It’s easy to see why. The entire straitjacketed landscape makes you squirm for escape. Just hop on the expressway flanked by condo clusters, power lines, graffitied rest stops. Pull off at an exit, smack into Saturday mall traffic, and meet the gaze of just one hyperthyroid-eyed dad driving a pissed-off Nick or Sam or Trevor to karate class while a carload of Britneys in tube tops and scrunchies speed by in mom’s Chrysler convertible.
“The suburbs suck,” Patrick told me over the phone before I arrived. To ease the pain, he and his voluptuous wife, Jenn, 35, a cheery oncology nurse with a rose tattoo on one breast, manage the CandleLight club in Niagara Falls, where they dance with friends, drink, and enjoy a recreational shag. “We’re not in the ’burbs to die,” said Patrick, a warm-hearted jokester who, at 260 pounds, looks like a chubby Enrique Iglesias. “We’re not old fuddy-duddies. We call ourselves the immortals because people in the Lifestyle are ageless. We’re not looking for new relationships. It’s like chewing spearmint gum all the time and you want to try bubble gum. We’re not gonna just give up our sexual appetites, roll over, and call it quits. We like to have a good time.”
Right now, his good timethe redhead named Laura, a bisexual swinger with Pam Anderson breasts who told me earlier in a packed room, “I’m gonna fuck you tonight”is beckoning me with a finger. Another guy steps up, but Laura says no. Not wanting to be rude, I walk over to where she’s lying, bathed in blue light, and give her ass a friendly swat. I begin to step back, but she grabs my wrist.
At most swing clubs, condoms are encouraged during intercourse but seldom used during oral sex. No one I meet is too concerned about HIV or even STDs. “People tend to self-police, and if they have something they wait till they get treated or it goes away before they come around,” says NASCA’s Lanzaratta, noting that anyone who spreads an STD would automatically be ostracized. “We don’t have a single documented case of a swinger getting AIDS. We’ve understood for a long time that AIDS is a problem associated with drugs and with anal sex, and you just don’t see that stuff at swing clubs.”
Joining most swingers’ clubs today is no more difficult than joining a Sam’s Club. Like at any suburban co-operative, there are fees and rules of engagement. At CandleLight, couples pay a $35 yearly membership fee, plus $35 for each event. As with most swing clubs, single women can join but single men cannot unless they are sponsored by a couple, who often bring them for their own MMF fun. (Tonight there are two single men, one known as the Trunk and the other as the Guy Who Sweats, who will service several wives each before the night is out.) Though male bisexuality is treated as an oddity, other fantasies do come true: Female bisexuality is widespread, and it’s not always look-but-don’t-touch for the boys.