DAVID SUSSKIND IN STUDIO INTRODUCES SHOW TOPIC: "PLATO'S RETREAT" A SWINGERS PARADISE AND INTRODUCES GUESTS AND INTERVIEW BEGINS:
David Susskind 0:01
Good evening, I'm David Susskind, this age of permissiveness may have finally found its ultimate expression. It's a club called Plato's retreat in New York City, a sexual Disneyland where you can live out your wildest fantasies. Now there may be a Plato's retreat coming to your city, as this club is being franchised all across the country. Tonight, you're going to meet the founders and some members of the swingers paradise. Please meet my guest now. First, Larry Levinson and his wife Mary. They are the creators of Plato's Retreat, which they describe as being an on premises couples club. President of the club, Larry Levinson is now planning to open branches of Plato's retreat in cities throughout the country. Bonnie and Jack had been married 13 years and they have three children. They go to Plato's retreat at least once a week, a contributing editor of New York Magazine and a nationally syndicated columnist. Philip Nobile has spent time at Plato's retreat, researching an article he wrote for Penthouse magazine. Larry Levinson, what made you organize, originate Plato's retreat, a place for swing and couples? I mean, the whole idea boggles the mind.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 1:17
Well, I got into the swinging movement about three and a half years ago.
David Susskind 1:21
What is the swing you move?
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 1:23
Well, it's a couples movement. It's a couples. It's that's what it really is a couples movement that couples that want to be free thinking free living adult couples, they don't believe in monogamous relationships. They would rather get involved with other people, but together with their spouses instead of cheating with them. Well, I was single, and
David Susskind 1:43
now you call it a movement is a lot of numbers. A lot of people
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 1:47
oh, there's quite a few. There's over 200 clubs in the United States swing clubs, not on premise, but couples clubs, that people meet at the club, and they go to people's homes, and they do get into sexual encounters.
David Susskind 1:57
How do you find such? Were you ever aware of such a thing?
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 2:01
Yes, six years ago, we were introduced have the movement. And then we slept off it for a while. To we came to came to Plato's
David Susskind 2:09
Well Bonnie, where did you hear about such a thing?
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 2:11
Well, they have these different newspapers like screw magazine and pleasure. Yeah, when they advertise in there. Now, they'll specify what type of people they would like to be when they. Main point...
David Susskind 2:25
Wait a minute. You're married. 13 years, you have three children? Yes. Were you restless and bored with each other
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 2:31
disagree. We reached a point where we understood I myself can understand my wife, she has the same feelings, same thoughts as I do as a man. Because we face in the past men are very stereotyped, they do not realize that a woman is equal to them. They are always one step behind them. So all men have the urge to look at another woman. Touch fondle dance. But if your wife in the past whatever look, another man was with say what you would say wasn't right. When you reach that point of communication and trust and honesty, we find that we come a little more closer together with a mate
Mary Levinson 3:08
There's a double standard is what he's talking about, where a man is patted on the back for anything he does be cheating or lying or whatever he is he somehow he always comes off as a hero. And the wife was always supposed to stay home and take care of the children. And not have desires beyond her own husband. And this is in our way of thinking other nonsense. Women have probably stronger desires.
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 3:36
The man was a playboy gigolo, the woman was a tramp.
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 3:38
David, I think you asked a very important question though, which we really haven't answered you. You asked Jack if he was restless or bored, and almost any married couple. In fact, it's universally true. Any married couple. Who have been married for a length of time five years, 10 years not met one yet. His bored is less interested sexually in the partner than he was, let's say at their first sexual encounter.
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 4:03
I disagree with you.
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 4:04
Listen, it's impossible to be as interested in any activity, any human activity as interested the 100th time as the first time. There's something about the first time that is immensely so are you trying to tell me the first time you and Bonnie had sex is as exciting as the sex you have at home, wasn't it? Different is very important quality a difference and that's what I think Plato supplies to people. It's a it's a charge of certain sexual batteries that have run down. It does at least that may do many other different things. But I think that these the love, sexual fatigue is universal.
David Susskind 4:42
Now let's tell the audience who may well be baffled. Plato's retreat is an unlicensed club for swinging couples right, you
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 4:51
We are a licensed Club. We're licensed by the state of New York
David Susskind 4:54
to do what
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 4:55
we have a charter to run a private club and that's exactly what we are.
David Susskind 4:59
Do you have to define the nature of the clubs activity.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 5:02
No, you don't have to do that with any private club or any club at all. I mean, if we wanted to play tennis, so we wanted to just have a swim club, it doesn't have to be defined that what the activity goes on a club, but consenting adults, that we get together, and we don't we don't have a sex club, like people think it's a social club with sex available on the premises, if couples so desires, we don't ask anybody to get undressed, we don't ask them to swing. Or to get involved sexually, if they want to, we have private rooms in the back for a couple that's married can be another couple if they want to just go in there alone together as a married couple by themselves. That's quite alright with us.
David Susskind 5:39
Why would they come to a club as a married couple to perform an act of love that they could do at home
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 5:46
Why do people go to an X rated movie? Why don't people go to plays that have a sexually oriented, everything in this country in the world is sexually oriented, even your commercials on television, everything, but we don't hide it, we don't want it to be hidden. We don't want to sweep it under the rug. We have these feelings and we want to be able to live our lives as we see fit. We don't think that anybody has the right to tell us how to lead our personal private lives. And it's that simple.
David Susskind 6:14
The state of New York any state in the union will license a club where sex activity can happen
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 6:21
why wouldn't they I mean, we're not saying we're doing it as a mala. And nobody should. We're doing things as far as we're concerned that we want to do as adult couples. And it through us this is a lifestyle how we want to lead our lives,
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 6:34
consenting adults. Now remember,
David Susskind 6:36
consenting adults, you don't serve whiskey, right? We don't know, you don't have to deal with the state alcoholic.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 6:41
Well, we did serve alcohol, I gave it away for free. I didn't charge for any liquor. But of course, this is another state agency, the State Liquor Authority that felt that if a couple has a towel around them, it would be a terrible thing to have a drink,
Mary Levinson 6:58
For them to be near liquor.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 6:59
I mean, it's unbelievable. In this society, and
David Susskind 7:02
Now how does your club work. You go there, right? There's a membership fee. Right? How much is that
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 7:08
The first time you go It's now it's $40. For membership, you get a couple membership card, I believe it's good for like six to eight weeks. During that time, every time you go there with your mate date. It costs $25 per couple. Now for that, you get a meal. That's fantastic. Are you going to a bar mitzvah? A full smorgasbord array of all fruit punches? sodas, whatever. A swimming pool, sauna, a gigantic the Steam Room, dance floor? Is private room. So for an evening, I've got my wife once a week. But now I
David Susskind 7:45
Why do go with your wife once a week. Why? To this sex club
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 7:49
Oh, it's not a sex club. Why do you keep specifying sex club?
