The SFC (Sex-Free Club)

by Ben Helme

After some standard grouchiness from the bouncer, you make your way into the first room. You dance for a bit, and suddenly there’s another person in your party. He’s joined the circle, leering at the people you’re with. You realise that everyone has paired off, or they’re looking around for someone to latch onto. The music is great, but now there’s a cloud hanging over the room. The pressure is on. The atmosphere gets heavy with horniness, and you see people starting to panic.

You feel like an anthropologist, observing an awkward mating spectacle that you never opted into.

Are we in the wrong place for dancing?

Is it wrong to only want to dance?

If you can relate, then I might just have the thing for you: The Sex-Free Club. Just as the child-free have rejected the moniker ‘childless’, our club renounces the term sexless. It is not devoid of sex but unencumbered by it.

Now, I’m not describing some sort of awkward half-club, half-bar where nobody approaches you because everyone is seated, separate, and unspirited. The SFC would be a proper club. There would be three rooms: one for techno, one for R&B, and one for pop classics. People still drink, and dance, and sweat, and scream to make themselves heard. When you eventually stumble out of the SFC in the early hours, your ears still ring, and you still feel as if you’ve been underwater. It’s still a hard night out. You just end up in your own bed, and that’s not a failure. It’s the goal.

Sex culture and club culture aren’t synonymous, and they’re not interdependent. Sure, some people want to go to a club and find someone to shag. Power to them. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, provided the others want to be approached. They have plenty of clubs tailored exactly to their disposition. But what about those of us who just want to dance with our friends? Or at least don’t want to neck a stranger every time.

The beautiful thing is that the SFC will self-regulate. Nobody looking to get off is going to go to a club where no-one’s up for it. For the annoying stragglers who can’t get the message, we shall hand out lifelong bans like Halloween candy. The SFC isn’t, of course, an actual solution to awful people in clubs. Like all nightlife, it will only properly function when stronger mechanisms are implemented to keep people safe.

And as a platonic club, inclusivity is a given. With no need for delineation according to sexuality – we all just dance together. If you prefer the culture in Heaven, fair enough. You can still head there. But if the sex-focus of other clubs puts you off, you’ll know there’s somewhere for you.

The time will come when I sell my genius business idea to a billionaire and we can watch it materialise. Or maybe I’ll have to wait until I succeed at [tba] and become wildly rich, then set up the SFC myself. The ultimate club for people who just wanna dance and have a good time.

See you there, (platonically of course), somewhere down the line.

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