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Silver Chain members believed that their tight group placed them at the vanguard of people seeking connection at the dawning of a new age of sexual freedom, when recognizing and giving in to personal fantasies could lead to less distrust and frustration in marriage.

And Silver Chain surveys, though unscientific, supported the belief that swinging was good for marriage.

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One Silver Chainer complained in the newsletter that sex too infrequently followed the partying.

At one event, members tried to break the impasse by stripping others of their clothing.

They held discussions, group readings, and rap sessions on feminism.

None of this stopped the Executive Committee from monthly and annually electing Silver Chain “personalities” who were featured in the newsletter like Playboy Playmates (though they got to keep their clothes on).

Surely there was a way to meet more people like them close to home. They didn’t yet suspect what it would be like to herd swingers and guard their privacy.

The group they started, the Silver Chain Social Club, brought to life the hopeful vision of its eight founders, along with a grave concern for the secrecy of its conventional-seeming, suburban members.“Sex was a very secondary thing,” one club member wrote.“The people, the fun, and the tender loving care were so far out front of everything else.” Members were welcomed into swingers groups around the country.Club activities—events like bowling dates, costume parties, panel discussions, and support groups—were for socializing only, and members were supposed to swap partners and have sex on their own time.(“We wanted the club to operate on a high plane—first class always,” a founder reminisced.) The founders hoped that members could quietly recognize each other in public by displaying the jewelry that gave the club its name. “Our efforts to find a manufacturer at a reasonable cost have been fruitless,” ended the dream.In the early 1990s, the records were found in a safe deposit box at First Bloomington Lake National Bank, and the papers made their way to the state’s historical agency via a Minnesota law that gives the Society first claim to abandoned historic materials.

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