Strictly speaking, group sex involving three participants is called a ménage à trois or threesome and isn't normally classified as an orgy. Surely an over-strict definition? What about "classical" orgies of the dionysian, elusian and other types? Which are of contemporary significance in usages such as "orgiastic". Doesn't "ménage à trois" refer to a type of relationship rather than an activity? (I suppose it could be both.) --Calieber 16:00, Nov 7, 2003 (UTC)
- Nice word choice: "If this kind of orgy is not consensual, it is rape." 220.127.116.11 02:27, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)
"In sex, an orgy is a sexual activity in which four or more participants are present..."? I'd hesitate to define a foursome as an orgy as in swinging a "couple seeks couple" is not uncommon at all. --carlb 05:13, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Just to note, finding out where to put arms and legs, etc. is not a difficulty -- it is part of the fun ;-) --VampWillow 18:52, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)
- The bit about what constitutes an orgy and what is "just group sex" is a bit questionable. Essentially, an orgy is group sex. Exploding Boy 23:37, Jul 5, 2004 (UTC)
- I think that is where I -- and a lot of other people -- would disagree with you. An 'orgy' implies 'group sex', but 'group sex' does not imply 'orgy'. The principle difference is that an orgy will have multiple 'layers' of group sex going on at the same time (ie. couples, pairs, threes, fours, etc., as well as puppy piles of everyone in together) whereas 'group sex' tends to be more staid and restricted. An 'orgy' will also tend to permit the arrival of extra people (should they happen to pass by) whereas 'group sex' would restrict itself to those who started together no matter what else is going on in the local environment. There is some cross-over, but there are clear differences too. --VampWillow 08:26, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)
- Hmmm, I'm suspicious of that definition. It sounds like a regional or personal usage to me. Exploding Boy 08:33, Jul 6, 2004 (UTC)
- Well certainly common (in sense of 'standard use') in the relevant UK communities and West Coast USA (from conversations with a range of people there). --VampWillow 08:44, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)
The word "orgies" appears in Huckleberry Finn as a huckster's incorrect substitution for "obsequies".  It still doesn't seem relevant to the article. --some other anonymous person, about 06:02, 21 Sept 2004 (UTC)
- I don't know about Tom Sawyer but I added the bit about Peter Pan. I'm sure it means the drunken revelry sense, and I don't doubt it. Exploding Boy 03:17, Jul 25, 2004 (UTC)
- I trust it's in Peter Pan, and I'm sure it means drunken, but I don't see it in the text to Tom Sawyer which I linked to from the Gutenberg project. Unless there was an error in their transfer and someone can cite the line it's from, this particular reference should be removed from the article.--Deglr6328 19:47, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)
This article, despite the difficulties inherent in "defining" and "explaining" such a personally varied topic, is poorly written, repetitive, and if not actually contradictory, then certainly vague and opaque. Not befitting an encyclopaedia -- P Lawton 01:15, 29 Mar 05 (BST)
Don't normally just post "agreements" but think this one deserves it. I had to re-read this article a few times in order to get an understanding of what is trying to be said. -- Danielormsby 02:54, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
- Moved some things around. Think it helps out a bit. Some one with the inclination to do a bit more serious editing would be appreciated. --Danielormsby 03:56, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
In the sex industry, an orgy is a free-for-all, while a sex party is usually along more organised lines, with defined rules.
Is it within wikipedia policy if I were to upload and add a picture of a real orgy to this article? Or maybe obtain permission from a website such as drunksexorgy.com, where they have some nice examples of orgy pictures? --Rebroad 23:04, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
- IMHO it's not necessary. A painting/historical illustration may be useful though. -- Eagleamn 05:51, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
More about the Picture
The current illustration, "from an 18th century french woodcut," should have a source. The picture is salacious, but ultimately ridiculous. This is not a realistic depiction of an orgy. It looks deliberately pornographic and wildly imaginative. It should go. It might be difficult to find an authentic illustration of a "real world" orgy. It's easy to find "orgy" pictures on the internet, but almost all of them represent commercial pornography and are therefore misleading. 18.104.22.168 01:44, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
- Umm... why does it need a source?— It's an 18th century woodcut. "Salacious", "pornographic", and "wildly imaginative" are qualities that you're going to find in any image of an orgy... that's kind of what an orgy is.
