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Vol. 17, No. 4, 2018
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swingers' clubs




Former lead singer of the legendary 222s, arguably Montreal's first punk rock band, Chris is now a freelance writer based in Montreal. You can check out his writing at where he combines the sardonic humour of David Foster Wallace and the deliciously contrived irreverence of Anthony Bourdain.


Nota Bene: Since Arts & Opinion is not in the business of promotion, we have decided to remove all names and locations from fearless investigative journalist Chris Barry’s reportage.

It’s 11 pm on a Wednesday night at Club X in downtown Montreal and the joint is, well, swinging. Sixty or so sexual adventurers of various ages, shapes and sizes have congregated to dance, drink, and, um, let me try to put this gently . . . fuck their brains out. Or so I’m hoping, at least. I’m here to watch it all go down, and though I’m a little self-conscious and arguably out of my element, I’m happy. Consider me an easy sell when it comes to debauchery.

Sitting up at the bar beside me on the main floor are a couple of thirty-something mulatto chicks, a few good-looking college age couples, and a disproportionate number of older, borderline elderly dudes. Lounging around on the clubs sofa’s are mostly middle-aged couples, some attractive, some not so attractive, and the odd cluster of single men keenly eyeing the door whenever any new meat walks in. With the exception of the homemade porn tape screening on the club’s television monitor, and the fully erect bronzed male statues hanging everywhere off the walls, one could easily mistake Club X for some generic suburban discotheque anywhere in North America. But rest assured -- it is not.

Make no mistake, the Montreal swinger scene is booming. According to the owners, thousands of people have passed through the doors of Club X.

Not too long ago, if Club X were even open on a Wednesday night, there might have been 20 people lurking around the joint looking to bump uglies. Tonight there are easily three times that number, and on most weekends, it’s not unusual for over 200 enthusiasts to stop by. And that’s only Club X. Montreal is home to at least half a dozen swinging establishments, and if the online ads are any indication, there’s one hell of a lot of orgy activity going down in private residences as well.

Many of these swingers have been introduced to ‘the lifestyle’ by MB (not his real initials). A bona fide swinging ‘missionary,’ MB will tell everything you need to know about swinging etiquette: all the local hotspots, what to expect the first time you get naked in a room full of strangers, and how to politely tell somebody you’re not interested in to get their stinky ol’ appendage out of your face without hurting their feelings.

Since 2005, when a landmark decision by the Quebec Superior Court cleared up any legal ambiguities regarding swinging; by ruling that “contemporary Canadian society tolerates swingers' clubs if the sexual exchanges take place in private," swingers’ clubs have been thriving.

So long as the sexual activity takes place in a members-only club, where there’s no chance of grandma stumbling in and accidentally drowning in a hail storm of semen, swingers have been able to boink to their hearts content without fear of getting busted by the morality squad. Even though Montreal used to be the only city in Canada, and one of the few jurisdictions in North America, where, historically, on-site sexual activities have not only been tolerated but actually encouraged in sex clubs, on-site coital action had always been a bit of a grey area legally – but that was then, and since then the sexually curious have been coming out to the clubs in droves.

My primary mission this evening, outside of collecting various mental images for future private stroking sessions, is to locate and interview the owner, MB, who, as it turns out, happens to be hosting tonight’s event. So far I’ve been having trouble pinning him down. MB has been running around organizing a game of sexual musical chairs slated to go down later, working the DJ booth, and giving tours of the club to the considerable number of first-timers in attendance. With all the newcomers here tonight, he has his hands full, and when I finally catch up to him he politely informs me that he will only be able to talk to me later on in the evening. He introduces me to two very attractive young couples, letting them know I’m a journalist of sorts, and suggests I get any 411 I need for the time being from them. I hang with them for a few minutes, but before I can send any relevant questions their way, it’s announced over the PA system that the club’s doors are now officially closed to the public and it’s time to let the games begin. Veronique and Ginette, the two thoroughly delicious chicks I’ve just been introduced to, abruptly excuse themselves to go play musical sex chairs. I decide not to take it personally.

It doesn’t take long for me to realize that sexual musical chairs is possibly the greatest game ever invented. The way it works is that six men (I was invited to participate but politely declined) are lined up on couches that have been placed on the dance floor. Six chicks then dance around them, circling the couches until the music is stopped, at which point they have one minute to give the dude who happens to be in front of them a boner. They do this with their mouths, their breasts, whatever arsenal they choose to work with, and once their minute is up, the barmaid goes around squeezing each dude’s exposed erection to determine who is the least hard. The couple producing the softest hard-on gets ejected from the game, and they start the process all over again until there is only one couple left, ahem, standing. Later, the tables are turned and the men circle the couches, trying to produce the hardest nipples on the women. Neither Veronique nor Nathalie win the game officially, but after witnessing their bone-inspiring talents, I decide they are both winners in my book and tell them as much. They’re sweet and polite, but clearly couldn’t care less what I think about their considerable gifts.

