Have you ever had the experience of walking into a room and seeing dozens of people having sex with each other?
Well, until last year, I hadn’t.
My heart was pounding on the way to the venue. My girlfriend (at the time) and I made small talk with our cab driver to take our minds off of the fact that we were actually attending our first ever fetish-friendly sex party (also known as ‘play parties’ in the community).
We arrived and, having been briefed on the dress code (wear a hat, and something on your feet… everything in between is optional), we felt mildly at home when we first entered the room.
Aside from the initial fascination with all of the largely naked bodies roaming the room that constantly reminded us “Oh right, this is a sex party”, something very strange came over me when my date and I first stepped through the doors into the event.
And as raunchy, embarrassing, or shocking as you think it might be, I feel like I learned some pretty valuable lessons about sexuality and people in general.
Here are the three biggest things that I learned from going to my first sex party.
1. Sex Is The Most Natural Thing In The World
The most immediately apparent thing that I learned from walking into my first ever sex party was how absolutely normal I felt. My mind didn’t think, “Wow, what a bunch of kinky perverts doing all of this crazy stuff”, but something more akin to “This is the most natural and beautiful display of human love I have ever seen. How is this not more fully integrated into our daily lives? How is this physical expression of love something that we hide more than most anything else?”
I didn’t have to do any mental backflips to rationalize my way into feeling normal… it was 100% clear upon arrival. Nothing is more natural than sex. Everyone does it. Your parents did it. It is why we exist at all.
And, yes, while I recognize the importance for intimacy to stay intimate (and private) for a lot of people, the realization hit me like a ton of bricks. It felt like such a foreign idea that someone would more readily be arrested for kissing their partner’s genitals in public than they would be for covertly selling drugs.
Sex is marketed to us around the clock, and yet it’s still uncouth to discuss it publicly in a lot of social situations. This sort of cognitive dissonance makes rise for a lot of people to have a warped view of sex and sexuality.
Walking into a room of over a hundred people, with a large percentage of them engaging with each other sexually, was something that deeply opened my eyes to how remarkably unremarkable it all was. It was just a bunch of people loving each other in ways that they liked to be loved.
2. Authenticity Wins Over Showiness Every Time
This particular sex party was advertised as a “sex positive play party” meaning that there were people of all genders, orientations, sexual preferences, and kinks.
Having been raised in a very open minded, progressive family, I had no discomfort being in a room filled with straight, gay, bi, trans, and queer people in outfits made of leather, fur, latex, or no outfit at all. But the thing that stuck out to me was not just the variety of people that were there, but the people that everyone seemed to respond to the most.
On one side of the continuum were the people with outfits that looked like they had been planned for weeks and were executed with absolute precision (every metal stud, sequin, or eyelash in its place). These people tended to look like they were a bit more in their head and moved about the room very cautiously as to not mess up their outfit.
On the other side of the continuum were the people who looked like they had largely thrown their outfit together and were just there to have fun (whatever fun meant to them individually). These people tended to bounce around the room full of energy and genuinely dripped enthusiasm for being where they were. When they were engaging in “scenes” with people (having sex, or engaging in sexual acts) it was this latter group of people that got the most attention throughout the night. And it wasn’t a close contest in the slightest. The people who were immaculately adorned received compliments and many glances, but it was the people whose relaxed energy seemed ecstatic to be there (whether just walking around the room, or getting spanked by a flogger) that attracted the eyes of others.
My secondary takeaway from the room of beautiful people was this; being someone who can be present and fully receive sexual pleasure captivates a room while flashiness and flawlessness only attracts momentary attention.
3. Fully Understanding Your Sexuality Makes You A More Balanced Person
I try to be as non-judgmental as possible, but I found it difficult to come into such an event without any preconceived ideas about the kind of people I would meet there.
I expected people on the fringe of society. I expected hyper-talkative extroverts that needed as much stimulation as possible. I expected to meet lacklustre couples that were desperately trying to breathe life back in to their failing relationships. I couldn’t have been more wrong on every account.
Throughout the event I chatted with people who were anywhere from 19 to 60 years old. I met people who were investment bankers, receptionists, and skydiving instructors. I met single people, and people who had been in open, loving marriages for decades.
Above all else, I met people that were intentional and open about their sexuality and were honestly some of the most balanced people I’ve ever met. They had expert level awareness around what they found arousing, they were brilliantly clear communicators, and they had an aura of “ask me anything” that made you immediately comfortable with them as people.
I engage with a lot of people in my daily life, and with some I can feel their incongruences and inconsistencies through their words. Engaging with them feels like I’m about to enter a building with windows missing and a foundation of quick sand. Conversely, talking with the people at this event felt like I was entering into a building made up of strong, stable materials that I could take shelter inside of, depend upon and trust.
And yes, while there were a small handful of kink-sters who didn’t know how to manage their energy as well as the others, the vast majority of the people in attendance were remarkably normal, stable, and lovely people.
What Did I Really Learn From My First Sex Party?
I learned to put my fears, insecurities, and judgments aside.
I learned that love and acceptance starts from within and radiates outwards.
I learned that sex is the most natural thing in the world and everyone deserves to have it exactly as they want it (with other consenting adults).
And most importantly, I learned that there’s nothing sexier than an open mind.
While this sort of an event is likely a huge step for most people reading this, there are micro-steps you can take in the same direction in order to glean the same results. For example, when was the last time you sat down with yourself and really questioned your sexual beliefs, or sexual preferences? When was the last time you had an intentional conversation with your partner about whether or not they have any sexual fantasies that they might want to try out?
Sex is too important of a factor in our lives for it to be so hidden from what is considered societally acceptable. Integrate it more fully, if only a little bit, and you and your partner will be better for it.
Ps. Are you a guy who wants to get more comfortable with sex? Check this out.