Are you curious about what it takes to start and run a swingers club? Maybe there isn’t a good option in your area and you are thinking about starting your own lifestyle club. Maybe you just want to learn what is really happening behind the curtain. We’re here to help explain what is involved in starting and running a swinger club.
Over the years, we have talked with many swinger club owners. The one consistent fact for all swinger clubs is that each locale & situation is different. There are different laws, different preferences of swingers, different real estate options, and so much more that makes each situation unique. Please remember that this is a general overview of swinger clubs. Do not blindly follow this information; you’ll need to do a lot of research to understand your local context. Each swinger club will require a customized approach to maximize its chances to survive and hopefully thrive. With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s jump into the sexy business details.
One of the most common questions is how profitable are swinger clubs. Well, some clubs are very profitable but most aren’t, and they actually struggle to keep their doors open. It’s more often a labor of love. Why do it if it’s not profitable? There are as many different reasons as there are different swinger club owners. Some do it purely for the love of the LS community. Others do it for prestige or to stay involved in the lifestyle after they age past their sexier years. Some struggle along hoping for profits one day. Some owners know that if they don’t do it, no one else will. These are just some of the reasons why people choose to be swinger club owners.
Running a vanilla club or bar tends to be an easier path to profits because alcohol is profitable and many locales don’t allow alcohol sales in sex clubs. Swinging is growing in popularity but it is a much, much less common activity compared to vanilla fun. If someone is looking to make money, they could more easily start a bar, restaurant, or nightclub & not have to deal with the extra laws involved with nudity & sex or the protesters that swinger clubs can attract.
A big part of your profitability will be if you are renting/leasing a club space or if you own your place. Plenty of landlords don’t want to deal with the headaches of a potentially controversial swinger club so they are often not going to be your ally. Even if they start on friendly terms, they might be pressured by other community members to force you out by raising your rental/lease costs. Owning your own space can make your life much easier, but it also greatly raises the stakes on this potentially risky business proposition.
Many people also greatly underestimate the overhead involved in running a swinger club. Many lifestyle clubs rack up electric bills in the thousands of dollars each month. That might sound surprising but it takes plenty of electricity to power the hot tubs, the disco lights, and let’s not forget the air conditioning that is super important. Having very physical sexy fun literally heats things up and trying to air condition a large swinger club is expensive. Even in the middle of winter, the inside of a swinger club can become too hot for your paying customers to tolerate. It also costs extra money for the cleaning stuff. Trying to hire someone to mop floors is one thing but asking someone to clean up potential biohazards like used condoms or body fluids is a more costly challenge. A swinger club is very different from a vanilla business, so be prepared to spend more money.
There is a silver lining with swinger clubs, especially in under served areas. The swinging community tends to be very helpful & supportive. Many swinger clubs have been able to recruit volunteers to help with the marketing, party set-up, party management, security, & clean-up in exchange for being able to attend for free. This option helps swinger couples who might have a limited swinger budget and it helps struggling swinger clubs keep their doors open.
This is heavily YMMV. The biggest understatement in the swinger club business is that you need a great lawyer! This can’t be stressed enough. Swinger club owners need a lawyer who is experienced and understands the real estate issues, business issues, & even criminal issues — particularly with the new FOSTA/SESTA laws in the US. Some locales have very vague prostitution laws that could potentially ensnare a swinger lifestyle club owner. Ignorance of the law is not a valid defense so make sure you have a good legal team before doing anything.
To survive, clubs need a receptive or at least tolerant government body. The problem is that the political/government landscape can change with any swing election. A formerly tolerant government body can quickly turn very hostile. That hostile government body can strictly enforce every law/code/ordinance/inspection to make life very difficult & expensive. Even if you are in 100% compliance and within your legal rights, you will have to invest time & money to defend your rights. In a hostile area they can overwhelm you with “random” inspections from the police department, fire department, & alcohol control/tax agencies. A swinger club that is barely profitable might not be able to survive this type of aggressive bureaucratic attention.
Thankfully many politicians, judges & law enforcement personally enjoy the LS, so it can be a friendly relationship instead of a hostile one. It can be easier to have a friendly relationship if you pick a smaller town that is looking for tax revenue, don’t create trouble (no fire alarms or police calls), and don’t embarrass them with very public advertising campaigns. To protect yourself, you will want to be very vigilant about enforcing the local laws and not turning a blind eye when your customers try to skirt them. This means you want to invest in good security to ensure there is no illegal drug use or anyone over indulging in alcohol. A drunk customer crashing a car on their way home could close you down permanently. It is much easier to prevent legal issues than it is to resolve them, even if accidental.
Every business needs a good marketing strategy if it is going to survive. It doesn’t matter how amazing you make your swinger club. If swingers don’t know about it, it is going to fail. Fostering a good community of lifestyle customers is important if you want to grow.
How to grow a good & loyal membership base? That varies greatly depending on the area and club space. To develop membership, you can advertise on swinger dating sites as well as build your own website, advertise on Google, start a Twitter account, launch a Facebook page & make the most of word of mouth marketing.
Get creative to figure out how to advertise in front of likely swingers while avoiding advertising in front of sensitive people. You don’t want your advertising to accidentally recruit enemies so make sure to laser focus the targeting of your marketing efforts. Besides why waste your marketing budget on people who will never pay to attend your club? Some clubs have swinger podcasters & other LS personalities do guest appearances to create extra buzz and help promote the club to the right type of audience.
The best marketing campaign is providing a great experience every week to protect your retention rate. Word of mouth marketing is very powerful. There are many different swinger forums, blogs, twitter accounts, etc and they frequently recommend which swinger clubs to visit & avoid to the curious newer swingers. Developing happy & loyal customers that can act as unofficial ambassadors will greatly help the marketing efforts.
Before you invest into creating a swinger club, try hosting some swinger house or hotel room parties. This will help you make connections and learn what your local swingers like & don’t like. You want to build up a membership database with thousands of contacts to ensure you have enough people attending each of your parties. A good membership database can take time to develop, so start as soon as you can.
Remember that each situation is different including your own. The swinging lifestyle is constantly evolving. What worked a few years ago might no longer be the best solution today. For example there is now a growing segment of younger swingers in their 20s & 30s who want to party with people in their age range and who share the same pop culture references. There is also a growing community of BDSM friendly swingers.
Pay attention to the party themes of the swinger hotel takeovers, cruises, & clubs in other regions to see who they are targeting for inspiration about who you might want to target. Just remember your local area might not be dealing with the same situation or opportunities, so adjust accordingly.
For a better chance of surviving & thriving, it can be very helpful if you host different types of events each week so your club space is being used (aka generating money) as much as possible. Some swinger clubs host erotic yoga sessions during midweek which can appeal to non-swinging couples. Collaborating with other under-served communities can also help the club survive. for example, if there is no local gay bar, host a Gay Night on Wednesdays, then maybe cater to the BDSM/Fetish community on Thursdays, allow swinging couples & single men on Fridays, and couples only on Saturdays.
Good luck if you are still crazy enough to start a swinger club! If you were simply curious, hopefully you now better appreciate the hard work that goes into creating a sexy & fun place for swingers to enjoy.