While many people view sex as an act between two partners, there are some who enjoy having more than two participants involved in their sexual encounters. Group sex is a type of sexual activity that involves the sexual interactions between three or more people at the same time. Group sex can include individuals of any gender identity and sexual orientation. The sexual behaviors of group sex can be both heterosexual and homosexual in nature. The types of sexual activities can vary from manual stimulation to oral sex to penile/vaginal intercourse or anal sex - and more. In fact, the sexual behaviors performed by two people can just as easily be performed during group sex, and other behaviors are only feasible with more than two people. Group sex tends to remain a taboo form of sexual activity in many parts of society due to the many cultural and societal norms against it.
Types of Group Sex
Depending on the number and gender of the participants, group sex can vary in its forms. When there are three people engaging in sexual activity together, this type of group sex is called a threesome or a ménage à trios. The participants in a threesome can include three females, three males, two males and a female (MMF), or two females and a male (FFM). Given the varied combinations of people, the amount and types of sexual behavior can be quite diverse in a threesome. One example of a threesome would be a couple choosing to include another person (either a friend or a stranger) in their sexual experiences, in order to fulfill a fantasy of group sex and to increase novelty in their sex life.
An orgy is another type of group sex that usually includes four or more individuals. Orgies can consist of all same-sex participants or a combination of individuals of both sexes. Orgies typically involve several people having sex with the same or multiple partners at the same time in the same place. Orgies can also be called 'sex parties', and they can be held at specific locations, such as sex clubs, where people go to have group sex. There are some people who pursue this type of sexual activity regularly and may belong to 'group sex clubs' or attend 'group sex parties'. Some pornographic films portray group sex scenes frequently, but in reality, this behavior is far less common than is shown in porn.
Another type of sexual activity that is considered group sex is called a gang bang. This occurs when an individual (most commonly a woman) has sexual intercourse with multiple people one after the other or all at once. For example, a woman may perform oral sex on several men in a row, or she could also be penetrated by more than one man at the same time. In this case, multiple males would be 'gang banging' one female. Several women can also gang bang one man, however this is not as common. It is also possible for gang bangs to be entirely of the same sex. The term 'gang bang' can invoke negative connotations, such as gang rape, coercive sex, and female objectification. There is a strong social stigma against coercive gang banging, because many people view it is as brutal, forceful, and nonconsensual sex - especially when a female is the recipient. There is a distinction between gang rape and a consensual gang bang, and a number of people do engage in this behavior willingly, because they find it to be adventuresome and exciting.
While there are many types of group sex, they are not necessarily mutually exclusive. For example, a large orgy could have several threesome interactions or a gang bang at times. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that although we may classify group sex activities, the boundaries of each type are fluid and often overlap one another in certain situations.
Consent and Safety
Because group sex is quite different from sex between only two partners, it can often be more difficult for people to consent to having sex in all the ways possible. People may have several reservations to the idea of group sex, which can make them have feelings of possible shyness, fear, regret, or jealousy if they were to actually have group sex. Voluntary consent is of vital importance when engaging in any sexual activity. If a person feels uncomfortable before, during, or after a group sex experience, this can result in a variety of negative feelings. We want to stress the importance of every partner's willing participation in a group sex experience, in order to avoid the unwanted feelings of pressure, coercion, or regret.
People who participate in group sex may have sexual contact with multiple partners who they may or may not know. The more sexual partners that a person has, the more chance he or she has to contract an STI or accidentally become pregnant. For this reason it is important for people to know who their sexual partners are, practice safer sex with multiples forms of contraception, and use proper hygiene. It is important to use condoms and dental dams while engaging in oral or penetrative sex with one or more partners. Since group sex often involves having sexual contact with multiple partners, it is also important to remember to use a new condom each time a person begins sexual contact with a new partner. If any sex toys are used, they should be cleaned before being used by another person to reduce the risk of contracting an STI.
In addition to contraception and hygiene, the best way for people to protect their sexual health is to choose their sexual partners wisely. Although many group sex partners are often strangers to one another, it is a better idea to know sexual partners and the status of their sexual health before engaging in sexual activity with them. As a result, people will be able to better build trust with their sexual partners and further protect themselves from any unwanted pregnancies or STI's.
Group Sex. (n.d.) Retrieved April 23, 2007 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_sex
Created September 25, 2007, Updated June 1, 2012.