I joined a teen-age sex club

I come from a long line of men who, in my family, all run to varying degrees of in-person social discomfort, possibly due to some sort of mild spectrum disorder. If that’s what it is, it’s necessarily undiagnosed, because we are emphatically not the sort of men who voluntarily seek medical attention unless there is chest pain or spurting arterial blood. Moreover, we come from the social class where our imagination of mental health care (imagination of it being all that we have) is a Loony Tunes vision of something imposed by predatory men in white coats who come in a van with their straitjackets and a net on a long pole, preparatory to hauling us off to a room with padding on the walls.

However much or little of this social discomfort issue any one of us may endure, one common nuance of it is an extreme aversion to doing anything where we “don’t know the program”; I once saw my father refuse to eat at a fancy wedding brunch buffet because he’d never seen a buffet before that had servers at stations (like an omelette station) and he didn’t “know the program.” He was, basically, paralyzed and willing to forgo thirty-five bucks worth of all-you-can-eat chow because he didn’t know how he was supposed to interact with a catering employee. I had to get him a plate. (No, I’m not free of the disorder; I just avoided all the stations that had terrifying paper hats behind them, which the men in our family would consider “above-average coping skills”.)

Needless to say, we are not the sort of men who would voluntarily participate in an orgy or visit a sex club. Too many strangers and, it can be inferred from first principles, too obviously a set of necessary behavior protocols that we don’t know. It’s just not going to happen. We don’t know the program.

Still: although a visit to a sex club would likely be an impossibly large ask for one of us, we can and do learn new programs, albeit slowly and at no small cost in psychological stress. And one of the ways we do that is by doing lots of advance research and preparation. Hence I’m always fascinated by “how to” articles about activities where I don’t “know the program” and would thus be unlikely to do the thing. Slotting firmly into that category is Navigating a Sex Club for the First Time by Red Hot Suz, who offers about a dozen different tips and suggestions that will ease your first visit to a sex club. Reading the article doesn’t make it more likely that I’ll take my odd little bundle of inherited social phobias to a sex club any time soon, but it should smooth the way for more adventurous types. Consider this sensible suggestion from the Interacting With People section:

Flirting. Most clubs have an Ask Once policy, meaning that you can only approach a person/group of people once to ask to join them. If they say no, you cannot ask again. However, a good amount of people in attendance are open to talking and flirting, and maybe playing if the connection is right. Just because you’re at a sex club does not mean that you don’t have to try. Be as respectful as possible, and be as charming as you would be on a date.

Much more good sense of this sort awaits ye who go to read the whole thing.

Credit: The image at the top of the post is by good-girl artist Bob Powell and is from the story “I Joined A Teen-Age Sex Club” in First Love Illustrated #13 (1951).

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