Friday night as a single woman at Pleasures in Kent

Website for Pleasures in Kent opening image of a woman with red lipstick and nailpolish

The swing scene has been hit pretty hard by Covid-19 – not so much the disease itself, but the restrictions about social distancing, gatherings and avoiding close contact. With all this in mind, is there actually a venue where it is possible to reconnect and rekindle our swinger selves without running unnecessary risk?

Fear not, lovely libertines, for I have found one.

Though the swing scene has blossomed most beautifully in London, with a diversity of event styles and sexual interests, there have always been places a little further afield. I set out on an adventure with a lovely couple I know, who drove us out of London through the woodlands of Kent to sample this little gem of a swingers’ club that they’d found. Pleasures in Kent.

Image of the outdoor area at Pleasures in Kent from their website

I didn’t need to book in advance or sign up for free membership. I had free entry as a single woman (I just had to give my name and phone number at the door) and we set our drinks that we’d brought with us behind the bar, ready to explore this new venue.

The lady behind the bar was delightful- a tattooed brunette in a little black cocktail dress, she was all jovial warmth and friendliness as she labelled our drinks for us and put them to chill. My companion swapped his car keys for a locker key (apparently we don’t all throw them into a bowl after all) and we put our towels and extras away ready for a dip in the pool later.

Swimming pool in the daytime at Pleasures in Kent

The bar was hung (in more ways than one) all about the ceiling with a collection of dildos from around the world- I think someone must have enjoyed embarrassing airport security – and fronted onto a little dancefloor, with some seats in the corners styled like leopard print high heels. Harnessed mannequin torsos decorated the empty spaces, erotic art adorned the walls and as we’d arrived early there were only a handful of people scattered through the venue.

My lovely couple gave me the grand tour – beyond the bar was a large conservatory-style seating area with leather sofas and a screen playing porn. Beyond this was a huge covered smoking area, with bathrooms off to the side, the (unfortunately closed) sauna and 2 hot tubs, and stairs down to the rest of the venue.

Stairs at Pleasures in Kent

Off to the side was a huge covered area filled with a gloriously lit heated swimming pool, which was completely empty of people. Given how hot the day was, the swimming pool had seemed the main attraction, but despite my plans I found myself drawn into the friendly social vibe of the place and ended up not using it. Descending the stairs there was a large outdoor courtyard with tables and seats, and the entrance to the main play area which consisted of the dungeon room, entrance to the play complex and another bathroom.

Image of wheel and red light in the dungeon at Pleasures in Kent

The play complex was an ingeniously designed rabbit warren of underground shipping containers, converted into individual play rooms. One had a black-light over a wipe-clean double bed. Another was strewn with romantic lacey dΓ©cor. Another had a round Austin Powers-style bed. One had a ladder and a hatch. There was a room with a sex swing. There was an elaborately fashioned glory hole. There was a room with a Perspex window where one could enjoy frolicking while being observed. All the rooms had locks and sanitizing spray with tissues. Each room was slightly different, yet all had the wonderful ‘we love this’ over-the-top sexy vibe of the Red Light District of Amsterdam. There was clearly a lot of love expended in making the rooms. I expect a lot of love has been expended in them since, though they seemed squeaky clean.

Giant shoe bed in a playroom at Pleasures in Kent

We found some people by lovely couple had met before and chatted for ages. I really enjoyed the unpretentious vibe of the place, the friendliness and the sense of camaraderie that can be so lacking in certain ‘elite’ London sex clubs. Though there were plenty of newbies, the place had a firm vibe that it was for experienced lifestylers. There was no drama, no silliness, no overt drug use. It was a place to get together with the people you know, make new connections, have a laugh, and participate in some fun, hot sex.

Woman in red lingerie

There were a number of single men, forming little groups and observing things or wandering round in circles. They didn’t seem to try to talk to me. When I said hello to them, they were pleasant and for most it was their first time there. There was no pushy vibe or sense of entitlement. I think they just weren’t really sure how to get started (Ahhh read my book, baby ducklings! For then you will know!). There were one or two hotties I met there who I felt an instant affinity for. I shall leave the outcome of that to your imagination.

