So, you’ve read a bunch of smut and watched a bit too much porn and are finally able to go out into the world and get buckwild? If you’re looking for advice this article is it but it’s not great (don’t click out of the article, it’s interesting I promise!) This is a bit about my first time a sex party. Total disclaimer: I’m 18 (legal adult age), polyamorous, and have a lovely boyfriend who knows 100% what was happening when I got on a plane to California.
Find somewhere to go
Well, I guess it helps if you know the co-owner of a sex party group. I definitely got the easy way out of this experience but the reality is, that this part is super hard. A lot of research and thought goes into this. Sex parties, orgies, dungeons, really any place where you’re semi- vulnerable and doing things of a sexual nature should be fully vetted.
Ask people who have been, try to get added to Facebook and Twitter groups, get personal accounts of parties you want to go to. Finding reviews online can be a bit hard but if you see someone online talking about a certain event or space you want to go to reach out. The worst that can happen is you avoiding a bad experience because someone told you in advance what was up.
Consent talks (Bonus points for Continuous Consent)
You’re half naked, slightly intoxicated, but ready to have a good time. Every one else you see is more or less in the same boat as you. Time and time again it should be emphasized that these are vulnerable spaces. Sex is a lot for people, a lot of good, a lot of bad, and hopefully a lot of fun. Like always, consent is very important, but when you’re in a room full of strangers that importance is at 100. At the party I went to we had a whole speech about it. The music was turned off and everyone was quiet as a team of organizers stood on a stage and told us about consent.
For me this was one of my favorite experiences of the night. I’ve always been an advocate of ‘consent is king’ but that point is truly uplifted when you add the point of continuous consent. Yes, you’re kissing, touching, groping, but every next step should be an ask. I haven’t had casual sex in a while so it was a practice I was out of habit. Having regular partners back home we knew each other well enough to see boundaries a mile away and know if the other person could handle them at the moment or not. The reminder was both helpful to me and relaxing, I knew if I needed the gentle reminder, other people probably did too and I didn’t personally have to nudge someone so we were on the same page.
Manage your expectations
I was told this point a million times by my friend inviting me out as well as every article about these sort of things I could find. Do not go in expecting a crazy, hot porn scene to spring out of the air. Somehow that didn’t make sense to me. I was in a space with people I felt comfortable with, I was half naked, and drunk. It sounded like a situation that any other time would have me ready to get naked and get going.
Oh hey, are the people who think we’re not going to blatantly talk about sex gone yet? Yes?
OK, cool. Let’s get into the nitty gritty. I went to a sex party, yes I know that it’s the name of the article and it’s implied but lets really talk about it. I went to a sex party and that fact can mean different things to every single person in that room, but for me that meant I wanted to have sex. A lot of it. I thought I’d go in, get introduced to a bunch of people, mingle a bit, and then start having sex.
I laugh now, I really do. That was the stupidest assumption I have ever had. While yes, I did meet people and mingle a bit, but instead of having sex, I had a panic attack. A bad one. It lasted about an hour and a half. A lot of on and off crying, wandering around, and feeling lost took place. The brief moments I saw my friend in the crowd he hugged me, asked if I was doing OK, and wandered off to keep doing staff/organizer things.
I realize now that so much of the night sucked for me because I thought some attractive person and I would make eye contact across the dance floor, be sucked into one another and just have to sleep with one another. Not that that’s never happened to me before but I guess I had high hopes for myself.
The thing I truly wish I realized is that it’s OK not to have sex at these things. While yes, I did have sex with a couple of people, one of my favorite moments of the night was being pilled in a single stall bathroom with a bunch of girls sitting on the floor talking about life. It’s an experience I definitely could have had back home but I think that’s why I loved it so much. It was natural and felt 100% authentic to who I was.
The morning after the party I sat in bed and thought about everything I’d done the night before. I started drafting this article in my head and I started to think how I could take these experiences back home with me. I have a boyfriend I love very much who was very supportive of me going to this crazy wild thing and at the end of all of it our relationship got stronger. Going to a sex party reminded me to stay fully engaged with my partner in sexual moments, to check in no matter what, and that touch doesn’t always mean sex.
I’d like to thank my lovely friend, David who invited me out, and the organizer, Organ House, which hosts these parties in the San Francisco/Bay Area.