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"I feel like an anime character," Diana grins, addressing the dozen or so women in the room and the small camera crew from HereTV. She's standing on a mattress in the middle of the floor, naked. Well, not exactly naked-- she's got a marbled black-and-white strap-on harnessed between her legs, and another one, vivid purple, strapped between her breasts. With her bright blue eyes, shoulder-length red hair and pale freckle-splashed complexion, she projects an almost innocent enthusiasm, hands on her hips, ready to play. The cameras are rolling. Welcome to the 2007 Ho Ho Ho! Straponathon.
Let me preface this a little by explaining that I had never been to a play party before. The closest I ever came was a BDSM party hosted by The Lesbian Sex Mafia last year in Chelsea, which frankly left me bored and disappointed with the whole scene. It was huge and anonymous and basically took place in a well-lit, cushiony dungeon. Everyone there was a stranger to me and remained so, and frankly, sex with strangers is about as interesting to me as watching sports on TV. I just don't care what happens. The highlight of that evening was that I got my Doc Martens polished by a tranny boy with a boot-shining fetish. This party was nothing like that. And if you don't believe me, you can see for yourself when it airs on HereTV's "Lesbian Sex and Sexuality" docuseries, now entering its second season (and no, this is not a real-life version of John Cameron Mitchell's Shortbus). So what's going down here, and how did a nice Jewish girl from Rhode Island like me get dropped into the middle of it? I think in this case it was equal parts dumb luck, curiosity, and balls of steel. I admit I was intimidated by the whole idea of the play party; academically, I'm all for the celebration of sex-positive feminism, but personally, I've got a lot of hang-ups. Who doesn't? (Not these girls, that's for sure-- but I'm getting ahead of myself.) In fact, a little over a year ago, I came to the conclusion that until I could stop making bad sexual choices for myself, I was going to just stop having sex all together (seems like Shane's coming to the same conclusion on the upcoming season of The L-Word-- let's not hold our breath