One Night in Heaven


Rhidian Morris couldn’t believe his eyes at the summer party of a ‘glam swing’ club. After completing his investigation he fearlessly offered his excuses and stayed.

(This article about Fever’s first summer party in 1998 was written for a lad mag but was never published because it was considerd too pro-swinging. It’s not quite how we would portray ourselves – there is a lot more girl-girl activity at our events than you would imagine from reading this – but it’s a fair description of the evening.)

I went to a party at a rather glamorous modern house in the country, on a Saturday night last July. The company was upbeat too, the women in particular looking dazzling in their sexiest outfits. On the whole they were a likeable, attractive, middle-class lot, mostly thirtysomethings with some as young as their early twenties.

Then after about an hour they started having sex, all over the place and in various combinations. In the lounge there was a foursome on the floor and another on the sofa. Upstairs I found a life’s ambition: an orgy as I had always imagined them to be since I first read Playboy in 1974. Most shocking though were the two women 69ing on the kitchen table among the pringles and plastic cups, in the midst of a chatting crowd.

This wasn’t entirely a surprise, as I had accepted an invitation to the summer ‘party’ of one of Britain’s leading glam swing clubs. It’s not the sort of invitation one declines lightly, nor accepts without misgivings.

The location was a few hours drive from London and my palms got stickier and stickier as I drew near. Burning torches led me off a dark country lane down a drive through a thick wood. It was very, well, romantic. I parked in a paddock after showing my ticket and walked over a wonderful lawn in a dell with woods all around to the American-style house perched on a rise. It was intensely private and wonderfully atmospheric. My stomach twisted into a knot as I approached the music, laughter and light pouring from the windows of the house.

The company of pretty girls always makes a man feel better and there were a lot of them in their short revealing dresses, all friendly, smiley, and happy. People were excitedly chatting about their holidays, their work, their journeys to the party, how wonderful the house was. I felt much more at ease almost immediately. Apart from some risque clothing, nothing as outrageous as you’d see in a fetish club, it was pretty normal with dancing in the plush lounge and talking in the spacious kitchen.

But the swinging scene was also one of the main topics. I was asked how long I had been on the scene, was this my first party, what club did I usually go to, was it my idea or my girlfriend’s to get involved? Admitting to being a newcomer, I soon picked up the hang of asking similar questions. Swinging parties turned out to be very different from my expectations.

It was not wild in the way I expected. There was no particularly loud music, no roistering, no drunkenness. And I was puzzled by the vibe. It wasn’t sexually charged, like a nightclub or disco. It was something new to me: relaxed and intimate, as if the shared secret of being there melted away the facades kept up for everyday life. In an ordinary dance or party, there are always people who are either shunned or who hold themselves aloof. Here, everybody behaved as if they would rather be nowhere else in the world.

After about an hour I decided to take a turn around the house. In a small, bare bedroom I saw a sight which will never leave me. It was literally carpeted by tangled, naked bodies, with anonymous limbs sticking out in different directions and not an identifiable face to be seen. There were slurpings, slappings and brazen female moans and gasps. I was completely gobsmacked and stood against the wall in amazement, trying to take it all in. It was like a moving jigsaw puzzle, a kaleidoscope of bodies. I started to make things out. Blow jobs, women licking each other out, everybody connected to each other. It was incredible. I never thought I would actually see such a thing. And it did affect me. You can’t watch smart babes being humped and shouting so loudly they want everyone to know it, without your cock feeling the urge to check the situation out a lot more closely.

After about 40 or 50 seconds I felt too hot, too self-conscious (and too uncomfortable) and headed down to the lounge. There was a foursome on the carpet and another on the sofa. Then they joined together as a stunning blonde girl who was sitting on another woman’s face put out her hand and fondled the balls of a guy kneeling in front of the sofa shagging a girl lying on it. In a few seconds she’d switched to sucking his balls.

