I walk into a living room filled with nine young ladies. It could be a Tupperware party. But none of the girls here is interested in keeping the carrots fresher longer or having a tidy container for storing leftover stew.
No, they're here for the dildos -- the big fat dildos. There they are, laid out on the table, looking like characters in a twisted Dr. Seuss book...Pink ones, and green ones, and chock-full-of-veins mean ones. To be fair, there are also enchiladas -- and (spiked) green punch.
Actually, there's quite a bit more than dildos, but I can't take my eyes off the beasts. But I need to, because the party has begun.
Tammy (last name withheld) is a consultant for Passion Parties, the leading supplier of sensual products in the United States and Canada. The ten-year-old firm hosts 10,000 Passion Parties a month in private homes. No longer lurking in the margins of polite society, their fetes have crossed over to the mainstream in a major way; Diane Sawyer gave the sexy shindigs a shout-out on Primetime Live, and it was suggested in Oprah's O magazine that these parties can help women take control of their sex lives.
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Next to the proud-standing rubber jackhammers is an assortment of creams, gels, powders, heating potions and sensual lotions, all arranged on a table draped in a leopard-print scarf.
Tammy goes over a class syllabus of sorts. We'll be trying out the creams and potions, dusts and lubes first. Some of it you can eat, some of it you can't. She instructs us to keep an "edible" arm and an "inedible" arm handy so we don't accidentally get a mouthful of Tighten Up. (More on that later.)
After the edible heated gels, water-based lubes and hard-on creams, we'll break for 15 minutes, and then it's toy time. And by toys I mean dildos, which I'm still having a staring contest with.
But avert my gaze I must -- you win, dildos, you always do -- because Tammy has started squirting pearl-sized drops of a desensitizing lotion called Creamsicle on the backs of our "edible" arms. She tells us the cream has two functions: The first is that it helps cool the overactive nerves in a man's hot pole so he lasts longer. (Who needs this product? For real. Not me!) Second, it can also be used during fellatio -- it eases the gag reflex. To my dismay, no one whips out a banana and goes all Phoebe Cates.
Next up is Passion Parties' signature lubricant, Revelation. It's globbed onto our "inedible" arms and we're encouraged to run our fingers across it for a while and notice that it stays slick as an iced-over bridge. (Who needs this product? For real. Not me!) An edible oil follows, this one called, cleverly enough, Lickety Lube.
A heated lotion called Fireworks is up next. I try cinnamon. It's pretty damn good. So good, in fact, it inspires party guest Leah to ask, "Do you have a product for sale that could make ejaculate taste like this?" After the laughter dies down, Tammy -- part saleswoman, part Dr. Ruth -- tells us men can improve the flavor of their swimmers by eating cucumber. (And here's some advice of my own for you ladies out there: Eat your pineapple.)
We move on. We dab a product called Nipple Nibblers on our areolas and sit back and wait for it to tingle. It does. Perhaps it's better when a lady friend rubs it on lovingly, but here -- where the pink paste is applied with a Q-tip -- it feels quite sterile. When it kicks in I wonder why we've all just volunteered our poor nips to be wind-chapped.
We blaze through a few more products and then Tammy asks us, "Ladies, have you ever rolled over onto the wet spot in the bed?"
"Roll in it? I live in it!" responds party guest Jackie.
Tammy then trots out Silky Sheets, a spray with powder that absorbs moisture and leaves your sheets smelling baby-fresh.
Next on the agenda is the aforementioned Tighten Up. Tammy tells us to be very careful with this product: Apply too much and your glove becomes too snug, causing sex to become painful. "So this product is designed to erase your early twenties," Leah deadpans, referring to all the leg-spreading that happens during that time.
Before the break we're introduced to the sex product to end all sex products the nuclear option the Krakatoa of orgasm-enhancing gels. I speak of Pure Satisfaction. When applied under the hood, it is said to make a woman's orgasm feel 20 times more intense. Lucky her, I think to myself. What about me? Tammy says not to worry -- if I place it at the base of my bell and the opening of my magic stick, I will orgasm with ten times the intensity.
Along with these claims, Tammy boasts, "Ladies, you can apply Pure Satisfaction to your privates, turn the ceiling fan on high, spread your legs and orgasm just from the gusts of wind. It's. That. Powerful. I'll place this in the bathroom so you can all try it out during the break."
Like furtive cokeheads, we all sneak into the WC, one after the other. Ever use the Body Shop's tea tree oil face wash? Yeah, it's kinda like that.
We come back to wrap our hands around some big ol' boyfriend substitutes.
But this is Texas, where it's illegal to teach people how to use a vibrator. At any time during this portion of the Passion Party -- held in a private residence, mind you -- an officer of the law could kick in the door and cuff poor Ms. Tammy. Don't scoff. Just ask Passion Parties sales rep Joanne Webb of Burleson. In November 2003, she was arrested in a sting operation of sorts when two undercover officers posing as a married couple booked a Passion Party and got her to demonstrate one of these gizmos that goes buzz in the night. (The charges eventually were dropped.)
"Sex shops just have them on the shelves; they don't teach you how to use them," Tammy explains when asked about the obvious loophole. They also market them as novelties, gag gifts and -- get this -- cake toppers to get around the law.
So no, I'm not going to say that Tammy taught these nubile women how to use the Pink Pearl, Nubby G or (my personal favorite) the Glow Boy.
Nah, we skipped all that and just ate enchiladas. *WINK*
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