Podcast Season 3 Episode 10
Host: Karen Yates Running Time: 36:09 min
Do you want to know more about playing in groups and the nitty-gritty details?
Listen to those that run play parties, a dungeon and a bathhouse talk about their respective scenes. Recorded live at Constellation Chicago in October 2019.
Wild & Sublime Podcast Transcript
#S310 | Play spaces, Play Parties
[Wild & Sublime theme music]
Nirm Sachdev: You know, you can always have a first timer because they're walking back and forth in front of the building many times, waiting to come in. Not realizing that everybody knows you're about to go in, and you're kind of giving yourself away.
Karen Yates: Welcome to Wild & Sublime, a sexy spin on infotainment®, no matter your preferences, orientation, or relationship style, based on the popular live Chicago show. I chat about sex and relationships with citizens from the world of sex positivity. You'll hear meaningful conversations, dialogues that go deeper, and information that can help you become more free in your sexual expression. I'm sex educator and intimacy coach Karen Yates. This week, I chat with a panel about play spaces and play parties. Keep listening.
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Hey, folks. Today you'll be hearing a previously unreleased live show recording from October 2019. I held off on publishing it because the podcast began during COVID, and all of these play spaces and play parties that we talk about here needed to shut down. But that is not the case anymore. They are all open. So here we go. Perhaps you've always wanted to try out group sex, or go to a dungeon, but maybe you wanted a few more details before you went. Or maybe you're listening to this simply to juice up your fantasy life. Hopefully we can deliver. Our conversation that evening, which was the one-year anniversary of our show, October 10, covered all the nitty gritty of what people want to know before they arrive at a play space. How many people? What do I wear? What does it look like? As well as specifics about these Chicago places and events. You'll be hearing from Nirm Sachdev, general manager of Steamworks Chicago. Steamworks is a men's club, gym, and bathhouse that has multiple locations in North America. You will also hear from Queer Cuntessa, the co-creator of GirlBang Chicago, a female play party; Ms. April, the Headmistress of Midwest FemDomme group, a play party featuring femme tops and their bottoms; and Jerith, one of the directors of Galleria Domain 2, also known as GD2, a well-known dungeon in Chicago. I began the conversation by asking each guest to describe their space or party, and who specifically can attend. Jerith from GD2 dungeon began. Enjoy.
Jerith: GD2, known as Galleria Domain 2, is a 501(c)7 nonprofit, which is the IRS's designation to say that we are a kinky club for folks who get together privately to do just kinky things. If you think of a private club, it's like the Elks Lodge or a country club, but we just beat each other instead of playing golf, right? GD doesn't really have any parameters around folks who can attend. We have plenty of members who would identify across the spectrum of LGBTIQ, and across gender binary roles as well. I would say that all of our staff members are queer or trans, which we're proud of. It's not something that we looked for, but it happened organically, and it's really wonderful. And we're really open to anyone who's attending. So, as long as you've got an interest in BDSM, we want to see you there playing.
Karen Yates: Okay. Queer Cuntessa.
Queer Cuntessa: GirlBang Chicago is a female play party. We host our events at GD2, so we have a lot of BDSM, a lot of kink. And we have a lot of fucking, and we encourage that. As far as who we welcome, we welcome all those persons that identify as women, and all those persons that are assigned female at birth, but no one that identifies as a man. So it's an all-female environment, and lots of sex, and lots of play.
Karen Yates: Thank you. Miss April.
Ms. April: Midwest FemDomme Group is for anybody who identifies as female, and is big-letter, and then any of their little letters. You can be anything, doesn't matter. You could be into pet play and be owner and a pet. We're welcoming to everybody.
Karen Yates: So it can be like, it's basically like a Dom/sub relationship.
Ms. April: Yes, yes. You don't have to identify as Dom/sub. Like I said, it can be Owner/property, however you identify. We just ask that the big letter identify as female. Could be it trans person, nonbinary, whatever. We're open to everybody.
Karen Yates: Okay, thank you.
Nirm Sachdev: So, I run Steamworks. And we're open to everyone. We're learning, as an industry, to be more open to trans women as well as trans men. Obviously, trans men have been allowed in the clubs for a number of years. And as somebody involved with the North American Bathhouse Association, that's a thing. You know, we talk about inclusiveness, we talk about the evolution of inclusiveness in our industry. And I think that creating safe spaces for trans women as well as you know, gay men, and for bisexual men, and for MSM in general, I think it's an industry that's definitely hearing the call of inclusiveness. I think we always thought we were until we realized, I think many of the LGBT have realized that T needs to be more included. And we're definitely learning, and we're happy to say that our first TM4M party is a couple of weeks. And then our first trans woman party is actually next month.
