Club Sapphire -2013 New Year’s Celebration (club review)

I’m publishing this as a “Wicked Wednesday” post (click on the link to read other great posts)…as a it pertains to the very first hours of my “2013” sexual exploits.

The prompt was:

Alright…it’s 6:45 in the a.m. here on the West Coast.  I’m on vacation.  And I’m awake?  Meh.

So, I might as well tackle this review post, and play around on my blog for awhile before everything else in the house wakes up, too.

Club Sapphire was a positive experience.  Of course, it was BIG party…I believe they drew over 300 guests for their New Year’s Eve party (the most they have had).  Now, keeping in mind, the only other “club” we’ve frequented is New Horizons, and as Sapphire was created by people who were initially involved with NH, there are some similarities.

From what I understand (and this is all 2nd hand/3rd hand info.) the original group had a pretty big falling out.  I don’t really know what it was about, just that they had some differences of opinion in how the club should be run.  So, they split.  And one group remained faithful and present at NH, while the other went off and started their own thing.

The nice thing about NH is that it is an all-inclusive sort of deal.  You pull in through the electronic gates, find a parking place (you can even bring your own trailer and park it – which provides for a nice little getaway and a more pleasant sleeping experience), gather your bags, walk up the well-maintained path (gorgeous grounds) and in through the large, wooden double doors, and you have no need to leave until morning…unless you are taking part in one of their long-weekends (which is another benefit to the enclosed “campus”).

Sapphire, since they don’t have their own building/grounds, sets up shop in a hotel.  They try to make it as “private” as possible, but it does seem a bit more “public”, and as such, one must be more “controlled”.  There is no walking naked from place to place.  You must stay clothed at all times (until you make it to your own room or one of the rooms they have rented as a play room – which anyone can use…so if you aren’t staying over night, you don’t necessarily have to worry about the expense of a room reservation).  I can live with this aspect, though I do find the atmosphere at NH a bit more relaxed and open because it’s like being at someone’s house…and there’s little worry of being “seen” by anyone in the vanilla world who might pass judgement or recognize you.  At the hotel, party premises are labeled with “Club Sapphire/Private Party”, so whoever is privy to the club’s purpose will be able to see guests coming and going (a bit less anonymous than NH – if that’s a worry for anyone).  Sapphire did set up the use of the service elevator so we didn’t have to walk through the lobby every time we wanted to make our way to the rooms upstairs, but the service area was not very clean (ummm…unsexy) and the elevator took forever, so we opted to just take our chances with the main elevators, since our attire was conservative.

We also rented our own room, because we like our space and privacy and value sleep after a good fuck (or two…or three…).  And even though that cost us extra, the price of admission to Club Sapphire (even with dinner for two) plus our personal lodging, really wasn’t much more than NH (since there are member dues…the initial membership fee…and party admission) with their $5 sleeping accommodations.

So, with that rather lengthy introduction/comparison, here’s how the night went down:

We got to the hotel (which was nice enough – maybe 3 star…3 1/2?) about an hour and a half before the party started, so we’d have time to shower and get ready.  We had a few drinks, took our time, and then wandered downstairs.  The party was on the ground floor, which actually took us through the lobby and down some stairs.  We didn’t know about the service elevator access at this time, but the party location was well-identified with signs.  This could be a drawback for individuals trying to keep their involvement more private.

The check-in process was easy and smooth.  We signed our confidentiality paperwork and paid our admission costs ($110 for two, included dinner).  Then, because we’re us, we headed straight to the bar.  The hotel offered a no-host bar right at the party, and the food (served buffet style by the hotel staff) was set up in the hall right next to the bar.  I personally, feel a bit unsure of hotel staff milling about during a party of this nature…but maybe I’m just paranoid).  The drinks were very expensive and there was little choice.  The benefit of staying in the hotel was that we brought our own liquor and just started going upstairs to refresh our libations.  From what I understand, lots of people did the same, even if they weren’t staying at the hotel…so I guess the cost of drinks is a moot point.

We took our overpriced refreshments to the main party room, which was set up with about 20-25 tables which seated 8.  Noticing name tags at several of the seats, we hunted for a place with 4 open spots, so we could save 2 for a couple we were expecting to hook up with.  The pickings were slim (even though we were there early) and we ended up sitting right by the main door and the dessert line (not necessarily a bad thing).

