I have been around a long time. I have been a swinger since the late 90s, and it has been amazing to watch the evolution of the swinger scene. It has slowly transformed from the dubious key-party reputation it used to have, to being a valid alternative relationship model for adventurous couples to explore. Just as the other communities (e.g. kink, polyamory) have their unique relationship models, swingers prioritise the romantic emotional connection between the couple, and explore physical intimacy with others.
I started to explore the kink scene in the late 2000s, after my marriage ended. I immediately felt at home - the acronym YKINMKBYKIOK (Your kink is not my kink but your kink is OK) resonated strongly with me; here is a world where we can be free to be ourselves, whatever or whoever that may be. Where respect is expected, consent paramount, individuality celebrated. Stumbling in here emboldened me to explore beyond my comfort zones of vanilla sex. And boy, has it ever been so much fun!!! Through this community I have met the most wonderfully diverse and interesting people.
Once you’ve stepped down into the rabbit hole, there is no turning back.
After 20 years as a swinger, and 10 years as a kinkster, my interest has slowly shifted away from playing. After all, as time marches by, your needs, wants, and priorities change. If you’re interested, you can read my real life parallel story here, which SBS published in conjunction with the Insight episode Open Relationships which aired on 1st May 2018.
Coming out on national television as a polyamorous swinger felt a bit like being on a runaway train. Although judgemental trolls and disapproving friends and family were expected, the viciousness of some of the attacks (IRL and online) was sobering. However, one of the positive outcomes of this is that it highlighted to me that I still had some residual shame around swinging/casual sex/sex for pleasure etc, and it has enabled me to shed the rest of the shame, once and for all. It has in fact, made me even more passionate about promoting sex positivity in a predominantly sex negative world! In hindsight, this event was the kickstarter, for the birth of The Rabbit Hole.
Dave and I had often talked about my dream of a venue where the sex positive community could hang out, and feel safe. I dreamed of a space where the old and young, male and female, gay and straight, kinky and vanilla, and everyone in between these polarities could relax, have fun and be themselves, and not be judged. However, I never thought I would actually do it, as it would be impossible to manage as we both had full time day jobs! Then one day, along comes Chrissy and Andrew into our lives, and together with the steamroll effect of filming Open Relationships, suddenly everything falls into place and an impromptu house visit unlocks the door to The Rabbit Hole!
The last 10 months have been nothing short of incredible. David has spent an enormous amount of time building the furniture and physical presence of TRH that makes it such an amazing venue, and Andrew has spent an equally enormous amount of time putting together the technology and online presence that makes TRH run smoothly. But no matter how amazing the house or the website is, it is nothing, without the crucial human element, that is Chrissy. She is the beautiful friendly face that greets you at the door, and is always ready to give you a hug, and look out for you.
We are completely overwhelmed and heartened by the huge amount of support that has come our way; from the initial and continued guidance and advice particularly from Wala (Kimmi) and Shayne (Daddy Raxx of Switch SA), to the many, many guests who have come through our doors in the last 7 months who continually give us amazing feedback not just via words, but also via consistently booking out our events!
So where to from here?
The Rabbit Hole began its life as a swingers venue, because that’s the lifestyle I am most familiar with. We expect council approval within the week to enclose the pergola at the back, and once this is done it will hopefully ease the pressure on the guest lists by creating more play space! One corner of this space is earmarked for a large 12 person spa.
As the swinger events settle into a regular offering, I hope for TRH to be used more often for other events and workshops, as well as for private hire. We even had some guests book the venue as a Bed and Breakfast recently, and it was super fun and exciting setting that up! Check out the photos!
I have big dreams .... and would love to one day have a future TRH be a coffee shop/comfortable hang-out space during the day, where all sections of our diverse community would be welcome. I dream, of one day offering a part-time contraception, sexual and reproductive health service, onsite at the venue, for our community.
These dreams sound like crazy talk; but it wasn’t so long ago, the concept of The Rabbit Hole was crazy talk.
Maybe it’s not so crazy after all .....
Thank you, all of you, for being part of this, for coming with me on this crazy ride.
Let’s see how far the rabbit hole goes ....