Savage Love: Feb. 15, 2024

What to bring to a sex party

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I am invited to a (gay) sex party. When invited for dinner, you bring a bottle of wine, but what is the proper etiquette for a sex party? Come showered and douched, I guess. What else? Do I bring something for the host?

— Newby At Sex Party

A host gift is a thoughtful idea, NASP, but slipping your host a little cash — paper towels are way more expensive than they used to be — may be a better idea.

“I usually ask for a £5 tip to cover the costs of food, soft drinks and hard drinks I provide at the parties I run,” says Ali Bushell, author of the Sex Party Handbook. “Even if the host of NASP’s first sex party doesn’t ask for money, being willing to tip the host $10 or so is always appreciated. It’s especially appreciated when the guest acknowledges the time and effort that went into making the event happen and mentions that they’re grateful.” 

While Bushell makes alcohol available at the parties he hosts at his home in London, not all sex party hosts serve booze. “Bringing alcohol isn’t a terrible idea,” says Bushell, “but NASP needs to bear in mind some people might prefer the party to be dry. So, if he’s thinking of bringing a six pack of beer or bottle of wine to share, best to check with the host about whether that would be welcome.”

And big ups to arriving very recently douched and very freshly showered. Also: Don’t wear cologne, put your phone away, be polite when you decline to play with someone, be just as polite to someone who declines to play with you, get on PrEP (prevents HIV infection), look into DoxyPEP (offers some protection against other sexually transmitted infections), and maybe consider using condoms (they offer excellent protection against HIV and other STIs).

Ali Bushell’s Sex Party Handbook is available on Amazon. When he’s not hosting sex parties, Bushell hosts the The Healers Guild, a podcast for people seeking or offering healing.

I have a lover and we are long-distance. I’d like to spend the limited time we have in person doing physical activities — getting intimate — but he takes a long time to warm up and needs to spend a lot of time talking first. If we had all the time in the world, that wouldn’t be a problem, but we usually only see each other on business trips that take us to each other’s cities. Can we cut to the chase without shortchanging his need to reconnect emotionally first?

— Down To Business

You can’t.

I’m a 28-year-old woman in Australia. I am talking to a very hot dominant man in his forties. He gives me extremely explicit tasks that he wants photos of constantly including writing his initials on me each day. I have verified his ID — I know his real name and he is who he says he is — but other than the fact that he’s married and very private about his life, I don’t know much about him. 

I’m enjoying having a regular (constant!) D/s dynamic in my life, but I’m worried these photos would ruin me if they got out. Advice please?

— Personal Images Complicate Situation

The risk you’re running — losing control of your photos — is not some ancillary risk that you can mitigate or eliminate while still enjoying this connection. Your entire relationship with this man consists of taking the pictures he orders you to and then sending them to him. You want this sexy dominant man to have power over you — you’re turned on by the thought of him having power over you — and these photos are the power he has over you. You aren’t sending these photos to get the sex, PICS, the sending of the photos is the sex.

Sex is never risk-free — there’s no such thing as entirely safe sex — but sane people do what they can to mitigate risks. The only way to eliminate the risk here is for you to stop sending these photos.

That said, PICS, the fact that you know this man’s name does provide you with some protection. If this man were to post your photos online because you wanted to end the relationship, you have legal recourse — revenge porn is a crime in Australia — and so the risks here are shared and that will hopefully motivate him to keep your photos on a secure and unhackable server.

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