Suzanne Harrington goes undercover at the elite swingers’ party that is coming to Ireland to find out what really happens when the Killing Kittens get together
A good-looking couple come through the door. She’s tall, curvaceous, and dressed in Forties-look vintage, all cinched waist, Dita Von Teese hair roll and matte red lipstick. The man with her is very Young Fogey – a waxed moustache, tweed suit, polished brogues – and is handsome in a blue-eyed, clear-skinned kind of way. They are greeted warmly by a pretty young woman in a tight black cocktail frock and handed a glass of fizz. They scan the room, and the room – full of similarly attractive young couples – scans them back. Nobody in here – apart from me – looks over 35. Everyone is checking everyone out. Everyone is a member of Killing Kittens.
Killing Kittens is a “network of the sexual elite” who meet at invitation-only parties to have sex with each other. It is all about female sexual empowerment – the usual cardinal sex-party rule applies: no unaccompanied males. The other rules, sent via email the day before the party, are that men may not approach women, or talk to them unless invited, that no means no, and “only the kittens can break the rules”. You can go if you are a single woman, or part of a couple – you need not be in a relationship with the man accompanying you, but any man turning up on his own will not be admitted.
This is the crux. At strip clubs and lap dancing venues, men turn up alone or in groups to purchase a cartoonish facsimile of female sexuality. It is entirely transactional.
At couple-oriented sex parties, female sexuality is proactive and in charge – the vast gulf between old-school ideas of female sexuality (housewife or whore) is bridged by adult women who want to play in safe, sane and consensual environments, where they can enjoy themselves away from the confines of the marital bed. This is not, however, about subterfuge, but about liberated adults – usually in committed relationships – taking an activity as primal and pleasurable as sex, and running with it.
The couples I know who regularly attend sex or fetish parties fall into two categories – those in long-term relationships who are very secure and liberated, and enjoy sexual adventure with other like-minded people, and those whose relationship is faltering a bit, and in need of a boost.