1. EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SWINGERS CRUISES
We’ve already told you everything you need to know about nude beaches, world-wide erotic vacations, and land-bound swingers resorts, but cruises have been completely unchartered territory. Until now! This is all you’ll need to know before booking your first swingers cruise, from start to... erm… finish.
Alright, let’s get right down to it. What actually goes down on these things?
Well, sex! Just not on balconies for safety reasons. However, public playrooms and dark room parties -- where indiscriminate sexual contact occurs under poor lighting in passengers' private cabins -- are always an evening option and all manner of adult entertainment abounds, such as Cirque Du Soleil, comedy shows, parades, couples massages, theme nights, and pool deck competitions. “Like Spring Break for oversexed adults!” said travel agent Kevin (who tells us it’s not typical to use last names publicly in the adult travel industry), co-owner of TheSwingerCruise and longtime lifestyle -- another term for swinger -- cruiser.
Wait, wait. Go back to that “playroom” idea.
Oh, right! Picture a child’s toy room with a Fisher-Price kitchenette and eleven thousand Legos, and then immediately forget it because this is nothing like that and these two ideas should never, ever be associated. Instead, we’re referring to a repurposed conference room brimming with beds meant for group sex stuff from 11pm until around 4am. Though, if you feel like having sex with only one person who’s not your spouse, it’s fine, you can still check out the scene -- voyeurs are very welcome.
Does sex stuff happen all day long too?
Not exactly. During the day, passengers can check out seminars on topics such as using toys, dealing with jealousy (smart), enriching your relationship through communication, and finding the G spot, which should definitely be the name of the nightclub in this place. BDSM classes are also offered, which educate on everything from flogging, to beginning rope tying, to advanced rope tying. When in port, private clothing-optional excursions like beach parties or catamaran tours are often available, but so are normal activities like zip lining and diving while not having sex.
So we have to be swingers?
Not quite. First and foremost, these cruises are a kid-free zone for couples, and rarely marketed as strictly a swingers cruise, or strictly a nude cruise, or strictly any other kind of fringe interest cruise. Simply, bars are open later, orgies are completely elective, and pole dancing/hand sanitizer is heavily encouraged. “Freedom is the biggest thing,” said Bob, founder of Couples Cruise, the main charter company that’s hosted 11 of these jaunts as of this writing. Along with his wife Tess, Bob basically invented these things. “You can be sexy, be flirtatious, be who you are -- some people never get nude.” The point is you totally can get naked (in specified locations) if you want to. Kevin confirmed, “Everyone flies their own freak flag and nobody judges.” At least not out loud.
We’re in! How do we book?
There are two main charter companies for large-scale, full-ship takeovers, typically out of Florida: Bliss Cruise and the previously mentioned Couples Cruises. These charter companies have symbiotic relationships with the big vanilla -- the term to describe conventional lifestyles -- cruise lines, such as MSC Cruises and Celebrity Cruise. Bliss and CC then work with the ship’s cruise director to develop a suitable lifestyle program, i.e. accommodating dungeons and fetish rooms.
Should we use a travel agent?
Swinger-specialized travel agents -- like TheSwingerCruise.com, Right Connections Travel, Topless Travel (the in-house travel agency for dating site Swing Life Style), Dream Pleasure Tours, and Erotic Adult Travel -- can help you pinpoint exactly what you want from your cruise, and which ones are meant for partner swapping (since that’s not always obvious). However, these folks all offer the same cruise for exactly the same price, so no matter how you book, you’ll be on the same boat, and ready to bang everyone in sight.
Who goes on these things?
Ages are on a bell curve, but 48 years old is average. The majority are white, middle class couples and single women with varying political inclinations. But careful now -- single men are forbidden. Kevin said, “At least half of the women are bi/bi-friendly. It's a matriarchal society, believe it or not.”
But what if I’m a single male with a friend who’s a girl? Do we have to prove we’re a romantic couple?
Nope! As long as the couple is male/female, or female/female you’re good to go.
Will vanilla cruisers who don’t want to have sex with us be mixed in here?
It totally depends on which cruise you take. In this article we’re mostly referring to full boat takeovers, but half-takeovers exist, as well as vanilla cruises that only allot swingers a designated deck. Talk to your travel agent!
