One Leg Up (“OLU”) has been a staple in NYC for over 10 years. Unfortunately, it is neither a swinger party nor a good time. It’s a convention for rich, snobby people who are too stupid to realize exactly how ripped off they’re getting. Many of these events take place at the Carousel Club location on W36th Street, as I’ll discuss below.
Attendance at OLU had steadily been taking a nose-dive for the past few years as Palagia, the domme organizer, raised prices. When the party first started, prices had been reasonable (around $100 per party). But after receiving a ton of media attention (guess who’s brother has heavy media contacts… yup, Palagia), the prices were raised to the ridiculously high rates of $350 per party with a mandatory $150 quarterly membership fee. The fee was set up so that it recurs on your credit card and is a total pain in the ass to cancel. Only recently has the desperate Palagia reduced her price to $250 per party, but people are just too bored to even come back.
Since it’s been so heavily publicized, One Leg Up is often the first destination of couples hoping to get involved in a swing party. There is one huge problem though — it’s NOT a swing party. In fact, if you use the phrase around Palagia, she will scream at you and tell you, “This is not a swing party! It’s a sensual movement!” Sensual movement, wtf? I get that the term “swinger” has negative connotations, but if it’s not a swing party what exactly is it?
After attending my first One Leg Up party with my girlfriend, I quickly realized that the party was anything but a swing party. There was absolutely no swapping. In fact, it wasn’t even an orgy. It was more of a VERY EXPENSIVE erotic circus. Yes, a circus complete with performers (jugglers, dancers, etc.). Each party has a theme and you are required to dress up. It sounded fun, but it was just really stupid. I felt like a horse’s ass dressing up like a 18th century Frenchman for a Moulin Rouge theme. But the old, rich folks seemed to have fun. Sex does go on, but who really wants to watch people old enough to be their parents getting freaky or trying to hit on your girl?
Whereas I considered the price of admission at nearly $500 total quite insane, I paid it because I was really hoping for something incredible. Every review in the media had been so positive. I thought I would be walking into an adult wonderland. But, it was anything but that. Most of the people attending were quite old. A few old men had trophy wives. I noticed that the few attractive guests were planted by Palagia to make the party look good and show off to the other guests. These people had no intention of interacting with you, but were there for show.
Now, for the icing on the cake — ALL of the OLU parties that I have attended took place at CAROUSEL CLUB. Yes, the SAME dump that Sinsation uses (along with DDevious Delights). I think the Carousel Club location is even used during the day by dommes and prostitutes. It’s a dingy space and I couldn’t believe that I was paying $500 to enter this bullshit erotic circus at such a dump. It looked like Palagia took a bit of time to decorate the place up, putting chocolates and condoms around the place (she closed off the back dungeon area and the secluded Jungle room). I think since the party was so small she wanted the place to look a little bigger. She had decorated it in theme, but frankly, the fabric on the walls couldn’t hide the smell or the sticky furniture. People didn’t seem to mind, drinking and bragging how fat their 401k’s have gotten — it was like an investment banking convention where people could talk about sex. And, it was BYOB (yes, for $500, not even a complimentary drink…)
At 12:30, a gong was rung and Palagia announced that everyone must strip to their underwear. This was quite a task since so many people were dressed up in these elaborate costumes. But, slowly everyone undressed and things started to happen. I watched a fat, bald guy in his 50s feast on his trophy wife’s fake boobs. She eventually blew him — his 3″ cock got lost between his gut and his gray pubic hair (it was NASTY to watch!) Palagia’s hired help put on a display, and some of the exotic dancers kept dancing. It felt really put-on and very fake. My girlfriend and I laughed a little. There was really no one we would have considered interacting with on a sexual level.
For $500, it was a ripoff. I don’t care about jugglers or dancers. I wanted to have fun. There were no beds, people were just doing stuff on couches with the same person they came with. And by “doing stuff” I mean, petting each other in many cases. It was a really odd scene and it was far from being hot. Think Eyes Wide Shut meets Ringling Brothers.
And yet, I did go back. I thought it was just a fluke that night, the location, the people, the ambiance. But no, it didn’t get any better the second and third times I tried it.
Carousel Club at $500, for shame, Palagia. I don’t give a shit that so many writers had given OLU stunning reviews, the parties were complete garbage. Anyone who thinks otherwise just hasn’t been to a good swing party (and doesn’t want to).
This is definitely the most commercialized of any of the swing parties I have ever attended. Palagia even tries to sell you an erotic photography book with pictures that were taken at her parties. Unbelievable…
FYI – I’ve been receiving a ton of feedback from people about this blog and I’m happy to share my experiences with you. As for a recommendation of where to go, I really don’t have one. The best parties were small house parties I found out about from friends.
VENUE: F– it’s ALWAYS Carousel Club, why even bother with the “secret location” bullshit? Yes, same as Sinsation.
HOSTS: C – Palagia is a trip. She isn’t a terrible person, but she’s not a swinger and she’s a total domme. Extremely aggressive, she demands your attention and convinces you that everything she says is gospel. She does NOT play.
VIBE: C - some of the entertainment can be interesting, but I never understood to point of an erotic soiree that is actually a circus. And, being forced to get naked (or in your underwear) isn’t cool – I thought it detracted from the whole experience.
GUESTS: D – occaisionally a good looking couple, but they’re typically hired help; most of the crowd are snobby, rich, old people who don’t mind spending $500 to see the circus.