According to the movies, sex clubs are dingy places, usually filled with people in bathrobes lounging around on red satin. And while this is a popular vibe, it doesn’t mean you should miss out just because swinging and satin isn’t your thing. In fact, they’re surprisingly diverse places. From the anything-goes parties in Berlin to the Champagne and chandeliers of Paris’ premier swingers club, there’s a whole world of debauchery to discover. Here’s a guide to some of the most notorious sex clubs around the world.
1. KitKatClub — Berlin
Pornographer Simon Thaur and his partner Kirsten Kruger founded in KitKat in 1994, back when “encouraging public intercourse” as a crime under the then-conservative German government. It’s now a permanent (and more accepted) fixture on the Berlin club scene and has a reputation for being one of the city’s most notorious venues.
This psychedelic rave-themed club is fitted out with a bondage room, four dance floors, several bars, a massage room, and a swimming pool to relax in. Unlike other sex clubs in Berlin, groups of foreigners are allowed, but the dress code is strict: It’s fetish, latex, leather, kinky, glamour, or nothing at all. And definitely no jeans.
2. Snctm — New York, Los Angeles, and Moscow
Picture beautiful, masked people performing ritualistic performances in an opulent mansion and you’ve got a pretty good picture of what Snctm is all about. To become a male member, you need to pass a strict vetting procedure that includes you sharing your turn-ons and three headshots among other things. Pass that stage and you’ll be invited to attend a swanky pre-event Champagne reception. Finally, once you’re given the green light, you’ll need to buy your level of membership, which ranges from the most basic $20,000 annual “Arium” pass, up to a $1 million lifetime option that includes invitations to Cannes yacht parties and access to secret VIP areas. Women may attend for free but must go through a strict vetting procedure. The events are restricted to just 100 guests, and women outnumber men by three to one.
For: Primarily heterosexual men and bisexual women. It also helps if you’re a billionaire, actress, musician, or model.
3. Power Exchange — San Francisco
Kink and debauchery reign in Power Exchange, “America’s naughtiest adult playspace,” which, at almost 25 years old, is one of the region’s most established venues. It welcomes people of all ages, genders, and sexual orientations through its maze of play areas, fantasy rooms, and dungeons. The club prides itself on being inclusive, so whatever your scene, rest assured the only limitation is a lustful imagination. Unlike the other sex clubs on this list, this venue is strictly alcohol-free.
4. Lab.oratory — Berlin
Lab.oratory is Berlin’s largest and most legendary no-holds-barred gay venue. Visitors have four floors of utilitarian concrete and steel to explore, including a play area kitted out with sex swings, chains, and harnesses, plus a wet room and a labyrinth where anything goes. Men of all ages and sizes are welcome, so long as they dress up for the occasion: Fetishwear and leather are usually on the menu.
The club hosts themed evenings, which range from a vanilla 2-for-1 drinks night to those focused on more diverse turn-ons (think sportswear, fisting, and watersports). Check the website for details and dress codes, and bring your own protection as it sometimes runs out. There’s also a strict no perfume or deodorant policy on the door.
For: Gay men
5. Les Chandelles — Paris
Paris’ upscale swingers club plays host to regular orgies in a plush, chandelier-lit setting. Originally the haunt of French politicians, celebs, and the wealthy middle-aged crowd, it’s now open to anyone who has a spare $110 lying around for the entrance fee. Once inside, guests are ushered into a cloakroom where they part with their phone (photos aren’t allowed) then welcomed into the main room with a free drink.
There’s a predominantly clothes-on front bar, plus two boudoirs (sex rooms) toward the back. The dress code is chic: Think cocktail dresses and heels for women, and shirts for men.
For: Everyone, but primarily heterosexual couples and bisexual women. Solo women are rarely let in over fears of prostitution and single men can be turned away at the door if there are already too many inside.
6. Torture Garden — London
Way way before E.L. James ushered floggers and whips into mainstream culture, Torture Garden was home to fetish fans in London all through the ‘90s. It initially started out as a niche event, but has since ballooned into Europe’s biggest fetish night: It now attracts crowds of over 2,500 people and has seen Dita Von Teese, Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier, Boy George, Katie Price, and Courtney Love all pay their respects. Visitors can expect theatrical performances, fashion shows, cabaret, and plenty of kinky exhibitionism. The door policy is strict: It’s leather, lace, or latex.
7. Killing Kittens — Worldwide
Like Torture Garden, this isn’t strictly a sex club; it’s a program of parties and socials held at various locations worldwide. Events range from Japanese rope bondage classes and kinky cabaret nights to masked sex parties and tantric tutorials. Its main aim is to give women a safe environment to get frisky. Attending is pretty easy, you just need to sign up and get party-approved.
For: Women, primarily. Single men must be specifically invited by a female member.
8. Trough X — Melbourne, Sydney, and London
Trough X parties have become legendary thanks to its NSFW promo videos and creator Nik Dimopoulos’ creative take on the fetish scene; each event is themed with colorful projections and art installations. In one interview, he explained, “I’ve always felt as if there’s been one, single-minded vision of fetish party advertising. It’s always black leather. I wanted to open those sex themes and concepts into something more broad, more colorful, more humorous.”
Trough X began in Melbourne’s Club 80 around ten years ago, before spreading to Sydney and London. Visitors are invited to dance, party, and — if the mood takes them — indulge their more carnal desires on the dancefloor.
For: Gay men
9. Dungeon Club — Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv’s most famous sex club welcomes people of all ages, genders, and sexual orientations — although clubbers need to come with a partner or three if they want to enter its labyrinth, aka the sex room. Aside from its many lascivious nooks and crannies, there are also two bars, a dance floor, and cages to explore, plus onstage shows to ignite the imagination. The dress code is anything fetish.
10. Berghain — Berlin
The list wouldn’t be complete without a shout out to Berlin’s most notorious club. Located in a giant former power station, Berghain is famed for its cavernous 18-meter dance hall, its techno, and its incredibly strict door policy. Clubbers heading here should be prepared to wait in a libido-killing queue, which could very well end in rejection. Boo. If the worst happens, don’t worry, you’re in good company: Even Britney Spears got a nein from the bouncer.
While it’s not strictly a sex club, hedonism is encouraged and people often openly get it on in the venue’s dark corridors. Plus — top tip! — you can get lube and condoms from behind the bar.
For: Everyone. You just need to impress the bouncers. And by impress, we mean speak German, know your techno, wear black, and look the part. But even then, no guarantees. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.