By Daniel A. Kusner – Life+Style Editor

For 2008, New York’s notorious filth-fest gets boyishly dirty, which is actually an improvement

NEW YORK — Last year, I promised that the Black Party and I were through. After nine hours of punishing disco, I escaped from the Roseland Ballroom gasping for fresh air and yearning for a scolding-hot shower. This year, I left after six hours and thought about returning for more.

The Black Party started in 1980 as a celebration of male sexuality inspired by pre-Christian times when the Druids welcomed the Vernal Equinox by dancing. Every year, some stomach-turning tale emerges: the performer who shoved a live snake into his rectum; the Hershey-chocolate enema that became some poor soul’s dessert; the 2007 attendee who lost control of his bowels on the dancefloor; onlookers who got splashed with urine when a mummification performance hit a snag …

Members of the press do not get in for free. And cameras are supposed to be forbidden (however, some take chances by snapping photos with cellphones). According to Eric Rhodes’ blog, most performers don’t even get paid — they only get free admission (tickets $110-$140).

After last year’s poorly imagined "Holy War" theme, things could only get better. The "jihad" concept included hardcore videos spliced with images of Dick Cheney, the torture photos from Abu Gharib and dusty Iraqi villages being blown up. A terrifying buzz-kill.

This year’s "Dangerous Black Party for Boys" theme was a great improvement. And attendees dressed to compliment the bratty young-man theme: boy scout uniforms, cartoon undies and wrestling unitards.

At 2 a.m., the lobby turned into a kinky scene from "Pinocchio." Silver-haired porn star Colton Ford stood beside me as we watched three older "daddies" brutalize three bad "boys" on a pool table. It was inspired by Disney’s freaky "donkey transformation" scene — complete with cigars and beer — when the billiards-playing Lampwick turns into a jackass.

First the jock-strap-wearing daddies bound the boys’ hands and made them perform fellatio. Lots of slapping and threats were made. Then the boys had to don donkey ears. A hugely endowed "boy" laid on the pool table as another "boy" was ordered to sit on top (with a condom). But then came the cue sticks and pool balls. One "boy" had to take them all. At one point, he had two sticks inside him. About 10 minutes later, he was holding three balls. And if that wasn’t enough, one of the daddies took a full Latex donkey mask and covered the boy’s entire head. Then he inserted a beer bottle and tapped the balls that were still inside.

About an hour later, I had just missed porn superstar Francois Sagat’s performance in the mezzanine. According to Gawker, Sagat’s African-American partner urinated into the French muscleman’s mouth.

Also in the mezzanine was a big camping tent with cots. No performers were inside — just frisky attendees. Several cliques feature one or two members on their knees as they blew groups of men.

On the dancefloor stage was a campfire scene. Beside a fake fire-pit a corpulent woman was dressed like a pig, with a snout and six nipples. Near the foot of the stage, two "boy-scout" hunks enjoyed anal sex on a sleeping bag as a park ranger in a jockstrap filmed them.

Above the rear of the dancefloor is the notorious back room. It’s a stifling chamber that’s always crowded and dark. The experience is usually awful, mostly because people violently push and grab each other as they make their way through.

Around 6 a.m., my companion — a first-timer from San Francisco — says he’s tired and would like to take a nap. Before we head back to the coat check, I look back at the dance-floor stage and see Miss Piggy suspended above the campfire as fake flames lick her back.

Since you can leave and pay a $10 re-admission charge, we buy wristbands with the intention of returning that afternoon (the party closes at 3 p.m.) In the taxi, my companion says, "It’s just an indoor version of Folsom Street Fair."

For him, that’s nothing. For someone from Dallas, that doesn’t sound so bad. After naptime, however, we never make it back to Roseland.

— Daniel A. Kusner

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 4, 2008.
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