An Interview with the Founding Members of Fuck Club
I’ve known “Anastasia” and “Catherine” just long enough to know that their choice of pseudonyms make complete and total sense. We live in the same neighborhood and have a lot of friends in common, and they recently explained to me that they are the founding members of what they call “Fuck Club.” I was, of course, immediately curious to know more, and they generously agreed to Gchat with me about the origins, practices, and rules of Fuck Club.
As you’ll read below, both women are in long-term non-monogamous relationships, and they recently started dating the same man. Rather than retreat from each other, they decided to embrace the situation with a catchy moniker. I’ve never seen a friendship like theirs before; it’s really inspiring to see two women talk so openly about romance, desire, jealousy, and all the other emotions that come from all kinds of relationships. I tried to ask them everything I could think of, but if there any other questions YOU want to ask, leave them in the comments! The first rule of Fuck Club is, after all, to always be talking about Fuck Club.
First, duh, what is Fuck Club? How did it start?
Anastasia: Fuck Club is a group of friends. Some of us are fucking and some of us are dating and all of us are friends. There are five of us at the moment. I was seeing someone outside my relationship with my live-in boyfriend, and then Catherine, who also has a partner, started seeing the same person, and now here we are.
Catherine, may I just add that your whole approach to that endeavour was very chill? Like you definitely didn’t need to ask for permission but the conversation we had around the idea was really nice. Cautious yet urgent, polite yet horny.
Catherine: Horny and polite, that is exactly how I want people to see me. Yes, I had been talking to my primary partner about seeing other people but was kind of procrastinating, if that’s even the right term; I was really only interested in the guy you were seeing as a potential Sex Friend, and then I got an indicator that HE was interested, and was just like, “fuck it, I’m ready to go for this.” And my first thought was that I wanted to talk about it with you first.
A: I remember you being kind of timid about it, and since this dude and I aren’t monogamous there wasn’t any real reason to be. It was really endearing and we had a great conversation about relationships and crushes in general and then more specifically our relationships and crushes, where there was some overlap.
C: Yes. It’s true. I was nervous, kind of! Like, I knew logically it was fine, but I think I was still kind of stuck on these very clichéd ideas about sex and relationships and monogamy etc. Because this is the first time I’ve pursued a real relationship outside of my primary relationship. And I was very like: “What are the rules. Someone give me some structure.”
A: I felt like your non-monogamy fairy godmother. It was very flattering.
C: I think we joked about being Sister Wives before we settled on Fuck Club; I’m pretty sure that’s what I called it when I asked what it would be like for us to be fucking the same person. Because that was the framework I was working with. I knew that non-monogamy was what I wanted, but I still had these kind of weird hang-ups around the concept, and talking to Anastasia was when I realized that my relationships could be literally anything I wanted them to be. I didn’t have to ascribe to any existing rules. I still wanted rules and structure, but they could be my own; hence, Fuck Club.
A: I am filled with a lot of joy right now but also deep regret about these pseudonyms.
What was your relationship before Fuck Club?
A: We were like, good acquaintances. I would see Catherine around and think, “that rad bitch should be my friend.” With the amount of people we both knew it was kind of inevitable, but Fuck Club really revved up our friendship.
C: Yes, we definitely had a lot of friends in common, but we were just starting to be, like, Friends with a capital F. I kind of think, in retrospect, I knew that you were a person I could talk to about…I mean…anything. Particularly when it came to sex.
A: Remember when you got drunk at that party and told me you wanted a “sort of second boyfriend” and then we high-fived?
C: NOW I DO. Yes. That definitely sounds like something I would do.
What are the rules of Fuck Club?
C: I’M SO GLAD YOU ASKED BECAUSE WE HAVE A GOOGLE DOC FOR THIS EXPRESS PURPOSE.
The rules are a work in progress, but here are a few we have so far:
1. Always be talking about Fuck Club.
2. Safety first.
3. Fuck Club is Fun Club, if it’s not fun don’t do it.
4. Our bodies our choices!!!!!!!!!!!!
5. Support your sister wives/sister d’s like a dream bra forged in heaven.
6. Everyone’s needs are valid and perfect, no matter what.
7. Fuck the pain/professional annoyances/subtweets/etc. away.
8. Sometimes you’ll be sexting.
9. You will always be sexting.
As you can see, our rules have a few patterns: trust, respect, honesty, openness, sexting. These are the core Fuck Club values.
A: I sext and respext all my partners. Communication is the most important thing — sometimes that means Real Talk and sometimes that means disgusting at-work sexting, but it’s all part of it, and the fact that we all agree on that is really nice.
What is the situation with your primary partners? How long have you been in open relationships?
A: My primary partner is great and we live together and have been together for many years. He’s the first person I’ve tried non-monogamy with. We’re more active about it at some points than others, but we’ve been doing it for most of our relationship and generally really enjoy it.
