Hey there! I'm Az, and I regularly attend kinky sex parties with no intention of actually having kinky sex. Let's talk about that.
I identify as a queer male (he/ they pronouns), tend to be attracted to other queer males (of any kind), and tend to be demi-sexual (meaning that I'm generally not interested in sex with someone until I've gotten to know them and we've talked a bit and formed a bond with each other).
I've been kinky my whole life, all of my relationships have included kink and fetish. About 10 years ago I started getting into the BDSM community, I started going to bar nights / pub crawls, attending S&M parties, and even local orgies! I found myself awash in new experiences, befriending people with new ideas, and even having some fun scenes here and there!
One thing that always tripped me up though was every space I went to, sex was either welcomed or encouraged. In such open and expressive spaces, of course casual consensual coital congregations were going to happen, why shouldn't they? The general vibe everyone had was 'live and let live!', which was awesome to be around! I just never wanted to partake in them.
I tried to force myself into these interactions, I wanted to be like the cool kids, cuz all the cool kids, they seemed to fit in. I pushed myself, started having casual sexual experiences when I felt most comfortable, and it made me less comfortable. I turned these spaces of free self-expression into places where I felt like I had to fit into a box, and all the lube in the world wasn't going to make me fit in. For a while I actually withdrew from events altogether because I couldn't harmonize my lack of interest in sex with others' heightened sexual expression. I made friends and enjoyed some experiences, but I felt like I had become the 'creep in the corner' stereotype that no one really wants at a party. I decided I'd stay limited to friendly daytime social events and when it came time for a trip to the club or the dungeon doors to creak open, I would suddenly have other obligations.
Eventually I felt the lack of community, and after friends asking about my recent absent streak, I opened up about what how I was feeling. Turns out, there were others like me that had similar past experiences. So, I asked their advice, focused on what I wanted and what I wasn't willing to compromise on, and steeled myself back into the deep darkness. It was hot, wet, and oh-so-good.
I tripped up a lot at first, but armed with advice from my new fellow demisexual/asexual kinkster friends I tried a few different tactics. Here's what happened.
1. I wore a sign that said 'No Sex Please' which did not work. It was basically a big sign that said 'please ask me why I'm wearing this sign and let's discuss my personal choices in great detail in this crowded bar where we can barely hear each other.' Bad move. 2. I declined any offer of play, in case they wanted to include sex. This sort of worked. I never got into uncomfortable situations, but I still wanted to have some play/fun. I was denying myself everything rather than negotiating properly. So-so move. 3. I started contacting party hosts/venues before going, explaining myself in terms of kink rather than clinically-defined terms for sexuality. Demi-sexual Andro-romantic Polyamorous as I may be, I didn't want to just go over identity politics and the need for inclusion. I was trying to feel out my place in this world, I wasn't ready to advocate for others just yet. So, I would stick to simple terms that kinky folk knew, identifying as a 'queer voyeur' and asking if I was welcome. It defined me as someone who was not cis-het and asked for a comfy sideline spot to watch the action. Most places were very open to inviting me right in! Others were very up-front about their policies, most having a 'come-to-play' rule, some had limitations on gender and sexuality; in the case of all-female-identifying-people parties (but I identify as male) or pansexual/bisexual/multisexual parties (but I'm attracted to men) and that was okay! I skipped the awkward in-person right-at-the-door negotiations and cut to it. I was bummed to not attend, but relieved to have avoided a potentially bad situation, and even happier that those types of people got to have their own space! Good move. 4. I created a name badge that had my name and pronouns on one side, and 'Please Ask Before You Touch' on the other side. This worked WONDERS! It wasn't a great big sign that forced an interaction, it was purely informative and existed as a clue for others. People would ask me about how I got my name, why I'm ok with two pronouns, and why I prefer talking before touching. It really started things right, having a discussion with someone and bonding with them before jumping right to naughty touches in your no-no places. If someone just went right for sexy touches/groping, it became a little shield I could hold up for help; they didn't have to be able to hear me, it was clear and simple, and most of the time they'd just move on. Awkward conversation averted! Eventually when I got back to parties, word started to get around about me, what kind of play I offered, and that I was the 'Talk B4 Touch' guy. Great move.
Most important of all was my own self-examination/discovery. What did I want out of the party? Why did I not like that bar? Could I have been more comfortable at that gangbang? How could I push myself, but still keep my limits strong? All great questions. Make sure you take the time before and after these events to really unpack them, set a plan, allow yourself to react, and alter your plan for (hopefully) next time you go!
When in doubt, bring a friend! There's nothing like having a cohort by your side; they're a great excuse for a quick escape "I've gotta get back to my friend", and an even better buddy to have sideline commentary with "Wow, look at his stamina! He better stay hydrated if he's going for gold in the 'Curling Her Toes' category this Sexual Olympics season" Fun!
As for party hosts / event organizers, try avoiding terms like 'no creeps/weirdos'. Instead stick to friendlier terms like 'voyeurs welcome!' or 'group play encouraged! no voyeurs please, come ready to play!' It makes it more inviting while still outlining your party rules/goals. Also, if someone asks a question about your event, include it in your description for next time. One brave soul asking can represent a dozen more too afraid to. You can never be too informative!
So, go out, seek what you want, advocate for your comfort, remain firm on limits, and the fun that comes after will be well worth the work!
Thanks for reading! To chat me up, ask for more advice, or even give me your tips/tricks on navigating these sexy spaces, hit me up on Recon!
If you'd like to write about your fetish tastes of interests, send your ideas to: firstname.lastname@example.org