by Maggi W

Where are all the sex parties?

It can be tough these days, in Chicago, to know where to find your underground erotic thrills, as the cops close down sex clubs  for "incidents of sexual activity," including anal sex, which are considered "a danger to public health." Oddly, and to the benefit of women, the law says nothing about cunnilingus or fellatio. These restrictions are why any sex party worth going to is undercover and at no fixed venue—a moveable feast, as it were. But trust me, they are out there.

"There are so many different flavors of sexuality parties. You have swingers, polyamorous types, Burning Man, fetish, gay, transgender, costume, pillow fight, eye-gazing, naked yoga events. Plus, there are even different sub-sections for each of these categories," says underground party planner Morpheus.

I became a member of Chemistry, XCore and HedoOnline, online groups that hold erotic parties for swingers and sexually adventurous types: to join I had to send applications with pictures of myself and my boyfriend. Xcore was a more catered affair with Wall Street type-crowds (older, richer), whereas Chemistry had more of a Burning Man vibe. All of these parties had hordes of people making out, but XCore had luxurious events with contortionists, stilt walkers and other circus performers (details that come with a price, ranging from $75 to $350 and an arduous screening process to cut the sleaze). HedoOnline was cheaper, but the crowd was not as attractive.

School of Sex, another group that holds catered events like XCore, tries to attract a younger crowd. Twenty-seven-year-old founder Sex Kitten created the group when she "...realized there was a great need for a 'swinger orientation' for beginners and a party catering to the under-40 set."

XCore holds both public and private events. "I have more theatrical and sexual events," says Pelagia, founder of XCore. At her recent 15th-century costume themed party, there were 85 people at a 3000 sq. ft. loft, where almost everyone was having sex amid dozens of glowing candles, hundreds of rose petals, and live conga drummers. "Bunny Love performed; she pretended to eat oysters and afterwards she pulled a string of oysters from her vagina; her act was called, 'The Girl with a Pearl Necklace'."

After meeting people at these "off premise" swinger parties, I got invited to some other more private versions at beautiful apartments throughout Manhattan, featuring some of the most physically attractive people I've ever met. Not surprisingly, these private settings lead to more open displays of affection, by which I mean straight-up orgies. Some of these parties included people who also happened to be intelligent and educated—because nothing's sexier than talking politics, history and philosophy after a make-out session.

These private parties also have an array of themes. One 28-year-old married doctor (and gorgeous swinger) invited me to a dinner party for ladies only. Each woman was to slip on a vibrator that was controlled by randomly distributed remote controls. The game? To find out who was controlling your vibrator as you munched on a filet mignon. I didn't go to this event.
And then there was the gay party I was invited to, through word of mouth, in which naked men roamed around having sex, enjoying fisting contests and live sex acts on stage. Speaking of live sex acts, gay party planner Daniel Nardicio explained his entertainment preferences to me: "More macabre... unusual events are what I prefer... with one-legged, flipper-arm performers." He went on to describe a party he once had with avant performer Narcissister, who entered the room with nothing but an Afro wig on. Naked, she pulled shoes out of her wig and put them on her feet. From her vagina she then tugged out a chiffon skirt and a shirt, which she slowly put on while dancing to the song, "I'm Every Woman."Â "A reverse strip tease," said Nardicio.

Another evening, I went to Suspension, an S&M party. Mistress Trish greeted me at the door and slapped my ass with a whip, "Welcome to the dungeon!" Bodies were wrapped in leather and chains. A topless woman was tied up and suspended as a man slapped her breasts with paddles. Another man, "The Human Carpet" lay on a ground dressed like a rug, relishing his fetish for being stepped on.

Others had themselves placed in a VacBed, which is like a body-sized latex condom that you seal yourself in, using a snorkel to breathe. These "beds" are connected to machines that suck the air out of the latex bag, so you become vacuum-sealed, like a sausage in plastic packaging. This is meant to give people a euphoric full-body high. Personally, I felt claustrophobic in the VacBed, my lack of comfort mitigated only by my friends' comments: "Look, she's getting swallowed by a human-sized condom!" I almost choked on the snorkel because I kept laughing. And contrary to what many may assume, it was all good (if painful) play but no sex.

As I alluded to above, erotic swinger sex clubs are always at the risk of being shut down, which is probably why there are very few in Chicago (only two that I can think of). The Illinois Sanitary Code bars establishments that have facilities available for anal, vaginal intercourse and fellatio, and was originally enacted to close gay "sex clubs and bath-houses... to curb the AIDS epidemic," according to Sex Kitten. However, the Health Department allows "roaming parties," which makes the above nomadic sex/erotic events legal. Note that Sex Kitten, an attorney, has been working with Constitutional scholars to revise or repeal the Code. It could lead to the birth of some incredible Chicago sex clubs.

From masks to beatings to live sex, you can pretty much find anything in Chicago by talking to the locals and getting active online. So please don't complain that Chicago's erotic nightlife is dead. There's a lot going on out there, in many different flavors. And now you know where to start looking. In the words of Mistress Goose, "If you want to get whipped, strangled, loved, massaged, tickled, you can find anything here—just get to know the people at the party."