The End of The Wife Swapping Bar Style Club: How the Wife Swapping Culture Went Mainstream.
Question: We have been in the swinging and swapping for a long time. Actually, since before the Internet was popular (mid-nineties). When we started wife swapping, clubs and the swinging culture were very secretive, you had to know someone; you might be able to find a newsletter or a classified ad. We were talking this morning about a business article about how gay businesses are going under because the gay community is going mainstream. Are you seeing any of this in the swing community?
Answer: Yes, it most certainly is. Dramatically, in some cases. Certainly with how we operate the NEW Florida Social Club, and with every off-premise club in America. First, some history to answer your question.
Swinging got its modern start in the 1960's with Wife Swapping Parties. Wife swapping would happen at wife swapping clubs held in private homes during Key Party. Everyone's car keys would be placed into an object, and you swappped your wife for whoever picked out your key. Key parties just don't happen anymore - for a variety of reasons, most of which are pretty obvious (Oh, no! Not him/her!). Wife Swapping Clubs gave way Off-Premises Swinger's Clubs to . . . ultimately, the normalness of the Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgendered (LGBT) community. And straight people!
Generally, whatever you see in the LGBT community will happen in the swing community, although often not for a few years later. Clubs & bars - gay and swing - are a prime example of how a change in one community is mirrored in the other.
At a time when the LGBT community is large enough and powerful enough to fight huge political issues such as marriage, the number of "gay bars" is declining. The decline has been going on for the better part of a decade. Finally, this month the Oscar Wilde in New York City announced that it is closing. This is a watershed event: If there had been no Oscar Wilde in 1967, there may never have been a gay rights movement in the U.S. This isn't just some bookstore, it's the birthplace of gay America. And after many years of struggling and watching traditional gay businesses close, it too, is closing.
The LGBT community's successful transition to the mainstream is why. More gays and lesbians feel comfortable enough with their sexuality to be open about it - so much so that they are able to wage a major political battle for gay marriage. And this is killing off the gay bars. They are no longer needed as an oasis of acceptance. Yes, there is still a great deal of prejudice against the LGBT community, but when you're big enough and bad enough to fight for marriage, you don't need to hide in a niche bar to socialize.
This cultural trend is now being duplicated in the swing community. Wife swapping culture . . . no longer exists. The activity itself is no longer referred to as 'wife swapping' or even 'swinging' anymore, except for outside of the lifestyle community. Most of us just call it the lifestyle, without even bothering to mentally put quotes around the phrase. Swinger's clubs? Yes. Wife swapping clubs? No - 'Wife Swap' is just a TV show where people trade wives and don't have sex with them.
This is more than a mere change in terminology. This is an earth shaking event roaring into American Culture courtesy of your High Speed Internet connection: The "Wife Swapping Club" and the "Wife Swapping Culture" is mainstream because swingers are mainstream. SwingLifeStyle had 5,830 people online as I was typing our last article for newbie corner. Sure, SwingLifeStyle promotes all kinds of lifestyle functions, including off-premise club parties. But they also promote cruises, hotel takeovers, all inclusive resorts, as well. A quick look at the death of the gay bar shows that the big events and the on-premise mega clubs will take over the lifestyle in a very short period of time - just as they have in the LGBT community. Small, local gay bars and bar style, off-premise clubs still exist: But they are dying the death of the video arcade. Been to one of those lately?
Swingers are normal people, after all. We don't have a scarlet 'S' on our foreheads. We have cookouts, and kids, and dogs, and jobs, and bosses, and families and bills and . . . we come in all ages, shapes and sizes. For some, the mainstream effect has been downright shocking: What the hell do you do when you run into your kids at a swing club?!? Your kids may be of legal age to drink (and to DP), but WTF? Hope that this definitely never happens at an on-premises club - parent or child, that would be just a tad . . . awkward.
Speaking of on-premises clubs, they are where the big money is going. To be sure, they are hurting in a down economy. But not like the smaller off-premises clubs which normally charge $20 - $40 per couple. Just a few years ago, these clubs were all BYOB. Now, many have a liquor license in order to sell overpriced drinks. In a down economy, this is almost the kiss of death for many bar style off-premises clubs.
Even if you no problem with $20 - $40 at the door for an off-premise club, and overpriced drinks,do you really want to spend that kind of money on a club with fewer people than it had last month? After all, you can meet potential play friends at normal, everyday places, doing normal, everyday types of things for far less money - and have just as much fun. This is killing the traditional off-premise swing clubs. Their days are numbered.
What does a bar style off-premise club have to offer that's different from a regular, normal bar or nightclub? Pool? Dancing? "A Live DJ?" Check, check, and check: Most vanilla bars and clubs have these things, and more. Besides, you don't have that scarlet 'S' on your forehead. You meet who you want to meet.
Like I alluded to earlier, SwingLifeStyle has thousands of people online as I am typing this. And these factors bring up a very important question: What will the New Florida Social look like? How will it operate?
As we mentioned in our last article, Florida Social strongly believes that the lifestyle should be affordable. We keep that in mind as we decide how to spend the billions of dollars we have received in bail out money. When we unveil our new venue later this week, you will see just how timely your question is, just how fast the lifestyle is changing, and just how much the Wife Swapping Culture and the Wife Swappping Club has changed.
We think, for the better.
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