David Susskind 7:53
Because that's what it is
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 7:53
It's not but it's not
David Susskind 7:54
why don't you call a spade a spade?
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 7:56
we've been there 69 of the last name in 69 times, we might have swung them maybe eight times out of 69. With other couples, and we stay together was there we get we could bless that we were dancing to five in the morning before we took a room. We go there for the freedom to be together without worrying about the children. Or the bars closed at three o'clock you can have trouble in any other bar, I go to my wife, I have a fight. A man will come over to my my wife to pick her up. She'll say No, he'll hassle. he'll hassle is trouble and never happens to Plato's someone approaches her or she says Oh, thank you, or I'm with somebody.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 8:34
A couple of can feel couples like to go out, let's say a couple like this. They go out to any place in New York, they're single people around. There are times when a couple wants to go out we're only couples are they can relate to them much better. And they might not want to get into sexual encounters with anybody. But Plato's gives you the opportunity to be there where there's nobody there. But couples Yes, we do allow single women to come in.
David Susskind 9:00
Why do you allow single women single man
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 9:03
because it's accepted in the couple movement and heterosexuals? We the same reason we do not allow male homosexuality at the club. But we do allow bisexual women to get involved sexually.
David Susskind 9:13
Seems like a discrimination
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 9:15
it is discrimination within swinging. This is the rule all all through the country, there's a good reason for it too because first of all, male homosexuality, homosexuality is a turnoff to some heterosexuals, females together is a turn on to most people, almost all people. So I do things I make my rules to make the people that come to play those comfortable. It's that simple, right or wrong. I have to think of the members of the club that come in. And that's all
David Susskind 9:43
And you encourage homosexuality among women.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 9:47
I don't encourage anything
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 9:48
David You don't have to encourage that. You just have according to one study, the crossover rate in group sex between males is only 3% as opposed to 63% with women, women
David Susskind 10:02
did your eyes convince you about when you went to Plato's
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 10:05
I have never seen a man lay a hand on another man there and I have seen countless women, even for the first time women who go with their husbands. I know this from my own friends who go there. So I know some women some friends who've never had a bisexual experience, previous to Plato's, but yet the turn on of the place and after the conditioning is broken down, they get into the spirit of the place. This their bisexuality is easily expressed without guilt without recrimination.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 10:36
Not only this, but you got to understand one thing at every point on movie or X rated movie, they always have scenes with two females together, never with men, because they know and women, everybody is is is sort of an exhibitionist, in a way, or a voyeur one or the other. And the women that come down know that they're turning on their mates, or whatever it is sexually, by being with another woman. So they just provide a head and they do these things.
Mary Levinson 11:01
So many women too, are brought up to be so careful and so monogamous, and to live a certain way. And there's a certain line of behavior we're supposed to follow. And when we grow up, we realize we can make our own choices now. And very often women have fantasies about doing different things being with another woman, just to experience it.
David Susskind 11:24
Were you a swinging woman before you met and married? Are you married?
Mary Levinson 11:30
No We were
David Susskind 11:32
Are you married?
Mary Levinson 11:33
strictly monogamous relationships in a sense. In a sense, David, we are married because I intend to spend the rest of my life with Larry whether he likes it or not.
David Susskind 11:43
Mary Levinson 11:44
no, technically, no, we're not. We're raising three children together and we have a home that we're building together. And
David Susskind 11:51
were you in the swinging movement before Larry
Mary Levinson 11:54
No I was not
David Susskind 11:55
Larry indoctrinated, you
Mary Levinson 11:57
No not Larry, personally, but I've read very, I played him, I came to the club with another young man for the first time. And during that evening, I met Larry, and chased him ever since. I think this is a beautiful way to live. There's so much freedom, especially for women. And we're so protected in this kind of environment, that we can exploit
David Susskind 12:23
How are you protected in this environment.
Mary Levinson 12:25
We're protected in the sense that it is couples, there aren't we aren't out numbered by a five to one. By males. We're not pressured to do anything we don't want to do or be with anyone we don't want to be with. All the rules and regulations are set up so that women are comfortable at the club. And basically, it's a lot of fun. And
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 12:47
I don't claim at all, I never opened up Plato's retreat or created it. The purpose of saving anybody any marriages, I didn't go into a psychological
David Susskind 12:58
you did it to make money.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 12:59
I did not because I opened up. And when I opened up, I took over a place that could fit about 25 people, 30 people, and there was no money involved in the club at all. And what happened was everything mushroomed by itself. I couldn't stop this. If I tried once it started. Once it got notoriety I was I just sat back and it just Whoo. We are definitely a nonprofit corporation.
David Susskind 13:23
There was no wait a minute, Larry. What do you mean non profit
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 13:26
Every dime that comes into Plato's retreat, goes back into the club
David Susskind 13:31
to make more money.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 13:32
Well eventually we hope to make money. There's nothing wrong with that.
David Susskind 13:35
You're making money right now.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 13:36
I draw a salary from Plato's retreat. And that's it. No other money goes into my hands. It goes right into the club. We're constantly building up we spent over $250,000 Already in building the club
David Susskind 13:50
but your membership card?
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 13:51
Well, we have a temporary membership and a yearly membership. A yearly membership comes to about 100 couples, I'd say 50 to 100 couples, a temporary membership of people that come down to the club and want to come in, they cannot come in unless they join as a temporary member. They must have a membership card to get on.
David Susskind 14:07
How many couples are coming weekly to your club?
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 14:10
Well, it's hard to say we get anywhere from 600 to maybe 1000 couples throughout the week. It could be 800 700 It depends. It really does.
David Susskind 14:21
It's amazing. We'll come back
CUT TO BREAK
David Susskind 14:22
the thing that staggers my mind is that sex maybe we're conditioned this way but sex is a private intimate affair having to do with you
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 14:40
would you really say that? Did you really say that? All the all the massage parlors and prostitution
David Susskind 14:45
those are aberrations those are sicknesses that those are
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 14:48
really it's it's not a sickness.
David Susskind 14:52
love making an affair and sex is an intimate affair has been the orientation of all of us, right? In our schools take this. Now you take this deeply traumatic experience this very emotional, private thing. And you publicize it, you do it in public view. And you mix it up with strangers, and you watch and are watched. Isn't there something very sick about that?
