A Peek into Skirt Club

By: Abby DivDate: Aug. 4, 2020

Abigail Div
Hello everyone, we're going to talk today about the modern woman's desire for sexual exploration and self discovery in an increasingly fluid world. I'm your host Abigail Div, the Founder of Le Sex Lab and experimental Media Lab exploring sexuality. Today's interview will explore the following. How did Skirt Club start? How our club events structured? What makes the club different than other sex parties? How does interaction differ between the women by location? What is skirt club doing to adapt the increasingly online world and with me today to talk about her party's is CEO and Founder of the Skirt Club, Genevieve LeJeune. Welcome Genevieve.

Genevieve LeJeune
Bonjour Abigail, how are you?

Abigail Div
Ah, very well. How about you?

Genevieve LeJeune
I'm delighted to be on Le Sex Lab. I feel like this is somewhere within my own regional territory. Thanks for inviting me today.

Abigail Div
Oh, it's my pleasure and welcome to the podcast. To start with, I thought we'd chat about who you are and how you came up with the idea behind a private womens-only membership club. So let's begin with telling me about about Skirt Club. How did you get started?

Genevieve LeJeune
Well, that's a long time ago now almost seven years, whilst I was still living in London, which is where I'm from originally. And really, I started the club for women like me who were looking to meet one another, and didn't know how to to start or approach bisexual women. It's quite easy to attend a lesbian or gay bar, but there are no such things by people so I thought I would create my own.

Abigail Div
Where did you get the idea to make a club exclusively though for women. Why not have it be women focused and include both sexes?

Genevieve LeJeune
Well for exactly that reason. I had attended a mixed co-ed sex party in London back at the time. I hadn't enjoyed my experience there particularly because men had approached me and manhandled me in a way that I didn't enjoy. I felt that there was an uneven playing field when it came to sex and the two genders that were one often dominates. And I also noticed that women tend to be quite passive in that scenario, they tend to sit back and they also try to perform to please their partner and I really wanted women to get out of their own skin and start to feel their way, identifying what they truly desired for the first time, so I felt I had to very necessarily remove men from my club in order to help women express who they truly were.

Abigail Div
Yeah, attending a sex party or a sexually-oriented event is not a new concept when it comes to living and working in large cities like London or New York. What once was underground spread exclusively through word of mouth and personal referrals is now much more of a common sighting. Many have their own websites, in fact, and even online event invitations. Anyone from newbies to well tailored veterans can easily access. It has truly leveled the playing field in terms of sex and exploring sexuality.

Genevieve LeJeune
Yeah, it truly has something for everyone out there right now. Skirt Club is specifically for women who are bi-curious or bisexual. But yeah, especially in New York and London there's pretty much everything on offer. You can explore every side of you.

Abigail Div
Yeah, great. So let's start talking about your events. When it comes to hosting events, there's a lot of considerations from where your venue is going to be to what you're going to wear. Every choice has a reciprocal effect, of course, on the audience, the interaction and the overall experience. What kind of events do you run? There are two basic types, right.

Genevieve LeJeune
Yeah, we run mostly two basic types of events. We have Skirt Club Signature, which is the original event that we created first, seven years ago. This is for all intents and purposes as a play party, but a little bit more sort of entertaining and social. So it begins with a talk and a performer, usually burlesque, and something for everyone to learn from, and then some sort of social interaction with some games. And then the night takes itself where it needs to, but there's no pressure to perform or, or to involve yourself in any sexual activity. It makes a place to network and meet other women who identify similar to you. For that reason, we also developed another party called Mini Skirt, which, as it suggests, a lighter, shorter, tighter alternative. These are hosted in bars, and are much like a meetup, right. So come along to a bar which we hire exclusively for us, so privacy is paramount still. And again, burlesque and some games, a chance to meet other members and maybe contemplate coming to one of our signature events later on. So the Mini Skirt is more of a first step.

Abigail Div
So in terms of the structure of the events, would you suggest a woman to attend first your Mini Skirt before then going for all out, full Skirt on event?

