The Weekly listings can now be found on the homepage at groupsexinthecity.com

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Two of NYC’s Biggest Parties Are Now No Longer “Safe”


Long-time readers of this blog know that I have always preferred safe sex parties over “mixed” ones (where barebacking is allowed) for many reasons. Not the least of them is that I personally find the idea of blowing a guy who just had his cock unprotected inside who-knows-how-many-asses my own personal definition of “ick.” And the idea of having a mouth on my cock that may have just been sucking that cock that was unprotected inside who-knows-how-many asses is rather unappealing to me as well. The “bottom” line being that anytime you allow guys to stick their cocks unprotected into a multitude of asses where they will then, in turn, get blown by a multitude of mouths that will then turn around and blow many more cocks etc, there is no way around it, shit is going to get passed around even to those who are “playing safe,” because they are being exposed orally to what is being passed around anally by the barebackers. I personally have had my fill of having to get shots in the ass after getting something at a “mixed” party so I limit my party-going now only to safe sex parties. 

In these days when more and more guys are relying on PrEP to protect them from one disease, while seemingly being perfectly fine with exposing themselves to, and spreading around others such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, genital warts (which may not sound like a big deal, but do you really want to risk getting warts on your cock and asshole?) et al, I find it just as important as ever to protect yourself when engaging with large groups of men where, obviously, the larger the group, the more the risk of exposure is multiplied. STDs are on the rise among gay men, especially Syphilis (a cause of blindness and strokes), and no amount of PrEP is going to protect anyone from that. 

So it’s really saddened me of late to see two of the biggest parties promoters in NYC decided to move their parties from the “Safe Sex” column to the “Mixed” column. A few weeks ago, a new disclaimer started appearing in the invites for the GBU (Golden Boys USA) parties which include the monthly COLLEGE KEGGER and RUSH parties announcing that barebacking would now be allowed at the parties. This was followed this past week with the host of NYJP (New York Jock Party) adding the same disclaimer to his SXVP party invite, a move that I imagine surprised no one since, a) GBU and NYJP co-host the BOXERS NOR BRIEFS party together and, b) it’s been no secret that the host of NYJP has been turning his head the other way and unofficially allowing barebacking at his parties for quite some time now. But at least now they were “coming clean” so-to-speak and officially acknowledging it. 


The host of GBU has labeled this disclaimer as his “Safe Sex Policy,” a rather deceptive title considering there is nothing “safe sex” about it. It either is a safe-sex party or it isn't. You either allow barebacking or you don’t. There is no grey area here. The new “Safe Sex Policy” reads as follows:

“We strongly encourage the use of condoms (which we provide).  If you do have condomless intercourse it is assumed that you are on PreP / Truvada or undetectable.  If not, then it's imperative that you always use condoms especially if your partner asks you to.  Please be considerate and respectful of the guys you play with. Remember you can still get other STD's from going condomless and we strive to provide a safe environment to play in.”

It does not go on to say in way they “strive to provide a safe environment,” so I’m quite curious as to what they are referring to with that sentence. Because honestly I don’t know how one could “strive to provide a safe environment” and allow their guests to be barebacking at the same time, so if there are some other ways in which they are so diligently “striving,” I’m all ears. 

The part of the above statement that I find particularly disingenuous is “If you do have condomless intercourse it is assumed that you are on PreP / Truvada or undetectable.”

“Assumed?” I think if there is one thing we as gay men can agree on it is that a horny man will say ANYTHING to get what he is hungry for at that moment. “I’m on PrEP.” “I’m clean.” “I just got tested.” In horny-man-lingo, “just got tested" can mean eight months and 50 sex partners ago, many of whom he may also have convinced to have unprotected sex with using the same line.

Do you know what I always “assume?” I always assume that the person I’m about to fuck around with has something I don’t want to get and so I take the proper precautions to lower my risk of getting anything from them. And I urge all of you to do the same. The only thing I would “assume” about guys barebacking in the middle of groups of hundreds of men is that they are spreading diseases around the flock. 


