Tuesday, September 30, 2008

An experience not all it's sexed up to be

Those naughty things we're not supposed to do, but want to anyway -- are they really all that great?

I was going through a stack of books when I came upon "The Book of Vice: Very Naughty Things (And How to Do Them)" by Peter Sagal. I meant to tell you guys about this book when I read it awhile back, and to share a personal story. No time like the present!

"The Book of Vice" is a fun read, although, depending on your comfort level with the subject matter, is of questionable naughtiness. "Somewhere, somebody is having more fun than you are. Or everyone believes," begins the book jacket blurb. "Peter Sagal, a mild-mannered, Harvard-educated NPR host -- the man who put the second 'L' in 'vanilla' -- decided to find out if it's true." So for the book Sagal visited a porn set, strip clubs, gambling halls, and a swingers club to see if they were all we've been made to believe they are. And you know what he found out? They're not.

Let me tell you that story, because I think it illustrates Sagal's point really well. A few years ago, one of my best friends and her roommate went to an orgy. For real. There's a house in San Francisco where every third Tuesday of the month or something, people show up to have sex with strangers. Well, my friend's roommate was invited to attend and after talking it over with my friend, they both agreed they were too curious not to go.

So they get to this house and find out they're required to check their clothes at the door. They stripped down to their intimates - my friend's in a lace teddy, her roommate's got on a matching bra-and-panty number trimmed in fur (because of that fur from now on I'll refer to her as "Xena" and my friend as "Gabrielle"). Since the majority of the people walking around were naked, they felt decidedly overdressed. But they took a deep breath and entered the fray.

At this point in the tale I admit I was pouting, because I hadn't been asked to go along. I'm just as nosy as they are! But as the story went on, I found myself thanking my friend for sparing me the horror.

OK. They leave their clothes and start wandering. The house had a couple floors and something different sexually was going on in every room. There was a room for food, but it had all been scarfed down. Bowls of condoms everywhere. Lots of nekkidness and lots of sex, but Xena and Gabrielle were surprised at the number of people they didn't find attractive. Weren't parties like this populated by young, hot people?

Overwhelmed, Xena and Gabrielle cowered in a corner of an orgy room -- after a discussion about if it was hygienically safe to sit there. Gabrielle heard "May I give you a massage?" from behind her, and turned to find a smiling naked man. Apparently, the big rule at this kind of shindig is that you're not allowed to touch people without their permission, so the "massage" line is often used. It's code for "hey, wanna have sex?" Gabrielle told me she nearly shrieked, "DON'T TOUCH ME!!" but managed to calm it down into a simple "no, thank you," and grabbed Xena and fled. In the hallway, they ran into an equally mortified-looking pair of young guys, clad in pajama pants and sweats. They, too, were ridiculously overdressed. The quartet commiserated about the lack of sexy people and stuck together until the smell (Gabrielle said the odor of the different and numerous body fluids was overpowering) got to them and they left.

When Gabrielle told me her story, she said she was glad she went, but sad as well. In no way did the experience live up to its naughty allure, and it left her feeling disappointed and kinda dirty.

So she could well relate to "Book of Vice" author Sagal as he wrapped up his trips to the dark, indulgent and kinky sides of human nature. "God knows there are people who are having more fun that you, who are having more and better and frequent and more gymnastic sex than you are, who are enjoying adrenaline thrills and indulgences you can't even imagine," he wrote. "But you have one thing in common with those people: They, too, are wondering if there's something they're missing."

My friend Gabrielle is now content to keep wondering. After hearing her story, I think I am, too.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

"noisy"? Really?

Deirdre McGruder said...

Thanks, Anon! That was an unfortunate spelling error. (No comment on how noisy I may or may not be, however ...)

Anonymous said...

Ha, that's a great little story. I've never been to an orgy and think I would pass out from the blushing. But I would expect the people to look more like those middle aged people on 'Real Sex' than the hotties on Cinemax.

Masturbation Saves Lives said...

Imagined sex is usually much better than the sex imagined.

Anonymous said...

Jason Benavides do yourself, and shave your head. Bald heads are sexy, and look much better than what you have going on.

Andy said...

This story reminded me of Murphee's Law of nudity - The people who most like to walk around naked are usually those you'd rather wouldn't do so.

Go to any nude beach and you'll see for yourself that this is true.

Anonymous said...

Seriously. Just how sexy is your friend and her roommate anyway? I thought the gratuitous comment about the averageness of most people a little condescending. Remember - your picture is posted. I think you are very attractive - but, let's face it. Most people are not porn magazine material.

Anonymous said...

I just have one word for this tacky story...YUCK!

Anonymous said...

Gross... Imagine being a child that was conceived at one of those events.

righteousdude said...

I got the impression that the only thing lacking for the two girls to jump right in were the lack of bodies hot enough to measure up to their standards, ditto their "mortified" male friends. Since they were too uptight to dress "properly" for the festivities, I might wonder just what the heck they thought they were going to find at an orgy...? I'm sure the consenting adults who were doing what you're supposed to do at such an event weren't too happy to have a bunch of non-participating, super-squeamish voyeurs in their midst. Somebody needs to grow up.

Anonymous said...

It's a shame to see what happens when journalists for major news publications run out of anything worthwhile to say or report. It's one step down from the bloggers who are killing daily newspapers. Why should the Observer expect to survive?

Anonymous said...

Gross. I found the condescending tone of the author to be ironic. Deidre looks like she used to be a man and Jason... the special Olympic comb over does no one any favors. The thought of either of them at an orgy causes shrinkage.

KC said...

Tough crowd...still, if you go to an orgy, you probably shouldn't be shocked and disgusted if someone wants to touch you. You are, in fact, at an orgy........

Anonymous said...

Like another poster already alluded to, would the two friends have gone for it if the room were filled with hot bodies and faces? I'm guessing so; otherwise, why tempt yourself by even showing up? Their actually going at all speaks volumes about them and anyone who wanted to go with them. This Observer article has sunk to the level of a Penthouse forum.

Porn Student said...

Andy,
There's a nude beach about ten minutes up from South Beach, Miami, called Haulover Beach. Nice people to walk around naked with.

Anonymous said...

Your roommate and her "best friend"? I think that best friend might have been you. It's ok, fess up. We couldn't possibly think worse of you.

BigMikey said...

This reminds me of Kathy Griffin's comedy bit about almost hooking up with a masseuse. Both situations ended in similar fashion. I think people find a thrill in dipping a toe in the pool, yet deep down they don't really plan to dive in at all.

And incidentally, I'm interested in reading the book as well.

BigMikey said...

And Miss D, as always, don't let the haters get you down, you're lovely.

And the comments about Jason's hair are getting old. Dude's probably the Dirk Diggler of the Observer staff.

Porn Student said...

There's a swingers club here in Charlotte. They call themselves Carolina Friends. They have parties every weekend.