Blonde woman in blue lingerie reclines on a sofa

I chatted to a member of staff later in the evening who had been there a while- there was a clear love for the place, and a sense of community, belonging and almost a mission that gave life meaning. The sense that you have found a place where you can be your real self, be loved and accepted for who you are. Though this is often more true of the social aspect of the kink scene, it is much rarer with the swing scene- certainly so when there isn’t a force utilising this loyalty for free labour. After all, shouldn’t being accepted and celebrated for who we are be a basic tenet of human life?

Bearded Asian man and an Asian woman cuddle in bed with green sheets

The night drew to a close around 2am, though people were not rushed out of the premises and play in rooms seemed allowed to finish at its natural pace. The music through the evening was strictly early 2000’s radio, which one may either love or hate but it gave me a nostalgic vibe. Most places were a fine volume to talk without having to get close to people, though there was a speaker placed in the corner by some of the sofas which seemed a strange choice for a socialising area.

Through the night, even at its busiest, there was plenty of room to social distance, talk at a reasonable volume and stay as far away from people as one might wish. Rather than this being a sign of unpopularity, it’s because the place is actually pretty huge, well divided and planned. I could happily have lived there and hosted great swinger parties every weekend (which, I’m sure, is actually what the owners do).

Woman in a hot tub drinking champagne
A photo that is not of the venue but looked rather nice

If you are looking for a place, in these strange, post-apocalyptic times we live in, where you can feel safe, socialise with knowledgeable lifestylers, meet new people, keep your distance from those you don’t feel you want to be in 2 metres of and have a great value night, then this place is the ticket. I only wish it wasn’t so far away!

Evaluation:

