It's normal to feel both exhilarated and nervous at your first swingers' party or orgy. Group sex shatters a lot of our norms and expectations around sex, so it's easy to get lost in thoughts of "how is it going to go?"

To make your experience more fun and less worrisome, I've compiled a few basic etiquette rules surrounding group sex that you should know. If you're aware of these in advance, you will spend less time having to learn them "in the field" and more time actually (maybe) having fun sex.

Read: Everything You Need to Know About Your First BDSM Play Party

Rule 1: Review Your Consent Attitudes

Consent seems like a straightforward thing ("Would you like to do this?"), but it can sometimes be complicated, what with all the non-verbal signs and the fact that you are, well, in a group.

Yet, being in an openly sexual space doesn't mean you can do whatever with whomever. Always make sure to ask for permission for anything (even a simple hug or hand holding) when in any doubt. Keep consent on your mind at all times!

Rule 2: Arrive on Time

Unless otherwise specified, it's good to arrive on time to the party. Sometimes, the hosts have organized foreplay activities like ice-breaking games or pornography screenings. Be respectful of their efforts and show up on time.

Rule 3: Be Clean and Well-Groomed

Take a shower before the party, choose your best clothing (and underclothing) and groom any body parts you like. Remember that there's no law that you need to be shaved anywhere; do whatever you are comfortable with when it comes to body hair.

Read: In Defense of Pubic Hair

Rule 4: Safety First

Keep your safety and that of your partners in mind. Use condoms, always, as well as other prophylactics like dental dams (for oral sex) and gloves (for digital penetration). Ideally, the host will have provided all of these, but bringing your own is good manners (and also better if you have a favorite brand or size.)

Read: Be a Safer Sex Superhero In 6 Steps

Rule 5: Don't Bring Uninvited Guests

Don't show up with an unexpected +1 at the party. A lot of these events are closely vetted, and bringing an outsider can cause trouble. If you want to bring a date, make sure to clear it with the host first. They may want to vet the person themselves. If you do bring a guest, remember that you're responsible for your guest's behavior!

Rule 6: Be Open-Minded

A group sex party isn't the time or place to bring up your judgments and insecurities about sex. We all have them, of course, but judging others is never OK. Just do whatever you feel comfortable with, and don't censor or tell others what they should and shouldn't do.

Keep your mind open. Maybe you'll find something new to try - and enjoy it too!

Rule 7: Get to Know People

Don't expect that you'll walk in and an attractive person will just grab your hand and lead you to sex. People like to have sex with people they know and have built some intimacy with. Sure, it's not like you have to take them on a few dates, but it's nice to sit down and chat a little. It shows that you care about the person, not just their genitals.

Rule 8: Don't Film or Take Photos

It is the height of rudeness to take pictures or film any action without the express consent of everyone who's in the photo or video. Although it's possible to get consent, I strongly recommend against even trying. In many kink parties, even the general use of a cell phone is prohibited from anywhere that has a view of the play floor. This is an essential rule to protect the privacy of every participant. Some people could face risks to their livelihood or family life if their participation were to be known, so respect that need and keep that phone in your car or in a place where you won't be tempted to reach for it. If you really need to use your phone, put your clothes back on and step outside. It's only good manners.

Rule 9: Have Fun!

Of course, party hosts can have their own rules that may or may not differ from these. Make sure you are aware of them before the party, or as you walk in. These are basic group sex courtesies that will never steer you wrong!

The most important rule of all, of course, is to have fun. If you find that the party isn't for you, it's better to walk away than ruin the mood for everyone.