The orgy that changed my life

I never realized I preferred sleeping with women until I rolled around on the ground with a half dozen of them

Published April 6, 2015 10:30PM (EDT)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

AlterNet I know. The title makes it sounds like a third-grader's report on her trip to the planetarium. But you know, except for the third-grader part, it was sort of like that.

And I thought you might be interested to hear the story. I mean, who doesn't like a good orgy story?

My very first orgy happened when I was in college. Surprise, surprise. I call it my first orgy, but in a sense it was my only orgy: I've been to a decent number of sex parties since, but this was my only "puppy pile of bodies commingling more or less indiscriminately" that we tend to think of as a classic, Capital O-Orgy.

It happened more or less spontaneously. Or at least without any planning on my part. My boyfriend and I were hanging out on the steps of the student union, when these three girls came up to us, said they were putting together an orgy and asked if we wanted to join them. The girls were sort of renowned on campus for being what I would now call "sex-positive bi-dykes" but didn't have a term for back then (hi, ladies, I still remember you fondly; if any of you are reading this, drop me a line) ... and it only took a couple of seconds for me and my boyfriend to arrive at an enthusiastic yes.

They said they needed a couple/few more people and asked if we could round up anybody. So I raced off to one of my best friends and spent half an hour unsuccessfully trying to convince him that the obviously most sensible action would be for him to blow off studying for his big math test and come to the orgy instead. (I was arguing that in 20 years he'd never remember the math test, but would always regret having passed on an opportunity for an orgy. An argument I still stand by.) Alas, my rhetorical skills failed me; so I finally gave up on my friend and headed back to the dorm room where the festivities were being held.

There is nothing quite like walking into a dorm room with six naked people having sex together in a pile on the floor. Especially when one of them is your boyfriend. I had a brief moment of -- well, "shock" is too strong a word, let's call it "sudden adjustment" or "category error" -- as the reality of the situation was rather crudely borne in on me. Then I decided, "What the fuck, this is what I'm here for," hurriedly shucked my clothes and joined in.

And I learned two very important life lessons: lessons that stay with me to this day.

Important Life Lesson Number One: I really and truly do like having sex with other women.

I'd known that I had sexual feelings about women for a long, long time. But apart from some childish experiments that could only be considered borderline sex at most, I'd never done anything about it, except swipe my dad's Playboys and fantasize nonstop. I'd been calling myself "bisexual" ever since I'd heard the word (at about age 12); but I also couldn't really be sure that the word was accurate.

I had serious Nancy Friday My Secret Garden damage and had been persuaded that having fantasies about something doesn't mean you really want to do it. Even when you have said fantasies constantly, every hour of every day, and have had them for years. (Note to Ms. Friday: No, having sex fantasies doesn't necessarily mean you want to do that thing in real life ... but it sure as hell means that sometimes.)

This orgy was the first time I had actual, unquestionable sex with another woman. The first time, to put it crudely, that I put my tongue on another woman's pussy. And the moment I put my tongue on that other woman's pussy (hi there, L., if you're reading, I remember you, too, and very fondly indeed), my core sexual self-identity was transformed from "woman who has fantasies about other women but isn't sure what that means in her real life" to "dyke." It took no time at all. Tongue hovering above the pussy, not so sure; tongue on the pussy, dyke.

So. That's Important Life Lesson Number One. Pussy: good. Sex with girls: good. A lesson with very great impact on my life to this day, what with being married to a woman and all.

Important Life Lesson Number Two: I learned at that orgy exactly what, for me, jealousy was, and why I had it, and what I should do about it.

At the time of the orgy, my boyfriend and I had been having ongoing problems with monogamy. The problems being that he persistently cheated on me, and I was unhappy and pissed about it. At the time of the orgy, we were supposedly trying nonmonogamy ... but it was that half-assed version of nonmonogamy that translates as "one person in the relationship wants no limitations on their sexual behavior, so they unilaterally declare the relationship nonmonogamous, cat around carelessly with no regard for their partner's feelings and insist that any problem their partner has comes from unevolved possessiveness." (With the addendum, "And then they get hurt and angry when their partner tries to screw other people, too." But I didn't find out that part until later.)

Needless to say, this turned out to be an unsuccessful experiment. It's a miracle that I stuck with nonmonogamy. Hell, it's a miracle that I didn't get the clap. I felt threatened, abandoned, anxious, insecure, disregarded, unwanted ... all those things that add up to raging, festering jealousy.

But I felt no jealousy whatsoever at this orgy.

I watched, up close and personal, as my boyfriend got his dick sucked by another woman ... and I was totally OK with it. I actually kind of enjoyed it.

I did feel a twinge of something, something other than simple enjoyment and general OK-ness. Surprise, perhaps, is the best word for it. Sudden adjustment. Category error. But the closest I came to jealousy were a few passing moments of, "Shouldn't I be feeling jealous about this?" I kept expecting to feel bad about what I was seeing ... and it kept not happening.

And it occurred to me: My problem with my boyfriend cheating on me wasn't a problem with him having sex with other people.

It was a problem with me being left out.

My problem was with him spending his time chasing other women at the serious expense of time spent with me. It was with him making major decisions about our relationship unilaterally, and then making me feel guilty that I wasn't OK with it. It was with him blatantly trying to seduce other women in front of my face, even though he knew it upset me. It was with him spending nights with other women without consideration for the fact that I might be worried and wondering where the hell he was.

This was the problem. And therefore, the orgy wasn't a problem. The orgy was an experience we were sharing, a decision we made together, a sexual adventure we were having as a couple. None of the "being abandoned and disregarded" stuff that was going on with the cheating was going on in that puppy pile.

And that lesson has stuck with me to this day.

The specifics of what I do and don't need from nonmonogamy have changed a lot since then. Mostly, they've loosened up. I don't need to be in the room if my partner is having sex with someone else; I don't really mind if they flirt with other people when I'm around; I'm OK if sex with other people takes time away from me, as long as that time isn't vast.

I just need to feel like my feelings are being taken into consideration; like I'm involved in the decisions; like my major triggers will be worked around even if they're not rational. I just need to not feel left out.

And I figured that out at the orgy.

By Greta Christina

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