The following is one woman's account of the Los Angeles Queen of Hearts party on Nov 5th 2016:
"I'm not sure I'm going - I think I'm crazy - literally". That was the last text I sent my husband before I walked into the semi chill of downtown LA. A city block that smells of construction, looks like darkness, feels like desire...
Now at the secret location, as I press Penthouse on the elevator panel, he responds: “you are beautiful and you only live your life once".
I had worked all day up to the start of my journey and it hit me as the elevator opened: I own a minivan, have multiple children, and have been with the same person for 15 years. But as I open the door to an industrial loft with rose petals lightly strewn, low music, beautiful staff passing out champagne, I think ‘what the hell, why not’.
I'm one of the first, which is both welcome and daunting. I tip the champagne flute back and look for the hot tub. It’s on the deck with skyline views and as I sit back and take it all in, women slowly trickle through the door. Beautiful, absolutely - mostly working women between the age of 23 and 38, if I'm guessing right, but it is Los Angeles so I could be off by a decade.
Many at the event attended the Mini Skirt party so they recognised some allies, something I think will feel nice at my second event. As outgoing and assertive as I am in my business life, I suddenly feel like a wallflower as I watch the burlesque dancer disrobe while women kindly hoot and holler. It strangely doesn't resemble cat calling to me, nor it seems, to anyone else. Why? We all signed up for this so it's welcomed graciousness, sprinkled with lust.
Body shots, spin the bottle, and a full hot tub unravel as I witness women pair up throughout the evening. I wasn't quite ready, which felt amazingly ok with everyone there - and it wasn't for a lack of connection. It's like taking a detour on your path home; it feels strange but not elusive.
Most of what I saw and felt that night was amazing not only to witness and experience, but to process later on: how her fingertips gently stroked the long of my arm as she passed me a cocktail from six inches behind me or when she asked me to unzip her dress to join spin the bottle, complimenting my new lingerie... All of these approaches didn’t resemble an aggressive or masculine energy in the least - and then there was the sex.
Once that initial connection is made I can say there is very little bullshit between women; there is no fluff, the compliments are genuine. They are made already knowing the end result, not to create a false connection to start something. They come in earnest.
I find myself walking around in my lingerie comfortably, now seeing couples redress or join the main crowd area after a nice romp. "I can't believe I started my period today", I overhear a lady say with a few on the rooftop lamenting, "me too!". I'm slightly tipsy now, and it's well past midnight as I witness six couples in various positions on two large beds side by side. Various sounds rise up, and I think, those aren't faked.
If nothing else, I learned I'm so sapio-sexual that it's a bit cruel on a night like tonight. And then, there was one goddess who floated by effortlessly a few times. "Jesus" I think to myself each time, "I literally just stopped breathing".
So to her and to all the others: thank you for helping me understand, in the very least, that when my husband says "you still take my breath away" he might just literally mean it. What a gift to know now what exactly that feeling is, to see a woman in her own skin and want nothing more than to learn every inch of it. Maybe in January.