Having pretty much given up on dating apps, I’m always looking for more ways to meet potential partners IRL. I’ve met a few through my dance community, but I also have concerns about “messing things up” within that community, so I’m proceeding with caution. And regular (non-poly) events pose other thorny issues, not the least of which: “why is this dude with a wedding ring hitting on me?” 😳
Enter “Poly Cocktails” and other poly mixers. Here in NYC there’s a standing monthly Poly Cocktails event that’s free to attend and draws a respectable and respectful crowd from the poly community. There are also “munches” and other vanilla events for the community to mix and mingle with like minded folks, without the pressure of a play party. Jeannie and I have been to a few and we’ve met great folks, but really never actually met a new play partner.
That all changed recently.
Enter, Playscapes NYC – one of many sex clubs in NYC where we are members. Each of these clubs is a little different, but all attempt to create a sensual environment with “mix and mingle” opportunities as well as plenty of places to “play.” And just to be clear, I call these “sex clubs” because, at these parties, as long as there is consent, anything goes. Playscapes in particular has a highly curated membership – everyone is referred by a previous member and the organizers do a full vetting to assure that you’ll fit in well and won’t be a creep (or worse).
We were invited to join by the founders after meeting them at a Poly Cocktails event, so we felt confident about how we’d fit in. After all, why would they invite us to join after meeting us if they felt differently? Yet at our first event with them a few months ago, we struggled to feel like a part of the party. The members were beautiful and friendly, yet something felt off to us. Turned out to be totally an “us, not you” kinda thing – Jeannie and I felt too old for the crowd. And, factually speaking, we were most definitely some of the oldest people there. It was also the first time we were at sex party where the “mix and mingle” area was separate from the play space. And that just felt odd to us.
After that event we realized that “age” was all in our heads. No one really cared about the number, they cared that each possible partner met their needs – be that physically, or sexually, or energetically. So we decided to give it another go. This time, they scheduled a vanilla mixer three weeks ahead of the next play party. We figured this was the perfect, low stakes way to get more comfortable with the crowd.
Our two Playscapes NYC experiences could not have been more different!
The mixer was on a Monday night and we were coming off a fantastic week with lots of good news and a few great parties and shows. Our physical energy was reduced because we partied a lot that weekend, but our emotional energy was high and we hoped that would carry us. At the beginning of the event we were a little shy as is often the case early on. We finally decided that we needed to “dive in” to where the crowd was a little more dense and take the leap of faith.
No sooner did we enter the throng than a beautiful and familiar looking woman reached out to Jeannie and me. It took a moment, but turns out that we met Jenna a few nights earlier at a Burner holiday party. It was a big ego boost for me that she remembered us, and was so interested in engaging with us at the mixer. We talked for quite awhile and learned that she’s a professional dancer with skills in Flow, Poi, and Fire Dancing. She also does some pole dancing but hasn’t had any training, so Jeannie offered to have her over to teach her some tricks.
When Jenna left, we realized that we never clearly asked what she was looking for in terms of a Playscapes play party. We did exchange contact info, but Jeannie doesn’t think she’s interested in playing with us. I got a different vibe, but we’ll have to ask to find out! I then headed to the bar and when I returned, Jeannie was fully immersed in conversation with a new guy.
As I approached, Jeannie enthusiastically introduced me to Connor. He was very friendly, and very cute, and his interest in Jeannie was quite clear. After a bit of “getting to know you” talk, I decided not to let the chance slip to validate his desires, and to see if they matched ours. I asked Connor what he’s looking for and his response was the most flawed, yet charming thing he could have said. Instead of simply answering something like, “I’m interested in playing with Jeannie,” he tried to rattle of kinks that he is or isn’t into. I could have easily stopped him and clarified, but to be honest, watching him awkwardly try to get through this was incredibly adorable to me.
I’d be interested in a threesome!
When he finally lost steam, I jumped in and said, “You seem clearly interested in playing with Jeannie, do I read that right?” He confirmed. I then asked, “So are you interested in me as well?” He stated that he’s always been straight, but that he is very comfortable having a threesome with a mixed-gender couple and that he wouldn’t get scared away if he and I touched. He went on to say that while he hasn’t really had the desire to kiss a man, “You guys are both so very sexy and I’d be open to exploring a little, as long as you understand that I may not want to proceed further.” I was intrigued. We exchanged contact information with Connor as well.
Who do you want to meet now? I’ll make it happen!
It was getting late, but we were both seriously charged up by our encounters with Jenna and then with Connor. Jeannie knows that I want her to be a good wingmate for me – and she wants to, but she hasn’t proven particularly good at it so far. Not that she’s done anything wrong, more that she hasn’t known what to do! So after we stepped away from Connor, Jeannie asked me who I wanted to meet and said she’d make it happen. With no hesitation I scanned the room for Paula who I had met briefly last time and saw earlier in the night. I was seriously crushing on her from the start. 😍
Jeannie proceeded directly to Paula and smoothly inserted herself into a small group conversation. Paula turned to us and said, “I remember you guys from last time!” With a huge smile on her face, she disengaged from her other conversation and gave her full attention to us. Now, I was impressed and pleased because 1) I didn’t think our interaction last time was that memorable and 2) When I saw Paula earlier in the evening I thought she saw me and didn’t say hello because she wasn’t interested. Boy was I wrong!
Paula introduced us to her husband and explained that the previous Playscapes was her first play party and she really enjoyed it. Her husband hasn’t been to one yet, but he will be at the party with her in a few weeks. So, again, I asked what she is looking for at a play party, and while she was a little vague, she was clear that she and her husband intend to play separately and that she was interested in us. She and I exchanged information and I’m hoping that we get to play at the upcoming party.
So, let’s recap. After leaving “empty handed” last time and feeling like we didn’t fit in, this time we:
- Had a terrific time!
- Met a sexy dancer that may or may not be interested in play, but is definitely interested in us (as we are her)
- Met a guy that is definitely interested in playing with Jeannie, and maybe (but probably not) me
- Re-engaged with my personal “top pick” in the room and may in fact get to play with her at the next party
Yeah, I’d say we’re making progress. And it feels great!