Episode #173 — Author- “Swing,” Ashleigh Renard

Let’s be honest, it’s hard to focus on much else after the made-for-Netflix Christmas movie Heidi and one of our illustrious producers watched this weekend. We’re not going to disparage any potentially hard-working people in the film industry by naming it, but wow. Two icons of our youth and a beautiful Scottish setting did not equal magic. Watching it brought three generations of family members together … in our absolute astonishment that this movie was greenlit. The 12-year-old niece proclaimed the romantic lead was “crusty.” We’re not 100% sure of all the slang kids are using these days, but that doesn’t sound complimentary. If you’re tempted by nostalgia to check it out, walk away from the light, Carol Anne.

With that kind of entertainment on offer, we’d like to make a compelling argument for our show. Do you want to hear about women breastfeeding hairless cats on Delta Airlines flights? We’re here for you. Are you interested in how Air Supply got its start? So were we. Do you wonder why your neighbor goes into his backyard every night at 2:45 a.m., shining his flashlight toward the nearby woods and emitting a series of high-pitched yips? We might not be able to help you with that. Except to advise that you not let him catch you spying. Don’t get involved.

One thing you might also see your neighbor do is hit the sex club for a swinging good time with his significant other. (Yes, there’s someone out there for everyone — even high-pitched yippers. There might even be multiple someones!) As you know, we’ve been trying to talk with someone who has an insider’s knowledge of sex clubs for some time now. It turns out we were waiting without knowing it for the perfect person to interview — Ashleigh Renard. Her memoir, “Swing,” was just published this year and while we’re interested in what makes everyone tick, when a book about someone’s life begins with them standing in line at a NYC sex club, we especially need to know more.

Ashleigh’s book is filled with tantalizing tales, but it’s a lot more than that. She spoke with us about the communication and connection issues she and her husband had after several years of marriage and kids, along with a lot of the emotional upheaval that went with it. And through her honest stories about how life wasn’t picture-perfect, despite outward appearances, she explained how her book could be a resource to help other couples in marriages where they’re no longer connected. As the title of Ashleigh’s book would suggest, swinging played a role in her husband and her attempts to salvage their marriage. Wondering what her husband thinks about Ashleigh describing sex scenes involving himself and others? We asked. And to our delight, she answered! In fact, Ashleigh graciously and happily answered a lot of our questions about sex clubs and swinging. She filled us in about who goes to sex clubs, whether people are there to participate or watch, what ran through her mind while considering potential partners, where people keep their wallets if they’re walking around without clothes, the list goes on and on.

We appreciated Ashleigh’s candor, and her sense of humor. And if you do too after listening to this week’s episode, you can check out “Swing — A Memoir of Doing It All” wherever you buy your books. (May we suggest your local independent bookstore?) You can also check out her website, ashleighrenard.com, to learn more about her take and advice on marriage and kids, and marvel at the fact that she’s a figure skating coach and choreographer. (If we weren’t so intent on the sex club angle, we would have had a lot more questions about that last bit!) Ashleigh is also on Instagram and Facebook, so you can learn about keeping it hot on any platform you choose.

While you’re enjoying her stories, we’ll be off trying to figure out how to transition between this week’s episode and next week’s — an in-depth interview with someone who has the world’s largest Hummel figurine collection. Okay, we don’t have that interview pinned down quite yet, but if that person happens to be you, contact us immediately!

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