One of our users, emailed the article below which appeared in the GRID a Toronto alternative weekly.
A Peek Inside the almost famous Oasis Aqualounge
MON FEB 25, 2013
SEXUALITY What happens inside a sex club? Well, sex, duh. But a visit to four local love-nests also reveals that friendly conversation is as much of an attraction for regulars.
BY: JESSICA GALANG
On a recent Friday night at Oasis Aqualounge in Toronto, everyone is either naked or half-naked. As reggae music plays in the background, everyone is laughing, the hot tub is full, and the bar is busy. No one even flinches as people in towels pass the dancefloor and head upstairs, where more half-naked friends await them. This is a regular night at most local sex clubs, where many people come to do just that: have sex anywhere they like, all while people nearby continue their conversation amid echoing moans and spankings. What most might not realize, however, is that some patrons are actually more concerned with having a conversation than having sex, and many come just come to Jana Matthews, owner of Oasis Aqualounge. watch or be part of a friendly atmosphere. “There are nights where there’s lots of people having sex together, and it is kind of an orgy,” says “But there are lots of nights where nobody swings.” Matthews says some visitors are voyeurs, while others are nudists who just want to express themselves without judgment. Some people go just because they want to make friends without the intention of having wild, crazy sex within the first few minutes. “There’s usually non-sexual places within these clubs, so if you just want to go and meet sex-positive people that’s great,” says Dr. Stephen De Wit, a sexologist based in Toronto.
People who have never been to a sex club might get the idea that it’s an STD-ridden, amoral sex cave, but regulars protest this stereotype. “The biggest misconception is that it’s dirty, sleazy, and full of depraved people,” says Trisha, a member of Oasis who wouldn’t give her full name. “It’s not that at all. It’s respectful, clean, and a great place to have a drink.” Trisha, like other sex-club members, praises the strict no-tolerance policies: If you insist on talking to someone who’s rejected you once, you’ll get kicked out. Matt (who also didn’t want his full name used), the manager of Menage a Quatre club in Etobicoke, believes this is what separates sex clubs from non-sex clubs. “As a girl at a regular club, you’re getting harassed, you’re getting grabbed and you’re getting pulled,” he says. “That really doesn’t happen here.” In fact, many people who come to sex clubs are couples in committed relationships. In an internal survey of about 300 members by Oasis, 46 per cent were married. The club can be an opportunity for them to join other couples, or just go into a separate, private room—a closed door of any room means no one is allowed to enter. “If they’re really solid in their relationship, and they’re really well connected and there’s a lot of stability, it can be great,” says De Wit of married patrons. But he cautions against trying to use sex clubs to spice up a broken relationship. “If you’re trying to fix something that’s broken, or if one partner’s questioning another in the relationship, it can be treacherous territory.” De Wit says communication is the most important thing that needs to be established before visiting any sex club. “There’s a healthy way to approach sex clubs where you’re honouring the relationship, there’s a ton of communication that happens, and it serves the couple well.”
As businesses, sex clubs aren’t regulated by the City of Toronto for their activities. “That’s not a business that’s required to be licensed, because they don’t meet the standards of an adult-entertainment parlour, which has licensed burlesque dancers,” says Scott Sullivan, a supervisor with Toronto Municipal Licensing Standards.
A Toronto Public Health inspector would not inspect clubs based on their standards of cleanliness, such as ensuring sheets and furniture are clean or condoms are available, but would visit if the club serves food to ensure it is handled in a clean matter. Despite the lack of licensing, club operators insist they are clean and safe—customers wouldn’t return if they felt the place was dirty. “As an employee, if you’re not willing to say, ‘I can have sex on this bed,’ then it doesn’t pass the test,” says Matt.
A TORONTO SEX-CLUB PRIMER If you’re looking to visit a sex club for the first time, here are four in Toronto that cater to a variety of crowds. In all of the clubs, sex is permitted pretty much anywhere. Prices vary each night. (Saturday prices are presented below.) Oasis Aqualounge, 231 Mutual St., #CHS $80 a couple, $20 for a single female. Single men not permitted on Saturdays. This club has the most relaxed atmosphere. It features a completely hardwood first floor, spotlights, a hot tub, and heated outdoor pool. The music isn’t too loud (making the space ideal for socializing) and the staff is really engaging. On the second floor, you’ll find naked patrons sprawled on leather beds, watching porn, and hanging out by the bar. Disinfectant wipes (for easy cleaning) can be found everywhere, and one of their most fun features is their ’60s-themed “shag room.” There’s a large and well-equipped dungeon where patrons can be spanked, whippedm and tied and, on the third floor, there’s only a single private room with a king-sized bed and a mirror in front, so you can watch yourself. Once you buy a pass, you can have, ahem, in-and-out privileges for the whole night.
This post was edited by DavidMuller at March 6, 2013 5:54:56 AM EST
If you think you can or you think you can't ~ YOU'RE RIGHT.