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 15:25
No, David. David,
David Susskind 15:28
you went as a journalist.
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 15:29
You are asking a Provocative rhetorical question. No, I don't believe David, you think it's sick? I don't I think you're trying to get us to react to that. And I will
David Susskind 15:39
No I do think it's sick. No, I'm not not trying to get a reaction. I really do
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 15:39
It would be sick for you. But you in what you're giving us though. I think you are trying to
David Susskind 15:48
Was it not sick for you. When you went. you went to report this?
Mary Levinson 15:52
I think it's sick for a man to go To a prostitute? I think that sort of thing is sick, I think for a woman to lie to her husband and have the grocery boy entertain her in the afternoons. I think that's sick.
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 16:07
Okay, David, you You are what you're saying is it's unaesthetic not sick. It would mean disgust you. But you don't think it's a pathology these people yet I have seen are having fun. They are enjoying themselves. And there's no way you can attach the the the pathology of the label of sickness on them
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 16:27
Who can say what is sick and what is not?
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 16:28
The same way you can say this is sick, I could say your whole concept of society is sick, in your marriage of one of every two and a half marriages and divorce in this country. And the cheating and the Kinsey report that came out that 92% of the married male population cheat will have affairs there. This isn't sick. There's a total honest relationship. This is getting married in the eyes of God and saying that, that I will never be with another woman sexually my whole life,
David Susskind 16:55
there is a lot of cheating and
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 16:57
a lot of cheating. Your 92% are cheating. I don't say a few people that cheating. And this is when you sit there and say that all a concept is sick.
David Susskind 17:07
Yes. Because Because swinging, making love sex in public or groups is a voyeurism.
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 17:15
Why is that a sickness? Why is voyeurism, a pathology?
David Susskind 17:20
Well, I think that taking a very private moment and wishing to exploit it, and to have other people observe you it's not a sacred is narcissism that so of course,
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 17:32
if it turns you on David, then it is pleasurable. It's certainly not sick. It is a victimless activity.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 17:39
Why do people everybody,
David Susskind 17:41
you're the victim,
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 17:42
David, I presume that you do things that turn you on sexually. You would not do anything that wasn't exciting to you. You don't find this concept exciting to you. But
David Susskind 17:52
I find it revolting,
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 17:53
of course, but you do things that turn you on
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 17:55
Excuse me. How can you find revolting, if you've never seen it. You have never seen anything like this in your life. And you're saying you're making a prejudgment without even seeing what this is all about saying that this is sick.
David Susskind 18:07
Are the pictures from the article in Playboy, yeah. Are the pictures from the article and penthouse. Of course, they are wrong that with a distorted
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 18:16
They are not real picture they are posed pictures. I would never allow a camera
David Susskind 18:22
They are posed pictures, because the text says taken at Platos
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 18:26
They were taken at Platos. We were closed. And I had people come here and they pose these people in the in the different ways they
David Susskind 18:33
let me rephrase the question. All right, those were posed, but with those activities in those photographs. Are they typical of what goes on at Plato's retreat?
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 18:44
Yeah, I would say those but you could see this at Plato
David Susskind 18:46
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 18:46
If youWant to see it
David Susskind 18:48
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 18:50
but everything is done in certain area
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 18:52
done in people's I presume in in the friends of yours bedrooms, David,
David Susskind 18:57
I presume it is
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 18:59
What we are discussing here is whether it's done in public and
David Susskind 19:02
yes, we are.
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 19:02
Andyou find that sick?
David Susskind 19:04
Yes, I do. Don't you?
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 19:06
Mary Levinson 19:08
That's the beautiful thing in the world to see a couple of people together a couple making love
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 19:16
Nothing wrong with it, it's why does it have to be such a turnoff? Why?
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 19:21
Because we're all different Larry David is different from you and Jack and Bonnie and
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 19:26
from our parents.
David Susskind 19:28
You can't put me on the defensive. You think is what has been true for my lifetime and the lifetime of all the people I know what
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 19:38
David say that Plato's is sick for you then not that it's sick. According to your work, maybe your morality, it's sick, but you really you want to use a different word than sick
David Susskind 19:48
that is aesthetically revolting.
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 19:51
You mean the the fantasy the common male fantasy of an orgy is revolting to you. Have you never fantasize being present at an orgy and perhaps enjoying yourself.
David Susskind 20:03
No, I've never fantasized never
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 20:06
Honestly never. never
David Susskind 20:07
I've never had that fantasy
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 20:14
But think of it, David. Think of it now we'll give you a minute.
David Susskind 20:17
No, I don't need a minute
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 20:18
I think about the Romans, the ancient Greeks Trojans, the whole society civilization was built,
David Susskind 20:25
they crumbled all those societies. They got too decadent
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 20:32
our society, the Romans had the first flush toilets, we forgot them.
David Susskind 20:35
I don't know what the hell you're saying?
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 20:38
You take a lot of things from the ancient times
David Susskind 20:40
Alright let me give you the aspect of it that I found most disturbing. All right, I'll throw out
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 20:46
and I have reservations about the place too.
David Susskind 20:48
Okay, well, we'll get to yours. They're married in the eyes of themselves. I guess they're married in the eyes of the law. And I presume you had a religious ceremony to take your wife to a place of public sex, communal sex, and expose her to the eyes of others. And maybe the suggestions of others are the activity of others.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 21:13
Well, it seems to me quite an add anybody looks will burn their eyes out. As far as this goes, they just told you there are a couple of came down to the club, because he brings his wife down to the club. That doesn't mean that she's open for everybody there to have sexual relations. So you get the wrong idea played on
David Susskind 21:30
But she is technically
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 21:31
no. Available for nothing. Available for what she and he wants to do with a club that they meet another couple. They don't kick the take off their clothes, and jump together. They sit there they eat, they go into a whirlpool, they talk and they really are stimulated by each other, the place available for them, they can do a sexual encounter. But a man doesn't bring his wife down and say to him, when they come down says here it is honey. Now go get it. It doesn't work that way. We're nice people. We're good people.
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 21:59
Well some couples that way. Some couples because we're all different. I know some men who come in to Plato's and they separate. As soon as they hit the dance floor. They don't see each other all night
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 22:09
that's true. But the wife still, if she's going around, she still does what she wants to do. She'll meet a man there maybe, and converse with him, Get acquainted with him get to know him. People come in the first hour, hour and a half, two hours of Plato's person comes in, they stay fully dressed. They dance they get to know
David Susskind 22:26
Are you there every night Mary? Afe you there often
Mary Levinson 22:29
not that often anymore.No.
