Tag Archives: Chemistry

C’mon, People Now, Smile On Your Brother…

Everybody get together try and love one another, right now…..right now….

In light of the world’s current lunacy — which is, sadly, not that different from last week’s (or last year’s) lunacy — I thought I’d spotlight some of my friends whose art form is gathering people together. The alchemy of putting people into a room together — be it a living room, bar room or ballroom — is an exceptional talent, one that can’t be learned or cultivated. You’ve either got it or you don’t.

unnamedSari Rubenstein and Chris Thomas have been curating Rubulad, “a community of artists and entertainers” with its corresponding art and music party, since 1993. In a sea of soulless warehouse events and overpriced parties serving up tiresome EDM in room after room, these two strive to offer a more nuanced and textured nightlife experience. By adhering to their vision, Rubulad remains one of the few events that attracts an eclectic audience, eager for surprises.

v_GSloft1Larisa Fuchs, of Gemini and Scorpio, has transformed a derelict loft space in Gowanus into a refuge for creative nightcrawlers, absinthe afcionados and period costume enthusiasts. Per the web site, she has hosted “theatrical performances, art shows, photo/video/television/film shoots, benefits, talks on curious topics, hands-on artistic experiences, craft sales, fashion shows, movie nights on its giant roof, music showcases, audio recordings, art & science lectures, dance classes — and of course parties.” Larisa’s weekly email blast about not just her events but similar, simpatico soirees, is an invaluable took for those seeking nightlife that’s a little different.

MG_0033Kae Burke and Anya Sapozhnikova have been investing years of sweat equity into the newest incarnation of their experiment in community collaboration, House of YES! “Bushwick’s performance art nexus” features soaring ceilings to accommodate aerialist acrobatics and 7,000 square feet of space, making it, truly, a “temple of expression, dedicated to community, creativity and celebrating life.” Aside from bringing together crafters and costumers, seamstresses and circus performers, these two dynamos are skilled themselves in all those assorted arts. In sharing their dream, they have inspired the dreams of so many others and their beautiful brainchild promises to be a home to theatrical extravaganzas for years to come. Bookings for December are being accepted now!

Sheila and Kenny started Chemistry in 2006 in response to Manhattan’s mostly misogynistic and male-centric swing party scene. Since then they’ve been gathering a “sexually enlightened” coterie of sensual seekers in assorted elegant spaces. The event “encourages the organic development and respectful connection between playful spirits.” Having attended, I can attest to that being an accurate description!

Done with Dating

So I did it again. Yup. I went on a date. And perhaps there’s no way dates will ever go well for me ever again. I don’t know if that’s because I subconsciously  crave disaster in order to create more content for you, my dear readers, or if there’s something seriously wrong with me. I’m pretty confident it’s both. Anyway, back to the date. ‘Cause I know you’re dying to hear all about it.

I met this man sorta randomly, even for an online dating situation. I was planning on meeting friends at an event and found myself a little early with some time to kill. I checked out the “Locals” feature on OKCupid and a bare chest emblazoned (okay, Photoshopped) with the Batman logo caught my eye. I pinged him that I’d “like to meet” and he responded almost immediately. “Ha. Do you mean like right now? This might be good timing…” Turns out he was on another OKCupid date that hadn’t gone well. Within a half hour we were laughing over beers at 2A.

I don’t know if it was my mood or the circumstances but it went amazingly well. I thoroughly enjoyed his company and the conversation never flagged. Batman has been to Burning Man, which automatically establishes common ground. Plus we have a mutual friend. He admitted to three different profiles: one semi-kinky, one kinkier and yet another kinkier still. I was intrigued. Because his kink happened to be one with which I’m fairly well acquainted: the splosh fetish.

If you needed to click on the link to find out what that means, you’re definitely in the majority. The fact that this guy wound up on a date with someone who was not only knowledgeable but actually experienced with it is nothing short of a miracle! I appeared in the British magazine Splosh! ages ago, in a spread shot by Porno Jim: a group of girlfriends having a make believe paint fight. And I was hired for a pie sploshing video shoot once upon a time. It took place in a tacky New Jersey no-tell motel. Jamye Waxman came along for moral support and to document the afternoon. I was washing coconut shreds out of my frilly panties for weeks! But I digress…

Anyway, though I wound up blowing off the event I’d planned to attend, we parted after only a few beers. It went so well I expected to hear from him again almost immediately. I mean, given that I was game for indulging his fetish — and the rarity of that situation — I assumed he’d be eager to see me as soon as possible. I was, of course, sorely mistaken. The date took place on March 23. We emailed back and forth a bit that night, post date: a bit of splosh-centric teasing. By April 5 I hadn’t heard a word — no invitation for another date, nothing — so I prompted him. He responded and I inquired about whether he’d be interested in attending a sex party and perhaps engaging in a sploshing scenario. I’d come up with a novel idea that he was initially enthusiastic about but he seemed reluctant to try something new in such a public forum. Another week passed and I asked again about the party. We decided to merely meet and save the sploshing for another time.

