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Every Friday night, between 20 and 30 couples gather at a "swingers" club in downtown Surry Hills to swap sexual partners. They chat politely upstairs in the bar, unwinding after a day at the office, before heading downstairs to grab a locker and undress. From there, they might choose to make up a foursome in one of the bedrooms, join a tangle of bodies in the mirror-lined orgy room or try out the leather sex chair with a stranger.
Michael's partner, Catherine, says: "I would prefer Michael to sleep with another woman with me being present than for him to go and do that behind my back. Appel has taken a microphone into one of Sydney's apparently more reputable swinger establishments for this week's episode of Street Stories , broadcast on Radio National. Executive producer Claudia Taranto believes it's something we have all thought about from time to time.
Appel says the people who go that step further and act out their fantasies appear surprisingly normal to meet. Many even said they were regular Radio National listeners. They have civilised conversation and then they have sex with each other. He says the anonymity of radio encouraged the couples to talk openly, although several men asked for their voices to be disguised in case their mothers were listening. Appel's depiction of swingers is non-judgemental and gives no overview or perspective other than that of the participants.
Taranto says that's a deliberate approach. We're interested in hearing from ordinary people just talking about how they live their lives. The listener is left to guess whether the experience is as rewarding as Catherine, Michael and the other participants suggest. Michael says some of the women have been in a monogamous relationship with their husbands for 10 years before coming to the club.
But club manager John hints at a darker side. Well, that's their problem, and I don't buy into it. If they have a domestic, they have to go. Swing time. The Sydney Morning Herald. License this article.