Love & Sex

I Did It for Science: Orgy

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To attend and participate in an organized sex party.

State your hypothesis in the form of a prediction that can be verified by the results of the experiment.

Of all the things I want to do before I shrug off this mortal coil, attending a sex party is definitely in the top five. When the opportunity presented itself, I imagined a secretive throwback to the court of Caligula right here in Manhattan. Like Tom Cruise's character in Eyes Wide Shut, I'll have to use sneaky devices to secure admittance to the party, but I think that's a good thing: Who'd want to join a club that would willingly accept them as a member?

Please list all the materials required for this experiment (including, if applicable, how they were obtained).

Wig (1)
White apparel
Password

In this portion of your report, you must describe, step-by-step, what you did in your lab. It should be specific enough that someone who has not seen the lab can follow the directions and recreate the same lab.

An acquaintance of mine named Palagia runs One Leg Up, a company that throws sexy parties in New York, Los Angeles and other major cities. Her name came to my attention when I heard that people were using Nerve Personals to arrange more than just dinner and a movie. Palagia holds two different types of events. The relationship between the two is that of a rehearsal dinner and the wedding reception.

Part I: The Party

     The first type, called an "off-premises party," is held at a bar or club. Although there's a cover charge and pricey drinks to deter the riff-raff, there is no actual screening process. One must simply RSVP, arrive dressed (or undressed) in accordance with the theme, and — if male — be escorted by at least one female. Single ladies can go stag. In accordance with New York City law, no actual penetrative sex (a.k.a. "live playing") can take place, but at the bar owner's discretion, almost everything else goes.
     The second type of party takes place "on-premises," typically in a downtown loft or lavish hotel suite. To attend one of these evenings, couples and single women are put through an in-depth screening process that includes submitting photographs and essays about exactly why they wish to attend a One Leg Up event. (Perhaps a medical screening wouldn't have been a bad idea either; with sixty New Yorkers swapping fluids all night, somebody's bound to be pissing lava by the next week.) In Palagia's own words: These events are for the SERIOUS PLAYERS who want to perhaps play with others, engage in female bisexuality or simply play with their own partner. We welcome NOVICES to attend these events as well, but you must be willing to explore an aspect of your sensuality even if it's at a voyeuristic stage.
     Details about the location and password for these parties are revealed forty-eight hours beforehand via email. The actual suite or apartment number is only revealed immediately before the event via a recorded phone message.
     My date, Claire, was new to New York. We'd only met recently and were seeing each other casually. On our first date, I mentioned Palagia's party; on the second, I asked her to accompany me. I approached the subject with some trepidation, but with a shrug of the shoulders she parried, "Why not?" Why not, indeed.
     Both of July's One Leg Up events had the same theme: attendees were required to wear at least one article of white clothing and a wig/headdress. The parties were held about ten days apart, the off-premises event at a venue downtown.
     In the three times Claire and I had met up before, she had been relatively punctual. However, on the evening that I was dressed in a Beatles wig, bright white Cubano shirt and capri pants, she was disconcertingly late. Twenty minutes and about a hundred funny looks later, Claire emerged from the subway, her white form glowing against the urban jungle, strikingly reminiscent of a laundry detergent commercial.
     We were quickly ushered into the club; Palagia had put us on her VIP list. The interior was, like the attendees, entirely decorated in white: the scene looked like a bacchanal in the Arctic circle. "Grant, dahling!" exclaimed Palagia after I introduced myself. Palagia was a curvaceous, olive-skinned beauty wearing heels, a thong that was little more than an eye patch, pasties and a white sheet that partially covered the right side of her body. She held a cocktail in one hand and a cigarette, with holder, in the other. After planting two loud mwahs near either side of my head, she teetered off. While watching our host's ample buttocks disappear into the monochrome throng, my date and I took a corner seat by the dance floor and feasted our eyes on the craziness before us.