I retreated to the kitchen but even here sex had broken out. Two women were voraciously 69ing on the kitchen table, within inches of maybe 25 people sitting, standing and talking. It was impossible to avoid noticing the anatomical clarity with which these women were exposing themselves. One of their legs began rubbing against my shoulder as it waggled back and forth. Almost involuntarily I found myself holding it. I quickly told myself I was just helping out, but my tentpoleing chinos betrayed my true confusion. The one on top lifted her face, dripping as if from a moist peach, and began furiously rubbing her girlfriend’s clit. I had never seen women having sex before and given the context it was the most shocking tableau of all.

I fled to the hall. “You alright?” asked Ian, one of the organisers of Fever which organises three or four events a year.

I was staggered, but tried to be cool. “I’ve never seen anything like it before” I conceded, but then changed the subject from my reaction for fear my contrived understatement would quickly collapse. I asked him to explain the different vibe. As I did so our group was joined by a tall, slender woman with an allover tan glistening with sweat and a perm down to her elbows. She was naked apart from her high heels and a tattoo on her fanny. Her breasts were quite big, with wide nipples. I felt confusion rising. She glugged from a litre of water and leant against the wall. Her name was Kathryn and she had just come from the session upstairs. She was behaving for all the world like a girl taking time out from a disco.

“There are no blokes getting drunk or making fools of themselves or breaking things because it’s couples only. You’re the only single guy here” Ian told me. “The blokes don’t want to get brewers’ droop and, perhaps most of all, everyone is desperate to stay on the invitation list” he laughed.

“There’s more to it than that. I was expecting passion on a huge scale but people are so …relaxed” I told him.

“Look, the excitement at these parties is on a different level. The thing which gives normal events their buzz – sexual competition, the uncertainty of success or failure in courtship – is absent here. There is no will they/won’t they about these people – they will. A sex party is a playing field not for flirtation and conquest but for sexual indulgence. It’s a party where all the girls want to fuck. Think of it rationally. It’s still exciting but exciting in a different way, provided that you are really into recreational sex.”

“It’s the thrill of the fuck, not the thrill of the chase” said Kathryn.

“Everyone here shares a secret about each other. Many of us would be damaged with work or with our relatives if it became known we were here. We’re all in the same boat, being a bit naughty, and that creates a bond between people who have never met before. We all know each other’s big secret before we even speak to each other. It creates a very warm, trusting and intimate atmosphere, but its not heavy, it’s more lighthearted. Most of us can see the funny side of what we’re up to and things can’t become too serious because everyone here is with a partner”

Mark, one of Ian’s partners, backed him up. “At normal events, say a nightclub, people are on the pick up. It’s exciting but as we all know, a vast percentage of those sexual projects fail. The number of people who go home unsatisfied is ten, twenty maybe more times the number who go home with a new partner. Our parties are different. Everyone’s a winner here. The fear of failure is absent. Everybody scores who wants to. The sexes are exactly balanced, so everyone who gets off with someone new frees up an existing partner for action with someone else. Everyone has more certainty, less anxiety, more confidence.”

“Everyone’s a winner baby, That’s no lie!” sang Kathryn.

“The excitement comes in anticipating with whom and in what combination you have sex, not whether you will” Ian picked up the threads. “It’s for people who really, really dig sex. Two to four partners a night is usual.”

“How are you doing on the score-sheet?” I asked Kathryn, whose bosom was no longer heaving but had begun to press against my arm. “One guy and two girls!” she twinkled. “So far.”

I broached the subject of monogamy.

“Get real! I’m 25! If we weren’t doing this together we’d be doing things apart. Mike loves seeing me getting fucked, anyway. And he fucks loads of girls at these parties.”

She took me to the lounge and pointed out her boyfriend, who was indeed having sex and one of the people he was connected to was the stunning blonde. “If we weren’t into this I’d never have sex with women, I’d never have more than one man at a time and I’d never be able to share what I do with my boyfriend. And I’d never meet all these nice people! If I was shagging someone else behind his back I’d feel awful.”

So the alternative is deceit, not monogamy, then Ian?