Karen Yates: For the folks that are party hosts, how many people usually attend your parties?
Ms. April: Well, for us, it varies from month to month, and time of the year. We host our parties at LRA, which is another dungeon on the north side of the city. I personally have decided not to do parties from May through August, just because, between graduations and weddings and just life, people don't want to come out in the summer. So we tend to focus on different times of the year. I add an education component sometimes or have a demonstration. So sometimes that skews the number. Probably on average, we probably have about 15 people. And it varies.
Karen Yates: And can people come alone? Or do they have to come as a couple?
Ms. April: No, absolutely, anybody can come alone. There's information that I put out on FetLife. And there'll be how to get a hold of us on social media. And I send out a link just requesting some basic information from you, so we can track your ID at the door.
Karen Yates: And thenQueer Cuntessa, how about you?
Queer Cuntessa: Well, when we first started, there was not a lot out there that was for women only, as far as play parties. There was not a lot of women in the beginning. We actually hosted our parties in a hotel suite. And everybody on the guest list kind of we knew them, we vouched them, that kind of thing. So it was usually single digits, as far as the women that attended. Then as time went on, and we started hosting it at GD, and they were generous enough to let us use their space. Now we've consistently been at about usually in the 30s each time.
Karen Yates: And how often do you hold your parties?
Queer Cuntessa: Usually quarterly.
Karen Yates: Can people come alone? Or as a couple? How does it work?
Queer Cuntessa: Yes, either one. You can come alone, you can come with a partner, Either is fine. The majority of our guests probably do come alone. But coming as a couple is fine as well.
Karen Yates: Is it mostly kink?
Queer Cuntessa: It is really divided. We have the furniture that GD has. So we have the BDSM furniture, that kind of stuff. We also will pull out a mattress. And that is an option as well. We also welcome voyeurs. So if you are just there and you want to watch, that's perfectly fine. You don't have to commit beforehand to do anything. So I always let people know, if you're just looking to check it out, you're not sure if you're actually ready to play, that's perfectly fine. You know, for people that want to go and kind of see if it's for them.
Karen Yates: Okay. Jerith, talk a little bit about the club, and just a good general overview.
Jerith: Sure. So GD is open every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So, we're lucky enough to be four days a week. That's happened in the past year, due to growth of the club. And I would say that our average Thursday and Sunday parties tend to be pretty quiet. There are around 20 folks, and mostly the vibe is folks who want to get together with a scheduled partner they know they're going to play with, and the club's a little empty, so they can have their pick of any piece of furniture. Or folks who just want to hang out at our dry bar -- we're a non-alcoholic space -- and have an opportunity to meet people and have quiet conversation.
Karen Yates: And let me just say, I took a tour this past week of GD, and it is a really, really nice space. It's really lovely. And so, the social area -- yeah, it feels very warm and welcoming.
Jerith: Thanks, my day job is as an interior designer, so I appreciate that. We just renovated the club.
Karen Yates: Ahhh, it's all coming together, okay.
Jerith: And then our busy nights are Friday and Saturdays, with Fridays having around 50 to 80 folks in attendance, and a Saturday when we don't have a special event going on is usually 70 to 100. If there's like a Halloween party or a themed party, we're 150-plus, easily. And what you'll typically see at a party at GD2 is folks who come in for a couple of reasons. They either come in to hang out with friends, because they've got a lot of kinky friends, or they want to talk in an environment where they don't have to worry about a waiter or waitress overhearing their conversation; folks who come to play with others and do BDSM in all its forms, whether it's sexual or nonsexual; or folks who are coming for education. So, we host quite a few educational events at the club, and special interest groups, and we do donate our space for free to organizations like GirlBang, people who are looking to kind of create something for their own communities that they need.
Karen Yates: Right. And so you can come there just to check it out. You don't have to play.
Jerith: You don't. And I would say that even people who've been coming to GD2 for 10 years don't play every time they come to the club. Most people don't. They play every other time, or one out of every three.
Karen Yates: It's a place to hang out.
