Hosting a party is always a stressful endeavor. It's even worse when people are fucking all over your furniture.
But if the idea of group sex interests you, a DIY orgy can be an ideal way to dip your toe in, while maintaining a level of control over the experience. And despite what you learned from Eyes Wide Shut, you don't need access to a mansion or a surplus of Mardi Gras masks to throw your own.
"I have thrown extraordinary, crowded, sweaty-hot orgies in a tiny studio apartment on the Upper East Side of New York, and I've thrown pathetic parties in amazing, crazy warehouse spaces," says Portland sex educator Allison Moon. "So I think the space is really what you do with it, and who fills it."
Many of the details of a sex party—like what kind of sex you want to have, and whom you want to have it with—are up to the individual. But if you want to create a space that's safe, welcoming and fun for you and your guests, there are some general rules to follow. So we asked Moon and sex therapist Angie Gunn for tips on nailing your first orgy. So to speak.
Whom should I invite?
Angie Gunn: I generally recommend knowing everyone to start with. Typically, that means having folks you know are comfortable with [sexually transmitted infection] testing, and that there's no shame or avoidance of sharing that information. They should also be comfortable with their own boundaries—the worst person at the sex party is the person who doesn't know what their boundaries are.
Allison Moon: I would never recommend going on social media immediately, but rather just kind of following the trails of individuals who already explore this stuff in their lives. Those people can often be great resources for you in terms of talking about how you want the party to be. Also, those are often the people that are like the ringers. Those are the people who are coming to the sex party to get the ball rolling. As a host, you don't have to be that person.
What am I expected to provide for guests?
Moon: The standard operating procedure is providing the very basics for safer sex. So condoms, both latex and non-latex. Gloves, both latex and non-latex. Lube is nice. And handy wipes and some really basic personal hygiene stuff. Imagine it like the hotel where they have a little mini shampoos so you're not expected to bring your own. I always like to have a stack of clean towels so people can lay them down and they don't get my couch all wet.
Gunn: Typically, folks are going to bring their own toys—unless you're doing a specific kind of scene, like a flogging session, then you might want to have a couple floggers around.
What snacks should I put out?
Moon: The snack table at the party is the most important thing, even a sex party. Be mindful of what feels sexy. That can sometimes be food that is fun to share—chocolate-dipped fruit, for instance. It can be food that is good for the digestive system and the breath. I always like to have candied ginger at sex parties. Try to avoid heavy things and gross, smelly things, like a really funky cheese. Not to say that I don't love a little bit of funky cheese, but that's for later.
Gunn: The parties that are the worst are the ones that just have candy. Having something that's more hearty and nourishing is helpful.
What should the setup be?
Moon: Depending on the space, you could delineate different levels of rooms. If you want to invite a bunch of newbies who might be nervous, you could have one area be just a make-out session—or you could have the entire party be a sucking-face party. There's no reason why you have to dive headfirst into whips and chains.
Gunn: It's nice to usually have a quiet space within a party where people can go and just have, like, a snuggle and not have every place be fucking.
So do you just, like, fire a starter pistol to get going?
Gunn: At parties that are well done, there's usually a schedule that's already followed. The people will know the first hour is mingling, and the doors are going to shut at 7 and nobody else gets to come in.
Moon: The parties that my partner and I like to throw often have a welcome circle. It can be a great opportunity for the host to introduce themselves and explain why they created this space and what the space is available for. Boundaries often make people feel particularly safe—to know that everybody's agreeing the same time to the expectations for the space and the party.
Should I designate someone to, like, direct traffic?
Moon: It's always a good idea to have a central person who nannies. It's helpful for people to know that if there's a question or a concern, they can always come to that one person that's been designated at the beginning and say, "I'm sorry, I spilled wine" or "I'm feeling a weird vibe." Maybe it's your more experienced friend who is happy to be the person who makes it clear that even if they're face down in something, they are retrievable.
Are there any other responsibilities I should give guests?
Moon: One of the best sex party training-wheel jobs is being a caddy. A caddy is a person who helps fetch things for people. If you're engaged in a sexy scene and don't want to have to walk across the room to get some handy wipes, you can call out to the caddy. It's great for people who might be in monogamous partnerships where their boundaries don't even allow them to play with other people, but they can still watch.
Is there a gentle way to kick everyone out at the end of the night?
Gunn: Depending on the party, often they'll have an end time, and there might be a check-in circle. If it's a sleepover party, then it's kind of just a free-for-all and people go until whenever.
Moon: If you're providing the space, and it's pretty clear you have to be out in time, then give people a half-hour warning then a 15-minute warning—because you might just be starting to engage in a new scene with somebody and then all of a sudden, oh no, the lights are coming on. I have a hard time falling asleep when there's a lot of intense energy in my house, so I've definitely had to be like, "This is the end of the party time, and I love you all, but unless you're just sitting around to sleep, I need you to please go home."