 

 

 

     We were relatively early. There were only about fifteen people dancing in the middle of the room, all of them in various states of undress. A gangly dude in a jockstrap and a blue mullet wig was rubbing up against a slight young Asian girl in a corporate-looking blouse and A-line skirt who was swaying arrhythmically to the house beats. She wasn't in white, and I couldn't help thinking that perhaps she had accidentally stumbled into the wrong party. A good number of affluent-looking older men, tanned and freshly manicured, were reclining on the alabaster upholstery, arms wrapped around their younger spouses and girlfriends, eyes furtively scanning the room. Many of the gents could have made fortunes as celebrity impersonators. During the night I saw a Barry Bostwick, a Tim Robbins, two Art Garfunkels and even a Jackie Mason — all accompanied by much younger women.
     As the night wore on, more and more garments were discarded. The cute Asian girl was now on the dancefloor in a cluster of grinding bodies. She was wearing nothing but heels and the slightest of G-strings, her cupcake breasts being lapped at by a cavalcade of libidinous male and female thirtysomethings. A handful of lap dancers were giving out pasties for the ladies and encouraging them to take off their shirts. With Claire feeling slightly coy — or so I thought — I put on the pasties just for laughs. Far from casting her eyes to the floor, my date began coaxing a leggy lap dancer in a Renaissance-era wig — and precious little else — to dance for us. (Or, more specifically, on us as we made out like crazy.) After the dance, a topless woman in a miniskirt pointed at Claire and ran over to us. She grabbed Claire and the two of them totally got down. Honestly, I could take or leave girls making out, but the interloper's tan, young boyfriend was clearly enjoying the show, taking up a position near us and frantically rubbing his cock. After ten minutes of some heavy girl-girl action — with me feeling about as useful as an ashtray on a motorcycle — the girls unclenched, and the stranger and her voyeuristic companion rushed off to find fresh girl prey. Claire and I left the club and jumped in a cab. "Well, what do you think?" I asked. "I really enjoyed it!" gushed Claire, confirming my suspicion. "I can't wait to go to the real party!" Wicked.

Part II: The Orgy

A little more than a week later, the day of the "on-premises party" arrived. Having learned from my previous mistake, Claire and I changed at her apartment and took a cab to the famous hotel where the party was being held. Palagia certainly knows how to create suspense and intrigue: she disclosed passwords, locations, times and recorded messages one at a time, right up until the party started. On her outgoing answering-machine message, she took special care to reiterate the suite number, as there were "two or three other sexy parties" taking place on the same floor of that one particular hotel alone.
     Looking like a couple of giant snowflakes, Claire and I pranced through the hotel's (thankfully empty) lobby and into the elevator, more than a little nervous.
     We knocked on the door of Suite 603, and after being asked for our password, the door was opened — by Blondie guitarist Chris Stein! Well, it wasn't actually him, but it may well have been his buff, tan doppelganger who works the door at orgies. After I gave him the password, he invited us in, and we walked down a long corridor. We were greeted once again by Palagia, who took me by the hand and led me into the living room. We had tried to arrive fashionably late, totally unaware that a power outage had brought all the subway lines on the West Side to a halt. We were the second couple there. The suite contained a couple of beds, a few sofas, several chaise longues, corners stuffed with pillows, an ornate Persian rug and a cornucopia of finger food worthy of any Bar Mitzvah. The only indications of the shenanigans to come were the bowls of condoms and individual packets of lube dotted around the place. After grazing the buffet for a while, Claire and I headed for the sofa, which had the best view of the couples sheepishly walking into the party. After about forty-five minutes, the suite was full to bursting: thirty couples were shooting shit-eating grins at everybody else. I recognized only a few of the faces from the first party; this bunch was noticeably younger and more attractive. At about a quarter after midnight, there was what I could only describe as a kerfuffle in the bedroom. One by one, all of the couples made their way in and stood there, agog at the scene taking place on the king-size. Two men and two women, perhaps on a directive from Palagia, were setting about getting the party started right and quickly.
     It's when a woman is being gone down on by another chick while clutching a penis in each hand that a party (pronounced "par-tee") becomes a PAR-TAY! It was at this point that all hell — and several sets of assorted genitalia — totally broke loose. As was specified in our host's party itinerary, at 12:30 everyone had to strip to their underwear.

Quantify the effects of the experiment.

