The big city dating scene can be daunting for some people, especially those with very specific tastes. If you’re into alternative lifestyles in Chicago, it can sometimes be a little work to find your way into the niche crowds if all you’re used to dealing with is the regular bar scene. Or if you’re just curious about people who live alternatively, but you don’t want to jump feet first into anything hardcore, you’ll need a chilled out crowd with enough going on that you can have fun without getting culture shock or feeling uncomfortable. Those in the Chicagoland area need look no further than the Casual Encounters Club.
The Casual Encounters Club is an organization that hosts parties and events in the Chicago area for all persons who are living, interested in or intrigued by alternative lifestyles. The definition of alternative lifestyle is also pretty broad for these parties, and it includes but is not limited to; bondage and sadomasochism, swingers, transexuals and crossdressers, domination and submission and others. It’s a very open minded crowd, and you’re likely to find people from all walks of non-mainstream life. The parties are $30 to get in, and that includes a free lapdance from the group’s resident playmate (which some places would consider a steal for $30). Drinks are your average price, ranging from a couple bucks for soda to up to $5 or $10 for some liquors and mixed drinks, and many of the events are hosted in hotel ballrooms in the area. The party may change from one weekend to another, and there are themes that you can follow if you want to get in the spirit of things and add to the fun. However there are certain things you should expect if you go.
First of all, a Casual Encounters party isn’t going to be packed if you show up right at the opening time; it’s not that sort of shin dig. If the party starts at 8:30 then you’re going to be there for maybe an hour or two cooling your heels. Secondly, the parties go late so if you want to stay for the whole thing you’re going to be there till at least 2 a.m. on Sunday. And then there are afterparties which, depending on the crowd and the liquor, you could get invited to in the hotel rooms if you want to stay. This is where a lot of hooking up happens, and it’s always a good idea to get a hotel room if you’re planning on either trying to find someone to spend the night with, or if you’re going to drink too much to drive safely (which is to say, if you’re going to be drinking).
Lastly, and this is an important warning for those who are thinking a Casual Encounters party is your average Saturday night shin dig with people looking to hook up and hang out, make sure you keep an open mind. As was said above, the definition of “alternative” lifestyle is pretty broad, and you’re likely to find a lot of philosophies and desires that are off the radar of the mainstream. There are men and women, young and middle aged who attend. There are also transexuals and crossdressers, along with those who are gay, straight and otherwise. You’re likely to find swingers looking for a swap or even for a couple looking for a third… or perhaps a fourth. So if you feel awkward when surrounded by a crowd that’s really alternative, this may not be the affair for you to be a part of. But if you’re hard to shock, tolerant and you want to get out and have some fun with a group that’s anything but the norm then maybe Casual Encounters events are really what you need.
For more information go to the Casual Encounters Club website.