here's where we first learned about partying in the lifestyle, Salon 4-00  

rm_cysensual 71M/59F
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11/21/2005 9:06 pm

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3/5/2006 9:27 pm

here's where we first learned about partying in the lifestyle, Salon 4-00


A genuine Reagan-country cowboy, "Wild Bill" Goodwin lives in Costa Mesa, Calif. -- just down the freeway from the John Wayne Airport, the Nixon Memorial Library and that happiest place in Anaheim: Disneyland. The conservative, congenial, prejudiced and extremely horny septuagenarian, who enjoys hanging weights from his penis in his spare time, resides alone amid blinking garlands of heart-shaped lights and inert clusters of ceramic panthers in a house he calls a "real swinger's haven."

The kind of guy who describes his hobby as "sport-fucking" and says things like "gangbanging was given a bad name by those black bastards up in L.A." is probably not the kind of guy you normally empathize with. Which is why when he says that Dottie, his wife of 20 years, "went through heck" before dying of cancer in his arms five years ago (under the rotating disco ball in their front room), the euphemism unexpectedly breaks your heart. Goodwin and Dottie lived "the lifestyle" together. Now that his soul mate is gone, "Wild Bill" is lonely -- and no amount of group sex can change that.

Welcome to the bizarre world of David Schisgall's "The Lifestyle: Group Sex in the Suburbs," a new documentary that explores the huge, secret, all-American world of suburban swingers and finds that it does not resemble a '70s porn movie in the least.

The film, which debuted in March in New York and Los Angeles and will open in 15 other cities later this month, elicits as mixed a bag of emotions as you are ever likely to experience at once -- from the shock of witnessing uninhibited group sex among the elderly (not good), to the amazement of witnessing uninhibited group sex among the elderly (good), to the novelty of putting "born again" and "butt plug" in the same thought, and a lot of other funny feelings in between.

Schisgall and producer Dan Cogan spent three years traveling across the country in search of groups of retirees who have decided to ease ass-first into their autumnal years as if into their scalding home spas. What they found was a world in which married, homeowning, boat-buying, barbecuing couples (former schoolteachers, sales directors, Marines and ministers) get together, eat lots of shrimp and bonk each other's spouses in the family room.

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