- For the religious rites of ancient Greece, see Orgia. For the American synth rock band, see Orgy (band)
In modern usage, an orgy is a sex party where guests engage in promiscuous or multifarious sexual activity or group sex. An orgy is similar to debauchery, which refers to excessive indulgence in sensual pleasures.
An orgy differs from some swinger's parties by the fact that couples at many swingers party engage in twosome and otherwise conventional sexual activities, though not with their permanent sexual partner. An orgy is actually like other kinds of swingers parties in that couples at some swingers party engage in sex with various other partners as well as just swapping partners.
The term is also used in expressions to indicate excessive or indiscriminate, such as an "orgy of colour" or an "orgy of destruction".
Ancient Greek and Roman orgia
In ancient Greek religion, orgia (ὄργια, sing. ὄργιον, orgion) were secret nighttime cultic congregations of the Greek mystery religions, overseen by an orgiophant (a teacher or revealer of secret rites) popularly thought to involve sex, which were celebrated with dancing, drunkenness, singing, etc. They were practiced in the worship of Demeter at Eleusis (mentioned in the Homeric Hymn) or in the worship of Dionysus (Herodotus 2.81), the Cabeiri, Demeter Achaia (Herodotus 2.51, 5.61), Orpheus, Eumolpus, or Cybele.
The ancient Romans adopted the Greek orgia practices for the Bacchanalia festivals, which were wild and mystic festivals of the Greco-Roman god Bacchus (or Dionysus), the wine god. At first the secret rites were restricted to women, but eventually men were also permitted.
In popular culture
The 1956 movie The Ten Commandments has the golden calf scene in which the Israelites are shown having an orgy, but not an explicit one, showing drinking, music and adult acts. This is based on the reference to the golden calf in the Bible in Exodus 32:6.
The films Caligula (1979) and Perfume (2006) have a number of orgy scenes, and orgies have been depicted in numerous works of art.
In the 1966 musical-comedy film A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, a Roman general calls for a "sit-down orgy" for his troops while he waits for his virgin bride to be delivered.
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- Alexander, Timothy Jay (2007). Hellenismos Today ISBN 978-1-4303-1427-1
- Alexander, Timothy Jay (2007). A Beginner's Guide to Hellenismos ISBN 978-1-4303-2456-0
- Burnet, John (2005). Early Greek Philosophy ISBN 402197535
- Dillon, Matthew (2002). Girls and Women in Classical Greek Religion ISBN 0415202728
- Maffesoli, Michel (1993). The shadow of Dionysus: a contribution to the sociology of the orgy ISBN 9780791412398
- Persson, Martin (1970). The Minoan-Mycenaean Religion and Its Survival in Greek Religion ISBN 0819602736
- Wilson, Nigel Guy Wilson (2005.) Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece ISBN 0415973341
- World Record: Largest Orgy
Human sexuality and sexology Sexual relationship phenomena Sexual dynamics
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