And I’m sure I’m not the only one, which is why I imagine this new policy may have a bit of a “chilling” effect on how much full-out sex goes on at these parties. As I’ve mentioned many times in previous blog entries, a wonderful by-product of the true safe-sex parties is that there usually is a hell of a lot more sex going on at them then the “Mixed” parties. And that’s because when the group feels protected, they can relax and really go at it and so those parties become full-out orgies in the traditional sense. And don’t you, after all, go to sex parties to have a lot of sex? I have found the vibe at mixed parties to be more tentative with an aura of trepidation surrounding much of the proceedings, so it’s usually harder to get things started, it can feel more stand-off-ish and there is just not as much sex going on than at the safe sex parties. The NYJPs have always had that sort of standoff-ish vibe anyway, so the new policy may not have that much of an affect there, but I suspect it could affect the vibe at GBU over time as more and more guys find themselves getting STDs more often at their parties and start becoming more leery about their encounters there, or even stop going altogether. Perhaps then the hosts will rethink their policy. 

If you are one of the many that attend the GBU or NYJP parties and are concerned about the new heightened risk of exposure to STDs you might want to email the hosts and let them know. If you get a disease or infection at one of their parties, I also encourage you to email the hosts and let them know that you got something at one of their parties and would appreciate it if they took more interest in lowering the potential risk of exposure for the guys that attend their parties. For now it appears they are letting the desires of what they say is a small percentage of guests who want to engage in high-risk activity heighten the level of risk of exposure for the whole group. And the only thing that is likely to change that is if the rest of the group speaks up and says “No, I don’t want to be exposed to whatever it is the unprotected guys are spreading around.” Perhaps if they hear from enough of you they will rethink their policy and make their parties safe again.

In the meantime however, if you do go to the GBU or NYJP parties, I highly recommend you refrain from oral sex and stick to mutual jacking and protected anal sex (or protected oral sex, although if you are able to make that work you are a better man than I).

And then there still is another options for the young fit crowd which is, of course PRIVATE PARTY which, thank the safe-sex-party Gods, has a host that continues to be unwavering in his commitment to keeping his parties safe. And luckily for all you fit young men out there that care about your sexual well-being, there is one coming up this Wednesday to offer you refuge from the un-safe parties. My hat is off to the host for continuing to fight the good fight, for having a sense of responsibility towards his guests, and for truly enforcing and not budging on his safe-sex policy.  If you are a fit man between 18 and 30, or between the ages of 31 and 45 and in exceptionally good shape and you have yet to go to PRIVATE PARTY, I recommend you contact the host now so you have time to get your interview scheduled before the party this Wednesday. (It’s a very selective party so there is a bit of a screening process which makes for a high quality crowd.) Here are the details:

PRIVATE PARTY (Midtown West) Great social sex party with a good mix of twinks to muscle dudes to toned average guys. This is a great party to try if you've never been to a party before: social, safe, and a clean atmosphere, no attitude. The best part is that there is plenty of hot sex at this party – not just standing around. Recommended.
THE HOST SAYS: “PRIVATE PARTY is an exclusive monthly, all-nude, safe-sex and social event for well-built, well-groomed, handsome, professional men and students 18- 45. PRIVATE PARTY events are safe, discreet, friendly, completely drug-free and open only to our members. In order to maintain our standards all potential members are screened by phone prior to a brief confirmatory in-person interview. Members of this large organized group are in fine physical and mental shape ,work-out/exercise on a regular basis in addition to being confident, interesting and accomplished. This is a highly screened group who practice safe-sex and enjoy mixing and meeting in a drug-free, friendly, all-nude, social and sexual environment."
VERIFIED SPECIFICS
DOOR POLICY: Very Selective
VIBE: Social and Friendly
SS/BB: A safe-sex party
DONATION: $25 and $1 clothes check
SUPPLIES: Drinks, snacks, condoms and lube, towels and shower amenities
TIME: 8:00-11:30 (Sept. -Mar.)
FREQUENCY: Monthly, usually on a Wednesday
CROWD: 80 to 100+ guys, all races but predominately White, mostly students and white-collar professionals
AGE: 18-45 (no one over 45, average age is 25-35)
SPACE: Safe, clean private loft apartment
LIGHTING: Atmospheric lighting with full visibility while appropriate for the mood.
A GOOD PARTY FOR: Guys into well-build, well-groomed white-collar professionals and students, guys into safe-sex, guys into younger “twink” types, guys tired of the bar scene, first-timers.
NOT A GOOD PARTY FOR: Guys into leather or other various fetishes. Guys into facial hair, body hair or tats. Guys into masculine beefy types. Guys who like to PnP.
GETTING IN: E-mail PRIVATE.PARTY@MSN.COM for complete info.

