A Couple Talks About Their First Sex Party

Illustrated By Anna Sudit.
What follows is my interview with my partner after our first sex party (either individually or together), conducted over Gchat, condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

Him: You ready to have this out in the open?

I don't want to write a whole fastidious first-person thing about it
It feels too...on-the-nose
But I like the idea of showing a glimpse of how I REALLY figure out how I feel about sex stuff
Which as often as anything is talking with you Him: That's a good column idea Me: Haha thanks. Then it feels casual, like this is a part of my life. Not like It Happened To Me: I'm A Crazy Bitch Who Went To A Real Live Sex Party OMG
That's not how I feel about it
It feels like a (fun, sexy) extension of our relationship, not like a Revelation Him: I've always liked characterizing it as an adventure. This time, on Sexy Super Friends — Orgy You Glad I Didn't Say "Sex Party"
You can workshop the title Me: Bahhh
You in? Him: Yes'm Me: Thank you so much for joining us on The Bed Post Gchat today, baby. Before we get started, how does it feel to be the man behind the sex curtain, the unnamed Partner of my most intimate online writing?

Hahaha, it feels wonderful
Yeah, I mean I guess it feels natural for me to be a part of your've always been very diligent about checking in with me when you want to bring me into a column or article

Oh good
It's so important to me that you feel safe and comfortable and good about it all
We've been on the list for this sex party for a while. Why now?

