I’ll admit it, I was uptight. I didn’t know what to expect and tend to have social anxiety in big groups, even when the folks that comprise them are fully clothed. I sat uncomfortably in the Beamer, cruising down 2nd. Still, I don’t consider myself a prude and the opportunity to go and view seemed fascinating. I also rationalized that if I wanted cheese, going on a Saturday night over Memorial Day weekend where anyone even remotely attractive was out East, was the perfect time. I was not disappointed as we neared. Almost every car parked had Jersey plates.
The entrance fee was $130 per couple; a couple may bring an extra girl for $30. One enters into a wood-paneled room that was somewhat a cross between your uncle’s basement and the Elks lodge. I am not sure if I imagined it or not–the night was rather surreal–but I think there was a deer head over the entrance.
To the right of the entrance was a small dance floor surrounded by leather couches. No one was dancing, but there was a lone, fat, and very naked man sweatily sticking to the leather couch, smoking. I bummed a cigarette off of him. It helped. I took long, harsh drags and blew them out in the most masculine way possible. Oddly it was a Parliament 100, extra long. I sat there smoking, sitting next to my friend who went with me, the trooper that he is. We tried to make small talk about how it felt like we were on a cruise ship waiting to play shuffleboard, but everyone was naked. Or like we were in the Port Authority, but everyone was naked. Or in Atlantic City, but everyone was nak…I surmise you sense a theme.
Across, there was one boxy TV hoisted up on the ceiling that played bad porn. It was truly the place time forgot; even the porno mag on the coffee table opposite the couches was from March ’05.
To the left was the “buffet” area. I use this term very loosely. There were Chips Ahoy cookies in Tupperware (I ate two), Pringles out of their cans in piles and Cheese Doodles covered in Sarah Wrap. I didn’t get close enough to inspect the hot food, but there was an overwhelming scent of Chinese food wafting through the place. Oh, but that certainly wasn’t the only scent. The best part was the sign I was frantically trying to figure out a way to steal: LOWER TORSO MUST BE COVERED IN FOOD AREA.
While on the couches, still not ready to disrobe and don towels to enter the den of flesh, I noticed a young black couple. Neither were anything I would call stunning or even noteworthy, but in a sea of 50-something, 200+ pounders, they were what I would consider passable. I mentioned to my friend that the black guy looked like he might have a big cock and that I hoped we would get to see them fuck later. My friend agreed that so far they were the ‘best in show.’
Not that I had any plans to do anything even remotely sexual. I was there for entertainment—I do this shit so you don’t have to, loyal readers.
Another Dixie cup of club soda that I tried to conjure into vodka and I had the courage to go to the locker room.
The rule at the Ole Trapeze is that couples need to stay together; locker access can only be obtained with both members present. Another rule is that to enter any of the mattress areas or smaller sex rooms, you must not be wearing street clothes. Towels are provided; shoes are prohibited. I demurely went into the restroom to change from my dress to a pilled blue towel. I reconciled the fact that my normally pristine feet would be trampling over some pretty unpleasant bacteria. Probably the hardest thing to reconcile about the whole outing was that the place had carpeting.
Scope on the sink counter. More Dixie cups. Condoms.
The stalls were occupied and I started to giggle because there was a woman in there taking a mean shit. The ridiculousness of the whole experience hit me. I was standing in a sex club surrounded by past middle-aged fraus in leopard muumuus and there was a woman taking a full-on shit while I was mentally sanitizing my bare feet.
At first it felt like being the wallflower at the prom. I have known this feeling all too well. I grew up ugly. Thick welfare glasses, a big nose and horrible teeth. My own prom, a complete study in disaster. Thankfully, I felt far less naked now than I did then, even though I had been ensconced in taffeta and tulle. Despite my mockery I was enjoying myself.
Now, I merely felt overly white and tugged nervously at my towel–damn having huge tits. My friend, on the other hand, sauntered about naked feeling like he owned the place. I gave him a disapproving look, like the one he gives me when he catches me smoking a cigarette. We all have our breaking points.
We gingerly walked into the mattress room. Typically I fear laying on strange mattresses–in hotels particularly–because of the fear of bedbugs. Fearing bedbugs would have been a treat at this point. Torn condom wrappers dot the surface, little metallic stars in a sky of blue bed sheets. One must seek poetry and beauty in the oddest of places in this world. My friend and I sat in the corner to watch. I was taken with the fact that the sex was so quiet. Three couples fucking each other, the middle couple and end couple occasionally reaching over to touch each other.
I don’t like quiet sex. In fact, in porn I need there to be dirty talk. And not contrived dirty talk, but the real ridiculous stuff that spurts out of your mouth without thinking. The stuff that would sound utterly asinine if you said it without a dick and a cunt touching.
