The girls arrive in a group, chatting excitedly in the driveway as I greet each one at the door with little pecks on each cheek. The mood is light, friendly. They all look amazing–a rainbow of colors and rhinestones and sheen. All are dressed suitably fabulous with the exception of my usually timid neighbor, Grace, who went a little overboard, spilling out of a black leather bustier, thigh-high boots and fishnets. It’s not that kind of party, I think to myself. At least I hope not.

I serve the pink cosmopolitans from a big glass pitcher and I’m glad I made a double batch because they are a big hit. The guests continue their conversations inside, nibbling hors d’oeuvres and sipping pink cocktails– casting the occasional shy sideways glance at the table, neatly arranged with little plastic bottles and jars and colorful phallus-shaped objects.

“Ladies! You’ll be so glad you came tonight!” Jennifer brings the room to order.

They gather, quieting down, settling into sofas and chairs  as I go around with the pitcher, refilling drinks and clearing plates.

“Is this your first pleasure party? Let’s see a show of hands.”

All hands go up, with the exception of Grace . She just sits there with a satisfied little smile on her lips, adjusting the straining top of her corset. Hmmm. I think to myself. It’s always the quiet ones…

I pour another drink for myself and stand off to the side, prepared to assist with the demonstration, because that’s what a good hostess does.

“Wow! That’s a lot of first-timers. Well, I promise I’ll be gentle!”

Giggles erupt, easing the nervous tension in the room and Jennifer gets to work, showing her products in a tasteful way, discussing the features of each and passing them around the circle for inspection. I’ve seen them all before at the party last month, but I feign interest anyway to match the excitement of my friends who seem genuinely fascinated by the demonstration.

“I am especially excited about our newest product, the Wonder Wand. All the fun in half the time. Trust me, this one is a real feather in our cap.”

Jennifer holds up a shiny purple and black cylinder and the ladies lean in with curiosity. I’ve never seen this one either.

“What makes it so special, you might ask? I could tell you, but I’d rather show you!”

To be continued…