I felt very welcome at Menage -- the 21+, RSVP and invite-only adult "party and play" event "for naughty girls & boys" held Friday night from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. at the Twenty Nightclub and the Jet Hotel & Lounge.
See also: -Menage, new swingers' night, scheduled at Jet Hotel in October -Sugar House is shut, and so is another chapter in sordid Denver history -Scarlet Ranch swingers club, now Squirrel Creek Lodge, serves oysters and rescues animals
This was not my first "adult lifestyle party" by any means, but I had long since given up the idea that I would enjoy any of these events in nightclubs, no matter how posh the hotels were. Somewhere around 2005 I got tired of (and massively bored by) lame nightclub affairs with adult themes, because they all seemed to be the same modus operandi: spaces filled with lame, 22-year-old nitwits in fresh Hot Topic outfits getting giggly-sloshed and performing affected bi-curious acts on smoke-filled and neon-lasered dance floors, with some terrible My Chemical Romance dance mix blaring from the boxes.
I was so over it.
But, like the mob, I keep getting pulled back in, and I was expecting Menage to be a flashback night where I had a couple of drinks, snickered at posers, and went home early to watch The Walking Dead on Netflix. What actually happened when my female friend and I arrived at the Jet around 10 p.m. was something I didn't predict: the start of a wet, wild and wanton evening that I was eager to text all my other friends about on my way home the next morning.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by organizers Tara and Sante Suffoletta, who got us the VIP bracelets that gave us access to the Twenty Nightclub and the suite on the fourth floor of the hotel that was reserved for party-goers who wanted to take the fun upstairs for a more private -- and intimate -- environment.
They led us through the crowds of couples and single guys and girls to a comfy couch between the bar and a mini-stage with an incredibly attractive female go-go dancer on it, doing her thing. Her thing was sexy, half-dressed and well-coordinated, and there was another equally hot and cool dancer a few yards away, keeping the crowd entertained like the best kind of ice-breaker.
This event had an excellent turnout -- the club was packed -- and not just with the Hot Topic crowd. There were folks of all ages, genders and orientations, as well as a dearth of wallflowers. There was also ample security to keep things running smoothly, which at a lifestyle event is a definite bonus.
A common myth among the uninitiated is that these type of parties are free-for-alls with no rules, guidelines or boundaries, and that it's okay to whip out your junk and touch/goggle/snog anyone you like at any time. It isn't. No means no, and if someone is uncomfortable or creeped out, then security takes care of it quick, fast and in a hurry. All adult parties have etiquette, many have strict rules, and generally the organizers try to encourage couples and single females to attend, but try to limit the amount of single males in attendance out of necessity, as events like this could easily turn into "sausage-fests" where single men significantly outnumber ladies.
My companion and I made a few social rounds, and then organizer Tara led us up the elevator to the suite on the fourth floor. The door to the suite was flanked with security -- big, beefy guys that should not be fucked with -- and she explained the suite rules. It was important but fairly standard stuff about not touching without permission, being tolerant of others or being gone, and staying safe. We walked into a wonderland of soft music, scented candles, a huge bed, plenty of chairs and an outdoor balcony area with tables and really big windows.
Guests are allowed to be sexy and do the bump and grind downstairs, but upstairs clothing is optional. It's a place to see and be seen doing whatever you please with consenting partners, and there was much new friend-making and delicious carousing going down.
I parked it on the patio to observe and report, while my female friend found a new man-friend. They managed to perform an extraordinary feat: a rousing game of hide-my-new-man-friend's-appendage-in-my-mouth on the freezing cold balcony. It was a very chilly night, but mad props to them for completing their outdoor task with ease and poise.
Sante strolled back and forth from downstairs to the suite, socializing with everyone, and I laughed so hard I almost choked when he met me out on the patio and made an awesome movie reference: "It's good to be the king..."
Suffoletta owns the In Vision Entertainment company, and he's been hosting swinger events since 2004. We talked about the lack of adult lifestyle venues with the demise of Sugar House and Scarlet Ranch's move to Littleton, and how Menage was meant to fill a gaping hole in the downtown scene. We discussed how well the event was going, and how I was surprised at the high attendance, how respectful everyone was being, and how much unadulterated, naked bliss was taking place before our eyes. Condoms were being diligently utilized, and with the exception of one overly familiar burner-hippie and a few newbie couples sussing out boundaries, people were getting along well with no major drama.
I was certainly enjoying myself. I was surrounded by good conversation and naked folks doing naked things (some of which were impressive on an Olympic scale). By the time 3 a.m. rolled around and people were getting dressed and saying their goodbyes, I was sorry the evening had gone by so fast. But Sante and Tara let me know that they have planned plenty of upcoming Friday night events, each with themes.
This coming Friday, October 12, they are hosting Ménage: Naughty Office Party at 9 p.m., followed by Erotique:A Fantasy, Fetish and Costume Ball on Friday, October 26.
I don't always love to be dead wrong, but I was glad to be this night, and it's highly possible that this won't be the last Menage event that I will attend. It's a huge bonus to have a place for consenting adults to leave their inhibitions (and their clothes) for a night here and there, and downtown Denver is a mighty fine place for it.