Immediately after the games come to a close, most people start making their way downstairs to the orgy, or rather, ‘play’ rooms. Knowing full well that this is where I want to be, I decide to give up pestering MB for awhile and waste no time securing myself a spot right in the middle of the action. One side of the room is full of beds reserved for couples that just want to make out undisturbed, or rather, untouched, by the several naked single males lurking around discreetly tugging on their ding-dongs. On the other side of the room is the ‘cum-one, cum-all’ area where those looking for anonymous strangers to come give ‘em a poke can hang out. For the moment there is just one slender woman in her early 40s in this latter section, buck naked and performing fellatio on one of the old dudes who was sitting at the bar with me earlier. I notice that the old guy may be boney but he’s hung like a horse. Bravo! A few moments later a younger stud joins in and starts working her from behind. It’s all good.

The volume of sexual activity starts to intensify and when I glance across the room I’m thrilled to discover that a stark naked and spread-eagled Veronique is knee-deep in a scene with Nathalie and her boyfriend. Another young straight-looking English-speaking couple, Concordia university students I suspect, pull up on the bed beside them and also start doing the nasty, occasionally looking over at Veronique’s scene for inspiration, and less occasionally reaching over to the bed on the other side of them to cop a feel of the middle-aged triad going at it next door.

As more people enter the room and take off their clothes, the place starts to smell a little too much like a locker room for my liking, but there ain’t no way I’m about to call it a night and go home-even if the lady participating in the threesome unfolding just a few feet in front of me looks way too much like my Mom for comfort. I still haven’t done any interviews of note and it’s certainly not every day I get to hang out in to a scene straight out of Fellini’s Satyricon.

A man my age approaches me and tells me that his wife would like me to come over and ‘play’ with her. I look over and see an exotic looking chick giving me the eyeball, beckoning me to come to her bed. I tell him I appreciate the offer but am pretty sure my wife would hold it against me if I came home smelling of exotic looking chick. “Sure, no problem, I understand” he tells me, and I get the impression that he honestly does. I'm not so sure his wife does though, 'cuz 10 minutes later I notice she's left her perch and has discreetly made her way over to my side of the room, seemingly intent on wrapping her lips around my joystick. I'm actually a little flattered. After all, there's certainly no shortage of man meat in the joint, plenty of other bones for an attractive gal like her to gnaw on. Sheesh, it could almost make a feller feel kinda special.

Despite what many might choose to believe, there is remarkably little pressure to get involved in the action, and I have no doubts that an attractive single female hanging out in the orgy room is far less likely to get harassed than she would at most other clubs in town-or simply walking down the street for that matter. Say what you will about swingers, but they certainly understand the concept of respect, and there ain’t nobody pressuring nobody to have sex here. It’s simply considered uncool. In light of the recent uptick in reported sexual assaults at McGill and other university campuses, female students looking to let their guard down without fear of being harassed might well consider slugging back cocktails at a swinger’s club, where everybody appears to understand that “no” actually means “no.”

Just as I’m thinking about finally heading home a young blonde girl I was drooling over earlier in the evening comes down to the room with some guy, starts to disrobe and make her way over to the shower area. I’d been hoping all night that this delectable temptress would wind up in the orgy room and am eager, along with all the other voyeurs in the room, to bear witness to her in all her glory. But just as she and her boyfriend start getting down to business, I feel a tap on my shoulder. It’s MB. He’s naked from the waist down. “Okay, I’m ready to do my interview now” he tells me, penis in hand. But I’m too distracted to talk to him. I try and ask him a few questions, but I don’t really hear his answers. The blond chick has her boyfriend in her mouth and is masturbating wildly while another half-naked girl is chomping down on her breasts. MB is no doubt an interesting guy, and I need his quotes to do this story, but I just can’t muster up the professionalism to interview him in the midst of all this activity.

“How are you making out?” he asks me. “You know, the great thing about Montreal swingers is that people are very kind and respectful to newcomers here.” “Oh, yes, yes, I’m sure,” I mutter, vainly trying to focus my attention on his words and not the sounds of the blond chick bringing herself to orgasm. “And it’s not about money yet either, you know” he continues, “Swinging is still a sub-culture in Montreal, not an industry. Nobody makes a living off of running a sex club here, it’s for the love of it.”

I grunt an acknowledgement but MB recognizes that my attentions are focused elsewhere. “Would you rather we do this at another time?” he finally asks me considerately. “Um, uh, yeah, that’s probably a better idea,” I tell him, “there’s too much, uh . . . noise, in here to concentrate.”
“Another day then?”

I answer in the affirmative. Because damn right that’s something I might want to do. Even if interviewing MB has absolutely nothing to do with it anymore. It dawns on me that his may well have been the greatest night of my entire life. Consider me an easy sell when it comes to debauchery.

Also by Chris Barry:
Bust a Move
Trapeze - Swinging Ad Extremis
Hells in Paradise
The Cannabis Cup
Colonic Hydrotheraphy


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I always love it when a journalist goes into a swingers club and “just watches”. There is no way I can believe he said no to all the solicitations. You can say “no, thanks” only so many times in the night!










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