A man with a gray ponytail rhythmically flogged a mostly nude woman draped over a small picnic table. Surrounding them, diners reclined on pillows, sultan style, around nine human “tables,” naked but for flesh-tone underwear and high heels. Dinner, consisting of North African comfort food prepared by a former “Chopped” contestant named Samia Behaya, was artfully arranged atop them.
“I would recommend not using your hands,” said one comely female platter, covered in raw sliced root vegetables. A man obligingly knelt beside her and plucked a radish from her torso with his teeth. “Vegetables are sexy,” cooed a nearby woman in a bustier bodysuit.
Organized by Abby Hertz, 32, a performance artist based in Bushwick, the party was called Lust and was billed as an alternative Thanksgiving, a pre-emptive reprieve from the constraints of going home for the holidays. The recurring party, which was first held on Valentine’s Day, straddles the worlds of sex, art and dinner.
Leather vests, corsets and latex predominated, but there were glimpses of glitter, sparkles and a dash of rainbows, too. “This is much more inclusive than typical fetish parties,” said Joe Hart, 31, a sustainability consultant from Crown Heights, Brooklyn, who was shirtless and wearing dark lipstick and a pair of lace suspenders. “It’s a measured ‘anything goes.’"I know that not every New Yorker thinks this is okay, but it says a lot about what constitutes art to the intellectuals there.