My Life as a Swinger

I was skeptical at first that this place even existed. Is there really a business model that can keep a juggling and trapeze university on the outskirts of Phoenix solvent? Apparently so, as the place was still open for class on the Saturday morning I went. Granted, the term “university” has to be applied loosely – the “campus” is just a house, a dirt lot with the trapeze apparatus, and a dog named Bentley barking at intruders.  Although the experience was quite fun, I’m still not sure why there is a year-round demand by the citizens of Arizona for this kind of thing.

Furthermore, from the random sampling I took, the ratio of females to males was 20-1. Everyone including the trainers were quite nice though, so I can say with some certainty that the operation is gay-friendly. I am not counting the one other dude who looked like he had grudgingly taken an hour off from the internet to learn how to juggle over in the corner. Other than him, it was just me, the ladies (my friend Kristen and a group of mothers celebrating one’s 50th birthday), and a few shirtless instructors. The fact they all eventually out-peezed me would not bother me (much).

I jumped right in with the rest of them – there was no preparation video or much instruction, really. Dylan the trapeze professor just gave a quick speech and did a quick demonstration of the tricks – leg hangs and back flips! The hardest part was climbing the tiny, steel ladder up to the platform (the rungs hurt my feet). The easiest part was crawling off the net (even though the rope hurt my feet). Indeed, swinging through the air was quite exhilarating and easy to pick up. I never got caught by one of the instructors, and I did not earn the diploma at the end of the session. Luckily, Kristen did, and thus we avoided the double shaming we would have suffered.

Of course, at the beginning of the day, visions of joining the circus were running through our heads. By the end, I was at having second thoughts. By the next day, sore and hungover, I was ready to return to normal life (note: being hungover was probably more related to a bender the night before than the trapeze). My friend, intoxicated by the weightless freedom of flying, or perhaps just convinced by the hunky teachers, wanted to continue. She is ready to drop out of school and hit the road! If I ever join her, though, it will probably be as a juggler… assuming I can find some time off from the internet.


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