How to Take the Perfect Sexy Selfie to Make Your Lover’s Jaw Drop

Sure, a sexy selfie sounds like a good idea, but for every Bella Hadid or Kendall Jenner, there’s about a million not-famous-supermodel types for whom it can all go terribly wrong. For the unpracticed rest of us, a playful pout can turn into a duck-face disaster in the blink of an eye. For tips, we turned to the good folks at NSFW, a social club and creative agency dedicated to legal adventures in sex, drugs and licentiousness. As it happens, NSFW’s Chief Conspirator teaches a class in sexy selfies called “Swipe Right.” We tapped the anonymous instructor for his best tips.

1. Give good face

It's important to get to know your face. The best way to do this is to practice poses in a mirror and to grab some pics to see the results. Discover your best side and the angles which capture you best. Consider your hair and how to use it to accent the features you want to highlight. Also try going lighter on the make-up for a more natural look and grab some shots with your lips slightly parted, a strong flirty signal for both men and women.

2. Strike a pose

You'll want to begin practicing with your phone's auto-timer and purchase a tripod. Promark makes one with adjustable legs which is great for positioning. Shoot in a space with enough room and skip shooting in tiny bathrooms. When you're ready to grab the perfect shot place a mirror behind your camera so that you can adjust your pose. Shooting in a bedroom is an obvious choice to remind your lover where the magic happens, but consider other spaces in your home to add a little context to your shots. Be ready to take a few dozen shots to find the perfect one.

3. Play dress up (or undress altogether)

You don't have to go nude to capture your sexiest self but if you choose to, hide your face unless you're cool with your parents or kids seeing the pics someday. Our hook-up society is rife with horror stories of revenge porn and private images going public so protect your privacy to prevent any future misfortunes. Find the items in your closet that make you feel sexiest. If that means a tee with cotton knickers, go that route. If it's lacy lingerie or leather, bring it. The sexier you feel in what you're wearing, the more likely you'll express that feeling into your photos.

4. Find the right light

Natural light is always best so consider your windows and the time of day you're capturing your naughty shots. Try to dim lights or switch to red light bulbs to add some sensual lighting to your photos. Test photos with and without your camera’s flash to see which works best. Also, be mindful of overhead lights, which add shadows to your face and body.

5. Filters and apps are your friend

Test out a few different filters and apps to see which best captures you. Soften and blur photos for a more romantic effect and test out black and white photo filters. Try apps like Facetune, Afterlight and VSCO.

 

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How the BDSM Community Integrates Cannabis Into Kink

“He inserted the base of the vape into my pussy so that the tip was sticking out. He then put his face right up into my crotch and pressed the button and inhaled right out of my vagina!”

As a girl who loves both cannabis and kink, I’ve been carefully surveying both worlds, looking for moments where the two meet. As legalization spreads, I’m noticing their paths cross more and more. Organizations such as NSFW, a “digital agency for the adventurous,” are forged in this delightful intersection of vices. NSFW hosts “danquets,” high-end meals of infused delicacies served to guests seated on pillows, as well as exclusive kink events such as their recent Shibari workshop.

Yet 420-friendly kinksters have probably been using weed in their play since the dawn of time. But, how, exactly? While the world is becoming more accepting of both cannabis and kink, much of both communities still exist underground. “69 by 420: Marijuana Kinky,” an aptly named group on FetLife, the kinky social media platform boosts over 20,000 members, but the forum offers anonymity to its members, and you have to go digging to get specifics.

To learn more, I decided to go straight to the source and simply ask fetish-friendly smokers in the community about how BDSM and weed overlap for enthusiasts. I spoke with Mistress Matisse, a professional dominatrix of 20 years who is also a pot entrepreneur. Matisse has created her own cannabis intimacy line, Velvet Swing, and also enhances sessions with clients through the magic of cannabis. Next, I approached NSFW’s Chief Conspirator Daniel Saynt and the agency’s publicist, Melissa Vitale, to ask how they play with pot. As cannabis and BDSM both remain unfortunately stigmatized, I spoke to an anonymous kinky stoner, as well. She told me she likes to be tied up as her dominant vapes out of her pussy. From social clubs and professional dominatrixes, to underground stoner submissives, rest assured that kinksters all over the world are upping the ante of their play with the aid of goddess Mary Jane.

Interviews have been edited for length and clarity...

Mistress Matisse
Dominatrix, Writer, Sex Worker’s Advocate, and Owner of Velvet Swing

I explore using cannabis as a tool for my sexual pleasure and fulfillment and for other people’s enjoyment, as well. BDSM is a tool to alter your consciousness. It takes you to a different place, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Pot is just like that. You have to know how to use it, and you have to use it wisely. When used the right way, it’s great tool for play in their mind and their body. What BDSM and pot have in common is that you have to know what you’re doing, you have to proceed with consent, and when done well it’s great. The more tools I have at my disposal, the better.

Generally [my clients] want to smoke a little before the scene starts to help them relax and change their point of view. I sit down with them in a transitional few minutes, and then we begin the scene. It can be hard to just flip in an instant from the real world to Matisse world. I find cannabis really useful for helping people transition to a different headspace. It also helps people relax who want things like intense anal penetration, which is obviously better when you’re not feeling tense.

I’m lucky in that I don’t have to see anyone new anymore. All my [clients] are guys that I’ve seen, in some cases, for almost as long as I’ve been a domme. Negotiating consent with them is fairly easy because we've played together for so long; there’s a lot of trust and I know they’ll be truthful with me. Navigating pot and BDSM together is complicated, but it can be done. The crucial point is discussing what’s going to happen, and how [partners] feel about it, and how it’s going to work.

It’s been an amazing experience; I’ve never had a bad experience [with cannabis and clients]. I have a few rules, though. I encourage people to negotiate sober and then proceed to alter their mind and consciousness. If you’re going to indulge with pot during a session, you have to cab or ride share home; I will not permit you to drive after. I have to make sure that people are safe. Like BDSM, use cannabis's power only for good.

Melissa Vitale
Publicist, NSFW

The best cigarette you’ll ever have is after a good fuck, but I only smoke spliffs now. I'll use it as part of aftercare [the practice of all parties ensuring the other is well-cared for after sex]. When I’m living in the aftermath of my orgasm, and my thoughts can’t be strung together, the first thing I want is a spliff. It brings me back down to reality and also calms me down and gets me ready for round three or four.

I’ve also been in situations where I want to play out a certain fantasy. Cannabis gives me that moment to get to know someone, share a joint with them, and ease them into talking about limits. For me, going over my soft and hard limits is something I have to be very comfortable with sharing. It’s the same way with aftercare: snuggling, understanding where you are at, and coming back from that euphoria. [Cannabis] is a way to get you comfortable with aftercare. I’ve also simply been in situations where we roll joints during sex. I had one experience where a guy wanted to smoke a joint while he was going down on me, the entire time. Stoned sex is the best sex.

Maxine*

I love having sex high, even when it’s vanilla. But regarding BDSM, one memory, in particular, comes to mind. I'm a submissive, FYI. Using Velcro handcuffs and leg restraints, my male partner tied me up spread eagle to his bed. Obviously, you want to discuss consentwith all sexual activities, especially in BDSM scenes, and absolutely when you're adding in a mind-altering substance, so I have to add that we discussed everything we did beforehand.

While I was tied up, he mounted me and face-fucked me, and if I did a good enough job, he'd let me have a puff of a vape filled with indica oil. I'm an anxious girl who only uses indicas. I served him well enough to get several puffs and felt so relaxed. The high helped me submit, relax into the restraints, and allow the bed to simply hold my weight. Weed always helps me be in the moment during sex, but I've found this especially useful while bound, which can be emotionally and physically intense.

Towards the end of the scene, we got a little goofy, and he wanted to get high too. So he inserted [Editor’s note: Don't try this at home. If you're going to insert any cannabis product inside the body, use one created for this purpose, such as Foria] the base of the vape into my pussy so that the tip was sticking out. He then put his face right up into my crotch and pressed the button and inhaled right out of my vagina! Doing so also had an aspect of humiliation play, as I looked pretty ridiculous tied spread eagle with a vape pen sticking out of me.

*Name has been changed to protect anonymity

Daniel Saynt
Chief Conspirator at NSFW

Smoking weed while getting a blowjob is the best. Using cannabis during sex is so common for me now because I just enjoy it so much — especially during threesomes when you have a third person who can go around and DJ the weed. I’ve been this person, too, where I’m in a threesome, and I’m watching the other two. Recently CBD and THC-infused suppositories have been awesome. It reduces the stress of anal sex. Foria is great; they’re one of the brands that just changes the game when it comes to anal sex. Just being a little high [through inhaling cannabis] also makes anal sex so much better, for me. Regarding bondage, I have used ropes coupled with cannabis. I've had situations where the girl is tied up against a table, and you’re (consensually) giving her weed to smoke as she’s tied up. That’s really hot. It's also just a lot of fun; you can see that great rush that comes through their calm. It can be scary to be tied up. Having the weed and being able to light up just adds to the experience in such a great way. It makes BDSM so much more comfortable and you’re likely to enjoy yourself more.

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Sin Is In: Private Sex Club Founder Talks Becoming A Member And What Goes On Inside
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Mixing business with pleasure is typically a no-go, but not for Daniel Saynt, founder of NSFW, the “Private Club for the Adventurous."

He is quite literally blending the two with his dual Not-Safe-For-Work elite community and counterpart agency Saynt has set the bar pretty high as far as sex clubs go, with members enjoying access to expert-led workshops, private chef-prepared dinners, exciting trips and a four-story clubhouse in Williamsburg in which to party. The only catch is… it’s extremely hard to join.

Prospective applicants go through a vigorous vetting process, with Daniel's team combing through hundreds of hopefuls to find the few who meet the qualifications to become a member. According to the website, factors that are reviewed include, “age, attraction, social circle, influence and desire to raise a little hell.”

Despite the strict parameters, it would be unfair to call the group elitist, as it seems to be the most inclusive of the exclusive communities. As an LGBTQ-friendly enterprise, they have classes geared for all sexes and orientations. They also provide plenty of sex ed, plus free condoms, lube, and other means for safer, more enjoyable intercourse.

We caught up with the man behind the brand, the self-proclaimed “Chief Conspirator,” to find out how he morphed from Influencer to SINfluencer, and to get a peek inside his secret world of sexual enlightenment.

Personal Space: What inspired you to evolve from your career in fashion to fantasy?

Daniel Saynt: I always had an interest in sex and before I went into school to study e-commerce, I wanted to be a sex therapist…[A few years ago] I went to Burning Man and got the chance to experience all their different types of sex camps and adventures. I realized that in New York, there’s really not a place where you can truly go wild. That’s kind of where NSFW came to be.

PS: What came first: the NSFW agency or the members-only sex club?

DS: First was the members club. That was something I could easily manage. It’s a much smaller operation when you’re dealing with 50-100 people. Now we are up to 575!

PS: Tell us about the NSFW “Playdates”

DS: Playdate is a play party, but there are workshops within it. We have four instructors who are “Masters of Mischief” come in and teach classes like BDSM, Sub-Dom, Fem-Dom, Japanese Rope Bondage, Electro-wand play, etc. Every Friday we provide workshops at the clubhouse. Last week we had a class called “This class sucks,” and it was an oral workshop on how to give great b***jobs.

PS: What is Electro-wand play?

DS: It’s an electronic wand you can put on the body, and there is a way of stimulating so that you can produce orgasms.