David Susskind 22:31
Once a week, twice a week.
Mary Levinson 22:33
More than that, usually three times.
David Susskind 22:35
Do you? Do you have relationships with other men there?
Mary Levinson 22:38
David Susskind 22:39
Does he know about?
Mary Levinson 22:40
David Susskind 22:42
You countenance it. You
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 22:43
I think it's fantastic? Why not? If I'm at the bar, you know, we have a bar with juices. And I'm standing there. And she comes out of the one of the private rooms or the mats with a man and I see a look of content when she's happy. she'll introduce me to the gentleman. this is wonderful. She enjoyed herself. She's not gonna love me any less. Because she had a sexual encounter five minutes before, I'll shake the man's head. Just because we're friends we're being introduced of is nice enough person. I'll get to be friends with it. The same thing if I come out with a young lady.
David Susskind 23:14
I think the world's gone crazy.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 23:20
He gave my my lady pleasure, didn't he? He's gonna be a good fit. He was he wouldn't have
Mary Levinson 23:28
very often I do get a lot of pleasure out of it. Yes. And very often I give a lot of pleasure to I hope.
David Susskind 23:34
Doesn't that diminish Your intimacy, your private relationship, your emotional commitment to each other
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 23:41
not at all. She's a human being.
Mary Levinson 23:43
Remember what I said at the beginning? I feel as if we're going to spend the rest of our lives together. And that's
David Susskind 23:49
why because he's so tolerant of yourself. You feel the same way about his
Mary Levinson 23:55
Don't you think I would have to worry about all these beautiful young women chasing my Larry. He lines them up and he gives them numbers. That's sort of thing? well, no, but
David Susskind 24:07
is he active at his own club?
Mary Levinson 24:09
David Susskind 24:10
Mary Levinson 24:10
Yes, We're both swingers.
David Susskind 24:12
Mary Levinson 24:13
that's a horrible word.
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 24:14
It is. It's awful
Mary Levinson 24:16
let's think of a new one. something that's suits it more.
David Susskind 24:20
You see him you know about that and you accept it in as enthusiastically as he does.
Mary Levinson 24:27
Well, I I accept it.
David Susskind 24:30
There's no twinge of jealousy or
Mary Levinson 24:30
yes, there is from time to time. There is jealousy.
David Susskind 24:35
What makes you jealous?
Mary Levinson 24:36
If he were to single out one particular girl and be with her time and again, or a girl were to single him out and constantly chase after him that kind of a situation
David Susskind 24:46
Has that happened
Mary Levinson 24:46
does make me nervous. It has happened.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 24:48
I'm in a different position for the actual person that comes in, you see, and there's no question about it. I'm the owner of the club. So that gives a say certain advantages, but really aren't real, but you can't help the situation. It's like anything else in any club, an owner or something like that. But as far as the average couple of comes into Platos it's a lot different. You see, in my position, I have a lot of ladies coming down, and more or less chasing because I'm in the position I'm in. But it doesn't happen to an average couple that comes down. Everybody is on their own, and they just go along these things happen.
Mary Levinson 25:24
For example, how about you?
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 25:26
Before Jack and I got into swinging there always be this thought in the back of my head, when Jack would go out on a Friday night or whatever night with his friends? Or where is he what bar is he in what girls he with? What phone numbers he copying down. And since we've started swinging, and especially going to Plato's I have never had this thought,
David Susskind 25:49
where you don't have to anymore he's exhausted. I think
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 25:57
because it's just not cheating. When you're at this club, it's not considered cheating
David Susskind 26:06
Then it's sterile and empty
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 26:08
physical sex is physical,
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 26:10
It's a physical thing. You play tennis, What is it, it's a physical enjoyment after it's over, it's over. You go home and say they were Plato's Plato's,
David Susskind 26:17
Sex is not like tennis
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 26:18
David what is it. We're all kinds of Plato's is not realistic. We don't want it to be. We don't want people to live their life according to just Plato's retreat. It's a Disneyland it's a fantasy land for adult couples that come enjoy themselves for one evening at the club, and go home and forget about it
David Susskind 26:34
And back and back and back.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 26:36
As long as many times as you need to
David Susskind 26:38
they go every week.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 26:39
They enjoy it. They don't swing every week.
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 26:42
No we go there for the freedom of relaxation. What we need. We sit down
Mary Levinson 26:46
there's so many lovely people there to meet and talk to and dance with
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 26:50
We made a lot of good friends there
David Susskind 26:51
We'll come right back to the lovely people at Plato's retreat in one minute
CUT TO BREAK
David Susskind 26:58
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 26:59
David, you're right, there is something missing. From all the people that I've interviewed at Plato's, there's something missing about the quality of sex there is not ideal. There is no romance, there isn't an emotional commitment that usually makes sex beautiful. Absent from the place. Now, if that bothers some people as it does you, if you do not see the value in pure physical relations, then you would not like Plato's I've talked to a lot of people who were hurt by the place. They're they're casualties. There's some people whose conditioning, whose religion whose, whose parents whose upbringing who knows what it is just kind of just to the place I've worked in, and seen some of my friends there who who stayed for an hour and left they've never come back. I know of people who have gone eight weeks in a row, and who swear they'll never come back. I know another person who went there the first night, made love had sex with seven people of various sexes, a female, the first night
David Susskind 27:56
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 27:57
seven, she said she would never go back
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 27:59
at a terrible time.
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 28:01
She had a great time. She had a great time. But she said, This is not me.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 28:05
That's fine. But at least they went through this choice. We don't say it is. No question about it
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 28:12
A lot of husbands and wives who go there who experiment they want to know how they will react in the situation of horrible fights afterwards, because the husband will do a little bit more than the wife wants. It's an adjustment process. Plato's his work. It's it's not a picnic. It's difficult for people who want to go there who feel they want to add something to their marriage, but don't know how to do it. I can't imagine that You too had a great time. The first time the second Did you ever have fights about platos
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 28:41
Yes, but not concerning. sexual jealousy though fights over so particularly shouldn't dance right?
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 28:51
Are you too? Did you have sex with other people before platos
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 28:58
Occasionally,we used to be in the movement for
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 29:00
before you go into the moment where you unfaithful to each other.
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 29:04
I was omitted on my honeymoon. I was
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 29:07
did you know Bonnie? Yeah. After the fact.
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 29:10
And you find Plato's as a way to solve the jealousy of one on one's sexual infidelity.
