In the almost six years I’ve lived in New York City — five of which I’ve spent working predominantly in gay night life—it now amazes me that I’ve only managed to make it to two Black Partys: this year’s India-inspired, “A Ruined Paradise” theme and the previous year’s psychotic Luna Park fantasy. All political correctness aside, you’ll notice that no matter the theme, a Black Party trademark is seeing just how far one can color any cultural deity or your typical carnival clown in as many distorted and sexually hedonistic hues as possible. And I love it. Or, make that, loved it, as the doors of Roseland Ballroom close forever on this year’s feast of fetishism. Perhaps the thin silver lining to another extinction of a New York City institution is that now a future theme of “Broken-down-ballroom” is conveniently set into place.
Because of the Black Party’s final night’s residency at Roseland and also because of my growing involvement in the adult industry — I exclusively model for Cocky Boys — I wanted to immerse myself in as much Black Party sexcapades as possible. I reasoned that if anything, it’s at least good publicity for getting one’s face (and then some) out there.
My night began like most of my work weekends: in a cage. Well, technically this was a go-go box inside a cage, but I started the evening working the trickling crowd of early Black Party devotees who already were beginning to fill the upper level of Roseland with an assortment of jock, chaps and harness clad bodies. My cage was stationed directly across from the Rent Boy “harem suite” and I had the perfect view of fellow friends and adult performers like Eli Lewis, Cocky Boys’ Duncan Black, and Austin and Tyler Wolf lap dancing each other and the occasional lucky patron selected by drag performer Holly Dae, who swished about in ethereal white skirts and a pearl and mirror encrusted corset. I in turn was enjoying my own go-go hustling and trying my best to make the most out of my stage, not to mention my tiny, tiny underwear. Using the iron bars of my cage, I periodically hoisted myself into the air, spread my legs in my mesh thong and grinded away against every possible inch of wrought iron, coaxing onlookers to come say hello and ideally make a small donation to my stripper college fund.
After a few hours of cage class and masturbatory grape eating — a fairly accurate, literal description of my brief stage show — I was free to explore the rest of the party. By this point in the night Roseland was filling to capacity. The upper floor of my go-go station swarmed with nearly naked bodies, massing their way in hungry searches through the neon threaded hallways, where illuminated vines did little to incur partygoer’s inhibitions for almost every conceivable sexual act. Blow jobs, hand jobs, rim jobs and job-jobs dotted the pathways like Karma Sutra inspired Stations of the Cross, all filtering towards the dark room.
I couldn’t help but find it humorous that the “Black” Party, known for its extreme sexual exhibitionism, also had a “dark” room. It felt like having a dessert table at the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory. Nevertheless, as a dedicated journalist I felt it my duty to explore all aspects of the party, and so I let myself get sucked into the tide of wandering eyes and talkative hands that literally pulled all who dared into the seemingly infinite, pitch black tunnel of the dark room. The bombardment of heavy tribal music, stroking hands and inevitable swirling musk of innumerable men proved too much for me though. I was testing myself as if holding my breath under water to see how long I could stand being in the sweaty, cramped, sexually charged corridor until both my mind and my body screamed for release, and I fought my way back against the current of bodies to the more well lit and aerated hallways. My capacity for heated groping soundly tested — I’d give myself a “seven” — I resolved to take a break from the party and go to the source of the real shows: the downstairs dressing rooms.
No matter whether I’m working a burlesque show or a sex party, the dressing room is always the highlight of the evening for me, and the Black Party’s cinder block club house of porn stars was no exception. The players and performers of the who’s who (or who’s screwed) of gay porn paraded, joked, and flirted in unclothed abundance. Zombie Aladdin’s like my fellow Cocky Boys’ bro Levi Karter charged cell phones and chatted with bindi-ed bartenders sucking in the briefest of cigarette breaks. Muscular hunks Boomer Banks and Marcus Isaacs adjusted each other’s pendulous monkey tails while beefcake centurions Seven Dixon and Leo Forte recharged their bodies with handfuls of trail mix and Nutrigrain bars after fucking each other under the jewel toned lights of their cut out Taj Mahal palace. Meanwhile gay porn momma Mr. Pam darted and bobbed with her camera between the clusters of bare butts and sequin appliquéd jock straps and twisted drag sensation Maddelyn Hatter applied the final, not-so-subtle touches of electric yellow and orange powder to her gorgeous, deity-inspired make-up. I felt like I was in an orgiastic Disneyland of leather, muscle, and whorishly costumed Arabian back-up dancers.
The combination of all the playful, sexual camaraderie mixed with the even more direct physical groping and probing on the trance-inducing dance floor again made me regret my former ambivalence for attending previous year’s parties. It’s in fact a condition shared by many New Yorker’s I think, this missing out on some of the more outrageous events and opportunities that supposedly drive many of us to the city in the first place. So whether its next week’s sex party or Chelsea gallery art opening, I challenge you, the reader, to actually get out and go do it!
Now, all that said and soap box acknowledged, die hard Black Party congregants will probably find it humorous that after vowing to immerse myself fully in this final night’s decadence, I packed up my jock strap and said goodbye to the Roseland for the last time just around 4 a.m., an hour when many party goers are just beginning to arrive. In fact, as I sit here writing this article on Sunday afternoon, there is no doubt in my mind that the dancing, sex, and debauchery is barely beginning to wrap up itself up. Nevertheless, I felt like I had gotten my full taste of the Black Party experience, and besides, that craving was now replaced by the very real hunger pangs from all that earlier cage dancing.
Much like my nights usually begin on a box, so too do they also end up in a booth, usually accompanied by home fries and as much Heinz Ketchup as a I desire — I had soundly burned those carbs so don’t throw me no shade. And even though the hypnotic beat of Roseland’s tribal rhythms continued to entice and draw new participants into its sexual playground, at least a handful of spent partiers joined me in occupying adjacent booths and tables, mixing in the relative quiet din of the after hour’s diner crowd. In fact, sitting right across from me were three belly dancing goddesses, now looking much more casual in their street wear while sharing plates of home fries and chicken tenders, though still covered in head-to-toe blue body paint and glitter.
I smiled to myself as my own late night breakfast approached my table. Though I make my living in nightlife, I definitely needed to get out more.