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Group Sex Is a Logistical Nightmare

Real life is not like a porno, where hot women wander into your apartment and start taking off their clothes. If you want to make your forray into group sex, you've got to plan ahead.

by Paul Willis
11 June 2015, 4:00am

Illustration via Wikimedia Commons

For young men of a certain temperament, the word orgy almost has a hypnotic effect. The mere mention of an orgy creates a pitch of excitement and expectation that sends all common sense flying out of the window. Of course, like the TV newscasters who salivate over conflict, the excitement is usually a symptom of inexperience. When I attempted to have my first and only group sex experience back in my early 20s, I had no idea what I was doing.

There were five of us: two other guys (brothers), two girls, and me. We tried to have our little orgy in a Premier Inn motel in my hometown, a small provincial backwater in post-industrial Northern England. We started out with the highest hopes of having the most debauched and orgasmic sexual escapades. But my experience ended up being so teeth-grindingly awful that all these years later, the memory of the night still hits me with such a paroxysm of shame, I feel like putting a bag on my head and facing the corner.

To figure out what I did wrong on that miserable night, I reached out to Miss Scorpio (whose real name is Larisa Fuchs), a New York-based sex party host who has a lot of experience in getting groups of people to rub their genitals together. I told her my sad group sex story and she gave me some advice to share with all of you would-be sex partiers on how to do it the right way.

Have Realistic Expectations

According to Miss Scorpio, young men's misguided fantasies of "a porn-perfect orgy" can detract from the experience—like making them forget that group sex is a shared encounter. "They miss that the others involved are real people with real feelings, and with their own expectations."

This was definitely a mistake I made the night I tried to have an orgy in a motel just outside of my hometown. Although I was no stranger to sexual humiliation before that night (I had been dumped by twice for my enduring struggles with premature ejaculation), I had insanely high expectations of what an orgy should be. I imagined something like the Summer of Love; something that echoed the grainy footage you see of naked lovers cavorting in the mud at Woodstock; something messy and ecstatic and really, really hot.

This is a ridiculous way to think—not least because "messy" and "ecstatic" and "really, really hot" are just not states of being you're likely to run into on the second floor of a Premier Inn. More than anything, those assumptions overlook the simpler truth, which is that if you want to know how good an orgy you're in for, you should probably take note of the regular sex you're having, since it's unlikely to be that much of a departure. In other words, if you're having trouble hitting the high notes in the confines of your bedroom, it's not like it's all going to suddenly come together when you find yourself headlining at The Garden.

Plan Ahead

Everyone wishes that life could be like the plot of classic porn—a couple of hot chicks wander casually into your apartment and after some bad dialogue, in which someone observes how hot it is, everyone promptly strips off and gets to fucking. However, Miss Scorpio says that planning sexual adventures in advance allows an opportunity for the discussion of boundaries and consent, "which gives you a lot more confidence during the main event." While it pains my romantic heart to admit it, she's probably right. It seems like the best orgies going on in the world probably happen in those bougie group sex clubs, where the participants are vetted in advance and everyone is carefully coached to get the most out of the experience. Although there's something really shitty about turning sex into such a formalized encounter, it does at least acknowledge the reality that fucking is much more of a skill than most of us will admit. You can't just wing it.

The impromptu nature of my attempted orgy was definitely one of the elements contributing to its downfall. The whole thing started in a pub in my hometown called the Cross Keys where they had a disco upstairs a few nights a week. Tuesday night was "Singles' Night," which my mom affectionately calls "Grab a Granny Night," for the place's reputation of having a lot of older divorced women. This was somewhat true. My older brother, for example, had once made out with a woman at least twice his age who had told him, by way of introduction, that she had a son a year older than him.

Most of the crowd, however, was bored 20-somethings like me. At the time, I had just come home from traveling, and I had returned with a bit of a wild boy attitude. It was only in that frame of mind that I could've made such an extraordinary suggestion. We were standing outside at closing time when I said it.

On Noisey: Ty Dolla $ign talks about his first orgy.

Dave, the older of the two brothers, both of whom I'd been to school with, asked what we should do next. This was a dead-end question because there was nothing to do in my hometown at 1 AM on a Tuesday night except to go home. The girls, a blond and brunette, looked around non-plussed. As a joke I said, "Let's have an orgy!"

I swear I only meant it as a joke—but after I said it, something weird happened. Through a vague series of nods and murmurs it became apparent that I was being taken seriously. And so it was decided.

Photo by Flickr user Abhishek Singh Bailoo

Choose Your Location Carefully

Miss Scorpio tells me that a successful group sex location should exude a certain air of luxury. But unless luxury smells like carpet cleaner, we'd definitely picked the wrong place.

Dave was the one who suggested we go to the Premiere Inn. I had no idea my hometown even had a motel. I remembered there was a stuffy old hotel on the main road in to town that had been around forever, but a motel sounded dynamic. I mentioned how impressed I was to Dave.

"Yeah, it's on the industrial estate just before you hit the flyover," he said.

I know what you're thinking. Anyone who hears those words—"industrial estate" and "just before you hit the flyover"—en route to an orgy should immediately reconsider their plans. But my mind had been frazzled by the incredible opportunity life had suddenly thrown at me and there was only one word coming at me loud and clear on that cold, northern night. Orgy! Orgy! Orgy!

The Premier Inn is a budget hotel chain in the UK. Its motels are usually located by highway services and in the hinterlands of towns and cities. They're not bad places to stay if you're passing through on business, but it's about the worst place on Earth if you're trying to get in touch with your inner sex god.

