Welcome to Modern-Day SwingLife…or Not: When Social Media & Private Sex Lives Collide

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I have been more or less a part of the alt-erotic party scene, and the swinger/lifestyle nightlife scene specifically, for the past 10 years; during that time I have witnessed a complete shift in attitude and acceptance regarding what is considered “normal sexual behavior”. This change has been so complete in fact that the swinger/lifestyle-scene, at least in the traditional sense, has been rendered almost non-existent.

Now before you jump all over me, I think the more explicit events (e.g. private, where actual sex occurs as part and parcel of the experience) will continue to exist albeit underground (where I am sure those who indulge in such decadence prefer it).  No, here I am referring to the parties that gained popularity around 2000 or so, those offering, “swinging light” if you will. These events were held in public venues, semi-private affairs that catered to those:

“Wishing to explore sexuality with their (heretofore) monogamous partner.”

I should add here that attendees were most typically straight couples.

I stumbled upon these events in my late 20’s, always a part of the nightlife scene, they seemed a natural extension and a means to explore what was becoming a very pressing urge to explore my own (bi)sexuality and what, at the time, were considered more deviant expressions of that sexuality (polyamory, exhibitionism/voyeurism, BDSM, pornography, eroticism). These parties were, to my limited knowledge, my only option for such exploration.

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And explore I did, I have been: guest, promoter, host, and performer at one time or another throughout the last decade at some of the most of the established “erotic parties” in NYC. And for the most part I can report a positive experience…if not particularly satisfying, as I quickly learned my desires weren’t particularly aligned with any of these mainstream sub-groups (an oxymoron I realize, but apt one). I was not a swinger, a don, or a sub…I was somewhere in between all of these “labels”, which at the time wasn’t readily accepted; however, I think much of that has changed. Actually, I think EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED.

BUT HOW…WHY?

I didn’t notice until I took some time off from the nightlife scene to focus on my career, maybe a year. When I returned to nightlife, I began also promoting in mainstream (“vanilla”) clubs, upon their request, on regular club nights. In the beginning we would be the most outrageous bunch in the club. The “we” mostly being those who like me were comfortable with exploring and expressing their sexuality in the nightlife scene but perhaps not comfortable with any of the established alternative “labeled” events (e.g. swinger, etc.). During the five years or so that I worked for both alt/sex parties and “vanilla” parties…things definitely shifted…most notably, previously unacceptable behaviors became acceptable and even common in these “vanilla” parties…behaviors like:

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Expressed bisexuality, homosexuality, polyamory

  • You no longer only saw just the “straights” making-out…now it was same-sex, group-sex, the more the merrier!

Partial nudity

  • I can remember the day when Pastease (brand pasties) would have never been allowed in mainstream clubs, they are now considered a viable outfit-option; not to mention, burlesque is performed and promoted at all the top notch venues!

Alternative sexual practices

  • “S&M” themed parties have become the norm…and while they don’t offer perhaps the depth that a “real” BDSM event would, they are by no means tame!

And finally…something else changed, something that I think provides a clue as to the motivation for all of the aforementioned changes:

Photos of all of the above…shared, across social media.

  • Ten years ago, cameras were even allowed at these events, such was the stigma associated with those who attended them. At the very best, maybe the promoter would allow you to post photos on MySpace…WITH HER FACE BLURRED OUT.

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You only have to peruse the social/entertainment/news media to see that as a culture we are moving toward a less conservative (sexually), albeit more exploitative (see social media), world. And this shift (I believe) is responsible for the move from sexual expression as private to expression as public. In other words, this observed change described here isn’t about us “as a culture” becoming more open and accepting, it’s really about becoming more exhibitionistic in reaction to our recently adapted “need” to over-share our lives through social media and by extension to indulge in others’ lives through that vehicle…lives that were, before MySpace and Facebook, largely private.

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This is a case where the end doesn’t directly correlate to the means…however, I will take it…the “end” (being more sexual freedom of expression) is pretty sweet.

Xxx

Dr.c.

