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This Is What a Night in Essex's Top Sex Spa Is Actually Like

Many people walk past Dagenham's Paradise Spa in the UK and wonder what's going on inside. From my experience, it's mostly people getting blowjobs in jacuzzis.

This article originally appeared on VICE UK.

"You'll get icicles on your pussy," says the tattooed guy in flip-flops. "The jacuzzi's freezing."

He's talking to Val, who's in her 60s. She's wearing a pair of bunny ears and is naked beneath her towel. Everyone is sitting around on tatty leather couches in the TV room, most half-watching an HD copy of Cocksucker College Girls. Val's friend Pam—also in her 60s and dressed in a negligee with a severe Harriet Harman bowl haircut—watches the onscreen action with interest as three enthusiastic young women take turns fellating a man with a limp dick and the lifeless eyes of someone who really shouldn't have done so much coke before the porn shoot.


"You watching for tips?" Val asks.

"Do I need tips?"

"I dunno—you've never blown me. I ain't got a cock, 'ave I?" says Val.

Photo by Chris Guy via.

It's Saturday night at the Paradise Spa in Essex, billed as "Dagenham's leading Naturist and Swinging Venue," and the Easter Bunnies party is in full swing. When I arrive, Big George—a genial man in a T-shirt with "Pants Inspector" on the back—greets me. Trying to get my bearings, I wander out into the bar fully dressed. George looks me up and down and shakes his head.

"You gotta wear a towel, mate," he says.

A quick change later, and Big George shows me around. There is a sauna, steam room, and two jacuzzis, along with a number of themed "couples rooms"—private spaces with red female silhouettes painted on the doors, containing double beds with thin plastic mattresses.

The place is filling up now, the crowd predominantly composed of middle-aged geezers and their wives, with a few younger swingers in their 20s rounding everything out. One guy, a cabbie from Romford with a Comic Book Guy ponytail, marshals his wife, a harried, emaciated-looking woman in black lingerie beneath a long shocking-pink string vest, toward one of the bedrooms.

"You can play in them rooms," Big George says. "Leave the door open if you don't mind others watching you do your business."

He's expecting some action here tonight, then?

"If you wanna shag, you can shag—simple as that," he says. He shrugs. "There's birds here who'll fuck. You've just got to talk to them a bit. Get 'em frisky, like."


Big George continues the tour, leading me through the bar, where colorful vodka jellies are lined up, to a tiny dance floor. Here, two large girls in bunny ears and see-through Ann Summers nighties spin around stripper poles. Pitbull bellows through Kesha's "Timber," played off a laptop by the DJ, a guy in his 60s who looks as though he'd be more comfortable spinning Val Doonican at the local dominoes club. With glittery tassels hanging on the walls, fake plastic flowers, fairy lights, and complimentary peanuts, chips, and Flumps candy on offer at the bar—plus the sense that many of the people here are regulars—the atmosphere is more akin to an Essex knees-up than an orgy. This impression is reinforced when the DJ drops Chas & Dave's "Rabbit" to the obvious delight of everyone there.

My tour complete, Big George shakes my hand and wishes me luck. I head to the sauna, where I find Val and Pam.

"Some bloke in here hums tonight," says Pam.

"How can you hum of BO in a place with so many showers?" asks Val. "If you come 'ere straight from work and you hum, then wash yourself."

It's a fair point. I ask Val if she's a regular.

"I come 'ere most nights, love. It's me escape. It's only five minutes from me 'ouse in the car."

"Have you put your name down for the gangbang?" Pam enquires. "Debbie's having one later in room five. She's got a list going behind the bar."

Through the glass, we are treated to the view of a bald man getting a blowjob from a blonde companion in the jacuzzi, his head thrown back in exaggerated, Brazzers-style ecstasy. There are cheers from the second pool.


"Look—Georgia's giving Tom head! The dirty cow!" Val screeches. Pam giggles.

Is there a lot of sex here, then?

"Oh yeah," says Val, smiling.

"Have you put your name down for the gangbang?" Pam enquires. "Debbie's having one later in room five. She's got a list going behind the bar."

A few minutes later Georgia and Tom walk into the sauna and everyone has to budge up. Val accidentally brushes against my leg.

"Sorry," she says, and winks flirtatiously.

I ask her why she started coming here in the first place.

"I only got into the scene two years ago. My daughter and son-in-law told me about it. I didn't know what a blowjob was before, what an orgasm was… nothing."

She adjusts the gold pendant that hangs on the sagging skin around her neck.

"I've been married 25 years, but we're separated. Still living in the same house, though. Housing association gaff. Separate bedrooms. He won't divorce me. Can't accept it's over."

That's bad.

"He treated me something terrible before I told him enough's enough. He was a drinker. My granddaughter hates him. I come 'ere most nights to get away."

It's a poignant moment, and the sauna is silent. Georgia strokes Tom's engorged dick meditatively as she listens.

"Can't you throw 'im out?" she says.

"He won't go."

"It's not like you do your hair and make-up before we have a bang in the morning, is it?"

Just then, Dave, a plasterer from Basildon in his 20s, comes in with Jane, his girlfriend of nine years, and their friend Alice. Alice is topless, attractive, and the focus of much male attention. Dave and Jane come to swingers' venues like Paradise regularly. They met Alice on their travels. Alice is a veteran of Rio's in North London and the Eureka naturist club in Kent. She's had boyfriends, but also likes to play with other girls.


"I dunno why you straightened your hair before coming to a sauna," Dave says to Jane.

"Guys prefer it when your hair's a bit rough. That 'just got out of bed' look," says Alice.

"It's not like you do your hair and make-up before we have a bang in the morning, is it?" says Dave romantically.

"Pizza's up!" Big George bellows outside, and suddenly there's a stampede for the bar. Here, eight Domino's boxes are laid out on a buffet table, containing a selection of deep-base treats, from Hawaiian to Meat Feast. The swingers tuck in hungrily. Lionel Ritchie's "Hello" plays in the background.

At the bar I get chatting to Charlie. In his 20s, he's just back from traveling around Colombia and has a passion for having sex with girls he meets while couch surfing. It's his first time at Paradise. He outlines his strategy for the evening.

"I brought a bottle of vodka with me," he says. (Paradise doesn't sell alcohol, but bringing it along is fine). "I'm gonna drink up hard, then throw myself in."


"Hey, did you see that girl in the sauna with the boobs?"


"With the boobs. Yeah. She was hot."

She was attractive, yes.

"Do you reckon if I really drink then there's a chance?"


"I'm gonna really drink hard, then go for it. There's a lot of fatties in here, but the drunker I get, the better they look. You just keep seeing nipples and thinking, God, they're good!"

I wish him luck. Back in the TV room the porn is still playing, and Sue, in her 50s, is masturbating to climax while being cheered on by Val, Pam, and an assorted crowd of other attendees.


"Someone get a bucket of water in 'ere, cool her down!" shouts Val, as Sue gets off.

It's time to go. The next day I text Charlie to find out if he had any luck.

"Ha, man, I was just desperate because I was drunk. Got a BJ off one of the fat ones, ha!"

A successful evening, then?

"Sure. Hey, you know that young chick with the boobs in the sauna?"


"Yeah. She was hot, man."

For many, Easter is a time for sitting in front of the TV, gorging on chocolate and alcohol. But for Essex's fans of pizza and public wanking, the Paradise Spa offers a fine alternative.

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