PS: Did 50 Shades of Grey normalize BDSM and fetishism to a more mainstream audience?

DS: I definitely think it had a big impact on that… Women had this little entry point into BDSM and this lifestyle and it was a huge success. Also social media in general has helped with that.

PS: What tips do you have for couples at home who want to spice things up in the bedroom?

DS: A lot of it starts with conversation and using that as foreplay. Being very open to all the kinks your partner may have… we are also big on music. The sound and atmosphere. Red lightbulbs. Playing our NSFW Sex-ed 101 playlist on Soundcloud.

Personal Space is Bravo's home for all things "relationships," from romance to friendships to family to co-workers. Ready for a commitment? Then Like us on Facebook to stay connected to our daily updates. 

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I Went To A Weed Play Party & Dear Lord Did I Have Fun
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I'm what the weed industry folks call a "cannabist." It's a far more compassionate word for a marijuana enthusiast than "pothead." I also enjoy and attend "play" (read: sex) parties. As many people know from experience, cannabis can pair perfectly with sex, so I was stoked when I learned about NSFW, a private club that hosts parties in New York City for people with my particular intersection of interests. I could turn off the Google alert I had set for "cannabis + play party," because one finally existed.

NSFW provides legal adventures in sex, drugs, and mischief, according to founder and "chief conspirator" Daniel Saynt. But that doesn't mean that they provide marijuana — it's not currently legal for recreational use in New York, and Saynt says that NSFW doesn't condone illegal activity or provide drugs to members. Knowing this, I decided to indulge in cannabis (on my own accord) and check out one of NSFW's parties to see how it compared to the regular play parties I already know and love.  Here are four things I learned at my first 420-friendly play party.

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How to Throw a Sex Party
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Snctm, Killing Kittens, NSFW: In the last few years, the sex party, for lack of a more direct term, has crept out of the dimly lit closet and into the mainstream nightlife scene, almost. While we’ve undoubtedly seen a surge of semi-secretive soirees centered around sex, the appeal lies in their elusiveness and exclusivity. Which is why the notion of throwing your own amateur version seems counterintuitive, or at least like a bad idea when, put in the wrong hands, could involve lube in bulk, some Chex Party Mix, one sad strobe light, and a lot of potentially ruined friendships.

But it can be done successfully. Of course, the definition of success is subjective; one man’s epic Caligula-esque orgy is another’s night terror. Sex parties aren’t for everyone and nor should they be. But a good one doesn’t have to feel weird or be creepy – you just need to follow a few guidelines. Since I’m no expert on sex parties (I mean, expert’s a strong word), I thought it best to talk to someone who is. Daniel Saynt is the founder and “Chief Conspirator” of NSFW, which he fondly refers to as his “little private club for the adventurous” and created after a 14-year stint in the world of fashion and beauty marketing. Dude knows how to package something and make it appealing. As he says, “I guess when you build a good product, people will just keep coming…and coming, and coming, and coming.” On that note, let’s start with the concept of subtlety.

THINK SEXY OVER SEX.
“Don’t call it a sex party,” says Saynt. “That term has a negative connotation that immediately takes people to a place where consent is ignored and older gentleman pay top dollar to hang out with young ‘models.’ You want to make sure guests don’t feel like sex is the only reason to party or in any way required.” But also don’t call it a “lingerie party,” invite everyone you know over, and then try to get them to have sex with you.

This kind of event isn’t so much about the actual act of sex as what it represents: decadence, seduction, freedom, even romance. Think unfettered fun first with sex as a bonus, if that’s what you want. A sex party is not an orgy; if you want to have an orgy, then say, “Guys, I want to have an orgy.” This is because, as Saynt breaks it down, “orgies are typically considered to be wild, uninhibited drunken fuck fests where anything goes. A ‘sex party’ is an event where there’s a little more structure to the evening. Don’t expect it to be a total free-for-all.” He likes to compare it to the grown-up equivalent of a post-prom party at your friend’s house: “His parents are away and you know if thing go right, you’ll be boinking in the bathroom in no time.”

CONSENT AND COMFORT ARE KEY.
If you don’t have consent, you’ve just got rape or worse yet, gang rape. If you don’t have comfort, then you’re not a very good host. “It’s extremely import to create a safe, accepting space,” Saynt says. “Enthusiastic consent is focused around changing our thinking from ‘no means no’ to ‘yes means yes.’ You want people to feel comfortable expressing what they want to experience. That comes from making sure all your guests are on the same page about what to expect and how to behave.” He also notes that if your event is on the large side, you might want to consider assigning some guardians. “It’s almost like a designated driver who’s watching over guests and making sure no one is getting too drunk or in an uncomfortable situation.”

STOCK THE BAR.
You don’t throw a party without booze and at least a few hors d'oeuvres. You don’t throw a sex party without top-shelf liquor, halfway-respectable bottles of wine, and dainty, possibly aphrodisiac foods. Saynt suggests setting up a self-service bar – unless, of course, you can hire a bartender, preferably one with an open mind – with ample mixers or at least pre-mixing cocktails, as well as providing bottled water and light snacks, since you don’t want anyone too drunk to know what’s going on. And common sense: “Stay away from cheeses, fish, garlic, or anything else that would make someone’s breath less than appetizing.”

SET THE SCENE.
What’s a party without a little ambiance? If you live in a cramped apartment with a Murphy bed, do yourself and everyone involved a favor and rent a hotel suite. If your home is the venue, eliminate the clutter and old sheets. “Having enough beds or padded space is ideal.” Stock your bathroom with extra towels, toiletries, spray-on deodorant, and mints and if you plan on getting kinky, having toys, paddles, and restraints available. Put condoms, lube, wipes, and trash bins easily accessible. “You’ll definitely want easy-to-find trash bins.”

This is basic party-throwing logic: Lighting is major. Saynt says it makes a big difference to swap out while bulbs for red ones and when in doubt, go dimmer, particularly in “play zones.” Finally, create a well-curated playlist so you don’t end up boning to Pitbull (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

ENLIST A FRIENDLY DRESS CODE.
This part’s up to you. Many hosts like to suggest their guests wear masks, a la Eyes Wide Shut, for an air of mysterious elegance…something like that. Most suggest cocktail attire and leave wearing lingerie optional. Saynt likes to keep it more casual: “We ask all attendees to wear black, which keeps most people on a stylishly level playing field. You can definitely encourage lingerie, but we tell everyone to dress at their most comfortable level of sexy.”

THINK PAST THE TEXT MESSAGE.
When it comes to invites, consider going a little more formal. That way people will take it more seriously. But you don’t want them to take it too seriously. While Paperless Post sadly (and surprisingly) doesn’t offer a “sensual adult fête” selection, Saynt favors this “Let’s go bananas!” invite, designed by Charlotte Olympia. A phallic fruit or vegetable will always get your message across.

LEAVE YOUR COWORKERS OUT OF IT.
Again, common sense. Your well-edited guest list should most definitely include people with sparkly personalities and/or fun, free-wheeling attitudes, attractive people, people you would actually like to have sex with, and not anyone whose eye contact you’ll have to make in the office on Monday (unless you have a special working relationship or your office is a strip club). Saynt suggests keeping the guest list small if it’s your first party.

So how do you create your esteemed guest list? “Make sure you’re choosing people who will add to the experience and are on a similar wavelength. If you’re in a more sexually inviting relationship, definitely discuss inviting existing partners. If your sex life is a little less adventurous and you’re in need of potential friends with benefits, create some new profiles on dating apps and promote your upcoming get-together. You’ll be able to screen possible people and curate the best for your little ménage à many. Try a few smaller three-four person playtimes before you try for the big leagues. That way you’ll have a community of trusted partners rather than just getting it on with a bunch of nameless strangers.” Although, there’s something to be said for that, too.

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Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About Strap-Ons, Explained
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Strap-on play has recently made its way to the forefront of the Internet's sexual bucket list, many thanks to a certain pegging scene in Broad City. Using a strap-on is not all pegging though, and a major perk is you can use one no matter who you're with or how you sexually identify.

Claire Cavanah, co-founder of Babeland, tells MarieClaire.com that using a strap-on can make you feel powerful and in control, as the person doing the penetrating during sex. "It's a role reversal for some couples," she explains.

And it's true that there is something very sexy about feeling like you have a dick when you don't have one—take it from yours truly. Just wearing a strap-on can make you feel like a whole new person.

Of course, when one person wants to try strap-on play, that doesn't mean your partner wants to engage, too. "It feels intimidating to be on either end of a strapped on dildo," Cavanah says. "There's concern that it will take the place of other kinds of sex."

And while there's nothing wrong with wanting something up your butt, Daniel Saynt—chief conspirator of NSFW, a digital agency and private club—notes that pegging might be the last "taboo frontier" for many. As an intimate experience with intense orgasmic benefits, it might be the best sexual venture you haven't tried yet.

The prostate—a small gland with a walnut-like texture—is located just inside the anus and produces a prostatic fluid that's an essential component of semen. "The right dildo/strap-on combination will perfectly align with your prostate, helping stimulate it and releasing seminal fluid in a process called 'milking.' Many consider the prostate to be the male g-spot but I feel that it's a lot more powerful than that," says Saynt. "While stimulating the prostate, men can experience waves of orgasms."

"AS AN INTIMATE EXPERIENCE WITH INTENSE ORGASMIC BENEFITS, IT MIGHT BE THE BEST SEXUAL VENTURE YOU HAVEN'T TRIED YET."

Many strap-ons also have a pocket where you can stick a vibrator. This way, you can achieve clitoral stimulation while pleasuring your partner. And just because cis-women lack prostates, doesn't mean they can't enjoy being penetrated by a strap-on as well. (That's right, even people with penises can wear strap-ons). The opening of the anus is full of nerves within the first two inches that can trigger intense pleasure when stimulated by a dildo. It is also possible to have your clitoris stimulated through the anterior wall, or the a-spot.

For people with vaginas having sex with other people with vaginas (though this applies to everyone, regardless of their genitalia), they can provide G-spot stimulation and a feeling of fullness, just like with a penis—only this time, you get to choose yours, which is cool.

Step 1: Shopping For the Right Gear

On that note, when it comes to buying your first dildo for anal strap-on play, now is *not* the time to go full-monty and buy a 10-inch bright orange specimen (as much fun as that sounds). Saynt suggests sticking to something between five and six inches. You can work up to bigger stuff if you want, but the prostate is two inches in, so you don't have to buy a yardstick.

The next thing on the shopping list is a harness. Personally, this is my favorite part. Cavanah says there are two types of strap-ons to choose from: "Two-strap harnesses fit around your legs, keep harnesses secure, and generally keep genitals open for play. G-string varieties (also called one-strap harnesses) fit like a thong," Cavanah explains. Harnesses also come with either D-rings or buckles.

Try both to figure out which is easiest for you to tighten and untighten, and feels most comfortable (as well as badass). My favorite is the Jaguar, which is made of creamy leather and makes me feel like a dom goddess. Saynt notes that leather can cause some chafing—though I've never experienced this—so if you want something more comfortable with a cozier fit, check out The Tomboi.

You'll also need some O-rings: These hold the strap-on in place in the harness. They come in a variety of sizes in a four-pack) to accommodate different sizes of dildos. If all of this seems confusing to you, ask a sales associate at your local sex boutique for help.

