A few years ago my wife and I had to go to Texas for a wedding. My wife really wanted to wear the dress she’d worn on our honeymoon, and she challenged me to squeeze into my old suit. We had two weeks to lose ten pounds. My wife suggested the lemonade diet, which means drinking lemon juice and maple syrup, then shitting your brains out. It’s disgusting, but we achieved our goal.
After the wedding, we figured we’d strut around a little before we went back to stuffing our faces. Jess thought we should have a threesome. She didn’t have anyone in mind and I was too hungry and lightheaded to start some extensive search, so I went online and saw an ad for a “swingers meet and greet” at a hotel in L.A. We’d never done anything like this and we figured at the very least we’d get a good story, so we put on our fancy duds and headed downtown.
The hotel had a Moroccan theme with purple pillows on the floor and silk drapes hanging from the ceiling. We were instructed to the ballroom, where we found a group of middle-aged weirdos gyrating on the dance floor. Everyone seemed shiny and bleached. There were guys in Ed Hardy t-shirts, and a lot of the women had visibly pierced nipples.
A small Asian man handed me a gift bag. There were condoms, a dildo, and flyers for more events. Off to the side, I spotted a buffet table of mini tacos. The DJ was playing AC/DC.
Jess and I tried not to laugh as we took in the dry humping.
Within a few minutes I’d seen enough and said we should leave.
“Let’s at least get a drink,” she said. “We drove all the way down here.”
I asked her to come with me to the bar, but she said she was fine watching the weirdos. Reluctantly, I walked off feeling like an asshole for leaving my wife. A woman standing by herself in this place was like chum in the water. I quickened my pace and ordered two vodka sodas. I noticed a shy couple standing against the wall. They looked normal and out of place.
I brought the drinks over to Jess and she subtly pointed to a guy who had his balls out.
The shy couple began walking towards us. There was nowhere for us to go. We shared an awkward hello and I asked if they’d seen the guy and his testicles. They said yes and asked if we’d seen the pregnant woman. Thankfully, we had not.
The couple was in their 30’s. The guy said they were from Pasadena, and like us, they’d never been to one of these things. The woman talked about her two kids. My wife asked to see a picture. The woman pulled out her phone and show us one their family at Disneyland.
“They’re adorable,” Jess said.
The DJ got on the mic. “Ladies and gentlemen, the upstairs is now available. Feel free to take your drinks, but check your inhibitions on the first floor.”
“Upstairs?” Jess asked.
“Yeah, there’s a whole other party up there,” the guy said.
This did seem a little tame compared to what I’d imagined, even with the dude and his balls. It reminded me of a bar in Kansas called Touché. My parents used to go there when they were married.
The couple asked Jess and I if we wanted to go upstairs.
“Oh, I don’t know,” I said. “We really should get back home. We have a dog.”
“No, we don’t,” Jess said. This was technically true. We did not have a dog at the time, but I didn’t understand why she was throwing me under the bus. She said, “Let’s go up. I want to see.”
“Yeah, alright.” I followed them to the elevator and gave my wife a dirty look.
On the drive here Jess and I had talked about what we were willing to do, about boundaries. We’d had threesomes with girls, but we’d never done anything with a guy or a couple. I suddenly felt sick. It wasn’t just the thought of Jess being with another guy; it was the fact they’d just shown us pictures of their kids at Disneyland. I imagined the little tykes at home with a babysitter thinking their mom and dad were at a movie.
Jess and I squeeze into the elevator with two more couples, who had to be their 60’s. The women were wearing plastic beads. I prayed they weren’t going to show us their boobs.
The elevator dinged and the doors opened. A fat, naked guy was standing in the hallway eating a piece of cake.
I pulled Jess to the side. “I really don’t feel comfortable.”
“Okay, we can go. I just wanted to see what was up here.”
“I want to see, too. I just…I don’t want to do anything, okay?”
“I don’t either. We’ll go after these drinks, okay?”
“Yeah…alright.” It was, after all, my idea to come here, and honestly, I was curious to see what oddities lurked beyond the naked man and his cake.
We passed an open door on the left. A woman in pleather was on the balcony blowing an old, hairy guy. He kept waving to people down on the sidewalk.
The couple from Pasadena asked if we were hungry.
“No, I’m, uh, okay,” I said.
The guy offered his hand. “I’m sorry, I’m Brian.”
“Hi…Brian. I’m Anthony. This is Jess.”
“I’m Claire,” Brian’s wife said.
We all shook hands and entered another room. People were standing around a sad woman lying on a table. Her body was covered with sushi and fruit. Two men were bent over eating things off her boobs and shaved va-jang.
I quickly walked out and wandered into a room with two dominatrixes spanking an Asian man. He looked over and I realized it was the guy who’d given us the gift bag. I didn’t know what to do, so I just gave him a thumbs up. He seemed happy.
At the end of the hall there was a suite with a big empty bed. Jess had worn her most painful boots and couldn’t wait to sit down.
“Oh, that feels nice,” she said.
Brian looked around the room. He suddenly seemed really nervous. “You, uh, uh, don’t want to sit there.”
“No?” Jess said.
“No, that’s the ‘all-play’ bed.”
“Oh…the what?” Jess asked.
“It means people can do anything they want to you,” Claire said. “If you sit there, you’re basically telling everyone you’re up for like…everything.”
“Oh God!” Jess said, quickly popping up.
I noticed a sweaty man and a woman with a neck tattoo on the other side of the room. They were sitting back down on some folding chairs, both clearly disappointed Jess had gotten up from the bed.
“Thank you,” I said to Brian.
“Yeah, I figured that wasn’t what she was looking for.”
“No, no, no,” Jess said. ”I was wondering why no one was sitting there.”
“Yeah, that’s why,” Claire smiled.
“How’d you know about the bed?” I said. “I thought you two had never been to one of these things?”
“Oh, we haven’t,” Claire said. “We got a room, and when we checked in, they gave us a little rundown.”
“Oh…” I said. “Well, I’m glad you were here.”
“We’re glad you’re here,” Claire said, then leaned in. “We expected it to be just a bunch of creepy people.”
“Oh my God, we did too,” Jess said.
For the next ten minutes, we just kept chatting. Brian told us about the shipping company he worked for. Claire mentioned they’d just booked their vacation to Alaska. Jess said we’ve always wanted to go there. Brian joked that his feet were hurting and pretended to sit on the “all-play” bed. We laughed and drank our cocktails, and except for the old guy getting a handjob in the corner, it was like a normal-ish party. People were sharing email addresses and eating snacks and talking about the Lakers.
Before I knew it, our drinks were finished.
“Is there a bar up here?” I said.
“No, it’s downstairs,” Brian said.
Claire whispered, “We actually brought a bottle of vodka. It’s in our room. We figured the drinks were going to be really expensive.”
“Good idea,” I said.
“Do you two want a…drink?” Brian said.
“Oh…I don’t know. Jess?”
“I’d like one more,” my wife said.
And suddenly we were following the couple from Pasadena to their room. Things were about to get really weird.
To be continued…
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