There are strict ground rules for an on-premises party. Here they are, exactly as they were emailed to me:

  1. Absolutely No Drug Use Allowed.
  2. All MALES must be escorted by a FEMALE.
  3. "NO" means "NO"!
  4. Arrive TOGETHER, indulge TOGETHER and EXIT the premises TOGETHER and NOT alone.
  5. Treat each guest with RESPECT, ASK both parties before indulging. Remember: SOME members are EXPLORING certain areas for the FIRST TIME and are at a VOYEURISTIC stage.
  6. ONLY INDULGE in areas that you BOTH feel completely COMFORTABLE.
  7. NO RECORDING DEVICES ALLOWED:

    -cameras
    -video cameras
    -microphones
    -journalists

  8. PROSTITUTION of any kind is absolutely PROHIBITED.
  9. MINORS under the age of 21 are NOT allowed to attend.
  10. NO excess ALCOHOL consumption is allowed.
  11. Absolutely NO DRUG use/abuse is allowed.
  12. NO ILL treatment of FEMALES is allowed.
  13. Everyone must be safe. We are not responsible for any accidents that may occur at a OneLegUpNYC event.

Claire and I slunk back into the living room, stripped to our skivvies, and fell into a pile of silky cushions. At this point, everyone was still with the person they came with. I've never really enjoyed committing gross acts of PDA, but in keeping with the spirit of the event, Claire and I got to some serious necking, each of us with an eye on the rest of the revelers. Noticing that my shorts were tenting, Claire suddenly decided to up the ante. She leaned over and introducing my joystick to the party. After five minutes of mouth-to-south resuscitation, Claire, who had taken to the whole sex-in-public thing like a fish to water, led me by the wang to the bedroom, where a couple were getting busy on one side of the bed. Jumping on the bed beside them, I lay on my back. My elbow landed in something wet. Claire clambered on top in a formation that the Germans might call a neunundsechzig. Another fifteen people or so reclined about the room, staring at what was happening on the bed. At the moment of no return, I looked through the gap between our two bodies and saw the face of somebody I knew just feet away from Claire's head. A journalist! Someone who had appeared on Nerve before, no less! I later found out that she had a love in the mid-west and was just there as an observer. After ten minutes of me not realizing that she was "observing" me from just three feet away, I hastily got up, put the boys back in the barracks and scurried away to the buffet table.

 

 