Genevieve LeJeune
I think this is your first time and you're new to exploring your bisexuality then absolutely yes. It's a great way to dip your toe into the water and get a feel for who our members are, which I'm sure anyone contemplating a sex party really would like to know first who's going so they could feel comfortable about that. And yeah, just get a feel for the types of people and whether that's going to help you fit in and be relaxed, you know, in a space that you're maybe sort of out of waters with. So these things are very important.

Abigail Div
Yeah, most definitely. And with venues from Los Angeles to Tokyo, you can't be everywhere at once, at least not these days, you can't. So who hosts the events?

Genevieve LeJeune
Well, up until two years ago, I was everywhere once so, let me tell you it is a recipe for disaster. At some point, you stop sleeping, and then your health slowly deteriorates. So, I took a took a very needed decision to place an event manager on the ground in each of these cities. And that's also important because there's so much variation in culture. It's impossible for one person, even though and very well traveled, to understand the nuances of what our members enjoy in each city, and how things are delivered. They have to be delivered according to what they used to. So all these things help women feel more comfortable, quicker. So that's, that's why it's important. So now of course we have, we have two things, we have an event manager in every city and we have an ambassador in every city. So the ambassador as more of a social animal, and the Event Manager is more of a professional event producer.

Abigail Div
Okay, so there's a bit of a division in terms of the hosting responsibilities. How else do the hosts play a part in the actual event?

Genevieve LeJeune
Well, obviously the event managers, it's down to her to produce something that's on a luxury scale that is secure and private, that allows members to to relax and feel safe. And then we have a team of hostesses, about five or six for each event, whose job is to support the event manager at the event and also to help integrate our new members arriving with other guests very quickly. It's quite common. In fact, I'd say almost 100% of our guests arrive alone, not knowing anybody, which is a very daunting prospect for any woman. You know, it's it's not normal for us to attend events alone to meet with people we've never met, and perhaps do something we never done before at somebody place we don't know. Like we have always taught to be careful. Never talk to strangers. Here at Skirt Club, you're doing exactly that. So we have a responsibility to help you get comfortable very quickly.

Abigail Div
Yeah, that's certainly a daunting task for any hostess a proverbial solo date, coming alone, to feel comfortable in her own skin. Is there any ideal size for these events?

Genevieve LeJeune
Well, the bigger the better, really, right. So the more choice the more variation, the better. It makes for more exciting event. The largest event we hold is around 100 people and we host those in New York and London, where our biggest communities live about every two months. That number of people also causes for, you know, more rowdy events. So there's more work for us as a team to keep things working smoothly and keep things top top and glasses cleaned and ensure there's no breakages and making sure that everybody's taken care of. So it's definitely more work for us. But, I mean, as a party goer, I'm sure that makes for a lot more fun.

Abigail Div
The more the merrier, so to speak, right? Exactly.

Genevieve LeJeune
We've had up to 8-10 in the bed, it's an even the bathtub, you know, we can squeeze you all inside

Abigail Div
There's room for everyone. Well, now, logistic complexity of setting up an event which sounds like it can be anything from a small, very intimate affair to something that is much larger, the parties have, since their launch in 2014 been standardized to include a certain set of criteria: an introduction, entertainment, followed by social interaction, and then thereafter, the potential of something more. The venues also very inherent to what the city has to offer, of course, like New York is renowned for its multi-million dollar penthouse views, but how is social interaction different between locations and women?

Genevieve LeJeune
So this is a question about culture really. And it's typical of the city as you know it, because that's our culture. So in London, we're much more reserved, we require certainly three more glasses of champagne to get us there. And the interaction is very, you know, at first stilted but with time and with alcohol much more fluid. Whereas in New York, for example, there is no reserved shyness. It's very much she arrives, she interacts, she makes friends very quickly. So it's it's also confidence levels, you know, we're there to help absolutely and to make your night the best it can be. But in terms of like, how does the sex go down? Well, that's a whole different thing. And I say the city's most quick to it would be LA, Melbourne, yeah, that absolutely surprised me actually, they don't need too much hesitation, and I'd say possibly New York's pretty good too. Yeah. They don't need too much encouragement there. Yeah. They'll be polite and at least wait until the burlesque performance is finished. Yeah. LA's like, I'll be drunk bar dry at 10pm once again, so we're ready to get down now.

