The Best Sex Clubs To Go To If You're Not Sure You Like Sex Clubs
The Debrief: New events where you can gently explore what turns you on, without it being intimidatingly full-on
Are you fascinated by the idea of attending a fetish club or a swingers’ night, yet also absolutely titting terrified of doing something so daring for the first time? Does the thought of experimenting and exploring your sexuality with a bunch of strangers simultaneously make you so wet that your vagina should be twinned with Venice, while also prompting it to emit a high-pitched queef of pure, unadulterated fear? Then you, my friend, are ‘shy curious.’
And you’re not the only one. A fact which sex party organisers have finally started to recognise. Recently, a lot of the biggest names in naughty nights have begun to cater for shy curious people by launching more accessible, approachable, ‘lite’ versions of their infamous pervy parties.
These taster-type events are specifically intended to cater for newbies who are inquisitive about dipping their toe into the world of kink (not in a Dane Bowers/Katie Price way), but aren’t yet ready to dive in at the deep end and attend a full blown affair where people, um, get fully blown.
At lots of them, although there’s a sexy atmosphere, no actual sex takes place; they’re more about meeting fellow first-timers, sussing out the vibe to see if it’s your cup of tea, and making buddies so that if you do decide to graduate to visiting a more intense party, you’ve got like-minded mates to go with. Entry is often cheaper too, so you don’t have to worry about shelling out a fortune only to spend an expensive, excruciatingly awkward evening cowering by the wall after discovering that whipping a stranger’s ballbag really isn’t your bag after all.
Here’s our round up of some of the best, most welcoming shy curious events on offer. Go forth and push your sexual boundaries – whilst remaining within reassuring distance of your comfort zone.
Tempted but terrified by: Skirt Club
Get shy curious at: Mini Skirt
Skirt Club host private, female-only play parties in posh penthouse suites and luxury apartments, for women who want to intimately experiment with other women.
Guests tend to identify themselves as falling somewhere between ‘bi-sexual’, ‘bi-curious’ and ‘mostly straight, but not quite as straight as a Roman road’ on the scale of sexual preference.
'Around 60% of attendees say that they are primarily heterosexual; many of them have boyfriends or are married to men, and plenty have never had any experience with a female before,”' says organiser Renee Nyx. 'Yet things soon get hot ‘n’ heavy once the Champagne starts flowing; at our last party, I walked past one bedroom to see 10 or 12 naked women all intertwined on one bed, the mass of writhing limbs making them look like some kind of sighing, sexual sea anemone.'
Renee insists that it’s fine just to chat and watch the girl-on-girl action if you decide against getting your own lady-urchin out. But if that still sounds wayyyyy too nerve-wracking, check out Mini Skirt – a newly launched, ‘tighter, shorter’ version of Skirt Club, specifically for the shy curious.
Mini Skirt evenings are held from 7pm-11pm on weeknights at The Looking Glass cocktail club in London’s Shoreditch, and have a ‘post-work chic’ dress code. Enter a secret no-men-allowed room at the back of the bar by stepping through a door hidden behind a huge mirror, where you’ll be entertained by burlesque performances and libidinous lectures, served bubbles and gourmet popcorn, and encouraged to socialise with other women interested in potentially ticking their ‘have another lady fiddle with my box’ box in future.
When we attended Mini Skirt, things did get a little cheeky towards the end of the night – some snogging and breast fondling, and people leaving together with a distinct ‘I’m going to pull a sickie tomorrow’ glint in their eyes – but the atmosphere was non-pressured, and the crowd intelligent and welcoming. If you’re skirting the issue of investigating your lesbian leanings, it’s a great place to go – perfect if you suspect a girl-on-girl play party would really get your rocks off, but you’re too nervous to rock up to one yet.
Tempted but terrified by: the London fetish and S&M scene
Get Shy Curious at: Camden Crunch
A ‘munch’ is a chilled-out social gathering, usually held at a pub or restaurant, where people who are into BDSM can come and meet new potential play partners and get to know them outside of a club context, plus swap tips and info about the scene. There are loads of munches in the UK – check out fetish social networking site FetLife.com to find one near you.
