An Intro to Group Sex Etiquette

An Intro to Group Sex Etiquette

When it comes to common fantasies, mixing things up with group sex ranks at the very top. Whether you’re planning a cozy threesome with a partner and a trusted friend or are hoping to attend an Eyes Wide Shut-style extravaganza, there are some pretty serious Do’s and Dont's to consider;


DO follow the house rules or the ground rules.

If you are attending an established sex party, there will most likely be house rules. These are not suggestions, they are rules, and they are rules for a reason. If you’re engaging in group sex outside of a formal setting, it’s important to set some ground rules (including a safe word) that everyone is comfortable with. Sure, the conversation might be uncomfortable but it’s important that the sex isn’t. 

 

DO communicate.

Beyond rules, you need to discuss things, like each person's pronouns, boundaries, likes, desires etc. Try using our Yes, No, Maybe List as a jumping off point. It's just a conversation starter. You can always adjust and change your mind on the fly.


DON’T underestimate the risk.

While there is no such thing as 100% ‘safe sex’, we certainly encourage safer sex. When it comes to group sex this can get much more complicated if you are switching between partners. You will most likely be asked to disclose your STI status and it is crucial not to lie (even if the answer is that you don’t know). If a partner/playmate has just engaged with someone else, speak up if you would like them to change their condom or gloves. Don’t be shy, this is a perfectly normal and reasonable request. The same goes for toys. If toys are being shared, be clear if you need protection to be used.


DO get consent at every step.

We can’t say this enough. There may be an underlying idea that if you’re at a sex party you’re down for anything. This is absolutely untrue and enthusiastic consent needs to be given from each partner/playmate and for each new act. Requesting consent doesn’t need to be a buzzkill, and can sound a lot of different ways, from “I would love to touch you here, is that something you like?” to “You have beautiful lips, can I kiss you?”. Make it part of the play but listen for an enthusiastic “yes” before proceeding.


DON’T forget to shower and brush your teeth.

While things might get pretty sweaty and steamy, be sure that your body is nice and clean and free from strongly scented products (even if your steady partner loves your Santal33, someone else may be completely allergic).


DO check in with partners.

If you’re engaging in group sex with your own partner, it’s crucial to make sure they are feeling just as comfortable as you are. If this is the first time for them, or for both of you, this can shift the dynamic of your sex life, for better or for worse. If anyone feels left out, ignored or uncomfortable, those are valid feelings to acknowledge. If the reverse is the case, and you are the one feeling off, communicate your feelings rather than harboring them inside where they can turn into jealousy, anger and resentment.


DO engage in friendly conversations.

While Kubrick-level theatrics may be what you fantasized about, the real world version may be much more, well, normal. People discussing movies, restaurants etc. Like a first date in fast forward. These conversations may end in an invitation for sex, or they might not. Which brings us to…


DON’T take it personal.

People have tastes, types and desires both inside and outside of a group sex scenario. If you approach a group and ask if you can join in and they respond that they’re ‘good’, try not to take offence. It’s not about you, it’s about them orchestrating their specific fantasy, which may or may not include you.


DON’T be surprised if people keep close to a partner.

If you’re experiencing group sex with a partner, in either a threesome, or a party scenario, it’s incredibly common for people to stick, mainly, to their partner. This allows for a feeling of health safety, while ramping things up in a public setting with plenty of visual stimulation and opportunities for caressing or kissing strangers. Whether you and a partner want to stay together or are specifically exploring to have sex with others, needs to be discussed.


DON’T be insensitive.

If the above is true and you find yourself more drawn to your partner but have invited someone to come play, don’t exclude them. Just because an individual is interested in having sex with a couple it doesn’t mean you get to treat them as a third wheel or ignore them. If you thought you were down for anything and find yourself changing your mind, be upfront, saying things like “I’m feeling a bit different than I thought I would, is it ok if we just kiss while my partner and I have sex?” gives them the option to either say “yes, totally” or “no thanks, I was hoping for something else.” People allow themselves to be vulnerable in group sex scenarios and simply ignoring them is rude.


DO be open.

From different body types to unexplored kinks, you may find yourself face to face with a lot of things that are new to you and it’s incredibly important not to judge. Exploring the edges of your sexuality is about freedom, not judgement. So, just as you wouldn’t want others to look down on you for exploring group sex, you should refrain from criticizing what anyone else is into, so long as it’s safe and consensual.


DO remember that you can leave at any time.

Whether you’re calling a time-out with a safe word or simply up and leaving the whole event, that is always your right. You are ultimately in control and you shouldn’t be concerned that others will be disappointed or judge you for removing yourself from an uncomfortable situation.  


DON’T forget aftercare.

Whether you attended solo and need some time to unwind with yourself or participated with a partner and want to spend time cuddling in front of a movie. New sexual experiences can be liberating but can also make you feel vulnerable. Check in with yourself. Take a step back and fully explore what you enjoyed or didn’t enjoy.


DO be honest about your level of enjoyment.

Maybe you thought a threesome was an amazing idea but it was actually totally awkward and awful. Maybe you thought a sex party would make you feel incredible but it actually made you feel uncomfortable and undesirable. Maybe you want to give it another go and maybe you just really don’t. You’re not any less sexually liberated if group sex just isn’t your thing. The best thing you can do is be honest. 

 

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