Abigail Div
Well, does the club attract a different group by their location? A different demographic?

Genevieve LeJeune
It's interesting because it how do you define a demographic of bisexual women? They all every demographic, you know, it's, it's every age. It's every walk of life. So there's it's very hard when I get asked this question a lot. We know what your typical demographic it's everything female, that identifies as bi-curious or bisexual and I think the only way I could possibly send that down is by saying that our tickets cost around $150 for a Signature event, so by default, you're going to get somebody who's possibly earning, you know, in a professional capacity and can afford that ticket price. So that therefore leads to a more interesting, interesting high number of lawyers that attend our events. I'm not entirely sure why. But equally, you know, actors and actresses, actresses in this case are who, who are used to expressing themselves they feel more comfortable. We also have a high number of accountants. Yeah, and teachers, teachers like us, too. I don't know why.

Abigail Div
It's an interesting spread of demographics as well as professions. I imagine this has something to do with the privacy concerns, of course, and making sure that it feels exclusive and private, and that they're being taken care of in that regard and that they're open to therefore explore themselves in a capacity that they wouldn't be able to otherwise, if they were say doing so, you know, whatever their standard expectations of their behavior are. If they're a lawyer or a doctor or a teacher, in that case. Well the club hosts also guests who are sexual connoisseurs and their areas of expertise, to titilate and entertain your guests. There has been an essential massage therapists hosting a mass oil massage to burlesque performers who you said who are there to open up events with fan ladden stripteases. Are there specific regional guests or events that are tailored to the audience?

Genevieve LeJeune
So we always have a theme for our events and the performance like the essential oil massage, which was a mass massage, you know, set it with a theme of that evening. So it depends what we're doing. And we've done everything from chocolate tasting event to a midnight circus event to a latex and leather event, you know, with a spanking class. So it's the full gamut. We had a corset that evening where women got to try on vintage corsets and felt how they used to fit and how suffocating that was. But all of this is designed to help you get in touch with your body and to start expressing yourself differently to everyday life. You know, we get so stuck in our heads, working hard and being quite analytical when lighting your soul with creativity and discovery really helps balance that out. I think Skirt Club is the perfect escape for anyone who has a desk job.

Abigail Div
Most definitely, and it does certainly expand one's fantasy horizons to what is potentially out there that you can experience which, as one of the hallmarks, I think, of the club to open up your sexual experience as opposed to trying to meet an expectation.

Genevieve LeJeune
Right, it's about opening your mind. You know, I we we do have a lot of applicants who identify as straight, you know, and clearly, they have inklings or hopes that are not so straight rights if they're going to attend one of our events, but, you know, that's how they see themselves. They identify as straight and they are coming to explore what could be. So, you know, that's we're dealing very much with first time audience, and we're very aware of how nervous this makes somebody. So, you know, once again, we take that responsibility very seriously.

Abigail Div
Yes, certainly not a small one to take on as the responsibility to initiate, if you will, women into their bisexuality or their bi-uriosities.

Genevieve LeJeune
It's a moment they all remember for the rest of their lives, and therefore, it's, you know, it's like losing your virginity. It's something you'll never forget. And yeah, it's it's an honor that we can share that with you.

Abigail Div
Wonderful. And finally, let's chat about the online community, another component of the club, and especially important one given the current circumstances. With the international shutdown of businesses at the beginning of 2020 because of COVID, many in-person events have been canceled or postponed or moved as they were to the internet. Since sex in the time of Corona, many films have been made by that very name, has almost unsurmountable social challenge, holding 'live events' must become a challenge for the Skirt Club. How have you adapted to the current situation?