Luckily PRIVATE PARTY is not the only safe-sex option still available in NYC. There is actually a safe-sex party to fit just about every taste and type. Here are all the ones I know of. Please let me know if you know of a safe-sex party I left off the list. Also let me know if you have witnessed barebacking allowed at any of the below parties and believe them to no longer be safe-sex-only. 


OTHER SAFE SEX PARTIES IN THE NYC AREA


BEEF (Washington Heights) Safe-sex party for bears, cubs, otters and chasers in a comfortable apartment with a social vibe. The hosts are constantly monitoring to make sure everyone sticks to their “condoms required for fucking” rule. 
NEXT PARTY: Friday, March 27th, 8pm to Midnight
GETTING IN: You need to be a member to attend. You can sign up at assactionnyc.com under the “BEEF” section.

BRUIN’ BUDDIES (Park Slope, Brooklyn) Safe-sex bear party in a basement space in Brooklyn with a no-tolerance policy toward barebacking.
NEXT PARTY: Saturday, March 7th, 3pm to 7pm
GETTING IN: Email  bruinbuddiesny@aol.com  

DADS FOR LADS (Midtown) The hosts of this hotel party recently started it as a “safe” alternative to other dads/lads parties. They also put emphasis on making sure the younger guys are treated respectfully. 
NEXT PARTY: Monday, March 16th, Noon to 4pm
GETTING IN: Email nycdads4lads@gmail.com for details

FOOTMENNYC (Hell’s Kitchen) Private party for Men into Feet, Footwear, or Tickling. Although the party is foot focused, safe-sex in allowed in one room. 
NEXT PARTY: Wednesday, March 4th, 7pm to Midnight
GETTING IN: Email footmennyc@gmail.com or visit footmennyc.com

MEATPACKERS/PITSTOP/LOAD (Park Slope, Brooklyn) These parties are usually held together at the same time in the Park Slope space. MEATPACKERS and LOAD are parties for a general crowd and PITSTOP has more of a fetish edge, but the guy who runs this space has a no-tolerance policy toward barebacking, so they are all safe. 
NEXT PARTY: Saturday, March 7th, Midnight to 5pm
GETTING IN: For Meatpackers call 212-677-3599, for Pitstop email pitstop_nyc@yahoo.com, for Load email loadnyc@aol.com


The MEN’S DEN parties: ASS ACTION, EARLY RELEASE, and THRUST (Washington Heights and Midtown) An interracial group for fit guys ages 21 to 49. The hosts of these parties probably have the strictest of the safe sex policies, even going so far as to ask their "members" to be tested every three months, but the result is practically wall-to-wall sex at the parties.
NEXT PARTY: THRUST, Friday March 13th, 8pm to Midnight
GETTING IN: You need to be a member to attend. You can find more info at mensdenmen.com/pages/info and you can sign up at mensdenmen.com/signup

MMX Parties (Union Square) MMX offers various parties dedicated to massage and touch, so there is never any oral or anal sex at their parties, but there are plenty of “Happy Endings.” 
NEXT PARTY: EDGE, Sunday, March 8th, 2pm
GETTING IN: Email MMXnyc@gmail.com or visit their website at mmxnyc.com


NEW YORK BONDAGE CLUB (Chelsea) The safe-sex party for those who want to explore their kinky side with leather, rope, spanking, etc. Held every Sunday night.
NEXT PARTY: Sunday, March 8th, 7pm to 2am
GETTING IN: Check out the site at www.NYBondageClub.com

