As the saying goes, sex sells. And he sells everything from cigarettes to burgers to shampoo. But when you need to sell sex, what do you do?
If you’re Daniel Saynt, who describes himself as the “conspiratorial leader” of the private members-only sex club New Society for Wellness, or NSFW, you cover him in mystery and exclusivity. You offer a progressive openness, luxury and sensuality, with just the right amount of humor to pass for mischievous. You embrace awakening, adventure, community, and play. And if you do it well enough, you end up with some 6,000 members and count, both online and in person, with locations spanning New York City. in Miami, Washington, DC and more.
The first time I meet Saynt is at NSFW’s “Send Noobs” event, a monthly introductory session to the NSFW community that is held privately in a restaurant at an upscale hotel in Tribeca. It’s a tall, imposing figure dressed in black – the requested color for attendees at all NSFW events in an effort to put everyone on an equal footing. He wears a leather kilt and harness, and his fingernails are painted red – except for the middle finger, which is painted gold.
Saynt was unhappy with his previous life as marketing director for luxury fashion brand Rebecca Minkoff. “I felt like I was using my skills [there] for something that was not beneficial in the long run, ”he says. “It was an internal desire to do something better with my time than to convince girls that they needed expensive makeup and handbags to feel good about themselves.” He left out of necessity after starting NSFW while still working for the label. “I decided I wanted to make my sex life first, and it’s been pretty good so far,” he laughs. Indeed, he made the prioritization of his sex life a business. All he wants is to sell people weed and orgasms, he says with a smile.
Unlimited club access for 30 days for one person is, rather cheekily, $ 269, and there are over 20 events per month. Single events cost $ 39. Regardless of how you participate, you must first be vetted and approved, “based on 14 points of attraction that include appearance, social circle, relationship experience, and community contributions.” , according to the NSFW website. “We’re only accepting a few each month to make sure we build the best guest list possible for our efforts. “
The number of people accepted largely depends on the capacity of a Clubhouse each time, but beyond that, potential members are considered for their attractiveness, associated social feeds and comments, beliefs, careers (Saynt mentions that the club currently welcomes everyone from astronauts to artists), their openness to the world as seen in experiences like travel and groups of friends. Their financial stability is also taken into account. “It’s not one of the key things, but if someone is financially well off or is feeling good financially, it will make them attractive, especially if they’re a man,” Saynt says. “Unemployed men are not as attractive as employed men. It’s just one point out of 14. It’s an element. If you get everything else and you get by, you can still get in, ”he laughs. However, you should have at least 10 out of 14 points.
NSFW wants to know how its candidates identify sexually, what they are looking for, what is their relationship to sex, what their fantasies are and what they expect from their sex life. They want people who spend time on their apps, says Saynt, who are careful and considerate to step into a community like NSFW’s, and don’t think of it as a joke.
NSFW is also quickly getting rid of people who violate its Safer Spaces and Code of Conduct. The club’s dedication to these principles is tinted by Saynt’s own experiences with early sex parties, including an incident in which he remembers having a drink to wake up hours later, unsure of what had happened. He also didn’t want NSFW to be just a party you heard about on Craigslist, where everyone was naked in a buffet line to cook themselves ziti – another experience he remembers. He wanted this space to feel safe for everyone and to create a club that is actively and constantly dedicated to creating safer spaces for members.
“Send Noobs” invites newcomers to NSFW to find out how the community works, how to approach potential new partners for sex in the Clubhouse – which is also a cannabis friendly space – how to understand their own desires, and more. Before the presentation, a long table of new and new participants mingle and play table games to get to know each other. A couple leave together and come back after a while, smiling, their cheeks flushed. After the presentation, as if mother hen, Pied Piper, or both, Saynt leads the “noobs” to the nearby Clubhouse.
The front section of the Clubhouse, bathed in red light under an XXX bulb, has lockers for personal effects, and a friendly “nymph” – a white-clad event keeper – chairs the black reception desk. A sign reminds visitors of the key principles of the space: respect, hydration and not being a “climbing plant”. Behind the nymph is a plethora of NSFW merchandise for sale, from masks and fanny packs to t-shirts, all stylishly designed with a naughty nod (a “New Society for Wellness , Est. 2069 ”) or more overt (a shirt featuring a Batman cartoon descending on Catwoman designed specifically for the club). What’s a business these days without merch, after all?
Going deeper into the Clubhouse, plush sofas and a bar begin to appear. For the most part, the “noobs” seem to favor this area, at least when they arrive, many break the ice via “Truth or Dare Jenga”. Behind a curtain are even more plush surfaces, which a series of probably more established NSFW couples are putting to good use. A disco ball spins above his head and a DJ is playing relaxing house music in a corner, never quite muffling an all too familiar clicking sound that suggests, as Saynt put it with a chuckle tonight – there, that someone gets pounded. A nearby table is strewn with condoms and open boxes of lube. In another corner, a sex swing bounded by paper and wooden screens. People play shibari near a massive, soft bed next to it, a wall of whips and paddles not too far away.
It is clear to see and hear that people are having fun. So I wonder why the premise of sex has to be masked in the language of luxury wellness (“enlightenment”, “exploration”, etc.) in order to be marketable. But Saynt knows the value of the luxury brand. “There is a certain security that comes with luxury; it’s a certain value that you feel. When you present consumers with luxury style images and brands, they are going to have this natural affinity and this belief that it is better than something else, and that will attract them, ”says Saynt. It’s possible that Americans, even famous liberal New Yorkers, are still too puritanical and downtrodden to just say they want sex outright. But if a simple branding touch is all they need to come out of their shell, to feel safe experimenting sexually, then maybe all the gilding is worth it.
Locked in our collective homes for most of the past year and a half, a sex-hungry spirit of adventure has spurred a new sexual revolution of sorts. Sex toy sales exploded, no pun intended, last spring, and last September the Kinsey Institute found that 46% of participants in a post-pandemic sexual survey said their engagement in “sexual experimentation Was higher than before.
NSFW seems to fit perfectly into this renewed era of sexual adventure, ready to develop further. “People had time to think, had to prioritize, [have had] the opportunity to think about other things that make them happy, ”says Saynt. “When you have as many people who have been through shared trauma, as many people who are going through end-of-life scenarios around them, there is a greater consideration for how they want to live their lives and that in. what they actually find happiness. ”At NSFW, paying members are encouraged to seek happiness in one another, as literally or metaphorically as consent and code of conduct permit.
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