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 29:16
Well, I feel when I used to go out in the past. It was always like a game I had to play go to a bar you meet a girl. You're real cute. You're pretty the whole bit just to score. I may not have really liked the girl. It was a physical. We're Plato's it's just a physical movement. All men have a physical urge a sexual urge. I mean, it's natural rain as you were only a few ways to relieve it. Here you could relieve it without getting emotionally involved. Without going to a prostitute without feeling downgrading or low. You with the person you care for a lot.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 29:51
They're sharing. Data sharing is emotional.
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 29:54
Have you seen Bonnie make love to another man?
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 29:56
Yes, I did.
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 29:57
How did you feel the first time
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 29:58
First time. Strange. I don't know, I was conditioned to set. But mentally I was accepting and I'm saying it's not right. My mom said it's wrong. My dad said it's wrong. My rabbi said it's wrong. But I think it's right.
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 30:13
So how did you feel the first time?
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 30:16
I went home, it was great. We made love three hours. We got all together. Man the other night, Thursday night, we left planets at four in the morning. Is it mind running a home, she has no right to a motel called a sitter. Leftvthe kids just me and her. Spent three hours more at the motel. got turned on so much,
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 30:33
David, do you see any advantage to that? Plato's does for that marriage. It hurts other people, but it helps them? Would you still call that sick?
David Susskind 30:41
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 30:42
that they are now enjoying their sex lives more 30 years. Just see it as therapy. That sick? Look at the benefits
Mary Levinson 30:51
He is not hiding anything.
David Susskind 30:53
It's a devastating therapy
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 30:55
But it works for them. Any therapy is good that works, isn't it?
David Susskind 31:00
Not necessarily. I can't believe that there aren't maybe subliminal or maybe more overt damage to be
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 31:10
only they can measure that
David Susskind 31:11
in their loss of dignity in that
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 31:13
David that's a subjective concept. That's you as a legal see gets hurt you are universalizing I'm making a process shouldn't do that your aesthetics moral?
David Susskind 31:24
Yes, I am. I am. And that's how I feel
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 31:28
intellectually that that simply doesn't work.
David Susskind 31:31
When a couple goes to sees, wow, Plato's retreat? Do they function as a couple through the evening or Sunday split off?
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 31:40
Everybody makes their own rules, you say?
David Susskind 31:42
What do they tend to do,
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 31:43
what they tend to do is when a couples comes down to the club, and they're in the car coming to the club, they make their rules how they're going to react at the club. Now one couple might say let's not separate will stay together, we meet another couple we want to be with, we'll do that together. Other couples, what they do is I say, Let's go down a club just have a ball, you go one way I go the other way, if we meet during the club, of course we go home together, it's a very couple or a dating couple. But everybody has their own way of how they can react at the club. What usually happens when a man feels very secure, that he'll be able to meet people and get involved, then he's has a tendency to be able to say to his wife or spouse or whatever, that okay, we'll separate when a man is insecure, that he won't be able to react and relate to people. He has his pretty little wife beside him. That's a cushion.
David Susskind 32:33
Do couples relate to other couples in your experience? Or do they split off male and female?
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 32:42
That they do everythingyou cannot study?
Mary Levinson 32:47
Everybody behaves. They way they feel comfortable.
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 32:50
because we're different. many other people go there looking for different things. All couples have different expectations. All individuals have different expectations. And that's what's interesting about this place, if you look at it, anthropologically, I mean, you can find almost anything you want there
David Susskind 33:05
how do you feel about rejections? Have you ever gone up to someone and said, you appeal to me and he says, Get lost? I don't feel the same
Mary Levinson 33:15
I don't think people walk up to others and say you appeal to me, let's go in the back. It's not
David Susskind 33:20
what happens in your case you
Mary Levinson 33:24
I think more or less. You've you get to know people better before you make a move like that.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 33:32
There really isn't any rejection at the club at all, you just
David Susskind 33:36
What condition are you in?
Mary Levinson 33:39
Most of the time I'm dressed dressed and occasionally I'm undress. Occasionally I'll wear panties or negligee or whatever. Women dress in all different fashions men do too. Even the towels are worn.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 33:55
Rejection, there is no rejection, if I or somebody else approaches a young lady or young lady approaches a man now and they start talking and getting to know each other and then he comes out is Come on, you want to go swimming or you want to go into the mat room. And let's say she doesn't want to hear it's not a rejection on him. Because she might have just come out of a sexual account though maybe he did. And he's just not ready to get involved sexually. If it's not rejection, maybe an hour later the same person will approach you there's no rejection at Plato's
David Susskind 34:25
Are they all anonymous these encounters Do you know who you're dealing with? give you his first and last name.
Mary Levinson 34:31
Well any of us have children and we we go on picnics together we bowl we shoot. Play baseball, we do all the normal things that everyone else does
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 34:42
They are together with other couples. Why not? Because we don't have we go out into the so called real world. We don't swing out there. I've been to the theater with another couple last week we went to the theater. That's it. You get the dinner together. Like everybody else.
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 34:58
We're friends with one couple
David Susskind 35:03
The essence of swinging sexually is non involvement with the other people except sexual
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 35:11
I've talked to a lot of people that who would not give me their name
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 35:15
last names never because of the situation, or the society, people can get fired from a job because they're in a swinging movement. It's ridiculous. But this is what it's at
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 35:24
Yeah, this there is a guarded anonymity there. Definitely. When I wanted to interview a couple, they gave me their phone number and nothing else. They didn't I mean, even though I promised them I wouldn't use their name. It's a fight. There is a great fear. There was fear getting people for this panel.
David Susskind 35:40
Yes, there was?
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 35:42
It's not easy.
David Susskind 35:42
They're afraid that their relatives or employers or something would see them.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 35:46
because of things like what you just said, you see it you said sick. Now, if his boss was sitting there watching television, and he was on, and he feels the same way you do, this man will be fired Monday morning. It's ridiculous because of a lifestyle that he believes in. And there's no reason for that is his his his social preference to live this life. And there's nobody that has a right to say, You can't do this because you're enjoying yourself without hurting anybody. If you don't want to come down to Plato's retreat, that's fine. I respect you for your feelings don't come down.
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 36:20
But yet, so you don't have to go to Plato's you don't have to have this lifestyle to go to Plato's talk about lifestyle. But a lot of my friends go maybe once a month. They won't go for three months from time in the town. They want to show him the greatest show in New York City, and they go
David Susskind 36:34
Is this the greatest show in New York City. Do you have your definition.