     "'Ello!" said a man from behind me with a pronounced north-of-England twang. "I saw you and yer girl on the bed. We were right next to you! We were gonna join in, but you shot off all sudden like!" The man, clad only in boxers, extended his hand. "Name's Billy. Billy Cardboard, on account of me making things out of cardboard. You name it; I'll make it out of cardboard." We shook hands and helped ourselves to the crudités. Billy gave me insight into his bizarre occupation, then explained how he and his wife Jennifer got involved in these kind of parties: he had to warm her up to the idea that he "liked to share" over an extended period of time. It was then that both Claire and Jennifer joined us. After a lively five-minute chat about the real-estate market in Queens, Billy got behind Claire and Jennifer snuck behind me. They pushed Claire and I closer together; their mitts vanished into our underwear.
     Swapping befuddled looks, Claire and I were nose to nose, mouthing expletives to one another as twenty fingers moved rapidly in our pelvic vicinity. The lascivious pair shuffled us over to an empty bed and arranged us according to some predetermined plan. Billy parked his face in Claire's formidable cleavage, and Jennifer tugged away at my old chap ruthlessly. Partly to get in the uh  .  .  . swing of things and partly to prevent some serious chafing, I pried myself out of Jennifer's grip and went down on her.
     Claire had her eyes clenched tight, her face held skyward as Billy's mouth and hands scoured her body like a human octopus. Comically, Claire opened one eye and glanced around the room, iguana-like, before her gaze landed on my furrowed brow, which was nestled betwixt Jennifer's thighs. We tried to stifle a giggle, without too much success.
     Jennifer cordially thanked me, plucked my Johnson out of my shorts and put it in her mouth. Billy gave Claire a break and started fucking his wife hard from behind. His thrusts transferred through Jennifer's lithe body and onto me, making me feel a little closer to Billy than I'd otherwise care to be. I lay back and closed my eyes, for the first time taking in what was really going on here. Soon I felt a different hand tugging away at me. I propped myself up on my elbows and saw that the baton in this bacchanalian relay had indeed been handed off. A very beautiful, yet very bored, Slavic-looking woman was standing at the side of the bed, rubbing my dick while chatting with Claire. "Er. . . hello," I said, confused. "My name Karolinka," she sighed in a thick Russian accent. "I want you to come on your girlfriend." I stood up next to her, but she was intent on keeping my length at arm's length. A large man touched her shoulder and she turned her head to talk to him: a little bit of Russian, a little bit of English, all the while pounding away at my unit. Sensing that the time was nigh, my multilingual, multitasking, polyamorous friend pointed my penis in the general direction of Claire as my erstwhile date made out with another anonymous couple. With Karolinka's mission accomplished, she gave me a curt smile and headed off to talk with her friends.
     Some guy standing nearby heard my accent and asked if I was a fan of Arsenal, the north London soccer team. Claire and I both told him that we were and he went on to list every time he'd flown over to see them play, where he sat, the results, etc., with his flagging erection poking out of the fly of his shorts.
     The party began to thin out. Feeling tired (it was now around 3 a.m.) and more than a little raw, I sat on a gold lamé sofa and watched Claire become the epicenter of a giant clusterfuck involving eight to ten people. I felt as if I were slipping in and out of an alternate reality as a small Asian man, called simply J., with a Bee Gees hairdo began thrusting into Claire with a giant grin on his face.
As she bounced atop the mass of flesh, Claire kept glancing over to me, occasionally mouthing, "You okay?" as I sat expressionless, shoving another canapé or Ritz cracker into my mouth. The evening was giving me weird, unprecedented feelings, and I couldn't hide them. Claire looked concerned, even as she writhed on top of a man called Steve whose appendage would come in handy if you ever needed use of a crowbar.
     I went to get my stuff from the coat check, stepping around J., who had taken up position behind Karolinka. The Russian was face down in a pile of cushions. Her shouted-yet-muffled instructions were inaudible to me, although the man with the disco 'do seemed to be getting the gist of it. I grabbed my gear, thanked Palagia for a truly eye-opening time and waited for Claire to say her goodbyes. She was the real star of the party, collecting several very innocuous-looking business cards and swapping email addresses with a few men and women. One of the men at the party — who was, I learned, a legendary regular — would later email Claire, requesting to "enjoy her unique sparkle once more."
     We left around four. As I closed the door slowly, I glanced down the hallway and saw the back of J., who was relentlessly hammering away at yet another woman.

Summarize your findings. Don't forget to attempt to identify possible variables that could result in different findings for others trying to recreate your test results.

     Most people will go through life experiencing a sex party only through the prism of the silver screen: You were stunned by Gore Vidal's Caligula, you balked at Eyes Wide Shut, you may have even cringed and chuckled your way through the Collins's 1978 classic The Bitch (written by Jackie, starring Joan). But a real-life orgy is a somewhat different animal. Perhaps my experience would have been improved by Kubrick's digital obfuscation of the appendages that are otherwise only witnessed in urology textbooks. From my perspective, masks would have been handy too, not to obscure the faces of the ugly folk — there were none — but to give a degree of anonymity that a cheap Ringo wig and white pedal pushers simply couldn't provide.
     What set me apart from the more active revelers was that they had the will and fortitude to translate fantasy to reality. Perhaps, like me, they were all a little coy on their first go-round. Being in a room of people who were getting it on was certainly liberating, but I'm not sure that I ever felt comfortable. Most of the other people at the party came along with their serious partner or spouse. I think I'm too jealous to watch a serious girlfriend get humped by J. and his ilk, but the experience of attending with a near stranger was a lonely one. Palagia had told me that this party was really for like-minded partners in a serious relationship. And Claire was a great sport, but her exuberance at the party didn't do much for our burgeoning friendship.
     For the moment, I was shellshocked. The party had been exquisitely executed: with its cool venue, slick use of secret passwords and general sense of subterfuge, it was a fuckfest worthy of the KGB. Nonetheless, the whole experience left me feeling shaken, not stirred.

Find out more about One Leg Up events at http://www.onelegupnyc.com