The quiet upset me. I stared for a while, but seeing obscenely fat people fuck just didn’t seem better than staying home and watching America’s Most Wanted.
The club has been around for over fifteen years. I began to realize that the original hip swingers that pioneered it are still the ones going. I suddenly felt a part of old NY sex history. All those smells engrained in walls; grey-haireds possibly thinking of their more vivid days.
There was also an overwhelming smell of–not necessarily sex–but body odor. Some people smelled sweaty, but that isn’t exactly what I mean. The whole place just smelled unbearably human.
We wandered to the other mattress room–more of the same. I asked my friend to rub my back, legs, arms–he refuses to touch feet—to relax me. I decided that it would have been easier for me to relax had I been there with a real date. Someone I could playfully blow or bite. Going to a sex club with ‘just a friend’ is like being at a whorehouse with your father. It is just too incongruous.
But onward we went. Upward too.
PLEASE WIPE DOWN EQUIPMENT WHEN FINISHED
Up a spiral staircase there were a series of small rooms where one could peek in and watch people fucking, licking, picking their noses (just kidding about the last one). Sometimes we saw a couple doing it doggie style, sometimes five or six bodies piled on top of each other, genitals and mouths touching in complicated configurations. Made me think about geometry.
Amongst the series of rooms there was an odd contraption not unlike a gynecological table. No one used it the whole time I was there, but I thought there should be another sign–much like the ones you see in gyms–alerting ‘guests’ to please wipe down the machinery after they are done.
As another aside, I commented to my friend I’d love to work there. I could definitely take on a night job. I’d get to sport a Le Trapeze shirt and either man the locker room or bar area. I would wait until I was one of the gang and then subtly suggest to the owners they create a Twister room. I’m just sayin’…
The highlight of the evening was watching a glistening black man (not the one I mentioned earlier) fuck a light-skinned girl while another very big woman looked on and invited passersby in. She was like, “Yo, this is the real shit.” What was particularly titillating was that he wasn’t using the standard Trapeze-issued condoms. My man had a box of Magnum XLs with him. Having had personal experience with the Magnum XL, I can attest to the fact that that was the ‘real shit’ indeed! They were grunting and he was on top of her so all I got to see was his ass moving up and down. I wanted to instruct him to flip the bitch over so I could see his cock. You don’t tease a voyeur with Magnums and then don’t show the goods.
Soon the grunts died down and his partner asked rather incredulously, “Why’d you stop?” He pulled it out and there was a shot glass full of cum in the condom. “Because I came,” he said matter-of-factly. Show over. Body odor started.
My friend meandered away and headed down the staircase. All alone in the hall, still peeking my head in staring at the black guy, someone grabbed my ass and not just my ass but stuck his hand over the towel between my legs. I turned around with my best “No Thank You” face on and he said, “You should definitely come join us.” Apparently my “No Thank You” face wasn’t working. I smiled and said, “I can’t do that.”
You are told beforehand by staff that you should never feel pressured into anything. You should not touch unless you ask first. Begging is permitted; aggression is not. You are instructed to simply say “No thank you” if asked to participate in something you are not into.
I made a mental note to keep my eye on him to not be waylaid by a hand-to-crotch swipe again. But the big problem is that without clothes people begin to look the same. Bodies become blurred. I tried to keep track of who was who by their dick size, tattoos, nail polish color, and amount of pubic hair they sported. Surprisingly, there was little pubic hair to find which was definitely a plus. I had suspected there’d be many a’bush around, but even the older men were totally shaven.
Again in the mattress room–by this time it was extremely crowded–we took “our” corner. In the sex club you really don’t want to put your back up against anything that isn’t a wall. My friend was getting frustrated because he wanted to get blown. I told him he could be free to third wheel it on any couple he wanted. I was fine watching him fuck and suck anonyJerseyans.
More and more people swarmed in. The air was moist, all around skin was dewy and my friend told me at this point his primary objective was to make sure his feet didn’t touch another guy’s.
I leaned my head against the mirrored wall and glanced at the list of upcoming events. Apparently there is to be one on July 4th. The Halloween one sounds like it would be the most fun, but the thought of the one on Thanksgiving made me want to slit my wrists. Having no family, I typically spend it alone or with friends, feeling displaced, but the thought of spending it with a group of naked strangers bloated with cranberries and nog made me want to cry. If I ever get an acting audition and need to prove to the caster I can cry on the spot, that is so going to be my mental go-to scenario.
