Years ago, a night out to a fetish club with my partner, Dan, worked magic on our sex life. We’d always meant to go again, but eight years into our relationship, amid the daily slog of parenting our toddler, work and life admin, it’s fallen off our to-do list. Add our new parent
night-time routine (Netflix, grab bags of chips, repeat) into the mix and our sex life had become... stale. So, when we heard that purveyor of glam, female pleasure-focused erotic parties Killing Kittens was staging an online sex party, we thought: why not get involved?
Although a trip to an IRL sex party had previously been a turn-on for us, we were nervous. Would checking the chat box for flirty messages kill the vibe? Would we look like we were filming bad amateur porn? Finding out that phones are banned, that all participants are vetted beforehand, and that everyone wears big Venetian masks to hide their identity helped assuage our privacy concerns.
Establishing ground rules (we could both angle the camera to move body parts out of shot, leave the party if we felt uncomfortable and would wait for a nod of permission before removing items of clothing from one another) helped, too.
When the evening arrived and we logged on to the Zoom call at 10pm, we started messaging other couples in the waiting room while the moderators vetted participants once more. That – and wine – helped our nerves, and by the time we were let into the video call, we were sending flirty messages to an attractive couple right away. Soon after, our host led an adult twist on Simon Says, then Never Have I Ever, and we watched couples removing clothing and downing their drinks.
By 11pm, our screen was full of half-naked bodies. Many couples were having penetrative sex or teasing each other with tongues and feathers. Our chat box lit up with a message from another couple: “Why don’t you unbutton his trousers? And why doesn’t he unhook your basque?”
Extremely turned on, we complied, and soon we were having sex, too (we repositioned the camera so only our torsos were on show). As we got into it – all our inhibitions forgotten – the moderators flashed our antics up on the main screen (we had given permission beforehand) and we both got a thrill out of being watched that neither of us expected.
Two hours later, the party ended; days later, we set an alarm for 3am to join a New York-based sex party. Our new hobby has reinvigorated our sex life. It’s also reminded us that being stuck inside with our son upstairs is no excuse to reach for the slippers and the remote; that we’re the people each other chose, not just partners and parents. It’s something to smirk about over breakfast, too.
Offline ways to revive your sex life
“Sexuality is for ourselves, first and foremost,” says sex coach and Lovehoney ambassador Tamica Wilder. “Acting as our own best lover and focusing on our erotic expression is paramount, [because] falling in love with sex again means falling in love with yourself again.” Wilder shares these tips:
1. Try adding variety to your solo play
Change it with positions and places, add music and experiment with different sensations. Use your imagination and get curious about interacting with your own pleasure in different ways.
2. Treat yourself to something that makes you feel sexy
...whether that’s a new toy, a candle with a scent that turns you on, an essential oil or a piece of clothing like lingerie. The most important thing is that you buy it for yourself and not for someone else.
3. Think of pleasure more generally
...and make time for things that spark joy, such as going out with friends, making art, dancing and laughing! Experiencing pleasure outside of sex allows us to be more open to our true desires.