The house before the party opened. Photo by Roniel Felipe and lighting by Rafaela Romitelli.

A view of one of the rooms before the party opened. Photo by Roniel Felipe and lighting by Rafaela Romitelli.

A couple in the "photo room" during the party. Photo by Luciano Garcia.

A couple in the “photo room” during the party. Photo by Luciano Garcia.

Three women in São Paulo have been dissatisfied with the current options for play parties, orgies and swingers clubs and have been creating their own format. The trio — Flavia Amorim, Ana Paula Galvão and Regiane Moraes — just held by far their largest and grandest affair in December. There were 80 men and women of various sexualities, hundreds of condoms, erotic food art, body painting, live music, an alluring house-wide lighting design, and a strict set of rules that was nevertheless accompanied by lots of playfulness.

I spoke to two of the organizers, Flavia (a.k.a. blogger Rubia Matadora) and Ana Paula, as well as a few guests — who I will refer to as Sofia, Heliane and “the cellist” — about how such a party is set up to prioritize women’s sexuality, safety and comfort. I was also able to get permission to share some photos of the decor from before the event and erotic art photos from the party’s photo room (cameras were banned in the party proper).

Brazilian Culture and Sexuality

To understand the party and its goals, it’s important to peek into the cultural context of Brazilian sexuality.

Heliane: Brazil is still a very Catholic country, so sexual liberty is frowned on. If you want to be sexual it’s supposed to be with just one person, not two or three people. (…) Brazilians see Europe as more sexually liberated. We’re in a sexual prison.

Europeans, of course, tend to see Brazil as the more liberated place. But Brazil is not the land of hedonism that foreigners tend to think of when they see Carnival. There is a lot of sex negativity, and in particular a lack of acceptance of many alternative sexualities, including polyamory.1I’ve lived in Brazil, the USA, and various European countries; I’ve found none to be “more” sexual, or “more” repressed. They’re each sexual and repressed in their own interesting ways.

It’s also vital to recognize the current state of gender relations in Brazil. Brazilian culture is far from the most misogynist on the planet, but it’s not the most progressive or feminist either. Previously here at TP we’ve talked about male Brazilian aggressiveness in the context of kissing; men are often expected to flirt aggressively, and women to initially refuse and then to give in. This can of course lead to all kinds of ugliness.

"No means no!" This message was stressed throughout the planning stages at the party itself. Photo by Roniel Felipe.

“No means no!” This message was stressed throughout the planning stages and at the parties themselves. Photo by Roniel Felipe.

The three organizers wanted to create a space for sex, flirting and play that was much more comfortable for women, meaning first and foremost that women must feel completely empowered to say não. They were also dissatisfied with the options for sex play in general in São Paulo, and their failure to appeal to women.

Flavia: When you go to a swingers club, the music is awful, the lights are low, the ambiance is cold, and there are small rooms with curtains where people fuck. The corridor leading to these rooms has security. For women, this is a cold environment. It doesn’t stimulate our sexuality, and it doesn’t feel comfortable. The parties can be very expensive, and they’re heteronormative. Women don’t feel that they can pick up women.

Brothels, she says, are of course even worse. And gay clubs have dark rooms in the back — “why does it have to be like that” she says, “when sex is such a beautiful thing?” At the other end of the spectrum are your conventional parties or raves where people dance separately, and go to be seen but not touched. “People are stiff and distant; at most they might get naked,” says Flavia. And men flirt, certainly, but “if I say what I want, that’s seen as a bad thing”.

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The Elements of the Recent Female-Centered, Female-Organized Sex Party in São Paulo

While the three have since discovered some groups outside of Brazil who are organizing similar types of events, when they started they were flying blind, and trying to find the best way to do things as they went. Ana Paula said they’re starting to refer to their work as hackeando a putaria, or debauchery hacking.

The house before the party kicked off; tango was performed naked on this glass floor. Photo by Roniel Felipe and lighting by Rafaela Romitelli.

The house before the party kicked off; tango was performed naked on this glass floor. Photo by Roniel Felipe and lighting by Rafaela Romitelli.

Here is a briefing on what made their December event successful.

Planning

The three organizers had started out with a secret Facebook group among friends and friends of friends where they could all talk about feminism, free love, consent, non-monogamy, and also the specifics of what such a party would include. Ideas were tossed around and voted on by all members.

Sofia: The Facebook group was essential for making me feel comfortable. This was my first time doing something like this, and I was nervous. I didn’t want to feel vulnerable. But the rules were very clearly defined about consent, respect, and condoms. (…) Also, the organizers made everyone feel involved in and responsible for the planning of the party, so we made the party ours. We weren’t just “consumers” of the party, and when we were there we felt that everyone had our backs. The party itself was unique, magic, transcendental…

Already in the planning stage via the Facebook group, a few men were eliminated for obnoxious or aggressive online behavior. There was excitement, flirting, and some pre-party meet-ups (“Reserve some energy for the party!” Flavia reminded the group at one point). Planning was carried out for the sharing of costs, food preparation, etc.

