Clinical Sex and Relationship Therapist Sue McGarvie (Sex with Sue.com)and her husband Blaik Spratt started this group called the Ducklings out of local sex and relationship workshops over the last few years.
We are the Ducklings, a safe community of people who are sexy, sassy, flirty and fun.
Our members are awesome people who enjoy getting together to safely flirt, have fun, and expand our knowledge of all things sexy. We do not allow aggression or drama, and no mean people need apply as being kind is a basic value in our group.
While we’re not a dating group, a surprising number of love matches have met at our events. Nor are we a swinger’s group, though some of us are non-monogamous.
We’re a community of people who are not afraid to dip a toe into something new because we’re not alone. It’s way more fun, and far safer, as a community.
Duckling events are designed to be both sexy and fun. We have toured the private dungeon of the city’s best-known Dominatrix and visited a sex club after hours. We’ve taken salsa and polka lessons, learned how to throw an axe (dressed as Vikings to make it more fun), and held a pool party with volunteers providing pedicures and massages. And we love themed parties with costumes!
Our members are half couples (some married more than 30 years) and singles (gay, straight, or “its’ complicated”). We’re primarily over 25 but under 65, with most between 35 and 45. We are firmly in the middle between quiet and gentle, and crazy and wild.
We have grown to over 3,500 people on our e-mail list and are closing in on 2,000 members on “Meetups” alone. We pre-screen to make sure new members share our values.
Given that our events are safe, the best way to discover if you’ll fit in is to come to a general event. You’ll meet lots of people, and as Ducklings are so friendly, they’re happy to answer questions from newbies.
If you are nervous, arrive 30 minutes early. We’ll be there to welcome [M1] , and will give you a task to help you fit in until you acclimatize. Ducklings love to help so you won’t be the only one.
Please join us for guided, pressure-free, sensuous outings. Referrals and friends are welcome, but they need to agree with our philosophy.
Being a Duckling enhances relationships, increases intimacy and builds community.
Wouldn’t you like to be a Duckling, too?
Be kind, don't be a dumbass, keep the drama to a minimum and know that we value safety. Ageist, racist, fat-ist or any of the ist... (unless it's kind-ist) will not be tolerated.
Ducklings are cool! We think a community of like-minded friends for whom kindness matters is important. We think mean people suck. Our first year of adventures included hoedowns, sexuality courses, epic Halloween and Octoberfest parties, burlesque, adult laser tag, wine tours, fantasies and cheesecake, a brothel tour (what!), a clothing optional picnic among so much more. There may be other things on your bucket list that we do in a safe, respectful, and taking-the-high-road-kind-of-way.
Our activities range from PG to slightly out of your comfort zone. And you get to pick the activities (using our rating system -see below) that work for you. Although we do have some workshops (and we know the best speakers in the country) we aim to have more fun making friends and talking about it than just promoting sex as a series of lectures. We are NOT a sex club. Let us repeat that. We are not a swingers club or a place for random hookups. Ick. Guys just looking to score need not apply here. (And we can’t believe we have to write this but inappropriate photos or randomly soliciting our female members will get you removed and blocked permanently!) We have a zero tolerance for sexually hustling women off the Duckling meet up site! Let us repeat we are NOT a dating site.
Over the last few years we have been teaching courses to couples and singles who want to spice up their sex lives we called “Suburban Hedonist classes.” Sue and Blaik have spoken all over North America on ways to spice up your relationships with grace, humour and integrity. Our courses were an introduction to what is out there sexually, and offered up ideas on improving long-time relationships with fun and authenticity. The courses were to offer information on what is possibly out there for you to enhance your relationship in a way that was comfortable for you. We went on a number of field trips from burlesque shows to a visit to Eastern Canada’s most famous dominatrix. By going places and learning things together, and by sharing the experiences the events became fun(a sense of humour is a must!) instead of scary. We stared to gather (and quacked a bit) and we were described as “ducklings”. The name stuck.
We want to build a community. The Ducklings at it's core is a happy group of funny and sexy friends that hang out gently. Community is one of the measurables of great health. So having new friends makes you healthy! Think of us as loving hedonists, but in the nicest possible way. The mission is to have fun, eat yummy food, laugh so much we worry about peeing our pants, and go meet like-minded people. No pressure in any way and sexually aggressive people ARE NOT WELCOME. We want you to go home with a smile on your face. Our activities range from PG to slightly out of your comfort zone. We value honesty, dependability, and camaraderie! Therefore zero tolerance for rude, mean spirited, disrespectful behaviour or making others feel uncomfortable either in person or by email will not be tolerated and removed without notice. We volunteer a great deal of time to this group and mean-spirited criticism will have you tossed.
