NANAIMO — Vancouver Island swingers admit this year’s annual convention was quite different, given the COVID-19 precautions.

Enthusiasts of what they call “the lifestyle” gathered in three rented rooms at Nanaimo City Hall last weekend for their annual “Turpitudinal Debauchery” convention. (Many participants are cunning linguists.)

“Yeah, it was a little weird,” said local swinger Anthony Macdonald. (Macdonald asked that his real last name, Smythe, not be used in this article.) “The sex room was all roped off in six-feet sections. All we could do was sort of talk dirty through masks.”

The Nanaimo Beacon was invited to observe the convention. The dimly-lit “BDSM Dungeon” room was staffed by an effervescent 20-something redhead, who was handing brochures out at the door. The brochures, titled Pandemic Kink, suggested some “scenes” such as:

  • Naughty nurse sensually inserts a long q-tip up your nose
  • You’re too close. The Premier will now spank you.
  • “Aww… Do you have a fever?” asks Starbucks barrista, while adjusting your diaper
  • “And you’ll STAY in this cage until the number of cases drops,” scolds public health official
  • Careful… Break eye contact with your Dom and he will cough on you.

In the main sex room, organizers had converted the Mayor’s office to a red-carpeted, candle-lit lounge. Amid trails of patchouli incense smoke, participants (seated six feet apart on bar stools) were mumbling things like “Yeah, you like that?” to nobody in particular.

For its part, the Nanaimo Taxpayers Association was vehemently opposed to the event taking place in a taxpayer-paid space. Association president James Trimble said he was aghast that City Hall was being used for sexual purposes and planned to write a stinging letter to Council immediately after he picked his clothes back up in the lobby.