The world of play parties are vast and varied. For every kind of kink, and every fringe of fetish, there is a community of unapologetic explorers who descend on underground nights to embrace their desires and inclinations with other like-minded, curious characters. While these spaces are liberating – allowing those in attendance to embrace their sexuality without question or query – in some there continue to be outdated social and gender constructs that resemble the hetronormative, archaic, outside world. Whether it be charging women cheaper admission, using the tactic used in nightclubs all over the world, in which women’s looks are used as currency, to fill the venue full of pretty faces to attract high-admission-price-paying men. Or the fact that to many of these events, any advances made in fashion reform in the late nineteenth century are thrown into disrepute, and women aren’t admitted unless they’re wearing a sexy cocktail dress and sky-high heels. It’s as though any advances in gender equality were left at the door.
Here to break the mould, and provide us with their esteemed insight as our next Wickedly Inspirational Women, are Genevieve LeJeune; founder of Skirt Club, and Cassie Hart; Managing Director of Skirt Club. Having attended various play parties in the past with a long-term boyfriend, Genevieve recognised first-hand that her own sexual pleasure was not at the centre of the soiree; “I realised I was doing things for his pleasure, not my own”. Placing women’s confidence and sexual exploration at the forefront of the festivities, Genevieve established Skirt Club in 2014; as a private members club for bi-curious and bisexual women, with over 15,000 members worldwide. As Skirt Club highlights, “women are more interested in each other, than ever”.
Women turning to each other for gratification is not a new concept, although the increasing visibility and acceptance of it is a modern move in progression. For centuries women have relied on each other to satisfy the needs that men have failed to; which would often include emotional support, companionship and (although it was not made explicit to the general public due to the attitudes of the era surrounding homosexual behaviour) more often than not, sex. The term ‘Boston marriage’ was coined in the late nineteenth century for women who cohabitated and pursued these same relationships, although they had been occurring long before a name was given to it. In Pornhub’s annual ‘Year in Review’, in 2019, ‘lesbian’ was ranked as the top, most viewed category for females, whereas it only came in at #8 for males. Dr Karen Gurney – clinical psychologist, psychosexologist and author of ‘Mind the Gap: The Truth about Desire and How to Futureproof your Sex Life’ – explored many reasons why women watch lesbian porn, even if they are predominantly heterosexual, in a recent Instagram post. Some of the key reasons being the basis of equality and power, as ‘straight’ porn is often male-centric, misogynistic and displays abuse of power in a gender dynamic; the sexual act, as people tend to watch acts that turn them on, and same-sex porn features female-centric intimacies far more than ‘straight’ porn; and the fluidity of sexuality; while a lot of people may be in opposite-sex relationships, it is highly possible they may not be 100% ‘straight’, as sexual orientation can be considered on a spectrum (look at the Kinsey scale, for example). Therefore exploring queer porn allows them the opportunity to explore other elements of their sexuality. These reasons emulate the very essence of Skirt Club.
Genevieve and Cassie have created a safe space for women to explore their sexuality, beyond just sex-fuelled seasonal parties, which other play parties and memberships often offer. Skirt Club has established a community for curious women; with opportunity to talk to other members and build genuine relationships that go beyond sex, an online magazine with no-holds barred; discussing squirting and strap-ons, to love languages and coming out to your kids, they spark conversations that explore the sides of sexuality that goes beyond the bedroom. Unlike other play parties and memberships, their events aren’t restricted to sex-driven club culture, but explore and delve deeper into the depths of womanhood. From bottomless brunches, to book clubs, to high tea, the range of Skirt Club events maintain the aura of class, luxury and femininity which other brands of their kind lack.
Their signature parties, while fully encouraging and accommodating sexual exploration in a safe set-up (with all the necessary female protection and hygiene products freely available), don’t place the pressure on women to partake in sexual behaviour if they don’t desire or feel comfortable yet. In luxurious locations, with champagne and cocktails, educational speakers, engaging exercises and light hearted games, the event's main focus is curating confidence, and as they like to say “bringing confidence bedroom to boardroom”.
But enough from us, we’ll let Genevieve and Cassie do the talking....
Tell us a bit about yourselves, eg name, age, where you live?
