I Went To A Weed Play Party & Dear Lord Did I Have Fun

I'm what the weed industry folks call a "cannabist." It's a far more compassionate word for a marijuana enthusiast than "pothead." I also enjoy and attend "play" (read: sex) parties. As many people know from experience, cannabis can pair perfectly with sex, so I was stoked when I learned about NSFW, a private club that hosts parties in New York City for people with my particular intersection of interests. I could turn off the Google alert I had set for "cannabis + play party," because one finally existed.
NSFW provides legal adventures in sex, drugs, and mischief, according to founder and "chief conspirator" Daniel Saynt. But that doesn't mean that they provide marijuana — it's not currently legal for recreational use in New York, and Saynt says that NSFW doesn't condone illegal activity or provide drugs to members. Knowing this, I decided to indulge in cannabis (on my own accord) and check out one of NSFW's parties to see how it compared to the regular play parties I already know and love.
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Here are four things I learned at my first 420-friendly play party.
Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity and would like to remind its readers that marijuana usage continues to be an offense under Federal Law, regardless of state marijuana laws.
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Photo: Courtesy of NSFW.
Being stoned is no excuse to forgo consent.

It's easy to see why some people are wary of play parties, particularly ones that involve substances: If you put a bunch of horny, intoxicated adults in a space where public sex is allowed, there's a chance someone creepy will try and pull some weird shit. But thankfully, this party made it 100% clear that consent is a non-negotiable at events like these.

"Enthusiastic consent is so extremely important," Saynt says. This just means that consent is more than a simple "yes" or "no" — all participants should be excited and enthusiastically interested in any sexual activity for it to be fully consensual. Not only does NSFW require all members to sign a consent agreement upon entering, they also host workshops on enthusiastic consent and how to ask for sex.

Also, scattered among the members at the play party were NSFW "guardians," people identified by glowing wristbands whose job it was to make sure all members were safe. The guardians also ensured that no one was overly intoxicated on any substance, as intoxication affects your ability to give consent.
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Photo: Courtesy of Rodrigo Lizarraga.
Cannabis pairs wonderfully with hot sex.

Some evidence suggests that cannabis can increase empathy and enhance physical sensation — both of which bode well for sex. As Saynt said, NSFW does not provide weed for members at play parties. However, as a private club that hosts parties for cannabis enthusiasts, NSFW is naturally going to attract members who like to enjoy themselves in certain ways.

Even though it's fairly common to combine weed with sex, when some people think about marijuana users, they imagine a bunch of giggling, lazy "stoners" who only engage in passive sex — rather than people who actively seek out kink and non-heteronormative sex.

At NSFW, there was a BDSM demo given by Goddess Aviva, a lifestyle and professional dominatrix. She put on an erotic show, demonstrating impact play (like spanking) and rope bondage on a submissive. I, for one, can say that my desire was heightened after indulging in cannabis and watching this. And judging from the reaction of those seated around me, I wasn't alone. Couples began making out during the show, and then those couples (or groups) made their way upstairs to bedrooms that contained condoms and lube.
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Photo: Courtesy of NSFW.
A whip can be your best friend at a play party, even if you're not using it for BDSM.

Okay, so this one isn't specific to 420-friendly play parties, but it was such a good tip that I had to share. When I saw Melissa Vitale, NSFW's publicist and media director, carrying around a black riding crop that matched her all-black play party attire, I had to ask her about her choice of accessory. "A riding crop not only makes for a great conversation piece, but also helps mitigate unwanted advances without killing the mood," she said.

At events like these, there's a chance that someone you're not interested in is going to ask you for sex (even with consent forms, guardians, and workshops on enthusiastic consent). Along with verbally giving a kind, yet firm, "no" when she's not into someone, Vitale said she uses her riding crop to lightly flick at the person.

I thought this was the best piece of advice I'd ever heard. So the next day, I bought an inexpensive riding crop on Amazon, and I can't wait to use it.
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Photo: Courtesy of NSFW.
Cannabis- and sex-positivity are the future (I hope).

Before this, I was already pretty sure that a lot of people out there like smoking weed and having orgasms. After attending my very first play party for cannabis enthusiasts, I'm even more certain of that. From my conversations with both Saynt and the party-goers, it seems like the amount of people proudly embracing their love of both marijuana and sex is only growing.

Saynt says that he believes that President Trump has only helped increase the interest in cannabis-friendly play parties, saying that "elevated vice" has become more appealing with an administration that's more restrictive on cannabis policy and access to affordable sexual health care. In fact, NSFW plans to expand their events to California, where they can integrate cannabis without worrying about legal ramifications (although marijuana does remain a Schedule I drug under federal law).

My last conversation of the night was with a lovely European guest who had flown to New York City that day specifically to attend the event after narrowly missing his flight. "I'll bribe a TSA agent to be here if I have to," he said. It was getting late so I began heading to the door, and I overheard a straight man tell a gay couple in stoned earnestness, "You two were beautiful. It was so nice to meet you, and please get home safely."

In my opinion, if this "elevated vice" can make some people more kind and empathetic and make their sex lives better, the world needs more parties like this one.
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