The other morning I ran across an on-line article at the Observer.com website for 13 October 2014, a piece called "NYC's Latest Slew Of Underground Sex Parties Have Nothing To Do With Good Sex". The article focused on how the "latest slew" of sex parties was as much about status and performance art as about sex--- more about status than anything else, really. Well, I can't be averse to that, of course. As I've said so often before, sex for me is class-aspirational or its nothing. I don't take--- have never taken ---unmediated physical pleasure in, well...anything. I experience everything in my life as a scene in a novel or a film, and I judge all experiences against how they'd look in a novel or a film. I'd have a certain interest in seeing this "latest slew" of parties (the cited examples in the article include Behind Closed Doors, Chemistry, and Lip Service; I've no idea if those are still being held), but I'm quite clear that I'd have problems with hosted sex parties.
The woman who runs Behind Closed Doors explained to the author of the Observer article that, "We’re not fascists, but the whole point is to be surrounded by other members who are sexy and turn you on,” they continued. “For those who are morbidly obese, hideously ugly, or likely to turn up in a track suit, there are plenty of other parties out there for you." The criteria don't seem very different from those at some of the London parties I've read about, though the Manhattan standards about looks are more stringent and the London hosts are more open about setting financial criteria. I'm quite certain that I'd never get past the interview process in either London or Manhattan. I don't wear track suits, since I'm neither a chav nor a Russian oligarch, but it's simply a fact that I wouldn't pass the criteria for looks, age, or finances. The Observer writer sniffed that the New York hosts seemed to be selecting for "artistes" and "pseudo-intellectuals", but I doubt that my academic background would get me past the velvet ropes.
I passed the article along to a friend in London who's both attended sex parties there and worked as staff. I am hoping for her comments and thoughts. I passed it on, too, to an acquaintance--- Ms. Flox ---who's been a long-time on-line writer about sex. I'd like her comments, too. I will have to rely on third-party experiences here, since I'm unlikely to be allowed into any hosted sex parties, and I'm certainly unlikely to have the social skills to function in any sex party settings.
Once upon a time, back in the far-distant past, I was at a party that tried to become a sex party. I remember it as being extraordinarily awkward. I recall people trying to be naked, or near-naked--- almost all of them girls, who seemed to be self-consciously un-self-conscious topless or just in expensive thongs. A couple of them had toys--- soft floggers, dildos ---that they were showing off. There may have been one or two males near-naked--- I think boxer briefs had just happened, and they were showing off...packages...against thin fabric. I do remember that one boy had pretty much a line of co-eds waiting to be shown that he was uncircumcised--- something Deepest South upper-middle class girls in those days hadn't usually seen, and something they associated with boys who were "European" or exotic. I think rumors of his size may have been involved, too.
As for me...well...I think my shirt may have been unbuttoned. That's likely to have been s far as being undressed went. Oxford-cloth button-down shirt worn over a black cotton t-shirt--- on any day or any night all the way back deep into the last century, that's what I'd have been wearing. At some point, the shirt may have been black instead of French blue. (Is it only waiters in hip restaurants who wear black shirts these days?) Unbuttoned shirt--- I might've done that, but no more.
(A very tall and lovely young girl was once with me in a parked car, topless. I know I'd been kissing something off her bare nipples when she stopped me and noted that while she was topless and I got to kiss whatever we were drinking off her, all she could get from trying to do the same thing to me was a mouthful of black cotton. But I'm never, never without a t-shirt. Can't even imagine not wearing one.)
The party back in those lost days... It needed more bedrooms, certainly. And it needed a theme. It needed some kind of order of ceremonies. It needed a director (directrix?) of activities, a master/maitresse of ceremonies. A sex party, like a dinner party or even a good garden party, needs someone to take charge, make introductions, move events along, keep conversations flowing. A good sex party needs...an old school Southern (or Parisian?) hostess. I think Ms. Flox agrees with me on that. My friend in the London demimonde may agree as well.
As for me...well, I remember walking around with a drink, staying on the edge of things, doing my best polite smile at co-eds in lace thongs, making a point of not staring. At one point I was in the kitchen looking for ice cubes and a very dejected young guy was standing downcast by the sink. His problem, he told me, was that there was no one else gay there, and his ride home was straight and off somewhere with a girl. Well, I was better off than he was. I at least wasn't stuck at the party. I had my own car; I'd done that much right. I wondered at the time if that made things better or worse. If I was still there, and was still not part of things, wasn't that my own fault? I could've just driven off to do something useful--- donuts possibly, or late-night chili dogs. Hoping against hope is always a painful thing, especially in a townhouse filled with blonde co-eds.
Tonight, here at my writing desk, I recall my shirt, and I recall drinking vodka. I don't recall kissing any girls, though I must've been doing that at some point, since my shirt did end up unbuttoned. But whatever happened, I've lost that memory altogether.
That's my only sex party story. As usual, I got to check off that I'd been there without actually being part of anything. My resume has always been like that--- great on paper, a disaster in actual quotidian life.
And as for the current wave of expensive, upmarket sex parties of the sort mentioned in the Observer article...well, I lack the money, looks, wardrobe, and chiseled abs to attend. I don't think there would ever be a small line of girls waiting to look at my size (fashion note: I've never understood boxer briefs nor have I ever owned any), and I wouldn't risk even the slightest chance of having my size or turgidity judged and found wanting. If for some unknown, mistaken reason I was allowed past the door, I'd still be the guy with the drink at the edge of things, mostly nodding politely and using my drink ("Sorry--- I need ice and a refill, nice to have met you") as a prop to keep a certain distance between myself and others.
I'm not good at parties of any kind, and I suspect that I'd be no good at all at any kind of hosted sex party (again, always assuming arguendo that I'd be allowed in). The Observer article did at least make the claim that there were parties out there that were designed to be performance art, designed around aesthetics and style rather than merely physical interaction, and I'm certainly attracted to that idea. Yet any party I'd be at would require a hostess or director to keep everyone in line for an order of ceremonies, to keep everyone moving toward fixed goals, to keep the performance moving along. I might be good at that sort of party. If nothing else, it would remind me of the Mass or a well-done stage presentation.
Sex must be class-aspirational or it's nothing. I've always believed that. All my sexual interests come down to style and a dream of decadence and dark elegance. I'm afraid that physical pleasure plays only a secondary part in things. You'd think that hosted sex parties would be something I'd like, something I'd do well at. I'm not likely ever to be let past the interview process, let alone the velvet ropes. Despite the Observer article, the parties out there that do claim to be a kind of structured performance seem to lack clear focus and clear scripts. I'd still be the outsider with the drink, fully-clothed, sitting off at the edge of things, nodding politely and leaving early.