We’re all yearning for touch right now: the warmth of a gentle embrace; the tender caress of a coy lover met by moonlight; a slippery fist squirming its way up your butt. There’s not much anyone can do about physical contact at the moment, this Friday’s virtual Pigs Fly party is about as close as it gets right now.

Kevin Kauer (aka Nark) has been hosting raunchy Pigs Fly parties for years now IRL at bars, and with everyone trapped at home he’s jumping TRON-like into virtual space to finally fulfill the erotic potential that cyberpunk novels have been promising us since the 1980s.

“It’s like a Groupon, but for e-butt,” Kauer/Nark says, and promises that it’ll be a digital fetish night for “a-ny-thing,” a challenge I am excited to test. The logistics will be familiar to anyone who’s joined a video chat with coworkers in the last few weeks: once you sign up, you get emailed a private link, and then you’re placed in a shared room with a bunch of other sluts.

From there, you’re invited to show off or just hang out and watch, with admins occasionally highlighting the participants who are putting on particularly enthusiastic shows. Every caller’s audio will be muted, but there’s text chat if you want to get flirty.

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And while callers show off for each other, various DJs provide sexy music and professional go-gos keep the sexy vibe going. Some of the pro dancers, like Pup Clutch, will be calling in from here in Seattle, while others will be streamed from remote locations around the world, like Haru (Honolulu), Marinated Meat (Chicago), and Andrew Herring (LA).

For me, this remote-boyeur system is one of the most intriguing aspects of the party, since it simultaneously feels like a throwback to old-fashioned peep-show rooms while also being a bit like staring through a magic window in Portal. I’d love for this to be an innovation that’s retained once we go back to bars: there’s a traditional in-person dancer you can tip and touch, and more unusual dancers displayed on-screen to appeal to more niche interests, streaming simultaneously to multiple sex parties around the world.

Last month’s party attracted 200 eager participants, and with no end in sight to the pandemic, everyone’s probably even more pent up than before. It’s no substitute for slipping your hands down a friend’s singlet in the bathroom at CC’s, but for now we’ll just have to content ourselves with a creative use of technology and a remembrance of things past, exactly like Marcel Proust would have wanted.