Naked Tango Performance

The party was inaugurated with a nude tango performance on a glass floor. “People gathered on the level below the floor to watch,” says Flavia. “They cheered each time legs spread wide.” The performance set a mood for the party, according to the organizers, wherein people felt relaxed and free to go about the house and explore it and each other.

Photo Room

Mobile phones and cameras were prohibited and checked at the door; some photos were taken before the event by the three official photographers, and during the party itself there was a room dedicated to erotic photography, projections and body paint. “It was fun to do,” said Heliane, who was one of the participants in that room. Some of the results from those who agreed to share their photos are below. These photos are by Luciano Garcia.

Condoms and Lube

Some 600 condoms and 300 packets of lube were procured for free from a health center; people of course also brought their own. “Only” about a third were used.

Regiane Moraes prepares condoms and lube for the party.

Regiane Moraes prepares condoms and lube for the party.

Location

The party took place in a house rented for the day in São Paulo; it began at 9pm and went until about 4pm the next day.

Heliane: I liked the rustic-but-modern style of the house, and the contemporary decorations. This is my field; I’m an interior designer. I know that design helps create good memories and experiences, and (…) for me the party was 100 percent good.

Lighting

Designer Rafaela Romitelli donated her services to the event, and in the three hours between the organisers getting the keys and the arrival of the guests, she managed to do the following. The photos below are by Roniel Felipe.

Food and Drink

A Google spreadsheet was made to organize food assignments, and the preparation and negotiations became a way of flirting. Looking forward to so-and-so’s manioc (mandioca also means cock), oxtail (rabada, also meaning ass) or bruschetta (brusqueta sounds like buceta, or pussy) … the list of foods-prepared-for-their-value-as-puns was quite long. “There are so many lovely dishes to try,” read one of the comments.

While some people did drink, a number have commented to me that one of the lovely things about the party was that people didn’t need to drink or take drugs to enjoy themselves. “I never felt so free at a party without having to drink,” one of the women told Ana Paula as the party was wrapping up.

Drinks. Photo by Roniel Felipe and lighting by Rafaela Romitelli.

Drinks. Photo by Roniel Felipe and lighting by Rafaela Romitelli.

The Cellist and the Lesbian Orgy

One of the guests was a professional cellist; he brought his instrument.

The cellist: I was looking for a more intimate space, and I found it on the top floor. There was a double bed with a bunk above it. (…) I started playing low notes. There were three, then four women fucking on the lower bed.

I played a soundtrack, inspired by those who were there, and their movements. The music had peaks and valleys corresponding to their pleasure and their movements. (…) Bodies can be seen both sexually and artistically. In that moment it was a mixture of both. The thrill of seeing these intertwined bodies was one of music, of notes, of chords. I wasn’t sexually turned on, but musically, very much so.

I happened to speak to one of the women involved in the bed, who also, independently, brought it up when asked about her highlight of the party.

SofiaI was in a double bed with another girl, fucking her, and loving it. A third girl came in and she said, “I’m going to just leave the two of you here, because this scene is so beautiful.” It was a delicious moment; I felt so cared for. Later, other people were invited to participate. A guy was playing the cello. It was fucking amazing. Everyone was fucking. It was gostoso.2There is an in-depth explanation of “gostoso” here.

Other Types of Sex, Other Activities

There was sex, obviously. Two-somes, three-somes, four-somes, gay, lesbian, straight, cis and trans… “I’m heterosexual,” said Heliane, “but it felt great that there were bisexuals and homosexuals there too, and that they felt embraced by everyone.” There were also people who didn’t have sex. And, more importantly (and this seems to be key for making women comfortable and excited about the event), there were all kinds of other things going on: body paint, a massage class (there wasn’t just lube, but also liters of massage oil on hand), music, dancing, cooking, watching, chatting, drinking. A sex toy vendor visited early in the evening to show her wares. People came and stayed until the party ended the next afternoon, or just came for a short time in the evening and left.

Flirting

Flavia: The men had to learn to approach in a different way — less directly. There is a preconceived notion that women who are into free love are just there to please the men, and that the women who are there are all available, and that we’re going to fuck like crazy. There needs to be a sensation of flirting.

Problems

In spite of all of the warnings and the pre-agreed rules, the threats of immediate explusion, and the barring of several men prior to the event for their behavior in the private online group, there were still a few issues with men. One man was caught taking photos, another was too drunk, and another was the object of complaints for aggressiveness (reported after the fact). These were firmly dealt with by the organizers.

