Sex Club Etiquette 101

Christy and Mark Kidd — who wrote the memoir A Modern Marriage — share the lessons they've learned from swinging for nine of their 14 years of marriage. Ahead, they share their tips for those looking to enter the sex club scene.


A few years ago the idea of visiting a sex club would have been incomprehensible to me. Hearing the term "sex club" would have provoked so many questions and thoughts such as: What kind of sex goes on there? Is it a club for people with sexual fetishes? The club must be for edgy, cool people that wouldn't accept my kind . . . the normal kind. Is a sex club even legal? Based on our preconceived notions, my husband and I never would have intentionally visited this kind of club.

However, while attending what we thought was a "normal" New Year's Eve party a few years ago, we found ourselves walking through a New York City loft to a private back room, which turned out to be a place for couples (swingers and otherwise) to engage in public sex. Walking through this room was a powerful experience that changed our lives forever. For us, after seeing a wall-to-wall landscape of pleasure-seeking, pleasure-giving naked human bodies in every possible configuration, there was no going back!

Over the past few years these swinger sex clubs have become increasingly common. You can find them in almost any major city, even suburban strip malls. They are so common that we coincidentally found ourselves living a mere three blocks from one! Since that fateful New Year's Eve party (our Great Awakening Party) we have finally "come into our own," as it were, and can speak to the etiquette for visiting a sex club. There are definite dos and don'ts that we learned the hard way.


  1. Do have fun and don't take it too seriously. We still get nervous and shy. However, it's important to remember it's a no-pressure environment at the club and everyone is there to have fun.
  2. Do groom extrawell. You never want to surprise your newfound friend with an unexpected hair bomb.
  3. Do allow the female to approach new couples. When the male approaches a new couple, it's threatening to the woman and challenging to the man.
  4. Do find out up-front the level at which the newly approached couple is playing. Sex is extremely personal. If everyone is on the same page up-front, it will avoid awkward missteps and misunderstandings when everyone starts to play.
  5. Do be aware of the power of the touch. Sometimes a touch can be worth a thousand words.


  1. Don't have high expectations. As mentioned above, sex is extremely personal and finding the right match and chemistry that works among four consenting adults is not always easy.
  2. Don't be shy. Be the one to break the ice in meeting new couples. Everyone there is most likely feeling shy and insecure. Being approached in conversation by a new couple is flattering and can make everyone feel at ease.
  3. Don't try fetish stuff. Sex at swinger clubs is fairly "vanilla." There are venues for fetish sex, and swinger events (clubs and house parties) are not one of them.
  4. Don't overly pursue or spend too much time with a couple after sex. The general idea is to have a great experience and move on.
  5. Don't attend too many parties. A good sexual encounter with another couple can be amazing, and highly addictive. It's important to keep it all in check, as too much of anything is not good.

As the boundary of what defines our sexual relationships continues to be expanded, public venues to accommodate this will also continue to expand. Our list of dos and don'ts is really nothing more than good manners and proper etiquette.