I Spent A Night At The World's Most Exclusive Sex Party

It was an evening of luxury, art, and unforgettable erotic experiences.

Two people at a sex party like SNTCM's.
Ibai Acevedo/Stocksy

“I love women, sex, and power,” a woman whispers to me as her fingers graze my mouth. She sits between her newfound lover’s legs, straddling a bench in the middle of a bathroom as he lustfully pulls on her maroon and black lingerie set. I tell her I’m a sex writer. With deep enthusiasm, she takes his hands and places them on her inner thighs, then inside her lace bottoms.

“You see,” she places her fingers in my mouth, “I have all the power here. Make sure to write that down.”

A few weeks ago, I was invited to attend a black-tie sex party hosted by SNCTM (pronounced “sanctum”), a members-only club with chapters in Los Angeles, New York City, Miami, and beyond that has been coined the world’s most exclusive erotic party. Men are required to wear tuxedos with bow ties, and women can choose to wear lingerie, a cocktail dress or both. Above all, the club emphasizes safety for guests by creating clear consent rules in the application process and vetting every guest. Per a SNCTM rep, they screen for “respectful, discreet” people interested in “celebrating and elevating the erotic experience” in a judgment-free atmosphere. Condoms are readily available at every party. Memberships for men run from $12,500 to $50,000 per year; selected women applicants are welcomed at no cost; non-binary people’s costs vary.

Having heard rave reviews from other sex writers I know, I jumped at the opportunity to experience it for myself. My partner and I are decidedly in an ethically non-monogamous relationship and wanted to explore how attending could feel. It seemed like the high-end and exclusive nature of SNCTM would be appealing and offer a chance to meet like-minded people and experience new forms of art.

Standing next to my bow-tie-clad partner in an almost floor-length black silk gown and sparkly heels, we crowd eagerly into the elevator to head to the party in a penthouse overlooking Los Angeles. I look around, taking in the other guests packed in with us, including a brunette who I make eye contact with. The penthouse is lit with deep red lights and boasts floor-to-ceiling windows. Inside, topless SNCTM performers move seductively. There’s a naked woman being tied down to a circular couch using shibari — a Japanese form of bondage — and men in masquerade masks pass out Champagne. Another man collects every guest’s phone so they can’t take photos or videos. It feels like walking onto the set of Eyes Wide Shut — which according to Robert Artés, the managing director at SNCTM — has always been the inspiration.


With a full Champagne flute in hand, I take in the massive space. We’re among the first to arrive, and as Robert had shared with me beforehand, the first half of the party is often just that: a party. It’s meant to start with a cocktail hour and “high-sensual art” — performances that feature eroticism in a tasteful way. As more guests wearing dresses and tuxedos trickle in, upbeat music fills the room. There’s a buzzing feeling in my body: a nervousness that feels exhilarating and fun. My partner and I notice that without our phones, we’re forced to explore our excited feelings about the unfamiliar space, make conversation with each other that feels a lot like first-date jitters, and eventually, approach others.

I see the brunette from the elevator. She’s wearing a sheer black lace bodysuit and carrying a white rose in her hand, and I smile at her. I ask her about the rose and she hands it to me. “It’s yours now,” she says, smiling. “Have you checked out the rooms yet?” We haven’t. I feel that nervous buzz again. She’s a member of the club and attends events regularly; she invites us to join her. Down a long hallway, there are three rooms containing a black latex bed slick with oil, another bed with deep red sheets, bowls of condoms, dildos, bondage rope, a bottle of lube, and a claw-foot tub filled with bubbles.

Soon after, we meet another couple who attends these soirées regularly. “I hope this isn’t too forward,” the man says to my partner, “but if she likes being flogged, there is an excellent performer here who specializes in that.” It’s strange how normal that sentence feels here.

As the night goes on, I notice fewer dresses and more stunning lingerie. I still have my gown on. Suddenly, the music stops and a woman begins to belt opera in the corner. As she does so, a nude blonde floats into the room carrying a vibrating sex saddle. She mounts it and grinds against the seat. Her moans are audible even against the singer’s voice. Finally, the singer goes quiet and the room cheers as the blonde’s moans get louder. It doesn’t feel fake or performative, but rather, a symbol of a woman owning her power. It’s exhilarating.

Alexey Kuzma/Stocksy

Shortly after, I lead my partner back to the rooms. We look in the first, but it was empty, so we go to the second. The shibari rope artist ties a naked guest to the black latex bed with a vibrator strapped to her vulva. Guests pile in to watch. “Well,” the shibari rope artist says, “Is someone going to f*ck her? She’s begging to be f*cked.” It felt voyeuristic, all of us standing watching her lie there.

The woman in bed stares at me before reaching in my direction. Much to the surprise of my partner, and myself, I hand him my drink. My nerves dissipate. “Go Hayley!” another woman cheers. I get on top of the woman in bed, touching her lightly, then with more intention. I ask for her consent and she assents before I wrap my fingers around her neck. I slide my hand to the vibrator and then past it. She begs and I oblige. “You’re my dream,” she whispers. Afterward, I feel powerful, accepted, held, and free. I kiss my partner before we venture back into the party’s throng.

The night is still young. There are many more performances — such as a nude pointe ballet performance that resembles Black Swan and ends in woman-on-woman cunnilingus — and even the flogging expert we were told about earlier. I meet more guests and even engage with a few.

Every room is filled with a swarm of people in all variations: bodies on top of each other, 10 people in one bed at a time, people having sex on floors, guests being tied to door handles, couples looking to spice up their marriage, and even voyeurs having their own place. The rooms smell like sex, expensive perfume, and pure pleasure. Instead of judgment for others or myself, I notice myself valuing the transparency and honesty of guests who give into pure sexual energy. “You’re a natural here,” one member tells me. I certainly feel like it. I get a warm feeling inside, one of sexual liberation and acceptance.

That’s when I meet the woman straddling a bench in the bathroom. “Hey, you,” she points at me, “Why is your dress still on?” I smile at the question and immediately take it off. My lingerie — a black velvet balconette bra, a garter belt, and black velvet panties — wants to be seen. I notice that I want to be seen, too. Looking very serious, she grabs my face with both hands, and, in one sentence, makes me understand perhaps what this night is about: “Don’t ever forget your power.”