“Everyone here has a tale of a friend or neighbour cheating on their partner. Everyone feels that what they are doing is a more honest and loving way of synthesising their needs for security and sexual variety than the lover/mistress/prostitute route. And they’re right!” he said. “Swinging is less threatening to a relationship than the conventional cheating route and it increases the intensity of the sexual experience. There’s no deceit and no guilt. Couples can actually get their kicks together. Some fantasies can only be acted out in the presence of a number people anyway, which you can’t do in the back of a car or in a motel room with someone from the office or squash club.”

Now you could say that people having sex in front of each other is sordid per se. But if like me you are more unbothered by people’s lifestyle choices, this event genuinely wasn’t, well, grubby. It was a shit-hot place with shit hot-people having shit-hot fun. This, I was told, was what distinguishes the coming wave of glam swinging from the swinging norm in this country. Ingeborg, a continental woman living here with her British husband and family, explained it to me like this. “You have to see most swinging parties in this country to realise how awful and depressing they are. It has taken me over six months to get over a bad experience and go to another party. Some women never go again.”

Mark confirms this. “There are a lot of really old people involved. You can go to some parties and half the people there will be over 60! I’m not joking! Saggy skin and shapeless and fat. There are a lot of later middle-aged people who are very, very fat. Women find it such a turn-off. Now they’re entitled to their fun, of course” he pulls himself up “but so are we.”

Ian joins in “The swinging scene in Britain seems to have begun with nudism. There’s a sort of dated, egalitarian, come-as-you-are inclusiveness about it that doesn’t work with Thatcher’s children. They are used to leisure providers hitting them with products tightly marketed to their preferences. For example, nightclubbers don’t just go to discotheques anymore. In the big cities they choose which club to go to by its music speciality, sometimes which room of which club. They’re not prepared to make do. They’ve been brought up in a highly-geared service economy. They are much more demanding.”

“Yeah!” says Mark. “If my girlfriend is going to strip off in front of fifty strangers and have sex with, say, two women and three men, then she wants every other factor in the formula to be as glamorous as possible: the people, the audience, the clothes, the place, the ambience. Otherwise she isn’t going to do it because, on balance, it doesn’t make her feel good. That’s the difference between what Fever does and the rest of the market. I’ve been to events where there’s strip lighting left on” he signs off incredulously.

“Is that how glam swing differs from other clubs?”

“No wildebeest. No rip off” says Kathryn.

“It’s not done for money” Ian explains. “We don’t try to maximise attendance by dropping standards. We don’t have members, we have a list. Nobody pays to join, because we’d rather invite an attractive couple than not be able to invite them because they haven’t joined. We take time over organisation, we pay attention to detail and we are exclusive about who we invite. It’s a labour of love. We always make a loss. We suffer for our art.”

“And anyone who lets us down – and that includes blokes who touch other blokes – is never given a second chance” Mark emphasised.

People drifted off for drinks or to look round. I found myself with Kathryn. She moved closer to talk. Her nipple tried to pierce my arm. “Ian says we have to be nice to you” she smiled. Journalistic ethics zoomed into my head. The ultimate dilemma. She was making a pass at me. For generations, investigative journalists exposing vice and sleaze have sternly made their excuses and left, top button unviolated. I had a split second to decide.

“Great” I answered. She’s stunning, she’s hot, she’s up for anything and she’s already naked. The fact that, technically, she was a slapper who had already fucked a guy that night didn’t affect her demeanour, she was as cool as if she was asking me to dance. Somehow, it didn’t affect my reaction either. On the way upstairs Kathryn introduced me to Charlie, who’s 40 but looks 30. She particularly showed me Charlie’s fanny, which she had shaved for her earlier in the party. “It’s really smooth. Feel it!” said Charlie. I obliged. “Where are you going? Can I come?” she asked. And they both manhandled me into a room.

The next half hour was the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

Before leaving, forever, I asked Kathryn does she ever feel guilty?

“No. If Mike and my hobby was chess, nobody would expect us only to play with each other. Our hobby is sex. He’s so manly, wanting to fuck lots of girls. And I can be as filthy as I want – a complete slut. I do things my single girlfriends barely dream about – and I still take my man round Sainsbury’s the Sunday after. I never wake up feeling used and reproachful the next day, like they do. I just reach for my man and he tells me he loves me. It’s fab.”

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