The Vanilla Party: A Study in Sweet Irony

NymphoBrainiacs strive to explore, indulge, and understand all things erotic…so when I heard about a new underground artistically-themed NYC alt event…November 16th’s The Vanilla Party: Aftermath…I knew I had to indulge. And while I am happy to report that there was nothing “vanilla” about this kinky evening…there was far more than even I expected. As creator SaxDMA explains TVP is:

NYC’s Latest Alternative Art and Fashion Interaction Attraction Alternative & Peculiar Performances of Epic Proportion

Yes, it sounds boastful…yet, TVP delivers! The crowd is a mix of downtown eclectic with a goth influence and a fetish feel. The performances repel as much as they seduce…and an overall vibe that collectively encouraged collaboration (artistic..and otherwise) amongst its guests. The next installment will be late winter/early fall and is not to be missed! xxx dr.c.

TATTOO YOU – the Narcissistic Relationship Between Tattoos and Social Media

“This generation’s obsession with body art is another blow to the original culture of rebellion. To have numerous tattoos thirty years ago allowed one to rest on the fringes of society. But in today’s world, little can make one fit in more than a dazzling image of seemingly anything, strutting across one’s arms or torso.

Social media truly is an alternative universe, where one can fall under the false impression that receiving yet another meaningless tattoo delivers the idea that they are living an ambitious and authentic lifestyle.”

– Interesting piece critiquing the mass popularization of tattooing…not sure I agree completely, but it’s a well laid out argument! In the meantime…please do enjoy some lovely inked skin candy…just getting you prepped for the The Ink Party  (click to link to FB invite) in NYC this Saturday…talk about a narcissistic endeavor…I don’t know about you, but for me ink/body art isn’t about rebellion…it’s about expression, and to me that is ALWAYS authentic…xxx c.

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The ink party flyer 3

James Pavel

Opinion 
By James Pavel 

 Babies, beaches and half-naked bodies are waiting to be discovered on what appears as almost every social media profile page. But a new, popular method of attracting attention has become tattoos, or new tattoos that have recently been penned on one’s body by an anonymous artist, who in reality, usually deserves all and sole credit for the artistic wizardry. 

 The adoption of tattoos as a new source of attention-craving has allowed individuals to surrender the sum of their identity to tattoos through social media. 

 The lower-back tat might be out, but in are half-arm sleeves, full-arm sleeves, rib-cage tattoos and basically anything that involves piercing the skin with a permanent needle. 

 In 2013, job titles or true achievements are thrown in the back-seat replaced by the immediate gratification that tattoos and social media postings can offer. Tattoos are a painful but mostly rewarding body alteration while…

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Dance.

dance

“Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.” – Rumi

It’s nothing new to say that dance is an expression of the spirit that has existed since (and perhaps before) humankind. People have danced in celebration, in loss, in ritual. However, to me, the most striking feature of dance is its ability to communicate a nearly pure form of emotion…without the mess and inaccuracy of words…dance is feeling…dance speaks what we cannot fully articulate…dance draws us in and has the capacity to draw our real-self out.

And the only thing asked of us…is to: “let go”…let your body control your mind…an awkward exchange for many of us…perhaps that’s why alcohol and other illicit substances are such an integral part of nightlife in today…quite simply, we need help letting go. Not to criticize, I require that extra courage as much as the next…but it does beg the question:

Have we as humans gotten so far from the mind-body connection that truly surrendering mind to body presents such a challenge?

I have no real answer to the conundrum I’ve posed…just something that while rolling around on social media came to mind…and since I am all about exploring the physical-sensual through the lens of mindfulness, I thought I would pass it on as fodder for those intrigued by similar questions…hope you have a fabulous weekend, xxx conchita.

Give Me 10 Minutes…I Will Show You My Fantasy

Sometimes the night lends itself to playful imaginings…

Sometimes…I have to undress in order to play dress-up…

For you.

This night I mingled fantasies with LastnightsParty.com at Webster Hall’s in famous Trash party, with host Kris Khaos…

and what a lovely time we had mixing nothing but

lipstick,

Jeffery Campbell,

tattoos

sound equipment,

a mic,

 and a tongue.

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Thank you for loaning me your lens…and cheers to weekend memories

xxx conchita.