All of our communication was very businesslike with little or no passion. I’m not sure if that was my doing, if I set a tone or something, or if his casual manner was just his default setting. Either way, he didn’t seem too terribly excited to see me again. Whatever, we made plans to meet at a bar and venture to the sex party venue together.  [Editor’s note: Desire is sexy. When someone really wants me, it’s a turn-on. Thus far, I didn’t exactly feel desired. I was hoping, I guess… Or was I?]

The bar meeting was okay, if a bit awkward. I don’t know if I’ve lost my touch or simply no longer remember how to conduct myself on a date but I was uncomfortable. Not great, given the circumstances. But after a drink a piece, we strolled up Lexington to the space. It was nice to know a good chunk of people upon arrival. But what began as discomfort with my date soon escalated to annoyance. For no real reason. I could feel myself becoming cranky. And rude. Uh-oh. It didn’t help when I wound up chatting with M., who has been regaling me with her peri-menopausal sexual conquests. I told her that I, too, had enjoyed a period of “last hurrah”-like sex but that those days were over. Her earnest reassurances, translated through my fucked up filters, became condescension. Grrr. And when she began asking other people if I was “fuckable,” well, any chance of my remaining pleasant — with anyone — went right out the window.

Perhaps a sex party wasn’t the best idea for a second date. Was it the female equivalent of taking a woman to a strip club, the way Dustin Hoffman’s character did in “The Graduate?” A sort of trial by fire? Or act of aggression? If so, Batman behaved admirably. He was pleasant to everyone he met, conversed with whoever I abandoned him beside when I wandered off to chat up someone else and, apparently, handled my escalating irritation with a sense of humor. In other words, he was a great guy. Ack.

My departure is somewhat fuzzy; I’d been hitting the vodka pretty hard. (Not that that’s an excuse.) I had a feeling it wasn’t pretty so I asked my friend, who was working the door. Our email exchange:

Hey there, that party was pretty great! Kinda wish I hadn’t dragged that guy along. I bailed…was I a mess when I left? I really shouldn’t drink hard liquor…oh my. And I hope he behaved himself after I left him there. I think he was hooking up with M. Happy birthday to her. Sigh.
wow.
I didn’t realize you were so crocked! 
um you were really kinda mean and rude to him on his way out, if you wanna know the truth
I dunno, maybe he’d done something to deserve it?
m. left long after he did
they didn’t click
to his credit, he seemed to take the stuff you were giving him and just roll with it and headed out with some other folks, went and got coffee…he invited you to come w him
I’m glad to hear that you actually enjoyed the party!
Oh dear. It was worse than I thought. Really? Shit shit shit…What did I say? I totally thought I’d left him with M.!
heh
he came out, you were on the stairs talking w us and he was just talking politely about how it was nice to meet you, thanked you for bringing him to the party and would you like to join him and that other couple for some coffee…and you were all, “JUST. LEAVE. BYE. BYE. GO. AWAY.” and stuff
I’m sure you had your reasons.
Oh I don’t think I did. I’m an ass. I think there’s something wrong with me. Shit. eh like I said, he rolled with it

I have no specific recollection of why I would’ve treated him that way. Aside from my irritation with M. I’d felt a certain edginess with him that I can’t quite put my finger on. Could it be that I was annoyed by his politeness with me? His casual jocularity? I can say that I’m sure the alcohol amplified my feelings. Which, at this point, are obviously those of insecurity and sadness. Aggression is usually a result of those emotions and, for all my bluster, I’m really just scared shitless and sad. This may be obvious to those of you who’ve been reading me here but the casual observer of me live, moving through my day-to-day life, well, I may have them hoodwinked. Anyway, my behavior was indefensible. And embarrassing. The culmination of all the accumulating irritation I’ve felt on every date I’ve been on over the past two years.

Now I’m starting to worry that there actually may be something wrong with me. And that I may be done with dating.

EditrixAbby’s Valentine’s Party Picks

Ack. I hate Valentine’s Day. Over the years even when I’ve had a valentine – and there have been plenty – I’ve felt uncomfortably smug. It’s a manufactured holiday, created to sell cards and chocolate. While it can be a romantic time, it is more often the cause of anxiety. If you’re finding yourself in that latter emotional realm, you certainly aren’t alone. But if being proactive, as the optimists love to say, is your way of dealing with your “dreaded singledom,” here are a few of my suggestions for “staying in the game.”

