Regarding Those Orgy Reviews…

secret sex party, shutterstock, business insider

Photo from Business Insider/Shutterstock

OK, I know I’m super late on this, as I haven’t had much time to write here lately, but I wanted to discuss those Hacienda party reviews that appeared in a few online publications in Feb. You know the one that first ran in Business Insider and then got picked up by Slate and a bunch of other places, quoting a certain “Mr. Sparks” and talking about a sex party we all know and love and have been going to for years. A few of my friends asked me for my thoughts, and a sort-of rebuttal to it, so I’m finally getting around to it.

My first thought was: “Secret??”” Bwahahahahaha!

The word was featured prominently on all headlines regarding the story and I thought it was funny because there parties are hardly secret. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of people that get invited or have been invited over the years. And even if you don’t get invited, if you’re on the various alternative scenes in New York, you’ve likely heard of it through word-of-mouth and Facebook posting to the tune of “OMG, the Hacienda party was SOOO amazing last night!!” (yes, yes, I’ve been one of those posters). But, ya know, if you consider that secret, that’s up to you.

My second thought was: Who is Mr. Sparks?

The nickname sounded similar to that by which one of the hosts usually goes, but some of his comments sounded like someone else and not characteristic of him at all. I found out later that the person who talked to this reporter wasn’t “Mr. Sparks” (whoever that is anyway!). He was also pissed off about the story, didn’t know that it was running and claims he didn’t say those exact things to the reporter. Right. These are the usual complaints one makes when they talk to any member of the press about anything remotely “secret.” The journalists usually take the story and run with it, they don’t need anyone’s permission to write it and, yes, will sometimes even fibble with the quotes to better support their point, whatever it might be.

My third thought was: Why is this news??

The article pretty much said that these parties have been going on for four years, which is definitely old news and in reality, they’ve been going on for much longer than that at other venues, when Jefferson first started them some 10-11 years ago, as I noted here. But I guess if the mainstream press just discovers something, and if it’s scintillating and scandalous enough, like a sex party, it can still run, even though it’s anywhere from four to 10 years old. If I ever tried to put a four-year-old story in front of any of my editors, they’d laugh in my face.

I talked to a friend of mine about these stories at the time they ran and she had also said, “Why is this news?”

“You know why it’s news,” she then added. “Because it’s a nice house!” Maybe so, as the writer specifically led with this:

“When you first walk in, you’ll be amazed by just how gorgeous the home is. Hardwood floors, modern-day appliances, black granite countertops, and a beautiful outdoor patio with a hot tub for up to several people.”

Right, so I suppose that’s newsworthy, as everyone probably expects sex parties to be seedy things in some dark, derelict basements in the middle of nowhere. What’s more is that the house is on a run-down sort of block in the deep Hispanic ghetto of Brooklyn, so you do get somewhat surprised when you walk in and encounter this lavish place that’s a stark contrast to its surroundings.

A few friends of mine on the scene, who also write, and I joked about: “How did we get scooped on this?” But that’s the thing: we’re not in the business of writing articles on sex parties. This isn’t news to us. It’s just… our lives. (Though if someone wants to pay me to write news articles on this stuff, I’d be all for it!)

A number of my friends also complained that the parties were barely recognizable in this article and the reporter didn’t do them justice, etc. But I actually didn’t think it was that terrible. It wasn’t making fun of the situation or being nearly as snarky as I’d expect someone writing about this from the outside to be.

Though I did think this line was funny:

“There’s also a mix of professionals who attend, like lawyers, doctors, and teachers.”

As if being a professional person with a legitimate job and going to sex parties are mutually exclusive. Ha. Most of the people that go to these parties are professionals of some sort. They (we?) like to have fun, too, you know. And the host of the parties himself is in finance. How do you think he can afford to throw these shindigs every month without charging much, or any, money?

Anyway… I digress. All in all, I think the article was OK. Sure, a lot of people didn’t want it running in the first place and some of the things that were said in it, either by the writer herself or by the so-called Mr. Sparks, were kind of cringe-worthy, but I don’t think it was terrible.

And this brings me back to the inherent problem with writing journalism or any kind of non-fiction. The thing is: the subject of a story, be it a person, a scene, a party, a corporation, an industry, etc., will always think you didn’t do them justice, regardless of whether it’s a positive or negative story. If you are writing from outside of the scene/industry/political party, etc., they’ll complain that you don’t “get it.” But if you’re writing from the inside, the critics will moan that you’re biased and are drinking the kool-aid. So you can’t win. But I’d still like to try. And that’s what this whole blog is about.

4 thoughts on “Regarding Those Orgy Reviews…

  1. It counts as “secret” and “news” because, yeah, very few people in America know about this kind of stuff (or know how good it can be). It surprised me that anyone might think otherwise.

  2. Is there any confusion as to who gave the interview? The naming device the self serving statements of grandiose bluster. C’mon we are all intelligent people here.

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