At 1 AM on Saturday night I am at home, drinking straight Jack Daniels by myself, and feeling equally excited and nervous. I was told by one of my more experienced friends to "absolutely not go before 2 AM." My only knowledge of what the Black Party would be like was Gawker's exit-poll video from last year.
The previous day my roommate took me to Leatherman (NSFW), a fetish leather store in the West Village, to pick out a harness. After selecting one, I was ordered to "Strip!" by a tall, heavyset, bald man with incredibly powerful body odor. "This is not the time to be shy," he said as he fitted my harness by placing black chrome snaps at various intersections of leather and metal. I'm surrounded by glass cases filled with assorted, oddly-shaped metallic objects for which I have absolutely no clue of their purpose. I don't ask.
With a harness selected, I needed something for the lower part of my body. My sales bear asked me, "œAre you a zipper-back or zipper-front kind of guy?"� I think the look in my face said enough, and he moved on to neoprene shorts, which I tried on and admittedly looked quite atrocious in.
"I'll just wear jeans."
At 1:30 AM my roommate calls and instructs me to be at Roseland Ballroom in 15 minutes. I suit up, wearing just my new harness, jeans, and a coat, and take a few shots of JD for the road. There is no line when I arrive and we head to the downstairs coat check, which is rebranded "œclothes check"� and is a massive operation. I scan the crowd, already seeing several people I know. The dress is pretty homogenous, either harnesses or no shirt at all, jeans or jock straps, and in many cases the only coverage was boots and a cock ring (I wonder where these people are keeping their clothes check tickets). The crowd is a mixture of people who seem to be very into "the lifestyle" and others who seem to be in it for the once-yearly novelty.
With our clothes stowed away, we head upstairs and immediately run into our first "sex show." There is a crowd of people standing around a gated-off area, and inside, two fit men tied up on a pool table. One is on his back and receiving a hand job, while the other is sitting up on his knees. Behind him, a large muscular man is greasing up the blunt end of a pool cue. The cue was inserted into the ass of one of the bound men, while the other was fitted with a condom. After being sodomized by the pool cue, the guy is guided down, ass first, onto the condom-clad dick of the other. They started fucking and we decided to walk around; it was like watching porn but we couldn't fast forward through the boring parts.
In the center of the venue is the dance floor, which is insanely crowded and we don't even dare going inside. There is an odd paradox watching these tough-looking, muscular men in fetish gear dancing to club music and remixed pop songs. On our way past the dance floor my roommate points out gay porn legend cum musician Colton Ford, who is large and very handsome in person.
We head upstairs, where things are supposed to be even more interesting. There is another sex show starting up here on a large, elevated, square stage. I recognize the first performer as famous French narcissist François Sagat (NSFW). He is shirtless and looking ripped, although much shorter than I'd imagined. He is joined by a very large, muscular black man. They wrestle around for a few minutes before the black guy opens his pants, removes his penis and starts pissing on François. First on his chest, then in his mouth, and then he turns the water gun upwards and pisses in his own mouth. This honestly doesn't do it for me, and yet I can't stop watching. They both stand up and the crowd applauds. François jumps off the stage to exit, and I quickly duck out of his way for fear of getting bumped into by this urine-soaked frenchman.
The piss show made me realize it is time to use the restroom! I head downstairs and went to the huge array of urinals. I notice newly-single Jason Preston at the urinal across from me, who looks short, sober, and extremely conservative in his t-shirt and jeans. The bathroom scene is surprisingly unremarkable, I was expecting more lewdness.
Back upstairs, we head into a large tent set up in a corner, where I trip over someone and realize a third of the people in this tent are on their knees. There are several groups of people in here, each encircling a guy getting blown. You quickly notice the two species of people: those who are shamelessly indulging in the sexual activities, and those who are shamelessly watching. A staff person walks through carrying a tray like a casino cocktail waitress, and the tray is filled with various types of free condoms and lube packets. I notice two guys fucking in one of the corners. At this point I've drank enough not to be embarrassed that I'm being a total voyeur, but when someone grabs my crotch I decide it's time to exit this tent and continue on exploring. On my way out, a guy approaches me, "Can I suck you?" I politely decline and head out.
I rejoin my friends and we decide to tour the "dark room," which is actually more of a hallway that leads to an unused exit. Near the entrance there are some drag queens sitting at a table yelling "Get your condoms and lube!" We go in, and notice some people getting blow jobs and others copulating against the walls of the hallway. It is dark, very dark. The further back you go the darker it gets. It is kind of a let-down because by the time you get to where anything interesting is possibly happening in the furthest part, it is nearly pitch black. You can hear moans, but see nothing. As we turn around and are exiting, someone accidentally hits the light switch and the vulgar truth of the dark hallway is exposed.
It is nearly 6 AM now and the bars have stopped serving alcohol, but the party is showing no signs of letting up. The downstairs pool table scene has been replaced with a bunch of women (yes, biological females) with tits out and strap-ons. My friends are lost now, and since everyone looks the same I know I'll never find them. I head back upstairs for one last round and there is another sex show at the square stage. Three young guys are on the stage, two are bound with ropes and the third is walking around with a leather whip. The one with the whip is very hot, but they all look bored, and I again wish I could fast-forward. The hot one is wearing pants, and makes another guy go down on him, but you can't really see anything and I lose patience and walk away. At $125 per admission (which does not include drinks and is so New York), I'm here to get my money's worth.
One last time I peek into the tent. There is a lot of oral sex and good amount of fucking going on now. I fend off people trying to unfasten my jeans as a handsome guy named Chris, a thin, athletic latino, approaches me and asks me if he can blow me "for awhile." Chris is shirtless and exposed. I'm flattered, but being of the '˜shameless voyeur' species and not the '˜shameless indulger', I decline and tell him it's time for me to go home and get some sleep. We exit the tent together and discuss our first time black party experiences.
I collect my clothes and recognize the attendant as a model-about-town named Justin. He tells me I'm cute and I thank him politely, realizing that he has "dated" almost every one of my friends at some point.
I leave Roseland completely sober and enter the daylight. And even though it is 8:30 AM now, the party behind me is still raging and — somehow — I feel like I'm leaving early.