Jerith: It is. It's like a third home. Your first home is where you live. Your second home is work for most people. But that concept of third home, that place where you go that feels really comfortable, where you can relax, for many GD2 members, that's what we serve.
Karen Yates: That's the definite vibe I got, that it was really about just hanging out and connecting with like-minded people.
Jerith: Absolutely. And we try to make an environment where everybody feels incredibly welcome. From folks who just like sensual play, and maybe that's what they're interested in, to people who like things that others would consider incredibly extreme.
Karen Yates: Okay, Nirm.
Nirm Sachdev: If you've heard about Steamworks -- I don't know if anybody has -- people call us... Thank you. Thank you. The Barney's of bath houses. You know, 25,000 square feet. We've been around for over 30-- actually 40 years. The one in Chicago has been around for over 25, 30 years. And glory holes, special nights for fisting, special nights for boys, special nights for people who enjoy skin on skin. You know, it's incredibly safe, incredibly welcoming. Lots of showers. You know, clean is the new dirty. That's one of our mottoes. You know, as many towel exchanges as you want. Condoms, we give out like 600,000 condoms a year. We partner with various aid service organizations to offer testing and outreach to the public five nights a week, five, six nights a week, plus a variety of special events. It's extremely welcoming. You know, you can always tell a first-timer because they're walking back and forth in front of the building many times, waiting to come in, not realizing that everybody knows you're about to go in and you're kind of giving yourself away.
Karen Yates: I got to see Steamworks this week, and a lot of my friends were really jealous that I got to go on a tour of Steamworks. Now, granted, I went at 9am, so [audience laughter] there was only a couple of guys running around in towels. But it was pretty awesome. You guys, it is a really large complex. There's this really nice gym. It kind of felt very much like a awesome disco. Basically, folks can rent different sized rooms, right?
Nirm Sachdev: Different specialty rooms, absolutely.
Karen Yates: For whatever you would like.
Nirm Sachdev: Absolutely. If you're the kink stuff and you want something that's an extreme room, you can get an extreme room. Mirrors above, slings above for a variety of different sexual functions and sexual [[ ??? ]]]. You know, I met my husband there, back in November 28, 2007. And you know, he's been stuck with me ever since.
Karen Yates: So you've talked about safe sex. And I would like to hear from everyone. It's always something that comes up whenever I talk to folks about group sex -- it's like, well, oh, but what about safety? What about safer sex guidelines? First I'l ask Queer Cuntessa, safer sex guidelines at GirlBang?
Queer Cuntessa: We do not impose any type of rules. We provide all of the safer sex supplies. They are right there. When somebody first gets there, we give them a basic tour, introduction, and we point out where all of the safer sex supplies are. And we strongly encourage that all of our guests use them. But we do not require that. We just strongly encourage that.
Karen Yates: Okay. Ms. April?
Ms. April: For us, it's usually about consent. When somebody first comes, I ask them if they've been to the space or a party before, because obviously, I don't remember everybody. If they haven't, I have somebody take them around a little tour. But there's usually a lot of conversation constantly going on about consent, because the parties that I do, while there is some sex that does sometimes happen, usually it's more BDSM play.
Karen Yates: Nirm, you talked about the testing that happens on site. Condoms, and what else?
Nirm Sachdev: So you know, it's funny, when somebody talks about safer sex guidelines, I will actually say out loud, I'm HIV-positive. And when somebody says safer sex guidelines, I will speak from the "I" statement. I kind of approach that as, let's have a conversation about status. Let's have a conversation about what you're comfortable with. And hopefully, you're not going to stigmatize me if I say I want to have sex without a condom, as long as we both showered, and we're both ready. And of course condoms are ready in case you want to or no want to. But I think it's a conversation about what you want and what you don't want, and hopefully feeling like you're in a space where if you want to meet somebody that you can have sex because you are in a -- you're not sero-sorting, you might want to meet someone who is sero-discordant, you want to be able to have an honest dialogue, you know, about what you want to have in your sexual relationship. It's complicated sometimes. Safer sex guidelines sometimes go beyond just condoms, especially when it comes to fishing. Some people need to have gloves; other people are not, because again, they may very well be HIV-positive. And it's really about that conversation. It really is about having that conversation initially, and feeling okay, even if you are potentially HIV-positive or and you're with someone who potentially is negative, and you're able to have it openly and you're in a space that's welcoming to that. You're not going to be judged. I think that's where it starts.
