There’s no party in the world like Black Party.
New York City‘s most legendary fetish event is taking place this Saturday, April 6, at the New York Expo Center, and the immersive gay dance party is celebrating a big anniversary in 2019: 40 years of thousands of men — from all over the world — writhing together in sync with the music.
We’ve heard Black Party described as everything from “Disneyland for big boys” to “the ultimate naughty playground,” and Rites XL: The Black Party CALIGULA is ready to celebrate four decades with a bang, offering up a half-dozen DJs to keep the party going from 10 p.m. Saturday through Sunday afternoon.
In honor of 40 years, we approached six of our favorite LGBTQ people about sharing a story about Black Party — from Leo Herrera, who created the video content that will be projected at this year’s big event to BunnyZ, who is one of Black Party’s very few official photographers. (Oh, the things she’s seen!) They each have a tale to tell; some are sexy, some are hilarious and some will probably leave your mouth agape.
Hey, like I said, there’s no party in the world like Black Party.
Hornet asked these 6 famous LGBTQ names to share a story from NYC’s infamous Black Party:
Leo Herrera, director of The FATHERS Project
My most insane memories from the Black Party are not fit to print, but one of my favorites is from 2014. It was 1 p.m., I had navigated 14 hours of dark rooms and dancing and family jokes, my sides hurt from laughing and my calves were sore from dancing (and other things).
I was ready to leave when a new wave of patrons arrived for the legendary morning set. Young queens were voguing in heels, and older patrons of the original Saint began dancing with me and my friends, who must have looked like euphoric zombies. The disco was lifting us up, the sun was leaking through the cracks of Roseland and I looked up to a shaft of blue light from the rig above, like a UFO beaming me up, or the finger of God.
I thought, “This is what heaven must be like.” It wasn’t just the drugs, because what is more heavenly than being safe and joyful, surrounded by loved ones, history, ghosts and beautiful music? I’ve never felt so empty, yet so full, in the best possible way.
Michael Musto, famed NYC columnist
Here is what I wrote in the Village Voice in 2011, about coming upon the upstairs area at Roseland: Three guys had dropped to their knees faster than old socialites doing a Pilates workout. Down the hall — which was very The Shining as directed by Helmut Newton — I came upon a suggestively lit room with some more knee action, and next to it was an armpit-dark space that turned out to be the evening’s gay outreach center, as it were. Go in there and you could actually be done by your boyfriend without even knowing it.
Buck Angel, activist, enterpreneur and influencer
I performed at the Black Party in 2007. No one had ever seen a man with a pussy before, and they were losing their shit! Some were super awesome about it, and some were total assholes. But that’s how it always is when you are pushing boundaries and ideas.
So many horny men in one place and I could not believe I was there. But as I cruised the dance floor naked and only in my thigh-high work boots, the men started coming at me. Trying to touch my pussy as if it was not real. Eventually I got caught in a group of men who surrounded me. Started to push against me. Pushing me up in the air. About 30 men all grabbing at me like I was a piece of candy. They all wanted it. It was just about that time when I was literally up in the air with my arms and legs held by many and my legs spread and I thought so many scary thoughts.
Then a producer of the show came out of nowhere and said, “Buck! We’ve been looking for you. It’s your time onstage!” Basically saved by the bell! Who knows what would have happened, but the moral of this story is even if you are a gay man, do not underestimate the power of my pussy!”
Casey Spooner, artist
I only went to the Black Party once. I went alone and at the last minute. The best part of the night was when I walked past this guy named Cesar. He was such a hunk, more like a regular guy. No steroids. No harness. Not trying too hard. Just HOT! My pits reeked at this point in the night. I guess my pheromones really got his attention. We danced wildly. He was a big guy. He picked me up. I straddled him. We were dancing and kissing. It was so wild and romantic. It was a real connection.
Finally we wandered off to a corner behind a curtain. I guess it was the actual maintenance room. He was fucking me real good. He had a great thick cock. My jeans were around my cowboy boots. Someone from the staff came into the maintenance area, but we kept fucking. I think I even said “hello.” Soon afterwards someone came in and told us we couldn’t fuck there. We stopped and went our separate ways. Why I let him go … I have no idea! I’m still in touch with Cesar, but sadly we never fucked again. But I’m optimistic. 😉
Mr. Pam, director
I had the honor to be Creative Director of the Strange Live Acts sex stage at the Black Party at Roseland Ballroom. I gathered together the best of the best and freakiest of the freaky hot men to perform onstage.
My partner in crime Rafael Alencar and I came up with the idea to do a “Birthing Machine” show where I was in a straight-jacket with a creepy plastic surgery mask. I had nylons on, filled with doll parts and condoms filled with fake blood. The idea was that we were going to pull the doll parts out and feed them to our man dogs, then fill my pussy with eggs and throw them to the crowd.
Our show was earlier in the night, and at the last second, I decided to not put eggs inside me for fear that they would break and I would not be able to production manage the rest of the show. I forgot to tell Rafael this, so we start the show onstage and Rafael starts digging, I kept screaming “There are no eggs! There are no eggs!” But the music was so loud that he couldn’t hear me so he kept digging for the eggs.
That’s the moment when I accidentally got fisted onstage at the Black Party.
BunnyZ, photographer and videographer
I’m blessed to have had this opportunity to film and photograph The Saint at Large’s infamous Black Party for almost 10 years now. The party is such a visually stimulating and visceral spectacle to capture. The party oozes sex, but I like to capture the sexy and romantic side to it all. I always feel like I’ve seen it all, but then again, I’m always surprised each year. Always.
As the only female photographer capturing The Black Party, I get access to every nook and cranny of the party. I get to float through the party like a ghost and go practically anywhere I please. It’s actually quite liberating (as well as exhausting), especially when there are 5,000 men to move through. But there is a lot to capture, plus I might have a few playful, distracted performers to follow throughout the night.
The party moves fast and furiously, and I rarely have a moment to myself. After capturing some action backstage at Roseland, I went up the back stairs to the top balcony and rested in a dark corner for a minute to catch my breath and stretch my legs. This was early on in my shooting of the party. In the darkness, I bumped into somebody, then I realized it was a couple. And then it occurred to me, there were three … no, four guys … wait, five … make that nine … oh, man … a whole centipede of men connected and moving in sync together. What’s happening? From that moment on, I quickly learned that dark corners are magnets for naughty play. You can’t simply hide alone in the dark.
Also, I have to keep track of the schedule throughout the night and be there ready to shoot when performances and “strange live acts” come up. One year, with dawn fast approaching and camera in hand, I was ready to shoot a bukkake performance at the main stage. I had no idea what a bukkake was. With my camera down low to get an epic low-angle shot, I filmed a number of performers doing the act, with a lot of effort since it was so late in the night, and I just remember getting hit by projectile liquid — spit, sweat, semen, you name it. The perks and hazards of my job.
Rites XL: The Black Party CALIGULA, the event’s 40th anniversary, takes place April 6 at the New York Expo Center. Head here for more info.
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