My coworker and her roommates are known for throwing amazing themed parties at their Astoria apartment aptly nicknamed Malfoy Manor (previous parties include a Harry Potter themed birthday and an election night party). So when I got the Facebook invite for their Galentine’s Day party, I knew I had to be there. After accepting the invite I discovered this wasn’t any ordinary Galentine’s Day party: this was a sex toy party.
I was a sex toy party virgin, and while I try to talk a big game about being free and open when it comes to discussions about sex, I still felt a little awkward sitting down with my giant solo cup of boxed wine and looking through the catalog and clipboard that had been placed on a chair for me. Across the room were the two Pure Romance consultants and their table of products set up behind them, and Annette (consultant #1) was ready to lead the party.
We started with an ice breaker game, which usually makes me roll my eyes, but this one was genuinely fun. At the top of a piece of paper we wrote our names; below that, we wrote the chore we hate doing the most, and below that the reason why we hate doing it. Mine said, “Laundry – because it’s heavy and far away” (living that NYC laundromat life). We passed the papers to the person on the right, and then had to cross out the chore and write the word “sex” instead, and read what the paper now said. The paper I was handed said, “She hates sex because it takes forever and everything else gets greasy,” and my other favorite said, “They hate sex because they always have to do it for their roommates.” Props to Annette for giving us an icebreaker that actually had me laughing instead of groaning.
At one point we went around the circle and paired off as Romeos and Juliets, one of us making a tight fist and the other trying to “get in” using our finger, before and after using one of the lubes.
The presentation started out light – and with a lot more things rubbed on my arm than expected. There were massage oils, perfume that was supposed to bring out your own unique scent with pheromones, LOTS of different kinds of lube and even a cream that you swallow to numb your gag reflex. This part of the night was pretty tame, and most people were open to discussing the Bath and Body Works-scented body oils and shaving creams that are apparently magic for your pubes, according to Pure Romance. At one point we went around the circle and paired off as Romeos and Juliets, one of us making a tight fist and the other trying to “get in” using our finger, before and after using one of the lubes. We were encouraged to take notes on products we were interested in for later as to not forget which scent or flavor we wanted to buy at the end of the night.
There was a drink and snack break, and then Phase Two began.
Because we needed another ice breaker (obviously), we played a “pass the penis” game with a double-ended dildo, squeezing it between our legs and giving it to the next person in the least kid-friendly version of musical chairs that I’ve ever witnessed. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t hilariously fun – we were all fairly tipsy at this point, and nothing brings people together like trying not to drop a giant pink dildo.
Nothing brings people together like trying not to drop a giant pink dildo.
We calmed down, grabbed more drinks and sat down to witness the toy presentation, which started with Annette suction-cupping a pink dildo to the wall that remained there for the rest of the night (if I remember correctly, she advertised this as “always being there for you”). Annette and her assistant went through the vibrators they brought, turning them on and explaining their speeds and functions, none of which I remembered very well after glancing at the price tags in the catalog (the most basic vibrator started at $50). There were several rounds of passing vibrator from person to person as my alcohol-lubricated hands tried not to drop them as they vibrated at ridiculously high speeds. I’m sorry to say I can’t report on their varied functionality in the bedroom – I wasn’t willing to invest that much in a vibrating piece of silicone that night.
Here’s where I get semi critical and say that, while I’m sure our Pure Romance ladies were just reading the room and going with the flow, everything discussed was very hetero-sex focused. I believe there was a mention or two at the beginning about using lubricant on your “guy or girl,” but the rest of the party was very much focused on the chemistry between “you and your man” and other factors of simply heterosexual intercourse. I don’t fault them for this exactly, because the message that Annette and Pure Romance seemed to convey was more about female empowerment and getting equal enjoyment out of sex as your partner. The environment felt very welcoming, and even though the group of girls attending were majority cisgender and straight, people who don’t necessarily fit into those categories may not have found the presentation as useful or inclusive.
Annette suction-cupp[ed] a pink dildo to the wall that remained there for the rest of the night (if I remember correctly, she advertised this as “always being there for you”).
At the end of the night I bought two things, and luckily in my one-on-one consultation with Annette she didn’t try to upsell me on anything else. She did this with every other girl who was interested in purchasing things at the party, in one of the girl’s bedrooms, for privacy. It was a bit intimidating watching other girls spend five, 10 ten minutes discussing god knows what, but I was thankfully spared with light conversation and a swipe of my credit card in her iPhone.
My coworkers and I didn’t discuss what all we bought – all I know is that Annette and co. made over $1000 worth of sales from our party alone.
While I don’t think I’d ever personally host a sex toy party (even though the host gets a discount off of their purchases and a goodie bag), I’m glad I attended, even if just for the laughs and experience alone. Plus, I have a few new things to use in the bedroom – but that’s a post for another day.