Karen Yates: I really appreciate you talking about safer sex as a complex topic. It's not just about condoms or dental dams. It's a bigger conversation. You know, most parties, it sounds like the folks here are talking, you know, it's about the conversation before play even begins.
Jerith: So we don't require anyone to use any safer sex supplies at GD. We do encourage folks to have the conversation, I think you put it in a really great way. In order to facilitate that, we have many educational events a year that mention safer sex status, and teach people how to have those conversations, and how to broach that topic. Because that really is the most important part. At GD, scenes are negotiated between individuals, not between individuals and the club. So we feel that we as an organization have no place in their decision-making process, about whether or not they use safer sex supplies. Everyone's an adult, and they can make that decision for themselves. But we do want to educate people about their risks. So we'll often host classes on STI status and on STI transmission as well, and how to talk about your own status and how to be comfortable having those difficult conversations.
Karen Yates: And you also have socials and intro nights where people can learn more about just the club itself.
Jerith: Absolutely. And we have a very robust inbox too. So we get around 300 emails a week with a variety of questions. And I would say about 10% of those are about status. How do I make sure that I'm being safe while I'm at the club? How do I have these conversations? So it does come up quite a bit.
Karen Yates: I would like to finish this portion with asking, what do people wear? What do people wear? Because that's always a question. What do I show up? Nirm, what do people wear?
Nirm Sachdev: Of course, you're gonna come to me, right? A towel... or nothing else. Believe it or not, I do get that question a lot. You know, what do you wear? When you come in, we ask everybody to sort of be in the sun clothes. If somebody says, I like wearing jeans, I like wearing boots, it's like, whoa, you're gonna step on somebody's quote with boots. You want to wear jeans, that's fine. But traditionally, we request that you be in a towel when you're walking around upstairs. It kind of levels the playing field. Number one, people are already in an environment where they're kind of anxious, being exposed for being in a bath house. They're worried everybody's going to know what they do, oh my God! We just say, Look, just get into a towel, everybody's going to be that way. It kind of reduces that friction of whether or not you actually are here, or are you somebody who is not leaving, but has checked out -- you know, all that, just stay in the towel. It levels the playing field.
Ms. April: For us, it's kind of open. We just usually require that people hopefully shower before they come. Sometimes we have a few people who like to be nude. We just require that they sit on something between them and the furniture. Most of the times, the females, the dominant females will come a lot of times like I have tonight, with low shoes. They may wear high heels there, but they'll switch to low shoes, just because if you're doing impact play, or rope work or whatever you could be doing, you need something that's more stable to have your feet on the floor. But as far as, it runs the gamut. Sometimes there's some people who come full-out leather, boys in harnesses. I mean, you name it, it's there.
Queer Cuntessa: We have everything from fetish wear to street clothes, to people wearing lingerie to nothing at all.
Jerith: We keep it pretty low profile on the street. So I don't know if you noticed when you were there, but we don't have a sign outside that says "BDSM dungeon here," or even GD2. We don't even have a sign on the buzzer that says "buzz here for GD." So we ask that folks show up dressed in neighborhood-friendly clothes. We're near the corner of North and Western. So there's a lot of residential areas around there. So we just ask that you come in business casual, neighborhood friendly, grandma-friendly clothing, and then change when you get in the club. So we've got a dressing area where folks can change, and then I would say about 50% of the folks who come dress just like all of us have dressed tonight. Another 25% are dressed in some type of fetish wear or lingerie, and another 25% are buck-ass naked the whole time. So, it's a variety.
Karen Yates: I'll return to the panel discussion in a moment. Did you know we have transcripts for each episode? Go to wildandsublime.com and the episode you're interested in to find it. Are you looking to improve erotic communication with your partner? I work with couples in Chicago, helping them increase pleasure, learn how to express desires, and become more connected. All of this through dynamic, body-centered sessions. Go to the show notes or karen-yates.com to schedule your free consultation.
I'll now return to my panel conversation about play spaces and parties. A reminder to listeners that this conversation took place in 2019, prior to COVID, and its conversations about trans inclusivity were continuing to develop. In this part, you'll hear questions from the audience.
[to panelists] This question is for GD2. "Is it okay to be not participating in the play space, being voyeurs?"
