An orgy is an “excessive indulgence”1 and that excessive indulgence could be food or sex or other things.

Sexually, orgies have become synonymous with sex parties involving many people intertwined in sexual acts. Although it is not known how many people it takes to make an orgy, many believe it takes more than three, since that is a threesome and not an orgy.

A large group of people engaging in various sexual acts with one another’s consent are held in homes, warehouses, hotels and sex clubs, and are also known as sex parties, group sex, play parties, hedonistic parties, chemsex parties (drugs and sex), erotic parties and even friendly gang-bangs, which can also be with an unwilling participant like gang rape. An orgy can have a positive connotation of people having fun, or a negative connotation if anyone participating does not give their consent.

Some swingers parties can be orgies, and some orgies can be sex-positive events, but not all swinger or sex-positive events are orgies. Many organized orgy parties stress safety and consent.

The sourced articles below should provide more information for people interested in learning more about orgies and sex parties.

Footnote: 1., accessed 5/11/2018

  1. What Are Sex Parties Really Like? A Sexpert Explains Everything You Need To Know

    “Whether you’re planning on attending your first sex party or are simply curious about what these kinds of events might entail, it can be difficult to find helpful details. If you’re looking for a thorough explanation that goes beyond one individual’s personal account or a couple’s experience, look no further. What are sex parties really like, especially in the aftermath of #MeToo? I spoke to sex educator and mental health professional Lola Jean, who’s been to her fair share of sex parties, about everything you need to know before you go to a sex party. Her fascinating insights include everything from logistics to etiquette.”

    Jamie Kravitz,, 5/11/2018

  2. Wild Sex Parties Are Too Noisy For This Upscale Colorado Community

    “Nonetheless, residents complain they can still hear the parties in full swing. … The local police department said it was investigating the reports, but noted that no laws were being broken. As the host was only taking donations for entry and the parties are happening within his private home, angry residents have no legal recourse. One woman who regularly attends the parties told Fox 31, ‘It’s just like going to a regular barbeque. We’re coming in, hanging out, meeting new friends and talking and that’s really about it. It builds up and do people have sex? Yes. And that’s okay.'”

    David Brennan,, 4/25/2018

  3. What It’s Like To Capture Chemsex, The World’s Craziest Sex Party

    “It’s risky because chemsex significantly raises HIV and hepatitis C risks, since slamming party drugs with shared needles = disinhibition and unprotected sex. As a result, the ‘party and play culture’ has destroyed gay scenes in cities around the world, Spike explains. … Nine black and white photos in the chemsex series were taken over the course of a year. In a way, Spike says, they are separate pieces of work, compiled in an album intended for people to better understand how gay and bi men are injecting chemicals to distort their sex lives. Combined, the photos explore the entirety of the chemsex roller coaster — the passion, loneliness, confusion and despair — while simultaneously exploring fetishes around thick ‘healthy’ veins (which Spike calls ‘vein porn’) and cruising Grindr for days before hastily corralling fragments of a shattered psyche.”

    C. Brian Smith,, 2/15/2018

  4. Energetic Photos Capture The Absolute Sexual Liberation Of 1970s New York

    “Allan Tannenbaum captured the most hedonistic period in New York’s history in glorious black and white photographs … You could also go to a club for sex. Couples would go to Plato’s Retreat and engage with other couples. Absolutely anything went as long as nobody got hurt.

    Miss Rosen,, 1/11/2018

  5. “Tech Sex Orgies” Tale Is The Talk Of Silicon Valley

    “It’s the assertions by the party hosts — some of the valley’s most powerful men — that their drug-laden sex parties with their own wives, employees and business acquaintances are lifestyle choices that push paradigms, just like the technologies they create. … Afterward, double standards apply: Male participants are part of the ‘in crowd,’ while female participants are slut-shamed. Most sources, and participants, were not identified.”

    Carolyne Zinko,, 1/5/2018

  6. Sex Ed Fridays: What You Should Know Before Attending Your First Play Party

    “What exactly is a play party? A play party is a social occasion where people are free — and encouraged — to engage in public sex(ual) or kinky behaviors. It’s not a giant orgy, which people often think it is, but it totally can be! It’s a place for kinky babes, exhibitionists, voyeurs, and people who want to explore sexual energy in a new way. You can play with a lover or friend you attend the party with, you can play with new people, you can watch others play or you can just talk with friends and dance. It’s completely and entirely up to you. Because a sex party is just that — a party. … If you’ve decided that you want to get down with some new people during your play party experience, it’s important to find the language to talk about your STI status. Whether you are positive or negative for any STI, talking about is good. It allows for both you and your sexual partners to feel like you’re taking care of each other’s sexual health.”

