Checkmates

Send to a Friend
  • Orgasm Rating
  • Address 227 E. 56th St. (2nd & 3rd Aves.) New York, NY
  • Phone 212-421-3313
  • Admission: $140 per couple (new members); thereafter, $110.00; byob

    An on-premises swing club in a non-descript commercial building smack in the middle of Midtown? Yes, just a few short blocks from ultra-posh Sutton Place, Checkmates offers merry swapsters a comfortable space for fun and frolic. At the same address, you’ll also find the East Side Sauna, a gay bathhouse (see entry below). We accidentally took the elevator there at first, but quickly discovered our mistake.

    Upon arriving at Checkmates you may feel that you’re about to board an international flight. The bouncer will check your ID (you must be over 21), have you fill out some paperwork (for liability concerns perhaps), and pay. Each couple receives a locker equipped with a robe. If you choose to disrobe you must do so in tandem. You must also get dressed at the same time. The locker attendant was an extremely jovial and efficient Irish ex-pat. Any time we needed to retrieve something, such as a condom, we would wander over to our locker, and voila, there he’d be.

    The club has a sort of late ’70s/early ’80s feel. The spartan décor is glitzy, and a bit cheesy—but in a fun way. Balloons are strewn all over the central gathering area as though it were New Year’s Eve. There’s a “stripper’s pole” in the middle of the small dance area and off to the side is a small buffet (we didn’t partake as we had just had dinner) and a byob bar (we did partake, but a word to the wise: Always stay sober at a sex party). XXX videos play non-stop on two monitors. Toward the rear of the club are four “party” rooms. These are essentially bedrooms with futon mattresses on wooden frames and some modular foam furniture. There are also showers and two very clean restrooms. In fact, the whole place was virtually spotless.

    Feeling a bit self-conscious at first, we both grabbed a glass of wine and chatted up the friendly and very attractive bartender, who, it turned out, was an actress. No surprise there. By 10pm, the crowd was still rather sparse, but definitely diverse. Most of the couples were attractive and appeared to be in their 30s and 40s, some perhaps a bit younger. They were approachable, but not overly friendly, and you got the sense that most of them were cautiously checking each other out like prizefighters in the early rounds of a match.

    Couples continued to arrive and one by one retire to the back rooms. At one point, three drop-dead gorgeous women showed up with a tall, studly looking guy. They wasted no time taking over the dance floor and shedding their clothes. We were later informed by the locker attendant that all three of the women had posed for a major men’s magazine. We wouldn’t doubt it. One of the women asked us if we had been to a swing club before. We had in fact and said as much, but in retrospect wished we had said, “No. Would you show us how it’s done?”

    We had another glass of wine and then made the rounds of the bedrooms. At first, we just observed the scene. It was tough to tell if anybody was actually “swinging” but there’s no doubt they were having sex. In one room, an eye-catching threesome was happily going at it. The lone male was penetrating a woman from behind while she lapped between her partner’s thighs. Since we weren’t exactly in a swapping mood, we decided to commandeer the middle bedroom for ourselves. Every so often couples would come in to watch us. And at one point an older couple approached, asking if we’d like to join them, but we politely declined. Fortunately, nobody saw us topple the bed over. Be careful, those wooden frames aren’t too stable!

    Towards the end of the evening, the club and yours truly petered out. We chatted up the bartender again, had a final glass of wine, and then went on our merry way. All in all, Checkmates gets two thumbs—or whatever—up.

You must be logged in to post feedback. | Register.

Complete the form below to forward this page to a friend.

Successfully sent!

Your message was successfully sent to your friend!

Advertisement