Now, Mr. LL and I are not overly social people, so events like this can be trying.  Social lubricant, in the form of several drinks, is usually required for us to do anything close to “mingling” (a somewhat painful proposition for us).  Of course, it’s a small world, and we knew and recognized several of the couples there.  We spoke with some of them, and spent quite a bit of time simply gazing at the crowd discussing “possibilities”.  This was an area of fairly distinct difference from NH.  I think the crowd was a better mix.  I hate to say it, but the NH crowd, at least the times we went, tended toward the “older” side…mostly those 50 and above, with a few 40-50, and even fewer younger than that.

We’re in our 30’s and notice a significant gap in the age of “lifestylers”.  I attribute it to family.  The very young (whom we tend to avoid, simply because of their newness to the lifestyle and to each other) have the time and energy to commit to being very involved.  And those in their mid-40s and beyond…well, the kids have moved out and they now have time to themselves again.  Those of us in the middle are often family-rich and time/money poor because of it.  Anyhow…that’s another post.

The point here is…that the crowd was decent mix, and better than we have encountered at NH.

We decided to take advantage of the “professional” photographer (he was probably all of 22 and inquired of the female half of the couple being photographed before us if she would like to flash him for their last photo – ummm…how about no, creeper).  It was only $15, and we got, like, 5-6 poses, and he emailed them to us the very next day (and the photos weren’t too shabby – totally “vanilla” enough to share with everyone we know).  I would hesitate to do anything risque in these photos…as there is no telling what the “photographer” might do with his digital copies.

On our way back to our seats, I noticed the dance floor:  maybe 20 X 20, at most…which was not nearly big enough for the 300+ people who were there.  I knew right away that this would be a problem (as I can’t stand being crammed in to a big crowd like a sardine (no matter how sexy bumping and grinding with a bunch of strangers could be).

The owner of the club made her way to the table and introduced herself to us…told us about the 4 play rooms on the 4th floor, the service elevator access, and welcomed us.  Nice touch.

Our friends showed up and we headed to the buffet line.  The food was decent…green salad, pasta salad, rolls, green beans w/bacon and onion, seasoned red potatoes, chicken cordon-bleu, and prime rib.  And there were several choices of desserts.

From here, we socialized and continued to peruse the couples.  We danced, briefly, on the edge of the dance floor (the band was acceptable, but not fabulous – and the guitar player bore a creepy resemblance to somebody I know) and “mingled” the best way we know how.

And though there were several couples we knew, and several attractive ones we didn’t, we just could match up our dual tastes to choose any particular pair to proposition.  While it’s nice to find a new couple, ultimately, it’s the atmosphere that we like…the possibility and openness.  And, let’s be honest here…we know we’re getting laid no matter what…so nothing gained, nothing lost.

We ended up fucking exactly who we planned on fucking.  Which we liked, because it came with good conversation before and after – including a lovely session of touching and snuggling between the female halves while we talked until the very, very late into the night (or was it early morning by then?).

We learned to bring our own food for the room to snack later, as there was nothing – aside from the vending machines – available after the party shut down.  We probably should have foreseen this need, but, as it was, the convenience store across the street was a bit shady and had little to offer at 4 in the morning.  Lesson learned.

Overall, the experience was positive, and I think Club Sapphire has the right idea.

I personally prefer a smaller, house-party atmosphere, but that’s just because I’m not much of a social butterfly.  I like to be around people that I know and trust, because I’m more likely to trust the people they bring to the mix.

Small groups are the best, and hooking up with a couple at a big party just to have sex and go our separate ways isn’t really in our playbook.  We like to build relationships.  After all, that leads to intimacy…which leads to more passionate sex.  A party is a nice place to meet, though.  And Sapphire’s website mentions this very aspect:

“Our focus is to create exciting events and functions in and around the Seattle area where friendships and intimacy may be explored in a discreet, safe and party-like environment.”

“The overall concept of a lifestyle swing club is to provide a safe place where you and your partner can explore your fantasies. The exact fantasies are up to the person, but the hope is by providing a safe place these fantasies will be enacted and will grow into even more fulfilling sexual experiences.”

Club Sapphire has an e-newsletter to which you can subscribe and a calendar of events posted on their website.  They are worth checking out.

New Horizons also has a website, but their events calendar is curiously empty/inaccessible.  Hmmmm….

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