Dr John Bancroft, a psychiatrist and author of Human sexuality and its problems, said the attitudes had echoes of teenagers' deafness to anti-smoking campaigns: 'Adolescents tend to play down the risk.
It's hard in day-to-day encounters just to ask a couple if they're interested in adventurous sex.Ninety per cent will tell you to get lost or you'll find the bloke gets nasty. 'There must have been 20 people, male and female, in one small room.People were saying things like: 'Excuse me, is that your elbow?In their case, the calls for monogamy in the Aids age have fallen on deaf ears.
However, as in the homosexual community, promiscuity and challenging sexual norms do not have to be unsafe.
People respond to adverts, inviting 'broad-minded couples' to meet in a 'friendly, conducive atmosphere'. No one would get away with not using a condom or asking for anal intercourse.
They pay about pounds 10 membership and sign a form saying they won't let on where the parties take place. 'One night fancy dress might be kinky boots; another, tarts and vicars. They would be frozen out.' Since Night Shift, a swingers' club in London, was closed and the owners fined pounds 3,000 last month for keeping a disorderly house, overt sex in such clubs has fallen off.
'They are more a clearing house for private parties,' Julian said.
'Frottaging' - sexually explicit body rubbing on the dance floor - is more the order of the day.
The Government is concerned that although the message on Aids is getting through, too few people are practising 'safe sex'.