Our First Hotel Takeover – A Tale in Two Parts – Part I

The logistics and mistakes of our first hotel takeover.

My partner and I have been attending swingers parties for over 6 years, and during that time we have definitely learned our share of do’s and don’ts. I would now even consider ourselves quite versed in the art of being successful. With that said, the learning curve with a hotel takeover, is as it turns out a whole different beast.  I’ve decided to write this adventure in 2 parts.  The first one (this post), will out line a few of the lessons we learned, some pitfalls and our recommendation to others.  The second post, will share the sexy adventures we had and why we were up for nearly 24 hours ringing in the new year.  I hope you will find both posts interesting, and of course there will be some photo’s going up on my Patreon! So let’s get started!

Every year, my partner and I look for a way to spend New Years Eve with a bunch of sex positive people when we are in California. After last years disappointment with a clientele change at a very popular club we were on the look out to mix things up. After a few google searches, I reached out to a couple that we had played with a few years ago in the area and asked for recommendations. Among the list she sent back was a hotel takeover just an hour or so away from where we were staying. She said the parties were younger, fun and usually a really great time.  Lesson one, always get a recommendation whenever possible.  Lifestyle events are expensive and this helps alleviate a bit of stress wondering if the investment will be worth it or not.

I signed up to the website and started exploring the party and itinerary, as I tend to be much more comfortable with a solid plan.  This takeover, as with almost every one I have seen was to take place over 2 nights, with an optional meet and greet on the 29th at a nearby tavern. Each party throughout the takeover was themed (as they almost always are) and required a costume of some sort.  As we were already packed and in California, this was the first hurdle in my mind.  We have a tickle trunk each of amazing costumes at home.  It seemed almost a shame to have to last minute purchase a whole new 4 event wardrobe for something we were not even sure we would enjoy. So we made a decision to only attend the final event, the New Years Eve party, with optional after party. This was, in my mind, a huge mistake. I had not realized just how integral the meet and greets, or mingler parties are to finding like minded people to ring in the New Year with. These takeovers are designed to provide lots of opportunity to engage with other people, while having hotel rooms, right on premise to have the on-off party fun whenever you choose.  Lesson two, always attend the meet and greet or mingle parties. They are integral to finding other couples, prior to the huge, and very loud party!

As we were only going for the one night, we were unable to book a hotel room at the hotel takeover venue (two night minimum group booking rates were in effect).  This was perfectly fine, as we found a hotel within walking distance. So we got ourselves all dolled up, had a few drinks in our room and took an uber over to the venue for about 9:30 pm (which is the time we usually arrive at swing parties).  Upon arrival we were shocked to discover 2 things. Firstly, that the venue was pretty much empty. And second, the reason for this was most likely the astronomical price of $15 USD per drink (And this was the starting point for bar stock brands, it was an extra 4 bucks for a booze brand I had even heard of). Swing parties are normally BYOB due to the legislation nightmare of getting a liquor permit in conjunction with allowing sex and nudity on premises. But, the invite said no outside food or drink in ballroom, so I mistakenly assumed that booze would be sold for reasonable rates. That was a huge eye opener.  So we went back to our hotel 3 minutes away and drank some amazing cucumber mint vodka and filled a flask for when we returned. After talking to a few people later in the night, it turns out that raising the price of drink is standard practice in hotel takeovers. So lesson three, must be, always bring flasks or drink in your room, because no one should have to pay those rates to have a happy little new years eve buzz!

In part II, I will go into the sexy part of our evening, but I want to say a few words in part I about safe sex. Condoms are absolutely essential to our playtime with others, but something that was brought to light during our takeover experience was the importance of having a safe word. Sometimes play gets too intense, and sometimes people push boundaries, that you wish they wouldn’t. These are two examples of having established safe words between partners.  When that word is uttered everything pauses. A couple especially can asses the safety or comfort of each other and regroup or take action if necessary. While I hope you never have to use your safe word, and everything goes smoothly, knowing that you have it can make all the difference. Lesson four, stay safe (condoms), and always have a safe word!

The last point/lessons I will make about hotel takeovers are actually ubiquitous for all lifestyle parties that I have attended.  These events have a funny way of going until the wee hours of the morning, so stay hydrated (both lube and water), have a game plan for food afterwards, and remember that 5 hour energy is your friend (or whatever energy source you choose).  With this is mind, I hope you can learn from our first hotel takeover mistakes, and challenges to have an epic sexual adventure of your own.

