It’s a basement of an apartment building in Park Slope, Brooklyn. There’s no air conditioning. Fans are strategically placed throughout the space to cool things off. There’s a small table in the front room with a bottle of Coke and A&W Root Beer and some bags of pretzels. The lighting is very dim - red, blue, green lanterns pepper through the space. And everywhere I look: skin.
This is Submit, the women’s and trans’ BDSM monthly sex party.
I’ve been going to submit for about 10 years now. I don’t go too often, but every time I go it’s a new and wonderous experience. You might think that going to a sex party is seedy or creepy. And some other sex parties might be like that, but this one isn’t. It’s an organized and clean space and it’s run impeccably well.
(One night when someone had been inappropriately touched, the host stopped the music, got on the PA system and said firmly “Someone tonight was inappropriately touched. That is not acceptable here. Everyone must ask FIRST then if you get permission you can touch.” Some of the women and trans folks started booing the person who broke the sacred rule. Suffice to say, it’s as safe a space as you can imagine a sex party to be where 50-100 women and transmen are walking around mostly naked.)
The layout is pretty simple - in the very front there is a room with a swing, a “private” bed and a board to tie someone up to, then there’s the front room where they do demonstrations (like deep throating or electricity play), then there are the booths - think changing rooms but with beds, benches, stools and swings - about 20 of them, then there’s the BDSM room with a jail cell, a swinging platform, a whipping station, another swing and even a school desk if you want to play naughty school girl. All along the rooms and booths are couches and chairs for sitting and watching as well as peep holes in the walls of the booths for, well, peeping. :-)
Recently, I went to the party with my girlfriend and after we had our fun, we went to go watch others have fun of their own. We went to the BDSM room and it was amazing. I mean, it’s always amazing. But on this night, the energy was just electric. Usually, there is a lot of screaming and begging and the mood is intense. This night, it was more joyful. There was still pain - one woman was squatting and had a series of clothes pins pinned onto her inner thigh while she was paddled and counted to 100 — if she stood up straight, the pins would be ripped off her thighs and cause major pain. When the pins did come off, she screamed and then fell into laughter. Her paddlers were laughing joyfully all the while they were paddling her.
In the jail cell, there was laughter too - a woman was being whipped by two others and at one point when it hurt a lot, she yelled “Fuck you!” The room erupted in laughter, as did the woman. There was another couple of women who walked in later who ended up using the jail cell and when the woman who was chained to the wall by her wrists and ankles started being whipped with cat tails and punched in the ass, she started jumping up and down and laughing so hard — just laughing and laughing. It was amazing.
But the most beautiful moment of the evening came later. There was a trans woman sitting on the swinging platform for a while looking forlornly. She had a flogger with her and she seemed to be looking around for someone to play with her. After a while - like maybe an hour - a trans guy, just having finished screwing his female mate, started up a conversation with another genderfluid person who was sitting on the swinging platform with the trans woman. She was now holding a pin wheel. The three of them started talking about the pin wheel. And about how it feels. And then the trans guy walked over to her and took the wheel out of her hand and started running it over her skin. She became ecstatic. Next thing I saw was the woman (who the trans guy had been fucking) going over to the genderfluid person and they went off into a corner bed and started having sex. It was wild to watch that transition happen from sex to talking to flirting to sex with different people. And the gentleness and the respect and the connection between people who didn’t know each other.
At this sex party - there are all types: little people, big people, cis and trans, kinky, vanilla, voyeurs, attention junkies, threesomes, twosomes, moresomes… the only people who are not allowed are cis men. Everyone else is welcome. And, in my experience, everyone is friendly and respectful and it’s a no-holds-barred kind of place. Being into sex - watching and/or doing - is the leveling factor. It’s a beautiful space and it’s one of the few spaces where I feel truly at home. Where having sex in front of a room full of people, strangers, is not strange, it’s natural.
Isn’t that how life should be?
If only the world were run by the host of Submit, I think it’d be a kinder and safer place.