Genevieve LeJeune
So during the first March, April, May first three months of COVID when everybody was truly, truly on lockdown, and taking this very seriously as we still should be doing, but you know, things have shifted somewhat. Yeah, we did a weekly event on Wednesdays called Skirt Club In Chastity. And it's just really for members to get online, get on Zoom, talk, discuss, share opinions. We have a very intense blog program. So we also have a lot to say right. So we talked about a lot of topics that touch on bisexual lives. And we discuss those topics during our weekly chats. And it I have to say it was such a new way of engaging with our membership. I learned so much about how they think and how they feel all around the world. You know, we were hosting this four times on a Wednesday starting with Australia, then Germany, then the UK and then the USA. So four chats, four different hosts, and four different cultures with the same topic. And that gave me such insight into how women felt around the world, which is very, varied within the country, but very, varied between countries as well. So, for example, we talked about labels. Do we need them anymore? Do we leave our labels out the door? And over, Yeah, over resounding, yes, from the whole planet on that one. We don't eat labels. We define ourselves with our own name. We are who we are. We're all different. You know, even the term bisexual, come in so many different things. And you'll see from when you sign up on the Skirt Club's website to become a member there on the application form we ask you to identify yourself on the Kinsey scale, which is oddly zero to six. And so there you've got six already levels of bisexuality, you know. Are you mostly be straight or you must be gay or you bang in the middle? Do you date more men than more women? Do we need to really dig down on this detail? I mean, it's also so fluid. You know, I preferred women at one point in my life, and now I'm back more in the middle. That's changed as I've grown because I'm a human being that has feelings that differ from day to day. So trying to box people, trying to label people, you know, it's almost impossible. I think it helps others understand us. But I think for us, ourselves, we don't need it so much.

Abigail Div
That's fascinating. So in terms of the groups or the audience, that this online community attracts, is this different, new, or the same as the audience that you had for the events, the live events?

Genevieve LeJeune
Actually, it was completely different. This audience we had had barely come to a party before. And actually they're very, very spread out. So no longer did you need to be in New York, right. So we had in the US, we had a lot of people dialing in from Arizona, Austin, higher places I've never been, and didn't know where they were on a map, embarrassingly. So it was great to hear their perspectives. They felt very isolated. Not just because they were on lockdown because they didn't know any other bisexual women. They've never met another one. So for the first time, they're able to get on a Zoom call, see, like 50 faces all openly saying yes, I'm bi. I live with my husband, I have children. I have kept this a secret for 20 years. I'm now openly sharing this and for the first time I feel alive, and it's so nice to connect with somebody else who has the same experience as you. Because you know, then you're not alone. And this is not unusual. And that is something that I struggled with when I, before I opened Skirt Club, I felt very, very alone. So it's, it's nice to see this come to fruition and for those connections to go global.

Abigail Div
Yeah, sounds like it's created a community, if you will, an online community where women can openly talk to each other without the judgment or the stigma that surrounds talking about female sexuality.

Genevieve LeJeune
And, you know, it's the stigma is one thing, but it's kept us in a box essentially, because we've been too afraid to discuss it, almost ashamed. And that's the stigma I am removing. With great pace.

Abigail Div
Fantastic, do you have plans to do anything online in terms of bringing the sex parties to an online community?

Genevieve LeJeune
I don't think sex parties should exists online. And I think Zoom will agree with me on that. It's also very different to host an online sex party. I don't even know how to go about it quite honestly. I think for women, for women only, that's also very hard. I think you could certainly have more of a titillating you know, sexually driven event where everyone's just naughty in their lingerie and sharing sexy secrets. I think that's more appropriate. But it's very hard without physical touch to make more happen. I don't think men would have a problem without their I think they would just be like jerks. Well let's go.

Abigail Div
Endearing to see that there is more online that's being produced for women as well. Like your live events where you have conversation about sex-related topics, and opening up the conversation to a group of women who are eager, but don't know where to find the outlet,

Genevieve LeJeune
Right, yeah. And I'm so pleased to see some more and more of that popping up every day. There's a lot more outlets for women now, women only. And they're very strict about that. Because women don't get to be women with men around. They behave differently. I've witnessed this for the last seven years, I can tell you, it's so different when you're talking to.