And please stay tuned for part II where I share the sexy side of our first hotel takeover by following me on twitter or subscribe to my blog to get notifications!

Sex Positive and Safe Sex Go Hand in Hand

As someone who prides herself on being a part of the sex positive community, I am a little embarrassed about how little I talk about safe sex, and more to the point, about how there are absolutely zero resources to be found anywhere on my site for those who want to practice safe sex, and get tested regularly.  Well, with this post (Thank you STDcheck.com for showing me the error in my ways and sponsoring this post), I am striving to improve on that glaring oversight.  Sometimes I forget how limited the access is for people to get tested regularly, and practice safe sex because I live in Canada, where healthcare is free and I am extraordinarily lucky to have a family doctor that I can be open and honest about being non-monogamous with.  And as an added bonus she supports me in regular testing and screening and will even remind me on occasion when I am due or ask me if I have had new partners and want to book a fresh screening.  But it took me years to find her, and I recognize that very few are as lucky as I am in that regard and thus I feel it is my duty to write this PSA.

If I am being completely honest, having a strong network of safe sex, support and resources makes my non-monogamous life possible.  For you see, I subscribed for a long time to the stigma about how dangerous sex with other people can be, and how your chances of catching something grew exponentially with each new partner.  It kept me monogamous to a fault, and when I was first introduced to open relationships, held me in a steadfast fueled by a strong fear of actually exploring sex with other people due to inherent risks.  It was one of the biggest hurdles for me to overcome in my early years of non-monogamy, well and a mix of jealousy and insecurity.

And that is why, for me, writing this post about safe sex is so important, because it makes being non-monogamous possible, and ethical.  Safety is not just about condoms.  It is about disclosure, consent and regular testing.  These are the fundamental building blocks that make non monogamy fun, and allow me to relax and enjoy new people and situations.  While safety will always be a concern, my partner and I have developed rules that work for our lifestyle and values.  For example, we do not kiss or have any fluid contact with strangers or people we have just met.  This allows us the freedom to have spontaneous and often very hot, same room play with a new couple, but keeps the risk down, until we can have a conversation about safe sex, disclosure (if any) and a few likes and dislikes in a sober state of mind with new people.  Secondly, we always use condoms with other people, zero exceptions.   Simple rules, that keep us active and healthy within our community.  And again, living in Canada it is definitely easier to access certain resources, but that is not necessarily the case for those of you in the US.

I read constantly in forums about people not being able to talk to their family doctors about non-monogamy due to privacy or religious reasons, and therefore forgo regular testing.  Or the people who preach that herpes is a normal part of the lifestyle because most doctors don’t even test for it.  These are dangerous mindsets to have and I am super excited that there is now a simple and cost effective way for you to get the tests you want, and when you want them.  With STDcheck.com you can pick the appropriate tests online, or via the phone, then choose a test sight and have your results e-mailed securely within 1 – 2 days.  No longer do you have the hurdles that prevent you and your partners from accessing what I often take for granted.

Safe sex is important.  And the more you know about your status and those of your partners the stronger and safer the community grows as a whole.  We can all do our part to disclose, test and practice safe sex every single time.  While your rules may not be the same as mine, it is important to have a conversation with your partner and agree to something that makes you both comfortable.  This is a community, whether you are dipping a toe in for the first time or have been doing this for decades.  We want to work to eliminate the stigmas and keep each other safe.  So do your part, get tested, and disclose each and every time you interact with new partners.

So please, take a moment to check out their amazing service, and follow them on Twitter.  

Take control of your sexual health today!

Drama Free on Non-Monogamous Profiles

Oh for the love of… just stop!  Using drama free as a tagline or whatever in your online dating profile especially on the non-monogamous ones is just bad from!  My stance on this should not be any surprise if you have read any of my online dating tips and tricks (feel free to search them out in my sidebar).  And I would love to just leave this one alone, but as the non-monogamous dating pool is super tiny, I figure this particular topic needs its very own post.  When I see that someone or a couple wants “drama free” in their non- monogamous profile, it the opposite of what I assume is the desired effect for the author.  For me, it is a huge red flag, so much so that I am actually turned off.  And as I see it so frequently, let me tell you a few reasons why I feel you should remove it from your profile if you are currently using it.

