'A 20-person orgy broke out in the theatre room'
"Excuse me, do you mind if we sit next to you?" an attractive man, who looks to be in his late twenties, asks from across the room.
"Sure," I reply.
He proceeds to toss a naked woman down onto the couch beside me and promptly begins having sex with her.
I'm at an intimate adult event. At least, that's what I'm told it's called these days.
"We don't use the term 'sex party' anymore. It has negative connotations," the hostess, a spritely blonde woman in a transparent nightgown and kitten ears, informs us when we arrive.
We're in a dimly-lit penthouse somewhere in Sydney's inner west (I'm not allowed to disclose the location, for the privacy of the guests).
"You'll need to put these on," the hostess announces, gesturing to a mirrored table adorned with masks.
"You don't need to wear them once things get heated up," she adds nonchalantly, as if having just commented on the weather.
Of course, she's talking about the group sex. I've been briefed to expect to see some tonight.
"A 20-person orgy broke out in the theatre room last time. It was quite the sight!" she giggles.
I glance over at my boyfriend, who, for the first time in three years, looks utterly dumbstruck.
Up until this point, I'd have classified myself as a fairly sexually adventurous person - kinky, even - but tonight, I feel truly out of my depth, like an intern on my first day in the newsroom.
Before I have time to grasp the reality of the situation, people begin filing in around me, beelining it to the main living room, where a bar of brimming champagne glasses and assorted cheeses awaits.
Perhaps I'm showing my amateurism here, but my first thought is the potential repercussions of carbonated beverages and dairy products on a room full of people who are about to get naked together. (Farting during sex comes a close second to accidentally calling my teacher "Mum" in high school on my personal humiliation barometer.)
The guests begin to mingle in the floor-to-ceiling glass-encased living area to the steady hum of trap music.
I find myself talking to a couple who are entertained by the fact I write about sex for a living, unironically confessing they're both "boring lawyers".
Everyone is dressed in standard cocktail party attire - laughing, talking, and sipping their drinks. The conversation is surprisingly banal.
I overhear a group of women beside me complaining about the traffic on the way in as the lawyer couple tell me about their recent cruise trip.
If I didn't know better, I'd be forgiven for thinking I was at a suburban dinner party.
"This has been the best thing for our relationship," a woman in a red bodycon dress tells me, as we refill our glasses at the bar.
"We were on the brink of divorce before this. Our sex life died after we had our kids."
I inquire how long she and her husband have been together.
"Twenty years," she tells me.
I tell her that's an achievement by anyone's standards.
"I finally told him this was what I wanted, seven years in. I was so worried about what he'd think of me, but at that point, I had nothing to lose," she divulges, sipping her champagne tentatively.
"I really didn't know what to expect at the beginning of all this, but it's brought us closer and made things a lot more fun," chimes in her husband, sliding an arm around her from behind us.
'IT'S A LITTLE CONFRONTING FOR THE FIRST TIME'
I meet another couple, both attractive and in their mid-thirties, who have a similar story.
"I've always been very sexual. This was all new to him, but he was willing to try it out for me," says the woman, who adds, "I call him Daddy. Everyone does. You can too."
The next hour is surprisingly pedestrian. People go back to the bar to top up their drinks and pick at the slabs of cheese fanned out on the coffee table. I'm starting to wonder if anything is actually going to happen.
"Give it another half-hour. You'll see this room empty out as everyone heads for the bedrooms," the bartender says with a wink.
Apparently, this is her third time working at one of these events. I ask her if she ever gets uncomfortable around all the sex.
"It was a little confronting the first time, I'm not gonna lie," she chuckles.
"But honestly? The crowd here is more quiet and respectful than any pub I've ever served drinks at."
The next 30 minutes feel akin to watching a David Attenborough documentary. My eyes dart back and forth between members of the crowd as I wait with bated breath for the action to begin.
The bartender is right. Soon, the herd thins out. Some leave and return to the party in suspenders and lingerie. Others squirrel away to the bedrooms.
"Well? Are we going to go and check out the action?" my boyfriend asks.
I feel a rush of arousal and anxiety. What's the protocol here, exactly? Do we grab a handful of crackers and head to the theatre room to watch the fornication like it's Netflix on a Saturday night? Am I likely to get bodily fluids in my eye? Should I have worn a raincoat?
I nod silently, and we make our way down the long, dark hallway to the theatre room.
There's a huge couch dotted with scantily-clad couples making out on it, and a few people hanging back in the corners of the room, watching on.
We take a seat, just as a petite woman with long, dark hair unzips her partner's fly, kneels down before him, and begins greedily devouring him, just metres away from us.
Within what feels like seconds, they're both naked and having loud, fervent sex. The couple to the left of them joins in.
After the impromptu foursome ends, we make our way through the penthouse, peering into each of the bedrooms - some occupied by multiple people simultaneously pleasuring one another, others occupied by a couple being watched by others.
It occurs to me we're the only remaining guests at this party with clothes on.
I shoot my boyfriend a knowing smile. He grins back at me. I know exactly what he's thinking …
We make our way to the bedroom, grab our bags and leave.
Then we head home and have hot, amazing sex.
I might not be ready to get naked in front of a room full of people just yet, but that doesn't mean I can't keep practising in the meantime.
This story is part of a video series called 'Nadia Goes', launching on Nadia Bokody's YouTube channel on February 14.