Party favors: Each sachet contained an Amor-branded paçoca (a type of Brazilian candy), condom, packet of lube, lollipop, and packet of honey.

Party favors: Each sachet contained an Amor-branded paçoca (a type of Brazilian candy), condom, packet of lube, lollipop, and packet of honey.

Orgasms

Yes, and good ones apparently…

Flavia: When I’ve been at swingers parties, I’ve heard women screaming absurdly, as if they were in pornography. But in this party, I heard women having actual orgasms.  That was a pleasure.

Incidentally, concerning the porno-like sex mentioned above: On more than a few occasions I’ve talked with European and American expats (both men and women) living in Brazil who have made similar comments to Flavia’s. The expats griped that Brazilian men expect sex to be all about their cocks, and that Brazilian women expect only to be taken, appreciated, used. Obviously, porn is now a big influence on sexuality everywhere in the world, but as to whether it’s any more influential in Brazil — no one has yet observed a statistically valid sample (that is, thousands) of fucking Brazilians in order to confirm the expats’ observations. I’m not sure why scientists are wasting their time with other things.

Synchronicity

Sofia: On the morning of the party, I was looking for a place to rest, and I found a big bed. And then someone just appeared with orange juice. It was lovely to feel that everyone was caring for everyone, and that made all of the fucking so much more interesting.

Ana Paula: It was cool how in sync people were. People who didn’t know each other became friends while cooking. Everything was very spontaneous; as the organizers we didn’t have to go around saying that this or that was going to happen now.

Women on Opening Up

Heliane: This is a macho culture. Many men think that if a woman is available for sex, he can just go, use her, and leave, and not worry about her feelings. But women want to be respected in the act. The rules — like “no means no” — were there so that women would feel respected. If the man’s intentions weren’t good, the woman could say no, and be confident that things will end there. And if someone were to act outside of the boundaries, he could be expelled not just from the party but from the group. I felt very comfortable in the house; I had gotten to know the people in the pre-party events and so I felt free to do the nude photos there, and to have sexual relations with someone without modesty infringing or a feeling of being judged. (…) And the fact that I would also later meet them in social situations outside of the party was great for making me feel comfortable.

Flavia: Women who before the party had expressed reservations or felt that they might be too shy talked to me after about how freeing it was. Some of the men had felt a bit timid too, but particularly the women. One woman who was particularly nervous told me later that she possibly drank too much, but it did help her to set herself free, and she got with another woman. One of the best things I saw was women doing a four-some and a man wanted to join but they told him no. This was one of our main concerns for the parties; we wanted women to feel empowered to say no.

And the Men?

I asked Flavia about the men at the party. Did they also find the event fun, freeing and pleasurable?

Flavia: Our emphasis is first and foremost on women. If the men don’t feel comfortable they have millions of other spaces where they can go and enjoy their sexual freedom, whereas we don’t have safe spaces for this. We feel that there was great respect for everyone at this event.

While men certainly have it much better than women in terms of sexual freedom in modern cultures, I think I do have to quibble with the bit about there being “millions of other spaces” for them to be freely sexual; men’s kinks, range of sexualities, and even basic sluttiness also tend to be looked down on. To give a simple example, the male cellist for the above-mentioned lesbian orgy didn’t want his name used in this article for a (not unfounded) fear of professional repercussions.

Current cultural norms come down much, much harder on women, but men are far from free to express themselves sexually. That’s why a freer play space that prioritizes women’s comfort, security and pleasure can end up being more comfortable and pleasurable for men too. “If men organize something like this, it’s not certain that women are going to like it,” said Ana Paula. “If women organize it, everyone will love it.” The cellist, for his part, assured me that he had a great time at the party (and not just musically).

Future Parties

SofiaI’ve done all kinds of things. I’ve swum in the ocean, gone scuba diving, but this was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had. I hope there are more parties like this one.

She’s in luck; the three organizers are working on another such event for this spring (possibly to last 2-3 days, possibly a 40-orgasms-for-40-years birthday celebration), and also would like to do some smaller get-togethers, burlesque parties, and fetish events. And they plan to do some women-only events such as: classes in pompoir, tantra, pole dancing, massage, and erotic literature.

The Organizers

The lovely women sent in lovely pictures of themselves too.

Ana Paula Galvão, photo by Roniel Felipe

Ana Paula Galvão, photo by Roniel Felipe

Flavia Amorim, photo by Roniel Felipe

Flavia Amorim, photo by Roniel Felipe

Regiane Moraes

Regiane Moraes

Ana Paula

Ana Paula

Notes   [ + ]

1. I’ve lived in Brazil, the USA, and various European countries; I’ve found none to be “more” sexual, or “more” repressed. They’re each sexual and repressed in their own interesting ways.
2. There is an in-depth explanation of “gostoso” here.