Jerith: So, you are not just allowed but encouraged to watch others play at GD2. We like to say that if they didn't want to be seen, they'd probably play in their own bedroom at home. But we do ask you to keep a good distance from folks. So we judge about 15 feet is what we ask people to stand back from the scenes they're watching. But it's also disruptive to bust out a tape measure, so we don't want you to do that. What we do ask you to do instead is to really judge the scene that you're watching, and if you're interfering with it, based off of the body language of the folks who are involved. So if the people that you're watching are able to pay attention to each other, things are going great. If they're paying attention to you, usually you're too close, or you're talking. So that's the only time that we get a little iffy about people watching. And it's really just etiquette. Beyond that, folks who are playing a GD, they want to be seen doing what they're doing. They like to interact with others. They want folks to know that they're into things that are interesting. So they have no problem being watched, usually.
Karen Yates: So I have a question. If you're like a, let's say, a cisgender, heterosexual couple, and you just want to do PIV, penis in vagina, conventional play. Can you come to GD2 and just fuck in the open?
Jerith: You absolutely can. And we have folks who do that, who come to the club just for that purpose. It’s by far, it's not the majority of folks who come to GD, but there are folks who use GD just for the purposes of being exhibitionists. That's a kink too. It doesn't have to be something extreme, or something violent, or hitting your partner or anything like that. It's okay to just come have sex, or to just come watch people have sex.
Karen Yates: Right. Because you have sex chairs, right?
Jerith: Absolutely. We have equipment just for sex.
Karen Yates: Fantastic. This is for Nirm. My hot, straight male roommate envies Steamworks. Oh, maybe this isn't for Nirm. Any places for single straight men to play? Okay, so this is an interesting question. Do you mean with each other? Or do you mean like a swing party? Well, you know, so I would say that if you're -- I guess I'll take this one. [audience laughter] I mean, I would say, and correct me if I'm wrong, it sounds like maybe you're looking for a swinger party that has single, cisgender male involvement. Correct? That's what this sounds like here. Because I'm assuming you're not saying a bunch of straight men in your hot fantasy life getting down with each other. I mean, bi men -- a lot of bi guys come to Steamworks. Right?
Nirm Sachdev: They buy and try. [laughter]
Karen Yates: What did you say?
Nirm Sachdev: I said they buy and try. Absolutely.
Karen Yates: So yeah, I would say a swingers party or a play party that invites single men.
Ms. April: I will add that there is actually a FemDomme kink to that called forced bi, where they like to try and get cis, heterosexual males and force them, or get one who's never had contact with a male, and then get some bi males to do things, where they're directing it. That's like, a pretty big kink.
Karen Yates: Cool. [reading] "I've heard that Steamworks isn't trans-friendly. Can you speak about that? And about the bath scene in general around trans stuff?"
Nirm Sachdev: Actually, we are very trans friendly. And I'll be honest, at our annual bathhouse convention, the conversation about trans inclusiveness has been something that's come up for the last five or six years. And we have really been learning as an industry. For Steamworks, it's always been obvious, it's been an obvious conversation, which is if you're a trans man and you present as male, you can come in. There's no way around that. And my staff have been very well trained in sensitivity to focus. If a trans man comes in, and he is confident enough to come in and explore himself, and he's into men, this is a safe space for him. And my team knows 100% that he is to be respected. And if anybody has a problem with trans men, they're having sex with a trans man and they don't know how to navigate that and they come to the front desk because they have an issue with it, my staff know very well to say, "Well, if you're not comfortable with people coming in here of all different backgrounds, and diversity and any nature, then you need to leave, because this is a safe space for everybody." So, that's how it applies to trans men. How it applies to trans women -- and I'll tell you, this came up very recently at the conference, where I changed my mind, or my mind was changed. I was having a conversation with somebody who runs TM4M.org in San Francisco.
Karen Yates: Can you say what that is?
