You’re Shy and You’re at a Play Party, What Do You Do?

by Reid on December 4, 2019

You’re Shy and You’re at a Play Party, What Do You Do?




Reid: You’re shy and you’re at a play party. What do you do? This is Cathy Vartuli from


Cathy: I am and this is Reid Mihalko from


Reid: And for those of you who are just joining us, play party is what the what the kids are calling a newfangled orgy these orgy these days, so you’re at an orgy you happen to be shy, how do you navigate that Cathy Vartuli? Go!


Cathy: I typically do this very similar things whether I’m at a play party or regular party, I mean I do leave my clothes on a regular party usually.


Reid: Well, but yes.


Cathy: Yeah


Reid: That’s another video, entirely.


Cathy: But just being honest with people, I like the play parties when people go around in the circle just kind of tell their name and a little bit about themselves or I love how you how people share their mildest and wildest and we should do a video on that.


Reid: Maybe.


Cathy: Maybe, so watch here for another video of that. Hopefully, I’ll talk him into it, but I like.

Reid: [Inaudible 00:01:02]


Cathy: I like to share that I’m shy and I love it if there are shy bracelets that you can wear, it’s sometimes hard for me to put it on like if even I’m especially if I’m helping organizing something but I am literally shy and I’m not going to want to go up to someone and say hey baby, you want to get down? Like I need to talk, okay so.


Reid: Generally that’s not what you say anyway but that you could you could like, hey, can I use a really bad pick up like on you, like hey baby you want to get down?


Cathy: I was using it as an..


Reid: No, that’s good. That’s good.


Cathy: Okay but I will share that I’m really shy and then I feel awkward asking people to be sexual with me.


Reid: And you’ll share that in the welcome circle?


Cathy: Yes.


Reid: And what’s a welcome circle?


Cathy: A welcome circle’s where everybody goes around and they say their name and maybe just a short sentence about why they are there or what you know something about themselves and I really like when people do that because our brains, especially if the organizers welcomes each person, our brain calms down, it gives us time to see everybody and identify them, we know they’re all supposed to be there. It just it helps everybody feel part of the community which I really love.


Reid: And not all play parties have welcome circles but as a nerd who has thrown hundreds and hundreds of play parties, when you can have a group check in,


Cathy: Yeah.


Reid: That goes a long way to like have people feel seen for those of you who are like man, that’s a lot of talking, don’t worry there’s often a lot of fucking.


Cathy: I think there’s actually sometimes more when everybody knows everybody coz there’s a safe, a feeling of safety.


Reid: It’s ice-breaking and how you create connectedness and actually we’ve community how you build community and getting people to talk even when sex is on the table like having a check-in people just don’t lose their minds and they’re just like pacing around and patiently waiting for the sex to happen.


Cathy: Yeah.


Reid: There’s a lot of nuance geeky things about having a welcome circle when you have that kind of design for a play party. There are many many many different kinds of designs and the ways you can do it I just think it, for most people that kind of container works really well.


Cathy: Yeah. I like that a lot. The other thing is I’m an act of service person so if I go there with the intention of being of service for other people it helps me get out of my shyness so if I know the organizer or I know someone that knows someone sometimes have reach out and say hey can I help with anything or I get there, I try to get there right on time or a little you know with usually there are some places, they close the door so I try to be there before that but I offer to help and then I also offer to help clean up or during the event because it helps me feel grounded that’s something that works for me, not everybody is that way but I also look for three people what are my goals at any party I go to I find three people that seem shy and awkward and sit down and talk with them for a few minutes.


Reid: So you’re proactively helping your fellow shy people?


Cathy: And it makes me feel empowered and it helps me build connection.


Reid: And you’re releasing a bunch of endorphins and..


Cathy: Yeah.


Reid: And things in your brain because you’re being you’re taking action. That’s good. Yeah, I like that.


Cathy: And because I’m reaching out to help somebody I, I it helps me get past my shyness and once I start talking to someone else, half the time someone else comes over and they’re like have you met my partner and we end up having a conversation.


Reid: Nice, you’re breaking the ice for yourself.


Cathy: Yes.


Reid: Well done everybody! Well done! That’s good.


Cathy: And the other thing that I like to do and you did this at a play party in at Poly Palooza, you encouraged everyone in the room to try to get 5 No’s, to ask for 5 things they were certainly weren’t going to get but that they really like to have and I was I was 3 of my 5 got yeses and I was like and you were really clear ask for what you want so I was asking for what I wanted but I was like really and it was fun so just try that, like try to be respectful people but just go around and ask for some things that you’d really like to do and just be okay like practice receiving the no and like oh thank you so much and if they say yes practice saying, wow okay, where would you like to do that?


Reid: And you can even go up to people and be like, I would like to practice asking for things and getting a no, I’m trying to get five no’s tonight however if what I asked for, you’re a yes to, I encourage you to say yes because I get my no’s someplace else.


Cathy: Yeah.


Reid: And all of a sudden you created a game especially for people who also kind of like shy or nervous about being at a play party. You’re coming in being playful with them and role modeling really good play party etiquette and being adventurous and that when you make going to play party not about getting laid but about having fun and being bold in a way that maybe was impossible to imagine when you were in 7th grade and then they’re pretty cool.


Cathy: Yeah.


Reid: And your mileage may vary.


Cathy: We’d love to know what you think if you’re shy and you’re at play parties or regular parties, what techniques do you use to get out there and meet people and feel more comfortable?


Reid: Leave the comment below.

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