GL: I’m Genevieve LeJeune, 42 years old, and living between New York and Miami
CH: I’m Cassie Hart, 30 years old, and from London.
GL: I’m the CEO and Founder of Skirt Club, private members club for bi-curious & bisexual women. With 15,000 members globally, women are more interested in each other, than ever! A keen advocate for advancing women’s confidence, my global events encourage women to put their own desires first.
Born in England, raised in Hong Kong, I’ve lived in over 16 cities. Seven years ago, I left my corporate days in finance far behind, choosing to bring luxury experiences to women, enjoyed for centuries by men.
Many moons ago in London I attended “play parties” with a long-time boyfriend. I realised I was doing things for his pleasure, not my own. Sexual empowerment is not about turning your boyfriend on with another girl, it’s about doing what excites you.
I started Skirt Club now seven years ago, for women to explore without judgement. Our members are on a journey to embrace their sexuality, and we are there to help and guide them every step of the way.
CH: I’m the Managing Director of Skirt Club. I’m a Languages graduate from UCL, with a professional background in luxury fashion and customer experience. I attended a Skirt Club party 5 years ago and fell in love with the women, the concept, and the unique space that Genevieve had poured herself into. As a lesbian who had come out only a few years earlier, I didn’t feel like I quite fit in with my newfound community. The Skirt Club community made me feel more accepted; amongst women who were simply looking to discover and explore themselves.
Can you tell us 5 words to describe yourselves?
Dedicated, passionate, caring, fierce, workaholics.
How do you feel when you wear lingerie as opposed to underwear?
Putting on lingerie is like slipping into a costume or a persona. There’s a real sensuality about unravelling stocking or lacing up a suspender belt. It’s almost theatrical. Wearing lingerie makes us feel bold and beautiful, anything goes! Underwear is more functional and practical, whereas lingerie is our sexy secret - we choose who gets the thrill of seeing it.
What is currently your favourite piece of lingerie that you own and why?
CH: We love the leather pieces by Something Wicked – the Lexi and Ava sets are our particular favourites. There’s something so powerful and playful about soft, buttery leather and we love to feel in control. I also love my Dark Angel set from Baed Stories which was my first foray into more costume lingerie. I love the fantasy element to it!
GL: I love to match outdoor luxury pieces with lingerie to create a look that transcends the bedroom. I have this great body suit from Triumph I wear with long lace sleeves from Darkest Star. When the weather is warm I love to wear my leather Nina bra from Something Wicked with latex leggings.
What does female empowerment mean to you?
Female empowerment means understanding your own desires and acting upon them. At Skirt Club, our members do exactly that, and we are so proud and privileged to be able to support them on that journey. Women are powerful and playful creatures of curiosity, being empowered really means recognising and acting on that feeling deep-down. Anything could happen...
What do you do to make yourself empowered/liberated/confident?
We both love to read and educate ourselves; we are constantly learning about new ideas and concepts - it’s what makes life interesting. Right now, Cassie is loving The Ethical Slut by
Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy and Gen is into Untrue by Wednesday Martin. It’s all about opening one’s mind to the concept of non-monogamy, something that is becoming more socially accepted. Whilst it may not be for everyone, we feel it is important to be open to the new and exciting things that are breaking social norms and taboos. Vive la revolution!
‘Female sexuality is no longer a taboo’. Do you agree with this statement?
As time has moved on, the stigma surrounding female sexuality has definitely faded. Sexual fluidity is more accepted, and women are slowly but surely becoming more in touch with their needs and desires. However, the primary role of women as wives and mothers is still prevalent, and it seems difficult for society to recognise that women really can do it all. We can be caring, kind and loving, as well as sexually charged and passionate.
What message would you give to your younger self e.g. as a teenager?
Young women put a lot of pressure on themselves to do things because it's the ‘done thing’. There is profound strength in listening to your body and moving at your own pace. So our advice would be to relax, don't be so hard on yourself; everything happens for a reason. You’ll achieve everything you want in your own time.
Think the Skirt Club could be your next step into sexual exploration? Visit Skirt Club and explore what lies within. Don’t forget to follow them on Instagram @skirtclub, and follow @genevievelejeune and @queencassiehart for all their glamorous behind-the-scenes and personal adventures. Slip into the Skirt Club and enjoy something truly wicked, with some wickedly inspirational women...