As I mentioned last week, SwingBot and I visited Club Sapphire, a local swingers club, at the end of May. We took our nearly-five-years-and-counting Friend-with-Benefits, BG, with us (for his first time at this particular club, too). The party we attended was a “Bi-Bi” party, an anomaly in swinging: it allowed for — and even encouraged — male bisexual play.
Club Sapphire is in a good location; it is in an industrial park (next to the Chamber of Commerce of that town, in fact), so the neighborhood is nice, yet also mostly closed during Club Sapphire hours. This translates into plenty of parking and not having to worry much for your car’s (or your) safety. (This was not a problem for New Horizons or Eros Events, but is our key concern with the CSPC.)
The business interior that Club Sapphire occupies was converted quite well for its purpose. The lighting is good, with levels of darkness that vary appropriately with the designated areas. The club has an entry room that serves as a mix of coat room, check-in, and newbies-wait-for-the-tour room. Next, it has a socializing room with a dance floor, a lounge area, tables and chairs, and a semi-bar. The club does not serve alcohol, but you can bring your own and it does provide the non-alcoholic mixings. It also provides cup-water for free or bottled water for a fee, and a snack table. No nudity or play is permitted in these first two areas, and unaccompanied men may freely roam these areas.
Beyond is the play area, which encompasses the changing area, an all-gender toilet and all-gender shower, lockers (bring your own lock or buy one for $5), and the play rooms. No alcohol is allowed in the play area; there is a shelf at the entryway between the socializing room and the play area to set drinks. Within the play area, men may only hang out unaccompanied in the locker area (excepting certain types of parties).
There are several play rooms, differing primarily in size and layout, not so much in function. The rooms have different names, based on different precious and semi-precious stones, but ultimately are open spaces with lots of beds. The names just seem to be for quick reference; it is faster to say “The Emerald Room” than “the second door on the left as you come from the lockers.” There is one room that has two names, including “Dungeon.” There were plans to create a BDSM room, but funding went to the lounge, instead. In my opinion, that was the better choice. The lounge is very nice and “swinger BDSM” tends to be rather mild and patriarchally heteronormative (male Dom spanking a female sub), which has little appeal for this female Domme. 😉 I would rather just take my BDSM to a more designated space, like the CSPC.
The club provides towels that guests can wear or use to line the beds when playing. Guests can ask for bedding to be changed between uses, but I got the impression it otherwise mostly is left for the night, with the assumption that people line beds with towels during play. The club also provides lube and male condoms. Guests can bring their own towels (I recommend this for anyone planning to wear a towel, to ensure it fits) and their own protective gear (such as dental dams, female condoms, gloves, or preferred male condoms or lube). Wearing less clothing is encouraged in the play area, partially so people do not consume a lot of time and space dressing and undressing in a play room. This “less clothing” mostly translated into wearing towels, robes, underwear, or lingerie. At least one woman I saw opted to simply be nude in the play area.
Club Sapphire is clean and feels very comfortable. Many tasks are performed by volunteers. New-member orientation and bartending were both volunteer-staffed, for example. I got the impression that volunteers take shifts throughout the night, meaning a volunteer will still have time to also play off-shift sometime during the night. It also appears to take its rules seriously, allowing flexibility where appropriate. For example, someone roaming into the socializing room nude (though people should be clothed there) might be forgiven, but we did see a man get escorted out after he got into a shouting match with a woman, whom he apparently touched without consent. (We had interacted with the man earlier that night and he had triggered some of our red flags, so this was not a complete shock to us.)
I have two criticisms of Club Sapphire, but am mostly impressed from my first time there. My first criticism is that this is definitely a swinger club with the standard swinger view towards decoration and expected play. The pictures and posters feature sexy women. The dance floor had a screen showing a loop of a naked woman dancing. The provided prophylactics were (from what I saw) strictly male condoms. As I noted above, bring your own dental dams, female condoms, or gloves. This is not specific to Club Sapphire alone, of course; swinger culture is very much an extension of the “women’s bodies are for men’s consumption” culture. Swinger culture does a better job than general society in giving women a safe space and agency, but our agency still fits within the realm of adhering to heterosexual male preferences.
That said, we attended a “Bi-Bi” party, which encourages male bisexuality. This is virtually unheard of in standard swinger culture. In swinging, men are heterosexual, woman are bisexual, couples are heteroromantic, and all playing includes at least one man and one woman. A party permitting — and encouraging — male bisexuality is astonishing. So, while Club Sapphire primarily reflects swinger culture tastes, it is the most openly progressive swinger club my limited experience has discovered. (The “Bi-Bi” parties are only once a month, but that they exist at all still amazes me.)
My second criticism — which applies more to Club Sapphire specifically — is of the music and the DJ. We were at the club from 7 PM until 11 PM, and the club closes at 2 AM. So, we were there for four hours of a seven-hour night. In that time, we heard the music playlist loop fully and restart at least once. The DJ did take requests, but… one playlist that lasts under four hours? Not even put on shuffle? No, that could have been done better. The sound balancing was also awkward, with the music building and getting louder, with headache-inducing (rather than mood-inducing) bass. When the DJ spoke, he did so too close to his microphone, so I could not understand most of what he said. I assume the music and DJ are also courtesy volunteer-work; I personally would not have paid for that.
Overall, I feel Club Sapphire is a welcoming, comfortable, safe place. The volunteers and fellow attendees seem friendly and pleasant. The space itself was done very, very well. SwingBot, BG, and I definitely plan to return, as our schedules permit.