When I really think about it, our sex life was a little bit in a rut at the moment
And I kinda think we wanted an adventure Me: I agree...and we had been thinking about this for so long and psyching ourselves up that I feel like we were ready Him: But I also think you pushed for it; I was interested but I think if it were up to me I don't know if we would've taken the leap
Not that I didn't want to do it, but I think I was more trepidatious Me: I'm a corrupting influence Him: Hahaha that you certainly are
But, okay, lemme ask you this. Do you ever feel pressure, considering your profession, that maybe you can't have bad sex? Me: Hey, I'M the interviewer here Him: I dunno, I feel it sometimes, as your partner I feel that way Me: Oof
I think it's more that I feel if I'm not satisfied, I have an obligation to do something about it that's somehow bigger than just me Him: And that's hard
But maybe we've digressed Me: Hah yes
It was an A+ move on our part to go to the PG mixer the week before the party
See that other people were nervous like us
Make some franz
(One of whom would turn out to be more than just a friend, foreshadowing) Him: Hahaha
That pre-event sort of demystified the whole thing
I think it reminded me that a sex party is first and foremost about having a good (safe and consensual) time
Instead of some big dramatic thing Me: Because of the presentation by the woman who ran us through the "do"s and "don't"s? Him: That was a big part of it
Talking with people was also part of it. And talking with you
I think we set really clear boundaries and goals and that made me feel so much more comfortable to go with the flow Me: So this presentation was about boundaries, expectations, and desires
Was that helpful to you?
Him: Absolutely
I think I'm the kind of person who, when I don't know the rules or what's expected of me, I get real nervous, so having someone calmly and sweetly go through what was going to happen, with no judgement about questions, made me feel a lot more comfortable Me: Haha I like that. And then talking about the boundaries + expectations + desires with you was elucidating Him: We decided no intercourse for either of us Me: Right
I'm still figuring out how I feel about casual sex
And how I feel about YOU having casual sex
So it felt right to take intercourse off the table Him: We decided that we were interested in playing with a girl
I think for us, we both made clear an intention that our relationship and safety was WAY more important than whatever happened at that party
So I feel like we both decided to take it all pretty cautiously
Me: And stressed that if we didn't do anything but hook up with each other, that was fine
So boundaries: no intercourse. Desires: threesome with another girl. Expectations: hook up with each other, see how we liked doing that in public, see how we liked being surrounded by people also hooking up
Also we said no changing course midway — we'd stick to what we settled on beforehand
And if anyone got uncomfortable during, we'd respect that and leave the situation/party
Him: I think our phrase was "let's get some air" Me: Haha exactly
So we were ready
And I was really into the idea of making a threesome happen for you
Plus I also like girls
I've always wanted to have a threesome too, but identifying someone outside of this context is really hard
Him: Which of course made the meet-and-greet helpful Me: Yes, because we met the woman who would make all of our threesome aspirations come true
And it was easier to approach her at the party
I was def nervous when we got there Him: As a quick aside, can we agree sushi is the perfect pre-sex-party dinner? Me: Oh absolutely. Sushi, vodka, and a touch of sugar-free Red Bull: dinner of sex-party champions
When we got there, I was struck by how much like any other cheesy Brooklyn-warehouse theme party it was
I like that it had a theme, so that we weren't dressing "for a sex party" because what the hell does that mean
But dressing sexily for a theme party
Illustrated By Anna Sudit.
Him: Waiting in the drink line was kind of a surreal experience, though. When we talked to that couple?
It was the first time I talked to anyone and the possibility of hooking up with that person later was soooooooo on the table Me: I was interested by the couples who were like "yeah this is our third date"
And we're saying "yeah we've been together two years" Him: I was talking to a girl in the bathroom line who was on a Tinder date Me: What?! Him: Yeah Me: Had she met the person before that night? Him: Once I think Me: Damn Him: And she said she didn't like him all that much, she just didn't want to show up alone Me: If you think about it, a sex party is the safest place for a date with a rando
You have a room full of people and staffers gathered there on the basis of enthusiastic consent
And normal mingling/dancing/drinking space that is separated from the rooms with the mattresses, to hang out in if you so desire
Did anything surprise you about the night? Him: Firstly, that it wasn't a big deal being in a room full of people fucking. I think we both acknowledged how anticlimactic, no pun intended, that was
You walk into a room
And there's a lot of people
No biggie
Which I think made me feel instantly more comfortable
There's a little middle-school-dance-ness in the non-sex rooms, but in the playroom, it was so fluid and easy Me: Well put
So we went in to hook up with each other and scope the scene
And saw that girl we'd met at the mixer
And she's not occupied, and I used that trick we learned at the mixer, of complimenting someone on something by way of explaining why you're then asking them if they'd like to do something
"You have beautiful lips, may I kiss you?"
Which if a dude ever said to me I'd probably roll my eyes and walk away
But, context! Him: Forreal Me: ("Phrasing!") Him: Hahaha Me: Oh I think I just said she was "beautiful, may I kiss you" — then, "you have beautiful lips, want to put them on my boyfriend here with me?"
What's going through your head right then? Him: This gif. Me: Hahaha Him: I think what's important during that is regular checking in, paying attention to each other and our partner — third partner
And making sure everything was consensual and fun Me: I liked when you made eye contact with me Him: Me too
I think eye contact between us was super important
To ground us in our original intention, which was to have an adventure TOGETHER Me: It felt very fluid when we were in it Him: For sure
I think she dug it
Me: She really seemed to! That's what I liked about it
She was so there with us Him: The unicorn! Also, I think when we checked in before we started playing was really great Me: She was, indeed, a unicorn
I left to let you two do your thing, which I felt uncertain about in the moment, but I felt like that's where the flow was taking you
And sort of watched out of the corner of my eye
And again, it wasn't until afterward that I processed that it was really hot for me to watch you hook up with someone else Him: I was curious, in the moment, about what had moved you to do that Me: You two were going at it, and I wanted to let it run its course
I don't know — I wanted to see you happy and feeling desired and sexy Him: When you broke off, I did feel a little lonely (which is odd, considering I was with our playmate at the moment), but so much of our intention was based in playing together, so it was, I dunno, maybe unnerving to be separated
Unnerving is too strong a word
I felt much safer and sexier and happier with you playing with me Me: Hurrah! Him: I didn't go to a sex party to hook up with another girl — I went to a sex party to play with you (and hopefully another girl, too)
And I think that's an important distinction when setting your intention with your partner
Or setting it for yourself
Is my goal to play with or without my primary partner?
And if your partner's intention is different than yours, I think you need to negotiate how you want to navigate that Me: Who's the sex writer now?
So back to sex party
You came
With her
After asking me permission, which was wonderful
Then, we thanked her kindly and bid our unicorn adieu Him: As mysteriously as she appeared, so did she vanish Me: What yonder something something breaks Him: It is the east and threesomes are the sun Me: The sex when we got home was hot...and the next morning
Talking about it was hot
Having a "secret" was hot Him: Soooo hot Me: I have to admit I felt more attracted to you having witnessed firsthand another girl being attracted to you Him: Interesting
What about it? Me: It's the "I'll have what she's having" mentality
A reminder that I rustled myself up some objectively good dick
And watching you with her was a reminder that your sexuality is not "attracted to me," it's "attracted to women"
Which, when you're in an LTR, you can forget sometimes
Orientation is programmed into us
Being with each other is a choice

:-) Me: So, are we sex party people now? Him: I certainly like it
Do you? Me: I love it Him: So it appears we're sex party people now Me: Thanks for being here with me today, baby Him: It was my pleasure
The Bed Post is a series that explores what holds us back from sex and love with whom we want, when we want, where we want, and how we want — because we all deserve sex and love lives that are not only free of evils, but full of what is good. Follow me on Twitter at @hlmacmillen or email me at hayley.macmillen@refinery29 — I’d love to hear from you. Find all of The Bed Post right here.

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