How To Throw A Sex Party
Because it involves more than just boning.
By J. J. Ranvier
In the early 2000s, A.J. Piell attended his first sex party. Called SafeHouse, it was a BDSM and kink event thrown in a former warehouse on the southside of Chicago — and Piell fell in love with it. He says it was “off-the-hook” because it was “such an amazing, welcoming environment” filled with people that mingled and weren’t cliquey.
Throughout the years, he became an active member in the underground kink scene, learning tricks of the trade so that someday he could host his own sex party. When SafeHouse was tragically shut down in October 2015 because neighbors got the local church and government officials involved, he got his chance.
For more than a year now, Piell has been hosting his own events called the Private Poly Play Party that average 30-40 attendees across the gender and sexual spectrum every Friday night (including this Friday night, October 19th). Whether someone is into BDSM, kink, polyamory, or some other fetish, they’re welcomed with open arms at Piell’s parties, a place where “people all across the board can feel normal.”
OK Whatever got the lowdown from Piell on how to throw a sex party, and you can do it in 10 easy steps. Just remember not to be a perv about it.
“See the good in the service you are providing,” Piell reminded us, “and know the parties are not yours — they are your guests’.”
1. Find a space.
You’ll want a place that is both big enough for people to socialize in platonically and sexually, but also has the aesthetic of a German sex dungeon on the outskirts of Berlin. For Piell, a large basement in an abandoned building on the outskirts of Chicago did nicely.
2. Don’t do it alone.
It’s a good idea to have staff or a co-host to help out in crises and keep an overall eye on how things are going, Piell said. His new co-host Cherry takes care of the interior of the party, helping people feel more social and facilitating connections between people.
To find helpers, you have to be slick, though. If you try to make a job posting on Monster or Indeed, it will most likely be taken down. And if you make a posting on Craigslist, you will most definitely receive Viagra spam until you die. Piell found his staff because they were originally attendees at his parties who loved the events so much they wanted to help out.
3. Spread the word.
Since carrier pigeons have gone out of style and no one can afford a manservant to hand deliver invitations, you’ll have to find other ways to advertise. Piell makes posters that he sends out to his email list of attendees, as well as posts on internet groups such as MeetUp and FetLife. And don’t forget to spread the news via word of mouth as well, because that works, too.
4. Get the right people to attend.
In order to ensure that only those who really want to come to the party do, Piell makes it so that people have to contact him for details of the event. This tactic, he said, helps cut down on the types of people who want to attend with the expectation of free live porn or free sex workers. He also charges a fee, which helps deter creeps who think they’re getting in on some free action. Women and trans people pay $15 to attend, while men and couples pay $30.
5. Make the inside nice to hang out in.
While it didn’t take much more than a futon in a basement to get it on when we were in high school, we’ve all hopefully raised our standards since then. Piell’s dungeon is separated into a socializing area, consisting of several comfy couches around a coffee table, and a sexy-time area. To help people transition from one area to another, the socializing area includes a game of sexy Jenga with each block having a naughty and a nice side.
6. Have interesting surfaces for people to do it on.
The equipment in Piell’s dungeon includes several bondage benches, a St. Andrew’s cross to strap people onto with their arms up and their legs spread, the type of examination table you’d find in an OBGYN’s office, and an adult-sized crib. Piell lucked out by getting his equipment made by a local wood shop. If you’re not so lucky, you might have to do some Googling with Safe Search off if you want to buy some contraptions beyond beds and couches.
7. Have booze.
Before sexual lubrication, many people need social lubrication in the form of libations. Piell provides an open bar with a wide variety of hard liquors and beers so no matter your preferences, you can get some help lowering your inhibitions.
8. Make rules and enforce them.
Pictured around the dungeon are rules, which put an emphasis on asking for consent before touching or watching. Pictures during the party are also prohibited because some of these people have important jobs they could be fired from. Piell says that if anyone is ever caught taking a picture, their phone is taken away, the picture is deleted, and they are asked to leave.
9. Have tools and protection available.
Pielle has tables full of sex toys and multiple, optimistically full condom bowls at every party. When they’re ready to get it on, no one in his dungeon has to worry about where to find a condom or whip.
10. Make everyone feel safe and sexy.
In Piell’s words, creating a party that is both “safe” and “sexy,” are “two sides of the same coin.” For people to feel free to be their sexy selves, they have to feel safe. Piell and Cherry achieve this by having Piell man the door, check IDs and enforce the rules, while Cherry helps people meet in the social area before moving to the sexy area.