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 36:39
Best dance is down now. I don't go there just to dance and nothing else. You know that I never just danced with disco. I would never dance. I felt I just didn't do it properly or right or good enough. And since I've been coming there, I just I get up on the dance floor. I just don't care. Take clothes. A blouse shirt. You lose a lot of your inhibitions,
David Susskind 37:02
the grounds for a fairly nude.
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 37:05
It depends on our
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 37:08
Most people have towels wrapped around when they dance. There's very little nudity walking around Plato's very little
David Susskind 37:13
I can tell you our staff went on. And so a lot of nudity,
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 37:18
no not nudity, they saw people on undress.
David Susskind 37:21
What's the difference between undressed
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 37:22
not walking around stark naked like a nudist colony. People walked around like that. I'd say you'd have one out of every 50 Whatever. 100 people would walk around with absolutely nothing on its panties. A top there. But this is not nude. The covered in certain areas. The towel is the biggest thing. I say about 85% of people are getting dressed, walked around with towels wrapped around them. So
David Susskind 37:46
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 37:48
Actually a towel covering you covers you more than a bikini bathing suit. So the nudity isn't the turn on at Plato's
David Susskind 37:54
What is the turn on
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 37:57
Actualy I think it's the mellowness the atmosphere. It's it's just a whole freedom that you get a certain high, you know, I don't need liquor, the State Liquor Authority came down a junction on me, it was ridiculous. There's no need for liquor at Plato's retreat. You don't need a drugs of Plato's retreat. We don't allow it. But just coming down and that disco hits you. And the whole the laughing and the fun is an instant high. I don't care what anybody says people come to me, they tell me this. It's an instant high just to be on the premises. And there's nothing wrong with that. I would rather have that than a drug. You're like the discos in New York that actually have drugs and everything else. And I won't name names, but there are this goes, we all know this. I don't have this. I'm not into this type of thing. I don't believe in that. I don't believe in a drug girl society. I don't believe in any of this.
David Susskind 38:44
Are you believe in a free society
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 38:46
Free society where people can just have a good time and enjoy themselves the way they want without hurting anybody else.
David Susskind 38:54
But I do think you hurt yourself in the process.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 38:56
But I have a right to do that
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 38:58
You are not able to make that judgment.
David Susskind 39:00
Hold it. We'll be right back.
CUT TO BREAK
David Susskind 39:08
I'm interested in the kind of people that go there. They all professions, all nationalities all cross all economic groups?
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 39:17
If they do, they do because apparently all of these groups are interested in sex and interested in orgies. For example, I was there one night watching.
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 39:18
You've mentioned orgies several times at the today's talk and how often do you see actual orgies in the sense that people imagine an orgy as a big group thing
David Susskind 39:39
Don't you have a mat room. One large room with a lot of
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 39:42
Yeah but they are really private encounters together. two couples here. One couple there
Mary Levinson 39:49
Talk about that.
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 39:51
I don't know how technical the definition is. But I would I would say that orgies go on at Plato's every night. It's open and Identify and I'd say, a group of, you know, five to 100 couples in the same basic area having sex, whether or not whether or not they crossover. That's I don't define it solely by masses of groups
Mary Levinson 40:21
Cuz to my own. To myself before I got into this whole thing, I thought an orgy was a pile.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 40:27
Yeah, like 10 pile.
Mary Levinson 40:30
Everybody On top,
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 40:31
And this doesn't happen at Platos
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 40:34
No, no, that doesn't happen. But I have seen some amazing geometrical formations on one of the mats at Plato's is so much. So I mean, I interviewed some people, and I saw them the bottom of the pile. And then they walked away. And I said, Well, what were you feeling there? And I told me, he said, I don't know, I could not sought the stimuli. I mean, if you have if you're have three women around you, and she is around a guy, she's touching various parts of his body, there's no way the brain can filter that stimulus.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 41:06
But you know, you say something. Now you see why people come to Plato's, everybody has sexual fantasies. And they do, everybody. Now, here's a place where you can live your fantasies, you can live any one of them. Maybe a fantasy of a girl was never been with a girl ever before. She wanted to try it. She can not go next door neighbor's door. I mean, let's face it, you can't do that in society. But at Plato's it can be done, maybe a man always fantasize being with two women at one time at Plato's it can be done, it's a very see these things can be done. Now the argument is, well, once you live your fantasy, it's all the Why live it. It's nonsense. Because I've lived my fantasies every time I live them again, it's just as good as the first time.
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 41:44
Well sociologically, Plato's is interesting, because before, Plato's was sort of a walk in sex Palace, only the rich, I would say, the lower class made made these spectacles available to themselves. And you know, David, that the rich have fewer taboos than the middle class. And in fact, one of the richest men in the world goes to Plato's quite regularly. And apparently the swingers movement is is a big began in the lower class. But yet ordinary people, like us middle class, would have no way of visiting one of these places because we don't swing with the rich. And let's say, we would feel too uncomfortable with the lower class. So that's what I find so interesting about Plato's
David Susskind 42:28
You've seen them all at Plato's. They're the stockbroker, and the bank manager, and the cab driver. Yeah, policeman, they're all there.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 42:38
Once They take off their clothes, the great equalizer, nobody is different than everybody else
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 42:43
The point I'm trying to make is that the middle class had no access to this entertainment before plato's
David Susskind 42:49
What about the problem of disease? Now? Here's sir,
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 42:53
I was waiting for that question. Because this is the main question. The highest rate of Vd is homosexuals. And also in teenagers. In the swinging a scene so to speak, there is less VD that in the conventional lifestyle. swingers do not have to go with streetwalkers. They don't have to go out with girls that are on the street. They're not they're not that way that they go with all different types of people outside the swinging area. When you're swinging with people are very, like his Jack and Bonnie. They if they were going into a swing situation, they would go in another couple that's married, the chances of VD are so little, because it goes with other couples. Now of course, there's let me close there is always the chance of coming down with something
David Susskind 43:40
Is there somebody. Are there people that are wrong for this kind of swinging
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 43:45
No question about it Yes. What I
David Susskind 43:47
What would, I would wrong
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 43:51
you know why you're wrong what I think because you don't allow you you are to strongly conditioned to I presume and what conventional monogamous relationship I mean, you even said I'm you're the first man has ever told me this, that you never fantasized and ology.
