2006 will probably go down in history as the biggest period so far for the expansion of swinger’s parties in Sydney and Melbourne. New venues seemed to pop up almost every month, and people now have more choice than they’ve ever had on any given Friday or Saturday night in the big smoke. But does this actually mean a better party scene for you, the nations swingers?
In theory it should. More choice surely means more styles of parties, and more chance of finding a party that suits your needs on the night you’ve managed to get rid of the kids.
As most people realise, the parties in Sydney and Melbourne divide into two broad types. Essentially there are those which cater to couples and women only (the more traditional swinger’s party), and those that allow single guys to come along (which some people call sex parties). In my opinion there’s a place for both types of parties as long as potential guests are told the truth when they ring the party to enquire. There have been too many instances, in both cities, of club owners lying through their teeth about how many couples will be attending their party, and how many single guys will be let in the door. People aren’t stupid and word does get around about which clubs provide value for money, and a more entertaining experience.
However, the most disconcerting thing in the scene at the moment is the ad hoc nature of party scheduling. In an ideal world, there should be a selection of swinger’s parties and sex parties on every weekend. But that’s not what’s happening. On the last weekend in March virtually every party in Melbourne was running. Three years ago there were only 4 or 5 parties operating in Melbourne in total. Now there’s at least 10. Not only has the number doubled, but the new ones are also running much more often – weekly in many cases. This is just plain stupid. The upshot of this was that most parties that ran on the last weekend of March didn’t have good crowds , which in turn meant that some customers felt ripped off. I received a number of emails and phone calls about exactly this, and it was entirely predictable.
Crowd numbers are important in many social areas, but they’re extremely important at swingers parties. People want what’s called ‘critical mass’. That means that the party has to retain a good level of intimacy, but also have enough people there so that a couple can easily extract themselves from being with a couple they’re not interested in, and disappear into the rest of the crowd.
We run our swinger’s party, Debauchery, every third Saturday. Another Melbourne party also runs every three weeks, but on a different schedule than us, while another party runs every four weeks. This means there’s almost no overlap between the three parties. The rest of the Melbourne parties seem to be operating on a schedule that even Nostradamus couldn’t predict, and that leads to the crazy situation in the last week of March when there were 8 parties on the same night (virtually everybody except Debauchery and one other), which had the effect of spreading the swinging public out thinly amongst all of them, and no critical mass for most of them. On the following weekend, there were only 3 scheduled.
I really feel that it’s time that those parties that run on a variable schedule worked together to sort out a routine so that they’re not all running on the same night as 4,5 or even 6 of the other parties. That way, the public can feel confident that there will be a decent crowd at most parties they attend.
On a different note, I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who came along to the March Saints & Sinners Ball. While it was the hardest one I’ve ever had to organise, it also seemed to be one of the most enjoyable too. The only real hassle seemed to be the perennial problem of enforcing the dress code, as our Fashion Policewoman failed to show up. Fear not though – we’ve already hired a very reliable person to do the job at the next Ball on Saturday June 16, and she’s tough as nails!