The Ins and Outs of Group Play
How we evolved as swingers to participate in group sex occasionally.
OK, wait. “Group play” is just a polite term for “orgy,” right?
If you know us at all, you know that we don’t get too caught up in terminology. We will leave the semantics and the group sex mathematics to others and keep referring to sex with more than 3–4 people involved as “group play” or “group sex.” You can substitute “orgy,” if that’s the term you prefer.
We have experienced quite a few group play situations over the years. Most have been positive but none have been what we would call perfect. They are usually fun but can also be stressful. In this article, a companion piece to We Gotta Thing podcast episode 89, we’ll talk about some of the things we’ve discovered about group play, and how our thoughts on it have evolved over time.
In the Beginning
Our long-time listeners know that we started in the lifestyle as soft swap only newbies with a great deal of temerity about full swap play, let alone multiple couple play. We did have one six-some early on—three couples involved in soft swap play—but, overall, our initial thoughts about group sex were along the lines of “We could never do that!”
At that stage in our swinger journey, we couldn’t wrap our brains around the communication and logistics involved in group play. Do all the people know each other, or are they strangers? How do you give consent in a group? How do you know everyone’s play style? What if there is someone in the group you don’t want to play with? How could we possibly make connections with that many people before playing?
It seemed overwhelming to us back then, and you may be at a place in your journey right now that has you nodding vigorously to all the questions above.
The Tricky Stuff
It’s true that group play may not be the best for brand new swingers who are just beginning to experience sex with others. We’ve learned that there are some potential pitfalls to playing in groups.
For one thing, you can get a sort of “kid in the candy store” mentality that clouds good judgement. So many options! So much to explore! It can be easy to lose sight of the basics like solid communication and consent. Playing in a group successfully requires all of the participants to have their heads in the game. If you (or someone else) does not, that can diminish the experience a great deal for everyone.
We have to acknowledge, too, that in a group it is easy to get separated from your partner physically as well as emotionally. If staying connected is a priority for you as a couple, group play will require more effort and you may find that you need to redirect your positioning or attention as you navigate group play, in order to stay connected with your partner at least via sight if not touch.
In the beginning, forays into group play will probably be the most positive when every person involved knows one another well and has had a chance to connect socially (probably on more than one occasion) before connecting in a group together sexually.
The Good Stuff
What we’ve discovered as we’ve grown and evolved in the lifestyle, is that not only can group play be done successfully, but it can provide incredible sexual pleasures and couple memories. In some ways, it’s more relaxing than playing with a single other couple.
We know it may sound antithetical, but in group play there really can be less pressure. Notably, the challenge of the “four way connection” does not come into play in a larger group. You will connect really well with some in the group and moderately well with others. You do not need to play with the partner of the person your spouse is playing with. You might be playing with someone from an entirely different couple. You might be simultaneously playing with more than one person from different couples.
There is also a greater ebb and flow of play in group sex. Someone may bow out for a bit to get a drink of water or freshen up or just take a break and watch. That someone might be you. Play pace and intensity will differ between the different people but also within the same person over the course of the event. People will leave and return and reconfigure.
The key–and no one will be surprised to hear us say this—is communication. Solid communication among the group beforehand and individual communication throughout the experience. Checking for consent before interacting with someone. Checking for consent before changing exactly how you’re interacting with someone. Checking in as partners and staying connected emotionally, if not physically, to each other.
There’s no way to predict exactly how group play will go and we don’t think it would be very sexy or fun if anyone tried to script or direct how play will go beforehand; however, our best experiences have been with people we know in a relaxed atmosphere when everyone talked before anything physical began.
What Changed for Us
As we gained experience and tried new things—as we moved some boundaries with our expanding comfort zone—we became more relaxed and accepting of new sexual situations, including group sex. For one thing, we made many close lifestyle friends and group sex situations tended to come up with people we already knew, some very well.
But we also got more comfortable playing in groups that included people we knew less or had met through our friends just that evening. We always make an effort to connect before sex, but we trust that the people our friends are inviting into a group play situation are people we can trust, too.
The other reason things changed for us is that we learned to accept that sex is just sex. We don’t have to be best friends with everyone we play with. We can enjoy the many permutations of sex in a larger group and walk away together having experienced sensory delights and pleasures impossible within a couple or threesome.
We are Mr. & Mrs. Jones, swinger lifestyle podcasters. If you like what you read here and want to learn more about the swinger lifestyle and/or We Gotta Thing, you can find our podcast episodes and much more at WeGottaThing.com.