PLEASE THROW TRASH IN PROPER RECEPTACLES 5/29/2007
I wanted to leave; I sensed my friend wanted to stay. Yet, I think we were both waiting for that moment when we felt we were really there–something quintessential–some sort of interaction or participation. I came, I saw, I was conquered….
And then we saw them. The original black couple we agreed were ‘best in show,’ this time disrobed. Imagine our surprise when they huddled into our corner next to us. Oh kids, it was on.
Giddy and panicked I did what I do in all nerve-wracking situations: I make lists in my head and get controlling. I was also still mentally sanitizing my feet.
We shook hands; intros all around. Her name was LaToya; his was Hector. We soon found out from her–she was such a sweetie–that they were a newly engaged couple from FL on vacation. Apparently they frequent these sorts of places in their slit of the woods.
I explained that my friend and I were merely friends. We were met with looks of confusion and dare I say, judgment? We suddenly both felt the chill of embarrassment. Like we were freaks for coming to the sex club only as friends.
“So you guys have never done it?” she asked incredulously.
She leaned over and whispered in my ear, “My boyfriend saw you when you walked in. He said you were the hottest girl here. That is why we are here–for you.”
Now I was the one who was beginning to smell so very human. What now?
I explained to her that I was here just for my friend. That I only like to watch. She relayed that to Hector who was having none of that. There was a whole negotiation process about to go down. I had never negotiated in a towel before.
I quickly explained that my friend was totally into her. She nuzzled over to me. So I did what anyone would do in that situation–I resorted to lesbianism.
“So would you kiss me?” I asked her.
I didn’t have to wait for a verbal answer.
Pillowy lips, soft and probing tongue. I was liking this. I closed my eyes tight to ward out the mirrors and flesh.
“Now kiss him,” I demanded, pointing to my friend.
We rearranged positions so my friend and LaToya could sit next to each other and further down the row I was next to Hector.
Hector took off his towel and began caressing his dick. It wasn’t fully hard and was smaller than I expected. But then again, show-ers/growers, et.al.
We leaned in and kissed. Very aggressively. My head hurt this whole weekend from his massive hand in my hair pulling, like a gardener extracting weeds. He tasted of alcohol, which seemed foreign in a place like this, so very artificial. I pulled back and he yanked me in closer, harder. He started touching my tits over the towel. Pinching. I pulled away trying to explain that I just.could.not.have.sex.with.him. That it had nothing to do with him personally but that I was merely there for my friend. He looked angry. He stuck his tongue back in my mouth and did something that truly has always nauseated me—the tongue flick. Are there really any women out there that get turned on by a guy who flicks your tongue alluding to oral sex? I have always found it repulsive.
Clearly they were there for him to bust a nut. There was no way he was going to be okay with his girl blowing or fucking my friend while he had to sit by and twiddle his thumbs. Talk about an awkward situation.
So he leaned over to LaToya explaining the situation and I had 6 eyes on me begging me to relent. I was a cog in the sex wheel.
I just couldn’t.
I moved back to my original position next to my friend, my stomach tight, my nerves shot. My friend implored me to just blow the guy.
My comfort is non-negotiable.
So there we were, in two huddled masses, feeling uncomfortable.
As LaToya spoke to Hector she rubbed my leg getting higher and higher under the towel. Had scary Hector not been there I would have relaxed. She was soft and sweet. I was fine with her. They inched closer, still trying to convince me.
Finally I stood up and said I was out of there. My friend left too, disheartened.
Apparently I put the cockblock on three people. I was actually a bit proud of myself.
Back together in the locker room this time I pulled off my towel in public and threw on my dress, glad it smelled familiar and safe, like me.
My friend was annoyed but said, “Good job, Kelly. You did just fine.”
I smiled meekly.
Before leaving I filled a Dixie cup with Scope and tried to rinse the night out of my mouth.
On the ride home on desolate avenues–there is nothing better than the City on a late-night on a holiday weekend–I felt nauseated. It didn’t help that my friend’s car, although not new, has the perpetual scent of new car. He commented that he is sure it’ll be his demise; he is somehow contracting cancer by the chemical smell. I inhaled more deeply.
I got home and couldn’t wait to throw my dress in the wash and scrub myself in the hottest water possible in the shower. I was happy to be home; yet happier for the experience. So very happy for the familiar, but happy also for getting a taste of the unfamiliar.
Kelly Kreth’s is best known for being fired quite publicly for keeping a *gasp* blog. Her online diary, The Unbearable Heaviness of Being, chronicles the mishaps and woes of a single woman trying to get and keep the Big Three in NYC: a job, an apartment and a relationship in NYC. Kreth has also written the Sex/Relationship column for the New York Press aptly called, “Outside the Box.”