Is the boat clean?
You betcha! Sheets are changed constantly by the charter company’s volunteer staff, and hot tubs are drained every night, though use caution if you want a hot soak around 4am because it’s probably not just water in there.
Are the people clean?
Condoms are not provided, and sexual health is addressed much in the same way it is in the single dating world. As Kevin said, ”Most are careful, few are fastidious. For example, never have I ever seen a dental dam in use, but 99% use their own condoms.” Not each others’ condoms, their own condoms.
Are they family friendly?
Somehow! As long as said family is over age 18. “Interestingly, there are even relatives on board, but not in the same cabin,” Kevin said. So for all you mothers and sons, and uncles and nieces out there, just keep an opposite schedule. Or don’t! I don’t know your life.
How do we meet other couples who are not family?
Most people on these things are friendly and open to meeting new people, obviously, so all you have to do is get yourselves into the right place at the right time. Don’t sit at a table for two in the dining areas and if you meet a couple you like during the day, make plans to have dinner with them one night. Or “dinner”. It’s a cinch.
Okay, this all sounds great if we want to leave from Florida. But what if we want to have high seas group sex internationally?
You’re in luck! There are tour operators of the more luxury lifestyle vacation persuasion. LLV, and the less-publicized SDC, charter much smaller ships to more exotic locations, like Rio, Buenos Aires, and the Croatian Riviera. Though Couples Cruise does offer the occasional European river cruise.
What should we bring?
According to Matt and Bianca from Everbody Swing, a couple’s card with contact info and a photo will help others remember who you are, and a dry erase board and photo for your door is good for said others to find you at a later time for friendly conversation/sex. Additionally, a robe makes retrieving all your belongings after a romp in the playroom way easier, not to mention some cruise operators don’t want their staff exposed to your exposure. Perhaps too obvious are condoms and lube, and less obviously, a large water cup to help you stay hydrated! They actually recommend a large water cup to help you stay hydrated.
Final question! Do you want to go on a swinger’s cruise with us?
Yeah, I’ll get back to you on that.
2. Swingers-Only Apartment Complex Opening in New York
“Hacienda Villa” will have rooms from $750-$1500 and are only available for people who are “sex-positive.” Realty agent, and co-founder of Open Love NY, Leon Feingold, told the New York Post, “It’s very important to us that anyone that considers living there is accepting of other people’s lifestyles.”
Mischa Lin, another co-founder of Open Love NY explained, “It’s not a one-size-fits-all relationship style like monogamy, where you get one partner. With polyamory, it’s all about how much you can handle.”
It’s not designed to be all sex, all the time though. Feingold said, “It’s not like a reality show where everyone is hooking up. It’s just going to be home for most of the people.”
One resident Lily explained, “Imagine the show ‘Friends.’ Imagine that vibe but sexy. It was just like that and we were really good friends, but we were all just really attracted to each other.”
Despite how you feel about the concept, $750 is ridiculously cheap rent for a New York apartment. Some people looking for a steal in the rental world might want to consider broadening their love horizons.
3. First tourist agency for swingers opens in conservative Dalmatia
The official tourist board slogan The Mediterranean as It Once Was has recently been retired, and the latest sign that Croatia is embracing new types of tourism appeared in a regional news portal on January 29, 2015, with news of the launch of the first Croatian travel agency for swingers in the Dalmatian capital of Split.
According to the report, Split tourist agency director and occasional swinger Marija Aniballi, decided to launch Open Mind Holidays offering sailing tours for naturist, gay and swinging clients after years of living in Germany.
"People want the freedom to enjoy themselves on holiday, away from prying eyes," she explained to Digital Journal over coffee in her smart Split office yesterday. "Croatia is famous for its naturist tourism, which started with a British king (Edward and Mrs Simpson in 1936) asking to swim naked on the island of Rab.
"With the beauty of the Adriatic, people should be free to express themselves with like-minded people. According to research, there are more than one million swingers in Central Europe, and we want to offer them a quality holiday in a relaxed environment, where they can enjoy the company of a small group of like-minded couples."
