I went to an exclusive London sex party
‘Social conventions no longer apply and preconceived boundaries don’t matter’
I would never have imagined that I’d watch thirty people having sex at once.
I am standing in the master bedroom of a huge London townhouse, listening to the rhythmic spanking and female moans made by a lot of naked people. The smell of sex and perfume was heavy as the light through the curtains vaguely outlined the writhing bodies.
The event is an exclusive sex party in a London mansion, where the rules were clear: men must not approach women, men must not linger alone, men must wait to be invited to get involved. Phones are technically banned. Treat everyone with respect. No means no. But in line with that code, guests can behave as badly as they like. Suspenders and lingerie were highly encouraged while T-shirts or trainers were not permitted. Above all, the organisers wanted “everyone to have the best possible time”.
I was pretty hungover that day so when my alarm went off at 8.45pm, I couldn’t remember initially why I had set it. Then, the rush of headache returned and I remembered, “Shit, I’ve got an orgy to go to.”
I showered, pulled on my stockings and black dress, and packed a bag with heels and a mask. I wore an outfit over it to travel across London and made it to the party around 10.30pm. The rules said no one would be admitted after 11pm.
I found the mansion: grand, white, surrounded – slightly disappointingly – in scaffolding. I watched a dressed-up couple walk in, and I followed. The doorman read my name off the list, told me “not to worry” and I asked if I could get changed somewhere. I went to the toilet, stripped down to my orgy outfit and put my mask on: they were compulsory and there were some for sale near the cloakroom in case someone had forgotten the rules. I noticed that most people checking in were couples.
I did a last check that I looked okay and went up to the first floor. It was basically a large, high-ceilinged room with a DJ in the corner, playing Waves, What Do U Mean? and Bump N’ Grind (although that didn’t happen until later). It was busy and dim despite the disco lights playing on the ceiling and perhaps 100 people were milling around in there.
I took a glass of champagne and felt daunted for the first time since I remembered men couldn’t make the first move and I was going to have to talk to someone in there. Everyone seemed already engaged in small groups, but I saw someone standing slightly on the edge so I went to talk to her. She introduced me to a couple who were party veterans and normally only had sex with each other, but at the last one had experimented with other people and it’d been fine.
I hoped that not everyone was like this – I didn’t feel out of my depth, but I wasn’t exactly excited. They were just normal people in masks.
There were sofas around the edge of this first room. I talked to a few people there and most had been to parties before. Many remarked that this party had fewer beds than others and one lady, who already had taken her mask off, offered to show me upstairs. There were three bedrooms: a small one with a double bed against the back wall, a medium one with a bed in the middle and a big room with four double beds in two pairs in the centre. The lighting in each was very low-key, with small candle-like lights in the corner or on old fireplaces accompanied with an iPod dock and a box of condoms. None of the beds had covers on them, just black, taut sheets.
The woman showing me around said they always put a scent in there and that she recognised it from last time. It smelt nice, but also artificial and I imagined that if you had a bad time there that smell would haunt you.
She told me that as a single female I would be in demand and at first I wasn’t sure if that was good or bad. She told me not to do anything I didn’t feel comfortable with and said people treat “first-timers”, especially single, female ones, very well.
At this point, the rooms were pretty empty, and most people were clothed with their masks on. We went back downstairs, talked for a bit more then they went to mingle and I continued to sit on the sofa with another couple. One woman was trying to get drunk because she was nervous and she explained how the guy she was seeing had suggested they come.
She kept telling me to drink but I didn’t want to: it was £20 for four drinks and I still felt a bit rough. We watched the oyster man come around, dressed in a striped shirt and holding two buckets. They’d dressed him as a French stereotype – which seemed cliched – and to serve oysters seemed obvious. Then again, it’s a sex party, so why pretend not to be? I didn’t have an oyster.
After that I went back upstairs again, by myself, to check out the rooms. People were now having sex in all of them, one or two couples, and mostly through underwear. It seemed like these were the horniest people, but they were still aware that the time hadn’t come yet when everyone could just get naked. I went to the next floor up, where the bathrooms were, but all the other doors were closed and a big bouncer was stopping couples who were trying to sneak off.
A lot of people commented on how there weren’t that many beds considering how many people were there, which seemed logistical. In the queue for the toilet an Irish woman asked if I’d got laid yet. I said no. She, like many others, seemed really surprised I’d come by myself and said it was brave. Was I supposed to feel more weird than I did?
