Photographed by Skirt Club prior to the event. I tend to wear comfy crop tops I pull on over my head. It is 1am on a Saturday night and I'm sitting by a lemon tree, on a balcony overlooking London. I'm wearing a slinky red dress and so is the woman next to me. She reaches out and bounces the underside of my boob, saying, "feels like an F cup to me. I've drunk a case of Champagne by this point, and I'm not sure I can recite the alphabet, let alone identify the letter that best describes my boobs.
I reach out and touch her boob back. Then I wonder if men do something similar with their ballsacks. I'm at Skirt Club , a women-only event for the bi-curious and bisexual. There's a pile-up of semi-naked women on the balcony's al fresco furniture, and someone is smoking a post-coital? Inside, I can see a melee of limbs on a camp bed that was earlier strewn with synthetic gold leaves, like you might get in a Christmas pack of potpourri from Morrisons.
There are six bare-skinned girls in the bathtub, and something resembling the game "suck and blow" is going on in the bedroom. Skirt Club encourages its members to explore, and these women are out to make Sir Ranulph Fiennes look lazy. Copyright Skirt Club by photographer Victoria Dawe. It started off a tad corporate. Fully dressed, sober, and making small talk, we might have been in a conference room wearing name badges.
Only the sight of the hostesses, in stockings and suspenders, indicates this isn't just another networking event. Wearing black lingerie and bird feathers, the hostesses replace our flutes with half-full ones as we empty them.
I am not a natural networker, so my awkwardness means I make a fair few of these swaps, as I dodge questions like, "so, what's your journey? I've worked in casinos myself , so as I choose my outfit, I cast my mind back to what the women in casinos wore. But I do recall one who wore a leopard print blouse five nights in a row, so the Skirt Club girls are onto something.
We're ushered inside for a sales presentation about sex toys. The speaker is Samantha Evans, a former nurse, who set up vibrator brand Jo Divine with her husband. I would not like to squirt. I once interviewed some women who did , and it sounded like a lot of cleaning up afterwards.
I'd like her on the end of the phone if I ever had a sex injury. Her talk is literally the best bit of my evening. I take home a dental dam for next time I want a calorie-free chocolate treat with my elevenses. After Evans, magician Laura London does some card tricks.
I feel like Dinah in The Demon Headmaster, who moves to a new school and doesn't understand why everyone is clapping and whooping in assembly it later turns out they're all robots.
Then it is Spin-the-Bottle. We will be kissing. We form a circle and one of the hostesses puts a bottle in the middle, then spins it, and kisses the person it points at. I'm glad it's not me. Hands up, I don't like forced fun. And I don't want random mouths on mine, whether they're male or female. Also, there are a few people in this room who look as if, over the years, they could have brushed their teeth a bit more.
So I sit there, willing the bottle not to stop at me; and after a few spins, when I feel I've been as lucky as I'm going to get, I take a strategic toilet break. I return to find a new game has begun. The kissing hostess is taking off her bra, then she lies down on the floor in her knickers.
Another hostess wedges a bit of lemon in her mouth, and sprinkles salt all over her boobs. Then she asks who wants a Tequila shot. You don't need to be Sherlock Holmes to work out the rest, and as with everything that had gone before, the ladies loved it.
Skirt Club's mission, according to the press blurb, is to "build an exclusive all-female community for empowerment and sexual discovery. A network of professional women with common interests. However, according to one of the other hostesses, Skirt Club follows a tried and tested format all over the world. So presumably the bare boobs, snogging and being licked by anonymous ladies, were amongst the requirements of her as a Skirt Club hostess.
I didn't feel quite comfortable with that. It was like she was being used as some sort of sex surrogate for middle-class women who wanted a controlled environment and person for a toe-dip into bisexuality. And I knew that if I'd seen a semi-naked girl lying on the floor, surrounded by a similarly rowdy group of guys, I would be horrified for her. About half way through a case of Champagne at this point. Although, "it's blurring the lines of consent — is it likely the woman would have done it without being paid?
It's at this point, when the girls start getting together under their own steam, that I think my friend Amber, who joined me for Liquid Love and Rio's would love it here. Bisexual and adventurous, she would have a great time with this bunch of attractive, bi-women who are up for having fun. I fall asleep on the toilet eating the McDonalds I've craved all evening. Looking at it from this perspective, Skirt Club's suddenly got legs. And I recall another friend telling me that the female-only environment meant she'd enjoyed her first experience with a woman here, without feeling like she was performing for men.
I feel almost guilty for not throwing myself into an orgy. Have I taken the place of someone who'd have got more out of it? On the last leg of my journey, I buy the McDonalds I've craved all evening. I wake up in the morning with a hellish hangover, to find the discarded packaging by the toilet. My reservations about forced fun aside, I'm not sure I'd meet their standards anyway.
Samantha Rea can be found tweeting here. Last Updated 02 October