Grouping gay, naturist and swinger cruises into one might seem opportunistic, but Aniballi insists that the tours offered will be very specialised to the relevant groups.
"Swingers will not just sign up for any holiday. There has to be an element of trust, and I have been active in the global swinging community to help build that trust. It is one of the reasons I have no problem publishing my picture on the website, for example. The tailored tours we offer will offer our clients freedom, privacy and discretion.
"The needs of gay tourists are obviously different to those of swingers, and we realise that there are a large number of gay tourists to Croatia each year. Croatia, and particularly Dalmatia, is somewhat conservative in this respect, and we believe there is a market for gay tourists to enjoy quality cruises on the Adriatic which offer them sufficient privacy."
While it is undoubtedly true that the current tourist offer does not sufficiently cater to the needs of swinging and gay tourists, the launch of the agency is bound to raise a few eyebrows in this staunchly Catholic country, which made global headlines with what was seen as a referendum on gay marriage in 2013, with some parts of Dalmatia voting 98% in favour of the amendment to the constitution.
The Open Mind Holidays swinger cruises, which will take place on a tour of Split and the islands of Solta, Vis, Brac, Hvar and Korcula, are scheduled to begin in May this year.
4. This swingers sex club has rebranded itself as a church. Can it get special treatment under the law?
Sometimes they take the festivities upstairs — to the private beds, the love swings, the group play areas, the “Sybian” room or the dungeon.
Yes, people have sex there.
“Remember, we are all strangers until we meet!” is a motto at this private swingers group founded in 1980 for consenting adults to explore their sexual fantasies with and around each other.
The swingers recently decided they were ready to move to the suburbs. The suburbs do not appear ready for the swingers. When the club purchased a building next to a Christian school, residents protested and threw zoning problems in its way.
So the swingers have come up with a new plan to short-circuit the zoning static around their relocation: Their new club, they say, is a church — a church for swingers to meet, to mingle and to engage in the regular practice of their faith.
If the city accuses them of running a sham church, the club’s longtime lawyer Larry Roberts says that the Constitution is on their side.
Is it? And what defines a “religion,” anyway?
The answer to that question is complicated — so complicated, it’s occupied U.S. courts for roughly two centuries now.
“They can sue us and say they want an injunction to stop us from operating, and we can say we have some tenets of the church sort of like the Ten Commandments,” Roberts said over the phone. He listed a few.
“Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not cheat. Do not commit any act that will be harmful to others. Do not commit adultery without the knowledge and consent of your spouse.”
“That one’s a little bit different,” Roberts admitted.
How the swingers sex club became a church
For years, the swingers have been meeting at a nondescript brick building less than a mile south of Music City Center, in an area that once teemed with adult bookstores and gentleman’s clubs hidden in plain sight. Now the neighborhood is gentrifying quickly. Last fall, the group sold their complex for $1.3 million, more than double what they purchased it for in 1998.
They bought an abandoned medical office in a quiet neighborhood north of Nashville called Madison. The 22,000-square-foot space, with private exam rooms that could easily become play rooms, was near perfect — except that it happened to sit between two churches and a posh private Christian academy.
“It’s the biggest bunch of bigots that I would into run into except maybe at a Klu Klux Klan meeting,” Roberts said. “When my clients first began considering this, I said, ‘With this location, you’re going to create a firestorm of controversy.’ ”
They did. Karen Bennett, who represents this neighborhood on the legislative council for Nashville and Davidson County, said that hundreds of parents — more than 400 by her count — came to each of the public hearings a few months ago.
“Madison is a really good, solid, suburban community in Nashville, very family-based,” Bennett said. ”Most people feel like this would be a black eye to have this adult club. It’s not what they want for their community.”
Bennett herself graduated from Goodpasture Christian School, which is across the street from the new club building. She’s concerned about having a club so close to a school. Think of the children, she says.
“[The swingers] seem to think that they would be quiet neighbors, and I don’t think that’s really the case,” she said. “Kids ask questions and they want to know what is going on.”
The neighbors demanded that something be done. “We’re going to pursue that at the highest level legally,” Goodpasture’s president told a local news broadcast in January. “We’re going to pursue it politically. Our goal is for them to never open their doors at 520 Lentz.”
