By Nick Perry
At 6:54 p.m. on Thursday, November 12, 2009, I texted my girlfriend at home, “This is going to be the weirdest night of my life.” At 11:53 a.m. on November 13, 2009, I texted, “It wasn’t that weird.”
Thursday was spent searching for appropriately pore-suffocating and pale-leg-revealing attire in town with a couple of friends. After failing to find anything but a pair of industrial sized longjohns at Dave’s Army-Navy, I settled upon the an ironic approach to Safer Sex Night, picking out the most geriatric pieces of clothing I could find at Ratsy’s. In my mind, this outfit seemed like a nice counterweight to all of the flailing tits and leaf-covered dicks I was sure to see. Feeling pretty content with my witty choice of dress, I accompanied my friends to the sex toy sale, conversing about the perquisites of oral sex and the respective merits of toys ranging from The Dark Knight to Thumbelina.
Around dinner time, it occurred to me that Grandpa’s Saturday suit was probably not the best choice for my first Safer Sex Night. I didn’t want to be the first-year who thought he was super indie and original. “But what to wear?” I thought, lamenting not making more trips to the Salvation Army in high school. Each idea I pondered was worse than the last, and the seeds of defeat were becoming embedded in my libido. And then, I stepped into a box.
I wanted to exude the whole, “I’m not totally down to dance, but talk to me ‘cause I’m dangerous” vibe. It seemed that a cardboard box draped over my body was conducive to this. The box also covered my nipples, a perk that relieved me from the sticky turmoils of taped nipples.
My group made the cold sprint to the ‘Sco around 10:45, passing a man thong on North Quad and a couple of lace bras at the Science Center. Shortly after this, I realized that I had ruined my first Safer Sex Night long before arriving.
When I got on the floor, ready to bust some head-turning moves, I discovered that my box allowed for very little mobility. All my best moves rely on a complex coordination between arms and legs, but that box cut into my armpits during my shopping cart and sprinkler warm-ups. I knew then that if I were to dance, I was limited to the hip twist and the arm curl, a fact that bruised my soul. I headed out of the horde (a serious feat with a box on your body) to the bar to consider my options.
Standing at the bar, I recalled someone at the entrance mentioning to me that Safer Sex Night was not a costume party. I had a laugh at the time, because everybody was going to be “in costume.” But here I saw no costumes. There were just a bunch of happy prom-goers…without clothes. I realized that my misinterpretation of Safer Sex Night had made me look extremely foolish and uncomfortable. I wished I had brought a little bit of tape to stick on my nipples so I could get rid of the box (responsibly, of course).
As my self-loathing boiled, I began to feel a little upset that my nipples hadn’t been tweaked and my sack hadn’t been grabbed a single time all night. I don’t know why, but I had been imagining some sickly ritualistic gathering of reckless hedonists. I thought there would be anal bead necklaces, glowstick vibrators, and dildos flopping all over the walls. I expected lube exploding from fixtures in the ceiling, and free prostate exams in the bathrooms.
Thinking about all of my unmet expectations forced me to a) realize the kind of sick shit I am capable of thinking, and b) stop putting so much weight on sex. When I was a manically hormonal middle school student, sex was terrifying and a little gross. Going through high school, it became more of a comfortable subject that simultaneously evolved into the central theme of everybody’s lives. I was still in that high school state of mind when I went to Safer Sex Night, thinking that everybody was going to release disgusting amounts of sexual energy and break down into a gigantic orgy while Safety and Security tossed toys and lube into the pile. How wrong I was.
From that point on, I began to see it for what it was: a party. A big, half-naked party. Sure, I saw more tassels and asscracks than I had ever seen in my life, but at the core, people were just there having fun. Of course, there was some drama and some men at work, but that’s to be expected at any gathering of young people. Nobody (as far as I could tell) had their night ruined by sex, but then again I can’t see any active pursuant failing at a party like that.
Safer Sex Night would have been a lot more fun for me if I hadn’t been thinking about tits n’ ass the whole week leading up to it. I really should have known that Safer Sex Night was not going to be a blood orgy. Next year, with my head out of the gutter, I’m just going to throw on a banana hammock and get my Kong on.
**All posted with consent of those photographed.