Many people believe there is no greater good than seeing a woman jump into a pool of chocolate and wrestle topless with other women. Sometimes personal sacrifices must be made for the greater good. We all owe debts to society, and my editors decided that my debt must be paid with nipples and chocolate sauce. I was told to go to the premiere Seattle audition of Girls Gone Wild at the nightclub Studio 7 last month. Since I misplaced my dignity months ago, I agreed. But there was no way in hell I was going alone.
"Hey, come to this party with me Sunday," I said to my friend Marti.
"Will there be guys there?"
Bless her heart. "Yes. Yes there will."
Marti can store keys and gum between her rotund breasts like a makeshift fanny pack, which is one of the reasons I wanted her around. I figured her fanny packs could divert attention away from my modest change purses.
We arrived at 9:30 p.m. and were greeted by a huge line of men snaking its way down the alley behind the club. Girls Gone Wild began with a fairly simple recipe: drunken girls flashing their tits on camera, offering men the titillation of spring break or Mardi Gras from the comfort of their semen-stained recliners. Since 1997, GGW has bloomed into a soft-core specialty-video line with over 200 titles and celebrity appearances (Girls Gone Wild: Doggy Style with Snoop Dogg), which grosses more annually than the Playboy empire. In the videos, females have evolved from simple flashing to taking off their pants, kissing and fondling one another, and even masturbating. It is very classy shit.
These men in line had been lured by the promise of Girls Gone Wild: Live!, while females had been promised free T-shirts—once they had paid $17 to flash their breasts (bare minimum) for one of the most successful masturbation franchises in history. (Men also paid a $17 cover, but were expected to do nothing more than ogle.) As Marti and I were waved to the front of the line, I was both hoping and bracing for the worst. What I expected to see was a technicolor slutty train wreck—sorority girls wallpapering the club as men flicked about like wasps trying to prick them. My game plan was to play the wallflower and plant myself in a dark corner with my shirt stapled to my panties until it was time to wrestle.
"Is there anything I can do to help?" Marti asked.
"Jumping jacks," I said.
While our names were being checked off a cardboard VIP list inside, I had two unpleasant realizations: I had left my stapler in the car, and Marti and I were two of seven women in the entire room. In all the scenarios I had envisioned, it had never occurred to me that girls would fail to arrive and go wild. I was both impressed and terrified by this turn of events. Evidently, Girls Gone Wild is more of a suggestion than a promise.
Sadly, it spelled B-A-D N-E-W-S for my plan to lay low. A crowd of men was now having staring contests with my chest. "Hey, show me your tits!" barked one outgoing fellow, whose shirt read, "Show me your tits."
"Your tits are bigger," I replied. "Show me yours." I was not there to expose my breasts; I had come to wrestle in chocolate with strangers.
"What do we do now?" Marti asked.
"We drown our pride in liquor," I said, "and then we wrestle in chocolate. You first."
The bar was located upstairs. I followed Marti as she weaved through a swarm of appreciative men. We ordered a few drinks and hit the balcony for a better view. From above, the ratio of women to men was even more noticeable; I counted four women below. The stage was deserted except for an empty inflatable swimming pool; behind the stage, a large suspended screen entertained the crowd with footage of young women slowly peeling tight clothes from their bodies. These women were offering themselves up as the crudest of sexual objects, but there was power in their offerings. In a very fucked-up way, it's rather flattering to know that thousands of men are masturbating to your image—like you are doing your part to make the world a happier place. Just by being in a room filled with lustful men, I was hyperaware of my femininity, which everyone else had paid money to see. Men surrounding me were tense, expectant, and tuned into my every movement, waiting for me to Go Wild. It was a powerful, albeit incredibly creepy feeling that I never want to have again.
However, the women on screen didn't appear to be wild so much as methodical. Many of them were stripping in a deserted cafeteria kitchen; bulk spices and buckets of mayonnaise crowded the counter space behind them. The screen was bathed in red stage lights, which made all of the girls appear freshly broiled. It wasn't sexy; it was grisly.
I turned to the man next to me. "Excuse me, but do you find these women attractive?" I gestured to the screen. He stared at them for a few seconds and then replied, "They look a touch overcooked." Not even the most optimistic pervert could find the scene arousing.
I sipped my rum and coke and contemplated the empty swimming pool. Did they keep the Wild Girls locked up in a kennel somewhere until it was time to hose them down with chocolate sauce? Or was this modest turnout as wild as it was going to get?
I noticed that two girls below had begun dancing. A large circle was cleared around each female, and from the fringes, men began intricate dances of courtship with the staggering grace of a clubfoot ballet. "Show us your tits?!" one man shouted.
"Yeah, c'mon. Peer pressure," said another. The women ignored them and continued to dance. But as if magic words had been uttered, a squat man in a ridiculous white suit stepped on stage.
"Peer pressure!" he said to the crowd. When did a group of horny strangers become my peers? Peers don't pressure women to flash their tits in public; perverts do. "Every woman who gets onstage right now and starts dancing gets a free T-shirt!" Four women climbed dutifully on stage and shook their asses. The Girls Gone Wild cameramen had arrived, along with two new women, bringing our total to nine girls gone halfheartedly wild.
"Why don't you join us?" asked a woman introduced as Jinni, who was being aggressively milked from behind by a stranger. "My foot is asleep," I lied. "But would you like to wrestle me in chocolate later? Or we could just hug."
"Oh, I heard there's no wrestling tonight," replied Jinni. "There aren't enough women here." My heart sank, shattered, and burst all at once. Without chocolate wrestling tempting me to stay, I decided to go home. Jinni's milker unhooked his right hand from her breast and offered it to me. "It was cool meeting you," he said.
"Uh, you too." I shook the hand. Marti ran to the bathroom, presumably to vomit. As I was waiting for her at the exit, a Girls Gone Wild representative offered me a free T-shirt to stay at the party.
"Nope," I said.
"Well, okay," he said with a smile. "You can have a T-shirt anyway, just for being a girl."
Girls Gone Wild Seattle—more awkward than my buffet-style dating mission, more depressing than my Stranger-themed Christmas assignment, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.