Group sex is sexual behaviour involving more than two participants at the same time. The main focus of this page is group sex among humans; however, group sex also exists with other species in the animal kingdom - e.g., bighorn sheep and bonobos.
Any and all sexual behaviour performed by two people can be a part of group sex, as well as a number of behaviors only possible with more than two people. Group sex involving one participant being penetrated by multiple people is sometimes termed a gang bang. In modern parlance an orgy may also refer to an event involving group sex.
The difference between an orgy and a 3(+)-way (i.e. 4-way, 5-way, 6-way, etc) is that in a 3(+)-way there is one specific occurrence of sexual activity, that may be added onto but not split off into separate entities. In which there are 2 or more specific focal points of sex the 3(+)-sum becomes an orgy.
Group sex can occur amongst people of all sexual orientations and genders.
Group sex may involve three or more people of any gender or sexual orientation. The events themselves may be characterized by sex; for example, a straight group sex session would involve only heterosexual sex. Some venues for group sex may be intended for a particular group or groups of people. Different types of group sex may or may not involve switching partners. Some sex clubs, for example, require entrants to come in pairs and do not typically involve actual physical contact between people in different pairs. Group sex may involve a specific set of sexual activities; for example, some involve BDSM, while "vanilla" group sex does not.
In many cultures, public intercourse is considered taboo and is illegal (see indecent exposure); many groups also frown upon sex that is not monogamous. Group sex often takes place in private or clandestine locations, including homes, hotel rooms, unpopulated areas, or private clubs. Sex clubs are often open to members only, while less formal locations (truck stops, wooded areas) may be semi-secret. Group sex also sometimes takes place in nightclubs, bathhouses, massage parlors, or bars, although such places (particularly those frequented by sexual minorities such as gays or lesbians in countries intolerant of homosexuality) are sometimes subject to legal repercussions. Group sex may be a part of other social activities such as parties, although some venues such as gay bathhouses tend to eschew talking.
The possibility for awkwardness among friends, significant others, or strangers at group sex is often cited as a problem with them, particularly in relatively spontaneous incidents of group sex such as drunken group sex among friends. Among heterosexuals, the relative availability of men and women is also a concern for participants, as social stigma or other factors structures the extent to which many men or women feel comfortable being promiscuous.
In spite of (or due to) the stigma against group sex, participation in group sex is a common fantasy, although regular participation in group sex remains uncommon in most cultures.
Consent can also be an issue for participants of group sex, because individual participants may not want to perform certain acts (for example they may only want non-penetrative sex) and it can be difficult to establish clearly defined boundaries before group sex begins. Most organized forms of group sex impose restrictions or use customs to ensure that all sex involved is consensual; for example, some groups have specific non-verbal cues (eye contact, hand gestures) used to communicate consent or lack thereof. Furthermore, alcohol and other drugs may be seen as risk factors for unwanted sexual contact during group sex. While the term “orgy” is used to refer to consensual group sex, it (and other terms such as "gangbang" or "pulling a train") can also be used to refer to sexual assault committed by a group.
A system of initialisms has evolved to describe the variety of group sex arrangements. These codes can appear in erotic literature and film descriptions, member profiles in online communities, and personal ads. These codes consist of arrangements of the letters M (for male) and F (for female). Adjacent letters explicitly signify sexual contact between the participants represented by those letters, though this does not necessarily mean there is no contact between the other participants. For example, MMF would signify a ménage à trois of two men and one woman in which the center male has sexual contact with the other male and the female, and in which it is not specified whether there is contact between the female and the other male. MFMF (situation pictured in photo to left), on the other hand, implies no same-sex contact.
Self-evidently, in a closed daisy chain there must be an even number of participants with an equal division by sex for the chain to be entirely heterosexual. An odd number of participants would result in one person having to connect "both ways" to complete the chain.
Bukkake is a group sex practice where multiple men ejaculate onto the face of a female subject. At the end of the process, the subject may drink the semen, called gokkun. Its first filming is credited to adult filmmaker Kazuhiko Matsumoto in 1998. Bukkake originally became a pornography trend because of the mandatory porn mosaic in Japan. Since the directors could not show penetration they had to figure out new, visually appealing ways to approach sex acts that would satisfy the audience without violating Japanese law.