Step Two: Preparing For Strap-On Play

Lube is especially important during anal because the anus doesn't lubricate itself in the same way a vagina does. Lube also reduces friction and the last thing you want to do is tear up anyone's anus. I repeat: Never ever have anal sex of any kind without lube and definitely use lube for vaginal sex, if needed, too. Just always use lube, okay? Promise?

If your dildo is silicon, you'll also want to steer clear of silicon lubes, as they can corrode the toys. Instead, try a hybrid silicon/water-based lube that has all the staying power of silicon, without the corrosion.

Another tip: Don't buy anything too phallic if your partner is a cis-male. It's all up to your comfort level, but Saynt recommends sticking to dildos that look like sex toys rather than penises to prevent your partner from getting hung up on his sexual identity.

Before you launch straight into pegging, Saynt also suggests starting with a well-lubed finger and massaging the anus to relax it. Here, you'll want to go slowly (seriously). From there, move on to butt plugs and small anal toys. Make sure you check in with your partner regularly to ensure they feel safe and comfortable.

For vaginal stimulation, lube up the dildo well before plunging in and if you're engaging in butt stuff, prepare for some poop. Pretending there won't be any fecal matter—or worse, fearing it so much you won't even do butt stuff—is silly. Trying an enema before anal play can expel any waste from the rectum, but that's totally up to you, too. Enemas aren't dangerous, as long as they're conducted properly. Saynt recommends the Tom of Finland hot douche for those who want to cover their bases.

Step Three: The Clean-Up

Since these toys can come into contact with fecal matter and bacteria, thoroughly wiping down your toys with soap and warm water afterwards is super important for preventing infections. You'll want to pop your dildo in a pot of boiling water to kill any bacteria, as long as it doesn't contain a motor.

If your strap on is made of nylon, you can throw it in the washing machine (but always read the cleaning directions beforehand) while leather harnesses just need a bit of soap and water.

NSFWDaniel SayntComment
Here's Why Consent In Gay Spaces Is Important

e was passed out on the floor. It was an afters to a weekly gay party for which Shoshana Fisher worked the door. Just coming back from the restroom, Fisher saw her friend passed out on the floor with a group of men trying to take his pants off.

“One of the guys I was with -- I was the only girl there, it was all dudes -- was doing [Ketamine], and he passed out on the floor. I went over to make sure he was fine and everyone said, ‘He’s fine. He’s just sleeping, let him sleep.’”

But Fisher says when she came back to check on her friend, the situation became concerning: “I came back a few minutes later and there were guys trying to take his pants off, while he was passed out in the middle of the floor, during the party.” Fisher pulled the men off of her friend, yelled at them, and took her friend to her home.

This isn’t the first time Fisher has intervened on issues of consent or sexual assault. Recently, Fisher made news for helping a female patron of a bar she worked at arrest and press charges against a man who had sexually assaulted her. But working at gay establishments can prove to be a bit trickier to identify and handle situations of consent than at straight ones.

“Consent is not something I thought about men giving before becoming friends with so many gay men. Society makes us all think that men all want sex no matter what, and that they’re such sexual beings that they always say yes to sex,” Fisher said. “Almost every single one of my gay friends has a story where they have not consented in some kind of sexual act. And almost every single one of them have a hard time admitting, or understanding, that they didn’t consent.”

Many men who are interested in men do not understand what consent is or that it is needed for sexual engagement. 

“Consent can be verbal or nonverbal and is the practice of knowing and confirming that your sexual partner is into what you've got planned,” said Daniel Saynt, a bisexual man and founder of NSFW, a Brooklyn-based private club and digital agency for the adventurous, connecting like-minded millennials with vice-category brands in sexual wellness and cannabis.  NSFW provides members legal adventures in sex, drugs, and mischief while hosting a digital agency for brands and "sinfluencers." Saynt gives workshops on consent prior to NSFW’s playdates. “Nonverbal consent focuses on signals which suggest your partner is down to clown. It's implied versus verbalized and can be a gray zone of uncertainty if you're approaching someone who isn't already a trusted partner,” Saynt defined consent as something that can be given, and taken away, at any point during sexual activity.

“Verbal or enthusiastic consent is the practice getting confirmation before engaging in any sexual activity,” Saynt said. “It's respect for boundaries and the desire to ensure you're not doing anything that makes your partner uncomfortable or that they fully want to enjoy and engage in.”

While conducting interviews for this piece, I spoke to almost two dozen gay and bisexual men who have had their consent violated. The men expressed instances in which they lost bodily autonomy at gay bars and nightclubs, as well as at LGBTQ social gatherings. These men shared times other men have grabbed their genitalia over and under their clothing without consent. A violation of consent is sexual assault.

Sean was unable to give consent when a guy took him home. After dancing at a bar, and having too much to drink, he found himself the next morning in a stranger's bed.

“He’s not someone I would typically go home with so it was odd waking up to him the next morning. I don’t remember talking to him at the bar or going home with him. I don’t remember having sex with him, but it was clear we did. I left the next morning as quickly as I could without speaking to him,” Sean said.

According to the CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 26 percent of gay men, and 37 percent of bisexual men will experience rape, physical assault, or other types of intimate partner violence in their lifetimes. Another 40 percent of gay men, and 47 percent of bisexual men will experience other types of sexual violence other than rape.  

Casey is one of 26 percent of gay men who have been raped.

“When I get home, I unlocked my door, and all of a sudden a man rushed behind me, put me in a submission hold, and pushed me into my apartment. He pushed me onto my bed, forcing my face into the pillow. He continued to do his business and when he was done, he left. I never saw his face,” Casey recounted his experience sharing his rape has shaped his view around consent.

Being grabbed unsolicitedly can be triggering for men who have been sexually assaulted. “A lot of times, even in LGBTQ spaces where I’m supposed to feel safe being gay, I don’t feel safe because I feel like a piece of meat and people can just touch me whenever they want and that’s not OK,” Casey said.

So what does consent look like? It can look really sexy. “Let’s say I saw a guy at a circuit party or underwear party. I wouldn't just go up to that guy and grab his cock, expecting him to be down. I'd dance with him a bit, or offer to grab him a drink. I'd talk to him and whisper things like ‘I really want to play with that fat monster in that jock. Would you like that?’,” Saynt offered this example on enthusiastic consent in gay spaces. “It's confirming that interest verbally, acquiring consent, and then proceeding to ask for other things, [such as] ‘Come with me to the corner. I want to taste you.’ Consent looks like getting what you want sexually by expressing it and waiting for some enthusiastic agreement if your partner is into it.”

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How to Attend a Sex Party Without Being an Asshole

Swinging has practically gone mainstream in recent years, as polyamorous relationships have become more visible than ever, millennials continue to put off marriage, and hook-up culture persists.

Entrepreneur Daniel Saynt saw an opportunity in the burgeoning sex-positive culture and created a members-only club for "legal adventures in sex, drugs, and mischief" called NSFW in 2015. Based in New York City, NSFW has 500 members and a five-story clubhouse in Williamsburg where it hosts a number of events and workshops, including a weekly sex party.

While Saynt said most sex parties still cater to "older crowds" of rich men, NSFW is kind of the Soho House of sex clubs, counting young, hot "influencers and creators" among its members. They pay $69 a month (naturally) to mingle in a sexy atmosphere and "play" with like-minded people.

"It's designed to be a place where there is no judgment and you have the freedom to express yourself sexually," Saynt said. "More and more millennials are thinking this way, and the idea of exchanging love more freely is becoming a bigger conversation."

Jacqui Rabkin, marketing director at Brooklyn-based club and event venue House of Yes, also said she's seen an increased interest in sex parties from the mainstream. The venue hosts a monthly, regularly sold-out "sensual theatre" party, which encourages "physically and emotionally intimate acts" among guests. While actual sex acts aren't allowed, guests are free to mingle with one another and "play."

"The party at House of Yes is a good introductory party for people interested in the scene," she said. "Things get sexy, but nothing is full on. So you can get a taste of the vibe and feel of a sex party in a low pressure situation."

With more sex parties like these popping up in major metropolitan areas, and websites like FetLife and other dating platforms making it easier for people anywhere in the world to organize their own meetups, more and more people are getting into the scene. And as newbies jump on the free-love bandwagon, Rabkin notes it's important they get the rules right on the way in. Here are some ways to have the most pleasurable sex party experience, whether it's your first or 50th.

Ask Before Touching

The most important rule for anybody attending a play-focused event is to ask for consent before touching anyone. Sex parties aren't like hitting the club, where strangers can just walk up and dance on one another without permission (in fact, you shouldn't be doing that either). To even join NSFW, members have to attend a class on enthusiastic consent called "How to Ask for Sex," which Saynt says focuses on switching the mentality from "no means no," to "yes means yes."

"There is a preeminent culture of how people act at clubs around the world where they think they can just come up to a girl and touch her," Saynt said. "When it comes to play parties, the stakes are so much more heightened. We have to educate people that they need to verbalize everything."

These questions don't have to be clinical, or unnatural, he stressed—a robotic "Are you OK with my hand on your leg?" isn't sexy or necessary. Instead, he encourages attendees to be flirty and clear, turning their negotiations of consent into foreplay.

"Ask, 'Do you like it when I ___?' when you want to introduce something new," their guide reads. "Throw in some dirty words, and it's hard to imagine that your partner's 'Yes!' won't be full throated and absolutely enthusiastic."

The vast majority of House of Yes parties aren't sexual: It hosts a regular funk night, daytime "deep house yoga" events, and circus-themed soirees—but sex positivity and creating a safe space for queer and non-white patrons is at the center of all of its work. The bottom of every event page and ticket confirmation carries a list of rules for creating a welcoming environment. "We are obsessed with CONSENT," it reads. "Always ASK before touching anyone in our House."

At both NSFW and House of Yes parties, monitors patrol the room to keep an eye out for grabby hands and to make sure everyone is feeling safe. Rabkin said another important component of enthusiastic consent is that it is an ongoing process and can be revoked at any time—just because your newfound partner is OK with being tied up doesn't mean she's ready for a whipping. And even if she says she is, she's free to decide at any moment she is not anymore. When your partners feel safe, the environment will be more fun—and sexier—for everyone.

Don't Be a Creeper

If you're attending a play party you should, well, actually play. "Other guests aren't there to put a show on for you, so don't just prey around active participants or interrupt their flow if they're in the motion of their ocean," Saynt said.

Rabkin said a costume requirement at House of Yes plays a big role in keeping out would-be voyeurs. "In general, people are better behaved at a party where everyone is wearing costumes," she said. "It just puts everyone on the same page and helps with the event atmosphere. If you've put in the effort to participate, you're less likely to show up as a spectator."

If you're too nervous to jump into sexy activities right away, most parties will have a common area to chat with other party goers. Whatever you do, don't stand around and stare like a weirdo while others get it on.

Bring a Friend

Avoiding the awkwardness of a first party is easier with a pal (or a sex partner) by your side. It's also safer. Many sexy parties require the buddy system, encouraging participants to sign up in groups of two or more. This ensures that you have a contact if you feel uncomfortable and someone to keep an eye on you and make sure you're safe.

Keep Up Basic Hygiene

The same rules that apply to a first date apply to a sex party: Take a shower, brush your teeth, floss, put on some deodorant. Basically, do everything else you would normally before going out to potentially snuggle up with a stranger (or a few).

Put Your Phone Away

This should be obvious, but most people don't want photos of themselves engaged in sex acts plastered all over the internet without their consent. Many parties have a strict no-phone policy, but even if they do not, your phone should stay in your pocket throughout the night. Photos should only be taken if the subjects, and everyone in the foreground and background, consent.

