Project PARTY, a controversial gay orgy study, was abruptly terminated on December 31, 2010, after Massachusetts House Minority Leader Bradley Jones [R-North Reading] called for termination of the tax-funded group sex study. Representative Jones called Project PARTY an “inappropriate” use of tax dollars.
Governor Deval Patrick has been silent on Project PARTY although the Massachusetts Department of Public Health official responsible for approving the orgy study, Kevin Cranston, has been vocal in defense of the sex research. However, Cranston’s oversight of Project PARTY is clouded by his co-authoring of two journal articles about Project PARTY with the same researchers he oversaw.
As Project PARTY grew in scope and cost, a number of sex party attendees were interviewed and paid to tell their tales. In 2008, Cranston’s co-authors at Fenway Institute paid 40 of the orgy-goers to give reports on the events. Seventeen of the 40 men were not just party attendees but also hosted sex parties. A leaked transcript of one sex host interview tells the story of outreach workers joining in the fun.
Code-named 1039, a 44 year-old white male who described himself as “HIV negative” was interviewed on December 23, 2008. The interviews were conducted at Fenway Institute in Boston.
Host 1039 was talkative, “I basically started running the safer play group parties four years ago…monthly basis.” 1039 discussed attendance, “We can have as few as four and as many as thirty-five….an average attendance is fifteen to eighteen.”
“I guess the reason I started parties–well, was because it was easier to meet people for casual encounters than it was to meet people one on one online,” said 1039.
Surprisingly, host 1039 said he didn’t like orgies: “I’m not necessarily into group sex. I’m more of a one on one type….I think that most of the guys that come to our parties are more looking for a one on one thing, they would just like to have a lot of options.”
“I would much prefer to be in a relationship, but they are very difficult to come by. You know, gay men are not known for pairing off and staying in long term relationships,” explained 1039. “You know, looking for Mr. Right but will settle for Mr. Right Away.”
1039 described a competitor host‘s events, “Pants Off Parties–its on Brighton, and there’s a gentlemen out there that owns a home–he has them out of his home–I mean, basically has turned his whole home into a sex club.”
Host 1039 pre-screens his party attendees with photos and strictly enforces a condom use rule, “And we do it, you know, that’s enforceable and we get up close and personal with people um if we see somebody [explicative] we check, we do a condom check.”
“I have personally reached into uh two people in the midst of [explicative] to check to see if I could feel a latex and as long as I can feel latex I let them keep [explicative]….The first rule to be broken is the condom rule, ”explained 1039.
Host 1039 gets 90% of his attendees by invitation. 1039 searches personal ads on Craigslist and Manhunt for men with skin pictures. 1039 doesn’t bother reading profiles but bases his invitations on the photos displayed.
Because 1039‘s parties are from men culled from the internet most of them are strangers and sometimes the sex parties are a little tense, so an icebreaker is often used. “We start off with strip poker and we go on to Truth or Dare….You know, it’s kind of, it’s a game, it’s fun, it feels like camp.”
Host 1039 doesn’t get much action at his own sex parties: “Lately I haven’t been. I haven’t felt very good about how I look lately, so um, you know, its up, but yes, I have participated and sometimes it is hard to participate because you want to participate, you want to have fun, but the phone is ringing and there are guys outside waiting to get in and you’ve got to put your pants on.”
“I’m the only party I know that actually collaborates with public health agencies and I actually have them come in and have outreach workers at the parties….So we have had sex parties where a guy who is standing there naked, uh, you know, who, you know, they are getting ready to go play in the playroom with some guys, but before they do that they’re getting their HIV test, they are getting their flu shot.”
Host 1039 claimed that on occasion outreach workers would participate in the sex play: “I’m not there to tell them how to do outreach and I’m not there to tell them where the boundary is or what moral, you know, what moral examples they’re supposed to set.”
The Fenway Institute researcher conducting the interview asked about staged parties, “do you think it would be possible for an organization like Fenway whatever to throw a sex party?”
“Sure (laughter) I’m picturing the Boston Globe headlines the next day/” replied 1039.
“You hire me. You hire me and I will show you how it is done.”
To view all the Project PARTY articles view HERE