Welcome to the Sex Club

Anne Bokma infiltrates a haven for swingers and finds many of the clientele are midlifers just like her.

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Published in More in May 2011

What to wear to a sex club?

That's my dilemma as I stand in front of my closet looking for something not too brazen, not too demure. I've got a black bustier in here somewhere, but that would send the wrong message.

I'm not out to partake, but to conduct research on what really goes on in one of the dozens of sex clubs that have cropped up across the country over the past few years. A friend of a friend, Angela*, a 47-year-old high school teacher who's been going to sex clubs for about a year since splitting from her husband, has offered to show me the ropes.

"Just wear something pretty," she instructs. I settle on a form-fitting black turtleneck knit dress. I look somewhat dressed for a business meeting, so I don some black fishnets and knee-high boots for good measure.

I'm nervous because I know at some point in the evening my clothes will be coming off. That's because the real action at this club is in the backroom, where you must be naked - or clad in a skimpy towel around your waist - to enter.

The backroom is where the sex happens - between couples, between women, between groups, between strangers. Stripping down is in the name of journalistic duty, I remind myself as I slip on the fishnets and gird myself for baring all in front of what I imagine will be a bunch of leering men who've had too much to drink.

I'll find out later tonight - actually the minute I enter the doors of O-Zone in Toronto, one of Canada's most popular sex clubs - that I'm dressed all wrong. But I'll also discover that when it comes to sex clubs, I am wrong about a lot.

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