It’s 10:00 at night, and I’m standing in a hotel room with Mark. He’s in his early 40’s, or a very rough late-30’s. He’s probably 5’9” and the first thing you notice is his eyes – Chihuahua eyes. His hair is a dark auburn and has retreated as far as possible from his now-imposing forehead. Lines dance around his face, and although he isn’t fat, his posture gives him the illusion of a paunch. He seems harmless, but I can already tell that there’s something a-creep about him. Luckily for my nerves, another hostess has vouched for him.
Well, another hostess who has ditched tonight’s party to go out with her friends after driving me to the hotel. Another hostess who was my ride home. Another hostess that is currently not my favorite person. Seeing as I’m stranded lest I grab myself a very expensive cab ride, I decide to ride out the evening and see how it goes. I know where the exits are, I have a stiletto to puncture a temple if need be, and I want to see this sex party, dangit!
Amazingly, despite having done run parties for two years, Mark seems highly unprepared. He has two red light bulbs in a room with 5 lamps, a six pack of beer, an adorable bottle of Jack Daniels, and no music or speakers.
“You got an iPod with you? Does it get loud enough to play on its own?”I hear from the other corner of the suite. He’s lucky, as I do have an iPod with me, and apparently tonight our partiers will be serenaded by my workout mix. After wandering around the room a little bit, I see that the alarm clock has an mp3 dock, plug it in, and cross my fingers that what little battery I have left will last the night.
And then… we wait. And… wait.
“Tonight will be a slow night. We’ll only have about 4 couples and one single guy.” Mark and I suck at small talk so far, so we talk business.
“Oh, okay. How many people are there normally?”
“Well, normally 15-20, but we’ve had as many as 30 people before. That night was crazy.” There’s a fair measure of pride as he tosses out the size of his parties. “But then you get some nights like tonight, where the driving conditions are crap, and things are slow. It could be good though. It’s all about the chemistry of the group.”
“Got it. And what do you need me to do? Do I take coats? We don’t seem to have drinks to give.”
“You just need to interact with people. Make them comfortable, give them someone to talk to. If this single guy tonight isn’t getting any, I need you to talk to him and make him comfortable. Keep him company so that he still has a good time at the end of the night.”He seems to be thinking about something, and follows up with, “And, I mean, if it’s a really slow night and you think the guy is hot, you can totally fuck him.”
Huh. I guess this is the equivalent of a sex party hostess’ benefits package? It’s a no on the dental insurance, but we’ve got plenty of dudes willing to fuck!
“Yeah. I don’t think that’s going to happen, but thanks!”
“I mean, don’t skirt your responsibilities, but if you want to join, you can.” Seeing as I’m still confused as to my exact ‘responsibilities,’ I decide that I’ll keep on the safe side. I don’t think being professional is necessarily the biggest deal here, but there’s got to be some level of structure to my position.
-20 Minutes of Awkward Chat Later-
“Looks like we’ve got our first couple at the bar!” Mark is up and out of his chair and heading towards the door. “I need you to come with me to get them, and tonight your name is Amanda.”
Amanda. I’m not big on the name, but I can be Amanda for one night. Maybe he’ll let me pick my own name next time.
As we walk down the hall I realize just how much of an odd couple we appear to be. He’s dressed almost all in black and appears as if he’s suffering from chronic hangover, and I’m dressed to the nines, towering over him in my heals, and rocking quite the mane of blonde hair. I wonder how much the hotel staff has figured out about us. If they don’t know something is up already, they’ll surely know on our fourth trip to the lobby to meet partiers and escort them downstairs. If they know, they don’t appear to be worried about it.
Sitting at a table in the lounge is Sheila and Greg. I’m immediately confused. Sheila has the hair of a 5-year-old girl whose mother told the hairdresser to give her child “the mop.” Her attire has a hint of not-so-sexy librarian. Greg reminds me of a previous winner of Project Runway, had poverty not been keeping him skinny. But hey, they came for sex… we’ll let them have it!
Five minutes later we’re back in the lobby grabbing Susan and Dave. Susan is adorable, and rocking a leopard print pushup bra under her low-cut black top. She’s looking jittery, but it appears that her Dave is a portly Brit that’s gone almost completely gray, and has his hand super-glued to Susan.
