Much like varying food preferences that lead us to prefer Indian takeout over tacos or to favor American grub over Italian fare depending on our mood, our sexual tastebuds evolve and change with experience, age, and curiosity. To have a fulfilling intimate life, you should feel empowered to exercise your experimentation bone to discover what kinks, moves, activities, and ritual will bring you the excitement. One opportunity that allows you to pick-your-own-pleasure that might feel a little out of your comfort zone is attending a sex party.
While you might first imagine a giant orgy reminiscent of pornographic videos you’ve watched in the past, experts reassure the benefits of attending this type of event far extend the mere act of intercourse. Instead, this respected and often structured environment offers a safe, sexual haven to partake or observe, depending on what you’re up for.
Before you submerge yourself in this unchartered territory, here’s what you should expect for your first encounter:
First up, what is a sex party?
Sexpert at Sssh.com, a company geared toward creating female-friendly porn, Coleen Singer explains that while sex parties were once part of an underground scene, they are growing to become more mainstream and accepted. “The internet has given rise to kink communities and has made it easier for people to connect with one another. There is also a greater acceptance of sexual kinks in today’s society, and that is a great thing,” she says. “Sex parties are a fun way to explore your sexuality, meet people in the kink community, and have a bit of fun.”
Even if modern takes of sex parties are growing in popularity, the practice of group sex, public sex, or voyeurism isn’t a new concept, dating back to ancient Greek, Egyptian, and Roman empires. “These time periods all have clear evidence of the more hedonist attitudes towards sex and more so the ‘sex party’ was born. Often totally indulgent, these soirees commonly involved the combinations of hearty eating, heavy drinking and no hold back play. Some of the earliest officially documented sex parties were ‘The Bacchanalia’, Roman festivals of Bacchus, the Greco-Roman god of wine, freedom, intoxication, and ecstasy,” Singer says.
Today, for adults 18 years and older, sexual educator Hunter Riley notes you likely won’t see a pool of writhing individuals when you walk into a sex party, but rather several options that allow you to navigate at your ease and speed. “There are typically several rooms, only a few of which are designated for sex and play. There's often an area to socializing without sex, a place for snacks and drinks, and then one or more private rooms, and one or more rooms where group play is allowed, as well as watching,” she explains.
Where can you find a safe sex party?
When you’re ready to seek out a romp party in your town, Singer warns against venturing to the classifieds, and instead, seeking out reputable communities where you know safe sex will be not only respected but expected. She recommends the North American Swing Club Association, or NASCA, which offers a wealth of information, including sex party tips and protocol, to sex and swinger parties nearby. Riley also recommends FetLife.com or SLS, both of which frequently post events that cater to play, orgy, and group sex parties. If you find one that you would like to attend, be prepared to answer questions, apply, or make a case for yourself. Because trusted colonies want to protect and ensure the security of their members, there is often a precautionary process in place.”
Websites such as fetlife.com or SLS.com often have events posted that might cater to group sex, orgies sex, and play parties. Some of these events might also include an element of kink & bdsm, some might not. “Many parties will not list their location and you have to initiate contact with the organizer before you can get the location. Some parties have you come to a meet-and-greet first, so they can give you an idea of how they work, and what's expected of attendees,” Riley explains. “It's often a good idea to have a partner or friend come with you so you both can vouch for and watch out for one another.
You Might Also Like: Leo + Scorpio: Sexual Dynamo Or Death Match?
Before you decide to put on your best lingerie or themed sexy wear, Singer recommends getting to know the members you might, ahem, become intimate with, in a more relaxed, public, clothing-required environment. Many swinger groups will offer what’s referred to as ‘munches’ that take place in public places like bowling alleys or lounges. “This gives you a chance to meet a few people in a safe setting to get to know the ‘vibe’ of the sex party and swingers communities. The added benefit is that you will already know a few people that are going to your first parties and they will be more than happy to be your mentors and guides when you get there,” she explains.
Set your boundaries.
Once you’re ready to dive in — quite literally — Riley recommends determining your own boundaries before ever taking anything off. For your first sex party, you should arrive open-minded, but also understand how far you’re willing to go. She also adds you should never feel pressured to do anything you don’t want to do, at any time. “It's 100-percent fine for you to go to a sex party and not have sex with anyone, or even get naked. Lots of people go to sex parties to be around other like-minded people, and it's not always about the sex,” she explains. “If you go as part of a couple or established partnership, same guidelines apply. Negotiate before you arrive. What are you safer sex protocols, do you play together or separate?” One way to explore what you are willing to try and what might sit well with your personal fantasies is this ‘Yes’, ‘No’ and ‘Maybe’ checklist that lays out the experiences you might have at a party.
And respect others too.
The only way a sex party can be a positive experience for all those who attend is when the value of consent is respected. That’s why Riley says to never — ever! — assume someone is gung-ho and ready-to-go just because they’re at a sex party. “Some people go into their first sex party thinking that they are absolutely going to have sex. That's not the case. Lots of people go to sex parties with friends or lovers to be an exhibitionist. Not everyone goes to sex party to find new partners,” she explains.
A smart rule of thumb is to ask permission before any sort of touching — even if it’s stroking their back or resting your head on their shoulder. Though it might seem overboard when others having sex on the couch next to you, it’s always better to have permission.
Singer also notes the importance of having a chat before getting down to business with a new partner so you aren’t put into a situation where you want a sexual act to end or it’s out of your OK-zone. “Safe means always have protected sex. Sane is not to be talked into “rough play” or other sex acts that exceed your boundaries. Consensual means that you and your new party friend have a chat before having sex to make sure that you both are completely willing to stop the activity at any time with a simple ‘safe word’. My personal favorite is ‘swordfish’ which simply can not be misconstrued, like ‘Don’t’ or ‘Stop!’ which can be heard as ‘Don’t stop!’”
And if you’re in on the fun — or watching someone else enjoy themselves and you’re tempted to join in? Riley says to hold your horses, unless you’re invited. “Just in the same way you aren't going to go up to the chef and make small talk while they're cooking your meal, most people don't want to be interrupted during their sex and play,” she recommends.