Editorial: Swingers Parties- Publication: LA Weekly - Date: July 2010

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Learning To Love Again

Harking back to the swinging sixties era of pre AIDS free love, swingers parties were initially a variation on the old school notion of the orgy. Held informally at private homes and assorted hangouts,  prudish reservations were jettisoned all in the name of individual expression with hairy people sharing bodily fluids while the oil lamps glowed and  incense burned  - 

Nowadays these love ins or swing parties are enjoying something of a renaissance , though today it’s more about free enterprise than free love. A vast global network of private swing clubs do an excellent trade by charging anywhere between $200 - $10,000 a year membership.

The North American Swing Club Association (NASCA) claims there are organized swing clubs in almost all states as well as Canada, England, France, Germany, and Japan.

These clubs are lucrative businesses which provide all levels of social activities for swingers including vacation plans, special vacation sites for swingers, and yearly conferences and seminars.

They also Range in rank and price range, from chic five star clubs with all upscale accoutrements to down market private clubs in private homes where you’ll see some pretty desperate types, and overall sad scenes.

At the average down-market club, usually publicized by dodgy advertising, it’s not uncommon to see three sad looking overweight  gals smothered with ten plus desperate dudes. Unlike better organized ( and more expensive) private clubs  hapless punters  will have shelled out  around 200 bucks or so to occupy three mattresses strewn on a suburban living room floor  coupled with  the remote chance of hand relief from a 50 something  unemployed hooker from Anaheim.

California claims to have officially invented the concept of swinging . Los Angeles in particular has a huge network of swing clubs held in private homes and clubs, with members paying annual fees and pre screened for entry by a pre emailed photograph.

One longstanding theory suggests the origins of formalized swinging in the U.S.  harks back to the 1950’s when the media reported a new phenomenon which it dubbed "wife swapping". California military couples reportedly gathered at "key clubs" where husbands tossed their keys into a large pile in the center of a room. The wives then drew a set of keys at random and the owner of the keys became the sexual partner of that woman for the night

The sixties saw the birth of the first swingers' organization, the Sexual Freedom League, which began in Berkeley, California by a young student named Robert McGinley, in the sexually liberal San Francisco Bay Area. McGinley later formed an umbrella organization called the North American Swing Club Association (NASCA).

Yes,  boinking other people’s girlfriends in a crowded room is now the pinnacle of social acceptability.  Surveys conducted in the US, conducted by the North American Swing Club Association (NASCA) (found that 15% of couples in the U.S. have at some point incorporated swinging into their marriage.

Conquering the wild frontier that is Los Angeles and wading through the mire of confusion surrounding the swing community  owner of an upscale private swingers club called “The Country Club,” in salubrious seaside Malibu offered some clarity

Carter, a seventy something former rocket scientist owns and operates  the sprawling 30 acre property, deep in the Malibu Hills  that features a maze of wildly ostentatious bedrooms.  Looking like part Mexican brothel, part seventies porn set, the Country Club is enough to make Oscar Meyer blush. with its wildly kitsch cacophony of disco balls, leopard skin rugs, mirrored ceilings, stuffed animal heads and oversized furniture  

The Country Club has been host to a number of films and averts including several full length features by porn movie outfit Vivid Video, Playboy and with just a hint of irony, a TV commercial for Viagra. It’s also played host to soaps like The Young And The Restless, various horror films and music videos for assorted American and Mexican bands.

Carter  and The Country Club also boasts Jack Nicolson as a neighbor and hosts a regular monthly swing party for Hollywood’s elite,  with around 75 actors, models and directors converging on the property from all over the US. Carter says the group will spend anywhere between eight and fifteen hours having sex, drinking talking and dabbling in any number of vices.

“We have couples that come from all over the world to attend our parties.  I think we definitely have a higher caliber crowd. I have one rule, no fatties and I try to screen everyone, beforehand. We get models actors, a very hot crowd, very much unlike the trash you get at all the suburban parties.”

Carter says he has attained status as an elite club due to his exclusive word of mouth policy and high admission fees. “many clubs are cheap, but they attract cheap clientele. I’m very expensive, though we ensure privacy and safety; we also have a very upscale sexy crowd.”

Despite the escalated fees, it seems Carter isn’t about the money, making most of his income hiring out his venues for movie shoots. “I charge $1200 a day, and I make very little from the parties,” he claims. 

A true “love child,” and hard core former hippy, Carter says his first experiences with “swinging/ the lifestyle.” hark back to the 1960’s.”“Back then it was part of the whole movement, it was a kind of political statement for the time, an expression of rebellion against the establishment.”

Forty years and three wives later, Carter revels in his lord of the manor role as key organizer and owner of The Country Club.. Now also an ardent “naturist,’ he prefers strolling naked when weather permits, and is happy to engage with willing ladies at his monthly parties, should the opportunity arise.

Asked about the interaction between couples at his parties, carter reveals.”We get people who are voyeurs and some are introverts, some couples just come here to watch and don’t engage with others at all, then they’ll go home and have the best sex they’ve ever had with their significant other.”

“We also have the extroverts. they are all about showing off and will jump in the middle of the room going at it like crazies, making as much noise as possible; they’re all about getting attention, which can in fact be a big turn off for some.”

Written by Craig Stephens

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