- If the vast majority of orgy images on the internet share these qualities that you feel are not present in "real world" orgies (i.e. pronographic, sexually arousing, and deviating from normal sex acts), then maybe what you feel is present in real world orgies is misguided.When people like to fuck they call it orgies. I can't for the life of me understand why nearly every image of an orgy misrepresents the concept; a lot of online images are amateur and home-made. I think that the image is a fine one to have in the article; we could also, however, add an additional one that you find to be more "accurate" (if you can find one). --Berserk798 23:59, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
I removed the picture
I don't want to be rude, but I cut the picture, for the reasons I posted yesterday under the heading "More about the Picture". No one has defended the picture since then.
If someone feels that the picture should be restored, let's not have an edit war. Get in touch with me. I'll be reasonable. Maybe we can agree on a more suitable illustration or even work together to find one that doesn't have copyright problems.
I welcome comments about the paragraph I added yesterday, regarding typical human characteristics that limit participation in orgies, including jealousy.
Cheers, Tim Bigvalleytim 19:38, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
- It would be nice if a little more time was given to address what you put on the talkpage :). I think we should discuss the suitability of the image you removed, because I really don't feel that it is unsuitable. There are no copyright problems on the one you removed, by the way (it's from the 18th century). I also feel that your added paragraph needs references; where is the information coming from? I disagree with the statements made regarding gender and I think it should be rewritten to avoid weasel phrases like "most people". --Berserk798 00:05, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Hi Berserk. I'm new. I'm willing to do things the right way, but still figuring out how. I don't even know how to format this reply. I'm all in favor of references, and this article certainly needs many more citations. I'm in the process of looking for them and learning how to place them in wikipedia articles. I know of some citations to support the paragraph I wrote, but don't know how to place the citations in proper format in the wikipedia yet. Most of the best cross-cultural research on male vs female mate choice, sexual arousal patterns and jealousy has been published by David Buss, a reputable but controversial scientist and university professor. I could cite one or two of his books. He cites thousands of published studies in his books, but that's too many to cite in a wikipedia article, so I'm not sure how to proceed. What do you advise?
"weasel phrases" like "most people" are undesirable, I agree, but possibly preferable to creating misleading impressions created by describing uncommon phenomena as if they are common. I think group sex and polyamory advocates might have had too mucn influence on this page so far.
I'm not sure whether it's desirable to cite information not available on the internet -- like citing a published book. If you think the picture should return, feel free to put it back pending further discussion.
Please feel free to let me know how to go about this properly. I have tried to read the instructions, but it's kind of overwhelming at first.Bigvalleytim 00:22, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
- When placing citations, you should just place an external link to the website that is being cited next to the statement made in the article. Citing Buss's books is a good idea, but I think it's best to use those only as a supplement to online sources; that way people reading the article can more readily see your sources.
- Group sex advocates may possibly have too much influence on the article, but let's not swing things in the opposite direction — we want things to be balanced. Weasel phrases are only acceptable if there's a good citation and solid facts to back up the statement; anything else is basically opinion.
- I understand that you're new, don't worry about it; it's easy to learn quickly. I'll help you through anything if you have questions; just ask me on my talk page. --Berserk798 16:32, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
I would really like to see a citation on the first sentence: "Th official definition of an orgy is a group of two or more people that are not wearing shoes." I am almost completely positive that this is untrue (by the way, "The" has an "e" on the end of it), as neither Merriam-Webster or www.dictionary.com make any mention of this definition. I will check back in a few days, but if no one objects, I'm going to delete it. --jermor 3:57, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
That's hilarious! Saccerzd 21:42, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
Let's try to do better
This topic is inherently titillating, and I don't have a problem with that. Titillating topics certainly have their place in the Wikipedia. But it is also of sociological, anthropological and psychological interest. For that reason, it should be objective and have some kind of empirical basis.