Abigail Div
Yeah, no, it is totally different when you both sexes versus when you keep it exclusive to one or the other.

Genevieve LeJeune
I have to say, there's hope. So Gen Z is particularly rid of that feeling of needing to perform like it's such a refreshing generation to work with. They seem to be quite liberal, like more liberated than anyone else. And don't care about a lot of stuff. A lot of stuff that we shouldn't be caring about, you know, if I had to grow up with your parents telling you it's it's like this is not like that. So it's good news.

Abigail Div
It's opened up the boundaries for a lot of people to self-express as opposed to feeling like they're constrained to the defintions that they been deeply instilled into the culture.

Genevieve LeJeune
Right

Abigail Div
Well, how would you keep the ladies now, with the ongoing pandemic lasting well over half a year engaged sexually, intellectually, metaphysically...

Genevieve LeJeune
Yeah, it's not easy. Let me tell you. So we do have one event coming up that we're all looking forward to. And we are taking our annual holiday to Ibiza in October. So that has been overwhelmingly popular as you can imagine. Everyone's dying for holiday dying to get out. We just need Spain to lift the ban on the USA and will be also care for us members. So we've got that to look forward to and London has pretty much opened up again. Now we are hosting social event in London next week, which conforms to all of the COVID safety rules you have to be in groups of four on table 1.8 meters apart. So we could operate a speed social in that environment that's as far as we can take it right now you know and obviously our website is designed in the same way Facebook is that you can interact the messages, connect, share stories. We've just launched a forum space on there too so you can find others in similar situations and discuss and get to know one another. So we're restricted to those few areas right now, but I do plan on October being back to normal month for us. We are moving ahead with our events after that point. Okay, so look forward to October's timeline to be released as well. It's certainly is not an easy initiative to promote sexuality which inherently requires contact, human contact, when all the restrictions are dictating that you should be giving yourself, the necessarily amount of distance

Genevieve LeJeune
Right, we're promoting contact at the time of no contact. So it's a little difficult to achieve. But one thing I have to say about this, this whole pandemic and being forced to be alone and being forced to reflect and think, is, it's given me plenty of time for realignment with who I am and what my purpose is, and I feel a lot of people, a lot of humans, I've met feel the same way. Things are much clearer I think in terms of when we go back to normal, whatever that looks like how you might pursue the rest of your life. Probably more in line with your true being your true self and then a people pleaser, which I feel a lot of women get trapped into.

Abigail Div
Yeah, certainly has allows for more self-reflection is to what your motivation is to exploring yourself, exploring your sexuality, and more generally exploring what opportunities you want to actively engage in on a more thought provoking level as opposed to going through the paces just because you're already in a cycle. This has taken us very much out of a cycle and into a new state of being. So whatever, whatever new or novel comes our way, I think is, in some ways going to make us also readapt even further to the situation. So it's exciting time actually, though unknown.

Genevieve LeJeune
Yeah. Yeah. It's difficult because of course, the pandemic has been a very good experience for most people, but it has offered opportunity for reflection and we're seeing a lot of new people joining Skirt Club at the moment, and I feel it's becoming too what a lot of us perceive to be the end of the pandemic. We're realigning and seeing, you know, our future and how there's only one way to live and that is to be authentic. So, if you've had a niggling desire, then you very likely to be persuing that now.

Abigail Div
Well, wonderful. And thank you, Genevieve, for joining me today to talk about Skirt Club.

Genevieve LeJeune
It's my pleasure. It's my passion. It's my life. It's been a journey though.

Abigail Div
Exactly. Everybody's everyone's coming to a personal journey right now of finding what they truly want to pursue and adjusting accordingly, because they are while there's a lot of opportunity, there's also a lot of unknown.

Genevieve LeJeune
Right, which can be scary, but put your big girl pants on. We're going to do this.

Abigail Div
There you have it. Well, and if you like what you hear, please join me again next week for another feature on Le Sex Lab.