Be Positive and Keep an Open Mind

One of the more important aspects of affirmative consent is being OK with when somebody says no. "Accept that being at a play party doesn't mean everyone wants to play with you," Saynt said. "Acting like an ass nugget every time someone declines you will definitely get around and will most likely get you uninvited from future events."

Because of this, it's important to put yourself out there at these parties. The more frequently you ask, the more frequently your advances will be rejected (and accepted!), and it will become less painful to hear "no."

"People should be doing this anyway," Rabkin said. "It's good to practice in your regular life, and makes the whole process of getting consent in a sexy situation easier."

That's not the only lesson people can take from sex parties and apply to life, Rabkin said. The open-mindedness and respect she's found in the community has made it hard for her to return to "normal" clubs.

"It's amazing there are communities that are creating safe spaces for people to express themselves to the fullest extent," she said. "Whether that means expressing a certain sexual orientation or identity, or having sex with a lot of people, I think that's amazing. It's healthy and awesome and how the world should be."

NSFWDaniel SayntComment
Vegan Crêpes Get Kinky with NSFW Aphrodisiac-laced Dessert
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Our favorite merry kinksters, the people of NSFW, are hosting a pop-up party to unveil their official crêpe—a vegan damiana-infused crêpe with “a bit of badass goodness.”

The club that shared their 420 Dankquet with us is no stranger to pairing food and bodily pleasures, so we had to ask: What is damiana?

"Damiana is an herb and natural aphrodisiac which has been found to help stimulate blood flow in the places you’d want that to happen,” a NSFW spokeswoman told us.

We’re intrigued.

Damiana is a wild shrub native to southern Texas in the United States, Central America, Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean. Though used historically as an aphrodisiac, damiana is used to treat all sorts of ailments including bedwetting, depression and constipation, according to WebMD.

The Happy Herb Company writes on its website that damiana can “produce a mild, emotional uplift” and some sources say it can be inhaled for a slight “high.” Damiana is often smoked or taken as a tea.

Although you should avoid the herb if you are pregnant or nursing, there are no well-documented interactions of significant adverse reactions, according to drug.com.

The best idea would be to give your doctor’s office a ring before devouring that sinful, vegan dessert. And of course, you could always share with someone...

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High Cuisine: Cannabis Oil-infused 'Dankquet' is a True Gourmet Experience
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As marijuana worms its way into the sphere of accepted adult activity, weed-related food products are increasingly becoming a subject of legitimate epicurean exploration.

Just ask Chef Oscar Toro, executive chef and partner at Jue Lan Club in Manhattan. He doesn’t smoke marijuana — but he recently put his chef’s cap on to prepare a cannabis oil-infused four-course gourmet "Dankquet" on 4/20 at members-only club NSFW.

“My mother, since I was a kid, has had migraines all her life, like every day,” Toro explained. Taking medicinal herbs alleviated his mom’s pain, and Toro thought, “Let me take a second approach to this, even though I don’t smoke.”

The kicker in Toro’s CBD-infused food is the oil is not cooked, which means the potency of the high is not “dumbed down," he said.

“A lot of people incorporate it in the middle to cook with. You don’t have to. If you’re making a vinaigrette, you’re taking an acid and a fat and putting them together,” Toro said, punctuating his point with a whirring noise. “You don’t need to heat them up. … Make things fresh and raw.”

Fans of food prepared with cannabidiol or CBD oil said it gives them a different experience than normal marijuana edibles.

“When you eat a weed brownie, you don’t really want a brownie, it’s there to serve a purpose,” said dankquet guest Jing, from Manhattan’s Upper West Side. “But this — you get the enjoyment of knowing you’re going to get high, but there is a whole other level of enjoyment where you get to eat this really great food.”

Cannabidiol or CBD oil is nonpsychoactive and doesn’t cause the same high as regular THC products or marijuana. But it does cause a state of relaxation many users equate with feeling “high.”

The experience

The “dankquet” scene at the clubhouse in Williamsburg, where last month's sex party "playdate" was held, was intimate on April 20 (my birthday and the stoner holiday), with guests in dress-code black lounging on pillows around a mirrored table, the NSFW signature red light and Moroccan-style drapes.

It was a bit difficult walking on a mattress in heels while avoiding sprawling guests’ feet to get to a seat on the couch, and that was before the food was brought out, but those on the floor cozied up. Even newcomers, like me, were treated like an old friend.

DJ Brayden Vlack kept the beat going while guests enjoyed Gem & Bolt mezcal mixed as a sweet pineapple drink that finished with a nice pepper bite. Booze-soaked fresh blackberries were extra fun after the glass was empty.

As NSFW’s motto says, the club specializes in legal adventures in sex, drugs and mischief, so every course was infused with legal CBD oil, which is common in hemp oil and can be purchased in Whole Foods stores.

The clubhouse even had a special guest, seemingly straight-laced Charles who is renting a room through Airbnb. The hopeful actor from Chicago thought he was staying in an art gallery until June, but he said he’s not mad — It’s good for him to get out of his comfort zone.

Guests ate family-style, some opting for fingers while others, like me, were fed by other people from forks.

Before dessert, a mentalist (name withheld) performed and blew everyone’s semihigh minds using two guests as hypnosis guinea pigs. Instead of the usual slits for eyes you’d expect a pothead to have, eyes were wide with wonder as the mentalist walked around and performed slight of hand for groups of one or two.

The CBD dose tapered off as each course was introduced; the effects of the first course crept up on those snacking on the dishes, so everyone was euphorically high just before dessert.

DJ HardCandy provided the soundtrack to the rest of the evening. A few people fell asleep on the cushions around the table. I got the giggles.

The meal

The first course was a raw fluke ceviche with Calabrian chili-hemp oil vinaigrette, nori and micro basil from a farm owned by one of the chef’s friends. Chef Oscar Toro described each course as plates were passed around and told the diners that the fish was locally caught at around 7 a.m. that same day.

I hate fish. All fish. I pretty much won’t eat anything that swims or lurks underwater, but with fish that fresh, I thought, “This is my chance to try it. Also, it’ll get me high.”

The next round of dishes served up pan-roasted skate wing, also caught just that morning in Montauk, with an arugula canna-brown butter, chanterelles and spring onions clipped that very morning from Blue Moon Acres farm.

One NSFW member, also a shunner of fish, described the dish as “killer.”

The third course was a grilled hanger steak with a rainbow carrot and watermelon radish salad finished with a CBD-infused miso-mustard vinaigrette.

Eating a subtly CBD-laced meal is "more feasible than being blown off your face with one cookie," DJ HardCandy noted.

It was tough to only eat one piece of the dessert, which was a tad sloppy without a dish, but by then, who really cared? The meal ended with a ricotta cheese cake with burnt orange, crystallized ginger and blueberries … and yes, CBD — this time from a cannabis strain called White Widow.

Licking my fingers was a delight.

Make it at home

Fluke crudo with CBD-infused Calabrian chili vinaigrette, courtesy of Chef Oscar Toro

Makes 5 portions

Ingredients:

1 pound fluke fillets

1/4 cup orange juice

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano

1 teaspoon chopped fresh Calabrian chili

1 teaspoon sea salt

3/4 cup olive oil

40 milligrams CBD oil

Method:

Slice the fluke into 2-inch, very thin cut slices and set aside on a piece of parchment paper and keep cool. In a medium mixing bowl, place all the remaining ingredients and whisk vigorously to emulsify. On a small plate, arrange 5-8 slices of the fluke fillets in the center of the plate fanned out and spoon two tablespoons of the vinaigrette over the fluke. Serve immediately.

D.A.R.E. in 2017

This isn’t your “just say no,” Nancy Reagan-endorsed anti-drug program. D.A.R.E. for NSFW’s “chief conspirator” Daniel Saynt means “Drugs Are Responsibly Entertaining.”

A weed aficionado and marketer for "sin-fluencers," Saynt said that the most important thing about NSFW is education. From how to participate in BDSMwithout a trip to the emergency room to enjoying cannabis, people “need an educated experience.”

Part of NSFW’s $69 monthly membership opens the doors to free classes on taking a multitude of topics, including courses led by a physician who can speak to what damage certain drugs do to the human brain.

“It’s really, just like, be aware,” Saynt said. “I’ve met a lot of people who do Molly every single week or just go really, really hard on certain things and that’s not how you do that drug without damaging yourself.”

“We tell them what’s the dangers of taking drugs,” Saynt added, “how to identify if you have an addiction, which I think a lot of people don’t know how to figure that out or they don’t realize it because everyone around them seems to be doing the same type of things.”

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Cast Away Inhibitions with a NSFW Playdate
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The bell rings and you’re greeted at the door by a man in black bunny ears who introduces you to Calvin Klein, the Pomeranian at his side. You climb the steps to the kitchen where you see and smell catered bites and cocktails on your way to the coatroom. Now, it’s time to get NSFW.

NSFW is a members-only club with monthly dues of, you guessed it, $69. Members, mostly in their 20s and 30s, enjoy classes throughout the month on topics like how to take a sexy selfie, how drugs like cannabis mix with adult play, how to ask for sex and other topics related to kink.

The top floor of the four-story Williamsburg apartment is for what NSFW calls “penetrative play.” Mattresses, soft lighting, curtains and sheers create an inviting sexy look.

If you choose privacy for your “penetrative play,” you’re not allowed to lock the door, but you can help yourself to the bowl of condoms on the nightstand. “Guardian angels,” whose halos weren’t delivered to NSFW on time for the March 31 event, walk around the house to make sure everyone is playing by the rules and “enthusiastic consent” is given before any adult adventure.

The second and first floors are for “chilling out,” but with a DJ, S&M demonstrations, Reiki massage with a shaman and a pop-up sex shop, you’re bound to find some excitement.

The bottom floor is the “bunny den,” a finished basement turned sex dungeon where mattresses line the floor and toys to tease are tossed on the mattresses for interactive play.

You don’t have to be a member to attend a NSFW “playdate,” which creative director Daniel Saynt says is not a sex party, but a party where sex also happens. Although, another benefit to the monthly membership is a reduced price on tickets for NSFW’s monthly playdate. Men do pay more to play than women, but according to NSFW’s publicist, the “bunny” who organizes these events figures it’s all fair in love and sex considering women face a wage gap and previously paid a “pink tax.”

Whether you’re already a pro at tying knots with silk rope or tried to drip candle wax on your partner but sent him to the emergency room (Miss Scorpio can help you next time), NSFW is open to all. 

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Will the Man Running a Sex Party like a Startup be Able to Leave Anyone Satisfied?
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On a Sunday afternoon at 2pm, I rang one of the three new buzzers outside a four-story townhouse in a trendy Brooklyn neighborhood. I had booked an interview with libertine fashion/tech entrepreneur Daniel Saynt to ask him—amidst swirling controversy and rumors—whether he still thought he could disrupt New York’s secret sex-party scene.

Silence.

Five minutes later, I tried another buzzer, and another minute later, the door swung open. Saynt, bleary-eyed, peered out at me with confusion. A beat passed before he recognized me and swung the door open wide, revealing himself to be in a t-shirt and underwear.

“Do you want me to come back?” I asked.

