This article originally appeared on VICE US.
In the latest installment of journalist Rich Juzwiak’s sex advice column at Slate, an ostensibly straight cis woman described herself as “really repelled by heterosexuality politically and personally” but also “really into dick.” Relatable!
The woman, who aspirationally dubbed herself “Radical,” wrote in to ask how she could meet more bi men and bi-curious gays so that she might sidestep heterosexuality while still fucking men, fulfilling her thoroughly straight desire in the gayest way possible. She asked if she should join Grindr or Scruff, but Juzwiak told her not to waste time on the apps, adding that she’d probably have better luck at queer sex parties instead.
It’s pretty good advice, you know? If you want to get railed, it makes sense to go somewhere where the people you want to get railed by do some of their railing. That said, this woman sounds super straight, despite her “Radical” aspirations, which might cause some problems at whatever party she barges into. She might want to go to a space where she’ll be able to fuck queer men, but chances are she might not know how to act as a straight person in a queer space—much less a queer space full of queer people who just want to fuck each other without being gawked at by Jessica from sales.
Are straight people allowed to just walk into queer sex parties? That depends on who you ask. VICE spoke with a few people who organize play parties for all kinds of queer people. They told us that, first of all, it’s important to find the right party. For example, if you’re a straight woman looking to hook up with bisexual men, you should probably stick to events that cater to bisexuals or explicitly describe themselves as all-inclusive. Some queer parties are open to straight people, and some of them aren’t.
For instance, Saskia, who organizes an invitation-only erotic play party in Brooklyn for femme tops and those who love them, said the letter writer would be unwelcome at their events. (Saskia spoke to VICE under a pseudonym to protect their privacy.) “There are other places for this person to go to without intruding on these spaces,” they told VICE. “People think they can go anywhere as long as they have good intentions, but they make us uncomfortable and ruin the vibe that we’re trying to create.”
That’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of sex parties that cater to women who want to fuck men who fuck men. It might take a couple Googles, but in and around many cities, there are options designed to meet those desires.
New Society for Wellness, or NSFW, is a members-only clubhouse in New York City that throws three events per week. Its founder, Daniel Saynt, told VICE that the clubhouse is planning to launch a party called Biconic for bi men and the women who love them, which sounds like exactly what Slate’s letter writer is looking for.
Adam B., who organizes NYC Inferno and Playhouse in New York, advised that heterosexual attendees remember that they are guests in a space that wasn’t necessarily designed for them, so it wouldn’t hurt for them to spend some time observing how things work and how other attendees communicate desire—without staring like they’re at the zoo, of course.
“Don’t show up thinking you can grab at everybody and gawk,” said Adam B. “You’ve got to take some time in the party to observe and try and figure out the customs of the space. If you like watching gay men have sex and you’re a straight woman, great. Just make sure you maybe ask them if it’s OK that you watch, or find a place where you can watch from afar.”
In other words, take the advice that Countess Luann of Real Housewives of New York once hurled at one Heather Thompson: Just be cool. Don't be all, like, uncool. Consider the space you take up, and be respectful—unless some queer dude wants you to consensually disrespect him and you agree, of course.
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