Photo: Four Chambers
This is a continuation of a previous post. Read part one here.
Sex means something to me—something deep and important and spiritual. And that little fact about myself embarrasses me.
It embarrasses me because it furthers the notion that women and their sexualities are innately more complex, that they require emotion and fidelity and intimacy more than their masculine counterparts, that sex with women always needs to come with some kind of a heart and soul commitment.
That is certainly not true for every woman/femme on this planet. I’ve met lots of people who express themselves sexually in ways that fly in the face of that traditional understanding about sexuality (my last several dates are a testament to this).
But much to my dismay, I am not one of them.
I’ve been envious of folks who are able to have sex without meaning, who feel the primal urge of sexual desire in their bodies and have no qualms about scratching that itch with someone they hardly know or have a heart connection with. There’s something very edgy to me about leaving the “woo” and romance behind and focusing only on the carnal, the physical. The seeming lack of emotion required for them to be able to have sex for sex’s sake is admirable to me.
I’m an emotional being. It’s next to impossible for me to do anything without getting my feelings involved, and when I do I feel them deeply. Sex in particular is the most vulnerable thing I can do with someone because it is in that space that I allow myself to unfurl and turn my protective, overthinking mind off so that I can fully inhabit my body, untethered to worry or doubt or fear. This lowering of all my defense mechanisms is deeply intimate to me; it’s borderline sacred.
Sex is connected to my heart, to my spirit. If I have sex with you, it not only means that I’ve chosen you but that I trust you implicitly. Sex, for me, is never just sex.
My body count isn’t large (I’m still quite new to sluthood) but when I’ve had sex with people, it’s usually been because I saw some kind of future with them on a varying commitment level—like, “I can see you being in my life in some capacity with continued intimacy for a long time”. I’ve never had a one-night stand, nor have I been someone’s booty call (almost doesn’t count). Sex for me has always been reserved for the special ones.
I don’t know whether this—my propensity toward emotional intimacy and spiritual connections to access sex with others—is part of my nature or if it’s been nurtured into me via certain teachings to help me stay within the confines of ideas of purity, fidelity, and The One; perhaps it’s a bit of both. Nevertheless, understanding this about myself has both informed and hindered the way I date people. Because that kind of sex—the intimate, emotional, spiritual sex—is usually seen as being reserved for more serious relationships, if not just plain old monogamy.
As a non-monogamous, queer demisexual who really wants to be a hoe and smash my naked body against other consenting people’s naked bodies but exists inside this prevalent culture of hooking up where emotional intimacy and vulnerability is considered laborious, I haven’t known exactly where I fit.
Knowing all of this about myself, while also having intense desires to have sex with other people, I wasn’t sure if it was possible for a tender femme like myself to go to a sex party and have a good time.
Which was why I was about to politely turn down AJ’s play party invitation.
But I didn’t.
I decided to hold off on giving a final answer about my RSVP until I got more details about the party, which AJ told me she would be sending over shortly. I reasoned that if I knew more about the logistics of the party—who was going, where it was going to be, what time it was happening, and the general itinerary of the evening—I might feel a little more secure about going (the stereotypical Virgo that I am).
And that I did. A few hours later, after reading through the official invitation on Facebook, I felt myself starting to relax a little.
There were a couple things that immediately put me at ease. For one, I noticed that the invite list was small and contained a close-knit group of friends who had created a sex coven for themselves. And the decision to keep the play party women- and femme-only was mentioned a few times, too, which I appreciated because it highlighted the intention to keep the space safer.
But the one thing that made me feel more confident in going was after I realized that, unfortunately, it looked like the party was going to fall right in the middle of my period. I wrote a comment on the event page expressing my desire to go, but not knowing how it was going to work for me because I would probably be bleeding on that day. And AJ commented:
“This will be a tender open place of femme support to talk about masturbation and show off if we want to (or to hook up mutual masturbation style). However, there will also just be femmes watching, interviewing, and making out too, so there’s room for everybody and where they’re at.”