😊 GUESTS ARE APPROACHABLE. The vibe at Pleasures is primarily social. There were a mixture of couples, single men and single women. Everyone was easy to talk to and pleasant.
😊 ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE – YES. THOUGH There is no selection procedure, there were a mix of ages, body types, nationalities and ethnicities available. There were a number of very beautiful, highly maintained women present, delightful couples and some hot single men
😊KINK FRIENDLY- There was a dungeon room with spanking bench, St Andrew’s cross and a fixed metal wheel for kink play, though there were no smaller toys or tools, so bring your own. Was more of a swinger club, but clearly this option was welcome.
😊 TRANS-INCLUSIVE. I did not see any people there who i could identify as trans, and there isn’t any mention of how the pricing structure would work for trans or gender non-binary people on the website, TV and TS are stated as welcome on a Friday night on the website. Given the friendly and inclusive vibe of the place, I imagine they would be most welcoming.
😊BODY SHAPE INCLUSIVE. THERE WERE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT SHAPES AND SIZES, ALL LOOKING AMAZING, BUT I DID NOT SEE ANY FIRMLY BBW OR BHM ON THIS OCCASION. As there is no appearance selection policy (other than suitable attire) and a friendly vibe, I imagine they would feel most welcome
😊AGE INCLUSIVE (ADULTS ONLY, AGE 21 AND OVER. RANGED FROM 20S TO 60’S, AVERAGE AGE ABOUT 25-45). Singke men must be 25 or over, so might not be ideal if you are a cougar looking for the very young men
😊 COUPLES – THERE IS A MIX OF HIGH QUALITY, FULL or soft SWAP MELLOW COUPLES AND MANY SINGLES. Many of the crowd appeared to know each other but weren’t cliquey. Couples get a great deal at just Β£30, and for those only looking for other couples or single women, there is the Saturday night
😊 SINGLE WOMEN (PLENTY, GOOD SAFE ENVIRONMENT, MANY DIFFERENT LOOKS, women free entry on a Friday and £15 on a Saturday)
😊 SINGLE MEN (ALLOWED on friday, were plenty around but well behaved. Some walked around alone but were pleasant and not pushy if you spoke to them. Some were very hot) £40 entry before 11 or £50 after, which is less than most places. Single men are advised to bring ID and contact the venue before attending
😊 AFFORDABLE AND VALUE FOR MONEY – UP TO 6 HOURS OF PLAYTIME (8pm-2am), or more if you arrange glamping accomodation on site (in lovely dome tents with real double beds). given how nice this venue was, it is a suprisingly low price. you bring your own alcohol which is served to you from behind the bar, and purchase soft drinks. it was Β£1.30 for a can of coke, which the lovely barmaid kept for me and used to top up my drinks. So I spent Β£1.30 for the entire evening. They also sell crisps and snacks behind the bar. There are 14 designated play spaces, which are a little network of rooms, all slightly different and wipe clean, made from containers and with a lock on the door. There is a beautifully lit, large heated pool and (prior to covid restrictions) a sauna and 2 hot tubs.
 πŸ˜ŠSAFE – IT IS IN A PRIVATE HOUSE and grounds, WITH secure outdoor space and staff around, though they are not imposing and look like the other guests. There is a room of lockers (which are a suprisingly good size) and you leave a refundable Β£10 deposit or your car keys at the bar to get a key. Because of the layout and prioritisation of social spaces, lockable individual playrooms and general friendly vibe, it felt very safe.
😊 SPACIOUS – one of the few venues I’ve ever attended where correct social distancing is a realistic option. The grounds are huge, and the place was not overcrowded. There was a lot of outdoor sitting space to chat, a large covered seating area for smokers, the 14 different playrooms (and at no point were they all full), the pool room, the dancefloor, bar, two bathroom areas for which there was no queue, a covered extra seating area with many sofas, plenty of parking space outside and an upstairs room I didn’t get round to seeing
😊 SWINGING FRIENDLY – this place is all about the swinging. It’s unpretentious and based on natural progression of fun, conversation and feeling relaxed. The playrooms have wipe-clean surfaces with spray and tissues in each one to keep things clean and are decorated in a variety of styles, from the lacy and romantic, to the blacklight room to the overt amsterdam-boudoir style. I challenge anyone to play in all 14 in a single night.
😊 WELL EQUIPPED – LOTS OF SEATS indoors and out, GOOD BAR with ceiling collection of dildos from around the world hanging down like stalagtites, two hot tubs and sauna (out of use due to restrictions), large heated swimming pool lit with coloured underwater lights, NICE VENUE, dance floor, covered smoking area with seats. LARGE BDSM PLAY FURNITURE, no PROVISION OF BDSM TOYS TO SHARE except violet wand sample session, BUT YOU CAN BRING YOUR OWN. Two bathroom areas with sinks and no queue. Play areas clean and have sanitising equipment in each.
😊 ROCK UP LAST MINUTE WITH A FRIEND? Yes! One of the few places you can just go on the night, with no membership or vetting needed.
😊EASY TO GET A MEMBERSHIP? None offered or needed.
πŸ˜’ TRANSPORT- THIS VENUE Is in a tiny suburban style village outside the Kent town of Wateringbury near Maidtone. Your most realistic option is to go by car, from which you cross the M25 (the point at which nearly all london swingers burst into flames, given by how reluctant they are to cross it) and take the M20. Depending where you start from, it’s perhaps 40 minutes from East or Southeast London by car
😐 ACCESSIBILITY – Though the main social area, bar and seating is on the ground floor, there are some areas with a small number of steps (1 or 2) between different parts. The doorways are wide and the floor itself is quite smooth. Venturing beyond the socialising aspect, the playrooms, outdoor space and pool all require descent of a number of steps. If you have accessibility issues it would be a good idea to contact the venue in advance to find out what provision can be made as it is not clear on the website. There is no clear statement as to neurodiversity or provision for disabilities seen or unseen on the website, but the owners seem lovely and it would be worth clarifying with them if you have any concerns.
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