First up, it is such an unnecessary thing to write, in fact it borders on just being a ridiculous statement.  Does anyone actually seek out drama, and if so, are those people really ones you want to hang around with?  To put another way, have you ever noticed that the people in your life that are super concerned about avoiding drama are the ones who have the most of it?  Yes? No? Maybe? Well, look around.  Drama, is surprisingly enough very easy to avoid.  Simply put, don’t get involved in other people’s shit, especially when it has nothing whatsoever to do with you.  Because the reality is you probably have enough going on in your own life without putting your nose in other people’s business.  Life is complicated, relationships are complicated, play on your own turf!  And trust me, your life will be so much simpler and calmer if you focus on your own problems, and leave other adults to do the same, unless they ask for your help or advice.

Next up, what does “no drama” really mean?  Well, my first impression is usually that you are just looking for no strings attached sex (or NSA).  But rather than putting that you want NSA on your profile, like a mature human who knows what they want, you instead choose to sugar coat it with an over encompassing buzz word.  And it’s almost brilliant because if any feelings develop, or you get into a situation that you are not emotionally able to handle you can use the clever excuse that you said “drama free” right from the start.  And therefor you absolve yourself from having to deal with anything above and beyond intercourse.  You are soooooooo clever.

Third, part of being non-monogamous in an ethical and mature manor is knowing how to communicate.  And if you have been in the lifestyle for any length of time, you have probably stumbled with your partner and realized that you truly had no clue what good communication really was, is, and everything in between.  So for the people who believe that drama free is the ideal in the lifestyle, I have to ask you to take a picture of the view from your glass house and then send it to me.  If you are not able to ask a couple out, politely decline an invitation for sex, breakup with a couple or even talk about safe sex and the dreaded we made a mistake (STI, STD, or breach of trust) then you have no business being in any relationship outside of monogamy.  And based on what I see on online forums there are a great many people out there who believe that one form or another of the above list constitutes as drama and something that they do not have time in their lives to deal with.  Here’s a new flash, humans are complicated and fallible.  If you honestly think you can avoid dealing with all the so-called drama, then you are going to CRASH AND BURN!  Again, humans make mistakes, and you cannot completely isolate yourself from the emotions of others.  And if my understanding of the word drama is accurate, emotions could definitely constitute as a deal breaker or something you are trying to avoid.

So, let’s be clear here, people who seek out drama are not fun to be around.  People who avoid drama are equally as bad because honestly, I need to trust that if shit hits the fan, you can deal with it like a grown up!  If that is not the case, you are not getting near my body!  On a side note, that’s why people at clubs who get a little too intoxicated really turn me off.  I don’t find volatility sexy, especially because I have worked so freaking hard on my own emotional control, I know that if I can learn to control myself, you can too.  So please, remove “drama free” from your profile.  It’s sending the wrong message.  We are all trying to find our own brand of fun.  And if there is something specific you don’t want to encounter, say that.  Stop using all encompassing buzz words that do not convey accurately the type of relationship or interaction that you seek.

Did you know I post behind the scenes pictures on my Patreon?  Definitely worth a little look…

Silicon Lube and Mattresses Don’t Mix! A PSA

Keep Reading for a How To Clean Silicon Lube from a Mattress Guide!

My partner and I have the most amazing set up in our bedroom ever!  Basically, we have a room for beds (post has a very sexy picture!).  But finding the perfect queen sized mattresses was a bit of a process, during which we discovered that while silicon lube is amazingly fun for the sexy times, it is also a nightmare to clean.  I have included quick links to all products mentioned both for clarity, and because they are amazing products that I am proud to be an affiliate for.  So without further ado here is my story of how to clean silicon lube from a mattress, and what I hope will be a warning to all out there to not make the same mistake, and if you do, the only solution that worked!

Once upon a time, a man and a woman decided that for the sanity of their relationship, purchasing two queen sized beds was not only the sleep system they needed, but the one they both deserved.  And thus the hunt for the perfect mattresses began.  And after much deliberation and product testing, the two agreed upon a set that fit their budget and hopefully their ultimate ZZZ regiment.  The two quickly christened their new bed, and after the fun was over, haphazardly placed the silicon lube (affiliate link) in between the two mattresses.  With the lube out of sight, and out of mind, the pair went on with their testing of the mattresses and sadly decided that their first purchase was just not to be.

