The invitation said: “Over 65 cute boys hanging in and out of their underwear all night!” And towards the bottom: “Donations will be given to local not-for-profit educational theatre.” I’d never been to a sex party before, much less one that benefited children’s educational theater.
I’d been in New York less than a month; I still didn’t have a job and I was living in a tiny attic bedroom in Bed Stuy in a house that belonged to one of my favorite writers, a sex columnist and educator whose career I was kinda using as a model for my own at that point. Going to a sex party seemed like something I needed to experience.
A few of the guys I’d met in New York—mostly through friends from college who’d moved here before I did—had heard about this same Park Slope sex party, but had sort of turned their noses up at it. I guess they thought it was trashy or something. Or maybe they were scared. Or maybe it just wasn’t their thing. Any or all of those were good enough reasons not to go. But I wanted to see it. And being pretty much on my own in the city—not knowing anyone, not being known—made me braver, for some reason, like I was unsupervised and what I was doing wouldn’t be seen, unless I chose to write about it. Which I totally intended to do.
The invitation said the party started at 11pm, but I knew better than to show up on time. The epic journey from Bed Stuy to Park Slope—negotiating subway lines and figuring out where they connected and waiting for the trains to show up—ate up some time as well, so by the time I got to the address where the party was held it was already nearly 1am. Two guys were already being buzzed into the building when I arrived. I entered with them, silently, horribly self-conscious, unsure of the etiquette in this kind of situation. What sort of pleasantries are you supposed to exchange with strangers on your way to the same sex party? Turns out it’s the same as riding an elevator: they ignored me and I ignored them.
A door opened at the end of the fluorescent-lit first floor hallway, and a little bald dude ushered us into the apartment. It was by no means the lush penthouse/harem fantasy it should have been. No pool littered with floating blossoms. No rooms filled with cushions and flowing curtains. It was just an apartment: wood floor, kitchenette, furniture shoved to the side to make room for all the naked guys.
I paid the cover that would, I hoped, go toward funding puppet shows for little kids, and checked my clothes keeping my boxers and shoes on. I grabbed a beer, which made me feel slightly less naked, and started to explore. The whole place smelled of skin and lube, not exactly unpleasant, but definitely unmistakable. And there was a hush through out the apartment, the sounds of shuffling feet and expectation, and occasionally the low tones of men talking quietly. I stood in the doorway of a room that looked like it might have been a living room in a past life. There were no lights on and it was almost unmanageably dark. All I could see were dim silhouettes. I sipped my beer and wondered why they hadn’t at least bothered to string up some Christmas lights.
And then someone was touching me. I looked to my right and there was a slight Asian guy, shyly running his hand over my shoulder to the small of my back. I tried to shift away from him, stiffening, gently shrugging his hand off, but he touched my face and said, “I like your hair.” I said “Thanks,” drained my beer and made my way back to the kitchenette for another. When I came back the living room had emptied a little. The Asian guy was gone so I headed for the couch. As I sat down I felt a little squeeze on my ass and my fight-or-flight senses went crazy.
The guy sitting next to me laughed and said, “Oops!” It was a boozy, fun-loving chuckle that was completely out of place in this hushed, sexually charged atmosphere. It dissolved the tension. I laughed too, grateful that somebody here wasn’t taking this all so goddamn seriously.
“Sorry,” he said, “I do that sometimes. It’s a great way to meet people.”
“What, like, on the subway?” I asked. There was a window behind the couch and in the blue glow of the streetlights I could tell this guy was kinda cute.
We laughed and sparred back and forth like that for a while. He didn’t creep me out like almost everyone else at the party. He was loud, funny, unafraid. He didn’t lurk in the shadows; he made his presence known and didn’t care what anyone thought. He was a movie buff and kept quoting Office Space, which reminded me a lot of my friend Gretchen, the way she and I interact. It was starting to feel more like a regular party.
After a while people started filtering back into the living room, getting naked. We sipped our beers and watched people fool around in front of us completely unselfconsciously, cracking jokes that no one else seemed to pay attention to.
And then he said, “Wow, I’m getting horny again.”
I pounced on him, carefully taking his beer from his hand and setting it on the windowsill. His skin pressed against mine, slightly cold at first, like the sheets when you first get into bed, then sending pulses of heat through my whole body. He told me my mouth tasted sweet, like lemon drops and beer. He kissed me harder and it was like we were trying to swallow each other’s tongues, savoring those thick, hot, wet things. I kissed his neck and nibbled his earlobes, sliding my hand down his camouflage boxers to find a thatch of soft, unkempt pubic hair. He had the most perfect nipples I’d ever felt in my life. I bit them, gently, and then harder, and he moaned. He asked me to lick his armpits and I did. The thick hair smelled sweet, a subtle mix of deodorant and sweat. He bucked under me, heaving and sighing, “Haaaah, uhhhhh!”
I didn’t leave his side all night. People thought we came to the party together.
“Are you two boyfriends?”
“We’re partners in crime,” I said.
We found our way to the bedroom toward the back of the apartment, where most of the sex was happening: guys standing in little groups groping and fondling and kissing each other. We got tangled up in one of these knots of bodies, feeling our way through, grasping other people’s cocks, grabbing other people’s asses. We made our way to the bed, stripped bare except for a white fitted sheet. I sucked his cock while he ate my ass.
At some point in the night the host of the party had asked us both to come on his face when we were ready, and we both agreed. We found him, and he knelt in front of us while we jerked off. That’s how we came: standing side-by-side, arms around each other, his head on my shoulder.
He’d driven in to Brooklyn from New Jersey for the party, so he offered to drop me off at the subway station. Outside, under the streetlights, I saw for the first time how bad his skin was. His face was covered in acne and I was surprised I hadn’t felt it when I was kissing him. But he was still cute, still fun.
I left that party in Park Slope honestly thinking that Mike and I were going to be pals. I thought we’d stay in touch on Friendster, and he’d give me a call whenever he came into the city and we’d hang out, go drinking, maybe hook up again. And we did keep in touch for a while. We chatted occasionally. But I never saw him again after he dropped me off at the closest subway stop in his huge old SUV, in the wee hours of a freezing January morning, my first week in New York.