C: I’ve been living with my primary partner for a long time, too, and he is also the first person I’ve tried the non-monogamy thing with. It’s something that came up several times over the course of our relationship and I knew I wanted to pursue it eventually but it was one of those situations where the first step seemed…not impossible, but definitely difficult. I was working nonstop and really just focusing on my job and a big part of pursuing this for real was when I started to feel like I wanted to do something that was so not a part of work. Like, I don’t really have any hobbies, but having sex might be my hobby? Is that allowed? Whatever, that’s what Fuck Club has become for me: a fun activity I just do because I like it.
A: There are much worse reasons to do things, and much worse hobbies for that matter. Imagine you were escaping work with a stamp collection.
C: No. I refuse to even contemplate such a bleak reality.
What does it feel like to “share” a dude? Was it awkward at first?
A: I was actually really taken aback by how easy and pleasant and kind of fun and flirty (?) it was from the outset. I’ve never been in this situation or even known friends in this situation (where two girls are vaguely crushing on and/or sleeping with the same guy) and seen it work out for the girls involved. I kept waiting to have a hard time with it, or to feel like it was a bad idea, because we’re taught to expect that it RUINS LIVES to want to fuck the same guy, but it just never got terrible. In fact, it only got nicer. I think the unexpected ease of the situation was a bonding agent.
C: Yes same! The best part of this, for me, was finding out that all those things you expect to happen just…didn’t. Like, I guess, a kind of territorial attitude (“back off”), or maybe a possessiveness (“he belongs to me”), or worse, maybe a judgement about what kind of person I was. Not that I’m afraid of being called a slut or whatever, because that’s not a word that has a lot of power over me. More a fear of being judged by someone whose opinion mattered to me. But sharing a dude…I don’t know if that’s even the right way to put it. Like, it’s so true that we’re expected to think fucking the same person will RUIN LIVES and WARP FRIENDSHIPS, but I do think that has to do with this idea that you can own a person, or that a person is something that belongs to you, which is another thing that I just think is…not true.
A: Yeah, I also don’t think of it as “sharing” really. I don’t think he (or any of the dudes) would think of it that way either. Also, full credit to the men of Fuck Club: they are all very good at talking about their feelings and processing jealousy and also sex.
C: That’s what I mean about structure, maybe. There just isn’t a term for what’s happening here, which is, in my opinion, friends fucking when they feel like it. Or like. “Friends who are very similar in a lot of important ways and so of course they would have similar sexual proclivities and who fuck when they want to.” Something like that. Is that right?
A: Yeah, I think so. I get the sense this is a fairly high-functioning non-monogamy experiment for everyone. I remember the dude we both date being kind of reticent about the term Fuck Club at first, and then one weekend I got a text that was just like “I LOVE FUCK CLUB.” I thought it was very romantic in a weird way. This has so far been my most ambitious and stress-free non-monogamy experience. It’s a hard thing to get right, because there aren’t a lot of visible models for how to make it work, and it’s such a personal thing to balance.
How do you deal with jealousy?
A: The only real jealousy I experienced was a pang off the top when you were like “I’m going to maybe ask _____ for a drink in a sexy way.” But I’ve experienced that pang before, with women flirting with or seeing or having sex with my primary partner, and I’ve learned over time to just feel that feeling and let it pass you by.
C: I didn’t know that!! But, I mean, it makes sense. Also see Rule No. 6, everyone’s feelings are always valid and perfect.
I know I’ve been jealous but it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what triggers it. With my primary partner, I haven’t yet experienced any jealousy when he talks about other women or when other women come on to him. And it’s the same thing where I keep kind of waiting for it to happen because I feel like I’ve been trained to expect jealousy. Particularly when it comes to primary relationships.
A: The issue for me is less jealousy than nervousness about people misunderstanding each other.
C: RIGHT. Yes. That’s a better way of putting it for sure; nervousness. Not knowing or uncertainty is what trips people up, I think. Which is really just another way of saying not feeling secure. If anything it’s maybe the absence of something I expected. So, like, when our Friend maybe went a little too long without sending me a sext? Particularly at the beginning. I wasn’t sitting there, like, “oh he is REJECTING ME.” I was like, “I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING AND I HATE NOT FEELING IN CONTROL.” And that led to some jealousy-like behaviours. But it’s just like any other relationship, right? It went away when I started to feel secure enough to text “lol wtf reply to my text” or something similarly chill.
How has your relationship as the founding members of Fuck Club evolved over time? Have their been any hiccups, or has it been smooth sailing?
A: I honestly love you (™Olivia Newton John). I feel like aside from not feeling upset and jealous all the time, the major surprise of Fuck Club is that it has really just been about developing different kinds of bonds with different people. Like getting to know you, or your partner, who I am not sleeping with (YET?????) (jk) (????). Turns out Fuck Club is actually just… Friendship Club.
C: The friendship was in the fuck all along! Or something.
Yeah, agreed. Something I’ve thought about more and more — before Fuck Club but particularly now that we are currently engaged in peak Fuck Club activities — is that a lot of the expectations I had or clichés I had heard were really founded on this idea that people have a limited quantity of feelings or emotions, particularly sexual or romantic ones. And that you had to be careful and ration those feelings and activities, because what if you used them all up?