“Yes, sorry, can you?” he responded, apologizing profusely. I wandered off to kill time, and when I came back a half hour later, he let me in—fully clothed—and led me on a tour of his recently renovated townhouse, which will soon be filled with sin. We strolled underneath a red glass chandelier in the foyer, past black-and-white photographs of nude women in nature, up the stairs to two more floors and six bedrooms, each with its own keyless entry lock, and then back downstairs to the living room and kitchen, which held a full professional DJ set-up. We spoke bathed in the red glow of a neon sign declaring his venture’s name: “NSFW.”

That morning the townhouse was empty, but come Saturday night, it will be filled with 90 curious New Yorkers, wearing suits, cocktail dresses, animal-themed masks, and scant underwear, while DJs play sultry house music. A dominatrix will be giving rope and bondage lessons, erotic films will play on the walls, and upstairs—if all goes to plan—the guests will take advantage of those six bedrooms.

But Saynt isn’t just another rich guy throwing an orgy in his mansion: He’s an entrepreneur who wants to disrupt the nascent sex-positivity movement, and ride it to wealth and fame. In May, his previous effort to throw a cutting-edge sex party succumbed to friction and hostility from the community he was trying to join. Would his most recent attempt blow up, or blow it?

The state of sex parties

Sexually risqué events and acts are becoming more attractive to everyday Americans than ever before. Acceptance of the idea of polygamy is on the rise, and polyamorous and open relationships are becoming more visible. Sex-themed events, like Dan Savage’s HUMP! Film Festival, which gives likeminded strangers the opportunity to watch diverse porn together in public, now tour the US and regularly sell out.

Definitive statistics on the rise of sex parties are hard to come by, mainly because most operate underground, thrown in personal homes or privately rented hotels. But Ben Fuller, the founder of Modern Lifestyles, a ticketing and event-management service for swinger parties, says his company’s revenue has grown 81% over the last 24 months.

“In the last few years it’s been exploding,” Fuller says. “The bigger parties are getting bigger. Mailing lists are growing. More people are finding out about it online.” Modern Lifestyles serves close to 100 swinger parties, with 218,000 tickets sold since its launch in 2011.

There are more than 20 regularly operating sex parties in New York City alone, and they come in all flavors. There are 1970s-style swinger parties where couples come with the intent of swapping their significant others. There are kink and fetish parties in clubs where the emphasis is more on the sweet pain of foreplay than the act of fornication. And there are parties where wealthy men pay for attractive young women to attend, in what is basically thinly veiled prostitution.

 Sex positivity is the belief that as long as the acts are consensual and safe, all forms of sex and expressions of sexuality are valid. But there is now a new kind of sex party finding its footing, born out of kink parties but with the edges smoothed and its purpose refined by the ideals of a new generation. These “play parties” are founded on the shared notion of sex positivity, which is the belief that as long as the acts are consensual and safe, all forms of sex and expressions of sexuality are valid.

Closely tied to the polyamorous and Burning Man (“burner”) community, this tight cohort of New York-based parties are quick to distance themselves from swinger shindigs, which they see as too transactional and self promotional, replete with cheesy posters and online advertisements. Unlike kink parties—which are often held in sleazy basements in the no-man’s-land of midtown Manhattan—they’re more attractive to non-BDSM couples and held in hotel penthouses, Brooklyn townhouses, and event spaces that usually host concerts and weddings. And unlike the parties catering to rich men, tickets are on the affordable side—around $100—and the women are there to have fun, not gold dig.

While a couple of these sex-positive parties have a slight internet presence, most function as close-knit communities whose jealously guarded guest lists have been painstakingly built over years by word of mouth. The only way to find out about these events is to deeply embed yourself into the burner and electronic-music scene—and demonstrate that you can behave respectfully despite being surrounded by naked bodies.

 These parties [are] a sexual utopia for progressive millennials. “People like the community aspect of it, because it lends itself to a much safer and intimate environment,” says Kaitlyn* (name changed for privacy), who used to be on the leadership team of a sex-positive party we’ll call Elite Embrace, and also serves as a liaison between two others. “They’re trusted people—you have to vouch for somebody to gain entry, and you can’t just find it and show up. You don’t find that at the other parties.”

As depraved as a sex party may sound to the less adventurous, these new parties hew to their own moral code. Women and men pay the same ticket price to prevent a power imbalance. Affirmative consent—where one must ask permission and get a verbal OK before touching, kissing, or physically engaging in any way—is drummed into attendees before they enter. Recording devices are banned. Experienced guardians are on hand with identifying markers to help out attendees who may feel unsafe. Consent violators and guests who are intoxicated are kicked out and sometimes blacklisted.

All the rules at these sex parties are geared toward making all attendees—but especially women—feel safe enough to explore their sexual desires, whether that’s group sex or simply wandering around wearing lingerie. In these spaces, they can play (or not) without fear of violence, abuse, or shame. All of these facets make these parties a sexual utopia for progressive millennials.

So, of course, it was only a matter of time before someone tried to monetize it.

Sinners and Saynt

Saynt, 33, is fit and strapping with a trim beard and dark curly hair, cropped close on the sides. He is an intensely public person, sharing updates on Facebook about his progress (and setbacks) in detoxing and relationships, such as the breakup this summer of his boyfriend and girlfriend triad.

Saynt, whose birth name is Daniel Santiago, was born in the Bronx to poor Puerto Rican parents, and worked hard to escape his neighborhood. He was a straight-A student, but when neighborhood gangs started trying to recruit him, his mom decided to homeschool him. He skipped 8th grade and eventually secured a full ride to college, majoring in an e-Business program, and also took classes in human sexuality.

After graduating, he started exploring the New York sex scene, walking around the East Village looking for posters for sex events. He took classes on the female orgasm at the sex-toy shop Babeland, engaged the services of a dominatrix, and attended his first sex party. He was briefly a club promoter before founding his snarky fashion blog, FashionIndie.com, which he wrote under the pen name Daniel Saynt.

In 2005 he got into a very public skirmish with a restaurant owner who canceled a fashion show Saynt was putting on in his space. Saynt took allegations that the restaurant owner had called the black and Latina models “ghetto trash” to the press, won an appearance on the Tyra Banks Show, and then sued the restaurant owner. The $10,000 settlement provided funding to build FashionIndie.com into a juggernaut over the next five years, with 4.5 million unique visitors a month and plenty of cat fights. (He started a particularly nasty one in 2009 by saying of a Vogue fashion writer: ”You’re a blimp… Double breasted suits are for thin people, not people with double breasts.” He then doubled-down and fat-shamed another fashion blogger who critiqued him.)

Saynt says he’s matured since then. But by presenting himself as a lout, he gained popularity. “We had tons of press and our traffic skyrocketed,” he says. “We had more readers than many fashion magazines at the time did and were able to sell the company because of how much volume we had.”

He sold FashionIndie.com in 2010 for $250,000 and went to work as the CMO of a fashion label for two years. In that time, Saynt says the new owners of FashionIndie.com weren’t able to achieve Saynt’s traffic, and offered to sell it back to him for the low price of $50,000. He took the deal.

 [Saynt’s] usual social haunts were glittering Manhattan fashion soirées, so he was unimpressed with the production values of these DIY sex-positive parties. 2013 was a big year for Saynt. He co-founded Socialyte, an online-influencer casting agency that connects large brands to digital stars for ad campaigns and sponsorships. He had been in a monogamous marriage for seven years, but realized he couldn’t deny his attraction to men anymore and got amicably divorced in order to pursue a polyamorous, bisexual lifestyle. (His ex is still his business partner at Socialyte, and they are on good terms.) He then jumped back into the sex-party scene, attending upscale parties for wealthy men, like Heaven’s Circle.

In 2014, Saynt was shopping around for funding for Socialyte. Hearing that one of the owners of Nylon was ready to sell because of impending jail time for money laundering, he worked with a group of investors who bought and merged Nylon, FashionIndie.com, and Socialyte, keeping Saynt on as chief innovation officer. It was a messy, acrimonious deal—the founders of Nylon sued after they were forced out—but Saynt got his funding and has since built Socialyte into an agency with $12 million in revenue in 2016. (FashionIndie is dark right now—he says he’s preparing for a relaunch.)

Saynt’s sexual identity and career were blossoming, but he wasn’t too psyched about the new polyamorous parties he had started attending. His usual social haunts were glittering Manhattan fashion soirées, so he was unimpressed with the production values of these DIY sex-positive parties. With his experience in promoting, digital marketing, and influencer relationships, Saynt thought he could do better.

Budgeting for hedonism

“It’s hard work to throw parties. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme,” swing-party entrepreneur Fuller says.

Most sex-positive parties only have one stream of revenue: ticket sales. Those price tags must cover everything: the venue rental, which in New York can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000, plus décor, mattresses and mattress covers, liquor and mixers for an all-night open bar, the sound system and DJ setup, supplies like condoms, gloves, and hand sanitizer, and all the other fun additional sundries needed to pull off a sex party, such as massage tables and sex swings.

The venues alone cause more than enough headaches. Hotel managers can be skittish, won’t properly secure the area from crashers, or will try to force the organizers to use the hotel’s DJs or food-and-beverage service. “Venue issues are always huge,” Kaitlyn says. One party we’ll call the Interactive Kink party has been searching for a new venue since the spring, another moves from venue to venue in Brooklyn (but attendees complain that the decorated warehouses are cold and uninviting), and Elite Embrace sent out an email in the spring saying it would take a hiatus while renovations happened to the penthouse it favored. However, a party we’ll call Performance House gets around this by outright owning a townhouse in Brooklyn—which obviously takes a serious investment that not many organizers can afford.

 “It’s hard work to throw parties. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme,” swing-party entrepreneur Fuller says. To cut down on expenses and build a sense of community, all the work of setting up, staffing the bar, circulating snacks, and cleaning up afterward is done by volunteers, who work for a few hours in exchange for free entry. So in a party of 250—which is on the larger side—only around 150 might have paid for tickets in the end. For 150 people at $100, that comes out to $15,000. With expenses in excess of $10,000, that doesn’t leave much room for a profit. But for most organizers, that’s not the point. “Our parties are about relationship and connection,” says Pierre,* the founder of Elite Embrace. “Of course there is still sexing going on, but we’re not trying to get things from each other; we’re trying to build something together that’s magical.”

If you’re searching for alternate revenue streams, there’s not much to choose from. Making money off booze, nightlife’s most lucrative revenue stream, is out of the question. Serving alcohol at a sex party falls in a legal gray zone: You need a liquor license to sell or serve alcohol to strangers, and anyway, the New York State Liquor Authority forbids the sale or serving of alcohol at a sex or swinger party. Some parties get around this by having attendees BYOBeverage, treating the party like an event among friends with “contributions” instead of ticket sales, having a monthly membership fee to prove it’s a private event, or selling tickets at the party that can then be exchanged for drinks. But if the authorities decided to raid a party operating in the gray, the organizer might wind up in a protracted (and public) legal battle.

Most organizers simply want to throw a great party, include as many of their friends as possible—and hopefully break even. “It’s very hard to make money throwing a fetish party,” says Liza*, an organizer of the Interactive Kink party. “I don’t think people get into it to make it a business.”

Saynt’s sinfluencers

Despite having attended many sex parties, Saynt had never volunteered at one to learn best practices for keeping things sexy and safe, or had a sit down with the organizers to get the economic lay of the land. Instead, he applied his business experience to working out an alternate model himself.

After a year of “workshopping” small events at his downtown Manhattan loft, in January of 2016, Saynt officially launched his stylishly subversive lifestyle brand, NSFW. He wanted the business to be the entry point for curious millennials to the world of sex positivity.

