When he was 42 years old, Damon Lawner rented the movie Eyes Wide Shut, and it profoundly changed his life. As Mike Sager writes at Esquire, Lawner was in a mid-life funk, dissatisfied with his life as a real estate agent and a married father of two girls. Intrigued by how the characters played by Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman began experimenting with erotic parties, he wondered if such a thing were possible in the real world. Flash forward three years, and Lawner is now the wealthy proprietor of Snctm, described by the piece as "Hollywood's most elite sex cub." Lawner, writes Sager, "has tried to create 'a spiritual and erotic utopia' where people of like minds and desires can have as much sex and romance as humanly possible, in as many different ways as the imagination can invent."
It's pricey (a lifetime membership runs $75,000) and anonymous (masks are worn at parties), and, er, adventurous, to say the least, based on Sager's first-hand observations. In some ways, Lawner considers himself unbelievably blessed to have created this life for himself. The problem? "The truth is I'm heartbroken," he says. Lawner and his wife split because she couldn't buy into the non-monogamous lifestyle. "He's living his truth," says his wife, while her truth is more traditional. Lawner reflects that he probably could have lived a "deeply fulfilling" life had he stayed on the "picket fence" path. "Instead I chose to absolutely follow my dreams. I knew I was going to lose my family. I made a conscious decision. I gave up the only thing I love and care about in this world." Read the full story.