That meant that the townspeople were going to change the rules. When the swingers bought the old medical office, they had made sure that it was legal to hold events there. But Bennett soon introduced a new ordinance amending the zoning laws in Nashville and Davidson County. The swingers’ new property would no longer be able to host private clubs of any kind.
The Metro Council passed that measure in late March. Soon after, Tennessee’s state legislature also unanimously approved a new law prohibiting private clubs where people can watch or have sex from operating within 1,000 feet of a school.
It goes without saying that religious values animate a good deal of the public discourse in Tennessee, where cities are not allowed to have laws protecting gay people from discrimination, and where lawmakers this year sought to make the Bible the state book.
Religious institutions are so powerful and protected in America, reasoned the swingers’ lawyer, that if the club couldn’t beat them — well, perhaps it would join them.
“What is religion to you may not be to someone else; and what is religion to someone else may not be to you,” Roberts said.
According to the club’s new renovation plans, the game room will become the fellowship hall. The north dungeon will be the choir room. The south dungeon will be the handbell room.
There won’t be any sex at this church, Roberts said, but people could gather here, and take the party off-premises. “It may not be what they call a ‘full service’ club, but I think it will fulfill the function,” he said.
Once the operation is up and running, the city might send inspectors to verify that it is acting as a church. It might issue a warrant asking the courts to adjudicate. (In practice, Nashville zoning administrator Bill Herbert said he’s never heard of a case involving “un-traditional types of churches.”)
Roberts said he was the one who counseled the swingers to become a church. He believed that they needed the strong protections and freedoms that the government affords to religious groups.
“It’s something that the government can’t control,” he said. “After all, isn’t that the reason America was established, or one of them?”
A judge can’t divine which gods are real or false …
The First Amendment says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” But the Constitution is completely silent on the more fundamental question of what religion actually is.
And centuries of legal debate haven’t resolved matters much. “Courts struggle with this,” said Alan Brownstein, a law professor at UC Davis. “We do not have an accepted working definition of religion in American legal jurisprudence.”
It’s paradoxical, almost. How can a nation so concerned with religious freedom not agree on what constitutes a religion? How can we attach so many protections and privileges to something so legally amorphous?
But religious liberty also implies religious diversity, and religious tolerance. The nation, indeed, was founded in part by refugees of a minority sect. In that spirit, the courts have been incredibly reluctant to rule on whether someone’s religion or religious beliefs are the real deal.
“We’re worried that if we define religion too narrowly, we’ll end up excluding some belief systems that do deserve to be recognized,” Brownstein said. “It’s very hard to come up with a good definition of religion that includes everything we want to be covered and only excludes what we thinks should be excluded.”
On occasions when courts have been forced to render judgement, they often defer to what a person says their religious beliefs are, even if those beliefs are out of the mainstream or idiosyncratic.
“[R]eligious beliefs need not be acceptable, logical, consistent, or comprehensible to others in order to merit First Amendment protection,” Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger famously wrote in the majority opinion for Thomas v. Review Board in 1981.
Eddie Thomas was a metal worker and a devout Jehovah’s Witness. In a job application for the Blaw-Knox Foundry and Machinery Co., he listed his hobbies as “Bible study” and “Bible reading.” A year after he joined, the company moved him to a position making tank turrets. Thomas felt this was against his religion. He quit and fought the state of Indiana for unemployment benefits.
Thomas’s case, which ended up at the Supreme Court, hinged on whether his beliefs about pacifism were truly religious in nature. Thomas had struggled to define some of the moral principles of his religion. He admitted in court that his friend, also a Jehovah’s Witness, disagreed that their religion prohibited his employment in the tank turret department. In light of these contradictions, the lower court argued that Thomas’s views were a “personal philosophical choice,” lacking sufficient religious character.
The Supreme Court brushed aside those concerns. “Courts are not arbiters of scriptural interpretation,” Burger wrote, setting a precedent that the legal system would gingerly handle questions of religious validity. So, for instance, the courts have recognized Wiccan covens (there is even one in Memphis); they have ruled in favor of a Santeria group that wanted to sacrifice animals.