It was that last bit that made my shoulders drop: There’s room for everybody wherever they’re at.
I started to feel excitement coming back into my body about the prospect of this party. I began to picture in my mind what the evening was going to be like with words like tender and femme support at the forefront.
I imagined a lot of softness—from pillows and blankets and barely clothed babes with their hearts on their sleeves. I imagined a pressure-free environment where we could all just exist as the sexual beings we were. I imagined laughter and vulnerability and gentle permission to come as we were—both literally and figuratively.
The idea that I could show up as the tender demisexual that I was, the idea that I would be in an environment where I could go at my own pace and not be judged, totally relieved me.
I hit “Going” on the event page without hesitation.
Seconds later, I was inundated with a slew of questions in my mind, the first of which: What am I going to wear?
It was hours before the party and I still hadn’t answered that question. My instinct was to doll myself up with lipstick and fishnets and cat-eye liner to make a good impression on the other babes going, but then I remembered that the events of the evening could result in my makeup getting mussed (which would make me feel self-conscious) and that my clothes could potentially hinder the flow of the moment (I didn’t want to be fussing with zippers or buttons).
I wanted to be cute but unencumbered. I wanted to feel light and comfortable, but not so much that I looked like I didn’t put in any effort. So I opted for a happy medium: a low-cut, black thonged bodysuit and cut-off jean shorts with shoes that I could slide in and out of.
The look I was ultimately going for was “going to my crush’s house for a platonic hangout that could potentially get hot and heavy”—flirty and sensual but not presumptuous.
And because I still wasn’t sure how far I was going to go, I felt that the bodysuit would give me enough coverage that I could be simultaneously comfortable and playful. Plus, it made my ass look incredible.
Moments before my Lyft arrived to shuttle me to the party, I gave myself a final look over in the full-length mirror in my bathroom and said a cliched, “You can do this” into my reflection.
That’s when the nerves hit, when the reality of where I was going began to fully settle into my mind. I was about to live out a fantasy I had had for half of my life, something that I had pleasured myself to, something that I had been wanting to try for a very long time.
I felt nauseous with anticipation.
A couple minutes later, I was climbing into the backseat of my Lyft driver’s van who enthusiastically asked before I had even buckled myself in, “So, where are you headed to this evening?” I spouted off the address and he responded back, “Alright, and what brings you out this evening, business or pleasure?”
With all my excitement and nervousness, I almost responded with the honest answer: “Oh, pleasure, definitely! I’m actually on my way to a sex party!”
Instead, I answered coolly, “A mix of both, I think.”
Nearly two hours passed after I arrived at the party and I was surprised that nothing was happening yet. No sex, no foreplay, not even a makeout session. We were all just. . . hanging out.
There was a delay because a few people were running late and we wanted to wait for them before we got started. And while we waited, we snacked on grapes, cupcakes, and pizza, drank rosé from plastic cups, and talked amongst ourselves about ordinary things—the weather, our jobs, where we grew up. Occasionally there were moments of quick flirtatious banter and at one point we spent a good chunk of the conversation talking about sex toys. But for the most part, it felt like a typical girl’s night.
And I appreciated that. To be able to ease into the party with non-sex-related chit-chat was refreshing. It also helped soothe my nerves and get a feel for the folks who I would soon be exchanging and witnessing erotic energy with.
Finally, everyone arrived and after grabbing our last handful of snack, we all headed downstairs.
It was time to begin.
*Note: Now is the perfect time to mention that there is actual (NSFW!) audio footage of what transpired that night. You can give it a listen to be even more immersed in the experience.
When we all got settled in the room, we formed a circle and, sitting on piles of blankets and pillows, reintroduced ourselves and gave our pronouns. Since masturbation was the theme of the evening, we each took a moment to speak to our personal experiences of masturbation—from when we first started and the shame we encountered to our go-to methods of getting off and our favorite toys.
