Working as a hotel General Manager educated me about people – all kinds of people – and it was usually quite shocking to my somewhat sheltered mind.
One day I received a phone call at work requesting to reserve an entire floor of the hotel from Friday night to Sunday afternoon. I had to clarify exactly what he was requesting because I wasn’t sure if he wanted a set number of rooms or if he actually wanted a whole floor for his group.
“I would like to have all the rooms on one floor. All the rooms,” the man said slowly and enunciating each word. Apparently he thought I wasn’t all that intelligent since I didn’t understand him the first time, but I assured him that we would guarantee a whole floor for his group.
We set a time for him to come to the hotel and sign the contract. I hung up and didn’t think much more about it since my Director of Sales would take care of the details.
On the appointed day, the man came in and had a list of requests for his group booking. Sue, my Director of Sales, brought the contract to me to approve along with a very candid explanation.
“The group,” she said, “are Swingers,” and then she just stood looking at me.
“Oh, that’s really nice. Are they competing?” I asked. Sue just stared at me like I had two heads.
“Competing? Don’t you know the definition of ‘Swinger?’” Sue asked.
“Yeah! A dancer like back in the early 1900′s. You know Flappers and Swingers,” I innocently replied.
Sue cracked up laughing. She laughed so hard that her face turned bright red and I had no idea why my explanation was funny. When Sue finally got control again, she explained that a “Swinger” was NOT a dancer.
“The Swingers that want to stay at our hotel are married couples who will spend the weekend exchanging spouses. It will be a sexual free-for-all. The reason they want the entire floor to themselves is because they are going to be naked going from room to room.”
My mouth was open in utter disbelief, but Sue hadn’t finished speaking. “They also are hiring their own security and will have them posted at the elevators and the fire escapes to ensure that no one else enters the floor. Do you have a problem with any of those arrangements?” Sue asked.
A million images were running through my mind, but I was able to regain a bit of business sense to add a few things to the contract. When Sue left my office, I sat staring out the window. Was I out of touch with the real world? I hadn’t ever heard of such things! Going from room to room in a hotel, totally naked and having sex with everyone was considered normal behavior?
Needless to say, the entire staff talked about the group and everyone wanted to work that weekend. Curiosity was alive and well!
Eventually, the day arrived for the Swingers to check into the hotel. I watched them stroll through the lobby, chatting and laughing. I tried hard not to stare, but I just kept wondering, “How could they unabashedly share their spouse?”
Well, I never figured out the answer to that question.
The Swingers’ security guards did an excellent job at protecting their naked privacy during the weekend. When the group checked out, they left many complimentary comments at the home office about how accommodating and attentive the staff at my hotel had been during their stay. That was the one aspect of their stay that didn’t surprise me!
Eventually, all the employees stopped talking about the group and things returned to normal. Through the years, however, I’m sure we all have remembered the weekend Swingers took a floor at the hotel and it wasn’t to dance the Tango.