To apply to be a member of NSFW, you submit your Facebook and Instagram for consideration. “We try to get a good idea of whether they’re attractive,” Saynt says. “Where they work, who they’re connected to, how many friends they have, what type of activities and things they do normally.” He is particularly opposed to members being older. “I don’t know if I want to have sex around my dad,” he says.

These initial NSFW trials were small, from three to 30 friends. There have been lessons about how to cheat at poker, a class on how to safely use illicit drugs, erotic sketching, rope and bondage lessons from a dominatrix, and movie nights called “Netflix and Chill,” where cuddling (and more) is encouraged. The parties usually turn into petite orgies, with small groups of friends disappearing into adjacent rooms.

 To apply to be a member of NSFW, you submit your Facebook and Instagram for consideration. “We try to get a good idea of whether they’re attractive,” Saynt says. Originally, these events were free to members who paid $6.66 a month for access to the NSFW website and its event information, member profiles, and sex- and drug-focused articles lifted from mainstream outlets such as Elle, The Independent, and Gizmodo. He had plans to produce NSFW merch to sell exclusively to members, such as a replica of the cocaine necklace from Cruel Intentions. Saynt aimed to build membership up to 10,000 people in the New-York area alone—which would produce a revenue of $66,000 a month, and just shy of $800k a year—and then open more chapters in other cities. NSFW wasn’t intended to just sate the sexual desires of a small community—it was built to scale.

While the organizers of the existing sex-positive parties in New York need to break even on every event, Saynt is treating NSFW like a startup, plowing money into it now with the hopes that his efforts will pay off in the future. “We won’t make money for at least two years before this starts making sense. And even if it never makes money, it’s still something I want to do,” he says. “I’m fortunate enough to have something else to make some money that pays me well.”

These smaller events went well, but the feedback from his guests was that they wanted something bigger. So Saynt decided to try and give them what they wanted.

Want to make a PlayDate?

In April, the gif-saturated public web page for PlayDate, NSFW’s first big event, hit the internet. Scheduled for May 14, 2016, the animal-themed party was going to be held in a $31 million multistory townhouse in the West Village. Along with general admission tickets for $150, it had private rooms that could be rented out for groups of friends for up to $7,000. Saynt decided to pay all the staff, and he secured a liquor sponsor, a lingerie sponsor, and an indie erotic-film sponsor, Imperial Pictures, whose models were going to attend the party.

Although the sponsors for the initial PlayDate were just providing product and experiences, not cash, the party was intended as a test run with the hopes that a successful event could be leveraged to bring in cash sponsors later for either PlayDate or other NSFW events. (For the first time around, Saynt predicted he would lose $8,000.) The strategy was all Socialyte: get young, attractive influencers in the door with the promise of an unforgettable party, then later sell access to that community to brands.

 “We’re building up this community of deviants and focusing on influential and exciting-type people,” Saynt says. “We’re building up this community of deviants and focusing on influential and exciting-type people. Then we can then use that membership to present to brands who are interested in the sex, drugs, or crime space,” he says. And there are a lot of potential partner brands: condom companies, porn sites, kink- and fetish-accessory brands, the marijuana industry, and even the gun industry, Saynt lists.

“There is a really large opportunity for disruption,” he says. “I realized that there is a very large market and a large marketing budget that has gone underrepresented… With my knowledge in building brands for the last 12 years, I’m confident that NSFW will not only be a strong brand, but that I can also work with brands that are trying to market to more open-minded, adventurous people.”

He had 270 tickets to sell. Saynt pushed the party out through his social networks, the NSFW membership base, and with ads on dating apps such as Grindr, Thrinder (a threesome app now called Feeld), Tinder, and Happn. He announced it on NSFW’s Instagram, whose followers liked the announcement nearly 4,000 times and left 300 suspiciously repeating, bot-like comments (“Excellent!” “Hilarious!” “Best picture ever!”).

 

Saynt also reached out for press, and he got it: Maxim declared it “New York City’s Most Elite Sex Club,” and Urban Daddy called it “the city’s best current opportunity for sexual enlightenment.” He even claims theNew York Times was interested in stopping by before the party got started for a tour. But one fear was that with so much press surrounding the party, attendees’ identities could be exposed. “The type of people who go to these parties—teachers, attorneys, professionals, all kinds—are working professionals with careers where, if it got out they were attending a party like this, they could lose their jobs,” Kaitlyn says.

“The Predator Room”

The sex-positive community, however, was not receptive. Facebook groups erupted in chatter about the completely tone-deaf landing page. Any mention of consent was buried below a description that promised an “elite” and “exclusive” event for “attractive” and “affluent” attendees—one of the rooms for sale was even called the “Predator Room.”

“One of my friends texted and asked if I knew about this PlayDate party,” says Eliza* an organizer of the Interactive Kink party. “When I saw the page, I was immediately terrified. I thought somebody is going to get hurt. It sounded like someone trying to sell a kinky party to wealthy men. Often when you cater to rich men who have a lot of privilege, it carries over into entitlement, which carries into inappropriate touching and not accepting social cues.”

Saynt changed the name of the Predator Room to the “Lion’s Den,” rewrote the landing page, changed the descriptor “affluent” to “influential,” and added in a prominent consent policy. Casual members of the community were mollified, but when the organizers of the other sex-positive parties reached out to him to offer advice on keeping his party safe, Saynt bristled, viewing it as meddling.

“I started a dialogue with Daniel [Saynt], and one of his responses was, ‘I’m not used to someone asking so many questions about my businesses,’” Eliza says. “Saying that took me aback, because I wasn’t trying to speak about business—I was trying to speak about safety.”

 “Considering they are the sex-positive community, they are very negative,” Saynt says. “We didn’t want to shape his party at all,” Kaitlyn adds. “We just wanted to make sure it fell in line with best practices.”

Saynt also made the crucial misstep of asking Elite Embrace to “promote” PlayDate to its guest list—he was essentially asking them to sell out the trust of their members and endorse a new and unknown party.

“The only contact I’ve ever had from Daniel about his party was whether I would sell him my guest list in exchange for a 25% cut of the revenue. I didn’t know what the fuck to say. I ignored [his email],” Pierre says. “He completely did not understand what the principle is in creating a safe party. Our guest list is about protecting the community, the people, and their privacy. We’re not out there promoting.”

The week before PlayDate was set to happen, the organizers of New York’s other sex parties were emailing their lists and posting on Facebook, warning the community that the party was unsafe and that press would be there. “Considering they are the sex-positive community, they are very negative,” Saynt says. “We’re just trying to do something different.”

But the other organizers’ pleas had little effect. After dropping the count down to 175 people so the party wouldn’t be too crowded, Saynt was close to selling out the event. He claimed that 60% of the tickets were sold to women (which he saw as an endorsement of the safety of the party), and there were 500 people on the waitlist for NSFW membership.

Pillow talk

As PlayDate approached, it became clear that only about a third of the people who would be attending were experienced sex-positive partiers, and the rest would be newbies—inexperienced burners, people attracted through dating apps, and swingers from outside the sex-positive community. “There definitely is a part of the membership who are familiar with the play scene in New York and go to other events,” Saynt says. “But for the most part, when people join, they’re like, ‘I’ve always wanted to go to something, but I’ve never been to anything like this.’ So it’s really newbies who don’t go to Burning Man but who have a desire to be a little bit more open.”

Sex-positivity organizers continued to bristle: “People who just want to go to a hot-sexy-cool-thing because sex parties are all the rage now but have no experience don’t know how to ask for consent or how to say no,” Eliza says. “I don’t think you can just pull a community out of the air.”

Saynt ended up announcing he would bring on guardians (who other organizers said were inexperienced), tape door locks down so no one could lock themselves in a room and have their way with someone, and hire guards and an off-duty officer.

But no matter how many safeguards you put in place, one aggressive guest can ruin the vibe for everyone—or worse. Elite Embrace has built up a blacklist over the years of about 30 people who have been deemed predatory by the leadership team. “I know a high number of dangerous people who were going to attend [PlayDate],” Pierre says.

Saynt had heard about the list, but when he asked Elite Embrace for it, he was told it didn’t exist. “You get access when you have a system in place for handling people who are not allowed at parties,” Pierre reasoned. “If you don’t show competence in building safety and consent and love into a party, you don’t deserve any help on some level.”

“I obviously don’t want to have [the blacklisted] people at my event,” Saynt retorts. “If you do truly care about the safety of this community, let me know who these people are.”

 Would the party just flop, with 150 hot people standing nervously around, waiting for someone else to initiate? Emotions were running high, and the relationship between Saynt and the existing party organizers was getting more and more fraught. There was a sense within the community that PlayDate was speeding like a luxury sports car toward disaster: The other organizers had tried to apply the brakes at the beginning, but having been brushed off, now they felt they had no choice but to back off and watch it crash, waiting to say “I told you so.” Would a newbie get drugged or sexually assaulted by a blacklisted predator? Or would the party just flop, with 150 hot people standing nervously around, waiting for someone else to initiate?

The party organizers who opposed PlayDate had repeatedly said that their first concern was safety. But the move to refuse Saynt the blacklist seemed to indicate that the sex-positive community was simply offended. Offended that he hadn’t consulted anyone before splashing his party across the internet. Offended that he was marketing it as a sex-positive party while blatantly catering to the rich, attractive, and young. Offended that he was commodifying what many viewed as their last sacred space.

“Why is he actively pursuing press?” Pierre says. “Because he wants his brand and name out there. Not because he has a beautiful story about sexuality.”

The positive in sex positivity

Saynt’s business Socialyte is about taking something that used to be authentic—off- cuff social media posts—and polishing it until it is the shiniest, most aspirational version of its former self. Would that really be a bad thing for sex positivity, a movement that suffers from a reputation of being for cuckholded men and ugly feminists?

If NSFW can lead a generation of repressed millennials to take their guilty porn addiction offline, understand their sexuality, and embrace the concept of consent, that’s undoubtedly a good thing—much of the danger and sorrow surrounding sex stems from it being kept in the shadows.

 Much of the danger and sorrow surrounding sex stems from it being kept in the shadows. But it’s also a razor-thin line to walk. That’s because one of the biggest draws of these sex-positive parties is the feeling of being in on a delicious secret—that there is a glamorous side to them that their coworkers, family, and Facebook friends will never know about. If NSFW cracks open this scene to scrutiny from the wider world via a public and scalable business model (and slaps branding on it) it might lose the edge that first attracted its clandestine players. It begs the question: Are there even 10,000 young, hot, and rich people in New York who can be trusted to act respectfully at a sexy party?

The day of the party finally arrived. But at around 1pm, ticket holders received some bad news: PlayDate was cancelled.

Emails had gone out with a cryptic explanation that NSFW had discovered it couldn’t guarantee the safety of its attendees. It would need to postpone.

Saynt won’t say exactly what happened to make him back out of the original venue at the last minute. But to make sure it didn’t happen again, he decided to follow Performance House’s suit and buy his own sin-filled private home—the one that I toured. Saynt lives on the lower level, the upper levels are available to rent on Airbnb. PlayDate aside, it’s already serving as NSFW’s clubhouse, and recently hosted a rope and bondage session with NSFW’s favorite dominatrix.

 

A happy ending?

