A few days ago, Sinful Living got ourselves into the news with the event we held at Speakeasy Vape Lounge in Colorado Springs, CO. The exposure itself was rather enjoyable and it was a hell of a good time to watch the drama unfold on social media. So to whoever sounded the proverbial alarm, thank you! I couldn't have paid for more effective exposure!
However, Speakeasy and its members have taken a lot of undue flack from the community. There seem to be a lot of people who have made presumptions as to what this event was all about, even going as far as to call it prostitution. This article will, hopefully, serve to clear some things up and perhaps even educate some of the naysayers about the swinging lifestyle.
First, I want to thank everyone who has come to the defense of Speakeasy, Sinful Living, and the swinger community as a whole. I am truly taken back by the amount of supporters there are in and around Colorado Springs. A couple of the people who attended the event were even brave enough to take on the onslaught, and I appreciate you most of all. Jaymen at Speakeasy was instrumental in taking on the press and making a timely response to peoples' concerns, so I wanted to thank him individually as well.
Secondly, I want to apologize to the staff and members of Speakeasy for anything that I did to misrepresent their club through the use of their Facebook page. Sinful Living was given control over the Facebook event page and is responsible for the wording and content of the ad. The wording of the event description was never intended to offend anyone, only to be humorous. I realize now that my verbiage in the ad should have catered to Speakeasy's audience in the way that Speakeasy has done for the last 5 years and not catered to my audience, who have vastly different sensibilities. We have made adjustments to how we approach advertising these events and hope that the changes will avoid future confusion. This article is not, however, an apology for having the event. So let's address some concerns:
This is a party, not a brothel or a prostitution ring. All funds provided to Sinful Living by the party goers were only for admission into this specific event. The exchange of funds between participants is not allowed inside of the venue either. Sinful Living does not guarantee that participants at the event will have sex or even see anyone else having sex. Sinful Living does not require or expect that participants have sex or participate in ANY sexual acts. ANY AND ALL sexual activities, whether the participant is taking place in them or just observing, are done so completely at the discretion of the participant and any other participant involved.
Speakeasy Vape Lounge operates as a PRIVATE members club and is the only one in Colorado Springs where the consumption of cannabis and cannabis products is allowed. Given this fact and the fact that you have to be a member of the club to get in even on normal days, this venue was the perfect and only location, other than a private residence, where this kind of event could be held legally. Sinful Living rented out the space at Speakeasy so that we could have our own event, closed to the club's regular members and locked from the public coming in unexpectedly. This is not a new business model for them, anyone can rent the space and host their own legal events there too.
Entry to the event itself was even further restricted, as people were required to RSVP to even make it passed the front door (Yes, there are people that tried). Not everyone who did RSVP were allowed to attend the event either, some were barred for reasons that include providing incomplete, unverifiable, or offensive information when trying to RSVP. RSVPs that were received after 8pm on the night of the party were not allowed to attend the event because we did not have a time to verify the information they provided. Everyone had to show a valid ID saying that they were at least 21 years of age to be admitted. Information from that ID was then saved under their file with Sinful Living to show that the ID matches the information provided and for future reference. If anyone in attendance had caused a problem (which didn't happen) we would have already had all of the information we needed to see that the person was held accountable.
2. Safety and Liability
If you were one of the lucky few who managed to get into the event, you STILL were't allowed to do anything explicit before sitting through the orientation and signing the waiver, releasing Sinful Living and the venue from ANY AND ALL liability associated with your attending the event. If you don't agree by signing the waiver, we issue you a refund and you leave. No one is allowed to attend these events without having first signed the waiver.
At orientation we talk to participants about safety considerations including the use of condoms, the inherent danger of STIs and STDs including HIV/AIDS, knowing your physical limits, who to go to if there is a problem, and much more. We go over the rules of the venue, the rules of the party, and best practices for etiquette. We do not make exceptions on our rules, even for staff, and want nothing more than to provide the safest space possible for our attendees.
Previously, I thought that this would go without saying, but we THOROUGHLY CLEAN the space both BEFORE AND AFTER the event to make sure that we are providing the cleanest space possible, not only for attendees of the event, but for patrons of the venue after the event as well. We require participants to clean up after themselves throughout the night, even promising expulsion if they don't. We provided disposable cloth towels so that none would need to be reused, along with tissues, disinfectant, and QA sanitizer. Despite the level of cleanliness when the event ends, we will always clean up thoroughly afterwards. This is to insure that NOTHING IS MISSED. The Speakeasy, who's staff is adamant about cleanliness on normal days, was cleaner than ever after the party on January 13th!
I can assure you that participants are not allowed to go outside naked. That having been said, the event on the 13th would have come and gone without any neighbors of Speakeasy being any the wiser if it hadn't been for the news interviewer showing them the ad and then asking them what they thought. Swinger parties, club takeovers, hotel takeovers, and even cruise ship takeovers happen all of the time all around the country. This event was different only in that it legally allowed the consumption of cannabis within the venue. This wasn't the only swinger event to take place on the 13th. It wasn't the only swinger event to take place in Colorado on the 13th. It wasn't the only one to take place in Colorado Springs on the 13th, and it very likely wasn't even the only one to take place on Bijou St. on the 13th. Don't kid yourself into thinking that the swinger lifestyle isn't very much alive and well in Colorado Springs and everywhere else in this country.
4. Finally, A Note About Discriminating.
Sinful Living, despite the connotation of our name, does not believe in hate or violence as a tool for making the world a better place. I, for one, am appalled by the amount hate and disgust that this event has brought to light from many of the citizens of Colorado Springs. Never in my life have I experienced such blatant disregard for human rights. I was born and raised in this city, and I always thought that we prided ourselves on our ability to accept people from all walks of life. Well, swingers are people too.
Recent studies show that as much as 4% of the population of the United States are involved in the swinger lifestyle. And these aren't the 4% that people want them to be out of blind hate. Swingers are not skeezy scumbags that gather exclusively in truck stop bathrooms. Swingers, as a group, are more attractive, more educated, cleaner, happier, healthier, and wealthier than the general population as a whole. Our marriages last longer, and provide more fulfillment. We do less drugs, and have fewer criminals compared to the general population, just check the sources. We show respect, we deserve respect. We are not marginal.
"There is but one love and one hate. There are no sub-categories, no alternative definitions. Love is love and hate is hate."