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For the most part, action tends to be in groups of three or four. At Tawse, the party starts out like any other house party. Single males are vetted, "otherwise we get over-run".
"There is a tendency to view [swinging] as having sex without paying."Party-goers show up on a pre-arranged evening, bottle of wine in hand.
Over black coffee, her smartphone on the table beside her, she openly shares her decade of experience in the swingers world.
It all began at university when a girlfriend took her to a "different" kind of party.
If they hit it off, Monique is included in a multi-user conversation online. Some couples they have met have gone on to be firm friends in a platonic sense.
Being a busy businesswoman, she might not weigh in on the flirting and meeting arrangements, but she's kept in the loop. The couples babysit for each other, meet for a platonic lunch or get away together.
People at swingers parties start the night socialising, before mutually agreeing to take things further. No means no and every couple has its own boundaries.
"We have new people turn up and sit in their car for an hour — that's quite common."★ ★ ★Monique* is an attractive woman.The key to a successful relationship is communication, she says.Jason has more time on his hands and will often begin checking out couples online. We love each other and we're not hurting people." There are plenty of websites and forums online for couples wanting to meet other couples.The house itself is unassuming - a brick-clad rambler in Swannanoa, North Canterbury, hidden behind high hedges and a strategically curved driveway.It sits in a neighbourhood of large, recently built homes.So, do people at Tawse throw their keys in a bowl and cross their fingers?"Never." Films, apparently, have a lot to answer for.Tawse provides the nibbles and the guests provide the small talk and the social foreplay.Old friends catch up on their news and "newbies" hang back, too nervous to join in.Apart from a small gatepost sign, it is inconspicuous. Not out of any sense of shame, but because it is polite to be discreet.The music is always off by midnight and guests park on the property. Steve started Tawse Manor as a secluded "fetish bed and breakfast".