I double-checked my bag: Wallet, bus pass, lip gloss. A bottle of cheap wine. A variety pack of condoms. My favorite vibrator and a pair of handcuffs.
My husband and I were attending our very first sex party and — by God — I wanted us to be prepared.
I wasn’t sure what to expect that evening. My libido levels had been low as of late, and intimacy with my husband was suffering. As someone who often relied upon a vibrator, was I really planning on possibly masturbating in public? Were Michael and I actually going to pull out that set of never-before-used handcuffs in a public setting? Was I going to allow myself to actually feel something? The lobby of the midtown loft our hostess had rented looked rundown and somewhat sinister. We took the elevator up to the fifth floor and paid $40 to walk through the entryway, into a lavishly decorated space.
As far as sex parties go, this one was cheap. Groups such as Chemistry were charging $100 per couple for entry to their parties, and One Leg Up was charging a $199 quarterly fee for membership alone, with some events costing as much as $350 per couple. This was a small price to pay, though. Members-only clubs with application processes and strict rules, they provided safe spaces for sexual play by way of their exclusivity.
We assessed the scene of our own sexy soiree. Our hostess was setting out Twizzlers and bowls of pretzels, while a girl with Technicolor hair stood behind a small bar, labeling guests’ liquor bottles. People were arriving in a trickle, dressed in anything from jeans and low-cut tops to corsets and striped stockings to fishnets and leather. Costuming and theme outfits were popular, and the crowd was creative.
We wandered around the loft, where people were slow to do anything but drink and chat. We pushed through hallways, around corners, through beaded doorways. We found an S&M room, for those who enjoyed flogging, bondage, and humiliation. The tickle room was filled with feathers and fluff and soft-to-the-touch cocoons. There was a room containing one enormous bed where, later in the evening, nude bodies would eventually clench and intertwine in a never-ending orgy. At the time, it was being used for a hands-on oral sex seminar.
Despite the décor, the whole affair had the casual air of a cocktail party. However, things were gradually becoming looser. A young man in the main cocktail area, wearing a shiny leather skirt and corset, worshipped a woman’s bare foot. Another man casually threw his arm about a girl’s shoulders, cupping her breasts, which were spilling out over the top of her corset. A scantily-clad woman lay on a table in the center of the room, with ice cream cones on each bare breast, offering herself up to the room at large.
It happened slowly, but the constant flesh and air of light-hearted debauchery made my skin tingle, my insides seize up. My nether-regions ached desperately. I hadn’t felt this way in months.
My husband and I retired to a dark corner, hiding behind shadows and corners and that cheap wine-buzz in our heads. We grasped at each other, his hand burrowing into the waistband of my jeans, my hand slipping easily into his boxer briefs.
And suddenly, there I was, having sex in public.
After months of resisting his advances, turning my back on him in bed, feeling guilt and frustration over my lack of libido, it seems that what I really needed was exhibitionism — and a scene dripping in sensuality — to get myself revved up.
Even if the number of parties we attended in the future was limited, this moment alone would provide us with endless opportunities for dirty talk.
“Hey, remember that time when we … ”