Now, seven months after the original PlayDate was cancelled, it’s finally back on—tomorrow night. The webpage promises four stories of sexy entertainment and classes, including multiple play rooms and beds, deep-house DJs, non-play areas for mingling, “sexual cinema” on the first floor, a gallery of erotic art, premixed cocktails by a liquor sponsor, champagne and “decadent desserts,” plus a Moroccan-style dungeon and a surround-sound system. (And it also has some required reading on “enthusiastic consent.”)

After all the brouhaha in the spring, however, this iteration feels much more subdued. The event tickets, which start at $100, are behind the password-protected site for members only. There are no rooms for sale, no press, and no negative chatter in the sex-positive Facebook groups.

Saynt says he doesn’t need to promote the party: There are only 90 spots available, and with NSFW membership now at 375, he doesn’t need to court more. His business model has also changed: He has ditched the monthly subscription fee, and instead of several small parties a week, there will be only one large ticketed event per month. Some of those events might be organized trips to festivals such as Coachella and Burning Man.

As of this morning, PlayDate has sold out. (Saynt still hasn’t received the blacklist, so it’s anyone’s guess whether anyone on it is attending this weekend.) Overall, the party is much smaller, more relaxed, and more manageable than the huge undertaking Saynt had planned for the spring. It will also probably be full of people who have already met each other at other NSFW events, having attended workshops on rope bondage, asking for sex, and erotic sketching together.

So perhaps, after everything, Saynt’s first serious NSFW venture could turn out to be a successful cocktail party with a bit (or a lot of) of sex on the side. Not exactly the most exciting event to an experienced sex partier, but to a newbie? Incredible.

There’s no doubt that many in the sex-positive scene would still like to see Saynt fail. But railing against Saynt’s particular brand of flashy sex positivity is futile. That’s because he has proven over and over again that he can power through drama and criticism all the way to the bank.

That’s not to say Saynt is cynically using sex-positive language to achieve his ends—he really does believe in sex’s transformative power, and wants to share that with the world. The bigger question is whether by disrupting and monetizing the scene, he’ll ruin it for everyone else.

As I left the townhouse last Sunday, the thought I mulled over most was how, for such a smart guy, Saynt seemed completely incapable of humble subtlety. When I got home, his latest post on Facebook only proved my point: “Just finished an interview on disrupting the sex industry. Such an interesting life I lead. #sexpositivity”

NSFWDaniel SayntComment
Here's How to Turn a Sexy Rubdown into the Best Sex of your Life

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: massages are sexy. I mean, what’s not hot about running your hands all over a woman’s body and making her feel good? Nothing. Everything about it is sexy.

Fun fact: There’s even an entire genre of porn about massages gone wild, which means a sensual massage has a lot of potential to turn real sexy, real fast.

But then again, there are also porn genres about real estate agents getting frisky, and people in creepy animal costumes (i.e. furries), so realistically, it would appear as though anything and everything has the potential to turn into sex.

Anyway, you don’t have to be a professional masseuse to give an amazing massage, because let’s face it, not many of us know a goddamn thing about pressure points and back-rubbing technique. But the beauty of giving a massage is that you can just squeeze and knead random parts of her body, and it’ll feel good anyway!

And when you think about it, it's not difficult to figure out that running your hands all over your girlfriend's naked body is probably going to lead to sex, which is why I spoke to tantric massage expert Candice Leigh, who recently taught an entire workshop on erotic massages at New York's naughty club NSFW, about how to execute the perfect sensual massage that will definitely lead to sex.

I hope you'll find this as illuminating as I did.

1. Set the mood.
Just as candles and music set the mood during sex and make everything feel 10 times sexier, you can be damn sure that a little mood music and a couple candles are going to take your sexy massage to the next level, too.

Science has shown that vanilla is one of the sexiest scents ever, which means you can never go wrong with a vanilla-scented candle. So, light one of those, put on a playlist of sex-tastic tunes, and get down to business.

Or, if you have an Amazon Echo, you can use its new feature and tell Alexa you’re feeling sexy, or for it to “set the mood,” and it’ll put on a sexy playlist for you. We’re living in the future, folks.

2. Use massage oils.
When it comes to sex stuff, everything is better when its slippery, which is why you shouldn’t forego massage oils. Seriously – when in doubt, lube things up.

But when I say to use oils, I don’t mean to drown her in it like you’re marinating a flank steak. You only need a little bit – just a few drops on your hands to start with, and add more if you want a little more slipperiness.

If you’re going to give her a literal full-body massage, a.k.a. including her lady bits, Candice suggests using coconut oil. You know, because it smells good, it's natural, and it won’t throw off her pH level down there.

On everything else, try Aura Glow Massage Oil if you’re all about that natural lifestyle, or J’adore Silky Body Oil if you want something that smells really, really good.

3. Treat the massage like foreplay.
Fact: Women love foreplay.

Also fact: Many of us don’t pay enough attention to this very important part of sex, therefore it doesn't last as long as it should.

And this, my friends, is why a sensual massage is a great precursor to sex. You're literally feeling her up with oils, you're getting her relaxed and in a totally zen state of mind, and you just happen to be touching her erogenous zones over and over again, so it's basically guaranteed to turn naughty pretty swiftly.

"Women’s arousal sometimes takes longer, and sometimes a man may be at his maximum arousal state, but the woman may only be half way there," Candice says, implying all dudes should take note of this brute truth.

"Erotic and sensual touch can provide so much unintentional foreplay: she is breathing, slowing down her mind, relaxing more into her body by having her whole body touched, and by the time her partner is stimulating her nipples, labia, clitoris -- she most likely is at her maximum arousal state. Her experience and desire for sex may be twice as great!"

4. Take your time.
In life, there are certain things you really, really shouldn’t rush. For instance, a blossoming relationship, foreplay, or a delightful chocolate soufflé in the oven. If you push it and try to make it work before it’s ready, it’s going to be complete shit.

And just like those arbitrary examples stated above, you shouldn’t rush a sexy massage, either.

“When giving or receiving an erotic or sensual massage, let there be so much time and spaciousness for not only the entire experience, but with each body part,” Candice advises. 

“Each body part, erogenous or not, deserves equal time and attention. Taking the entire body into consideration will promote full body orgasms and profound sensational states."

5. Don't try to make her orgasm A.S.A.P.
Sure, I get it, you want to make her orgasm. As good as it feels for her, you feel like your ego is giving you a pat on the back when you manage to get her off.

However, as I said before, do. not. rush. it. Just focus on touching her, see how she's responding to your touch, and just try to enjoy everything that's happening. 

“Let not the goal be to orgasm, but to enjoy all the moments that lead up to it. the whole experience is orgasmic, not just the actual orgasm.

"Sensual bodywork on its own can be the sexual experience, or the appetizer that leads to sex or other play. Sensual bodywork can be erotic, steamy, playful, silly, but can also illicit a depth of emotion and memory that lives and rests in our genitals if we have the time, sensitivity, and patience to explore it."

With some parting advice on the importance of touch, the founder and 'Chief Conspirator' of NSFW, Daniel Saynt, says: "It’s important for us to practice touch in such a touch free-world. Technology distances us and forces communications that don't connect us to the healing power of touch.

"The "How to Touch" class (which Candice taught) was designed to combat that behavior and encourage sexual and non-sexual touch between consenting partners."

And that, my dudes, is why we should all be giving and receiving massages all the damn time. It feels good, it brings us closer to our partner, and it helps us have sex. What's not to love?

NSFWDaniel SayntComment
Inside New York's Most Private Elite Sex Club

Members-only sex clubs abound in New York City, with underground orgies, costumed sex parties, and swingers’ revelries, but a secretive bacchanal called NSFW is catering to a different breed of naughty New Yorkers.

Described as “a private club for the adventurous,” NSFW just opened its members-only doors in January, and is a highly exclusive community of sexually daring elites, where members attend exclusive parties, erotic events, and sexy classes taught by world-class instructors.

Membership is restricted to “young, influential and creative New Yorkers,” and the application process isn’t an easy one. “The Council” does a lengthy social life background check on potential members, and digs up dirt on their "social status, ambitions, inner circle, and desire to raise a little hell."

Then, they’re vetted at one of the club’s events to ensure they’re worthy of becoming a member, and once approved, members “pay their dues,” and finally gain access to the club’s private events, parties, and classes hosted at the NSFW Clubhouse, the NSFW magazine, and their online community.

And for people kinky enough to land a membership, only the sexiest of classes are appropriate. The classes section on the club’s website reads:

“Not-safe-for-work adventures include classes taught by our renowned faculty including Sub/Dom and Japanese Rope Bondage, Swipe Right (a photographer led shoot for the perfect nude selfie), How to Cheat at Poker (our mentalist led card hack), Pickpocket Class, Urban Trespassing Yoga, D.A.R.E. (our physician led drug education series), K-Yoga (kratom for a euphoric instructor led class), art openings, art book and magazine launch events and sexy speakeasy parties.”

And that’s not even all of them. NSFW recently hosted moonshine sampling, erotic sketching, and a useful little class called “How To Ask For Sex.” And yes, it’s exactly what you think it is. Expert dirty talk.

NSFW’s signature sex party, Play Date, is hosted every eight to ten weeks, and is held at the NSFW Clubhouse—a lavish penthouse in Manhattan's Lower East Side, where members can indulge in lots of sex, booze, gourmet food, and even bodyguards for the revelers in attendance.

At Play Date, members can be as tame or as kinky as their hearts (and loins) desire. Aside from indulging in straight-up orgies, there are rooms in the Clubhouse were freakier members can experiment with Japanese rope bondage and rougher sub/dom sex. Meanwhile, those looking for a more relaxed evening can "Netflix and chill" while watching erotic indie films.

We spoke to the mastermind behind NSFW, a man who calls himself "Chief Conspirator" for privacy reasons, about what goes on inside the Clubhouse and the benefits of being a member of one of the most exclusive sex clubs in New York.

What inspired you to create NSFW?
I’ve always had an interest in human sexuality, and I think there’s something very strong that connects us through sex, but also through adventurous activities. I wanted to create a place where you could do those things.

Who belongs to NSFW?
We focus on younger individuals, around 25 to 35. We’ve contracted a lot of CEOs, and a lot of individuals from the fashion world. We look for creatives, and people who are actually doing shit with their lives. I think it’s very important that you have a story to tell, and if you’re interacting with people and trying to connect with people, it’s important that you live a life that’s interesting and fun.

 We also look for a certain level of attractiveness, individuals who take care of themselves. We do look for physically fit, attractive members.  

How many members are there?
Currently, we have a wait list of 575 people, and we have about 210 members.

Are there any famous names attending your sex parties?
We definitely have very high-level members, though we don’t like to reveal any of guest lists. But yeah, there are times where someone will be in attendance who is recognizable.

What are some of the classes NSFW offers?
We do classes on sub-dom, and Japanese rope bondage, and we have a class coming up on pegging. We have a "Stripe Right" class, which teaches how to take sexy nudes for sexting. It’s led by a fashion photographer who is very, very well known. He teaches the class, then provides private shooting sessions. He’ll do a photoshoot with members on their iPhones, with lighting, and make them look very sexy. It’s almost like a boudoir photoshoot.

A 'Netflix and chill' where members watched 'Scarface'.

We also have a Netflix and chill event, where people come and we put on a movie, and we make gourmet popcorn for everyone. And there’s booze. The movie is on, but there are places where you can go to talk and ‘chill.’