As of September 1, 2015 we will be operating the Ducklings on a paid membership basis. The 2016 annual fee is only $70 for a single membership or $130 for a couple. 1/2 (6 month) memberships are abailable after April 1st. A membership is required to register for any limited ticket event about 60% of our events. There are some events each year (School of Sex's is an example) not requiring a membership but member Ducklings will always have first chance to purchase tickets.
If you value being able to attend ready-made social events which cater to your own tastes and comfort level, we ask you to support the cause. If the work we do in creating these events isn’t worth our fee, we want to know that too.
We need to make it easy for you to join. Check out the website at http://www.wearetheducklings.com/join/ an etransfer to firstname.lastname@example.org will also work. We will add you to the back end of our website, to our newsletter list and the personal ABSOLUTELY CONFIDENTIAL list of Ducklings for things like volunteer events and the We Vibe toy testing council among other things that makes membership so appealing.
If you are a Duckling and have an idea about possible events let us know! We are thrilled with enthusiasm and ideas. We post details to the community at large. We want to ensure a safe environment. Especially for our female Ducks. As therapists, we are committed to enforcing that rule. Let us repeat ourselves. This is not the place for sexually aggressive people or events. We are also trying to balance the genders. As such we reserve the right to limit events by gender if it turns too much into a hen party or penile colony. In fact the only people we actively block is mean and aggressive people, or people randomly hitting on Duckling members electronically. So don't be mean or aggressive or we will toss you. There are no second chances if you are inappropriate. So be gracious. Only half of all Ducklings are actually on this Meetup site. And many things happen within the group that are not posted here. Please send us your email address and we can add you to the private members section.
The Duckling rating system to let you know the kind of event taking place...
We've been asked for dress codes, behaviours etc. of some of your events. For both content and conduct we have created a rating system that will allow you to know how sexual any event is going to be. From the rating, you can extrapolate dress code. We hope this reduces stress and gives a better understanding of what to expect. We have included examples with the descriptions:
1 Duck event - this is very vanilla (pg). It is used for informational meetings, new member social gatherings and fun movies. Health and other kinds of lectures.
2 Duck event - at this type of event, you can expect colourful language and flirting. It would be used for comedy, R rated movies and group meals or wine pairings.
3 Duck event - this type of event is intended to be fun and very flirty. Dances, meet and greets, burlesque shows. Clothing required pool parties . Clothes stay on but can be tastefully sexy. The occasional flirty touch on the elbow could be invited.
4 Duck event - expect nudity of some kind. You may or may not choose to participate, but others will loose the laundry (even if its only topless). Nude pool parties, visits to nudist clubs or beaches fall into this category. Sexual touch of any nature is generally inappropriate. Playful flirtation can happen at the event.
4++ Duck event - A 4++ is defined as an event where nudity is permitted (top to bottom) and consensual acts (EXCLUDING INTERCOURSE) are permitted in certain designated areas only. In the other areas the usual 4 rating still applies. A 4++ means we will be discreetly sensuous. And if you don’t want to see it, it will be well out of the generally traveled areas of most events. Be be clear a 4+++ is different as there is no dedicated beds or play spaces set up. No fluids in the pool or hot tubs. Be discreet, find a corner, and fool around.
5 Duck event - expect sexual contact around you. Lots of friendly and appropriate touch would be the norm. However we will absolutely and unequivocally enforce the rule that"no means no". You can peek around the corner and watch with grace. While you are completely safe and being monitored, this is not a place for someone who does not want to see sexual acts or who is uncomfortable around sexual behaviour. Commercial lifestyle clubs or private adult parties fall into this rating.
If you want to come to a 4 or 5 Duckling event AND YOU ARE A SINGLE GUY (single women and couples are welcome without meeting us) then we need to meet or speak to you first. Its unfortunate, but the people who have been aggressive have universally been single guys. The monthly "greet the meat" events are for you to check in with us. We offer a fun environment (sometimes snacks!) and make everyone comfortable. It also allows you to meet people before you come out to a little sassier event.
The Ducklings are about sexy fun, laughing and above all - safety! We aim to make our events comfortable for everyone, particularly single women. As such, we created a policy that anyone could attend a 1, 2 or 3 Duckling event as they are very PG. However, for more "sexy" adventures, we want to meet single men first and explain our mission before granting them access to the events. We don't tolerate aggressive behavior and sometimes our group is not a good fit for someone. And we reserve the right to block anyone who we determine as inappropriate. If a single male is not available to attend a meet and greet, he can always track us down at a 1, 2 or 3 Duckling event. Either way, for 4 or 5 Duckling events single men have to meet us first. No exceptions as making our club members feel secure is an absolute.
