What exactly was I doing spending an absurd amount of money on American Apparel lingerie? While it's true that I’ve always wanted a neon pink garter belt, the real reason I was outfitting myself in brightly colored mesh was that I was heading to Chemistry, my newest adventure on the Brooklyn Play party scene. And what else besides American Apparel can you wear to a hipster sex party in Williamsburg?
In order to get in the door at Chemistry you have to get approved or you won't get in. This requires filling out an application and sending in a picture. It is very expensive: $120 for single ladies, $130 for hetero couples, and $250 for single men—and there is also a warning that single men rarely get approved. Chemistry sends a list of rules beforehand—and, my god, once again so many rules! However, when going over this particular list of rules, I realized that it was pretty good everyday advice, as much as it was also sex party appropriate behavior.
Here are some of my favorite rules:
You are an adult and responsible for all of your actions. You should state your boundaries clearly and with conviction to everyone you play with. If you're a no, say “no”. Clearly. Conversely, people’s feelings should be handled with respect. Create and practice a nice, gentle way to tell someone you are not interested.
If you're a maybe...still say “no”. People will naturally take “maybe” to mean yes and will continue to ask. Plus, if you say “no” you can think that “maybe” over with no pressure.
Whether coming alone or with a partner, you should establish your boundaries before attending the party and stick to them until the end. It is not a good idea to re-negotiate your boundaries in the heat of the moment. Chemistry is not about the immediate end result.
Please do not bring negative energy into the party. If you (or you and your partner) happen to be in a bad place on the night of our event, come to the next one instead.
So this time, my gay best friend, Jonny, came with me to the sex party. Thankfully, I didn’t have to beg him the way I'd had to with my girlfriends. In fact, Jonny was thrilled, and even offered to buy all the booze and cabs. He came over to get ready before we left for the party. By "get ready" I mean drink half a bottle of spiced rum and role play pretending to be different people hitting on us and telling them “no.” I’m extremely glad we did this. Even playacting with Jonny, I discovered how hard it is to know and communicate where your boundaries are. We talked about how far we wanted to go. I said I would go to 3rd base, i.e. maybe some finger blasting and naked nipple play, but definitely no vag/penis fucking. Jonny said he would give or get a blow job but doubted anyone would be gay. We both agreed we would take off all our clothes for a sensual massage. Jonny told me if he started to freak out he would go into the corner and just start taking notes in his pocket notebook. I said I could take that hint.
At 11:30 pm we showed up at the largest loft I’ve ever seen, which contained the coolest bathroom ever—the sink was embedded in a tree. Chemistry has a different theme for each party and this one was “Let’s Play Doctor.” I hate costumes and I was worried it would look like an ER on Viagra. To my pleasant surprise, that wasn't the case. Plus, all the guests were incredibly attractive. I guess this is where sending in your headshot helps. There was not a single overweight person there. They were cool, fit, had beautiful shiny hair, and I wanted to see them all naked. For a brief second I thought, “Am I going to meet my husband here? Is that him—the silver fox with a stethoscope long enough to cover his junk?” I was very impressed, and much more ready to engage than I’d been expecting.
Chemistry really knows how to throw a party. It’s BYOB; you bring your bottle over to the bar and the bartender puts your name on it. This way you can invite people to have a drink with you. Clever. They didn’t open any of the playrooms until all the entertainment was over. This forces people to talk to each other first. For the first few hours it was simply a glamorous party at some cool person’s loft. Nothing to see here folks. Everyone was chatting and dancing. There was hilarious burlesque and food! There was even a vegetable buffet! We made salads and ate them with all our new beautiful best friends. Then I went to the bathroom and when I came back all my new best friends were naked and making out. It was a sight to behold.