    Corinne Kai,, 12/22/2017

  7. What Are Orgies Really Like In The Swinging Lifestyle

    “When you first walk into a swingers club, you may be taken aback at how normal it all seems. You’ll see people dancing, drinking, and chatting just like at any other club … However, many full-blown orgies often happen in a more secluded area away from the bar and dance floor. You may need a key to the room, or you may be able to simply enter and enjoy.”

    Swingerlifestyleadmin,, 11/30/2017

  8. 17 Life Lessons I Learned By Participating In Orgies

    “And if they ask, we met ‘at a meeting.’ …

    [1.] You have to overcome your doubts and lack of confidence. … 

    [2.] There’s a whole new world to discover. … 

    [3.] People who know how to throw a good orgy are the most reliable people in the world. … 

    [4.] It’s an excellent workout. … 

    [5.] If you can survive the awkwardness of running into that certain “someone,” then that’s it — you’re immortal. … 

    [6.] It’s a good excuse to disconnect from social media for a couple hours. … 

    [7.] You have to pace yourself, so that when something really interesting goes down, you’re not dead tired. … 

    [8.] You can make new friends anywhere. … 

    [9.] You learn to appreciate any source of light. … 

    [10.] You start to see things as one big game of Tetris. … 

    [11.] You should never take rejection personally. … 

    [12.] This world is full of new (and unthinkable) practices. … 

    [13.] Appreciate mystery. … 

    [14.] You have to let go of several preconceptions. … 

    [15.] Be discreet, and never name names when you talk about what happened. … 

    [16.] You’ll only ever offer to host at your place once. … 

    [17.] And finally, just relax and enjoy.”

    lucasfauno,, 9/29/2017

  9. The History And Psychology Of The Orgy

    “The word ‘orgy’, which ultimately derives from the Ancient Greek orgion/orgia, entered the English language in the 1560s to mean ‘any licentious revelry’. Today, people think of an orgy as a party involving open and unrestrained sex between diverse people with no or little prior knowledge of one another. But originally, orgia referred to the secret rites of the Ancient Greek mystery cults such as the Dionysian Mysteries and the Cult of Cybele, which aimed above all at ecstatic union with the divine. … By diverting the Dionysian impulse into special rites on special days, the orgy kept it under control, preventing it from surfacing in more insidious and perfidious ways.”

    Neel Burton, MD,, 7/29/2017

  10. The Inside Story Of London’s Chemsex Scene

    “Christine Schierano, a criminologist at Liverpool John Moores University, has been observing London’s evolving chemsex scene since 2011, looking at the health consequences and the way drugs are supplied. Against a backdrop of drug use and sex, some of it in the open and some behind closed doors, she has met and interviewed a stream of dealers and guests at parties over the past six years. … Schierano’s research – part of which was published in an academic journal in December by the European Society for Social Drugs Research – is the only long-term ethnographical look at the world of chemsex. It provides unprecedented insight into how the scene has changed, what drives it and who is attracted to it.”

    Max Daly,, 6/12/2017

  11. The Real People Of Brooklyn’s Sex-Positive Group House

    “Yes, there are orgies and orgasm workshops. But even more fascinating is how 14 strangers turned this brownstone into the most supportive co-living arrangement in NYC.”

    Daniel Krieger,, 6/9/2017; (Broken link removed 10/2023)

  12. 6 People Describe What It’s Like To Take Part In An Orgy

    “‘What no-one told me is that you generally have a meet-up right beforehand. The one I was involved in had a very social restaurant meet-up. Basically just a place to get to know the strangers before you f*ck them. I thought it was strange at first, but ultimately it did help calm the nerves.'”

    Online Resource,, 6/5/2017

  13. Sex Parties In The UK: Everything You Need To Know

    “We may be seen as stuffy, stiff upper lip Brits, but the truth is we’re just as (if not more) sexually adventurous as anyone else ta very much. In fact, we have an ever-growing network of sex parties, orgies and swingers’ clubs right on our doorstep. Here’s our guide to the glorious sex parties humble Blighty has to offer.”

    Laura Millar and Paisley Gilmour,, 4/28/2017

  14. A Guide To Sex Party Etiquette (By A Woman Who Runs One)

    “But I would say that – I started hosting luxury private parties long before I transformed them into a business. Yet despite my pretty robust sexual confidence, sometimes I still get nervous before I arrive. As the scene expands, and visitor numbers increase, I thought I would help out the burgeoning class of first-timers with my very own sex club etiquette guide. Take it from a sex club veteran… you’ll need it.”