What are the Play Date parties like like?
We bring together different classes we teach, so we have our sub-dom class, Japanese rope bondage, we have performers doing things on kink, and things like that. We’re going to do Netflix and chill, so we’re going to premiere a movie that was done by Imperial Pictures. It’s this indie erotica company that’s getting huge amounts of attention.

We’re doing a live version of erotic sketching where we have members pose nude for everyone to sketch. It’s a fun night where we get to drink, and it’s just very sexy. The next Play Date is going to be Bacchanalia, so it’s going to be Roman themed. We’re shooting a VR experience for the invitation, so you’ll watch sex scenes happening around you. We’re collaborating with some great photographers for that.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen happen at a NSFW party?
There have been a few people who’ve been proud the christen my bathroom. Let’s leave it at that.

NSFWDaniel SayntComment
How to Sext: The Best Tips and Tricks
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In Ways of Seeing, the late John Berger explains that, when viewing almost anything, “We never look at just one thing; we are always looking at the relation between things and ourselves. Our vision is continually active, continually moving, continually holding things in a circle around itself, constituting what is present to us as we are.” This is especially true of sexting, which, in the best cases, exists as an intimate, intentional exchange between two people. A sext can be an image, words, or a combination of both.

Sexting AF, which stands for Sexting Art Festival but knows what you thought it stood for, was designed to explore the intentions behind the way we sext, the reasons we sext, the ways we were sexting before we even knew how to sext, and the best ways to engage as we sext into the future.

“We recognized that sexting was a topic that kept rearing it’s fuzzy little head in discussions about dating, marriage, app hook-ups, male desperation and the evolving media landscape,” explains the festival’s website on the decision to hold a curated evening of lectures and storytelling, which featured, among other experts, Make Love Not Porn founder Cindy Gallop. The goal of Sexting AF, and hopefully all sexters everywhere, is to move as far away from that predatory, uncomfortable concept of sexting as possible.

Like anything worth doing, sexting takes practice. Here are 7 things you might not have known about sexting, directly from the experts at Sexting AF.

Sexting isn’t sexting if it’s not consensual

Sending unsolicited pictures or graphic descriptions of your most private parts is exactly like sharing those parts in real life: don’t do it unless you've been explicitly invited to do it. Just like if someone were to expose themselves to you in person without your consent, getting an unwanted sext is a violation and it is never okay to send one. If you want to try sexting, make sure the person you try it with is someone you trust, and that both of you are into the idea and comfortable sending and/or receiving those kinds of messages.

Sexting pictures might be new, but sexting isn't

As Stuart Ewen, a professor at the City University of New York who specializes in visual culture, explained, mirrors are a relatively new concept, and were only mass produced within the last 200 years. Paintings, meanwhile, were really only available to the wealthy for quite a while. This means that our understanding of what ourselves, and our lovers, look like was pretty reliant on graphic, wordy descriptions for a while. Humans have spent centuries perfecting the art of describing bodies, both their own and their partners, in truly staggering detail. It’s an ancient art to engage in, passed down through generations and generations of noble, dignified, and significantly aroused individuals.

A sext sent to you is only meant for you

According to a study released last year, one in four Americans share sexts they receive without permission from the original sender. This is a definite do not in terms of sexting, both etiquette-wise and legally, since distributing these images without permission is a violation of laws in several states. It's also important to note that, depending on your age, even sending your own picture could be a serious violation of the law. But the concern is on everyone’s mind, and, as writer Jane Mulkerrins shared in a personal story, sexting without images is a pretty solid reason to skip the picture part of sexting altogether.

Send nudes the right way (or don’t)

Comedian Olive Persimmon has one rule about sexting images: never the face, never the face, never the face. As stated above, sharing any images of someone without their permission is never okay, but protect yourself always by keeping your face — the most identifiable part of your body — out of the picture. Also OK? Opting out of photos altogether. If your partner is begging for photos and you don't want to send them, this is absolutely not your problem, and you shouldn't feel any pressure to send them.

If you're sexting someone new, don't assume what worked with your last partner will work now

Social influencer Daniel Saynt points out that molding sexts to a specific partner is important. As a bisexual sexter, he makes sure to craft his most sensual missives to the right person, mood, and scenario. Whether you identify as bisexual, queer, or anything else, everyone deserves your A-game when it comes to sexting, whatever that means to you.

A lot of people are sexting for no reason

Researcher Emily Stasko found that while sexting was generally pretty healthy for a stable, happy relationship, a lot of people participating in the act were just sort of doing it because it was offered. And while it’s unrealistic to imagine that every single time a person types that they’re “about to burst” they’re actually about to burst, it is worth noting that sexting is probably a lot more fun if both you and your partner are at a point in your day when you can really get into it, as opposed to just being bored, or avoiding work.

Sexting should make you feel good

Sending someone details about what you want to do to them and getting back even more details about what they want to do to you should be fun, easy, and ultimately joyful. As Cindy Gallop explained, being able to talk about sex in any form, whether it’s explaining how it works, or just telling your partner what you want, is the key to making this communication-based act successful. If at any point you feel uncomfortable or pressured into doing something you don’t want to, stop. Block a number if you have to. Like every aspect of your sexual life, sending eggplant emojis and extended “ooooohs” should make you and your partner feel good, no matter what. Anything less than that isn’t worth your time.

NSFWDaniel SayntComment
I Went Inside New York’s Most Elite Sex Club

I Went Inside New York’s Most Elite Sex Club

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“SOME nights get a little more full-on than others,” the club’s founder warned me.

“Because tonight is rope bondage, and we advised members bring a partner, it might get more sexy.”

It won’t surprise you to learn that sex clubs abound in New York City, where I’ve lived and worked as a writer and editor for the past two years since leaving Australia. A little more unexpected, though, is the clientele you will spot at these events; lawyers, entrepreneurs, CEOs, models, writers, and the finance guys and girls from Wall Street — all of them young, all of them attractive.

This crowd is flocking to a new elite, membership-only club called NSFW (Not Safe For Work) that’s ridding the “sex club” of its unsavoury stigma and attracting beautiful, successful millennials desperate to not only take part in its envelope-pushing events, but pay for the privilege.

“Most of our members are around 27, so youth is an important factor for us,” NSFW’s founder, a successful New York businessman who operates anonymously, told me at a recent rope bondage class.

To assess whether you’re the right fit he and his team analyse your social media feed and comb through your friends list — oh, and you have to be hot, naturally.

“Members tend to be physically fit and we require [applicants] submit profile links to review before accepting membership. We look through their feeds, see what kind of friends they have, where they travel or party, and what type of things they post,” he said.

Membership is $6.66 per month, and only after making it through the thorough screening process — and about a one-month waiting period — are you allowed to join. Since NSFW launched in January 250 members have been approved, with nearly 500 hanging to get in on the wait list.

Additional payments of anywhere from $20 to $250 are due should you RSVP to an event — on Tuesday you could be invited to a class about BDSM, Wednesday could be a seminar about sex and consent, and Saturday night might be a three-floor dance party with live entertainment and designated shared rooms for sex.

As a first time sex partygoer, I was hesitant before my first event — what exactly will I have to do here? — but the NSFW team assured me that not everyone gets hot-and-heavy, and it’s certainly not an expectation — however yes, sometimes couples get, uh, physical.

Members must practice what NSFW dubs “enthusiastic consent,” so that no one feels uncomfortable or pressured. One female member I spoke with ahead of the party even told me that this strictly-enforced rule means she feels safer approaching guys — or being approached by them — at NSFW event than she would at a regular club.

So, it was armed with all of this information — and a heavy dose of curiosity — that I checked my judge-y preconceptions at the door and agreed to attend one of the club’s buzziest classes; a rope bondage event led by a dominatrix named Goddess Aviva.

I arrived at the trendy apartment in Manhattan’s Lower East Side at around 9.30pm, was handed a small glass of red wine and introduced to a couple of members. Scanning the low-lit room, I noticed it was decorated with cozy floor cushions and lounge chairs, and a long table was setup with ropes. A modern, suggestive video played on a projector against one wall.

“We’ll sit on the lounges or the chairs with a partner while Goddess Aviva leads the class,” a NSFW co-ordinator told me.

After about 30 minutes and just one glass of wine to combat my nerves — this rookie was not getting kicked out of her first sex party for being tipsy — I joined about 15 beautiful couples on the couches.

A few giggled as Goddess Aviva handed out the ropes and introduced her partner for the demonstration, an attractive woman kitted out in leather and lace lingerie.

“This is much easier if you have less clothing on,” she hinted, as the women around me and some of the guys in the same-sex couples took that as the cue and stripped down to their underwear. Even less for some.

“Hellllll no,” I thought, self-consciously zipping my leather jacket a little higher.

I seemed to be the only feeling even slightly uncomfortable.

While only a few people in the class were well-versed in bondage, couples either laughed confidently as they tried and failed to turn ropes into body harnesses, or kissed intimately, sitting on each other’s laps, nearly nude and seemingly oblivious to the room full of strangers sitting around them.

So, what’s the actual appeal for 20-and-30-somethings clamouring for a membership? At the end of the seminar, having learned how to tie someone safely (no rope burn!) to a bed post and make a nifty body harness, one NSFW veteran told me the events were simply amazing networking opportunities, and another said he often took dates to the parties.

It’s more memorable than dinner and a movie, I suppose.

Oh, but guys, please check first before taking your Tinder date to a sex party. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, trust me.

NSFWDaniel SayntComment
Let’s Learn About and Have Sex

Let’s Learn About and Have Sex

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Well, it’s that time of the week where we feel compelled to alert you to the city’s best current opportunity for sexual enlightenment.

Get loose for NSFW and their Play Date, a very hands-on and educational five-story-townhouse sexual adventure, happening tomorrow and roughly every eight weeks after at an undisclosed location.

Before we dive in, know that you must be approved by what they call the Council. Translation: best look good (we have faith in you). You’ll get the address once approved. And while we know this is short notice, there are still a handful of tickets left for tomorrow’s party, which you’ll have priority access to and express screening if you tell them you heard about it from us.

Now that that’s out of the way, here’s the good stuff:

—It’s not a “sex party” per se, but they’re not going to stop you in any of the reservable rooms or the roof deck.

—It’s just as much about learning. All throughout the house, there’ll be classes, because continuing education is a part of any commitment to becoming a person who regularly attends these types of things. You can learn about sub/dom, how to take the perfect nude selfie, Japanese rope bondage... And yes, they’ll provide the ropes.

—Among the acceptable costumes in the dress code are a Tarzan gown and, of course, a tux. And animal-inspired fetish gear. You know, to keep it formal.

—The masks worn by the otherwise ill-clad staff were made by, and this is a real thing, animal mask designer extraordinaire Max Steiner.

—There’s an outdoor smoking patio and gazebo, and a Netflix-and-chill component in their theater, which just amuses us.

—There’ll be five DJs (including PONY and Alex Cecil), a renowned vegan chef from Russia and many sake cocktails, along with, of course, champagne.

—You can have yourself and whomever you like be erotically sketched for posterity.

—Knife throwers, snake charmers, bed of nails: check, check and check.

—Private fittings for custom Fleur du Mal lingerie will occur.

—The waterfall spa that exists is complete with jacuzzi and steam room, and amenities such as condoms, lube and toys.

—The next party will have a Roman bacchanalia theme, so go out and purchase a handsome toga, because there’s going to be a virtual-reality component, in which people will be able to check out some of the action on Snapchat, just to see if this kind of thing is for them.

NSFWDaniel SayntComment