Tequila and Porn: Some Background
The idea of a Tequila and Porn party didn't originate with me. When I
was in college a male friend of mine lived at the only
co-ed dorm at the neighboring women's college. For his birthday, some of
the gang decided to throw a wild debauched party. His dormmates (mostly
women) came up with the theme of tequila and porn, with the party consisting of
heavy drinking and watching hardcore porn. The first Tequila and Porn
party thus happened at a liberal, feminist women's college, with about
six guys and twenty or so women in attendance. Videos were watched,
magazines were given away as party favors, a striptease was performed,
much alcohol was consumed, and, eventually, campus security was called by one
of the non-attendees in the dorm. In short, it was a rousing success.
A year and a half later I'm out of college and living in the Boston area.
The topic of the first Tequila and Porn
comes up at some point, and it occurs to me that some of the same qualities
that made that party so successful the first time are also present with my
group of friends in Boston. When it comes right
down to it, a group of young, well-educated, liberal, generally low-key
professionals getting together and getting drunk and watching porn has
about the same warm and fuzzy appeal as having a bunch of feminist
women's college students doing the same thing. Besides, a lot of my
friends (mostly the women) hadn't ever actually seen any hardcore porn
before. It seemed to me to be a moral imperative to do something about that.
Why Valentine's Day?
Personally, I never liked Valentine's Day. In my mind, it's a holiday that
exists only for the greeting card, cheap decorative chocolate, and restaurant
industries. If you're single, it's just a reminder that you're alone. If
you're involved with someone, then it's a chore, as you have to go out of your
way in order to make that day meet some romantic ideal. Besides, in my
experience, romance is a spontaneous thing, and doesn't take all that well to
external pressures. So Valentine's Day just doesn't work for me.
Fortunately for me, my girlfriend likes Valentine's Day even less than
I do. So, we figured, if it would be a good idea to have a Tequila and Porn
party, then what better time to have it then on Valentine's Day? It's a
perfect fit--drinking and watching pornography is about as far away from the
traditional Hallmark view of Valentines Day that you can get. We'll not
be having any of that neo-Victorian view of romance as cards and flowers and
candy. We're showing the other side of love--the raunchy, sweaty,
sticky side. The side that polite society tries to pretend doesn't exist.
And this is a party that anybody, whether in a relationship or not, can
come to. If you're in a couple, then you don't have to worry about being
romantic, since it's pretty much impossible to be romantic while downing
tequila shots and watching some guy's hairy ass bouncing up and down. And
if you're single then there's a good chance that, after
watching hours and hours of ugly men and silicone women and detailed
close-ups of genitalia, you'll decide that you're not really missing out
on all that much by not being in a sexual relationship. So it's a win all
Tequila and Porn (hereafter referred to as 'T&P') is just what it sounds
like: at the party the guests drink of lot of tequila (and other beverages,
many of them alcoholic) and watch a lot of hardcore porn. For the past six years we've been having a T&P party at or around Valentine's Day. We usually start
the party around 7:00 in the evening, starting the first movie at around
8:00 (to give the early arrivers time to get fortified by a few drinks before
they have to watch porn). From then on, it's hardcore porn and drinking
for the rest of the night, which usually goes pretty late (like 4:00 or 5:00).
In between, there is a lot of video flesh, bad music, and squishy sounds,
lots of mocking, snide comments, and laughter at the tv screen, and many
calls for more alcohol to dull the more painful parts of the spectacle.
Many of the guests usually take this opportunity to dress in outfits that
they usually don't get to wear in public. Bodices, merry widows, thongs,
liquid latex--as long as it's at least arguably street legal, it's ok to
wear (and even encouraged). This is a good excuse to show off any of the
sexy (or trashy) clothes that usually only one other person ever gets to
see you wear. Or, alternatively, it's a good excuse to go out and buy such
clothes. ("No, really--I just bought this collar to wear to the next T&P.")
As you can probably guess, tequila isn't the only drink served at T&P.
But it is the alcoholic centerpiece. It fits in well with the
general theme--for good reasons or bad, tequila has a bad reputation. It's
well known as a drink for doing shots, and, generally speaking, if you're
shooting your drink then you're just drinking in order to get drunk. It also
conjures up pictures of guys in saloons in the American West, guys who have
a few too many tequila shots and then get themselves killed in barroom
brawls. In short, it's the perfect match to hardcore porn. (The
motto we often use for T&P is "Cheap tequila and cheaper porn.")
In addition to the tequila, though, you'll definitely want to have a fully
stocked bar for this party. You want to encourage people to drink. Several
of our guests, in fact, swear that large amounts of alcohol are required in
order to be able to stand to watch the porn. You're probably better off
keeping your guests happy if you have their favorite drinks available, too.
It works best, though, if you try to get everyone to have a shot or two of
tequila in addition to whatever else they want to drink. It adds a certain
feeling of solidarity.
