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I can't think of a scene where I would feel more out of place than a swingers' club. I've always imagined these dark orifices with potbellied year-olds doing coke and for whatever reason lots of people wearing annoying hats. But I've also felt equally intrigued by it. I wanted to know what happens inside those dingy walls, where failing marriages gasp for air and people try to reclaim their sense of sexual adventure. I decided to go this Valentine's Day, and went on Tinder to try to find some company to help curb the weirdness.
In the spirit of polyamory, I set out to find two dates who would be down with the whole situation and go with me. The club I settled on was called L'Orage, which means "storm"; the front page of its website featured a photograph of some guy happily biting a girl's butt by a couch.
Innocent enough, right? This year's Valentine's Day theme roughly translated to "Chocolate and Titties Night," and was for couples and single women only. Finding two girls who would be into me, into each other, and into a club where strangers bork each other under blacklights was a daunting task. After having no success, I ran into one of my old Tinder matches, Rose, at a bar and explained my predicament. Two days left and halfway there, I met up with Marika, an artist who had just arrived in Montreal and had a general "fuck you" attitude about her.
During a lull in the conversation I popped the question, and she said yes without missing a beat. We all agreed to meet at my place at PM on Valentine 's Day. Rose showed up two hours late with a bottle of wine and asked me what was wrong. I was visibly anxious, pacing back and forth and checking my phone every five seconds as I hadn't yet heard from Marika. Rose was amused by the whole scene but told me to get over it.
Her name was Daphnee. I'm at a house party right now but I can meet you guys there in like an hour. We hopped in some guy's Uber jeep and sped over to the club. He dropped us in a part of town near a church with homeless people passed out in front of it. We followed the sound of cheap techno into the soft glow of the club's lobby, then walked past a group of disgruntled couples lining the wall and up to the reception desk. A stressed-out bald guy with glasses in a vertical-striped dress shirt waved his hands annoyed at us, and told us it was at capacity.