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April 1, 2019 | by  | in Features | [ssba]

Going Deep

I grab my half-full glass of Prosecco and take a lustful sip. The smell of chamomile tea and marijuana wafts in from the kitchen. There are three bowls in my peripheral vision:


The first bowl: small, filled with green and black pitted olives.

Sitting beside it, a medium sized bowl, overflowing with tight, red, homegrown grapes.

At the far side of the room, a fishbowl with a variety of colourful condoms and lube.

This isn’t your regular ‘first year, everyone be safe’ condom bowl. This is an industrial-sized ‘we bout to do some lovin’ condom bowl.


It sits on a wooden table next to the first bedroom. Reminds me something of a lolly jar.


But these are no lollies. This is no place for children.

This is a sex party, and people have come here to fuck.


It all began three weeks prior, after a mate told me that the Botanic Gardens were ‘dodgy’ after dark. My curiosity was sparked, and he proceeded to explain to me what ‘dogging’ was.


Dogging is where people meet up in their cars and watch each other have sex. Some join in, some just watch. To give it a bit of spice, it’s only considered dogging if it’s in a public place. Popular Wellington spots include outside the SPCA, the Botanical Gardens, and several car parks. It’s like regular sex, but with a really engaging audience in a place you won’t see in the same way once the sun rises.


Several sex forums and subreddits are dedicated to this activity, which made me even more interested. People dedicated time and anonymous profiles to this.
Why didn’t I know about dogging before? Were there other secret ‘sex activities’ around Wellington?
Is ‘dogging’ outside of the SPCA a hilarious coincidence, or a well-thought-out pun?


A few coffees and phone calls later, I had managed to learn plenty about the underground sex scene of Wellington. I quickly found out that dogging, though popular , was sort ofamateur compared to other sex gatherings. Alex, a professional entertainer, told me to look into the streets of Wellington. “Sex is everywhere. At 1 a.m. on Courtenay Place there is much happening and Vivian St looks dead. Where do you think people are having sex?”


She was right. I never realised, but dogging was only the tip of the iceberg. If the dogging community was easy to get into, I wanted to find out about the places I couldn’t get into. The places where people’s sexual fantasies were not just a laughable dream. The underground sex scene of Wellington.


Two weeks later, I received a call from a lady named Gracie.

“Tickets are $xx and you’ll need to provide a document proving you’re clean.”

“Uhh, who’s this—Can I just talk to you in a second?” My heartrate goes through the roof as I scramble to find out why I need to get checked and what tickets I was paying for. Gracie explains she got my contact number off XYZ and heard I wanted to know more about the scene.


Gracie has been organising sex parties for the last two years. Professional parties. She takes no shit and has a phone voice that brings me back to hours on hold with StudyLink.

I tell her about the story I’m writing, and she’s intrigued. She allows me in as a non-participant for a small fee and gives me the address. “See you next Sunday.”

There are moments in my life where I feel like I need to cut the wire. Moments where I feel I’ve gone too far into a joke and need to start backpedalling at the speed of light. Maybe I should stop before something goes wrong? I didn’t know what—or who—to expect. The only knowledge I had going into this was that there was a sex party occurring, I was STI clean, I had an invite and it was nowhere near the SPCA. Should I turn back?


Nah, fuck that. Let’s do this.


I roll up to this three-story house overlooking Wellington. It’s easily a million dollar house.

Gracie opens the door and greets me with a warm hug and a welcoming smile. She informs me that my phone and notebook will have to stay at the door. From this point on, I’ll be without any recording equipment. I’ll have to really dive into the experience.


The house was a work of art. It looked like your rich friend’s nan’s house, if nan was nasty.


I’m greeted by two couples and nine singles. There are four bedrooms, all with king beds and headboard lights.
The doors are labelled: Swingers. Toys. No Dicks. Gay.


The swingers room had a couch in it, but no swing. Disappointing to my childish psyche.


I return to thirteen people in a circle, sharing intimate thoughts with each other on couches, bean bags, and on the floor. Blue and red stickers were passed around: blue for gentle sex and red for rough sex. A man, older than me by at least a decade, passed them to me, “Red or blue for you?”

“Sorry, I’m not participating,” I chuckled as he smiled and passed them to Gracie.


People  began to exchange stories as I helped myself to the gratuitous cheese board.
Soft signals. Safe words. Things people wanted to try, and advice on those things. This was an open space for sharing your sexual fantasies and mistakes. Couples shared their ideal threesomes just before Gracie went over the rules.

There is to be no alcohol in any of the rooms. Consensual sex is good sex. Shower before you enter your first room, and have fun.
“Be overcome by alcohol and you won’t come again.”

It was then that I realised: this wasn’t what I expected. This wasn’t the wild orgy as portrayed in TV shows such as True Blood or True Detective, with limited rules and no communication. This was an open space for adults to be free in their sexual nature. A safe space where they could be with open-minded people and totally disconnect from their day jobs. There was no binge drinking or pill-popping. The amount of condoms and lube perfectly defined what was about to happen. This was good, clean fun.


At 8:30 I get a nod from Gracie signalling this is the point I should leave. She had risked her reputation as a sex party organiser having me there, but it didn’t seem to bother her. On my way out, I can only imagine what would happen in this house after the door shuts. I pick up my backpack and phone, and walk out the front door.


Looking back as I cross the road, the house blends into the others on the street.


It’s just another house in Wellington.



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