Lately, I’ve been noticing a lot of mention of Fetish Parties.
I’ve been invited to many over the years, but have yet to attend one. I say ‘yet’ as if it’s on my ‘do to’ list, but I just can’t seem to get around to going to the latex store to get fitted for a custom onesie with all the fixin’s.
Over the years, I’ve had a lot of random run-ins with these sorts of events, and admittedly have perused the likes of Facebook for a colourful depiction of the ongoings of these special nights. I’ve always been greatly amazed, and sometimes horrified, at the lengths at which the partygoers will go to ensure the authenticity of their outfits. They aren’t kidding around, folks.
So, why am talking about this today? Well, I recently received an e-mail with regards to one of these soirées, and it reminded me of a job I once had.
Before you get your panties in a bunch, let me explain.
Back when I was in university, I took on a lot of random/shitty jobs during the summer months to support my raging alcohol dependency during the school year. One of those jobs was assisting Americans in writing grant proposals to the government- the American government. Naturally, a
failing budding sociology student would be fully equipped to help the financially unstable get their ducks in a row. While we were generally ‘discouraged’ from providing ‘financial advice’ to our desperate callers, we were encouraged to charge them $400 to provide them with information already available to them for free through the glorious information highway called The Internet. (But shhhh! That last part was a secret.)
You can imagine how fantastic I felt knowing I was ripping off these underprivileged individuals. If they hadn't been paying me in commission, I’d have done the bare minimum and skated by until September when I could say ‘Fuck You’, and go join the pothead (seriously, spellcheck? That’s actually a word? Amazing.) upstairs, who so frequently filled our office with the
glorious distinct smell of weed. Did I mention that my bosses also lived in this loft, so if you showed up early for work, you’d likely be greeted by your employer in a bathrobe with questionable morning-sex hair? Yep. It was awesome.
I knew my bosses were a little eccentric. There were indications of that all over their house/our office; but during business hours, they were usually pretty professional and we got shit done. And by ‘got shit done’, I mean we successfully took money from poor people. When September rolled around, I knew my working days were coming to an end. I gave my notice, and said my farewell to the loft, the office cat and the couple who employed me and brought me one step closer to the gates of hell.
Towards the late fall, I was in the eye of the shitstorm called exams, and I received an e-mail. The sender was unfamiliar, but I’m a badass and still open e-mails from people I don’t know (viruses got nothin’ on me, foo.) Up pops some pretty explicit photos of women and men in bondage gear, people dressed up as giant stuffed animals, whips, chains, and all that good stuff. At first, I assumed this was sent to me in error. “I probably signed up for some mailing list at the bar last weekend. I’ve got to stop signing up for things when I’m drunk.” I told myself- until I saw the names in small print at the bottom. My former bosses.
A light bulb went off in my brain faster than a hooker can say “that’s $100 extra” and I started experiencing flashbacks to Monday mornings in the office. I suddenly remembered all of the ‘unexpected number of guests’ they’d received that weekend and what a mess it had been to clean up. There was mention of moving the furniture, of changing the lights, of covering the giant, loft windows.
It. all. made. sense.
A deep urge to bathe washed over me as I considered the surfaces I had touched over the previous months. I thought about my desk, and my chair. I thought about my telephone receiver. I thought about my stapler. In the world of fetish parties, nothing is off-limits. (Isn’t that the nature of fetishes?) My entire summer suddenly had a different sheen to it- maybe if I hadn’t been drunk the whole time, I would have picked up on their ‘hobby’ earlier. But we can’t always blame the booze, can we?
The moral of this story is: when you get a job on Craigslist, assume the employer also hosts fetish parties. And then see how you can get an employee discount on admission, because fuck that shit costs a lot.