NEW YORK JACKS (Midtown and Chelsea) A Jack-off-only party, no oral or anal allowed. And that is about as safe as you can get. 
NEXT PARTY: Saturday, March 7th, 4pm to 6pm (jerking until 7pm)
GETTING IN: Request info at  http://www.nyjacks.com/

PEAK (Chelsea) – Safe-sex party for the general crowd held several times a week in a comfortable apartment space. Every Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday
NEXT PARTY: Monday, March 2nd, 6pm to 11pm
GETTING IN: Email theorgyguy@gmail.com

SPAM (Park Slope, Brooklyn) A safe-sex party “for anyone in the LGBT community…dykes, fags, bisexuals and transgendered folks get together for a sexually charged underwear party.” 
NEXT PARTY: Saturday, March 21st, 11pm to 4am
GETTING IN: Call the hotline: 718-789-4053.  Or visit the website: http://www.submitparty.com/Spam_Party.html

THUGS 4 THUGS (Brooklyn) A safe-sex party for fit men of color (a few very in shape white guys are sometimes allowed as well). Parties are every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. 
NEXT PARTY: Friday, March 6th, Midnight to 6am
GETTING IN: Check out http://thugs4thugsex.com or email bkthugparty@alisthomeinspection.com with your pics and stats





See you there men! And to quote an old police drama “Let’s be careful out there!”

5 comments:

  1. Are you no longer posting information on parties that don't police condom use? How exactly do you expect party hosts to ensure that everyone is using condoms, walk around constantly and shine a flashlight on guys' crotches all the time? Shouldn't people be allowed to choose whatever level of risk they are comfortable with? Wouldn't the better option be to have accurate information available to party guests? Speaking of accurate information: All of the STIs you listed above are transferable through unprotected oral sex AND/OR sex with a condom (since the condom doesn't always cover the whole shaft and certainly not the testicles). So it's entirely possible that you needed those ass shots because of YOUR sexual behavior, not some barebackers. As far as HPV is concerned, if you've been to sex party then there is practically a 100% chance you already have it. A doctor once told me that a gay men picks up HPV by the time he's had sex with 4 partners (while using condoms). Now, not everyone who gets HPV has the symptomatic warts so that's why you don't think you have it, but I'd bet you and all the safe sex party attendees have it as well. Thing is, even if people are using condoms, going to a sex party is a "risky" behavior, and your writing demonizes barebackers as if they are the only people spreading disease. I've gotten STIs from oral sex and from intercourse with condoms, so I don't quite see how you can blame one portion of people for being the ONLY carriers of a disease. Condoms have actually never been tested for effectiveness during anal sex, so odds are they are just as successful at preventing HIV infection as PrEP (which is between 92-99% effective when taken daily and HAS been tested in populations who have anal sex). In fact, a study from 1993 showed that condoms were only 69% effective at preventing HIV infection: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8327927 . I'm not saying these numbers are still accurate today, but my point is that condoms were once considered as unstable as PrEP and I think this is an important point in the discussion. Before HIV, sex between men didn't usually include condom use and they were aware of the risks of the other STIs. So yes, those people only using PrEP are "ok" with getting those other STIs that are much more treatable OR even completely curable, like syphilis. Yes, syphilis can cause blindness...when left untreated to the point where it advances to its final stages. And since syphilis can be transmitted orally, if your goal is safety from STIs, then you shouldn't go to ANY sex parties or have any sex with anyone before getting an STI test. Or, you could encourage people to get informed and encourage party promoters to provide materials with accurate information on STIs and let people make their own decision. People who are sexually active with multiple partners should get tested for the gamut of infections regularly - this would catch things like syphilis in their early stages and prevent the extremely negative side effects of long-term infection. My overall point is, sex is a risky behavior, pure and simple, and using condoms for anal sex only diminishes SOME of these risks, so blaming it all on barebackers is wrong. Rather than vilify barebackers, why not get informed about how HIV and STIs really work, spread the information, and let people choose what to do? Why police other people's sex? If you're at a party and someone wants to bareback, you can just say "no thank you" and move along. No need to get preachy. If you feel like you need to scold someone at a sex party for having unprotected sex, be sure to be consistent: make sure you scold smokers you see on the street and diners who are eating unhealthy food. (Oh right: with treatment, HIV has a smaller impact on life expectancy than smoking: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/01/03/study-increased-hiv-life-expectancy-linked-to-reduction-in-smoking/)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello, thank you for taking the time to share your comments. Your clearly are as passionate about this subject as I am.

