The restaurant critic Gael Greene once said that “great food is like great sex – the more you have the more you want.” If she’d put the two together, however, Ms. Greene wouldn’t have needed anything else.
I was invited to spend an evening in the company of five couples who had each purchased a seat at an erotic dinner – multiple courses of gourmet food served by, or on, a staff of nearly naked servers.
The intent was noble: all donations went to Kinksters for Critters, a charity benefiting no kill animal shelters. While the event itself was downright debauched.
“You missed the appetizer, tuna tartare titties,” I was told as I emerged into a darkly lit apartment, a touch of the Parisian boudoir about it, perched high over Downtown LA with a long dining table stretched through the middle. “One of the servers lay across the table and the tuna titties was placed all over her body. Some of us used our forks, while some of us ate directly off her.”
“Only if we got consent,” said another. “It’s all about getting approval from the girl first.”
Four gorgeous servers with names like Lady Dragon and Sublime circled the room. Some wore Venetian masks. One sported nipple clamps that resembled little medieval thumbscrews.
Each of them wore vintage negligees and stockings and kept us well supplied with wine and port. Occasionally, they leaned across the table for guests to use their bare backs as serving platters, which led to light spanking the later the evening got.
The sordid love child of Master Chef and Eyes Wide Shut would be the best way to describe my first impression of the evening, only with less frantic clock-watching and ritualistic chanting and more pierced nipples and questionable table manners.
The group’s dynamic bordered on the cliché: the men as a whole were a prosperous bunch – hot-ish daddies nicely dressed, suit pants and shirts, with good jobs in finance and movies and health.
Wives and girlfriends were generally younger (and often better looking). I was told some couples, familiar faces in the BDSM scene, belonged to local rope groups. But they were all very welcoming of this intruder with pen and pad to hand.
I was placed at the end of the table next to a polyamorous couple who, on the proviso that I wouldn’t use their real names in the re-telling, told me a story that they said epitomizes their relationship. So, remaining true to my word, I’ll use the pseudonyms Florence and Jack.
Where 40th birthday celebrations can often be a tad boring, fancy meals or camping trips with the kids, Florence invited seven other women, all of them friends including some of Jack’s ex-partners, to an intimate gathering at Jack’s home to celebrate his milestone.
And throughout the evening, either right there among the group or else up in the privacy of his bedroom, Jack got to go down on each of them one by one.
“That story makes you the envy of almost every straight man alive,” I told him.
“I know I am. I have the most wonderful girlfriend in the world,” he said, beaming at Florence who, stoned, tried unsuccessfully to return the smile. Afterwards, I realized that I forgot to ask Florence what she wants for her 40th.
Delicious courses came and went. Grilled flat bread with vaginal-looking fresh fig prosciutto and Gorgonzola. Shabiri tied chicken packets cooked in passion fruit were served with coconut rice.
Though it wasn’t until we were each handed long skewers, some blunt, some very sharp, along with the arrival of fondue pots of bubbling chocolate at either end of the table that the evening started to resemble an x-rated game of KerPlunk.
Onto the table climbed Jet “the Masochist Morsel,” naked bar a thong, who lay stomach-down for her body to be decorated with chocolate dipped strawberries, some wedged under her panties.
This prompted a feeding-time at the zoo kind of frenzy – within minutes, all that remained of her were brown smears of chocolate. No wild-born vultures have picked a carcass as clean as quickly. Jet the Masochist Morsel was then flipped over onto her back and the same happened again.
“Would you like a banana?” Lady Dragon asked me later, peeling half of one with her teeth before offering the open fruit. “No hands,” she warned, slapping my wrist when I went to take it from her. Not wanting to anger Lady Dragon, I swallowed the half-banana whole. She seemed very pleased with me as I stood before her with mouthful of banana.
Over Lady Dragon’s shoulder, I noticed Jet, still smeared with chocolate, perched on a man’s knee. She wriggled as sharp skewers were inserted into her nipples.
“She’s a beautiful girl,” said Jack. “She really does have the most amazing nipples.” This comment garnered a chorus of agreement while the young girl squeeled and writhed when the other nipple was given a bit of a poke.
The evening unfolded in hazy, sensual, smoke-curdled cinema-reel fashion – I eventually left the party, reluctantly, as a couple emerged from the restroom looking like cats that had broken into a dairy.
But as I emerged out into the howling streets of Downtown LA in the early hours of the morning, I was struck by just how civilized the whole evening had been. Of how, despite the sorts of things occurring that would curl your grandmother’s toes, a sense of decorum—nothing like the sort we’re generally accustomed to but decorum nonetheless—kept things ticking along happily.
It’s often struck me how so many of the world’s greatest cultures have embraced the marriage that exists between food and sex – something that has passed America by. There’s nothing sexy about a Big Mac and fries – nor salami sandwiches. But after the delicious evening I spent recently in this boudoir of a loft high above Downtown LA, it seems that America is finally catching up.