When Does Group Sex Become An Orgy: An Investigation

Photographed by Natalia Mantini.
If your only reference points for orgies are the Seinfeld episode where Jerry Seinfeld has an existential crisis about becoming an "orgy guy," or the infamous True Blood orgy of season 2, then chances are you have questions. Given these varied and exaggerated representations of group sex, you might be wondering: what even is an orgy?
This is a completely valid question.Technically, an orgy is a sexual encounter that involves multiple participants who freely engage in open sexual activities, says Sadie Allison, PhD, sexologist, author of Tickle His Pickle and founder of sex toy boutique TickleKitty.com. An orgy is one type of sex party that involves group sex, but there are other types of sex parties, such as swingers' parties, rainbow parties, or daisy chain parties, she says. At an orgy, participants might have intercourse, oral sex, role-play, use sex toys, and more. "In general, the sky’s the limit for what goes on in an orgy," she says.
Advertisement
Similarly, there's not really a solid rule as to how many people constitute an orgy. "A common view for those who enjoy group sex is that three people is considered a 'threesome,' four people is a 'foursome,' and an 'orgy' needs to include five or more people," Dr. Allison says. The only real "golden rule" for an orgy is that orgy participants have to set boundaries beforehand to determine what's acceptable for all parties, she says. "For example, you might say, You can have oral sex with my wife, but I am not okay with penetration," she says. "It's very important to discuss what's okay and what's not beforehand."
People have all kinds of reasons for pursuing an orgy, including a simple love of sex and desire to "indulge in the most profound ways," Dr. Allison says. Some couples go to orgies together to spice up their relationship and keep it fresh, interesting, and hot, she says. "Having sex with multiple people or anonymous sex might just be what gets someone off," she says.
If you want to experience an orgy for yourself or with your partner, go for it. Dr. Allison says the best way to hear about orgies is through word of mouth or online. Checking swinger lifestyle dating sites (such as adultfriendfinder.com) is one way to explore, she says. And if there are still variables that you don't quite understand, there's nothing wrong with asking someone. "Make some friends in that community and ask questions," she says. "You should be able to create some opportunities for yourself to explore!"
Advertisement

More from Sex & Relationships