    I’ve discovered while trying to post my response that there is a limit to how many characters are allowed in each comment, so I am breaking my response up into three parts. Here is Part One of my thoughts regarding the questions you’ve asked and the points you’ve bought up:

    “Are you no longer posting information on parties that don’t police condom use?”

    If you look at the current listings you will see that I list all kinds of parties regardless of their safe sex policy, in fact you will be seeing the listings expanding in the future to include more bareback parties as I hear about them. However as a blogger on sex parties that is read by more than a few young gents new to the scene, I do feel a responsibility to remind my readers of the risks involved and to encourage them to do what they can to minimize those risks.

    “How exactly do you expect party hosts to ensure that everyone is using condoms, walk around constantly and shine a flashlight on guys’ crotches all the time?”

    Yes, that is exactly what I expect; in fact that is exactly what happens at some of my favorite parties. You know, the ones I have mentioned that usually having so much more actual sex going on than the others? And that is because the crowd is more comfortable with engaging with each other because they can see that the host “has their back” so-to-speak and is looking out for everyone’s best interest. Truth be told, barebacking is never an issue at these parties anyway because the host has already been very clear in the invites or phone interviews and in reminding each new guest individually face-to-face when they arrive that barebacking will not be tolerated and if they try it they will be thrown out on their ass. And with a room full of eyes there isn’t any way for anyone to get away with it, so no one tries it. Or at least not that I have seen anyway. And I’ve seen a lot.

    “Shouldn’t people be allowed to choose whatever level of risk they are comfortable with?”

    Yes, of course they should which is why I continue to list parties of all different risk levels. I am not campaigning to outlaw bareback parties, and I don’t recall ever telling anyone that they were not “allowed” to attend them. I am simply pointing out the various risks that are involved so that they can make an informed decision on which parties to attend.

    “Wouldn’t the better option be to have accurate information available to party guests?”

    Of course, which is why this blog exists and why I make every effort to categorize the parties as safe, bareback, or mixed as accurately as I can based on my own observances, the input of the hosts, and the word-of-mouth from those who have attended.

    To Be Continued…

    ReplyDelete
  3. Part Two:

    “All of the STIs you listed above are transferable through unprotected oral sex AND/OR sex with a condom (since the condom doesn’t always cover the whole shaft and certainly not the testicles).”

    Yes, anytime you engage with someone sexually there is always going to be risk involved. The editorial you are responding to does not speak about eradicating risk, but lowering it or managing it. It is certainly possible to still get those STIs wearing a condom, but you are much more likely to if you don’t wear one. Just because wearing a seatbelt doesn’t 100% guarantee that you won’t go flying through the windshield if you crash doesn’t mean you should just say “fuck it” and not wear one. You still have a much better chance of “surviving” with the seatbelt on than off.

    “So it’s entirely possible that you needed those ass shots because of YOUR sexual behavior, not some barebackers,”

    I wouldn’t say entirely possible. I’d say it’s absolutely CERTAIN that I needed those ass shots due to MY OWN sexual behavior. After all, I was allowing myself to get blown by a number of gents at a party where I knew there was barebacking going on.

    I won’t quote the whole following section regarding HPV due to length so I will just say, fair enough. I may very well have HPV. But are you saying that wearing a condom doesn’t protect someone who doesn’t have HPV from getting it from someone who does? Not even a bit?

    “Thing is, even if people are using condoms, going to a sex parties is a “risky behavior..”

    Yes it is, as I myself have mentioned in this blog many times, which again, is why I encourage everyone to take steps to minimize their risk when they go to them. And that includes my suggestion regarding sticking with safe sex parties.

    “…and your writing demonizes barebackers as if they are the only ones spreading disease.”

