You’re invited! If you’ve been curious about participating in a poly play party, these are the words you’ve been waiting to hear. But what now?
A poly play party is an outgrowth of the BDSM play party, from where it took its name. Like its cousin, the poly play party is a safe place to explore one’s sexuality, but in this case, sexual expression is about a variety of partners making love, not necessarily fetishes, kinks or props. What the two do share is the simple ethic of safe sensuality.
Some folks mistakenly believe that a poly party is a remake of the 70’s orgy, without bellbottoms, or that it’s a swinger’s party. Neither is correct, but if this is your desire, there are lots of options including organized orgies and nightclubs for swingers.
The difference with poly parties is the conviction of most poly lifestylers that polyamory is not just about sex but about love. Having multiple lovers is also about relationships. It isn’t no strings sex.
The poly party allows folks a chance to practice asking for what they need and expressing what feels right, or to set boundaries and deal with negative emotions like jealousy and rejection. The events are ways of collectively working through personal demons and reaching personal goals and fantasies as a community.
Here’s what you’ll need to know and remember when getting ready for your poly party!
1. Go prepared.
Pack the essentials in a satchel and you’ll avoid a lot of stress. I always want to have two clean towels, my toothbrush, condoms, and my favorite sex toys.
2. What happens in the poly party stays in the poly party.
Discretion is one of the poly lover’s most important virtues. It’s key to gaining the trust of others and having successful relationships. You might want to share the deets with your buddies but don’t. Respect the privacy of everyone, and if you don’t like someone or don’t find them attractive, keep your opinion to yourself.
3. Read the rules.
Read them four or five times—really. Parties vary considerably. Some poly parties don’t allow penetration. Some allow group scenes and some request that folks pair off privately, and use the main spaces only for socializing.
4. It’s not nice to stare.
With so much sex vibe in the air, it’s easy to forget that you’re not at an orgy. Unless you are part of a social or sexual scene, you don’t get to gawk. This is not a voyeur or exhibitionist party, even if some of the folks are into that.
5. Suspend judgement.
When I found myself at a tantric-yoga-themed poly party, I was a little out of my element. I love yoga, don’t get me wrong. I just find it corny when people are always breaking out into om. But since I was there, I opened my mind and learned from those who experience spirituality and sexuality this way.
If you find yourself a fish out of water, you can discreetly take leave, or you can decide to learn from and experience something new.
6. That said…
Accepting and tolerating others and their practices doesn’t mean you need to participate in social or sexual acts that make you uncomfortable. Ever. Poly play is never about coercion or trying to keep up with the Joneses.
It’s really about transcending all of that.