He told me ‘Brad, if you go with me to this party, you cannot speak about what you see or who you see there, understood?’ I meekly agreed. Siyempre curious ka… na arouse na yung interest mo so payag ka lang sa gusto niya… pero it’s scary din because it’s a new experience.” According to him, some of the pointers that were given him by his ‘brad’ were “to be open minded, and never, never, never, be rude or discourteous, kasi technically, it’s a social gathering, it’s not just sex, sex, sex.”Seeing the clear sign of doubt in my face he adds, “of course sex is a big part of it but it’s not the only part or even the most important part if you ask me.” I urge him to elaborate, “You see, what we do, “swinging” in popular lingo, is as much a social activity as a sexual one. I see lots of people at the parties who are just there to mingle in a more relaxed and liberated climate. Sure they’re open to intimate or sexual activities but that doesn’t mean they have to. Most of the ‘normal’ parties we attend nowadays are too stuffy and often times just stop short of being fully enjoyable.”
In that case, aren’t these just social gatherings that happen to include as part of its offerings the possibility of sexual or intimate physical relations? But that just sounds like a normal night out in the town. You go out and party and maybe, MAYBE, if you get lucky and you play your cards right, you and end up going home with that girl (or girls) you’ve been eyeing the whole night. So what makes it so different? What’s so special? “Sex,” Luigi deadpanned. “You see, in our parties, if you desire someone and would want to get physical with them you just have to simply approach and ask, nicely of course. They can still say no but that’s just one “no” in a room or house full of likely yes”. Remember, if you want in on one of these parties or to eventually be re-invited, you have to have an open mind and be willing to engage and entertain advances. Plus, you don’t need to spend a ton of money to TRY and get someone to go home with you.” So is it that easy? We simply approach someone and tell them we’re interested and right then and there we can, to quote Austin powers, “hop on the good foot and do the bad thing?” “Christ, no. that’s why these things are usually held in places with multiple rooms. Get a room!” He rages. “But,” he adds, “some rooms can have multiple couples or groups. Some rooms can have both people engaged in sex acts and those who are just watching and enjoying the show. Some parties have rooms with designated themes, you know, for couples only or for gay men and women only. Most of the venues I’ve been to have a specific ‘lounging area,’ a socializing area separate from the crazy places, It’s all very prepared.”
So who are the types of individuals that he would usually come across at these ‘gatherings’? Apparently everyone and anyone; He’s met pro athletes, celebrities, models and personalities, business people and professionals, fellow lawyers and doctors, some students and young adults, and even (shock!) politicians and public servants. “Most are just passing through; they’re there because a friend invited them. They usually just watch and enjoy the party like most people would. Some, though, stay on and become regular faces at the parties I go to. You wouldn’t normally acknowledge each other outside the gatherings but in it, you are all, I wouldn’t say friends. More like associates.” He leaves us a few notes from his experiences as a swinger. “Always be open to new experiences, but know your boundaries. It’s all fun and good when you just think about it, fantasize. But living this lifestyle is no joke and is a very serious commitment. Discretion is paramount and as a man, being a gentleman is a must. It is never just about your experience but the experience you share with the people you meet and get to know. And also, master the art of saying no and know that you can always decline. That being said, every vice offered is not always a vice that you should partake in. If at any moment you feel unsure and uneasy, then take a step back and reassess. If it’s not for you then walk away.” I’m still not sure if he was giving tips for living the lifestyle or for living life.