Suburban sex parties, Is 'My Secret House' illegal?

Posted: Updated:
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- This Chandler home looks like every other home in the neighborhood. But what apparently goes on here is anything but ordinary.

The homeowner calls it "My Secret House" and advertises weekend swinger parties online.

Her neighbors say they aren't happy about the adult business operating in their backyard.

But is it illegal?

3TV found out dozens of people are showing up on the weekend for the "Multiple Hands On," "Bad Boy," or "Get Lucky" parties.

But there's one problem, this business isn't allowed in the neighborhood without the proper permits.

One by one the cars pulled in on one of the multiple nights 3TV visited "My Secret House."

The website for "My Secret House" has explicit details about the sex parties. There's also an event calendar.

The hostess makes one request to all partygoers; bring your own condoms.

It's an unlikely party scene for this neighborhood where chickens roam freely and cows graze.

"My Secret House" is on a dead-end road in a family-friendly part of Chandler where neighbors move to escape big city life.

The house may be a secret to most, but neighbors who know what's going on aren't keeping quiet.

"She needs to do that someplace else like the Bunny Ranch in Nevada," said Sandra Carpenter who lives behind "My Secret House."

Sex parties in the suburbs have neighbors feeling unsafe. Carpenter said, "We lock the doors, we have dogs for guarding."

Judy Cochran said she had security cameras installed after she found out what was going on in "My Secret House."

The hostess for these swinger parties is Tanya Rathjen and she was dressed for the occasion when 3TV caught up with her.

We asked Rathjen why she doesn't apply for a special use business permit.

She said, "It's not a business. It's a party." But she charges people who attend the parties. "It's just contribution to the party costs," said Rathjen.

When we asked Rathjen if she's concerned about how her neighbors feel about this adult oriented business, she said "I don't have to ask my neighbors it's my house."

Rathjen lists her place as a bed and breakfast. At least that's how the trade name 'My Secret House' is filed with the state.

Online the hostess claims she isn't doing anything illegal. 

Maricopa County code enforcement officer Charles Hart told 3TV, "This type of operation would not be allowed without a special use permit."

That permit would require approval from residents and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.

Hart admits getting both could be very difficult.

The Chandler Police Department is not investigating and Hart said he hasn't cited Tanya because neighbors haven't recently made a formal complaint.