Recently, I was invited to a gathering of ladies to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of my childhood friend [i.e. bachelorette party]. I had never been to a bachelorette party before, so my only sense of this sort of thing was the scene in Bridesmaids when they get kicked off the plane for being suspected terrorists–and trust me, that is the sort of thing that would happen to me. So needless to say, I was a little excited. And also totally freaked out.
Rewind many months ago, a guy I was dating told me: “You should take your friends who are getting married to Hunk-o-mania.” This is also a guy who wanted to take me to a monster truck show, so I didn’t exactly trust his outing suggestions. I also kept hearing “Hulk-o-mania.” He was very insistent. “Hulk-o-mania is awesome,” he said. “The men put on quite a show.”
“No thank you,” I told him. “I’m not really into wrestling.” I imagined hoards of men dressed up as Hulk Hogan; yellow banners aligning the walls.
He looked at me funny. “They don’t touch each other,” he said. “But they do touch the girls.”
I thought this was the most bizarre wrestling show I ever heard of. I also thought this show was in Albany. “I don’t want to travel that far for some sweaty men,” I said.
He looked at me like I had four heads.
Eventually, all confusion was resolved. I realized Hunk-o-mania was a place where dreams became reality, a whopping six subway stops from my apartment.
But I never thought I would go there.
Fast forward six months later, and I am in the front of a roped off line on 39th and 8th, waiting for the bride to arrive. I’m wearing the most revealing thing in my closet, and I still feel like an Orthodox Jew. It seems the single ladies of NYC have raided Kim Kardashian’s closet. So. Many. Bandage. Dresses.
We have an hour till the show starts, and during that time the crowd goes from this:
(Are those people or a Jackson Pollock painting? Yeah, I don’t know either.)
The bride shows up. We are given leis with her picture covered in glitter. Our IDs are checked and our hands stamped with tiny circles that say “Nice work.” (I never felt so accomplished about standing in high heels for 60 minutes). It’s getting closer to Hunk Time. The crowd is going wild:
And then the cops arrive. That’s right, cops. REAL cops. Not Chatum Tanning (Channing Tatum? I like my first version better) dressed up as a cop, but honest to goodness police officers. TRYING TO KEEP THE PEACE. Because ladies be gettin’ crazy.
I don’t know what I was expecting–maybe it was the Hunk house’s close proximity to Madison Square Garden–but when I was told we were getting the cheap seats, I was prepared to bring my binoculars. But nope, for $23 for entry and $20 for two drink tickets, we sit in the “non reserved” section, with a perfect view of the stage. I had worse seats in my sophomore year Chemistry class. Those bandage dress ladies were chumps.
One of the women at the bachelorette party had done some preliminary research on these hunks, perusing the Hunk-o-mania web site. She noted that the hunks were categorized by race. Here is your caucasian hunk, here is your Asian hunk, here is your Native American hunk. Here is your hunk from a small providence in Lithuania.
She and I look around the room, scoping out the shirtless wonder. Yup. There was a white hunk. There was an Asian hunk. There is a guy who looks just like Jonathan Taylor Thomas, already grinding up on a woman twice my age. Let the fun begin.
I decide the best way to maximize my drink tickets is to order Long Island Ice Teas. I haven’t had one of those since I thought walking down St. Marks street was cool and WOW are they just as awful as I remember. But BOY do they do the trick.
After the show begins we debate buying the bride a “hot seat,” which means for $100 she endures 20 minutes of pure embarrassment by being swung around by a man in a top hat and a g-string. *sigh* I can’t wait till it’s my turn to be the bride. We decide to pass up this tempting offer, and instead awkwardly touch the abs of men who come by with raffle tickets.
The performances? What you would expect. Sexy Marine. Sexy Firefighter. Sexy Superman. We decide Sexy Superman is our favorite.
*Note: At Hunk-o-mania, you don’t take pictures of anything with a Y chromosome. A healthy google search will prove no one abides by this rule. Also, the bride’s facebook album.*
The show is an hour, and it’s approaching 11:45. We all decide we love Hunk-o-mania. And then one of the girls asks if she can buy me a lap dance.
LISTEN. Before you judge me, I’m going to say THIS. There are not many single girls at this party, and of them, I am the only one who could say, “I am doing this for the material.” Material, readers. Material. Also, I blame the Long Island Iced Teas.
My friend waits for Sexy Superman. She points to me. I already start laughing. He takes me over to the couches. I can’t stop laughing. I’m laughing while he presses into me. I’m laughing when he tells me to bend over. I’m laughing when he tells me “Why are you laughing?” Thank god this is his job because if this was a real sexual situation there was no way that erection was lasting though my laughter. Then he’s laughing too. This is probably one of the least sexy lap dances he’s ever given. And then I realize the bride and all of her friends are taking pictures.
When the song ends, he pats my shoulder and tells me “You’re a character.” I’ve had quite a night. Yes, Hunk-o-mania, yes. Then we all line up to take a group picture the bride will probably not put on her refrigerator. I sit on Superman’s lap.
After Hunk-o-mania, the bride goes to a dance party in Bushwick, and I go home and eat a bag of potato chips. Naked men and salty snacks. It’s been the perfect evening.
Final verdict? A++++++