“The sex party environment for me works really well because it cuts down the fear that you’re not going to get laid,” said Luke who in addition to throwing his own party frequents others’ sex parties. “Why not just cut out the whole thing where we have to get drunk and be crammed into a loud bar and not have a seat? Then I’ll be settled and feel really good for the next week or so.” And a week without time wasted chasing sex in vain on hook-up apps, is a week well spent in gay NYC.
Since 2008, Hunteur Vreeland has held his weekly all-male HandsomeNYC party at the Manhattan BDSM club Paddles. “If you don’t feel like you fit in any other place, come hang with us-we’ll love ya,” is how he describes his party’s ethos. One Wednesday this summer, he showed me around the venue (again, a dungeon-like, all-black-everything underground space) while maybe a dozen or so guys stood around with their dicks out, alone or in groups, sometimes stopping momentarily to look up, mid-blow job, when Vreeland ran off the list of amenities in a pleasant chirp (“And this is the sling!”; “And this is our performance area!”). We chatted in depth in the venue’s women’s room-without anyone to use it, it’s the only place that’s quiet, he explained.
In contrast, Simon in his 25 years in the sex party business has been busted only once
Vreeland has been throwing sex parties for 20 years-he once worked alongside Lou Maletta (whom both Hawke and Tavares knew, as well) whose sex parties in “insane places” the city so frequently shut down that Vreeland was “never positive if [I’d] be coming to work or to shuttered doors.”
“You’d have three months at a location and then you’d start feeling nervous, except for El Mirage,” Vreeland elaborated by phone, referring to a sex club on the Lower East Side that was shut down in 2007 . In 1995, cops infiltrated a party he was hosting at space that was a dance studio by day, slapping him with a day’s worth of community service and and a fine of less than $100. He was charged with selling liquor without a license and stopped doing so then. He hasn’t been bothered by authorities in the 22 years since, and has been in the same Brooklyn venue for the past 20 years. In his 16 years hosting GBU, Hawke has never been shut down either.
Back in the day, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene used to send undercover department agents into suspected public-sex venues to take stock of the sex acts and log them, one by one, in affidavits that would be used to shut down venues, which were considered public nuisances for repeated violations. This process could take several months.
Today, hosting public sex remains prohibited by New York’s Sanitary Code §24-2
“During one raid, I think at the party there were like five cops and two firemen enjoying our services,” Vreeland recalled, chuckling. “And then the raid happened and they were like, ‘…Hey, Bill.’”
2 , which was enacted in 1985 in a feeble attempt by Mayor Ed Koch and the city to curb the growing AIDS epidemic. Bathhouses and the Mineshaft were closed. The shuttering continued into the ’90s during paign,” which closed a lot of the remaining spaces where public sex was happening between men (namely, porn shops and theaters) and there was a spate of closures in the 2000s, as well.
The Sanitary Code states: “No establishment shall make facilities available for the purpose of sexual activities where anal intercourse or fellatio take place. Such facilities shall constitute a threat to the public health.” In 1994, the code expanded to include “vaginal sex” in the list of prohibited sexual activities. “Establishment,” per Subpart 24-.2.1 is defined as “any place in which entry, membership, goods or services are purchased.”