Nirm Sachdev: Sorry. The organization Trans Men for Men dot org is an organization we partner with for our first ever trans TM4M party, trans men for men party, which is happening on October 21. It's every third Monday, but we're also doing one for trans women. And what changed my mind about having trans women in the club, because other bathhouses do it. Club Pittsburgh, the general manager there is a trans woman. Again, what changed my mind was, the guy who runs TM4M.org in San Francisco, he said to me, "Well, are there safe spaces for trans women right now to go out and have sex and explore their identity, like gay men do? Like cis men do, like bisexual men do, like trans men do?" And I said, "Well, I don't think there are." And he said, "Well, then that's a problem." And if there's not a safe space for them, then they're kind of in the same place potentially gay men were, where they're sort of relegated to parks, or they're relegated to the streets, or they're relegated to alleys. And he said, "How did that feel for you?" And it kind of really changed my mind, because people don't necessarily see it in that. So if I have a safe space, and I can offer a safe space -- without alcohol, quite frankly, because it's 18 and over -- that's important. Because there are a lot of people that come in that don't drink, and they need a safe space where they can just be themselves. So I would say we are very trans friendly, and we're learning. Like I said before, the industry as a whole is learning. And the big learning curve is coming from people, is needing to come from people of a certain generation. They don't understand -- it's a learning process for a lot of the community, to feel like well, this safe space should be for everyone. You're taking away our safe space. Well, that's just nonsense. You're creating a safe space for everybody LGBTQ+. Wrap your head around that. And sometimes the community gets so single minded, in "This is our place," rather than "It's inclusive to everyone."
Cool. Thank you. And you brought up something just now briefly that I wanted to say, that none of these spaces have alcohol. There's no alcohol use in these clubs. So it's alcohol-free, to add a level of safety, right?
Jerith: It also adds legal security. So GD2 was organized legally to be a private club. And in the state of Illinois, if we were to even allow BYOB, we would have to disclose the name and address of every member to the state. And we're never going to do that. So it's not just safety for people who are playing, it's also safety for confidentiality.
Karen Yates: Okay. Okay. [to podcast listener] At this point, I asked the audience if they had any more questions. One person asked about the cleanliness of the spaces.
Jerith: So, we have a cleaning crew who comes in once a month to deep clean the space. They're volunteers, and they literally pull every piece of equipment out of a room, wash the whole room down, and put it back. But we also have to keep it clean during the week when people are playing. So our staff comes in early to clean the club before the club opens. But members also partake in cleaning too. So you're required to, if you're going to do any type of messy play that involves bodily fluids, we ask you to put down a tarp. And if you forgot yours, don't worry. We literally have 2000 feet of painter's tarp in the back, and we will rip some off for you. And then we clean everything with [[ ??? ]]. So spray it down, leave it for five minutes. And we require that after anyone plays on a piece of equipment, no matter if they kept all their clothes on and they just sat on it to talk to their partner or not. You've got to clean it every time, and we suggest you clean it before you play too, in case the people before you forgot.
Karen Yates: Great, thank you. Nirm.
Nirm Sachdev: So, Steamworks has a rigorous cleaning schedule. The club is scrubbed from top to bottom on a regular basis. Various parts of the club are cleaned, deep cleaned, once a week. The major bathrooms are cleaned on Monday and Friday. Some of the other areas are cleaned on Tuesday and Thursdays. On Thursdays, the stairs are scrubbed once per month depending on the week. Every Wednesday, various sections of the club, the carpets are cleaned, the rooms are deep cleaned. Bleach is your best friend there, you know, lots of chlorine in the hot tub, that kind of thing. Everything is scrubbed down. The company's motto has always been about cleanliness. It's always been about that inviting cleanliness feeling, where it seems neat, it seems clean, it seems kept, people want to stay, people think okay, this is kept well. So, the company has always been about that sort of meticulousness. So when you come into Steamworks, you're gonna have that sort of feeling. So we're very, very dedicated to the cleaning schedule, because we want you to feel like you're having a good time, but you're also in a sanitary, fun environment that happens to be you know, down and dirty and you know, exciting.
Karen Yates: Thank you so much. I appreciate you all being here. Let's give a hand. [applause]
For more information about Steamworks, GD2, and LRA dungeons, GirlBang and Midwest FemDomme Group, go to the show notes. Since this recording in 2019, Jerith suffered a traumatic brain injury from a fall while horseback riding. If you're interested in contributing to their GoFundMe site to cover medical expenses, please check out the show notes.
Wild & Sublime is supported in part by our Sublime Supporter, Full Color Life Therapy. Therapy for all of you at fullcolorlifetherapy.com. And now it's time for my Sermon on the Pubic Mound, recorded that same anniversary night.