We encourage heavy (though not excessive--we don't want anyone to get
sick) consumption of alcohol at our
T&P parties. The rationale is rather simple: if you go to a party and
drink too much, you're likely to make an ass of yourself. However, if
you go to a party and everybody is supposed to get drunk, then there's no
reason to be embarrassed about passing out in the middle of the floor; that's
exactly what you're expected to do. Besides, if you're sitting around with
your friends watching porn while half-naked, it's not like having a bit too
much to drink should embarrass you any.
I should also mention that we do have several friends who just don't
drink, whether because they just don't like alcohol or for other reasons.
The agreement with them
is pretty much that as long as they don't mind being surrounded by a bunch
of drunk people, and as long as they don't mind watching porn while sober,
then they're free to come and not drink anything. For our friends who do
drink, however, there's pretty much a one or two drink minimum unless they're
driving or are taking medication or have some other good reason like that.
(Actually, as long as people are into it and not disapproving of either the
drinking or the other general debauchery, we're pretty much ok with it.)
First of all, if you've never rented (or bought) porn before, then you might
be a bit surprised at how self-conscious you feel. There is still a taboo
about viewing pornography, in the U.S. anyway. Sure, a lot of people on the
Internet will admit that their hard drives are fully of pr0n. But one of
the big advantages of Internet porn is that you don't actually have to deal
with any other actual people in order to get it. You can just get on your
computer, go to various websites (or Usenet groups, or what have you), and
download anything that you want behind the relative anonymity of an IP
Renting porn in a video store is a different matter. You have to walk in,
go to the back room, and stand around there with a few lonely looking guys
who furtively pick up the tape for Ass Banging Sluts 17 before shuffling
out to the check out counter, hoping that nobody notices. You have to deal
with the disapproving glances that other store customers (mostly women, but
a few guys too) give you when they see what kinds of movies you're interested
So, suggestions here: first of all, if you have the money, then you don't
have to do rentals. This past year we bought several videos from blowfish.com that we figured would be difficult
to find at the local video store. The
purchase was no problem through their website, the videos were delivered in
a simple brown cardboard box, and I have not gotten placed on any embarrassing
mailing lists as a result. Added bonuses are a much better selection of
higher-quality videos (you don't have to settle for Nothing Like Nurse Nookie
4 if you mail order) and the fact that, if you don't get around to watching
some of the videos, then you can keep them around for next year. Disadvantages
are much higher costs and the fact that you have to figure out what to do
with the videos after the party. (Fortunately, we haven't been asked yet by
anyone who hasn't been to our parties why exactly we now have a small porn
Second, find out if there is a good, sex-positive adult store near you.
Here in the Boston area, we've found that Grand Opening in Brookline is a
wonderful store for adult videos as well as for any other adult items that
you might want. It's woman-owned and women-staffed, and generally has a very
friendly and supportive atmosphere. After my first visit (since, let's face
it, a first visit to a sex shop is bound to be uncomfortable in some way or
another) I've never been made to feel awkward in the store. Plus since the
staff are friendly, knowledgeable, and female, they're good
people to ask for suggestions for movies that would be appropriate to a
mixed-gender crowd. As an added bonus, you also get to browse their selection
of toys and books while you're there. Apparently Grand Opening has also opened up a store in L.A. Though I've never been to either,
Toys in Babeland in New York and Seattle has
a similar reputation, as does Good Vibrations
in San Francisco. I'm sure that other cities have similar stores; perhaps
some other members of the K5 community will be nice enough to suggest some.
Finally, if you do end up having to go to the local West Coast Video in order
to get some (or all) of your porn, then do your best to go in a group of
three or four people, preferably with at least two women in your group.
It's amazing how much less awkward you feel looking through the adult video
section when you have two attractive young women with you with whom to discuss
the selection. Plus the fact that nothing clears out the adult section of the
worst of the creepy guys as fast as having actual women walk into the area.
Of course, I should also say that my female friends have expressed that
they would feel uncomfortable going into a normal video store to rent porn
by themselves. So I guess the story is, if you have to go to a normal video
store to rent porn, then go in a bi-gendered group if possible.
I will mention that there are plenty other ways to get video porn--I
believe that you can order them streaming over the Internet now, and I think
that some of the online DVD rental places have a selection of adult movies.
For that matter, most cable companies have pay-per-view adult channels, so
you could possibly just try going with that. I've only rented videos locally
and ordered some online, myself, though, so I'm afraid that you're on your
own for those. One thing that I will say, though: however it is that you
get your movies, make sure that you get many more than you'll have time to
watch. Chances are, many of the movies will be so bad that you won't want
to watch even half of them, and even for the better ones I've found that we
do a lot of fast-forwarding. So either make sure that you get more than
enough, or that you have a backup plan if it turns out that you've run out
of movies at 11:00.