    Sarah Jane Banahan,, 4/25/2017

  15. Are Sex Parties Legal? We Spoke to A Veteran Promoter To Find Out

    “Sex parties—events where participants can have sexual experiences with other attendees in a safe and consenting environment—are also growing in popularity. Ben Fuller, the founder of Modern Lifestyles, a ticketing service for swinger parties, told Quartz that his business has increased by 81% over the last two years. … We asked Deborah Rose, a Philadelphia-based veteran promoter of sex-positive events, to explain the regulations surrounding the industry, how promoters get around some of these barriers, and strategies for making the scene better and safer for participants.”

    Sophie Weiner,, 3/7/2017

  16. Sex-Party Etiquette Is Useful For Every Kind Of Sex

    “Relationship coach Effy Blue’s deep dive into play-party etiquette could hardly be more apropos: In three days’ time, scores of naked, writhing bodies — including my own — would be packing the space where a demographically diverse group of people and I now quietly sat. Over a lively two-hour presentation that included group exercises and attendee interaction, Blue touched upon everything that a sex-party attendee needs to know in order to be an excellent, respectful guest and set themselves up to have a wonderful experience.”

    Grant Stoddard,, 11/18/2016

  17. What Is An Orgy – How To Plan An Orgy

    “The most important thing is that no matter how you find your group sex community, be smart and safe. Feel free to meet in person with whoever organizes the event in advance to make sure they feel trustworthy and safe. Get as much information as you need before committing to an orgy: rules, safe words, condom-use, etc. … Because an orgy can be a potentially dangerous event if you’re not prepared, there are strict rules to keep everyone feeling safe and supported. Getting verbal consent before engaging in any sex acts, using protection, and coming up with safe words are all part of the process.”

    Rose Surnow,, 11/17/2016

  18. What It’s Really Like To Be A Sex Party Regular

    “I was somewhat underprepared for my first party. The person who invited me explained prior that they had a date with whom they had agreed to spend the evening and therefore wouldn’t be hanging out with me. If I wanted to come, I was to fend for myself. Initially, I was a little taken back. Then, I noticed how clear their communication was and how they were managing my expectations — I was intrigued.”

    Hayley MacMillen,, 10/17/2016

  19. 9 Things To Know Before Going To A Sex Party

    “The no. 1 rule is consent, as it should be in every sexual situation. While the term ‘sex party’ might make you think of a wild, disorganized orgy, that doesn’t mean that every partygoer intends on having sex with every attendee. Getting consent before each and every sex act is crucial.”

    Elizabeth Bacharach,, 9/27/2016

  20. The Real Reason I Went Back To A Sex Club After My Awkward First Time

    “When I say sex club, I mean Eyes Wide Shut, but without the creepy masks and mandatory white-tie-with-a-cape attire. The type of place where you pay a fee and can basically choose to participate in an open orgy. You can just watch other couples/threesomes/foursomes, have sex with the person you came with, invite a third (fourth? fifth?) into your copulation, or just straight-up masturbate for an hour. Whatever floats your O.”

    Anonymous as told to Koa Beck,, 8/1/2016

  21. As A Host Of Group Sex Parties, Here’s How I Explain Sexual Consent

    “Who am I to explain consent to you? I’m very square, married, living in the suburbs with my hardworking husband, and an irritating cat. But about once a month, roughly 60 people show up to our house for an all-night orgy. We have established a strong consent culture for these parties, to keep our guests safe and happy. Not surprisingly, (to us) our clear consent rules have resulted in lots of happy sex that nobody feels bad about.”

    Online Resource,, 7/22/2016

  22. I Went To An Orgy. Here’s What I Learned.

    “Once upon a time I went to an orgy. … Sean was the twenty-something dude who created this sex party. … He felt at those parties people who were most objectively ‘attractive’ always got the most action, while those who were a little older, a little bigger or a little gayer, were often left out in the cold. So he thought: what would happen if people weren’t allowed to make their decisions based on looks but instead purely on the pleasure of touch? … He assured me that the party would stop immediately if there was a repeat offender. There were also condom boxes all around the room with glow in the dark tape around them for people to grab …”

    Cynthia Loyst,, 6/28/2016; (Broken link removed 10/2023)

  23. Chemsex Is Actually “A Bit Boring”

    “While there’s no disputing these are real problems, is chemsex really as bad as all that? What really happens at a chillout? … Forget your fetish about walking into a room, throwing some drugs down your neck, nodding at six strangers and getting down to it: this isn’t PornHub and we’re all grownups. … ‘The sex happens in waves – in between there’s mostly sitting around talking and listening to music,’…”

    Justin Myers,, 5/12/2016