Instead, someone spreads the white cloth on the dance floor as a crowd gathers. The MC, who goes by the name Frog and speaks in a coarse twang, coaxes three people to step under the bright lights. One man and one woman, both naked, lower themselves onto the tablecloth. The third is a woman who proceeds to demonstrate a vibrator wired to the couple.
"C'mon, I know you can do it!" Frog yelps.
Behind the DJ table, Dave Carlburg gazes at the scene. "I look at this," he says, "and all I see is money."
Carlburg is the host of Club Erotica, which meets at the same chain hotel in Olathe every third Friday of the month. For $40, couples enter a chandeliered room with a cash bar. Single women get in free; single men pay $75. That's a bargain, Carlburg says, because he runs the only swingers' club in town that allows single men at all. "I'm a pleaser," Carlburg tells the Pitch. "I like to host parties and provide an atmosphere."
At 11 p.m., Frog makes an announcement into his cordless microphone. "Ladies and gentlemen, the doors are closed! That means you can fuck, you can suck, you can lick, whatever you want to do. Let's GET IT ON!"
Club Erotica is more than just a couple's swing club, Carlburg says. He wants his club to be the umbrella under which all kinks unite -- exhibitionists, bondage fans, bisexual college girls, cross-dressers and everyone else. He accepts freak-seekers of all shapes and sizes, regardless of age (as long as they're at least 18), race or fashion sense.
Which is more than he can say for other swingers' clubs around town.
Ten minutes away, at the Lenexa-Overland Park Radisson, on the same Friday night, it's Mardi Gras for Club Eden. The major action on the Radisson's dance floor is dancing, not humping on a tablecloth. People sip cocktails from real glasses, not plastic cups. Here, there's a dress code (which seems to mandate that women wear as many sequins as possible, and that all men look like George Costanza).
Among some Club Eden veterans, mentioning Club Erotica is like going to a wine tasting and announcing that you prefer white zinfandel from a box.
"Aren't they all missing a few teeth?" one young woman says of the swingers partying a few miles south.
At the Radisson, women will gladly lift their shirts for a string of metallic beads. But when it comes to actual sex, they have to take it upstairs, to a wing of reserved rooms.
"We take it to the limit, but we don't cross it," explains John Freeley, Club Eden's marketing director.
Carlburg calls Club Eden the "Ken and Barbie club, the eye-candy club, for the beautiful people." But, he says, "If you're out of their realm at their parties, you're overlooked. Ours is for everyone. ... And we compliment all the ladies, no matter what they look like."
At Club Erotica, onlookers orbit clusters of action. One woman's legs are wrapped around a seated man's head. Another's head bobs over a sitting guy's crotch.
These parties have been trouble-free for the past nine months, though the hotel's desk clerk acknowledges some close calls -- such as when MidAmerica Nazarene University put up some recruits the same night Club Erotica held a party. But Club Erotica is welcome, the clerk tells the Pitch, because it provides tight security. Bouncerlike guards stand at both sides of the door, and a black curtain shields the doorway from passers-by in the hallway.
Still, Carlburg has a grander vision. "We're in the Bible Belt," he points out. "San Francisco, Texas, Florida -- they're all more out in the open, but ours has to be more underground.... I'm a club making waves in Kansas City, and we're wanting to grow bigger."
To that end, Carlburg has leased a space where people can start their own party any night of the week. The house is set on 4 acres of Olathe land zoned for commercial use and surrounded by empty fields and industrial lots filled with new tractors, so there should be no neck-craning neighbors.
As Carlburg leads a daylight tour around the spread, a green eye tattooed on the back of his bald head keeps watch behind him. Before he hosted these parties, Carlburg was a nobody. "I've been a closet case my whole life," he says. "But I'm the man at my club."
He walks through a sunken, carpeted living room with a stone fireplace and some donated, floral-print furniture that makes the room feel like a grandma's house. In the basement, Carlburg has set up black lights and a pool table. He plans to add a BYOB refrigerator and "café seating" just off the Love Pit, a room he'll fill with pillows and a hammock. Outside is a gurgling hot tub and a space where Carlburg is about to install a pool. A disco ball hangs over an open space near the kitchen. Folks can put on music and grill food and hang out drinking beer, he says, "like it's any other redneck clubhouse."
If he's successful enough, Carlburg might use the place to launch a Midwestern empire. "We want to make this a pay site to do amateur porn. We could even do an Internet party, where everyone who walks through the door signs a waiver."
There's another structure on the property, a small, leaning building that used to be a church. Inside, the pews and the altar are gone, but a donation box remains. Carlburg wants to turn this building into a dungeon, complete with a St. Andrew's cross for flogging those who so desire. "It's sexual worship, that's what the dungeon crowd is," he says. "There are lots of parties around in houses that have their own private dungeon clique."
Next to the main atrium is another room; the Crayola-colored ceiling fan indicates that it was once used as a day care. Carlburg will turn this room into a gift shop.
Carlburg's yearlong lease costs him nearly $2,000 a month, and Club Erotica members pay a $100 annual fee, but so far he's not making enough money to cover his costs. He hopes that making movies and taking pictures for the Internet will change that eventually. He's installing cameras around the house, for security but also for Internet video-streaming.
The house has been open for club members for several weeks now, but partygoers report that the crowd is more sparse than they'd hoped. So far, the club relies on the monthly hotel parties to recruit new members.
Carlburg has consulted with lawyer Brian Costello. And he's made sure that his only neighbor is, he says, "open-minded." That leaves only the people who could most effectively end Carlburg's dream: Olathe's city officials.
"We've OK'd this through everybody but the city, and we're going to have to pull strings to keep it alive," Carlburg says. "Sooner or later, the city will cite us for stupid stuff. But we have the right to do what we're doing.... We don't want to be underground anymore.
"Whenever something like this is brought out in the open, people may not like us for what we do, and we have to make a stand," he adds. "I'd say we have a fifty-fifty chance. So far we've gone by unnoticed, but since I am the wildest party, someone's not going to understand it and uprise."
Upstairs in Carlburg's clubhouse, there are three bedrooms, and he has removed all of the doors from their hinges in accordance with his strict open-door policy. As long as he can help it, no one will feel left out. Not even the members of Club Eden.