It has come to our attention that there are people on meetups (mainly single guys- don't feel picked on) who are reaching out to female Ducklings as if this was a single’s group. The Ducklings are a community NOT a random dating group. We emphasize fun, sexy but for the third time, SAFE. There are lots of singles groups on the meetups site. Go try one of those groups instead. We have Ducklings who are married or in relationships, single, different orientations, or at the “it’s complicated” stage in their lives. Fielding come-on’s can be tiresome, awkward, and in one or two cases downright creepy. We think reaching out to someone you haven’t met before (especially if you have never come to a Duckling event) is boorish and inappropriate for the group. If we get wind of anyone doing this as a way to hookup we will block you and remove you from the group permanently. We are going to quote Michael's brilliant copy from Inbetweeners who said
"This is not POF, OKCupid, Match, or any number of online dating sites. This is for meeting people in person and for making friends. Please do not message members to ask them out on a date. I know you think you're being cool and all, but stop. It's weird and awkward, and it makes people uncomfortable. Anyone who abuses this or gives any fellow member the heebie-jeebies from this will get the mighty ban hammer." If you have met someone and want to reach out, feel free to write us. We will email them and ask if you are interested in hearing from them.
We are LGBT friendly. Heck, we are friendly with everyone, god fearing or flying spaghetti monstering, whatever your political bent or nationality, we don't care. Are you good people? That's all we need to know. Play nice.
A little business to get out of the way.
** Liability: All activities involve some risk. This can make them more fun. The Ducklings are considered a social networking club and cannot assume financial liability for mishaps, without charging a steep membership fee that would cover insurance for your benefit. By your participation, you accept your own personal risk and can attest that you have the skills and physical capabilities to safely enjoy the activities you RSVP for. If you are unsure of your physical or mental capabilities, we recommend you seek advice from your doctor or other professional beforehand. We will work hard to make you as safe as possible. Please be gentle with yourself and everyone else. It is the responsibility of those who invite guests to our events to inform them of this condition. Be a grown up. We do this for fun and expect people to take responsibility for their own behaviour. Do not make us police your drama. We are usually fair and give you a warning, but after that we don't have the time to deal with it.
We also have a new policy about no shows. We understand that life gets in the way. But we reserve restaurants and make other commitments based on the numbers that say they are coming. So if you commit to attending an event and you don't contact us to send your regrets at least 48 hours out (7 days for boudoir) we will be less than pleased. We now have a two strikes and you're out rule. Two no shows (without an email) and you aren't a Duckling anymore. Our venues put on extra staff for our events and it impacts our ability to re-book.
We want to ensure a safe environment. Let us repeat ourselves. This is not the place for sexually aggressive people. We are also trying to balance the gender numbers. As such we reserve the right to limit participants at events by gender if the event turns too much into a hen party or sausage fest. The only people we consistently toss out of the club are mean and aggressive people. We also ask for confidentiality about our members outside of Duckling events. While we can't guarantee this, Ottawa is a city where people have big jobs, and security clearances. We get permission before posting pictures. We respect your privacy as much as we possibly can.
All events are attended at your own risk. If ever you feel that an event is dangerous, over crowded, or that bad weather may be an issue then it is your responsibility not to participate in that event. Organizers are not responsible for any accidents or medical costs incurred to participants as a result of attending events.
Be respectful! Our group is diverse with a wide range of ages, races, gender orientations, and levels of life experience.
Be aware events may have alcohol present. If you intend to drink/consume alcohol, DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE.. It is recommended to take a cab to and from the event if you are going to drink.
Any criminal activity, illegal drug use (this includes pot smoking anywhere we can see or smell it as we do NOT endorse it and it is NOT ALLOWED AT ANY DUCKLING EVENT), driving while intoxicated, destruction of property, abusive language, unsafe behavior, harassment, or excessive annoying attitudes (drama) will get that person(s) removed and possibly banned from the group. The intended purpose of this group is to build community, learn from one another and have fun. If you do have any concerns or issues please bring them calmly and privately to the ORGANIZER. We like to think we are fair, sane and approachable. We also have identifiable Duckling helpers at every event. They are also super easy to talk to.
The group will not normally facilitate transport to activities by means of a car pool arrangement. Participants may choose to car pool but shall do so at their own risk.
Organizers are not responsible for damage to your personal property or for any accidents or medical costs incurred to participants as a result of attending events.
Anyone receiving unsolicited or harassing emails from members of the group should notify Blaik the Vice Principal at email@example.com.
Speaking of RSVP's, no need to RSVP "no" (we assume you're a "no" unless you say "yes"), instead, just RSVP YES
A number of people have been running personal parties with effectively 100% Ducks fashioning them after Duck events and using our terminology. It's confusing the members and seriously effecting our ability to run the ducks. Numbers are down significantly. Our choices are to fold the Ducks or try to protect the fledgling business.
We are sure there is no intent to tear down or harm the Duckling group in general. And we appreciate it's within everyone's right to run their own events. We are copyrighting the Duckling name and terminology and asking nicely to be aware of this situation. We understand that's all we can do.
We believe we have built an inclusive and nurturing group.