What It’s Like to Have a Digital Orgy

When you’re a swinger, even a pandemic can’t stop the party, which is why I recently found myself hunched over my bathroom sink, shaving my legs for the first time in a loooong time.

My husband and I have been social distancing for a month now, and like everyone else, our plans have been completely derailed by COVID-19: we were supposed to be celebrating our 15-year anniversary (yeah, we’ve been together since high school) at Young Swingers Week in Jamaica at the notorious nude resort, Hedonism 2, when the lockdown began. We were mentally preparing for (fine, fantasizing about) the kind of fun two longtime players in the polyamorous scene like to have: daily naked pool parties, frequent sex beneath mirrored ceilings, and as many threesomes, orgies, and wild hookups as our schedule would allow. But mostly we were excited about being among likeminded hedonists who understand the joy of swinging and swapping—it’s an incredibly freeing experience, to put it mildly.

In the context of lost loved ones and lost jobs, I know I can’t complain about having to postpone a weeklong beach trip due to a pandemic, but we were still bummed about missing out on the kind of sexy fun that’s impossible to recreate when you and everyone you know are quarantined at home. As COVID-19 spread through the U.S., group sex became less of an option by the minute—not just a health risk, but a moral violation.

Fortunately, the swinging community quickly turned to everyone’s new best friend, video chatting, to keep the mood alive.

So back to me and my soon-to-be-smooth legs. Tonight, New York’s members-only love club NSFW was hosting their first-ever video play party, and we had scored an invite. I found out about the shindig through a friend who was planning to attend, and because it was the club’s first time hosting the party, they waived my one-time $25 fee. Sweet.

Preparing for the lockdown-edition of a sex-positive hangout was surprisingly similar to the real deal, though in “normal” times, I’d let professionals take care of certain primping aspects, like getting a full Brazilian wax. Thankfully though, not every part of our pre-swinging routine had to be sacrificed: we still got to warm up with hot shower sex to get rid of the first-date jitters. (Meeting new people who you might hook up with is nerve-wracking, even for us poly folks.) We always like to connect and reaffirm our relationship before handing each other off to new partners, and while we wouldn’t be lit-er-al-ly touching anyone else tonight, sharing intimacy with others is a vulnerable act that needs to be treated with love and compassion.

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What NSFW looks like under ~normal~ circumstances.

Rodrigo Lizarraga

After le sex, we moved on to our typical next-step: exchanging fantasies. My husband wanted to go down on me while everyone watched, which sounded like a great idea to me! Since we wanted the night to feel like the Real Thing, we set up our bedroom as if we were actually about to have someone over. Soft blankets scattered about, candles lit, Depeche Mode on the speaker: we were officially ready for group sex. Assuming that New Yorkers do everything a little fancier (we live in Montana, lol), I put on my finest velvet romper, while my husband donned a simple black shirt in accordance with the black-themed dress code.

With everything properly arranged, my hubs and I sat together on the bed in front of my laptop and clicked the provided GetVokl link—finally, something other than Zoom, ha—and were met with sexy, moody vibes that immediately set the tone. I was definitely a little worried about showing my face on camera while engaged X-rated activities (erm, what if someone took a screenshot?) but I was reassured by NSFW’s vetting process, which isn’t something I can say for every sex party organizer I’ve encountered.

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Getting in the mooooood at NSFW

Rodrigo Lizarraga

It was a mix of couples and singles, and most of us were in our early to mid-30s. The screen displayed four feeds that participants could dip in and out of, while a group chat allowed everyone in attendance to interact all at once. The organizers kicked off the event with live musicians playing in one of the feeds, and all 67 attendees soon got frisky. Those quarantined together played with each other, while solo-ers made the exhibitionists happy by showing themselves masturbating to all the hot sex going on. Like at in-person parties, it was amazing to be among people who didn’t seem to possess a single sexual hang-up.

Introductions gave way to a live demonstration of power exchange and impact play, and the group’s arousal was palpable. Early on, the feed cut out for a few seconds (yep, even swingers encounter technical difficulties) and only then did I realize I’d been holding my breath while watching the tension build—a tension that was definitely mounting in my bedroom, too. I had to remind myself a few times that just because I was watching people have sex on a screen, I wasn’t watching porn—I was watching real people let loose, and it totally turned me on. Nothing could kill the vibe, not even a cameo appearance from someone’s dog.

I had to remind myself a few times that I wasn’t watching porn.

So even though we couldn’t physically get in bed with our new friends, the digital orgy still—dorky as it might sound—gave us far-flung swingers a sense of community, and more importantly, it turned us all the f*ck on. TBH, the experience was, in a word, healing. Spooning in front of the computer screen, watching couples and singles around the world prioritize their pleasure for three hours on a Friday night was *exactly* what we needed. We did ~the deed~ three times during the playdate, and again as soon as we woke up the following day.

Our next IRL swingers’ vacay won’t be for god-knows-how-many-months, so until then, I’ll happily take the webcam version…both because, yes, it turns me on, but also because, let’s be real, I need some motivation to shave my legs these days.

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