One guy made me feel a bit uncomfortable; he was a little derogatory about the fact I’d come alone. He was in his 40s, bald, waiting for his Amazonian-style silent female partner, in suspenders and lingerie, to come out the toilets and walk with him. More people were starting to walk around in ‘sexy’ underwear.
I kept running into him. He kept saying hello. I grew frightened they were going to ask me for a threesome so I went back downstairs and checked out the rooms again. More clothes were off and the big room was the most out-there thing I saw. It was like a blanket of bodies stretching out all over the beds, everyone touching everyone else, pulsating in different parts. I don’t think anyone had plugged their iPod in since the only soundtrack I could hear was continuous slapping and uninhibited moaning. It was quite dark and you couldn’t see individual people, but you could still see a lot of pale bodies in all sorts of positions.
I was fascinated, but not horny. It was liberating to see the complete abandon and it was a bit like how I’d imagine a Renaissance Venetian party: kind of primitive, but not in a horrible way, more in a “fuck it, why not?” way. On the other hand, I wasn’t desperate to get involved, nor did I really know how to. I worried I’d get sucked in under bodies of strangers, which didn’t really appeal to me.
But I decided to stay until the end and went back downstairs to a sofa. Two girls were getting off in lingerie and suspenders. Both were attractive – most of the younger people were but the upper age limit is 45. I spotted another woman I had seen earlier wearing a crotchless bodice while her partner was touching her bare bum. It was relaxed, no one was judging, no one looked awkward and I liked that atmosphere. Most people were now upstairs.
I could feel the couple from the toilet queue looking at me. Thankfully, there was another couple nearby and the girl asked me if I’d come alone and we talked for a bit. Both were good-looking, young and well-spoken and we shared a few drinks before she asked if I wanted to go upstairs. Stupidly, I thought they just wanted to look.
The big room was heaving by this point and she said it wasn’t her vibe so we walked to the smallest room where there was just one couple on the bed.
I was trying to not look at that, when the girl kissed me. I wasn’t expecting it, but it was kind of fun and I realised I was glad that something had happened. Then two large bodies flopped onto the space on the bed. She beckoned to me and I followed her and the guy to the medium-sized room. My thoughts raced, but I decided I did want to follow them, and realistically there was nothing stopping me since social conventions no longer applied, and any preconceived boundaries I might have set didn’t matter.
The bed was occupied, but there was a corner with some pillows in behind a fireplace that we went to. At least I had spoken to them for long enough that they weren’t complete strangers. I wasn’t particularly turned on though, more interested in my own reaction since everything new is just an excuse to learn about yourself.
But there were two things that made me stop at this point. Firstly, as I stood there, the couple from the toilets were doing it doggy style over a chair facing in our direction, basically just behind us. I felt a hand on my back and thought it was the guy from the couple I was in the room with, but then realised it was another man and I pushed it away. In a club I would have been cross, but at an orgy how mad can you really get?
The mood was soured by a watcher. A guy came in, fully dressed, alone, wearing a t-shirt, and he just stared at us. I looked him in the eyes and he didn’t break his gaze, or show any expression of guilt or shame so I gestured to the couple and they told me to ignore him. He kept watching though, with a drink in his hand, which you aren’t allowed upstairs, and I couldn’t stop imagining that his drink was his dick and I couldn’t relax.
I decided to go to the toilet, and the couple continued without me. It’s a self-policing event, but if the couple weren’t bothered then I wasn’t going to report the watcher.
I returned and we sat with another couple. The atmosphere had gone from 100 degrees to coffee-date pleasant and I was enjoying the company of the people who had found me. There was something soothing about sharing a knowledge of what had happened, while knowing there were no strings attached at all.
We noticed that two guys were going for it on the bed, and the toilet couple had also moved to the bed. The guy was furiously fisting her while looking at us. One of my companions said she liked to think about puppies when she saw something that didn’t turn her on. I didn’t think about puppies, but did decide to leave. I collected a “goodie bag”.
As we were leaving the watcher was saying goodbye to the staff by name – which felt a bit suspicious, although I didn’t say anything. I didn’t take the details of the couple I’d been sitting with since that wasn’t the point.
Afterwards, I felt good. I was glad I had gone, glad I had been mostly sober, curiously pleased with what I saw.
Group sex requires that kind of environment: relaxed, not judgemental. Of course, you’ll get people you won’t fancy but if you’re interested, there’s no limit to what you can do, and no one needs to know about it after. Each to their own.
I’d probably go again although I’m not sure I’d pay the £40 ticket price: not when you can have sex for free with non-strangers to music you actually like.