MIDLAND, Texas - A swingers convention billed as a "hedonistic adventure for couples" was canceled this week in the wake of inquiries from the local prosecutor.
Sponsors had scheduled, among other things, seminars about various aspects of "the lifestyle," as organizers termed it. Their website boasted the event as a "hotel takeover" for couples.
"The hotel management in Midland notified us that they were forced to cancel our contract and our convention," a message posted on the Texas Passion Events website said. "The district attorney had paid them a visit and then they received notice from their corporate (office) that we were no longer welcome at the hotel."
The group originally had a contract to rent the entire Courtyard Marriott here and had paid a deposit of approximately $50,000, Midland County District Attorney Teresa Clingman said.
Clingman added that she had received a call from an unidentified local resident about the event, which was scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 3.
"I just had my investigators contact the management of the hotel to find out how the facility was going to conduct such an event so that no laws were broken," Clingman said.
She wanted the convention looked into because, she said, "I don't think that's the kind of event, that if most Midlanders were aware of it, they would want in this community."
A Midland couple previously scheduled to conduct sexual seminars at the event referred a reporter to group member George Long, who said he was "extremely disappointed at having it canceled."
"The reason we picked Midland is because there is a huge lifestyle community in West Texas," Long said. He would not say how many people were expected to attend.
He noted there are lifestyle conventions nationwide, and the events attract people of all ages.
Swinging, which emerged in the 1960s, involves swapping partners and other activities aimed at promoting uninhibited attitudes toward sex among couples.
Interest in swinging "hasn't been renewed," Long said. "It's just steadily grown and the Internet has let it explode."
Long said the cancellation came at the last minute.
"We got everybody's money refunded to them," he said. "That was the most important thing."
"I just had my investigators contact the management of the hotel to find out how the facility was going to conduct such an event so that no laws were broken."
Midland County district attorney