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Seventeen percent of New Yorkers have been to a sex party, according to our sex poll

By Meagan Drillinger
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Sex parties have gotten a bad rap recently, likened to depraved dens of perversion. Visions of swingers swapping partners in a sea of sticky fluids or animalistic cloak-and-dagger orgies seem to be most common. To shed some light on the perceived dark world that is the NYC sex-party scene, I went deep inside to get the scoop.

My little adventure begins at a secret location in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where NYC sex-party legend Chemistry hosts its monthly bashes. Inside the discreet space, which is splashed with deep-purple lighting, a DJ spins in the background to create a lounge-like atmosphere as guests check their names, coats, bags and cameras at the door.

I’ve brought a date, but attendees run the spectrum from committed couples to friends to singles. We grab a drink at the bar (it’s BYOB, but a bartender provides mixers), dance and explore the sprawling warehouse, discovering sultry secrets tucked in shadowy corners, like, say, sensual massages and conveniently placed tents for covert hand jobs. To be honest, it doesn’t feel that different from any other Brooklyn party, except everyone there knows that the endgame is to hook up.

Speaking of which: It’s nerve-racking when you know you’re going to have sex in public. Yes, I’m prepared to hump in front of a roomful of strangers. We throw back a few whiskey cocktails and make our way upstairs to the “play” area, an elevated loungey den with throw pillows, couches and mattresses. After securing coveted real estate on an unoccupied mattress, we waste no time. We lock eyes, and without realizing it, the rest of the world seems to fade away as we go through the familiar motions—until a position change jolts me securely back to reality. I scan the room to see that we are lost in a sea of naked skin. But at this point, I’m too far in to care. It’s kind of awesome. It’s intoxicating, liberating and, quite frankly, hot as hell.

On to round two, which is so loud and enthusiastic that we catch the attention of a second couple who asks to join us. After a few experimental kisses between myself and Ms. Anonymous, my date and I decide we’re more in the mood for one-on-one time. The two of them smile, say, “Have fun!” and they’re on their way. No pressure, no awkwardness.

I look around: Many partyers, like us, stay happily with their dates, some swap, a handful are of the more-the-merrier philosophy and others merely observe. No one we encounter could be characterized as creepy. In fact, the whole thing is about as polite and respectful an experience as you can have in New York. It’s like a fun meet and greet. With more humping.

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