It happened a few years ago when I first got divorced: I was 37 years old, trying to re-acclimatize to singlehood and the dating trenches when – (blush) I went to a sex club.
Now before going any further, let me just say that I am not some nympho or slut or kinky sex goddess; I’m just a regular, every day woman and ponytailed mom. But I think this is all the more reason for me to share my adventure here with you – I’m sure I’m not the only one with “curiosities”. In fact, the few women I’ve shared my story with were not only fascinated, but inundated me with questions.
Thus, in Q&A style – as if over coffee – I’m answering some of the most common questions friends have asked me, below.
How did you find out about the sex club?
My best friend Hali stumbled upon it accidentally. She, like me, was going through a divorce and had signed up for a “Strip for Your Man” class to improve her self-confidence and body image.
But while attending the class, she was perplexed by where she was. For you see, the “studio” was located way out in an industrial area, in a long, monochrome building with an unmarked door. But inside, not only was there a dance floor and a “dancer’s pole”, it was luxuriously decorated with high backed stools and tables, a bar area, and sensual artwork.
At the end of her class, Hali finally asked the instructor, “What is this place?”
Ten minutes later, I got a call from Hali saying, “Oh my God, there’s a sex club in Calgary! We have to go.”
Was there a process involved in getting in?
Yes. We first had to fill out and submit a guest application form on their website. Once we were approved, we were told to bring our driver’s license and entry fee with us to the club. Any further visits would require we buy a membership.
We were also told that the theme for that night was “Wear What You Dare”. This event was for couples and single women only; no single men allowed.
What did you wear?
I deliberately chose to overdress instead of underdress (grin). I wore a pastel pink and black corset, covered by a long black leather skirt, with lacy stockings and black boots. Classy, but sexy.
Were you nervous to go?
(Gulp) Terrified! Out front in the parking lot, Hali and I made a pact that worst case scenario, we’d stay five minutes and then leave.
When you first walked in, were there people having sex everywhere?
Though I braced myself for an eyeful, no, not at all. There were maybe fifteen people inside, and everyone was standing or sitting around socializing as if at a lounge after work. The lights were low and the music was loud – and all paranoid me could think was “Gaaawd, are they sizing me up as new meat?!”
As first-time guests, we were immediately given a guided tour with one of the club officials. Right away, he escorted us upstairs, an area we’d known nothing about. “This is where most people come to have sex,” he explained, gesturing around a wide-open room that resembled a cozy living room. There were plush sofas, coffee tables (covered with condoms, towels and wet naps), sensual artwork, and a mounted TV screen playing porn.
Our guide then went on to show us a beautifully decorated bedroom – “in case you want more privacy”, he said – and another wide-open, living room-type area, which apparently was popular for group sex.
Finally, he pointed across to a darker section of the upstairs, where all I could make out was a St. Andrew’s Cross. “And that section over there is mainly used by Dominants and submissives on Saturday nights. But you’re welcome to use if tonight, if you please.”
The entire time he toured, he reiterated all the club rules from their website – especially, “’No’ means ‘no’ here at all times. Women need to feel safe and protected.” He said he’d be walking around all night to make sure everyone was “happy.”
Did you have sex? Did anything happen?
No, I did not partake in any sex (and neither did my best friend, Hali). We stayed downstairs in the dance bar area all evening, never venturing upstairs to the sex rooms. But it turned out that either floor was open for playing. So I guess you could say I was an unintentional “voyeur”.
What did you see?
Couple swapping. Women on women. Various stages of foreplay. And a bit of bondage. I could see upstairs to the BDSM room from where I was sitting – and the events taking place up there on the St. Andrew’s Cross were quite umm… “riveting”.
Were the members slimy-looking and unattractive?
Though this was what I expected, it wasn’t the case at all. The clientele looked like any cross-section of people you’d see at a bar downtown after work. Sure, some were more attractive than others; some obviously spent more time at the gym, too. But I’d say the age range was from the mid-twenties to late-fifties. Some of the men wore suits, while others wore jeans. The female members dressed more in alignment with the “Wear What You Dare” theme, wearing leather and latex bedroom attire that showed off flesh and curves.
I remember one member looked like Sally Homemaker to me in her plaid vest, pink blouse and dress pants. Yet she, of all people, ended up being pancaked on the dance floor with two men at the same time (go Sally!). Another woman that stood out to me was in her mid-fifties, voluptuous in figure, and rockin a black latex mini-dress. I admit feeling both envy and awe at her blatant self- confidence.
Did anyone approach you?
A few people stopped by our table and introduced themselves. But Hali and I were quick to tell them it was our “first time”; they politely and respectfully made small talk, then retreated.
How did you feel when you left?
Like I’d returned from the Twilight Zone! Inside those club walls was a world unto itself, one that breathed with sex and a lifestyle I’d known nothing about. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was very sexually frustrated, too. You can’t stand two feet away from these kinds of goings-on and not feel something.
What was your biggest take-away?
It’s hard to just name one. My experience gave me more questions than answers – around human nature, sexuality, cheating, love, kinks, and relationships in general. I’d have to say the biggest take away was the realization that I had a long way to go in feeling confident about my body and sexuality. This spawned other dating and sex adventures that year after my divorce that saw me stepping outside my safe, bubbled life in the suburbs, and re-examining my Rulebook around sex.
Would you go back?
I highly doubt it. Though it was great to experience it and I have no regrets, it really wasn’t my “thing.” Nonetheless, the one thing I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is “never say never.”
Delaine Moore chronicles her dating and sex adventures post-divorce in her memoir, The Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom (Seal Press, 2012), which is now under option in Hollywood.
SEX ADVICE FROM CYNTHIA LOYST: