Specifically, I'm obsessed with throwing a swingers party.
Even more specifically, I'm obsessed with throwing a queer key party.
I've had a fascination with swinger culture, even while feeling on the outskirts of it. It seems like "the lifestyle" is so inherently heterosexual, fairly misogynist, and kind of... well. Not entirely with it. Consent doesn't always seem like a concern, judging from what I've read on forums or witnessed at the infrequent parties I've attended (though it really depends on the host). One partner puts in that couple's keys, and the other partner just goes home with whomever picks the keys out of the bowl. Never mind the endless creepiness of having a finger food snack table at a sex party because ew gross seriously who does that.
I'd end up forgetting my keys, I bet money.
Despite all that, swinger parties seem very structured, unlike the parties I go to where it's a negotiated back and forth free for all. I don't do very well in those environments. When anything might, conceivably, go, I end up sipping cocktails, plastered against the wall, feeling like the girl with braces at the prom that no one wants to dance with. Despite the reputation I have for being intimidating (which I'm sure lurking by the wall doesn't help), I'm really super shy, and most sex parties don't help me engage people in conversation or even flirt.
But what if I could queer a swingers party? What if I could take the structure I like, and take out the misogyny, the assumptions of who wants to sleep with whom, and the lack of negotiation? What if I could throw a swingers party where male bisexuality was equally celebrated? What if I could take all of the interesting nostalgic swinger party ingredients and make something different?
This of course involves rethinking a lot of the basics. I mean, I know I want this to be traditional in some ways, like maintaining that 70s theme. Outfits are going to be entertaining to put together. The music will be killer and cheesy which I think will make people laugh and relax. We'll likely have a hot tub. Hopefully we'll have a butler. I've even picked up classic 70s games like Dirty Words for us to play to get things going. Fingers crossed, we'll have vintage porn- not just Deep Throat, but unearthed ones like "Pizza Girls" and "Wham Bam Thank You Spaceman" (which I haven't found, yet, but I will!)
It comes down to finding the right space for this venture, and the right, small group of people to come with me (haha, yes I made a pun).
I learned quite a bit from this Nerve article about a key party. I love the idea of everyone getting a new name, so they can portray a character for the evening, which when added to the costumes may be a really useful idea. I did learn that people might leave their keys, and therefore having symbolic keys was probably a better idea. I don't want to be responsible for everyone's car/house keys!
Because I won't be working with people's actual keys, I'm working on a way for everyone to have their own key token, so they can submit a key individually, or as a couple. And the key will signify right of negotiation, not any particular acts. No one will be pressured into participating, but for people like me who are super shy, this will be a way to approach people playfully. Not all couples will be straight, or binary gendered, so dividing into men/women will be pointless as well. We're going to have to throw an experimentation sex party to test mechanics, which I think is kind of hilarious and also really fun.
Dancing is going to be important. I'm going to have to learn the Hustle, the Bump, the Bus Stop, and god knows what else. I'm not the best dancer but I feel like for this I'm willing to do what I can to learn. And the music is going to take time to cultivate, from disco legends to funkadelic tunes for getting it on, hopefully without laughing hysterically.
Never mind the food, of course. And the cocktails. I've been going through an erotic 70s era cookbook, "Fanny Hill's Cookbook", and not only are the directions to prepare the food pretty vague and weirdly misogynist, but the food is pretty awful sounding. How can we make a better shrimp cocktail? What about Duck A L'orange? Or carrot cake? Can I make this stuff vegan? What about gluten free? It's going to be a challenge, but you can expect to see the occasional post about the 70s popping up as I plan this event 6 months in advance.
Basically, I have had a suspicion for a really long time that I might be more of a swinger than a polyamorous person. Fucking at parties and going home with one partner is typically my MO. Amusingly, I'm driven to throw this party now that I'm dating people not just at parties, but I think it'll be just right for a birthday. Now to figure out how to contain my excitement as I hammer out the details... and I think I'll need lots of practice sex in the meantime.