1. Curate Your Guest List. Couples tend to be the focus of play events so you’re going to want to look through your 3nder matches for those who you feel would be down for a little rendezvous (for those unaware, 3nder is kind of like the Tinder for threesomes and moresomes). If you’re already coupled, you’ll have an easier time recruiting others to join you. If you’re not, you’re going to have better luck if you’re a single woman (a.k.a. the unicorn to many), than if you’re a single man, unless of course you’re bi and you’re manliness hovers around alpha level, in which case, you’re gonna have a lot of fun.
When choosing guests, consider your guy to girl ratio if the majority of your male guests are straight. Being in a situation with too many men tends to turn off the heteronorms, so plan for more females to ensure the highest potency for a get down. If you have some friends who identify more as flexible, you can increase the amount of men in the event to allow for a good amount of couplings. In the end, you’ll can have just as much fun in a group of four than with a group of more if you bring the right people together.
2. Encourage a Dress Code. Whether you’re inviting a few friends over some afternoon delight or are planning an event for a few dozen sinners, it’s important to establish a dress code for your event. Ban sweats, shorts, flip flops and any other items that would be filed in the “sloppy mess” section of someone’s closet.
For larger groups, you can go the Eyes Wide Shut route with a black tie affair or come up with a theme and encourage costumes. For kinkier nights fetish wear can be suggested.
For smaller, at home get togethers I’d suggest guests to dress for a one night stand, which would include black denim, button down shirts, luxe tees and moto jackets, cocktail dresses with figure enhancing fits and, of course, lots of lingerie. Style is sexy. Putting a Pinterest board together of suggested attire isn’t a bad idea either.
3. Keep Consent Enthusiastic. If you’re planning on drinking or enjoying any other type of party enhancer, I strongly suggest practicing Enthusiastic Consent. This is a form of verbal consent in which all touch and sex acts are discussed and agreed upon before acting on. To some, this may sound unromantic, it actually encourages more activity and prevents anyone at the event from feeling like they are required to accept all physical advances. By encouraging guests to state what they want, and to politely accept or decline, you’ll open up the conversation for sexual activity and increase the amount of fun that’s being had at your seductive soiree.
4. Set Some Ground Rules. It’s important to set some ground rules for your event before hand and to make sure everyone understands what they are. If you’re not planning on overnights, be sure to tell everyone. If penetration is off the table and mutual touching, massage and group stimulation are what you’re looking for be sure to keep everyone in the loop. Setting some rules will allow you to explore to your level of comfort, while allowing others to join in as well.
5. Discuss All Aspects with Your Partner. If you’re partnered, be sure to be on the same page regarding what to expect and what’s okay and not okay. Discuss how you want the night to go. If there are partners that are off limits, it’s okay to set boundaries and vocalize them to ensure the two, three or more of you are on board.
6. Send Out Invitations. Put a little thought into your invitation. If it’s a small enough group, handwritten notes are suggested but an email will also work in getting your partners in crime in attendance. I can’t stress this next part enough, don’t publish your event publically on Facebook. The last thing you want is someone’s mom raising a stink. If you create a private event, hide the guestlist and offer more discrete guests an email or cell phone number to RSVP.
7. Find a Playlist. Music sets the mood, moves bodies and fills in any gaps in conversation.
8. Set the Mood. Purchase dimmers to bring the lighting down in your space. Break out the votives. Pick up some red light bulbs. Cover lamps with scarves. If you have a TV or projector, find some sexy visuals to get people in the mood. Not porn, sexy visuals. Porn’s ain’t sexy.
9. Hire Some Staff. If you’re hosting a larger get together, it’s important to have a helper around to ensure you’re not busy hosting when you could be playing. They can prepare drinks, serve light snacks and help with cleanup. TaskRabbit is a great resource for finding hourly help through profiles you can screen beforehand. Expect to pay a higher rate for staffing needs and disclose the purpose of your event to prevent any awkward situations.
10. Light Snacks. In my research of the city’s play scene I found a shocking amount of events where baked ziti was served buffet style. Ziti ain’t sexy. For the gatherings I’ve hosted the menu usually consists of vegan bites.
11. Stock the Bar. Encourage BYOB. Have ice and a few mixers ready. Create a custom cocktail and premix it to spend less time making drinks and more time making love.
12. Set up a Bathroom Retreat. Supplies every bathroom in your home or apt should have include wet wipes, condoms, lubricant, body lotion, toothpaste and extra toothbrushes, mints and a selection of perfumes if you want to get fancy. Clean towels are also a must.
13. Create a Play Area. Get creative with your space. Consider bringing your bed into a more open area of your home like the living room. Purchase extra pillows and comforters. You want to create an inviting lounge area. If there are a few kinks you want to explore there are a number of options for swings, benches and other apparatuses you can set up beforehand.
14. Break the Ice. Every so often I’ll host a get together called “Don’t Hate the Player” in which we’ll play grown up editions of Truth or Dare, Never Have I Ever, Twister, Spin the Bottle and a version of charades that includes a deck of Kama Sutra poses. Get creative and try to think of icebreakers which will help introduce any guests who don’t know each other well.
15. Fill the Toy Chest. Toys enhance sexual experiences so having a few on hand will give your friends with benefits something else to play with. Most toys are dishwasher-safe so be sure to sanitize before sharing.
16. Keep it Safe. Make sure to have condoms in various sizes and lubricant readily available for guests. Keep in mind that most massage oils diminish the quality of latex, so keep it away to prevent breakage.
17. You Can Never Have Enough Pillows. No, but seriously. Pillows are key.
18. Check In Cell Phones. Phones ain’t sexy. Have an area where people can leave their phones to ensure everyone feels safe to explore and no one’s checking Facebook updates post-coitus.
19. Choose a Location. If you live in New York and your place is the size of a prison cell, I strongly suggest Airbnbing for the night. You can ask guests chip in to upgrade your accommodations. (ADD A NOTE ABOUT RESPECTING OTHER PEOPLE’S PLACE IF YOU USE IT AND CLEANING AFTERWARDS)
20. Keep Things Tidy. Having a small trash can around the play area will ensure there’s no sneaky surprises hiding in your couch a week later.
21. Talk Dirty to Me. Encourage a little naughty talk. I’d suggest printing out little note cards with sexy little phrases on them. Sneak piles around your play area and let your guests find them throughout the night. Consider sexy requests like “May I kiss you?” and “”You look like a bad girl, do you want a spanking?” will help make enthusiastic consent easier to put in practice.
22. It’s Okay if Nothing Happens. This list is the product of 10 years of research and many failed, sometimes awkward attempts at getting busy. Your first event may fulfil every one of your deepest desires forging a bond with new lovers and friends to add to your sexual kinfolk or it may be a total failure with people rushing home nauseous due to your undercooked salmon (true story). Either way it’s important to try and try again. It’s the only way to realize the sex life that truly makes you happy.
23. Have Fun. And when all goes well, be sure to pat yourself on the back.