David Susskind 44:05
I haven't had fantasies, but they didn't include on orgy
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 44:08
Right? I would say the people who are wrong and some of my friends are awkward, because they've tried at some worked out there people who who do not allow themselves to break through their conditioning. All of us are conditioned against these activities. And it's only those people who are willing to experiment willing to test taboos to push themselves, even to push their wives their husbands to take some risks, because when you go to Plato's for the first time, and I experienced this as a journalist, I didn't know what I was getting into. It's probably the only place in that's allowed us these days to go to you cannot predict your reaction. If you go to studio 54 You can predict basically because you've been dance. If you've never been to an orgy before, especially a place like this. It has many other possibilities. You have no idea what effect it's going to hours. And I and many of my friends have reported this same basic hesitation
David Susskind 45:04
once you've done this participated in group sex seen your wife or your girlfriend or the person you live with, in sexual action with another man, probably a stranger, once you've crossed over and made mutual love with other couples, when you've done all of that thing, can you return to the other straighter kind of sex, the monogamous marriage, sex,
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 45:33
you can do anything a lot of
David Susskind 45:35
because then hails by comparison, it
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 45:38
makes it better to learn more. It's like a learning process.
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 45:41
But David, thanks, I mean, different though I can you imagine right now stopping what you're doing
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 45:46
a lot of couples do. Nobody swings entirely. So year after year, people use a lot of love, it's different. But the average couple into swinging, they swing for a year, 18 months, two years, and they say, let's just stop, and they stopped for a year or whatever it is. And then they feel like they can get back into it. There's no set rule that I'm a swinger on this. And I have to go along with this
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 46:08
Larry do you think they would ever go back to monogamy after experiencing?
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 46:13
I don't think they could go back to monogamy on a permanent basis. But they can can go back on a basis of a certain amount of time just to have that reaction, that feeling of what living this way, they'll come back to swinging, no question that it's too enjoyable. It's still beautiful. Not so why would this? Why? I would say yes.
David Susskind 46:32
He says Yeah. Like Cigarettes
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 46:35
Well, in a certain way, but why we press this?
David Susskind 46:38
It's like sex. That's another question.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 46:40
It's like sex sex is addictive. I mean, could you go back to to petting?
David Susskind 46:44
No, of course not. Right.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 46:47
Okay. So you're addicted to sex?
David Susskind 46:50
Are you children aware an are they
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 46:51
Yes, definitely. I don't hide anything I do.
David Susskind 46:55
ll is that? Is that good? healthy for them? You think?
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 46:58
David Susskind 46:59
Be aware because they are very conditioned their children
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 47:02
They are not conditioned because they're coming out of that conditioning because we have a complete free feeling towards life. And as far as they're concerned, and I've said this, once I've said this many times that children they're gonna make children decisions, we make the adult decisions for them. And as far as when they get older and grow up, they can
David Susskind 47:20
I mean, right now that knowledge, is that a good thing for them, and they can deal with it.
Mary Levinson 47:24
They are aware of swinging and that type of sexuality, this our way of life, they are aware of it. That doesn't mean that they're going to choose it. And the
David Susskind 47:33
Do they ever object to it, do they ever say But Mom
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 47:36
No never No.
Mary Levinson 47:39
They know that this is our decision to make for ourselves
David Susskind 47:42
Do your children object? Are they aware?
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 47:45
They're too young, I would say to really know, but I told them we are being on TV. We told them to watch the show, they're gonna find out.
Mary Levinson 47:53
I have a daughter almost 18. And I feel it's important for her to know that there are other choices to be made besides a monogamous relationship.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 48:02
This is an alternate lifestyle that
Mary Levinson 48:05
she should know about him homosexuality, even though I don't expect her to be homosexual. She should know about. B and D and s&m things like that she should know about them, she should be aware of them every person should be. And parents should see to it that their children do get this knowledge
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 48:24
I think when that
Mary Levinson 48:25
in a proper way
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 48:26
when they are young
Mary Levinson 48:27
So that when they are mature enough that they can make their own
David Susskind 48:30
How long has your 18 year old daughter known about you and the swing movement that
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 48:35
They day I met Mary
David Susskind 48:37
Three years ago
Mary Levinson 48:37
from the very beginning.
David Susskind 48:38
From the time she was 15. It didn't rock her
Mary Levinson 48:42
I think it straightened her out. I think having Lowry join our family has helped my children. They're happier. Now. They're healthier. They're doing better in school. They're performing better my oldest daughter is working now she's very proud of herself. And she's accomplished. Tremendous roads in growing and maturing that her friends haven't made.
David Susskind 49:05
But you don't leave this at the door of your suite. that are mothers and fathers swing. You don't lay all of this progress.
Mary Levinson 49:13
She doesn't know Exactly what I do
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 49:14
or what we do with the club. As far as we don't tell them about any encounters we get into. As far as they concerned. We could go to the club and just socialize with people. We don't tell people
David Susskind 49:25
they don't know then.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 49:27
Well, they probably. I don't know what they think
Mary Levinson 49:30
the viewing audience knows because they'll be watching this program the same as the viewing audience
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 49:35
But they will never come down to the club and never be allowed to come down to our club while we're there. Even when they're 19 20 years old. 21. If they want to get into this lifestyle, they can go to another club, or they can go to another situation and get involved if that's their business when they reach that age.
Mary Levinson 49:49
But at least They know about it. They're aware of it and they can make a valid choice for themselves the type of life that they want.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 49:56
And We are respected by our children. Really we are not just saying that we I know what I feel it
Mary Levinson 50:01
because you someone is Catholic or Jewish, they don't only teach their child that religion. They should learn about Hinduism and they should learn about other types of thinking
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 50:11
David has, have none of your friends gone to Plato's
David Susskind 50:14
I don't know, I'm not aware at least they haven't been trumpeting it. They haven't said, Guess what I went,
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 50:21
You've never spoken to anyone who's gone there with
David Susskind 50:23
Well some members of the staff in preparation for this program, did visit it and report back their experiences. But I I don't know anyone who's been there. Although in reading your article and the article in Playboy, and elsewhere, I have come across names I know very well, indeed. Who had been there once or multiple times?
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 50:43
Would you presume them to be sick?
David Susskind 50:46
Interesting question. Ah. We'll be right back.
CUT TO BREAK
David Susskind 50:55
Some of the people that have appeared in the various stories on the place that are well known celebrities are indeed quite sick, in answer to your question. All right. However, it may not have all been born their problems with Plato's retreat. Right? Have you known any people to be traumatized to be affected badly, and, you know, really suffered side effects from their experiences there.