Camden’s ‘Crunch’ takes this concept one step further: held on the third Friday of every month, it’s a shamelessly cheesy, silly, boozy party where fetish fans can socialise and express themselves via their dress, but there’s no requirement to be sexual whatsoever. In fact, quite the opposite – Crunch is all about uninhibited, ridiculous dancing and singing along to pop anthems, and having a laugh in a safe space where it’s cool to chat about fetishes or wear kinky clobber, but there’s no expectation that this will lead to X-rated action. Think ‘hands in the air’, not ‘hands down somebody’s pants’.
Just one warning: the ‘Crunch wine’ will leave you feeling like someone’s fired cacti at your head through a tennis ball machine the next morning.
Tempted but terrified by: Torture Garden
Get Shy Curious at: Belle Epoque
Torture Garden is probably one of the best-known fetish parties in the world. While plenty of scintillatingly squelchy, slippery, sexy stuff certainly happens in the club’s dungeons and dark rooms, though, it’s A-OK just to go and dance. TG’s DJs are excellent, and these days their parties are as much about enjoying the music, taking in the extreme, avant-garde performances, and dressing up to the nines, tens and elevens as they are about S&M and public sex.
However, the ‘dressing up’ aspect can actually be one of the most stressful elements of an inaugural Torture Garden visit for some shy curious folks. TG’s door staff are notoriously strict about turning away punters who don’t look the part; they once refused Adam Ant entry for not looking sufficiently impressive.
If you want some pre-TG practice wearing latex, spandex or pasties out to party, try one of their ‘lite’ La Belle Epoque events. Billed as 'subversive, dark, circus-themed theatrics,' they host many of the same performers as Torture Garden – such as Empress Stah, whose repertoire includes a trapeze act in which she fires lasers from her bumhole using a light-up butt plug – and fetish-influenced dress is welcomed, but there’s no sex. This is the perfect place for a ‘dry run’ at getting your glad rags on without having to worry about taking them off.
Tempted but terrified by: Killing Kittens
Get shy curious at: BookKlub
Killing Kittens are famed for their upmarket swingers’ events, held in decadent surroundings, where beautiful men and women wear masks to preserve their identities and everything’s very Eyes Wide Shut and legs wide open.
The Debrief had a wild time at a Killing Kittens ball at Sparkford Hall in Somerset; we found ourselves in an opulent yurt in the manor house gardens at 5am, with llamas wandering around the orchards outside, bleating along with the sexual moans being emitted from the orgy taking place within the tent… It was like a wet dream sequence: sexy, surreal – and definitely not subtle.
Want something calmer with less llama?! Try one of Killing Kittens’ shy curious BookKlub events. Marketed as being “NNN” - or ‘not necessarily naughty’ – these are networking evenings for women, where inspirational speakers are invited to debate on topics such as tantric sex or the best music to make love to. Listen to interesting presentations, and perhaps make some gal pals who’ll hold your hand (and maybe other parts, too) if you decide to give swinging a fling after all.
On May 27th, Killing Kittens will also launch Le Salon Noir: a new girls-only kinky cabaret and fine dining night, where “the party continues after hours for those who are brave enough”. Enjoy the show and the grub, then leave early if you’re feeling nervy; stay late if you want to indulge your Sapphic side.
Tempted but terrified by: love the idea of sex parties, but intimidated by snobbery and body fascism
Get Shy Curious at: Kinky Salon
Sex does happen at Kinky Salon, but there’s plenty that makes it wildly different from the rest of the capital’s orgiastic offerings – and well suited to the shy curious adventurer.
Its a non-profit affair run by volunteers, with a strong emphasis on community and inclusivity: all genders, sexualities, body types, races and ages are welcomed, it’s disability-friendly, and there are even cheaper tickets for those on low incomes, so you can still get your fix of ‘schwing’ if you’re low on ‘kerching’.
Each of Kinky Salon’s “arty sexy parties” has a theme, and attendees are encouraged to wear a suitable costume; but the emphasis is on feeling comfortable in whatever you’re sporting, and donning something fun that helps start conversations, rather than looking conventionally ‘sexy’ or showing off how much cash you’ve splashed on pricey lingerie.
If the snootiness and judgemental attitude of some swanky, wanky sex parties is what makes you shy, Kinky Salon could be just what you’re after.
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Picture: Lukasz Wierzbowski
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