In the course of its work, the Internal Revenue Service also has to determine whether religions are valid or not. The IRS gives tax exemptions to churches in part because churches tend to serve the public good through education and charity work. To evaluate a church, it considers a range of criteria: whether the church has a creed, religious services, ordained ministers, religious literature and so forth.
But these are just guidelines, and religious groups will sue if they think they were unfairly snubbed. The Church of Scientology, for instance, battled the IRS for years to gain tax-exempt status. In one famous lawsuit, the Ninth Circuit ruled that Scientology did not deserve tax breaks because it seemed to be organized like a business funneling profits to its founder, L. Ron Hubbard. This violated an IRS rule that says nonprofits need to have some kind of charitable or public service purpose.
That case avoided the much tougher question of whether Scientology was actually a religion — a question that the courts feel ill-equipped to answer. In the end, the matter was not decided in court anyway. As the famous story goes, Scientologists pressured the IRS to the point that it finally changed its mind.
… but can the courts peer into your soul?
And yet, it is also clearly unreasonable for anyone to be able to create a religion or claim newfound religious beliefs just to get special treatment. While courts tend to avoid rendering judgment on anyone’s religion, they are more comfortable ruling on whether someone holds their religious beliefs sincerely.
This is the way that many religion-of-convenience lawsuits are decided, explains James Oleske, a law professor at Lewis and Clark. “In general, courts are very reluctant to question the validity of religious beliefs,” he said. “But they do ask if there really is a good-faith, religious belief that exists — that this isn’t a sham in order for people to get immunity for their secular practices.”
There are several examples of courts denying people religious privileges by calling into question whether they actually believe what they say they believe. For instance, Oleske points to a 2010 New Mexico case involving a couple that created a church around sacrament of marijuana. Citing these religious beliefs, in conjunction with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Danuel and Mary Quaintance attempted to defend against criminal marijuana charges.
The Tenth Circuit found theirs to be a flimsy argument. People testified that the Quaintances talked about their marijuana operation as a “business” not as a church. “[T]he record contains additional, overwhelming contrary evidence that the Quaintances were running a commercial marijuana business with a religious front,” judge Neil Gorsuch wrote in the 2010 decision.
At this point, marijuana church arguments are known to be long shots. “We get these fraternities that call us up,” said Eric Rassbach, a lawyer at the Beckett Fund, a religious liberty defense organization. “Some group of guys on a college campus call us up and say: ‘We just invented this new church. Its sacrament is marijuana. Will you defend us?’ ”
“We tell them no, sorry guys, you’re not the first to come up with this idea and you’re going to lose,” Rassbach said.
(Sometimes, though it is rare, such an argument does win. Oleske notes that in 2013, the Minnesota Court of Appeals allowed a Rastafarian to keep his marijuana pipe because it had religious significance to him. The pipe reminded him to “perform what needs to be performed, which is smoking.”)
Some of this may seem bizarre. Judges and juries lack telepathy. How can courts presume to evaluate how deeply someone believes? Who is to say what your intimate relationship to your god is?
The process is difficult, Rassbach concedes, but the courts delve into people’s minds all the time, he said. “Courts cannot decide whether a religious belief is true, but they can decide whether it is truly held. That’s a state of mind question, and courts do that business day in, day out.”
A murder case, for instance, might depend on proving whether someone had intent to kill. A securities fraud case, Rassbach said, asks whether the defendants intentionally deceived investors.
Courts look at evidence to gauge someone’s sincerity. How does someone behave? Do they make effort to adhere to the tenets of their faith? Have they practiced their religion in this way for a long time? How do they talk about their spirituality to their friends and family? And most importantly, might they have some ulterior motive for professing these religious beliefs?
These questions sometimes get muddy. In the Hobby Lobby case before the Supreme Court, the justices had to look at the beliefs of the companies’ religious owners, who refused to pay for employee health insurance plans that included contraceptive coverage. That would go against their religion, the owners claimed.
No one denied that these bosses were devout people — and yet, did they really believe that paying for this kind of insurance violated their religion? After all, they were not directly funding contraceptives — they were several times removed from the behavior that they found unholy. Did they sincerely believe this would be a stain on their conscience?
But the Supreme Court did not treat this as an issue of religious sincerity; this question was treated as an issue of doctrinal interpretation, which is territory that the court treads lightly upon.
