Two sexy women in lace lingerie suits whispering while holding wine glasses

What you need to know before attending a sex party?

Imagine a sex party? Forget those mysterious and elitist soirees; there is a diverse range. While some may resemble Eyes Wide Shut with masks and rituals, others are laid back and enthusiastic. Don't be intimidated; there are sex parties here for everyone, from sophisticated affairs to casual get-togethers.

What is a sex party?

Sex parties, also known as "play parties" in BDSM circles, consist of a series of private or semi-public events in which participants can engage in sexual activity, often in the presence of other people. While the idea may seem strong to newcomers, these parties offer shy but curious individuals the opportunity to broaden their sexual horizons. Sex parties promote connections with like-minded people and create an environment where kinks and fetishes can be explored with consent. Contrary to the misconception that all attendees are required to have sex, many attendees attend as voyeurs out of curiosity or intentions that may evolve upon arrival. These events prioritize consent, which makes them particularly attractive to anxious individuals seeking respect and safety to explore their desires.

Here I will discuss what happens at these events and outline basic considerations before attending.

1. Consent is paramount: The basic rules of any sexual encounter apply here as well. Despite the perception of wild orgies at sex parties, not everyone who attends a sex party intends to date everyone. It is crucial to obtain explicit consent before any sexual activity. The right to say “no” is absolute, and attendees don’t just exist to fulfill other people’s fantasies.
2. Unwritten rules abound: In addition to consent, every event has specific unwritten rules. For example, some parties may restrict single men unless they attend as a couple, while others, expect active participation from all attendees. Just being an observer may not be an option, as is "you can't just be a lurker."
3. Build friendships: Contrary to popular assumption, not everyone who attends a sex party is there just for the sexual encounter. Many attendees seek to connect with like-minded people who share polyamorous and gender-positive values. These gatherings often feel more like community events and can foster friendships between people with similar views.
4. Different purposes: In addition to participating in sexual activities, participants may have different intentions. Some people participate in these activities for entertainment, such as participating as comedians and engaging in positive sexual behaviors. Additionally, these gatherings may provide non-traditional forms of entertainment, Autry recalls of her first experience eating pretzels and twists. Such gatherings may include a variety of elements from entertainment to snacks, providing a unique social experience.
5. Different Atmosphere: The atmosphere at a sex party can vary greatly. The experience at Burning Man's Rave Dome, for example, was far from a traditionally sexy environment. Factors such as desert conditions, logistical inconveniences and group sex that not everyone enjoys contribute to a less sexy atmosphere. Instead, there’s the undeniable “erotic energy” and “sexy vibe” at mixed-gender parties.

A sexy man and woman having intimate contact on the sofa

6. Pre-established connections: Contrary to the stereotype that everyone is with everyone, many of the close relationships at these gatherings involve individuals who are together. To clear up misunderstandings, most people tend to stay in their established groups, whether in groups of three, six, or some other configuration. This dynamic usually involves individuals who are already familiar with each other, rather than random interactions.
7. Social dynamics in the game: Making connections at a sex party can be just as challenging as dating in real life. Despite the openness and sexual nature of such gatherings, it's still not easy to approach someone you find attractive. Even in settings where public sexual activity occurs, meeting people can still be a delicate and sometimes challenging aspect.
8. Navigate rejection: Similar to real-life dating or dating apps, rejection is part of the scene. People often respect potential partners by asking them if they can join, or if others would like to join. In this context, accepting and handling rejection gracefully is considered a valuable skill that contributes to personal growth and character development.
9. Diverse sexual experiences: Sex parties vary greatly in their nature and services offered. In addition to the infamous Orgy Dome, there are sex-positive events catering to different preferences. Some examples include Cuddle Parties, which focus on consensual touch and affection, and Crave Resorts, which offer romantic and voyeuristic getaways for couples. To discover activities, I recommend asking local lifestyle or adult clubs as well as sex-positive shops for recommendations.
10. Please do not take photos or videos without explicit permission: Photography is strictly prohibited at most clubs and violators risk expulsion or permanent ban. While smaller or private groups may be more lenient, it's critical to adhere to the established rules. At some themed events, such as a luxury lingerie party, the atmosphere may tempt you to capture the moment, but photography may be allowed under certain guidelines.  When photography is allowed: Even if the atmosphere is relaxed, always ask permission before photographing others. Also, ask before sharing images on platforms such as Instagram, as some people may be reluctant to reveal their political party affiliation. If you get permission to post, ask if there are any obscured names, faces, or tattoos. If you feel uneasy thinking about these considerations, it's best to put your camera away.

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