Updated: February 6, 2023
- On any given Friday and Saturday night, 60 or so New Yorkers descend upon NSFW, a members-only sex club in Manhattan.
- Consensual sexual experiences are the club’s hallmark, but some people who attend NSFW’s weekend “play parties” may not even have sex. They may mingle, smoke weed, or sip a cocktail.
- During play parties, members called “nymphs” keep the space clean and make sure everyone feels safe.
- Snacks, drinks, and condoms are provided for party attendees, and each party has live performances and a curated playlist.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more.
On any given Friday and Saturday night, 60 or so New Yorkers descend upon NSFW, a members-only sex club located in lower Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood.
NSFW’s clubhouse doesn’t look like much from the outside, since it’s nestled in an average-looking apartment building and up a long and steep stairwell.
But once through the nondescript apartment door, members see the large studio has been transformed with dim lighting, lounge areas decorated with pillows and string lights, electronic DJ mixes, clouds of marijuana smoke, and warm faces.
At NSFW, which stands for the New Society for Wellness, members pride themselves on being part of an LGBT-friendly sex club that offers a safe space for people to explore self-pleasure regardless of income. Consensual sexual experiences are the club’s hallmark, but some people who attend NSFW’s weekend play parties may not even have sex.
Here’s what it’s like to attend an exclusive play party at NSFW, according to its founder, Daniel Saynt; a member; and Insider’s on-the-ground experience.
People nicknamed ‘nymphs’ keep the party safe and clean
NSFW has 2,000 members, and memberships range from $200 to $2,690 for an annual membership. The more you pay, the more perks you get, including discounted or free tickets to NSFW workshops on topics like improving your relationship or tantra basics.
To become a member, everyone goes through an application process, including an online form, social-media vetting, and sometimes a phone or video interview to ensure they’ll mesh well with the entire group, Saynt previously told Insider.
Saynt said his team always asked prospective members what they could contribute to NSFW. “Some people say, ‘Oh, positive energy,’ and other people, it’s like, ‘I’m a lawyer, so I can help with this.'” Both are great answers, he said.
About 20% of applicants are accepted.
Members are free to attend any NSFW party or workshop and can also be considered for other designations, like “nymph.”
Nymphs, along with a clubhouse manager, play an important role at all NSFW play parties because they stay out of the action and hang out on the outskirts of the clubhouse.
Saynt says for every party, three nymphs walk the floor wearing glow-in-the-dark wristbands to signal their role and to make it easier for members to locate and approach them if they’re feeling unsafe, have a question, or need assistance.
Nymphs also spend time getting other members water to keep them hydrated if they’ve smoked too much weed or had too much to drink, Jen, a 35-year-old member who acts as a nymph and asked to omit her last name for privacy reasons, previously told Insider.
Music and lighting are used as cues throughout the evening
Like any party, play parties at NSFW have a natural cadence.
According to Saynt, parties start between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. depending on the type. Some nights, NSFW hosts parties that start and end on the early end called “Send Noobs,” which are geared toward new members who may have never been to sex parties before.
“The focus is on introductions and teaching people about the behavior that’s expected at NSFW,” Saynt said. Parties for more experienced members start closer to 10 p.m., with the action really picking up at about midnight.
The parties typically kick off with live performances like erotic shows or BDSM demonstrations starring local talents like Marie Sauvage, a shibari or Japanese-style bondage artist, and King Noire, a rapper and adult-film actor. Other nights, members can see top adult-film actors like Christiana Cinn, Abella Danger, or Skye Blue perform.
“The idea is to create an experience, to entice, surprise, and titillate,” Saynt said.
At about midnight, NSFW lights dim to signal it’s playtime.
A floor-to-ceiling velvet curtain is also drawn to split the room and offer semiprivacy to members who want to get busy. The back section of the open-concept clubhouse has California-king-size mattresses pushed together, plush heaps of pillows, and large vintage couches scattered throughout where people can get together.
Members can approach one another and ask for sex, which must be met with enthusiastic consent, meaning all people should say “yes” to the experience and also feel positive about it throughout.
People who aren’t partaking in sex play can spend time on the other side of the velvet curtain smoking marijuana joints or sipping cocktails while chatting with other members.
Then, 30 minutes before closing at 3 a.m., Saynt said, the lights would start to brighter again so people could more easily retrieve any discarded articles of clothing. Music by Frank Sinatra plays for the last 15 minutes of the party too. “We want people to think of us whenever they hear these popular songs” out in the world, Saynt said.
You can smoke weed during the sex party
According to Saynt, decriminalization has made it easier and safer for the club to allow its users to light up during play parties.
Marijuana is decriminalized in New York state, meaning it’s considered a noncriminal violation of the law, rather than a criminal offense, if the police catch a person carrying less than 2 ounces of marijuana.
As a rule, NSFW doesn’t directly sell weed to its members, and since the club is exclusive and relatively private, it’s not “at risk for the same legal issues that a traditional nightclub might deal with,” Saynt said, acknowledging that NSFW once got in trouble with the police for cannabis use.
Amenities include fresh fruit, gummy bears, lube, and condoms
Though the NSFW team doesn’t ask prospective members about their STD statuses during the application process (Saynt said doing so wasn’t allowed both ethically and legally), the club is stocked with complimentary condoms and lube as well as wipes for cleaning up after the fun.
Saynt said NSFW also partnered with the STD-testing app Safe to give members access to low-cost STD tests.
NSFW also keeps the clubhouse stocked with snacks, including Haribo gummies, dark-chocolate bark, and fresh fruit bought in bulk, as well as some cocktails. Saynt said the club also had plenty of soda and water available to members at designated “hydration stations.”
Also, NSFW provides mints that Saynt said were “great for oral sex and helpful if members experiencing dry mouth due to smoking cannabis.”
According to Saynt, it’s taken five years of trial and error to craft the perfect experience.
“Nights at NSFW are like an orchestra with various triggers used to ensure people are comfortable, mingling, and remembering the experience,” Saynt said. “That requires a lot of knowledge that can only come from hosting over 500 sex parties over the past five years and being really, really good at getting strangers to get naked together.”
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