By Anna Merlan
By Albert Samaha
By Tessa Stuart
By Anna Merlan
By Roy Edroso
By Carolyn Hughes
By Chuck Strouse
By Albert Samaha
Some of my closest female friends are boy bonkers, and sometimes I feel sorry for them. It's hard to be straight these days. If I were a smart, feminist, empowered, sex-positive girl who liked guys, I would dread the dating scene. Men are intimidated by independent women, women who know what they want in bed, women with brains and boobs who like to show off both. Chicks have Bust magazine, Angelina Jolie kickin' ass in Tomb Raider, Hitachi Magic Wands, and strap-ons, but how does all that translate when you just want to meet a nice guy? Those Sex in the Citygals aren't helping things either. Sure, they talk a good game, but they're hardly role models for straight women striving for functional love lives. Maybe it's all the gay pride I feel this month, but I'm convinced queers just have more fun. It saddens me to think that heteros who express their genders in mostly traditional ways are destined for boring sex lives.
However, I've discovered proof that straight people can be sexually liberated, wild, and fabulous. It's called Cake. Founded a year ago, Cake is "a cross-platform production and entertainment company for young heterosexual women that represents a contemporary female sexual lifestyle." Through its Web site and events in New York, Cake is determined to create quality erotic entertainment for women. Cake has thrown parties where "Cake-approved" adult flicks are projected on huge screens as a way to introduce women to pro-pussy porn as well as smaller girls-only private gatherings with sexual demonstrations. Cake has a strict policy for its big gatherings: A man must be accompanied by a woman to get in. Its straight happenings never are more than 50 percent men, and usually there's more estrogen in the house. Cake creates a safe space for women to explore their sexuality without a creepy 10-men-to-one-woman ratio.
Two weeks ago the third in a series of Cake-produced amateur striptease contests was held at Spa. In a sensationalized front-page story, the New York Postteased, "Hip partygoers are lining up to strip naked and perform sexual acts . . . and the authorities are not exactly pleased about it," and painted the Cake party as tawdry and cheap and salacious, something for Rudy to jerk off to at night while his mistress is exiled from his house. That reporter missed the point.
What I saw as I moved through the crowd, a spy in the house of breeder lust, was more than 800 young, well-dressed, attractive heterosexuals (more than I had personally ever socialized with in one place) creating their own sexual revolution. Erotic tension bounced from tongues to ears as some stared at a large screen broadcasting the goings-on in "the Freakbox," a private capsule-like room equipped with spycams by the site Alltrue.com. (This is where, according to the Post, one couple allegedly went all the way.) Other partygoers picked up sex toys artfully displayed on pedestals. They turned them on, felt the vibration against her finger or his hand; I knew their imaginations were going wild. Women crowded the small stage, signing up to strip that night. Most of them looked like trendy yuppies. Some probably sipped sour-apple martinis. Director Vincent Gallo, actress Chloe Sevigny, and gossip guy A.J. Benza mingled in the crowd. The sexual openness and lack of pretension surprised and inspired me.
Hosted by Cake girl Emily and sexy drag queen Mistress Formika (dressed as a boy, shirtless in tight black jeans), the striptease featured 26 women and 14 men taking it off for prizes donated by Libida.com. A brunet with a camera put down her equipment and briefly showed us, um, her other equipment during her dance. She could have been your friend's sister, and her girl-next-door ordinariness made her strip hot. A hefty Asian girl with a big belly showed off her roundness, not to mention her full-size white cotton granny underwear (don't ask me why, but the whole thing really worked, maybe because I just love big girls who love their bodies). To my left, I saw a blond hottie who looked like a sexier Julie Stiles, chatting and giggling with a friend. She flashed her tits to her gal-pal in conversation, as if to make a point that her friend nodded to in agreement. It was that kind of party.
When guys started to strut, girls went crazy, and I loved seeing them objectified and ogled. Even the guy in the cheesy red satin thong had his fans. The men didn't have perfect bodies (OK, one blond hunk did) or smooth moves, but I gave them credit for giving us a Full Monty and then some. My favorite strippers of the evening were a boy-girl tag team, he Mr. Average Dude and she a feisty redhead wearing a leopard-print thong underneath it all. They weren't the best-looking or the greatest dancers. They just got up there and stripped for each other and for us, and had a kind of magical energy (that once again gave me faith that straight people really can transcend straightness). He got on his knees in front of her, she pushed his head into that satiny animal print covering her pussy, her inner dominatrix shone through for all to see, and together they were the bomb. I would cast them in a porn movie in a heartbeat.
The straight women weren't expressing their sexuality for money or men's pleasure. When these girls got on stage, they were giving it up as much for themselves and each other as they were for the boys watching, and that put them firmly in control. Yes, things may have gotten a little out of hand, too much skin showing for our anti-sex mayor's tastes. But the reason things went so far is a testament to the positive space that Cake created; everyone felt safe to let loose. As Giuliani has shut down strip clubs and other sex shops, the storefront may go away, but the desires it catered to will not. (The next day's Post, however, reported that Spa renounced the evening's activities, and won't permit another striptease.) Plus, there have rarely been venues for sex-positive straight women where they could feel empowered about their sexuality without it being simply commodified and objectified by men. Every woman needs this kind of Cake.
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