Inside the lifestyle (no lookyloos allowed)

They may be called swingers, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be swinging from the casino chandeliers, throwing furniture off balconies or getting down and dirty in front of the hotel ice machine.

In fact, according to the director of operations for JP Just Parties swingers party company, the opposite may be true. Many of the attendees at JP Just Parties’ swingers “funvention” are all about discretion – and for obvious reasons. “A lot of people don’t look at the lifestyle as positive,” says Alan, who asked that his last name be withheld. “By keeping [our convention] discrete, we help those who need to keep it quiet.”

JP Just Parties’ next swinger convention begins tomorrow and runs through Saturday. Only organizers and attendees, all of which have had to prepay for the convention, know which Strip property is hosting the events. The measure keeps away what swingers call “lookyloos,” people not active or necessarily supportive of the lifestyle who attempt to get into swingers parties simply for novelty’s sake.

Furthermore, Alan says, if lookyloos were allowed, they might be sorely disappointed that the swingers in reality are far different than the stereotypes they hold. Most range in age from their late 30s to late 40s, not younger. The group is typically well educated and well off financially. It’s a far cry from any sexy fantasy involving college coeds swapping boyfriends or free-love hippies reliving the ’70s.

In fact, according to Alan, the majority of what happens at many swingers parties is no worse, if not better, than your average night at a major nightclub. “You’ll see nothing that you won’t see at any event where Paris Hilton is there,” Alan says, jokingly. “Most are involved for the atmosphere. They pay me to find them like-minded people. Now, what people do back in their rooms, that’s a different story…”

Still, “playrooms” in the funvention’s party suites do list areas like the “red light room,” where one can watch and be watched, and the “Sybian Hospitality Suite.” So, the risqué definitely exists after the daytime seminars, discounted dinners, happy hours and naughty hypnotist acts are over.

And, if anyone gets too out of hand, Alan is a 300-pound, 47-year-old, former cop who says he’d love to exercise his skills as a bouncer.

JP Just Parties held a similar convention last August at an off-Strip property. Attendance included 416 paid individuals. He expects this week’s convention to match that number or hit just under it. While their first Vegas party helped build a reputation, Thanksgiving and Christmas now loom in the not-so-distant future, and Alan knows that many people may be saving vacation money and time off for the holiday season.

Alan’s company also hosts parties in Nashville, St. Louis and Dallas. While Vegas might seem like a perfect fit for accepting the alternative lifestyle community, Alan warns that Sin City isn’t quite all it’s cracked up to be.

“People think, ‘It’s Vegas!’, but [the city] isn’t that lifestyle friendly,” he says. “Vegas’ focus is on gambling. You have some famous [clubs] – Red Rooster and Green Door – but for the population numbers it’s not really all that open a city.”

The real draw for JP Just Parties is exactly what draws other conventions: cheap flights, cheap hotel rooms and plenty of entertainment options.

With hotels hurting for business, Alan says properties are more willing than ever to overlook the unnecessary controversy around a swingers convention. He says the sales representative he worked with for the current Vegas convention had dealt with lifestyle events before and knew what to expect.

Many don’t. Some outright refuse their business. It’s a stupid mistake, Alan says, and only one thing should matter. “We pay our bills up front. We’re good customers.”


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