06/22/2015 10:24 am ET Updated Jun 22, 2016

What 'The Overnight' Gets Right About Swingers, from a Real Swinger

Jason Schwartzman’s naked body, a prosthetic penis and pictures of buttholes are all things that you will see in The Overnight.

Feeling aroused already? Good. Taking Hollywood’s prudish fear of the bedroom and slapping it in the face with a dick, The Overnight explores the hush-hush world of swinger culture (or “The Lifestyle,” as it’s commonly known).

Taylor Schilling (Orange Is the New Black) and Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) star as a timid married couple who are invited over for dinner by Kurt and Charlotte (Schwartzman and Judith Godréche), only to find themselves coerced into something much...sexier.

Van Winkle’s spoke with Daniel Stern, a Los Angeles-based swinger and author of the book Swingland: Between the Sheets of the Secretive, Sometimes Messy, but Always Adventurous Swinging Lifestyle, about how The Overnight stacks up to his real experiences living “The Lifestyle.” Here’s what we learned:

The Location

Like something straight out of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, swingers are all around you, from your child’s fourth-grade teacher to the policeman who pulled you over for speeding. (You know those two couples down the street who play tennis together? They’re probably fucking).

The Overnight takes place in Los Angeles, the same city where Stern has been swinging for 11 years. And although swinger culture is literally everywhere, SoCal’s is particularly large due to the fact that it’s one of the most populated parts of the country.

“It is realistic that they would set it in L.A., from my experience, because it’s very active out here,” Stern says. “There’s a lot of stuff going on any day of the week.”

Another reason L.A. is a great place to play? “People have more space than, say, New York, so it’s easier to be private in public,” Stern says.

The Meeting

If a married couple wants to have sex with you, don’t worry, they’ll tell you.

But in The Overnight, Schwartzman’s character lures Schilling and Scott over to his house after striking up a friendly conversation in the park, without revealing his true intentions. This, Stern says, is “inappropriate” and uncommon for swingers.

“I’m not saying that doesn’t happen, but it’s highly unlikely and something personally I would never do,” Stern says. “And that’s something all the people that I have met and I respect in The Lifestyle would never do.”

He also says that in the 21st century, most swingers meet other couples through the internet.

“It’s more common to do it online,” Stern says. “However, when you’re doing a movie, it’s not as dramatically interesting if you just email somebody.”

The Children

In The Overnight, both couples have young children asleep in the house while the, ahem, fooling around takes place.

Do swingers usually play while their children are only a few feet down the hall? No, Stern says, but it’s not completely out of the ordinary.

“There was a single woman who I was playing with, and then in the middle of it, I heard a door open and her son was waking up in the middle of the night and I was like Oh, shit,” Stern says. “I had no idea her son was asleep or that she had a son.”

Although Stern has no children (that he knows of), he says he notices that couples often start experimenting with other couples a few years after having kids.

“I would think having a child would kind of accelerate the marriage getting stale, just because you really get into a routine of raising this kid day in and day out,” he says. “You don’t focus as much on yourself as you used to.”

The Sexual Preference

Without spoiling the movie, there might be a chance that The Overnight has a little bit of guy-on-guy and girl-on-girl.

But do all swinger couples involve the men hooking up with the men, and the women hooking up with the women? Not at all, says Stern, who is straight and has never hooked up with the husband while fooling around with a married couple.

“If you go onto the [swinger] websites and the profiles, the first thing you can see is each person’s gender, age, weight and sexual orientation,” Stern says. “So you’ll have straight, bi-curious or bi. People are very honest, and you need to be. Otherwise, you’re going to get blackballed.”

The Attractiveness

So do all swingers look as hot as Adam Scott and Taylor Schilling, or Jason Schwartzman and Judith Godreche? Because if they do, then sign me up for and fast.

“It runs the gamut,” Scott says. “You can go all the way from Adonises down to the stereotypical hairy, gutted male with gold chains. I’d say the most common is right in the middle. You’ve got your bell curve of people.

“They’re not Ken and Barbie, but they’re everyday, normal people with their imperfections. And that tends to be why a lot of people don’t notice them, because they’re like you and me. They’re everybody.”

The Overnight is now playing in select theaters.

-- Jeremy Grossman

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