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 51:20
I don't think the effects last very long. But I have interviewed couples who have gone out of their very hurt. For example, a man in this usually happens the man takes the wife and he may do certain things, he may force her to get undressed, he may put pressure on her and maybe not force that's enough. And the wife will feel extremely uncomfortable being exposed, she will see things in a husband she didn't expect certain court coercion, maybe she didn't expect. But that there's this reverse of that coin. I talked to another couple specifically about how they felt watching each other make love of tight. I saw I've talked to a woman who saw has been make love in the Jacuzzi for the first time. First time she'd ever seen you make love with any woman. And she was shocked. She turned her eyes. She wanted to get out of that place. She wanted to scream. And yet, I interviewed the husband a week later. And I said how has it affected her? And he said, Well, she hated it when she saw it. But she told me that she masturbated in her tub, thinking of that fantasy two days later. So the point is, you cannot measure the effect immediately.
Mary Levinson 52:33
Another thing that they've done is they've communicated their fears and their their joys and their fantasies. They've they've communicated their own reactions, which is a beautiful, helpful thing
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 52:45
We try to screen people
David Susskind 52:47
they also destroyed a privacy of commitment and a privacy of oneness.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 52:55
They don't have that anyway. There is no try they go. But everybody's cheating and running around.
David Susskind 53:02
not everybody. I mean, don't don't make those sweeping a lot of cheat.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 53:07
Well, I said the majority of people I don't want to go to 92% the majority.
David Susskind 53:11
Once you've been into your swing movement, whether it Plato's retreat or elsewhere, can you return to the normal life? I mean, do people drop? You said they drop out for a year or so but they come back?
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 53:23
Of course they do why should they
David Susskind 53:26
How have their lives how are your lives changed?
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 53:28
We dropped out for three years, three or four years. And then we came back on first and we started again, Westwood. Plato's meeting is great. It's really great. When we first went down there. I was told a little bit about it what it was going to be like. And I had had these thoughts in my own mind that reservation reservations, I was not going to get undressed. I was not going to fool around. Nothing Just go down and look and I went and that half an hour after I was there just listening to the music and the atmosphere and the people I just people make the members make the club doesn't really make him come on, let's go take her clothes off. And let's go in the Whirlpool, in the swimming pool and so on and just was really wonderful.
David Susskind 54:20
At Plato's there is loved making every I should stop that. There was no sexual intercourse every way you look right?
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 54:28
Not really. You might see a couple in the Whirlpool, in a close encounter something what the usual thing is this certain areas, I'd say 99% of any sex that goes on at Plato's is either in the mat room which is a closed or the private rooms in the back. I mean there's we have liquidity or we have areas
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 54:44
we onlh go to private rooms
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 54:44
one of the interesting things about Plato's we talked about satisfies people if you're an exhibitionist, you can certainly get off the interview a voyeur So it satisfies
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 54:53
areas with couches and everything where people could sit fully dressed out of the way by the disco floor and just watch The whole place has one big scope. And it's just very just sitting there and nobody bothers anybody. That's why Oh, is that a place where you have this many people coming in a premises where there's not one bouncer on these premises? You show me a disco, a bar anything without any bounces? We don't have one. We never fight. They're too tired to fight. Not too tired to fight. There's no reason to fight. I always
David Susskind 55:23
you are about to hear about franchises, this thing of yours. And other cities, right?
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 55:29
Yes we are where Detroit we're opening up in Detroit, Los Angeles, that Florida and we're negotiating also New Jersey right now.
David Susskind 55:38
What do you think was the response? What do you guess will be you were kind of neutral journalistic observer
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 55:45
doesn't have itself sex sells here. It should sell other places. I can't imagine why not?
David Susskind 55:50
Well, New York has a freer permissive
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 55:56
No it doesn't
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 55:56
In a sense it does. But I think the sample of people I mean, they're 8 million people
David Susskind 56:00
Fort Lauderdale, Florida. You're going to have your work cut out for you
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 56:04
why would we have our work cut out?
David Susskind 56:04
in Fort Lauderdale florida. you ever been there.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 56:06
Yes. But why would I
David Susskind 56:08
It's a very conservative community and all the Easter vacation time when 1000s
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 56:14
Who do you think comes down to Plato's Plato's friends are very conservative, but they calm down. We got people from Fort Lauderdale. We got people from California. We got people from Paris, France coming to Plato's they fly in
Bonnie & Jack Swingers Couple 56:26
7-10 Couples are from out of town
David Susskind 56:29
what would you say we have a minute left? What would you say to the reaction that a lot of people will have? Well, that's symptomatic of immorality. Today,
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 56:40
if you look for degradation, and depersonalization, in morale, if you look for it, you'll find it a Plato's, if you don't look for it, you won't. David, you would see that there. I didn't, I saw a, I think an anthropological phenomenon. And and I wrote about it as such, without any moral judgment
David Susskind 56:58
make a moral judgment.
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 57:03
I don't think it's immoral
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 57:06
With the eighth wonder of the world.
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 57:09
I think it's different.
Larry Levinson Owner Plato's Retreat 57:10
This is the biggest thing I hit New York City since the World's Fair. And it is true. I'm not just saying this, it really is, please, it's not really day by hour. We have a song out there as we treat that's number one in the country right now played on
Philip Nobile - New York Magazine Syndicated Columnist 57:24
Would you amment your judgment that Plato's is sick after meeting these two couples.
David Susskind 57:28
Mary Levinson 57:31
even without that would you allow us
David Susskind 57:32
to me in my mind's eye, it's quite sick,
Mary Levinson 57:36
would you would you still allow us the right to behave and swing
David Susskind 57:41
Yes go back tonight and have a good time.
Mary Levinson 57:45
David Susskind 57:46
I Thank you very much for coming. And if you stick around, we have more program.
CUT TO BREAK
SUSSKIND CLOSES SHOW:
David Susskind 57:55
That's the program for tonight. I hope you found it interesting. We'll see you again next week at the same time until then, good night.
Description: "THE SWINGERS' PARADISE - PLATO'S RETREAT" WITH MARY & LARRY LEVINSON, BONNIE & JACK, PHIL NOBILE. (HF-YTV)
Historic Films Archive, LLC
Toll Free: 1-800-249-1940
211 Third St, Greenport NY, 11944Contact a Researcher!
Enter a name for the new bin:
Select the bin you'd like to add the clip to:
Share this by emailing a copy of it to someone else. (They won’t need an account on the site to view it.)
Note! If you are looking to share this with an Historic Films researcher, click here instead.
Enter the security code you see below:
Oops! Please note the following issues:
You need to sign in or create an account before you can contact a researcher.