So tonight, we have been talking about clubs and parties, and I found this thing online, because recently, a major swingers club in the southwest suburbs closed, about, I don't know four months ago. And I was in one of the Facebook groups for sex-positive folks. And there had been an appeal by the owners for members of the club to write to the councilman of this suburb, to ask that a special ordinance get passed to allow the club to continue to exist. And there was a vote coming up, so they asked folks to write in. And I wanted to read you a couple of things that got written.
"This club has changed me sexually with my husband." This is a swingers club. "This club has changed me sexually with my husband, and I could not be more thankful," one said. Another wrote, "You are being inundated with communication from members because this is a place that means more to us than you can understand. We understand that our lifestyle may not line up with your morals. And some of us, myself included, have struggled for years with our own ideas of how our lifestyle fits with the morals we grew up identifying with and following so closely. We are simply people from your community who are consenting adults, doing what we please, on our own time, in the safety of a private club, where we feel protected and accepted. The club is host to all kinds of people from all walks of life, socio-economic status, backgrounds, and everyone is family. Yes, family. You are attempting to take away our safe and private place to enjoy our lifestyle. You will not get rid of us."
But the special license got voted down, and the club closed after 32 years in business. 32 years. Now, I'm not saying that everyone in this room should go to a sex club. That's not why I read that. I read it to talk about play. And that club was a play club. And people go to play clubs because they are fun. They're fun. Getting together with folks and having sex and doing sensation stuff is fun. It's really, really fun. I highly advocate it -- but I'm not saying do it. Because basically, sex in and of itself is fun. It is adult play. And we're never going to stop playing as adults. We're never going to stop having sex or thinking kinky thoughts, or sexy thoughts, or fetishy thoughts or what have you. Why? Why are we never going to stop playing? Because we are in bodies that were specifically designed to experience sensation and pleasure.
Some people play by themselves. Some people play with one other person. Some people play in groups. Some people play in larger groups. It's the human spectrum. Currently, sex clubs all across the nation are getting shut down. And the government, as many of us know, is censoring social media and the websites that have -- they're censoring more tightly around sexual content. A rule got passed, and it was basically aimed to curb sex trafficking, which is terrible. The way this law is interpreted now, everything is getting shut down. And so, sexual expression is getting censored. Now, I would love to live in a world where we didn't have to be silent about sex, or worry endlessly about sex. How fucking clean everything is, because we're afraid. I don't want to be afraid. Or we'll go to a sex club that always has to fucking hide their address. God, hide their address, so people don't find out where it is!
You know, I started this show because I wanted to end -- one of the reasons among many is I wanted to end the shame around talking about sex. Because it's so deep. It's so deep. You can't just throw it to the side of the road in one fell swoop. It's almost in our DNA. Not quite. It's not in our DNA. Cultural DNA.
So, I wanted to open up the conversation around sex, create a conduit -- and a condiment -- a conduit for sexual information. And I wanted to thank you all for being here tonight -- it's the one-year anniversary -- to help you show up every month, help make the show a continuing reality, and not just for me, but for you. For all of us. I mean, you're coming to the show, to basically say high-five to your own sexuality. I want everyone right now to just come on stage. We're gonna round up around the birthday cake. We're gonna blow out the candle collectively, and eat some cake. Because we fucking deserve it. All right? So come on up. [cheering]
Thank you for listening. If you know someone who might be interested in this episode, send it to them. Do you like what you heard? Then give us a nice review on your podcast app. You can follow us on social media @wildandsublime and sign up for newsletters at wildandsublime.com. I'd like to thank associate producer Julia Williams and design guru Jean-Francois Gervais. Theme Music by David Ben-Porat. This episode was edited by The Creative Imposter studios. Our media sponsor is Rebellious Magazine, feminist media, at rebelliousmagazine.com.
Want to rev up your relationship and bust out of limiting patterns?
Host Karen Yates is an intimacy coach and somatic sex educator who works with couples online and in person in Chicago to help improve their intimate communication and expand pleasure in a process that can be embodied, meaningful, and fun.
Go to karen-yates.com and set up a free Zoom consultation and to download her free guide: Say It Better in Bed! 3 Practival Ways to Improve Intimate Communication.
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- LRA Chicago
- Galleria Domain 2
- Midwest FemDomme Group (find them on FetLife too)
- Find Girl Bang Chicago (and Girl Bang Madison) on FetLife
- GoFundMe for Jerith of GD2
- Need a good read on sexuality or relationships? Check out our recs on Bookshop!
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Header photo by Jeffrey Bivens