My First Fear About Local Swing Clubs Has Come True…
When E and I dipped a toe into the Lifestyle (attending swing clubs) the understanding was that we would not attend any event that was local. This would be our vacation only experience. And over the past 4 years we have attended parties in LA and surrounding area. And at the same time putting a bunch of clubs on our wish list to every city we visit. Being Canadians we originally picked LA as our first foray to ensure that it was an anonymous venue filled with people that we would never see again. That was an important aspect for a few reasons.
The first being, if we made a mistake no one would see us again. I refer specifically to protocol or the like. The second was the freedom to do whatever we were comfortable with, and even to take a few chances because we were never going to run into these people again. And the third, was it was exciting to have events that we would look forward to sometimes up to a year in advance. But then a funny thing happened. On our last trip to LA, for our annual New Years Eve adventure we ran into a couple we had chatted with the previous year. And just like that, the taboo of not knowing anyone was gone. It was replaced with an element of excitement and a strange comfort at making friends within the lifestyle that we could run into again and again. So we re-evaluated and decided to try and replicate this sensation in our own backyard.
When we got home we spent a great deal of time finding a local swing club that best suited our needs. Sure enough we found one, and attended their Valentines Day Party. It was packed and we knew no one from the outside world. It was fantastic! This quickly became our monthly pastime. We would find a theme that suited us, brainstorm a few costume ideas and get cracking. We discovered that wearing fantastic or creative costumes was the ideal ice breaker and we love dressing up! And of course it should go with out saying that once the ice is broken, the clothes can come off! But here’s the thing, we were still quite anonymous. We had crossed the hurdle of running into someone a second or third time from the lifestyle, but I was still leery about running into anyone from our vanilla lives.
And then it happened, only four months later. I was looking at the guest list and sure enough we knew a couple. And it was a former colleague of E’s. Someone that we had partied with a bit and he had a very good working relationship with. Well frick, now what do we do? Message them, say hi? Pretend we didn’t notice until the party? Or just let it ride? I wanted the latter, just to pretend I had not noticed that they were coming, where by E wanted to send a teasing but friendly message. As luck would have it, they messaged us first. Simple, and friendly, “Noticed you are attending on [date] and I'm sure you noticed we are as well. We thought we would reach out and perhaps head off the inevitable awkwardness. :) It's unexpected to run into someone you know in a situation like this and we just wanted you to know we understand the need for discretion for all involved. If we don't get a chance to chat Saturday we hope you have a great time.”
Even with the kind e-mail I was not comfortable running into them at the party, and part of the reason was the theme. If the ladies showed up without underwear and proved it, 10 bucks would be taken off the cover charge. Nothing like running into a person from the outside world without underwear on! It is almost reminiscent of the advice my grandmother once gave me, "always wear clean underwear just in case you get hit by a bus". Underpants allow you to engage in normal society. You don't question why, you just get up everyday, put fresh ones on and go and interact with fellow members of society. So let's just take them off and run into people you know, it will be swell.
As the title suggests, on the said night of the party we ran into them, said a quick and friendly hello and just like that the bandaid was ripped off. A situation that prevented me from exploring the lifestyle locally for so many years was absolutely without incident. We joked about not wearing panties, poured a drink and went our separate ways. E and I laughed about the interaction, and shared a few meeting someone you knew stories with other couples that night and really that was it.
As I get older, I reflect on all the fears that held me back from new experiences, and I am so grateful that I have overcome such a large number of these. Including within the non monogamy lifestyle. I know I have E to thank for a lot of the encouragement, seeing his bravery and the example he sets, and sometimes him just calling me out for being ridiculous. With age, confidence and wisdom I know there are many more barriers that I will break down, well except for spiders. Cause fuck spiders! Bleh!