It seems like a normal get together between girlfriends. A dozen young women, ages 18-22, are sitting in an apartment living room, chatting and laughing while they snack on chocolate-dipped strawberries and cupcakes.
Take a closer one and what’s that on the cupcakes? A little candy in the center makes the desserts look like breasts. Those succulent strawberries are sitting in a penis-shaped tray. And the women are molding miniature penises out of Playdoh. I’m at a Passion Party and a consultant is demonstrating an array of sex toys and educating, enlightening and inspiring a lot of dirty jokes in the process.
For virtually all of the women this is their first time at a Passion Party, and the jokes and giggling are in full force. Cheryl Mason, the consultant, confides that she went the Playdoh route, because they are so young and inexperienced. She saves the raunchier games for the older or more “advanced” groups of ladies.
“They’re new to it and you’ll see their reaction. I only want to show half of the products, because I don’t want to scare them,” she explains, which of course prompts me to inquire about the other half. Mason says they are the “luxe” and “anal type” of toys and leaves it at that.
Passion Parties is one of the largest companies of its type in the country, and its headquarters are located right here in Las Vegas. Last month it hosted a large convention at the Hilton (yeah, you missed out) and this month marks the company’s 15th anniversary. For women like Mason, working as a Passion Parties consultant full or part-time has become a lucrative and fulfilling career.
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- Passion Parties
- If you are interested in hosting a party or becoming a consultant, call Cheryl at 702-787-9277
Mason claims that consultants can make an annual salary of $75,000 to $400,000. While the parties are free to guests, the consultants earn a 40 percent commission from every product they sell.
However, Mason claims her motivation for peddling pleasure products is altruistic.
A former Nordstrom’s employee, Mason met Passion Parties founder Pat Davis at the store where Davis was a frequent customer. Through her, Mason learned about the company and decided to join the team.
“If I could sell furs, I could sell sex toys,” Mason reasoned. After switching jobs, Mason shed over 200 pounds and enjoyed a corresponding influx of self-esteem. “I want to go out there and share my experiences and help girls feel good about themselves and enhance their relationships.”
For 18-year-old Liz, the hostess of tonight’s party and the woman whose apartment we are all invading, the incentive is more mercenary. Liz is trying to earn enough money to attend Pima Medical School’s veterinarian technology program, and her current job, as a spa attendant at a hotel, doesn’t pay enough.
“This is the perfect thing,” Liz says of the Passion Party, although she isn’t a fan of the toys. “I don’t own a single one. I prefer the old-fashioned way.”
Thankfully for Mason, Liz is in the minority. Mason stands in front of the girls, a table covered in products behind her. One by one, she states its name, various uses, if it is waterproof, for his, her or both and the price.
The first few are harmless enough: lotions, massage creams and perfumes. One perfume is supposedly a pheromone enhancer, interacting with a woman’s unique body chemistry to produce an original, and purportedly, irresistible scent to the opposite sex.
A gel enhances sensitivity, another warms on contact, another intensifies G-spot orgasms and another supposedly keeps the man, well, fully manageable (to this, some girls in the room said, “No, thank you!” while others yelled out, “Yes, please!”). Many creams are edible and come in a variety of flavors. We all dab a wooden Popsicle stick in and taste the samples, which evoke strawberry frosting or something minty fresh.
Mason introduces us to a silky red pillow named “Virgy.” “Our vaginas are pretty,” she says, holding Virgy up for us like she is a kindergarten teacher. “It’s like a rose. The rhinestone is the clitoris.” Mason shows where the G-spot is and how to stimulate it while the girls laugh.
And there are toys, sculpted things in different sizes and colors that buzz, pulse and twist with names like the Treasure Gem, Jelly Clitterrific, Heart Wiggles, Vibro Swirl, Pretty Pearl Dolphin and Aqua Osaki.
The Treasure Gem is a pink crystal heart that opens to reveal a small magnetic vibrator. Clip it to your panties on a bathroom break, push the button and happily buzz away throughout the day. Get off while you work. No one will know.
“This is one female name you won’t mind being in the bedroom,” jokes Mason, pulling out a masturbation sleeve for men inexplicably named Gigi. Whenever he’s in the mood and you aren’t, Gigi will do the trick, and if she won’t, her slutty sister “Mimi,” who has more ribs and is even more flexible, should.
After Mason has gone through all of the toys (or at least the tamer half) the girls sit around with brochures and discuss what they want. Most have boyfriends, a couple have fiancées, and they say things like, “Oh, Tony would love this!” and “I’ve got to talk to Chad!” and even, “We won’t need our boyfriends anymore after this!”
One girl is dying to get the wedge-shaped pillow designed to make certain positions more comfortable, while another is drawn to the leopard-print handcuffs and role-playing I.D. tags. One young blonde checks her bank account on her phone. She really wants the Dancing Triple Tickle Dolphin, a cute hot pink tri-pronged waterproof plaything. Her friend wants it too.
“I live with my family in close quarters and I don’t want my mom to like, hear anything,” says Laura. Tricia, the blonde, chimes in, “That’s why I like the Dancing Dolphin—it’s really quiet and really little, so I can hide it in my drawer.”
While these women are wary of their mothers finding their pretty battery-operated playmates, Mason says she has hosted mother-daughter parties where the mothers teach techniques to their teenage daughters and buy them their first vibrators.
Mason takes her boyfriend when she hosts couples parties, because she claims that is easier for men if another man is there. And mostly, Mason claims, it’s the women who do the shopping for the men.
The parties are safer and more discreet than browsing through an adult store would be, she says, and the products arrive in a nondescript brown box labeled simply “PPI.”
“Our goals are to be classy, tasteful and confidential,” says Mason.
When the girls joke about how unappetizing it is to picture mature women engaging in sex acts, Mason responds, “Sex does not stop.” In fact, her biggest party yet was held last summer in a Sun City community for a group in which all the women were 75 years old and older and sexually active. “I do all different age groups. Some are in 60, 70 years old. I’ve learned a lot from them.”
When the instructional session is over, Mason packs her products into a roller suitcase while the girls gather around to giggle and debate over which sex position is better out of the hundreds illustrated in a book called Ride ‘em Cowgirl.
New recruit Liz will soon be joining Mason in her mission to arouse desire and enhance pleasure. Though, she may want to stop by a Sun City neighborhood for a few lessons first.