Background: there was a question (now deleted) on Reddit about cliques in the lifestyle and how difficult or discouraging it is to navigate them. This is my modified response.
We’ve been in the Dallas scene for about 5 years, and we’ve definitely noticed the cliques.
Clique IS the most appropriate word, despite its perceived severity. However, there really isn’t a lifestyle appropriate word that conveys a group of people who have found their comfort zone.
The way I understand the dynamics of people around here is best summarized by classifying people into several, non definitive groups.
The first group enjoys the club/party scene. Loud, thumping music, dim sexy lighting, bumping and grinding on the dance floor with people who may be open to bumping and grinding on the couches or back rooms later. Maybe a little bit of the drug culture, but not necessarily. Very “in the moment” experience driven.
House Party Folks
The next group is the large house party scene. Similar in nature to the clubs, but lower volumes on the music allows people to chat a little more, “get to know” each other. Hookups happen there, but they also facilitate info exchange for scheduled play dates with more private settings.
Another group sticks with couples dates from websites. They hook-up once, or maybe a few times, and stay with that formula. Still very much momentary experience driven, but avoids the crowd aspect. It’s not a lifestyle for them, it’s a vacation from normal life. It’s something to spice up the bedroom every once in a while, but not expected to be a party of everyday life.
The high society is comfortable with their hush hush soirees and being exclusive to their socioeconomic class much like the next group. When money is of no concern, they will often have extravagant balls or vacations.
Friends in Low Places
The blue-to-red collar group that feels comfortable celebrating their heritage around a bonfire, collection of moonshine, stripper poles, and off road vehicles. Pride is the backbone of the group, so it makes sense that they might be a little abrasive both in jest and when serious.
No Cliques, Just People
Finally, there are pockets of people who try all of the above, and they meet one or two people from each group they like. However, the club isn’t really their scene. House parties full of people they aren’t really into is a little taxing. They’re somewhere between high society and prideful simplicity. They just… are. They find others who are comfortably the same. They become friends much like anyone else has friends. They hangout, go to dinners/movies/sporting events/museums/top golf/etc with their friends. Sometimes hook-up, but there isn’t any pressure to. Those pockets of people, have just found “their” people and that’s what makes them most comfortable.
There is nothing wrong with any of these groups. They have their wonderful personalities in all of them. They have their fun just as much as the next group. Sometimes they can be a bit exclusive, but that’s only because they hope to maintain their harmony and safety.
As for the advice to newbies: Focus on having fun with your spouse, and the right people will take notice. That’s really the key. A happy couple is irresistible to other happy couples.