“[I]t is not for us to say that their religious beliefs are mistaken or insubstantial,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the majority. “Instead, our ‘narrow function … in this context is to determine’ whether the line drawn reflects ‘an honest conviction,’ … and there is no dispute that it does.”
What does this mean for the swingers church?
Most of the religious scholars agreed that the swingers church would be in trouble if the city came and sued them for not being a real church. It does not look good that the swingers only started their church in response to being banned from opening their sex club at the same property.
Ira “Chip” Lupu, a constitutional law professor at George Washington University, offered a different, non-religious defense.
Lupu cited what has become known as the “Sister Wives” case. In 2011, the polygamous family featured on the TLC show “Sister Wives” challenged Utah’s anti-polygamy law after facing criminal charges for cohabitating.
In 2013, the Federal District Court for Utah ruled that Utah’s anti-polygamy law was unconstitutional. The state could prevent people from holding two marriage licenses, but it can’t regulate what adults chose to do in private, wrote Judge Clark Waddoup. This was reasoning borrowed from Lawrence v. Texas, the landmark Supreme Court case that struck down anti-sodomy laws in 2003. (The case is being appealed.)
A similar argument might prevail here, Lupu said. The key is that these activities are happening behind closed doors. “They’re a club. They screen members. They could do this in their house, except their house isn’t big enough or whatever.”
Therefore, the swingers could argue that the government violated their right to sexual privacy when it zoned them out of their property. “I think they could make a pretty good case,” Lupu said.
On Tuesday night, I called the main line at the The Social Club, which for now is still operating out of its old location downtown. The person who answered the phone called himself Peter, but declined to give his last name (“What we do — what my wife and I do privately, is between us, you know?”).
5. Inside the wildest open-air swingers festival ever
But that’s not stopping the middle-aged woman strapped into a red leather swing, buffeting to and fro as she has sex with two men.
Squealing with delight, she’s letting the whole campsite know just how much she’s enjoying her threesome at the aptly named Swingfields Festival — Britain’s only open-air festival for swingers.
The trio’s swinging in the rain isn’t even dampened by the fact that guests can clearly be seen from the public highway.
This weekend, 700 frisky devotees descended on the normally sleepy village of Trellech, Monmouthshire, for three days of debauchery, which ran from Thursday until Sunday.
Like Glastonbury, the action unfolds in a muddy field, with tents offering different “delights.” But rather than music on offer, it’s various forms of sex — with drugs for sale on the side.
Sun photographer Neil Hope and I posed as a curious couple, wandering freely without anyone challenging us. Even though we seem to be the only people with our clothes on, no one has time to care.
In the main marquee I met Tony, a man mountain who is dressed for a Roman orgy theme night in a white toga, headdress and nothing else.
Batting a manhood that seems almost as big as a tent pole, he shouts to himself: “Think of the football! Think of the football! Gareth Bale! Gareth Bale!”
When I ask what he’s doing, he points to his erect penis and moans: “Trying to get rid of this.”
But 10 minutes later, Tony is grinning like a Cheshire cat after being crowned “Mr. Penis Swingfields 2016.”
Outside, it’s Swingfields Sports Day and the wet underwear competition is on.
Men don baggy pants while running around the outdoor arena having ice-cold water thrown on them.
Leading the pack is Chris, a bearded dwarf who, he says later, works as part of the Swingfields entertainment team.
His underwear is almost as big as he is, but like most of the other competitors, he soon discards it and runs round the ring naked, to the cheers of the crowd.
Earlier it was the wet T-shirt competition for women, although the T-shirts in question were ripped off in minutes.
It was won by Sam, a buxom blonde in her 20s who did a cartwheel and the splits to grab victory.
She later came in second in the “orgasm race,” where women pleasure themselves to “victory” in the quickest time while writhing around in the middle of the field. Top prize is a vibrator.
Next up is “c–k dribbling” — women and men wearing huge inflatable penises which they use to try to move a football around cones.
Last game is “toss the knob,” where competitors chuck three big foam willies into a massive pink foam vagina.
As I watch, I get approached by Bill, a swinging festival virgin. He’s 47 and has arrived along with a male friend. A couple’s ticket is $250 for the full three days, including a campsite.
