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25th Apr 2024

What you didn’t know about sex parties

Anna Martin

sex parties

Have you ever wondered about sex parties?

Not necessarily what goes on in them but more random questions like, is there a certain password you need to know so you can attend, how do people even arrange one and how does consent work in a group?

If you hadn’t before you might be now, I definitely had thought about it more than once so I thought the best way to find out answers is to ask the people who actually attend – and that’s what I did.

Yet before continuing, take everything you thought you knew about sex parties, put it in a box and throw it out the metaphorical window because it’s the best way to learn.

The best way to learn about something is to speak to someone who actually has experience so when Michelle McCormick said she’d speak with me I knew I’d be in for an interesting conversation.

The first thing is when going to a sex party, for Michelle at least it has to actually involve, well sex.

“For me, I’ve been involved with things that people might say ‘Oh my God, you’ve been to a sex party,’ but I wouldn’t count it because no one is having sex,” she explains with a laugh.

“There are fetish nights in Dublin, the two main ones being Nimhnach which I’ve been involved in for a few years, and then there’s Sanctuary which is just a club night in Brennan’s.

“Nimhnach is more fetish focused though, you can play there like for example, you can have a rope scene or a spanking scene.”

sex parties
Credit: Canva

Yet what sets these apart from sex parties is that you can’t actually have sex at one of these nights, if things start to get hot and heavy you’ll have to get yourselves home.

So where can you go if you actually want to have sex? Well, Michelle explains that there are kink and fetish groups that actually have venues for just this kind of thing.

“So that is probably my definition of a sex party is probably that it’s like, an organised event that is for the kink community or the swing community because they’re the two that are really in Dublin but they are quite separate things.”

What kind of thing can you expect if you decide you want to attend?

“Well, it’s a party where people go, they dress up, there’s a dress code, you’re wearing your fetish gear, or whatever and there’s a little bar and there’s social space,” the podcaster says.

“But then upstairs, there’s like beds and equipment and like maybe a hot tub, or like a sauna or something. People can play and do nonsexual scenes, but they can also have sex if that’s something they choose.

“There have also been times when I’ve just been drinking my drink and watching respectfully.”

Another important question I had is how can consent work in this type of setting as obviously when it comes to any, but particularly sex, it should be one of the top priorities.

“I would say, there should always be and hopefully there always is a conversation if you’re going to go into a scene with someone of establishing like your expectations of what you think is going to happen and what you want to happen and what you don’t want to happen.

“So if you’re just playing with someone for the first time, and if you’re just doing like a spanking scene or something like that, you can use your hands and flogger, whatnot, not any paddles. Or I don’t want to be restrained or whatever, you just kind of set out your likes and dislikes and always set like a safe word.

sex parties
Credit: Canva

“If the play needs to stop, you just say your safe word, and then everything should stop. There’s also like the traffic light system, which is really common, which is like green, yellow, and red or green, orange and red, where red means stop everything immediately.”

Michelle emphasises it’s so important to make sure you set your limits and boundaries no matter your experience levels when you enter scenes.

Now that you know a bit about the goings-on you’re probably wondering if the podcaster has any advice if you want to attend a sex party.

“The first thing I would say is if there’s like an online community or something that goes along with said party, or where people who tend to go to those parties are congregating online, definitely join.

“From there you can probably find other first-timers who are maybe going, who might want to meet up with you beforehand and you can like walk in together or something. A lot of the events do have official pre-meets,” she explains.

“So Nesmith, for example, has a meet and greet beforehand, where people can just show up in a nearby pub in their normal clothes and then everybody walks over together. It’s great in that way that you can kind of meet people on an everyday level, not half naked.”