Monday, 20 February 2012

Eyes Wide Smut

Kubrick's surreal, enchanted and disturbing film Eyes Wide Shut is mostly about fantasy and fear. Virgil is a big Cruise and Kubrick fan. He sent me a DVD of it when we were first dating. Like the film, it was Christmastime. It was before we attended our first sex party together. I watched Eyes Wide Shut and thought of him and the new experiences I was about to have.

I've never understood why the Eyes Wide Shut name and aesthetic has been adopted with such enthusiasm and dedication by swingers worldwide. The sex party scenes in it are not sexy. The occult sexual rituals of a sinister, masked elite who meet in cold mansions have a fantastical, nightmarish quality. It looks freezing inside that mansion and I can't walk in high heels.


We passed through such a party in a country manor house recently - not a sinister masked elite, of course, just a bunch of swingers from the city, wearing masks and scoping each other. The last time we went to a masked party we found we were the only ones who had complied. This time we didn't take the masks instruction seriously and were among the few unmasked guests.

Masks confer freedom in the form of anonymity on revelers at the carnival but at a members-only sex party who cares? If you think that a mask will conceal a lack of looks, unless you have your head in plaster, think again. Possibly I'm a coward but I prefer to see who I'm talking to. At some point masks have to come off. Also, I find there's something inescapably awkward about sex parties, especially at the beginning of the evening when I'm feeling a bit sheepish about what I'm hoping to do. I'd rather be doing something silly and fun than standing around wondering about holding my stomach in and trying to drink Prosecco through a mask.

Does a sexual elite even exist except as a concept to encourage people to buy expensive tickets? Is it about who has the most expensive underwear or who can keep going the longest or have the most orgasms? Do the sexual elite even go to sex parties. Are they too exclusive?

From sophisticated (read expensive) parties in Switzerland to (woo-hoo!) Eyz Wide Shut, Tampa Bay's premier swingers' club, Kubrick's is still the most popular film referenced by sex parties. There aren't many to choose from. Personally I like Shortbus for its warmth, colour and lack of aspiration to anything other than fun, fucking and spreading the love.

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