I do not like subcultures. Burning Man attendees, steam punks, Victorian goths, Harajuku girls, and even trapeze artists give me the serious heebie-jeebies. Maybe I just got too burned-out (no pun intended) on nutritional yeast and hula hoops from college, but I hate when grownups roll around half-naked and covered in any type of face paint or glitter. When my ex-boyfriend told me he used to go to raves in a Yorkshire field wearing JNCOs and a blue wig, I lost a little respect for him. And I am totally allowed to say this because some of my best friends are radical fairies! But every time they try to tell me about their cool festival in Tennessee, I just plug my ears with my fingers and start to scream: “La La La. I can't hear you.”
So, when I got the invite to my final sex party, and it said "Costume Required" I almost called The L to say I couldn't go. Especially since the theme of the party was “Alice in Wonderland.” This was quickly turning out to be my worst nightmare.
The party was held in a secret location near Carroll Gardens. Everyone is required to bring a partner and stick with that partner the entire time. Once again, I had a hard time finding anyone to be my date, and so once again, I ended up playing hag to one of my closest fags, Jason. He told me he would only go on one condition: he wouldn't pay for a single thing. He didn't want to get his money clip out for anything—no booze, no entrance fee, no smokes, and no cabs.
Luckily, this party was walking distance from my house and the rest of my expenses will be written off on my taxes as research. (Just kidding tax man!) Jason came over the night of the party and we coordinated our outfits. I went as a sparkly Queen. There are queens in Wonderland, right? I wore a see-through, diamante-encrusted muumuu with a black bra and tights underneath. Jason went as a rogue queer wildebeest in leopard leggings. We thought we looked great while still maintaining a level of cool.
However, when we got there, the doorman wouldn't let us in. Apparently, what I was wearing was too much of “a dress.” I found the manager and explained our situation. She said we could only come in if Jason took his shirt off. There was a strict no shirt policy. This was not ideal. Jason and I are in the midst of working off our winter weight, and he was not too happy about having to walk around the party topless. I shrugged my shoulders and told him I would buy him brunch.
At the entrance, we were greeted by Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. I started to get an itchy feeling, like I was allergic to something. I can't remember if it was Tweedle Dee or Tweedle Dum who told us, “In order to get through to the other side you must present an offering to the Cheshire Cat.” Behind them sat a woman who must have robbed the wardrobe department of Cats. I wanted to offer her a joke, but Jason said, “Hell no, you got us into this mess now you're going to kiss that pussy.” I sucked it up and tongued her. Luckily, her whiskers were painted on.
Finally, we were inside. It was a smallish loft with a pay bar, which was ridiculous since it cost us $100 dollars to get in. There was a hammock and a mattress that spanned the length of the room. The party promoted itself as a queer/radical space, but we could tell from the moment we walked in that there were only hetero couples. The breeders were decked to the nines in their costumes. One woman came as the Mad Hatter and instead of wearing clothes she simply painted on a suit and tie.
We walked over to the bar and tried our best to make small talk. All the conversation was stilted though, and I couldn't help feeling we were missing something. We weren't making friends. We went over to the side lines and sat down on a bench. It was my two worst phobias combined: middle school dances and live action role play retreats.