My First Night at Power Exchange

Last Thursday night a friend and I, finding ourselves only a few blocks from Power Exchange, decided we should check it out. We’re both experienced players, after all, and this is a successful BDSM club. Can I get away with saying I did it for research? I thought not.

Now, I have never been much for clubs of any sort, sexual, dancer-oriented, or what-have-you. I loathe noise, crowds, smoke, strobe lights, and music that seems to be pounded directly on my eardrums. My preferred mood-altering drug is good fiction. As for drinking, I enjoy tea or the occasional straight bourbon in the privacy of my own home. Since this is California, I knew I wouldn’t need to deal with smoke, at least. And since it was a weeknight, I could check out the club without the crowd that would make it unpleasant to me on a weekend.

Having come straight from work, I wasn’t in fetish wear. Well, I was, actually–black jeans, ankle boots, and a cinnamon suede vest is about as fetishy as this Domme gets. I do at least usually wear something low-cut, but my current employment ruled that out.

We paid the ten bucks (Thursday night price for a couple) and walked in. I wonder about that “couple” issue, though. If I’d been with my lovely femsub, would we still have counted as a couple? What about a gay male pair?

I confess that I did gawk like a tourist. The coat-check room was just the right combination of playful and tacky: life-size superheroes on the walls, a couple of TVs running cartoons, and a decadent plush chair in the form of a leopard-print high heel. (I want one.)

The other upstairs rooms were not too bad. The faux prison cells were interesting. The strip club room with its empty stage and twin dancing poles had possibilities.

But most of the dungeon areas in the basement felt and smelled like they were down cellar. At not quite 5’2″, I was uncomfortably conscious of the low ceilings. I can only imagine how my very tall companion must have felt. Seven or eight-foot ceilings, or whatever they were, just don’t feel spacious enough to make me comfortable with the idea of swinging a flogger or a single tail, and in a crowd they would have felt even more confining.

The various play spaces felt inadequately ventilated. Some areas smelled actively unpleasant, not just to my hypersensitive nose but to my friend as well. I have asthma, and the last thing I need mid-scene is to start wheezing because the air is dank and mildewed.

The various stations were set up with spanking benches, bondage beds, pillories, and so forth. Nothing extraordinary. I didn’t test the equipment, but nothing lured me to play. The airlessness made things seem dirty to my mind. I would never command a sub of mine to strip in those surroundings.

I’m looking forward to checking out the Citadel and to wherever the Scenery sets up next. If I want to get down and dirty, I prefer the healthier atmosphere of larger spaces and better air circulation.

5 comments for “My First Night at Power Exchange

  1. January 15, 2004 at 8:33 pm

    Wow, that’s more than vaguely unsettling…..

    Bang goes another reason to be visiting CA, darn good thing there are several hundred left in my ‘reasons to nix before going’ list…

    Thanks for the looksee….

  2. January 15, 2004 at 8:51 pm

    Power Exchange is really not a BDSM club. If you saw the ads they have in small newspapers, you’ll see they call it a sex club, and most of the floors are not set up for BDSM. Your assessment was quite accurate, though. To enjoy playing there, one needs to be super exhibitionist, and being into humiliation is even better. On a busier night, you can multiply the number of gawkers geometrically. People who actually like the atmosphere enjoy chants from the peanut gallery such as “Hit her harder!” “Can I hit her a couple times?” and “EWWWWWW!”
    The gawkers is where they make their money, not the admission fees of actual players, who have often managed free admission in the past, though the management is getting stricter now.
    No, I definitely would not make a trip from elsewhere to go there.
    The Citadel is *nice*. That you must see!!

  3. January 16, 2004 at 3:35 am

    There’s the Scenery, the Citadel, and of course us to visit.

  4. January 16, 2004 at 3:37 am

    I’m eager to get to the Citadel.

  5. June 20, 2004 at 12:32 am

    Ew ew ew, yuck. Mildew does NOT allow the mind to concentrate.

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