Lost kinkster

0
Photo credit: Rachel Robinson
Rachel Robinson

Dear Dan: My new partner is a swinger. Being GGG, I said, sure, we can go to swinger parties, even though I have often been uncomfortable in swinger spaces. Then I was nearly assaulted at a swinger party with my new partner. And if I hadn’t kicked the shit out of the guy, I would have been assaulted. After being appropriately upset about the situation, I was told by one of the organizers: “Well, that is why you should bring a spotter or a couple of friends to a party. You have to protect yourself.” Nowhere on the website for this party was that listed as something I should do. No other articles about swinging that I’ve read (or swinging podcasts I’ve listened to) suggested bringing “spotters” to ensure safety! So what is the standard of consent in swinger spaces? Is bringing a spotter just a given that nobody told me about? I want to be clear about the seriousness of the problem: What happened to me was not a touch on the leg to see if I might be interested in another joining in. It was someone trying to stick an unwrapped cock in me without asking if I would be OK with that!

—Unhappy Nervous Swinger Absolutely Fucking Enraged

Dear UNSAFE: I’ve strolled around half a dozen straight swinger spaces — more than the average homo — and the standard for consent at each one I visited can be summed up in four words: Ask before you touch. My visits to straight swinging events/spaces/parties were strictly for research purposes, it should go without saying, but I’m saying it anyway: I went only to observe. And at one party, I observed a man attempt to enter a scene he hadn’t been invited to join — by placing his hand on a woman’s leg. The leg-touching creep was promptly ejected for violating the club’s rules about consent, which all attendees were informed of in advance and agreed to adhere to once inside the club.

That’s not just the way it’s supposed to work in swinger spaces, UNSAFE, that’s the way it must work in any swinger space, club or party that hopes to survive. Because bad actors — almost always shitty men — make women feel unsafe. And when women feel unsafe in swinger spaces, they abandon them. And it’s difficult to host a successful straight swingers event without women.

From the sound of things, UNSAFE, you had the misfortune of attending a shitty party run by shitty people. Someone attempted to violate you in a space where respect for boundaries, consent and the bodily autonomy of other individuals is (or should be) paramount. And, no, you were not at fault for failing to bring a “spotter.” The club was at fault for not emphasizing its own rules — and then, when a bad actor broke the rules and left another attendee feeling violated and unsafe, the club compounded its failure by blaming the victim.

I wouldn’t blame you for not wanting to attend a swinger party with your new partner ever again — especially if your new partner stood by silently while you kicked the shit out of that asshole — but you shouldn’t return to that particular swinger party again. The sooner Club Bring a Spotter goes out of business, the better. 

Send questions to mail@savagelove.net, follow @fakedansavage on Twitter and visit ITMFA.org.

Want more? Listen to the Savage Lovecast every week at savagelovecast.com.