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My Night at an Orgy

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by mindy strouse, for outsideleft.com
originally published: February, 2005
I'm sure this is what hell will be like when I get there.

July1982
I can remember when I developed my curiosity, nay, fascination for the ancient art of the orgy as if it were yesterday. It was the early Reagan years and my family was on a tight entertainment budget just like everyone else. The VCR struck a blow for affordable family togetherness and naturally we bought ours at the peak of Beta madness.

Every Friday night, my parents would come from the video store with three tapes but I started noticing that I'd always get sent off to my room after the second movie. Then I caught on and one Saturday afternoon. While they were at the Price Club, I popped the third video in: Caligula. It changed my life forever.

December 2004
Finding a swinger's party was harder than I ever imagined. I call every number I can find in those sex trade newspapers. I've had an easier time getting results at the DMV but after a few days of extensive research, my wife (what a sport) and I decide on a "club" in Riverside. I call an ad that reads "Swing with the most beautiful couples in So. Cal." and a cautious sounding man named Jim answers. He sells me on his 4-year-old club. For the princely sum of $50 for the membership and another $50 per party, we get full access of the club and "a guaranteed good time."

"What should we bring?" I ask him over the phone. "Do you need health papers or anything?"

"Nope," he casually says, "Just bring towels and condoms." Then he gives me directions to the house and tells me to get there half an hour early for the newcomer tour.

The next Saturday, the missus and I go over our "safety signs" during the entire hour-long drive. The gestures get as progressively complicated as a third base coach's signals.

"And," she says, "if I scratch my earlobe like this, that means we're leaving."

Surprisingly, we pull up to a regular looking ranch-style home. Each house on the block is about fifty yards apart so at least there's seclusion. When we enter the foyer, there's only about five other couples there for the tour. We're the youngest—and to put it nicely, the fittest. Jim, a late-forties ex-Marine and his Asian wife Ava give us a quick tour of the "play areas."

"The house has 4 separate areas," he says as if he were a Century 21 realtor on an open house, all he needs is a gold polyester blazer.

The tour ends in what looks like a living room just as the doorbell starts ringing. Jim's wife repeatedly excuses herself to let our fellow swingers in as he wraps up the orientation.

"We'll all meet here in the Social Area," he continues. "There's a dance floor, a buffet table and a mini-bar so don't be shy. And remember, everyone here will respect your limits here so don't be afraid to say no."

Amen.

Then on cue, the lights dim and bad Top 40 from the mid-'90s is playing in the background.

We aim for the buffet table which consists of rolled up cold cuts, veggies and ranch dressing and head back to one of the six mismatched couches—everyone's still clothed. We quietly rate the 20 or so couples as they mix and mingle.

The scary thing is that these people are ordinary. These are the same people I stand in line with at Lucky's and wouldn't give them a second glance. Now I might be having sex with some of them. Most of them are in their late 30's and early 40's, a few are clearly well into their 60s. It's an understatement to say no one here's caught up on the Atkin's Diet.

Since we're probably the youngest and it's obvious this is our first time, we're hit on like fresh chum. To everyone's credit, they are the most sincere bunch of sexual deviants I've ever met. Every conversation starts off normal enough. "What did you think of Bush's reelection?" and "Have you tried the seven-layer dip?" are the most frequently used openers, it only gets uncomfortable when they ask us if we want to "play," which is just code for swapping. They seem very sincere and genuinely concerned about us having a pleasant first time but I still can't get over fucking a chubby 50-year old secretary from Rialto with stretch marks.

About an hour later, the Social Area is practically empty except for three other half-dressed couples groping each other on the yellow linoleum dance floor. We decide to roam around on our own in towels—I feel like a Caligula in a forest green terry cloth toga.

The first room we survey, which would probably be the master bedroom if this were a normal house, is the Group Room. Now this is a bona fide orgy. We stare in awe with a mixture of amazement and nausea. It's literally a free-for-all, nobody in the room is with each other for more than a five minutes and except for the couples having anal sex, there are no condoms in sight. I've seen plenty of porn in my time but nothing could have prepared me for this. I instantly gain new respect for porn stars: to be able to actually look good while heaving on top of one another is no mean feat. Everyone here looks like they're perpetually on the brink of passing out from exhaustion. It's also a very aural room, the men grunt and the women moan. I'm sure this is what hell will be like when I get there. We realize we're way out of our league so we visit the third room: the Couple's Room.

In comparison, this room is pretty boring. It kind of reminds me of my college years when my roommates would bring their drunk girls home from the bars. If the Orgy Room is the master bedroom, this would probably be the den. The middle of the room is sunken and there's two mismatched futons pushed against the walls. Again, we stand at the doorway in our towels and watch for a good 15 minutes before we're even noticed.

"Don't be shy you two," an older lady says getting it from behind who sort of resembles Ginger from Gilligan's Island but twenty years older, "just jump in."

It's then that I realize that I haven't gotten sexually aroused in the entire two hours that we've been here. Even the wife who's an amateur exhibitionist is disillusioned. "There is no way I'm even taking off this towel," she says. "I feel unclean here!"

We eventually find the Private Area, which is actually a darkened, covered patio with room dividers and couches. This is the room that Jim told us that's kind of like a safe haven. No one's supposed to interrupt each other or "cut in" as he mildly put it. Of the three or so divided areas, two are occupied. The better half and I agree that if we at least should try to have sex tonight—what would the hometown fans think if we came back with out doing it at a swinger's club.

Foreplay commences to the background score of the other couples in the room: skin slapping against each other, more grunting and moaning and the occasional "Oh my God." Unfortunately, my nether regions aren't cooperating with me tonight. Call me modest but I just can't get into the mood, I'm sure my problem goes back to high school gym group showers but that's another story.

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