I had a weird feeling about the guy as soon as my husband and I sat down beside him at the bar. Oh, he looked
normal enough, with his Tommy Bahama shirt, wire-rimmed glasses and middle-aged paunch, but something wasn’t quite right.
“Do you have kids?” he asked us, smiling.
“Yes, three,” my husband answered.
“I have a wife and stepson,” he said jovially. “Came here to get away from all that for a little bit. Teenagers are rough, let me tell ya.”
He tried to keep the conversation going, asking our daughters’ ages and whether they were also “trouble.” “So,” he continued brightly, “you guys out for a night on the town?”
“Yep,” my husband answered.
“You staying at a hotel?” he pressed.
”Oh no,” I said. “We’re going home.”
“Well, then, I guess you’ll be having SEX
in the CAR
!” he said gleefully. My eyes glazed over. Did I just hear what I thought I heard? “Yep,” he said, as if reading my mind. “Getchyerself a bottle of tequila and there’ll be SEX
for sure.” He leered and scooted closer.
I believe my husband responded with something along the lines of, “Heh, mmmagh. Hummis,” before grabbing my arm and getting the hell out of there.
Swingers. In. Nashville. Are. Recruiting.
The next day, I called my friend Karen and told her the news.
“He said what
? Bwah ha ha ha!” she cackled.
“Yeah,” I said. “Can you believe it? I mean, I know there are swingers here. I’ve heard about that swingers’ club downtown. But I guess I just thought you could identify them. Like, the women all wear synthetic blond wigs and the men all have chest hair. And medallions.
“So listen,” I continued. “Are they, like, out
now? Do you
know any swingers?”
“Me?” Karen paused uncomfortably. “No!”
“You’ve never met
any swingers at a party or something? Or heard about them?”
“Well,” Karen paused. “No. But I mean, I know a lot of gay men….”
I snorted. “That is not
the same thing.” Through the receiver, I heard a horn honking.
“Whoa!” Karen squealed. “That 18-wheeler just came right into my lane.”
“Where are you?”
“I’m on my way to Bible study.”
“Well, can you ask them?”
“Ask them what
“Ask them if they know any swingers, Karen, and if so, do they look like normal people
“Uh, I don’t think so.”
I hung up—dejected, back to square one.
Or was I?
“Hubs? You know that swingers club downtown? You’ve got to take me there.”
Hubs choked on his coffee. “Are you serious?”
“We’re not going to go in,
I clarified. “We’re going to sit outside in our car and see who else shows up.”
“Research,” I said importantly. “I need to know what swingers look like. As a public service to the readers of my column. I’m all about giving them helpful information.”
“OK,” he shrugged.
I could tell that, secretly, Hubs was just as interested in seeing who would show up at the swingers club as I was. Surely we’d see someone unexpected—a city councilman with his girlfriend in tow, maybe, or our CPA and his wife, who just might flash a fishnet-stockinged leg from under her trench coat as they eagerly climbed the stairs.
We were about to crack this wide open.
Late that night, we drove into the heart of what now barely qualifies as Nashville’s sex district. It wasn’t hard to spot the swingers’ club, nestled like an oversized rhinestone among the cheap plastic beads that made up the rest of the neighborhood.
“Park across the street,” I whispered nervously and lifted my binoculars to my eyes. We parked and we waited. Feeling detectivey, I busied myself making mental notes on the cars parked outside. One Ford Expedition. White. One red convertible sports car. Newish. One Infiniti. Definitely nicer than the junky El Caminos and compact cars you see in most strip club parking lots.
After disappointedly concluding that none of the cars were marked with a fish symbol or a “My child is an A student at Julia Green Elementary School”
bumper sticker, I turned my attention to the club’s windows, all expertly shaded.
Suddenly, movement. A well-dressed man exited the building and got in his SUV. He was smoking a cigarette, which surely indicated that there’d been carnal activity.
A few minutes later, a car drove up. And then another. And I was forced to draw some startling conclusions. The first is that the swingers aren’t making themselves readily identifiable with polyester pants or pinky rings. Nashville’s swingers dress very much like your suburban neighbors. Our South Street acquaintance would’ve fit right in.
But it’s my second conclusion that will blow the lid off all your spouse-swapping ideas. Nashville’s swingers? They’re all male. From what I could gather, the swingers’ club was a high-priced, private version of most other bars in Nashville, filled with men who sit around nursing drinks and morosely waiting for hot chicks to show up.
Read more Suburban Turmoil at http://www.suburbanturmoil.blogspot.com or on the Scene’s blog at http://www.pithinthewind.com.