The authors so far have pointed out that orgies -- heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual -- are not unknown in contemporary culture, and are not unkonwn historically. These practices have been defended from conventional moral disapproval. Well and good...
However, a martian who read this article might conclude that large numbers of ordinary modern people participate in orgies, as did many ordinary people in previous eras. This is doubtful. What percentage of contemporary American heterosexuals have ever participated in even one sex party of some kind? What about gay men and lesbians? The number is above zero, but not very large. How many have done it repeatedly, or have made it an ongoing way of life? That number is very small. (I'd suppose these numbers are larger for gay men. I'm not sure about lesbians. I'd suspect this sort of thing is not terribly popular among lesbians, internet pornography to the contrary.)
There are other important questions about orgies that should be asked and answered. Historical accounts of sexual recreation among royalty and elite aristocrats are interesting, but what about these activities among more ordinary people? How frequent were they, what was their rationale, if any, how accurate are the historical accounts?
Historically documented orgies are probably a diverse lot. How many were mutually consensual, without payment or compensation for any of the participants? How many constituted some form of prostitution or organized rape? Even if these events did not clearly represent prostitution or rape, were incentives offered to participants who otherwise would have been reluctant to participate? (Generally speaking, women have been selective about mate choice, at all times in history, and in all cultures.) When orgies related to religious beliefs, e.g., Saturnalia, occurred, in ancient times, what really happened? Did people really copulate indiscriminately? That seems unlikely, but I don't really know. The usual social rules for private copulation and choice of partner might have been set aside temporarily, on these occasions, but it's likely that other temporary rules or traditions took their place for the occasion. Is it more likely that the males got drunk and raped the females, in many of these cases. Is it possible that these occasions produced an aftermath of jealous or vengeful violence?
What do relatively modern and objective anthropologists report about various group sexual activities in other cultures? That discussion should include contemporary doubts about the reports of Margaret Mead regarding Samoa, for example, and the possibility that other notable anthropologists have been misled by their informants.
What historical reports of orgies might represent deliberate slanders, possibly political slanders, written by enemies or unsympathetic historians?
Is it possible that the most sensational historical accounts of orgies cannot be supported by multiple independent and reliable accounts? Is it possible that, in many cases, we will never really know much about historically distant orgies, with much confidence? Bigvalleytim 20:16, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Women and non-conventional sex
Does anyone have actual evidence to back up the sentence "Women are typically averse to impersonal sex, multiple sexual partners, and sexual variety for its own sake, whereas men are more likely to be attracted to these sexual possibilities"? There are plenty of women who are not "averse" to these forms of sex, but it seems fairly common for the general public to think that they are, perhaps due to societal restrictions that have been placed on them, and the stigmatizations that those who do engange in non-vanilla sex are subjected to. At any rate, I find this sentence, and the ones that follow, to be POV and I recommend their modification. At the very least, let's see some citations, which this article seems to be lacking in several instances. romarin [talk ] 03:20, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
- I assume you mean group sex, not the Circle Jerks album Group Sex. At any rate you appear to have merged all the info over there anyway, why not just change this to a redirect?--Cúchullain t/c 08:52, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
the article is just about the term now. I suggest we make it a disambiguation page between mystery religion, group sex and maybe over-consumption or gluttony. The bit on Greek religion may easily be incorporated into mystery religion. dab (𒁳) 12:29, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
- Oppose merge as this page is useful to describe the original (and not [inherently, entirely] sexual) meaning of the term. Robert K S 13:55, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
Greek orgion, orgia
Despite the disclaimer at the top that the article is about the Greek religious practice, the first paragraph is about sex orgies. I'm moving the Greek material to a new article called Orgia. Because of the connotations "orgy" has acquired, orgion and the plural orgia seem to be used more by scholars now than was the case before the word became synonymous with "debauchery." Cynwolfe (talk) 14:40, 18 May 2010 (UTC)