September 27, 2009

Last week I was having coffee with a friend when she casually mentioned that she had been to an orgy. "A what?" I said, hoping she'd meant that as an abbreviation for: organizational seminar. Maybe she'd been getting organized. That's important.

Nope. She clarified. She'd been to an orgy - where people have sex with other people they don't know. It took place in someone's apartment on the Upper West Side and everyone was naked and under 40.

Why would she do such a thing? "Because," she said, "I like to try new things."

I loved that she had such a practical excuse. Why not switch toothpaste? That would be trying a new thing too. And there's no risk of an STD.

At first, I couldn't believe she was serious. But the more she talked, the more I got the sense it was no big deal - she could go to an orgy or she could go to pilates. It could go either way.

Then she said something really alarming. "Want to come with me next time?"

This is a friend who never invites me to anything. The type of person who says, "I'm going to the movies with some friends - I'll call you later" and now, suddenly, she was inviting me out - extending an invitation to an orgy? I don't get invited to the movies, but I get invited to the orgy. Do I really seem like I'm orgy material?

First of all, I'm too old for an orgy. Even if I'd had an adventurous, sexually experimental side, those days, which never existed, are long over.

Also, I'm too tired for an orgy. You have to have energy for that. They happen late at night, way past my bedtime. I have trouble staying awake past 10 o'clock and I'm guessing there aren't a lot of people at orgies taking naps.

But also, more importantly, I'd be way too concerned about the germs. Where would I sit? If I make people wash their hands before using my computer, I'd need a biosphere suit just to walk in the room. That environment is a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses - I'd have a sore throat within seconds and if someone tried to touch me I'd hand them a bottle of Purell hand gel. How sexy is that? Not exactly the gel they had in mind.

Another thing. I'd worry about running into someone I know. Like my doorman. Or even worse, my shrink. That would change everything.

Since orgies are gaining popularity, I wondered who else I know has been. Liza has been so busy working, I thought I should check in with her and see if she'd ever consider going to one. "Are you kidding?" She said, "I barely have time to get a pedicure."

My other friend, Audrey, wasn't aware this was happening either. "I knew cowboy boots had made a comeback. But orgies?"

I suppose the main thing about going to an orgy is you have to be relaxed about it which is precisely why it would be the worst possible situation for me to be in.

I'd have a hundred friggin' questions. Every time someone tried to make a move, I wouldn't trust it. "I'm curious," I'd say, "What do you do for a living?"

Either that or no one would make a move. That would be depressing. I go to an orgy and someone asks me if I can make them a sandwich. As in, an actual sandwich.