Glamping tickets are available at nearly $1,300, but they sold out quickly.
Bill, from Manchester, says of the festival, which is now in its fourth year: “I can’t believe it, it’s like being in the middle of one huge porn film.
“I was in the couples tent and there were just bodies everywhere.
“I’m hoping to strike it lucky. I’ve been in the sex toy tent and brought lots of goodies. If you fancy it, you can come back to my tent and see what I’ve got.”
Thanking him for his offer, I feign tiredness. Bill tells me: “Do you want some coke? There’s a couple of blokes here selling it. My mate got 60 dollars’ worth yesterday, I don’t know how much that was for.
“If you want it, I can point out the bloke selling it when I see him.”
Drugs, along with cameras, are banned at the festival.
But there were no searches at any of the entrances and although attendees were told they would have to provide ID, we weren’t asked for any on arrival.
Instead we were just handed a welcome pack with a free condom and lube. Swingers, it turns out, are a mixed bunch. Some look like they have come straight off “The Jeremy Kyle Show,” others like they are on a day trip from the old folks’ home. And some look barely out of their teens.
One young girl tells me she is a “family support worker.” Another woman works at the checkout at Tesco, one man is a civil servant, others are factory workers, window cleaners, mechanics, hairdressers.
All of them are there for one thing — sex, and lots of it.
Every night, bands take to the main arena stage, bravely playing as the audience gets very friendly with each other.
One bloke asks a stranger to hold his pint as he joins in a foursome with his wife and another couple on the dance floor. He asks for his pint back once he is done.
Everywhere you look, people are at it — girls on girls, two girls on one guy, two guys on one girl. Very few condoms seem to be used.
Swingers call themselves “lifestylers” and most of the ones I speak to are Swingfields veterans.
The festival has taken place annually since 2013, and has previously been held in Gloucestershire and Worcestershire. This year’s is the first in Wales. It is quite a change of pace for quiet Trellech, previously best known for its standing stones, the admittedly suggestively shaped Harold’s Stones.
Wendy, of Leeds, would travel to wherever she had to. She explains: “It’s three days of fun where you can just do whatever you want.
“There are rules, so if someone doesn’t want to know or doesn’t want to do something, you respect that. But if they do, then it’s great.”
Feeling a bit overwhelmed by the action in the main tent, we wander over to the fetish hut, where a girl bound to a frame is having hot wax dripped over her. In the corner, another woman is chained to a cross while being lashed with a bullwhip.
Making our way back to our canvas roof for the night, we notice many other tents have signs up outside. One says: “Aylesbury Swingers.” Another declares: “Kat and Kim — Come on in.”
Sleep is impossible as there are sighs, screams of passion and whacks of canes on flesh all night long.
Saturday’s events include naked zorb balling and jelly wrestling.
We hit a bar where Chris the dwarf is organizing a naked life-drawing class.
This starts off sedately, until Chris livens up proceedings by producing a vibrating sex toy, which he uses on one of the beautiful models.
Over in the main bar, the king and queen of “SF16” are being crowned.
Then comes an announcement by one of the organizers that a newspaper has been asking local villagers about Swingfields, saying: “Apparently we’ve upset the vicar.” The crowd cheers.
The grand finale is a naked foam party with a “top Ibiza DJ” performing.
As the foam rises, Chris the dwarf disappears.
By Sunday morning, people are staggering around, getting ready to go home.
One couple dismantles the iron bed they had brought from home, complete with mattress.
Others troop off to the showers to clean their sex toys.
And with that, the filth fest is over for another year.
How the event works
Swingfields is run by couple Deborah and Stuart Wilson, who only reveal the location for each year’s event two days before it begins.
The festival’s website offers helpful tips on getting started as a swinger, along with advice on swinging terms and etiquette.
On arrival, you can choose from colored wristbands to advertise your sexual preferences. Cameras and phones are banned except those used by the organizers.
Tickets are meant to be on offer only to people over age 21 and who are already members of swinging sites. But no checks were made on us.
Eighty percent of festival-goers are couples, 10 percent are single women and 10 percent single males. Single males provide references when applying for tickets.
