3.26.2008

Tha Sex Kittens

Swingers Sexploits
by Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz
The Chicago Tribune
August 24, 2007

Were it not for the hard-core porn flickering continuously on the TV, you might have thought it a regular house party. A DJ was spinning hip-hop. Guests chatted casually over a buffet of fried turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans and bundt cake. But the one-year anniversary bash this month for Tha Sex Kittens - a Chicago "adult social group" that includes couples, bisexual women and some single men - offered much more than dancing and dessert. Venture upstairs to the designated sex rooms, and you could be in for a swing. Though swingers play behind closed doors, the lifestyle is alive and well in the U.S. - and growing, thanks to the Internet. On weekend nights in the Chicago area, the sexually uninhibited can find parties where partner-sharing is the norm. On the second floor, two "invitation-only" rooms with neatly made beds awaited couples seeking company for their sexual escapades. A separate "ladies only" room beckoned women with bisexual tendencies. The third floor, a large lofted space with mattresses spread across the floor and a big swing hanging in the middle, was reserved for group sex. After 2 a.m., partyers weren't allowed upstairs unless they de-robed. To many, the mention of swingers calls to mind the 1970s "key parties," where married couples would swap partners based on whose house keys they fished out of a bowl. Today, key parties have given way to swingers clubs, conventions and Web sites that make it easy for couples to connect with others in "The Lifestyle," as it's called, for threesomes, spouse swapping and any other sexual arrangements that strike their fancy. The annual Lifestyles Convention in Las Vegas this month drew some 2,200 people for a full weekend of swinging. "All you have to do is look at the prevalence of adultery," said James Fleckenstein, president and CEO of the Institute for 21st Century Relationships, the Herndon, Va.-based foundation for the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom. "Some people are willing to come to terms with this natural tendency and say, 'Is there something we can do that will strengthen our relationship and not destroy it?' "While there's no official number, an estimated 2 million to 4 million people in the U.S. participate in swinging, and the ranks have grown mostly because of the networking power of the Internet, Fleckenstein said. [continued]

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