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Orgy Etiquette, Part 1: Attending

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Thursday, December 01, 2011

I've never participated in an orgy—unless you count that time at boarding school, which is a story to be told in a newspaper not religiously read by my parents, who paid big bucks for said education (thanks, Mom and Dad!).

Being an orgy virgin, I was keen to collect the dirty details when my friend told me he had been invited to one at the end of a night of dancing at Diva's. Disappointingly, he told me he didn't attend. Why not? "Because I was tired and didn't think I'd know anyone there."

My friend's astute attention to orgy detail left me crestfallen, curious and paranoid. While it makes sense that an orgy would require sufficient energy, I didn't realize that they required an "in." An anal-retentive girl with an obsessive tilt towards unnecessary disaster preparedness, I was left fretfully wondering about the other unspoken orgy rules. And so I found myself up at 2 a.m. studying for the orgy invitation that I was now sure would show up in my mailbox at sunrise. This is what I found.

First, the term "orgy" is so '70s. "Play party" is much more modern, though usually linked to the BDSM community, so make sure to check the party specifics if seeking something vanilla. A party at a "swinger's club" can be similarly specific, generally featuring married couples who swap partners for straight-only sexual pairings. Know the orgy's theme before you RSVP. Is this party gender- or sexuality-specific, singles-only, kink-focused, members-only?

Pre-orgy, inquire about any ground rules a seasoned orgy-host(ess) will certainly have. Follow them exactly. Don't be that asshole who shows up fall-down drunk with nothing but a video camera and a boner. It's not cute and won't get you laid. Not even at an orgy. Then heed some general guidelines.

Act as if you were on a date, at a movie theater. Silence your cell phone; avoid texting. No recording and no loud commentary, especially if it involves any third-party directing. Be charming, charismatic, polite, genuine and interesting—just because you're at a play party doesn't mean you have to act all Ron Jeremy creepy. Be yourself and the sex will surely follow.

Take your clothes off promptly. Being clothed at an orgy is like being naked at the grocery store. It's just wrong.

Put down the binoculars. Watching is OK, but only with permission and in limited intervals. While observing can clue you in on how an orgy might work, ogling is rude.

Always ask before jumping in. Consent is a requirement of sex no matter where you are. Making assumptions is a great way to get punched, ruin the party and get exiled from play party subculture for life! Nooooooooo!

If you're attending as a couple, set guidelines with your partner before the party. Orgy drama is the worst. Will you only be participating as a unit? Whom can you play with and whom should you avoid? Is your ex attending? Know these things.

This isn't a contest. You don't get a point for every person you F, nor must you F them all. You are allowed to have standards; just be polite with your turn-downs.

Don't blow it all on one person, and remember to share.

For the love of your own genitals, practice safer sex. A good host(ess) will have materials on hand, but bringing your own stash of latex is advised.

Don't just go to any old party advertised in the papers or online, as a mal-hosted orgy of strangers can quickly dissolve into a hotbed of STIs, failed orgasms, over-drugged wastedness and general unsexiness. If you're having trouble finding a personal connection to a party, ask around at local sex shops and sex-positive establishments like our dear friend Diva's.

Finally, my friend was right—an orgy will be much more enjoyable if you know someone. In the age of Craiglist killers and Facebook stalkers, finding a legitimate, safe play party can be challenging, and a personal connection is practically a must. The best play parties have a pre-screened invite list, and if you just can't seem to get onto one, it might be time to host your own party. Host my own play party!? Find out how next week.

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