There’s something special about sex in a crowd. I’ve always had a bone-deep exhibitionist streak. I love to be heard screaming, seen writhing, witnessed being the container for someone’s fantasies made visceral. Even if I lack an affinity for sexual voyeurism, there’s a deep sense of compersion knowing I’m in a room with other lovers in a similar state of bodily bliss. As such, orgies and sex parties have become the closest thing I have to church: a communion of writhing flesh and every bodily fluid one could thirst for.
For the unfamiliar, the sex party can be a daunting world to try and break into. After all, these are spaces that encourage liberated hedonism and uninhibited acts of reciprocal desire for all to see, something in stark contrast to the vanilla world. While it can appear to be a sexual wild west, erotic events like these have structure and etiquette just like any other party (if not more so given the intimate content of their activities). It’s simply a matter of knowing the lay of the land before you can land a lay.
Your clothes might be in a bedside pile shortly, but it still feels good to arrive in style — it’s a way of making a first impression that’ll spark the lust you seek.
You’ll want to avoid anything too casual like denim or khaki. I tend towards overtly sexual fabrics like lace, leather, and latex, but there is nothing wrong with sticking to something sexy in its simplicity like a crop top or a black dress.
It’s best to strike a balance between what’s physically comfortable and what will also make you feel socially comfortable. I recently made the mistake of wearing my latex gimp hood to the party and while it attracted plenty of attention, I couldn’t hear through the rubber well enough to flirt. I took it off and only redonned it later when I was gangbanged by femme dommes.
It’s also wise to bring any sex toys you like with you. There’s nothing wrong with just going with your hands and holes, but an orgy can be just the right occasion to try out that vibrator or plug you’ve been aching to experiment with.
Respect the space and the other guests
Here are a few simple dos and don'ts that should help guide you through the basics of party etiquette:
Don’t assume you can touch or use any toy you see.
Do feel free to use the safer sex supplies likely to be provided by the space. This will often include condoms, gloves, lube, and puppy pads.
Don’t interrupt another person’s scene, either directly or by having loud conversations about unsexy subject matter within earshot of where others are playing. No one wants to hear about star signs while they’re trying to nut!
Do feel free to watch anyone playing in an open space. Maybe you aren’t ready to play, maybe you aren’t in the mood, or perhaps you just really get off on playing the voyeur over the exhibitionist. Sometimes it’s pleasure enough to just be surrounded by friendly moaning faces.
Don’t take pictures or videos. These spaces act on radical consent meaning that people put themselves in a state of enhanced vulnerability out of a trust in their privacy and consent being respected.
Do protect yourself from any situation that makes you uncomfortable. Other players at the party may be participating in activities that you don’t want to see or hear, and in those cases, it is on you to remove yourself from that situation.
Flirting and communication
Flirting can be a lot easier at sex parties. While it isn’t as easy as an Austin Powers-esque inquiry to shag now or shag later, it is a venue built around a free exchange of erotic desire. Breaking the ice could mean small talk or a well-placed compliment to someone’s fetish gear, or just an outright admission of attraction.
On a recent excursion to a NYC party called Vampire Dykes, I was lined up with several other queers eating birthday cake from a human platter (the birthday girl herself). After diving in headfirst, messily catching several pieces of spongy goodness between my teeth, I coyly asked the femme next to me if she could help me get clean of the frosting coating my face. She happily obliged, bathing me with her tongue and soon after we were having an electro-play scene.
Above all, it’s paramount to be proactive in pursuing your desire and fulfilling your smuttiest dreams. You can wait around and look cute all you want, but it doesn’t help your chances of getting what you want if you can’t voice it. Communication is everything and unspoken cravings are harder to satisfy. Closed holes don’t get filled!
On the other side of that lustful coin, don’t be scared of a “no”, whether you are giving or receiving it. These spaces run on a system of radical consent which requires clear expression of what does or doesn’t work for you. There’s no inherent shame in being turned down and likewise none in not wanting to do something, even when asked by someone you like. You are responsible for your own wellbeing, and it is your prerogative to take care of your needs.
Part of the fun of sex is finding the mutuality of what turns you on and a middle ground of sexual satisfaction. This is just as true when sex takes place between two people in private as it is when it happens in a crowd of like-minded perverts. I can’t promise you’ll have an epiphany of bliss that borders on a religious experience, but it doesn’t hurt to try.