From sex-toy soirees to presidential parties, these theme bashes give the cold shoulder to stale nights indoors.
Bringing sexy bash
Want to get the buzz on the latest adult toys without the embarrassment of running into a coworker at your local gadget emporium? Gather your girls and host a sex-toy party at your pad. Like the Tupperware parties on which they’re modeled, sex-toy soirees feature a trained consultant (hired by the host) who guides the event and has items available for purchase at the end.
The basics Katrina Ahrens is a local rep with Pure Romance (pureromance.com), an online company that hosts in-home parties featuring “relationship-enhancement products” for women ages 18 and up. “We do parties for any reason,” Ahrens says. “Bachelorettes are good ones, as are ladies’ nights, Valentine’s Day and newly single parties.”
Drinking game Try the classic “I Never,” in which one partygoer reveals a sexual secret like, “I’ve never had a threesome,” while those who have must drink.
Chow down Ahrens suggests things like penis-shaped cookies or other small snacks that resemble male genitalia (cheese balls, anyone?).
Smart tip The more the merrier. The host gets complimentary products based on the number of guests who show.
And the Oscar goes to…
The dresses, the pageantry, the long-winded speeches! Now is the time to start figuring out how you’re going to roll out your Oscar party red carpet come February 24 (if the writers and producers can agree on some sense of atonement by then).
The basics Lincoln Square resident Paul Semper is a movie enthusiast who goes all out on Oscar night. He suggests having a Polaroid camera handy so you can take paparazzi-style pics as guests walk through your door.If you’ve got a red carpet, great. If not, there are other ways to re-create Hollywood’s biggest night. “We serve a drink called the Acceptance Speech,” Semper says. “It’s equal parts apple vodka and Goldschlager in a martini glass with a little club soda and garnished with a golden delicious apple slice.”
Drinking game Guests drink every time a winner thanks God or his agent.
Chow down Semper busts out California rolls (get it? Hollywood?) from (where else?) Thai Oscar (4638 N Western Ave, 773-878-6220).
Smart tip Arrange the best furniture close to the TV and the fold-out chairs around them. When guests go the bathroom, the others can vie for the better spots.
If anything has defined 2008 so far, it’s the presidential elections. And nothing creates a livelier party than putting blue- and red-staters in the same room and watching the sparks fly. A debate party is a great way to get people talking.
The basics Kevin Hauswirth, a self-described political junkie, offers the following advice: “Pick a night during the week when debates or presidential forums are on,” he says. He encourages guests to wear their politics on their sleeves or around their necks. Think donkey-or elephant-themed ties to indicate partisan preference. The debates will provide plenty of talking points for partisan partygoers (it helps to have a DVR to freeze the action between talking points).
Drinking game Every time a candidate says change, you drink.
Chow down Keep it all-American: Caramel Apple Pie–tinis (Baileys, Smirnoff Twist Green Apple Vodka, applesauce and caramel syrup), freedom fries with melted American cheese, and Rice Krispies treats dyed blue and red.
Smart tip Make sure all your Republican friends check their firearms at the door.
Imagine perusing the racks at a thrift store and knowing the back story behind every tattered tee you handle. That’s the premise behind a clothes swap, a get-together in which guests bring in their distressed best and exchange it for yours. One woman’s K-Fed is another’s Clooney, right?
The basics The first thing you want to think about is your guest list, says Maria Krasinski, a frequent clothes swapper. “Get a bunch of your friends and get some of their friends,” she says. “That’s the fun part—getting people you don’t know to come.”
Start the party by asking everyone to throw their stuff in a giant pile. “We go through each piece one by one,” she says. “Only a couple times have people been grumpy about not getting something they wanted.” Any unwanted items are donated afterward.
Drinking game When an item of clothing has a hole or a pit stain, you drink.
Chow down Think potluck. Like the clothing up for grabs, the food should have a smorgasbord vibe.
Smart tip Leave out the undies. “One time this girl brought this bustier-type thing,” Krasinski says. “We just threw it right out.”