Not long ago, I sat at a cocktail lounge in the East Village with a realtor friend as she extolled the virtues of Le Trapeze, a swinger’s club in midtown. The experience, she swore, had cured her of “body image issues.” Which I took to mean that everyone else there looked worse. It didn’t really sound like my scene, to be honest, until she mentioned the buffet.
Now this was interesting. The scent of sterno mingling with lustful ardor. Ziti. Potato skins. Prime rib …
When she added that proper swinger etiquette requires all attendees to wear tube socks, I was officially intrigued. The fanciful vision of naked swingers wandering around in tube socks while gnawing on buffalo wings captured my imagination.
I resolved to write a restaurant review of Le Trapeze, picturing myself describing in florid detail the hint of dill in the green beans, the spicy chipotle sauce, the subtle saffron aroma of the rice pilaf. Rushing home to check out the website, I learned that tube socks are required at all times (whether for reasons of hygiene or aesthetics was not made clear) and that the club doesn’t serve alcohol, though a variety of mixers are on hand and patrons may bring their own booze. Which is how I came to be dashing out for footwear and vodka.
My bag bulging with swingers club supplies, I enlisted a friend and headed over to 17 East 27th street on Saturday night. Club rules stipulate that single men are not allowed inside, so as we neared the door, a guy stepped over to us.
“Do you want any company?” he asked.
“No,” I replied as we were buzzed in. “We’re just here for the hot buffet.” ...
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