The branch we went to was a new-build set just off the main road out of town and looked from the outside like one of those sheltered housing complexes for the elderly. The hallways smelled like cleaning supplies and had aggressively bright lighting. The room itself was tiny with one double bed, en suite, and fake wood furnishings. You couldn't smoke in the room and there was no minibar. What's more, nothing could be moved: the bedside lights were screwed into the wall, the windows didn't open. It was as if it had been designed with the express purpose of preventing any kind of spontaneous fun.

An Orgy Is Only As Good As Its Leader

Group sex, I suppose, is no different to any other group event, in that it needs someone to get things going. Miss Scorpio calls this role a "playful fairy." Unfortunately, our playful fairy was Dave. Dave and his younger brother Colin were the sons of an executive at a nearby sports club. Locally, the father was quite famous and sometimes appeared on regional TV. He was not an especially charismatic man, nor were his sons. They had both inherited his grave, morbid features and dull voice. When you saw the three of them out drinking in town, you'd have sworn there'd been a death in the family.

At school, Dave had been shy and I had often felt sympathetic towards him, as I wasn't most confident of kids myself. But after school he had gone to live abroad. While the travel seemed to have brought him out of himself, what emerged almost made you wish he'd go back into his shell. He was kind of sleazy. But not in the sexy, sleazy way of Mick Jagger. More in the boorish, troubling way of Dominique Strauss-Kahn. (Thinking about it now, Dave and I are both terrible adverts for the benefits of travel.)

When we reached the Premier Inn, Dave told us all to wait while he went and got a room. So as not to attract attention, he suggested we follow him in pairs a few minutes after each other. This precaution turned out to be unnecessary since there was no one at the front desk.

Once we reached our dismal room, we all sort of milled around in that vaguely awkward way people do before meetings or night classes. Then Dave had the idea that we all get on the bed and play truth-or-dare. This was the beginning of my end.


Photo via Flickr user Marcus Hansson

Choose Your Partners Carefully

According to Miss Scorpio, you should have your first orgy with people you know. This avoids misunderstanding and helps put everyone at ease. "Comfort is everything," she says. "You can graduate to the excitement of strangers after you have a few successful experiences and figure out what you, and others, may like."

I certainly didn't have all of that in mind when I jumped under the covers and took off all of my clothes in the middle of our little truth-or-dare game without being asked to do so. This, on reflection, was a bad tactic that did nothing to help the girls I had just met feel any more "comfortable" or at "ease." Also, nothing says "premature ejaculator" more than a man whipping off his clothes while everyone else is still dressed. It speaks of someone in far too much of a hurry to get things over and done with. Perhaps if the girls had known me better they might've looked upon my rash striptease more sympathetically, seen it as the awkward over-correction it surely was.

It wasn't long after I stripped down that the blond selected dare. Pointing to me and, in the same expressionless tone you might use to ask someone to take out the garbage, Dave said, "Give him a hand job."

The girl squirmed and looked at me warily. "No, I don't want to."

Fighting in my corner, Dave persisted: "Go on. Jerk him off!"

I imagine at this point some inward part of me was holding my head in my hands at the sheer awfulness of it all. But I tried to put on a brave face. "It's OK. She doesn't have to."

Colin suddenly got up to go to the toilet. Halfway across the room, he turned back to the dark-haired girl and asked her if she would join him. The girl got to her feet, crossing the room with a look of bored indifference. They disappeared into the bathroom. In that moment, it became clear that she'd had her eye on Colin all along. What was less easy to explain was the near-total silence that followed from the bathroom. Either they were having the quietest sex ever or were in there praying for our souls.

In their absence, the hand job negotiations continued. The blond had by now agreed to give Dave a hand job instead of me—but Dave, so determined when advocating for his friends, seemed reluctant to accept one for himself.

"Why won't you give him a hand job?" he whined, deflecting things back on to me.

The girl hesitated. She turned my way. "It's nothing personal," she said, and I'm sure she was telling the truth. After all, who in their right mind wants to jerk off a complete stranger in a motel. But at the time it felt deeply, horribly personal. At the time, I felt like a reject from the world's most unappealing party.

Whatever Happens, You'll Survive

This is more or less the end of the story, but I just can't leave it here with me reduced to such a tragic figure. The only thing to add about that night is that at some point in the night the girls left. The next morning I woke up naked in the bed with the brothers in a state of mild paranoia at what one of them might've done to me as I slept. I left the motel and took the bus home. I haven't tried to have an orgy since.

Real intimacy is something that few people ever experience. And while we crave it, we are also scared to hell of it. What made my experience so abysmal was this last point: It's hard to find intimacy in a group because it's hard to get beyond that sense of being on display. The sad reality of many group encounters is that dispiriting phenomenon where the accumulation of minds and souls has a paradoxically inverse effect on everyone's general intelligence and morality.

But Miss Scorpio says it doesn't have to be this way. She's been organizing upscale sex parties at her Manhattan venue, House of Scorpio, for the last five years and she says that so long as you follow her three golden rules—knowing boundaries, getting consent, and paying close attention to others' pleasure—there's no reason why group sex can be any less intimately powerful than one-to-one sex.

And maybe she's right? Maybe you can use my story as an anti-guide and think of me like that guy you went to school with who paralyzed himself in gym class. The thought of what happened to him might not be very pretty to contemplate, but at least you know the correct way to do a back flip—or in this case, hump and exchange bodily fluids with a group of consenting adults.

Thumbnail photo via Flickr user denisbin.

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