ImprovDates
If you fall between the somewhat arbitrary ages of 38-48 and you’re comfortable laughing at yourself (and others) you might enjoy Monday night’s ImprovDates, an entertaining cross between improvisational comedy and speed dating. Participants call it “fun and tension-breaking” and it certainly beats sitting across the table from a stranger, attempting small talk.

Event Details:
Date: Monday, February 7th
Event: ImprovDates for ages 38-48
Time: 7-9:30pm
Venue: Turtle Bay NYC, 987 2nd Ave between 52nd & 53rd
Price: $40 – includes one complimentary cocktail
Special Deal: Two-for-$60. Sign up with a friend of the opposite sex to each save $10, AND both get a free drink!
More info: www.improvdates.com

Sex Worker’s Literati’s ‘Ho’s Valentine Party’
For those looking to thumb their noses at romance and celebrate people who feign love for a living, join Zoe Hansen and David Henry Sterry for their Sex Workers Literati’s Ho’s Valentine Party. They’ll be serving up a night of “booze, burlesque, and a bevy of seamy, steamy stories” featuring readings by author, multimedia personality, love, sex and relationships writer Abiola Adams; Sex Workers’ Art Show participants and Literary Death Match Champion Lorleei Lee; exotic dancer and Mr. Choade’s Upstairs/Downstairs regular Rosabelle Selavy; the hosts Sterry and Hansen as well as yours truly.

Event Details:
Date: Wednesday, February 9th
Time: 8pm
Venue: Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery
Price: Free!
More info: www.bowerypoetry.com

Endless Night’s ‘Vampire Ball: Anti Valentine’s Masque’
If you are inexplicably drawn to Dracula, red wine and those Twilight films, you will definitely enjoy Endless Night’s Vampire Ball: Anti Valentine’s Masque. The immortal coterie behind this event celebrates their 16th annual Ball with two floors of goth/industrial music, performances by Mystical Hips and Libertina Dance Company, emcee Empress Chi Chi Valenti and more.

Event Details:
Date: Saturday, February 12
Time: 11pm-4am
Venue: Santos Party House, 96 Lafayette Street
Price: $18 in advance, $20 at the door and $30 for couples
More info: vampireballnyc2011-efbevent.eventbrite.com/

Rubulad’s ‘Super Fantastic Love Explosion! A Valentine’s Dance’
If fangs and frock coats aren’t your thing, perhaps you’d prefer to trek to Brooklyn and hobnob with the hipsters at Rubulad’s ‘Super Fantastic Love Explosion! A Valentine’s Dance.’ Brooklyn’s “longest running art party” has been transforming boring nightcrawlers into actual artists for years now, so even if you don’t find a valentine, you may find your inner muse! The line-up is, as always, jam-packed with entertainment, including Lily & The Parlour Tricks, Viva’s Rock & Roll Burlesque, Modern Dance Awareness Society and The Dreams and Aspirations Vending Machine by Yung O., with DJs Shakey, $mall¢hange and The Vintage DJ spinning your super-creative soundtrack.

Event Details:
Date: Saturday, February 12
Time: 10pm-4am
Venue: 41 Varick Avenue, Brooklyn
Price: $10-$20
More info: 347-469-1553

Gemini & Scorpio’s ‘Steamy Valentine’s Night at the Russian Baths’
The sexy sprites of Gemini & Scorpio aren’t letting the celebration of Eros go by without a soiree! If you’re feeling especially daring, you may consider shedding your clothes for their ‘Steamy Valentine’s Night at the Russian Baths.’ I’ve written about their ‘Lip Service’ event in Soho but this tantalizing night out will require a trip to Kensington, Brooklyn. However, once there, you’ll be in paradise! Enjoy Russian, Turkish and Swedish steam rooms, jacuzzi, poolside dance floor, hookah lounge, delicious food and lots of steamy, sexy people! Add in entertainment by Hungry March Band and Mehanata (Bulgarian Bar) DJ Joro Boro and you won’t believe you’re in America!

Event Details:
Date: Monday, February 14
Time: 7pm-2am
Venue: Brooklyn Banya, 602 Coney Island Ave bet Beverley Rd & Ave C, Kensington, Brooklyn
Price: $35-$85
More info: www.geminiandscorpio.com

And if, after one (or all!) of these events you find yourself with a new paramour, you can join the kinksters at Chemistry for another one of their new nights, ‘SpellBound,’ “a lighthearted foray in BDSM, with sexy upbeat music, playful spankings, masters who adore their pets and lots of toys to lovingly tease the senses.” This fresh foray takes place on February 18. Check their web site for more info.

Whether you’re single or some interesting configuration of coupledom, there’s never a shortage of sexy things to do in New York City!