With a vacation quickly approaching, the two asked for an extension to exchange their mattresses and this was generously granted (this is a key component of the treacherous tale).  So upon returning from their vacation, the hunt for the actual best mattresses began, nearly 2 months after their initial purchase.  They tested, and tried.  Snuggled on all sorts of beds for what seemed like weeks on end until finally they fell in love with their would be forever mattresses!  Rejoice! The two celebrated the up coming day of exchange.  But, uh oh!  Upon washing the sheets in preparation for the next week delivery a nasty stain was discovered on not one, but on all the mattresses and box springs!  The culprit… that sneaky bottle of silicon lube!  It had been put in upside down and the stain had set without either party noticing.

Panic quickly ensued as the two raced to good ole google to source out the best way to remove the nasty stain.  And if anyone out there has researched a similar query it turns out that time is of the essence.  After nearly 3 months of the stain sitting it had set.  It looked as if all hope was lost.  And for those of you wondering, yes, the exchange was dependent on a stain and tear free product.  There is no giving up allowed in the quest for the perfect night sleep!  The room was torn apart, and the mattresses and box springs placed stain side up, so I could begin the assessment and start preliminary testing of cleaning techniques.

Would soap and water be enough?  Nope.  How about some Oxy clean?  Nope.  My favorite secret cleaning tool of Club Soda was also a total bust.  Ok, this was getting a little freaky.  The research rabbit hole lead us from kitchen cleaning sites, to sex toy blogs, and nothing, nadda was powerful enough to fix our current situation.  Finally, there was a eureka moment… let’s turn to science.  What product out there actually breaks down silicon?  The answer was daunting, Mineral spirits, which is a fancy name for turpentine!  How in the hell was I going to clean the mattresses (which were black by the way) and not destroy them, or myself in the process?  Let me share with you my process.

Cleaning Silicon Lube from a Mattress (or 4)

1) Ventilate the room as this stuff in incredibly flammable.  I had the window open, and two fans going at all times.

2) Wear protection including a ventilator, eye protection and gloves.

3) Spot check a teeny tiny little spot and cross your fingers that none of the colour leaches out.  And check that the fabric does not start to breakdown or the fibres break apart.

4) Then grab a tooth brush, dunk it in the spirits and start breaking down that silicon with tiny little semi circular motions.

5) Rinse thoroughly with cold soapy water to prevent the chemicals from penetrating too deep into the mattress.

6) Repeat all steps until the stain is lifted.

Now here’s the thing, I repeated this same process twice daily for 4 full days.  And in the end, even with all the ventilation it still stunk to high hell of gas fumes.  So, I did what any person, desperate to get the full refund back does, I dosed it with Fabreze, followed by citrus soap, and Febreze again.  After nearly a day of just sitting there, soaking all the scent masking, I was finally satisfied enough to make the exchange.  And amazingly, it went off without a hitch!  And I was so relieved as they actually sent in an inspector for the task!  The stain in all four pieces was adequately lifted, and I had created a fresh and clean scent that hid all trace of the harsh chemicals used.  But let me tell you, for all the success at the end, it was hard freaking work, and a process I hope never to have to repeat.  So, do yourselves a favor, and don’t leave silicon lube to set.  Or better yet, be proactive and start using a water proof blanket designed specifically for messes in mind such as the Waterproof blankets for “intimate” play!. (affiliate link)  I could have saved myself both the emotional stress and actual headache I received from this harrowing adventure by being preventive and not waiting until the last minute to clean the stain.

 

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Sex Toys – My PSA

Hi All,
I was listening to Dan Savage last night and he was interviewing a lady who runs Smitten Kitten.  They had a discussion on safe sex toys and I realized that almost none of mine are scent free and therefore may very well be leaching out toxins.  As I have changed my diet to include label reading, ensuring that I am digesting as many un-chemically altered or preservative enriched foods as possible I feel that my sex toys deserve the same due diligence.  For a full video on this, please watch Video. 
So please join me in sniffing my toys prior to purchasing, or looking for silicon only when purchasing plastic toys.  PVC is incredibly dangerous as the chemical additive used to make it malleable leaches out of the toy and is the horrible scent that is given off upon sniffing it.  So to keep this little PSA short and sweet, throw out any sex toy that is unsafe and has a scent to it.  Safe sex is a big part of being Sex positive.