After spending a little more time processing some of the things that came up during our check-ins, we turned on some porn and huddled close together to watch as a group.
I’ll be honest and say that this—watching porn as a group—was incredibly awkward for me. It’s rare that I watch porn with my own partner, so to watch a film amongst people I had only met a few hours prior was a strange experience. I found myself unable to connect to and fully process what was happening on screen, similar to the time I went to that porn film festival.
In that moment, my critical mind switched on and I began to analyze and critique the movie’s contents as a way to separate myself from the discomfort of the erotic tension that was growing in the room. It’s not that the experience of watching porn with everyone wasn’t enjoyable. I just think my body didn’t know how to respond. That the film also featured aspects that I don’t typically find arousing didn’t help either.
What was helpful was that everyone watching seemed to be engaging in the film from a place of humor and lightheartedness. There was laughter and squeals of delight when, for instance, one of the actors pulled out his sizeable penis and began to fuck the other’s mouth with it. Hearing everyone chatter and giggle like this reminded me of the times where I would watch TV shows with my friends and we’d spend the entire length of the show commenting loudly on what we were watching that the show itself became background noise.
It was exactly like that, except we were watching porn. At a sex party.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone whip out a vibrator and place it directly on her naked vulva, her eyes fixed on the computer screen. And that’s when I was reminded that this wasn’t a typical girl’s night. This was, indeed, a play party.
Everyone eventually broke off into small groups and started to explore the evening on their own terms. Some took off all their clothes and began to touching themselves, still watching the porn film. A couple started to makeout heavily in the corner of the room with their clothes half on. A smaller group were talking quietly amongst themselves, another was enamored by the array of vibrators and toys someone else had brought for us to play with.
The rest of us just sat and basked in the happenings of the room.
I was in a place of wonder as I took in everything that was taking place around me. It was all happening so naturally; the transitions from being in a friend-space to an erotic-space and back again were seamless. I was in awe of how everyone could move so fluidly within these realms of sex and arousal, sisterhood and friendship.
Beyond the sexiness and unapologetic sexual energy, that was the greatest thing I took away from that evening—the confirmation that this can be done and it can be done with sincerity, intention, and tenderness.
Everyone held such space for each other, were so encouraging and gentle and communicative. People asked permission before they touched each other—”Is it OK if I put my hand here?” People checked in and asked if folks needed anything—more lube, a different toy to try, a helping hand. The way people were so soft and supportive with each other was unlike anything I had ever seen or expected. And even in the midst of this attentiveness and softness, there was still an underlying air of eroticism that never left the room, even when there was a lull in festivities.
We were all championing for each other’s sexual enjoyment, consent, and pleasure. It was beautiful. And hot.
I did masturbate for a few moments with a borrowed vibrator, but I didn’t have an orgasm. I wasn’t able to relax enough to get myself aroused enough to go there. But I didn’t admonish myself too much about that. The fact that I showed up in the first place—not to mention that I laid shoulder to shoulder with another person as she brought herself to orgasm—was an incredible feat.
My intention going into this party was to finally get my feet wet. If my pussy happened to also follow suit that was a welcomed bonus.
It was after midnight when we finally started to wrap up, and even though I hadn’t gotten all that physical I was exhausted. We all hugged each other goodbye and confirmed that we each had a safe way of getting home before going our separate ways.
As soon as I got home, I peeled off my bodysuit which was dampened with sweat from sex and nerves and began to take off the last remnants of my makeup. While I rinsed my face, I lingered over my reflection in the mirror—the same mirror in which I gave myself a quick little pep talk before I left that evening.
Amidst my tired eyes, I smiled lightly and thought, You did it.
This tender, emotional, demisexual femme went to a sex party. And had fun.
NEXT UP. . . I answer some of your burning (aka: nosy) questions about my first sex party experience and give a short and sweet guide for sex party newbies.