The Wilsons, of Gloucestershire, add on their site: “Be clean, smell nice, look good, feel good.”
There is supposed to be zero tolerance for drugs, but we were offered cocaine and there was a strong smell of marijuana in some areas.
6. Swingers campsite opens in France complete with 'cuddle corners' and Eyes Wide Shut-themed parties
A swingers campsite has opened its tent doors in southwestern France for holidaymakers seeking some nature-based partner swapping action.
Le Diamant Noir campsite, located in the leafy region of Dordogne, serves up a range of onsite activities including 'naughty games' and 'muscle awareness water aerobics'.
Owner Bruno Mazaferro, who set up the park with his wife Sandra, says his aim is to make swingers holidays more affordable with overnight stays at his site starting from €25.
Day passes can also be purchased, with lone women charged €12 and single men billed €45 for some 'horizontal adventure'.
All park-goers must where coloured bracelets identifying if they are single or part of a couple.
Mr Mazaferro told The Local fr that his vacation idea has proved to be success so far.
Over Easter weekend he was fully-booked and he hopes the trend will continue into summer.
When it comes to accommodation at Le Diamant Noir, people can bring their own tents or rent a mobile home - complete with a bathroom - for a more luxury experience.
On the entertainment front, along with 'naughty games' and heart-pounding water aerobics, the campsite also hosts nightly parties where underwear is optional.
Themed shindigs at Le Diamant Noir's bar include, Sexy Hawaii, Eyes Wide Shut and Leather and Latex.
People are also encouraged to get up close and personal, with allocated 'cuddle corners'.
If park guests aren't in the mood for love, there is also a boules field and mountain bike rentals.
Mr Mazaferro added that the only rules for visitors are that they are at least 21 years old and that they respect each another.
Revealing where his main clients have come from, he said: 'It's been mostly French people so far, but also people from Belgium, Holland, Switzerland... all of Europe, but not anyone from England.
'At least not yet.'
Apparently Le Diamant Noir campsite is the third of its kind in France.
7. Art gallery opens swingers' club to mixed response
A sex club has moved into an art gallery with the stated aim of helping visitors to a Gustav Klimt exhibition confront their sexual inhibitions.
The Secession, a contemporary art venue in Vienna, has incorporated the club, named Element6, as part of a project by Swiss artist Christoph Buechel.
Visitors must walk through it to reach one of Klimt's paintings.
A spokesman said Buechel hoped to spark a scandal similar to when Klimt's Beethoven Frieze was exhibited in 1902.
It has already attracted opposition from Austria's far-right Freedom Party, which issued no fewer than six press releases denouncing the project on Monday and Tuesday.
"By abusing artistic freedom, the significance of Austria as a country of culture and of Vienna as a cultural capital is being dragged in the mud," said local Freedom Party politician Gerald Ebinger.
According to Germany's Bild newspaper, local councillor Ursula Stenzel, who initially approved the installation, subsequently got cold feet.
"I signed the approval only under massive protest," she was quoted as saying.
"It was always spoken of as an art project with a nightclub, but never as a swingers' club."
Vienna's Mayor, Michael Haeupl, added that he did not approve of the club, but noted that outraged politicians and newspapers were playing into the artist's hands
Klimt's 1902 painting Beethoven Frieze was once considered obscene and pornographic because of the way women's bodies were depicted, but it is now seen as one of the Austrian artist's key works.
The painting is on display in the basement of the Secession, and visitors must pass through the swingers' club to reach it.
While the club only opens at night, long after the art hall closes, daytime visitors aged 18 and older pass through its dimly lit rooms, complete with mattresses, bar and spa bath.
The club, which is normally located in another part of town, said its participation "aims to give as many people as possible the opportunity to overcome their inhibitions".
"In the framework of this exhibition at the Secession, each individual can test for himself or herself whether this opens up new dimensions for his or her own sexuality," the club said in a statement.
Citizens on the streets of Vienna seemed to be more relaxed about the exhibition - and exhibitionists - than the local press and politicians.
"I think it's perfectly OK," said Moritz Wagner, a 26-year-old medical student.
"It's not my thing but why not?" added Ute Wegscheider. "Maybe I should go check it out with my husband!"