Living in Bushwick, you quickly acquire a feeling that everybody here, and I mean every single one of you, is simply fabulous.
Bushwick people dress in amazing vintage, or hand-made statement pieces; they are sexually liberated with their gender being far from binary; they are polyamorous, because, duh, you can’t confine love; and above all, Bushwick people casually attend porn festivals and sex parties, as if there was nothing unusual about dining right off a naked person while you’re getting slapped on your perfect thong-clad ass by a beautiful muscular man with a glittery eye makeup.
But here’s the truth. Not everybody in Bushwick is fabulous. I’m actually shy. And so I surprised myself immensely when Ruthie Darling, Bushwick Daily’s fabulous fashion editor and a resident vixen, asked me if I could cover LUST party on Nov. 17 instead of her. With a cracked voice I said yes.
Created by Abby Hertz, LUST party is a definite destination for fabulous people. It is quite literally full of lust, sexy almost naked people, fire, bondage, sex magick performances, and as if this bacchanalia wasn’t enough, they serve full dinner including steaks, chicken, salad and dessert off nude gorgeous people.
In other words, LUST is way out of my comfort zone. So why did I go? I am not sure, but maybe I wanted to come a little closer to the Bushwick fabulousness, and maybe because I spent the last couple of months cooped up working one full-time and one part-time gig, all the while working on the manuscript of my memoir, and the only fashion statement I can comfortably make these days is to wear warm leggings and a big hoodie.
Cut to last night.
I’m standing in front of Lot 45, where this edition of LUST party is held, waiting for Ventiko. She is a definitively fabulous Bushwick artist (and the owner of Dexter, the famous peacock), whom I asked to take photos of the night. I’m wearing a velvet black dress with long sleeves. It’s the most “fabulous” piece of clothing in my closet right now, which is far from a leather corset or lingerie that casually shows off my side boob like the LUST attendants wear, but hey, thanks to a push-up bra, I have a cleavage, so it can’t be that bad, right?
Ventiko arrives on sky-high heels. In addition, she’s wearing fishnets and a Korean army general hat—speaking of statement pieces.
Before we’re let in, we’re advised of the policy of LUST parties: Just because someone is wearing lingerie, or is naked, doesn’t mean you can touch them without their consent. I like it, because it means that I can’t be touched either. A doorman asks me what is in my purse-backpack, and gives me a “what a dork” look when I reveal that it’s hat and gloves for when it gets cold later that night.
Inhale, exhale, we’re in. Lot 45 looks better than ever, I swear. The front yard, now fully covered from curious looks of the street, is heated and dressed in hundreds of string lights. The smell of food pleasantly lingers in the air, and hundreds of totally fabulous people walk around, converse, kiss, feed one another with flavorful meals served on beautiful people just as promised. The atmosphere is dreamy, hazy, and I pleasantly realize that I don’t find the scene, scary, or intimidating. I mean, of course I wish, I was mentally capable of pulling off some breathtakingly revealing outfit, but hey, at least I’m wearing black. Oh and did I mention I curled my hair?
It should be noted that human plates don’t scandalize me. It’s more like it’s a little awkward. Should I converse with my human table or should I pretend it’s just a warm piece of furniture? A girl covered with caramelized apples and pastry doesn’t seem to have an opinion or is unwilling to elaborate when I ask her about it. She just requests that Champaign is poured down her throat, and somebody gladly obeys.
Then I notice a shibari rope station, which includes, yes, mild bondage, but also a swing, and I finally feel like I can fully relate to something. While I’m swinging my ass off, a gorgeous lady nearby simply slips off her dress and lets the shibari master, Ian, create a sophisticated net around her breasts, and then they casually make out, because, why not, right?
Soon the dinner is over, and performances are about to start. The front patio is transformed into one large lying area where naked people mingle with semi-naked and fully dressed people. No, there’s no mass orgy. (Yet?)
There’s a lot of fire (supervised by FDNY, which is funny, but of course safety first), some sensual whipping with glow-in-the-dark instruments, body paint, and of course burlesque.
While Ventiko takes photos, I watch the scene sipping on a Seltzer, and suddenly, I feel good—not awkward, anxious, too dressed, or dorky—I simply feel fine. Also happy; because it’s good to live and breathe air in a neighborhood that is full of free people, who are by all means more courageous than me, but totally accepting; in a neighborhood where erotica, sex and human bodies are just a regular part of life.
Also by stepping outside of my comfort zone, the zone got a little bigger and it now includes a lot more freedom and a lot more naked people, which is nothing to scoff at.
All images by Ventiko for Bushwick Daily