Congratulations: you’ve taken the plunge and are bravely going where you (and maybe your partner) have never gone before! Your first visit to a swingers’ club can be as nerve-wracking as it is titillating. You’re about to embark on a sexual voyage, akin to Homer’s Odyssey. There will be adventure. There will be excitement. And most importantly, there will be sex — lots and lots of sex.

But before doing the hanky panky, you’ll need to know how to mind your manners… and what you can expect. Here’s the 411:

Rule #1: Keep Your Trap Shut

Easy, there. By “trap,” we mean mouth, and when we say shut, we don’t mean that literally. Just saying: don’t go around the water cooler telling everyone how you spotted Jane from accounting using the peekaboo showers at LA’s Club Joi. Most sex clubs – whether they’re geared towards swingers or other forms of kink – are going to want some guarantee that you won’t go blabbing or updating your Facebook photos after your evening out. And for good reason!

Lots of people are attracted to swinging, but it’s not like you can pick them out of a lineup. Many hold corporate jobs, have kids to raise, and want to keep their sexual lives private, so when you step through the door, don’t start taking notes. Enjoy yourself, and save the social media and gossip for the rest of your life.

Rule #2: Observe the Local Wildlife

See that guy leaning on the bar, laughing with the bartender about how kinky last Saturday was? Pay attention, because he’s your indicator of how to act. A spot’s regulars are your best teachers for how a club expects you to behave, so watch and learn.

Does he zoom in for the kill as soon as a cute-looking blonde walks through the door, or does he buy another couple drinks and chat with them about their cats, slowly working up to more sultry conversation? Is he direct, or courteously distant?

(Important side note: particularly with other couples, it’s important not to bypass one partner in favor of the other. If one’s newer to or less comfortable with swinging, they might be calling the shots, so gauge the dynamic before you start unzipping.)

Or maybe that guy’s creepy. If you’re feeling like you need a shower right when you step in the door (and not in a good way), search elsewhere.

Rule #3: Learn to Speak Body Language

You’ve seen this in any vanilla bar: some creepy lurker swaying like a jester, gesturing with his beer while the object of his ardor tries to shrink into the wall. Her eyes look like a frightened gazelle’s but she’s too polite to make a scene. Well, especially in sex clubs, reading social cues is an essential part of being a good patron.

We’re not just talking pick-up lines here: this is a place where people go to screw in very public ways, so the stakes are higher. Learn how to pick up on body language, and respect someone who’s being nice enough to insinuate their disinterest instead of a flat-out rejection. Leave them be, and go in search of greener, more willing pastures.

Rule #4: Point and Clique

Like any establishment, a swingers club will have its regulars, and there’s a good chance they’ve been sexing each other up for quite awhile. It might feel isolating when you first set eyes on the good-looking group making out in the corner, but respect the fact that these patrons have relationships with each other and the club in question.

Don’t get discouraged! Even if a particular clique isn’t reaching for your fly, they’ll usually chat and give some good advice about how to become “in” with the local swing community. The more folks you meet, the more likely it is that while you’re grinding on the dance floor or experimenting on a stripper pole, someone will lean over to their friend and say, “hey, I met this couple today I think you’d really like.”

Let’s get started!

Like any group in any place, swingers and swingers’ clubs will differ depending on where you are. Big cities, with openminded cultures, like New York and California are ideal environments to take advantage of your curiosity and liberate yourself and your partner from humdrum, vanilla sexuality.

Plus, Sexlog is on the way! Join our community of adventurous singles and couples today — you never know, you might just meet the perfect swinging partners in your area!