Are Sex Parties The New Vibrator?

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are sex parties the new vibrators
What happens when a virgin partygoer spends a Saturday night swinging?

And yet, if you read my Sex Drive column at Wired.com, you know I have spent more than a decade exploring sexuality online. And you know that on the internet, you can taste polyamory and group sex and public sex and sex with people all along the spectrum of gender, orientation and adventurousness.

And I wondered: What might it be like to have all of that available in person?

Doing My Homework

Before The Big Night, I spent some time researching sex party culture and the various venues and organizers. I might be the only one with a fantasy-novel idea of the perfect party; why do other people go?

"A lot of women go to parties for the opportunity to play with other women," says Vivian, a systems administrator in Oakland. "That's one of the reasons I go. It's not hard to find a guy to have sex with," she adds, laughing.

Voyeur Events, which hosts invitation-only club parties in New York, reports a significant upswing in female-to-female contact after Madonna kissed Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera on the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards. Apparently, "situational bisexuality" is popular—but not required—at most sex parties.

Others go to try out fantasies in a safe, encouraging environment. "I think everyone has a fetish of some sort, even if you don’t know what it is yet," says Shannon, a veteran of several Fetish Factory parties in Florida. "Even if you just go to watch and have a night out, these events are fun and interesting, something to talk about."

For couples, going to an adult party adds mystery and variety to their sex lives. "You both have that release of going out, getting a little spice, changing things up," says Lance in Toronto. "You avoid that pattern of it's 10:00 p.m. on Saturday and she's going upstairs to get naked."

And, I was delighted to learn, I am not alone in my visions of sex parties as a type of group prayer. Dr. Carol Queen, sex educator, author and founder of the Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco, has hosted "Queen of Heaven" parties in art galleries and performance spaces since 1990. For her, sex parties have a spiritual element.

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