As for the porn choices themselves, you should definitely take your audience
into consideration. For instance, I've tried to avoid any movies which
have non-consensual themes to them, since I've been told by a number of
my female guests that they don't approve of such movies. This means that
we've never shown classics like Behind the Green Door, since it involves
a woman being abducted for sex, or Deep Throat, due to the allegations by
the star that she was forced into making the movie. It also means that we
make sure to avoid anything like the Rocco: Animal Trainer series,
which apparently specializes in rough sex. (Of course, once you've thrown one
or two of these parties and have an idea of your guests' tastes, then you can
feel free to experiment more, but for a first party it's probably a good idea
to err to the more vanilla side.)
As for things that we've liked, the classics are a good place to start.
We showed Debbie Does Dallas at the first T&P that we threw, and it's still
probably our favorite. We also tend to go more towards the silly end of
porn, so in the past we've gotten things like Genital Hospital, the Maddam's
Family, and Double Feature. Movies with plot are good, although you have
to be careful about when you play them; you don't want to do two of them
in a row, and by 2:00 am, everybody is probably too out of it to pay
attention to plot anyway. And, of course, it's also good to get some really
lowbrow, looks like it was made with a camcorder in somebody's basement,
plot--what plot? movies, too. I've found that many websites (including
the aforementioned blowfish.com) have
some really good reviews and suggestions, though I will warn you that the
selection available in your local video store is probably of much lower
quality than the movies reviewed on the net.
There are also some less successful experiments that we've tried. While
a few of our guests thought that the first hentai (Anime porn) that we showed,
which involved a large plant with tentacles kidnapping high school girls, was
the hottest thing that we've
shown, most of us just thought that it was really weird. Since we were a
bit scared off by that one, the other hentai that we've gotten has been
disappointing in the opposite extreme, that is, having basically no sex in
it at all. I'm sure that there is very good hentai out there that would be
perfect for T&P, but we haven't found it yet.
Similarly, S&M videos have been
generally disappointing; we've shown four, of which two were so boring that
we turned them off about 15 minutes in (after fast forwarding through the
rest of the tape to make sure that, indeed, nothing interesting every happened
in the entire video), one was watchable but slow, and one was the most erotic
movie we showed that year (mostly due to the fact that the bottom was incredibly cute and really got into it). A lot of the problem with S&M videos is that
very few bondage films actually have any actual sex in them, and there's only
so much spanking you can watch before you start reaching for the remote
The worst failures that we've had were probably The Mighty Hermaphrodite
and Midget Madness. Unfortunately, I have to take the blame for both of
those. Bad, bad, bad.
Final comments/additional suggestions
As you've probably guessed by now, the reason that I'm posting this
article to K5 is that I think it would be cool if other people started
throwing Tequila and Porn parties too. I happen to think that they're
very appropriate for Valentine's Day, but, really, you could have one for
just about any occasion. All you need is a house, some booze, a TV and
VCR, and a group of friends who are willing to drop some of their less useful
inhibitions for a night.
We've had some additional activities at T&P such as erotica readings
(including a section from the Starr report), games of XXXenophile, and
giving away door prizes (condoms, lube, etc.). This year we're planning
on playing Porn Bingo, with spaces for many of the annoying porn conventions
that we've noticed over the years ("Badly Faked Orgasm", "Flaccid
Blowjob", "Fingernails That Long Shouldn't Go There"). In general, though,
we've kept the main part of the party to drinking, watching porn, and
whatever general socializing we can do while inebriated.
One thing to be careful of is the amount of sexuality you actually want to
have present during a T&P party. It's one thing to go to a party wearing
a merry widow and drinking and watching porn with your friends. It's
another thing to end up at an orgy. If you're going to have a sex party
then advertise it as a sex party, not as a drinking and porn party. And
if some of your guests do decide that they want to act on their urges,
then see if you can at least find a room for them to use that's relatively
A word should also be said about discretion. While an attendee might not
have any problems with drinking and watching porn with a bunch of other people
who have also chosen to do so, it doesn't necessarily mean that they want
to have everyone know that that's how they chose to spend an evening. So
you might not want to speak all that openly about a guest's attendance at
the party with other people who might not already know about it. In other
words, don't walk into a co-worker's office while her boss is in the room
and say, "Hey, remember when we were all over at your house watching midget
porn?" It's not likely to be appreciated.
Since this is by nature a drinking party, you will probably want to have
space available for people to sleep.
It's also a good idea for one of the hosts to stay sober enough to make
sure that nobody drinks a dangerous amount, and also to make sure that
all of the people who drink and aren't going to be staying the night have
arranged transportation that doesn't involve them driving.
We usually try to switch from tequila to water around one or two in the
morning, or two hours or so before it looks like the party will break up,
whichever comes first. This helps to ward off hangovers. Personally, I've
found that drinking lots of water and sobering up a fair amount before going
to sleep are the two most important factors in avoiding feeling terrible
the following morning.
If you want to be really nice, offer to make breakfast for anybody
who spends the night (and therefore that you don't have to make travel
Despite the principled avoidance of some of our more Catherine MacKinnon
minded friends, our Tequila and Porn party is still the most well-attended
event that we do all year.