After making our way back into the room, all six of us take our places in the various sofas and chairs in our suite. The next thing I know, we’re talking about carpool to elementary school. As it turns out, both of our couples have children under 8, and one of the couples met at the front of their children’s school by commiserating over recent divorces.
And the communication stays vanilla, except for a quick discussion of the clubs available in a college town the next state over. I make a mental note to hit the regional rail sometime soon to check out what other venues happen to look like. From Susan and Dave’s descriptions, it would appear that they are multi-level, with dancing up top and “mingling” below.
Mark assures me we’ll have two more couples on their way, and hops up and leaves me with the couples when he gets a text message. As I talk to them about sports to look into for their kids once they get to middle school, I get psyched about the idea of more people. But… as the door opens there is only one new face – Edan. He’s somewhere in his early 30’s with circles under his eyes that make you question what you’ve always thought was black. He’s Indian, maybe… and his hair is tied back in a small pony tail. There doesn’t appear to be suave. None of these people seem suave. I start to worry about how exactly this party is going to get started.
This worry is only exacerbated when Edan is introduced: “Everyone, this is Edan,” starts Mark.
“And I’m very nervous,” Edan says with a pained smile. Great.
So, I set to work. It’s very clear that there will not be much sex going on tonight, and even if there is, Edan is not going to be in on any of it. So… time for the winning smile and the flirtatious banter in 3… 2…
“Hi! I’m Amanda. It’s so nice to meet you. Here we have Sheila, Greg, Susan, and Dave.” I wait for the shaking of hands and move myself closer to him. “How was your drive?”
And we’re back to Vanilla chit-chat. Everyone’s talking about where they’re from, as both Edan and Dave have accents that could come from England or any of its former colonies. Edan has lived just about everywhere in the world, and as far as his unclear ethnicity, it doesn’t get any clearer. I do learn that his mother is from Bangladesh.
Finally I see a hint of something. Sheila moved to Greg’s lap to make room when Edan joined us, and they appear to have moved from general cuddling to making out. It’s short, but it’s something.
Oh God, please let something happen.
Thank you, Sheila. “So, Greg and I are going to go have sex. If anyone wants to watch, just come on over to the other side of the television!”
They disappear to the other side of our partial-divide. Dave’s hand is still glued to Susan, and it doesn’t appear to be wandering any higher up her thigh than the general knee area. Not even with the promise of sex only dozen feet away. Every once in a while they move, but that’s only for Dave to grab a beer out of the mini-cooler that he rolled into the suite shortly after seeing that our reserves were alarmingly dry.
After a few minutes, I decide that this night can’t be a complete loss for Edan. If he’s uncomfortable, I’ll figure out how to make him comfortable. He’ll leave being able to say he made a friend, and that friend will be good old Amanda.
“Hey Edan, want to go watch with me?” I push myself up from the chair and make a sweeping gesture that says: “Come on down, y’all!”
“Uh, sure. Why not?” And he shuffles to meet me.
For the next 30 minutes Edan and I watch what can only be described as very lackluster sex punctuated by one moment of successful cunnilingus. After climax, I turned to Edan and said: “Can we clap? I feel like the man deserves a golf clap, no?”
“I don’t think that’s quite appropriate, but I also have no idea.”
“Well, let’s clap quietly then.” I begin gently clapping, and apparently catch Greg’s attention.
“You like the show?” He smirks.
“Very much so, thank you!” I respond.
Hey, I’m here to build people up, not tell them they’re boring the crap out of me.
Meanwhile, I’m learning a lot of Edan. Turns out he’s a mathematics professor at a local university. He’s just been given tenure and has decided it’s time to live a little. He’s been to California, and has a lot of advice as far as how I should approach my grad school applications in the fall. We’re chummy as the couple slowly fucks on the bed.
And then I get the question I was thinking might eventually pop up: “So, does your position as hostess allow you to participate in these parties?”
“Oh, no. I’m just here to make sure everyone has a good time. It’s strictly professional for me, though.” Again, honesty isn’t in my job description.
Greg finishes with a soft, “Ooouuuh.” I guess it’s time for the viewing party to come to an end.
As I look back to the other side of the room, I see that Susan and Dave have not moved so much as an inch in the past 3 hours.
Worst. Sex Party. Ever.
Coming up… Five Dollar Foot Long