10-12 minute read.
If I casually mention that I am going to a sex party… I see a range of people being disgusted, intrigued, worried or harshly judging with loud ass whispers. Quiet up! I don’t care and you shouldn’t either. This is the same society of people that banishes certain humans for breathing, a society that frowned upon alcohol at one point, called everyone that smoked weed a waste of life, shames the porn industry while stuck watching it at 2am in the morning when the kids are sleeping… or while your husband is away. Life’s an experience to me. You have a choice on which experiences you want to particpate in to elevate and evolve, on every level of being human. We are here to express fully, to learn, to create, to grow…to expand. Who’s with me, who’s living? Moving forward. In December 2017, my roommate was happy to explore the sex party(also known as play party in the kink world) with me. I craved to explore in person. I was finally free from anyone’s judgement to explore a side of myself that has been forever on my mind. I researched for many years and now BDSM comes up more frequently in my sexual healing writing research. BDSM can be a set of “blue” or sensual practices, agreements, and roleplaying engaging in: (1) Bondage/Discipline (2) Dominance/Submission (3) Sadism/Masochism (4) and other intimate consents. BDSM to me is a strong aphrodisiac. Gender and sexuality are not a factor either. BDSM has a long history but this is not what this article is about. Continuing my sexual healing by liberating my shame, I looked up places to learn more about play parties in person. Los Angeles kink community ranges from public play parties to underground private extravaganzas. I had three to choose from and I chose one, a place I am choosing not to reveal.
Why is exploring this area of sexual liberation important for me? How can BDSM be a sexual healing experience? It brings an element of pain, power, and release… there is a surrendering that takes place to play. I look at it as a way to reclaim your body and to build trust. Like everything, there is a scale… a vertical and horizontal way to deepen your practice. There is an element of play and consent weaved into the BDSM culture, gaining much respect from me. There are now a few kink therapists(under the sexual therapy umbrella), using kink as a healing tool.
I had all kinds of judgements and expectations when my roommate and I were on our way to the play party. I thought everyone will be naked and lusting all over one another. I knew there was a range to kink and I read many posts that said nothing like this, but my social programming was telling me something different. I was preparing responses if I was asked to join any activities. Every scenario played in my head as I tried to mentally prepare. I was excited, but the fear was coming from a place of not knowing what was about to happen. We park and walk up to the large double doors. The room is low lit and I welcomed in the mystery at that point. There are a few people in line. We showed ID and paid $20 to get in. There is a host standing there waiting for us after walking through another set of large double doors. Before we can fully engage with everyone else, she asked “Top or Bottom”. She hands me a lock and my roommate follows. Its dim lighting in the place with brighter lights in the sitting areas. My roommate and I sat on these comfy couches and started our own conversation about sex. Then I asked the guy next to us has he ever been here before. We all started chatting and by that point, the space was getting packed. We were sitting by another room that was selling a fruit platter of toys. The store owner was very informative and helpful with all his products. Everyone was talking about sex and some of their experiences(good and bad). There was no weird tension when talking about sex, it was always an open non-judgemental conversation. As soon as we were getting comfortable, the games were about to begin.
The announcer comes onto the stage and explains how the party will get started. Match up locks and keys, get a raffle ticket and start the process over until the game ends(about two hours). Everyone had a lock or a key. Remember I have the lock. I talked to so many people. There were couples looking to play with someone at the party before they go home and finish playing with themselves. Some people were there to just watch, learn and practice their skill. Others meeting strictly at the play party to use the equipment. So many reasons. It was a great way to get everyone moving around and talking to other people. After 30 minutes of talking and not matching, I took my submissive ass to the couch so people can come to me. I sat down next to a women playing with a rubik’s cube. It was fascinating because it was so small, then she pulled out 4 others. She placed in several rubik’s cube competitions. She was passionate about it, she was beautiful and I was impressed by her hands. Sitting on the couch talking to her and her husband, I was matched 5 times. Taking on a full submissive role worked. Everyone that I matched with asked me to “play” after the key and lock dance, but I respectfully declined. I didn’t know the extent of play we were playing here. I didn’t know where this dance was taking me, but I was ready for it. I engaged in conversation, I watched and waited. I was happy to have 5 raffle tickets at the chance to win some valuable goods/toys. The lock and key dance came to an end, several announcements were made in regards to the kink community, and the raffle tickets were called(I didn’t win). The rules were about to be laid and this is when I knew I didn’t walk into some huge orgy fest. This entire night was a pleasant surprise left and right, but I was most shocked by the attention, respect, and compassion given by everyone. The rules for the next phrase of this play party : ABSOLUTELY NO FULL NUDITY, NO INTERCOURSE, AND NO EXCHANGE OF BODILY FLUIDS.
A few of us stayed dressed up while mostly everyone else dressed down to kink attire. I lost my roommate for a while but finally saw her again with a huge smile on her face. There was a women that pulled us aside while everyone was transitioning. She handed me a card to invite me to a private play party that her and her husband are hosting, promoting more of the black culture in the BDSM community. I asked her a few questions and she then requests for me to sit with her and watch her husband play. Walking into one of the 5 rooms they set up with several contraptions, the smallest room had three scenarios going on. In one corner, a very petite butch lesbian is lightly flogging a massive(at least 5 times her size) straight male while his hands are tied above him. What a scene. Another play couple is on the bed cleaning up wardrobe. The women’s husband was preparing his kit of toys in a very meticulous manner on the open side of the bed with an awning above and rope coming down. Their playmate rested on a spanking bench, waiting patiently. A group started to form and the games began. Her and her husband taught me methods of consent and the importance of going slow. I left them to check out the other five rooms. The whole experience is unforgettable and worth exploring if you are 18 and over. I found it easy to openly talk about sex without anyone coming onto me. It felt like a safe space.
BDSM is one way to heal, but please know if you are interested in kink for healing or for fun, it may not be for you. I would would approach BDSM with the statements below in mind.
From sex educator Shanna Katz in her interview with Outfront Magazine:
“Anything can be either helpful or hurtful (or both in some cases) to survivors of sexual assault or any type of violence. Sometimes, the survivor won’t even realize that something might trigger them until they are in the middle of a situation. Be aware that intimacy and sexual activities always can result in unexpected emotional reactions, regardless of experiences of sexual assault or other trauma, so just be open about what is going on.”
Los Angeles-based sex therapist Vanessa Marin says:
“I have worked with clients who had profound healing experiences through kink. Speaking in very broad brushstrokes, the kinky community tends to heavily prioritize consent. There are discussions of boundaries, safe words, and contracts. Sometimes scenes are entirely planned out before two people even touch. Like “anything else in life, kink as therapy doesn’t work for everyone. Anyone interested in trying out a BDSM practice, whether for help coping from a traumatic event or just for fun, should proceed with caution.
Los Angeles based stand up Comedian, Alyssa, wrote this for Tonic Magazine:
“When approached with care, respect, and in tandem with more traditional methods like talk therapy, Alyssa says her journey into kink has been transformative. BDSM has been nothing but a positive addition to my life and my healing. I’ve experienced many sexual traumas in my life and before I got involved with the kink scene, I had no concept of healthy boundaries, sexual empowerment, or even my own worthiness for pleasure and consent.”
Love and Knowledge,