A: The poly people reading this are gonna be like “cool it, noobs.” But I agree COMPLETELY.
C: Hey poly people pull up a seat!!! But yeah. It is all new to me. And my experience has been that those feelings really do exist in layers, I think, or at least parallel to each other; like wanting to fuck one person doesn’t take away my feelings towards another. Spending the night with Our Friend doesn’t make the nights I spend with my primary partner less important. It’s just…different. And so far — knock on wood — ha ha get it (like the euphemism for boner, you get it) — there hasn’t been an actual incident that’s made me feel a significant bump. It is just like constant sexting and then actual sexing and some really excellent Gchat conversations with you in between.
A: “Our Friend.” We are each other’s divorced dads. I think you’re right, though, it’s been really calming and great to have it work out on such an expanded scale. To be like “Oh, were you at ____’s house last night? That’s fun! Let’s go eat lunch now, my boyfriend is coming,” and then carry on. It makes it feel like non-monogamy is something that can work in a wider life way, instead of “My partner and I sometimes bang other people on the DL.”
C: The response has actually always been “That’s fun!” And I have always genuinely meant it. Also, for the record, you have my blessing re: primary partner. He’s great. Get it. I GENUINELY MEAN THAT. I just want everyone to get it all the time.
A: Printing this out and framing it when we make our big Hairpin dot com debut. Then inviting him over and just showing it to him suggestively.
C: Raised eyebrows, like, “I mean, it said so on the Internet, so…”
What about the dudes in Fuck Club? How do they feel about everything?
A: I can’t speak for them and I’m sure their feelings change often, but they seem pretty on board? My partner sometimes comes on like, little three-person dates with the dude you and I both see, and those are really fun. They are also a different thing than when either of those guys and I are alone. There’s a lot of variety which I think so far everyone is finding enjoyable and novel and nice.
C: Yes. As you mentioned before, this really has just been a new way for us all to get to know each other. And what’s kind of funny about it is that once we named it Fuck Club, and started fucking the same person, most of our conversations were not about sex! Did you find that too? Like, that’s when we just started to be really really close in general, and we talked about work and our friendships and families and our lives more than ever before, and the sex stuff was kind of an afterthought?
A: I think talking about it beforehand was a way of attempting to mitigate all the weirdness we expected would come from trying something like this, and now it’s just part of our lives so we don’t have to talk about it all the time.
C: Absolutely. And of course my partner and I still talk about it when we need to, but it has become a normal part of our lives very quickly.
Is it ever weird to hang out as a group?
A: Only because I get too proud of us for being Modern Emancipated Women and Feminist Men Getting Some and then I get very drunk and smiley and flirty and probably a little smug, so I think it’s likely weird/horrible for those around me. I really like hanging out in a group. One day maybe the dudes will succeed in the five-way at least two of them are gunning for, but I imagine that day is not soon.
C: Haha, yeah. They really want that five-way. I guess another rule of Fuck Club is never say never? But at this moment in time I’m just trying to focus on one D at a time.
I do think the first time we hung out as a group I felt a lot of pressure — self-inflicted pressure! — to prove that I was cool. Which is something I deal with in my regular life too. And, I mean, I think I put too much pressure on myself to make sure that everyone is always having a good time, and so it was stressful for me to be looking back and forth between these two dudes, like, hi what’s up isn’t this the best!! I think they were kind of like, can you chill, we’re going to get beers brb.
That first time was really the Band-Aid that needed to be ripped off. Since then we’ve hung out a few other times and it’s been very nice, I think!! I am also enjoying the smugness that comes from what Modern Emancipated Women hanging with Feminist Men we are.
A: 10th rule of Fuck Club: be gross.
C: We need to keep going until we have at least 69 rules for Fuck Club. Like, obviously.
The big one: why form something called Fuck Club? How does this structure, even as a joke, help the situation? What’s special about Fuck Club versus, like, just sleeping with the same person and not talking about it or making eye contact when you’re all in the same room?
A: For me it helps take some of the aggressive earnestness out of things. Polyamory does require a lot of serious, feelings-y talks, but to call it something a little lighter allows me to have those rules without feeling like I’m completely betraying the cynical sarcastic bastard inside me.
C: TOTALLY. Yeah. I do have a lot of weird feelings about ~labels~ in general. Like I don’t even really know what to call my primary partner because I don’t like any of the words available; boyfriend, partner, spouse. They all just bug me. And even the phrase open relationship doesn’t feel quite right.
A: I agree; I don’t even like “primary partner.” But the idea of not talking about it is impossible to me. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell situations stress me out. Why not just talk about it, guys??
C: Because, like, we really have nothing to hide. That’s my favourite part about this. It’s just…easy. Or simple. Or something. We like the same person, we like fucking him, we love our primary partners, and we also have about 45,000,000 other things in common. Fuck Club will never run out of things to talk about.