    I’m sorry that you feel that way, as it is certainly not my intention to demonize anyone, but there is no getting around the reality that barebackers are in fact more likely to be exposing others then those that are wearing condoms simply due to the fact that they are having high-risk unprotected sex. So they are more at risk and are therefore putting those they are interacting with more at risk, who then in turn put all those they interact with more at risk.

    But I can see how it can read as demonizing to you, so I will reiterate what I stated in my editorial on safe sex around this time last year. I stand by everyone’s right to decide what level of risk is right for them, and so I encourage everyone to attend parties that are appropriate for the amount of risk they are willing to accept. My response to this isn’t much different than my response to those who complain about not being able to get into a jock party because of “ageism” or because they aren’t fit enough, or to a white guy who is pissed that he can’t get into Nubian Dukes. Forgive me if I go into Star-Wars-Geek mode here for a moment by responding to these objections with “These are not the parties you’re looking for. “ If a party isn’t the right match for you then it isn’t the right match for you. This is New York City where there are literally at least a dozen or so choices that are. Go to one of those instead. If you like to bareback, go to a bareback party. Don’t go to a safe sex party and then try to bareback. And if you are into safe sex, don’t go to a mixed party where guys will be trying to sweet-talk you into going raw. Go to a safe sex party where you know that all the play will actually be safe.

    To Be Continued…

    ReplyDelete
  4. Part Three:

    “…I don’t quite see how you can blame one portion of people for being the ONLY carriers of a disease.”

    “Only?” I believe you are reading words that are not on the page. Can you tell me where in the editorial I said that?

    ‘…odds are (condoms) are just as successful at preventing HIV infection as PrEP…”

    Yes, but it doesn’t protect you from anything else. Condoms do.

    “So yes, those people only using PrEP are ‘Ok” with getting those other STIs that are much more treatable OR even completely curable, like syphilis..”

    So then they should go to the bareback parties where other people are equally okay with getting them as oppose to going to safe sex parties (where the majority of the guys are practicing safe sex because they are not equally okay with getting them) and putting those people at higher risk just because they are willing to put themselves at higher risk.

    And I don’t think that I need to tell you that most of the people that have STIs don’t even know it and, therefore, don’t get treated.

    To summarize the rest of your comments, there is a bit that’s along the lines of educating people about STIs and then

    “…let people make their own decision…”

    “…let people choose what to do.”

    I believe that is what I’m doing. Informing people of the risks, letting them know what the options are, and letting them make their own decision. I’m not forcing anyone to do anything as far as I can tell.

    “Why police other people’s sex?”

    And I’m doing that how again? Suggesting, recommending, and giving my opinion on something does not equal policing.

    “If you feel like you need to scold someone at a sex party for having unprotected sex,..”

    I don’t recall ever having done such a thing. I simply have made a choice to only go to parties where I don’t encounter it. And I’m suggesting that others who want to play safe do the same.

    I hope I’ve clarified my stance on the issues. Thank you for reading and I appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback.

    ReplyDelete
  5. And thank you for your thoughtful feedback. You're right that I spoke too broadly in certain points and attributed some intentions to you that you were not expressing to begin with - I'm sorry about that. And don't ever apologize for going into Star Wars geek mode! I guess I just think that your original post could've used some more balance and less of an implication that barebacking is almost always a bad idea, as it gives the impression that those who bareback are inherently problematic. I think we both agree that people are allowed to make their own choices, so I'm just trying to say that those who choose to bareback aren't necessarily making a terrible choice, just a choice that involves more risk. Hopefully, they are aware of these risks or are able to obtain information (hopefully from bb/mixed party hosts) about what those risks are. And no matter your ss/bb preference, regular STD screening is important even if you're not showing any symptoms. Oh, to respond to one particular point - I don't think it would be appropriate for a BBer to try to do so at a party that is specifically SS, or vice versa. But I'm not sure how party hosts come to the decision to change from SS to mixed - hopefully it's because some sort of significant number/percentage of people have asked them to do so and not because of perceived (but not actual) pressure.

    ReplyDelete