On a slow night at Oasis Aqualounge’s recurring lesbian event, Sapphic Aquatica, event coordinator Fatima Mechtab became fed up. “I was sitting at the bar — from there you can see people coming down the stairs into the club — and there was a large number of couples trying to get in that normally wouldn’t be allowed at Sapphic Aquatica,” Mechtab says. “Turning all those people away is bad for business, and it means Oasis isn’t as welcoming as I want it to be.”
She decided to work a more inclusive queer night into the rotation, called Hot Kiss. Sapphic Aquatica used to take place the last Sunday of each month; now on the last Sunday of each month, the party will alternate between Hot Kiss and Sapphic Aquatica. “I think it’s important to keep the momentum of that night of the month being a queer night, whatever the party,” Mechtab says.
Hot Kiss is a clothing-optional sex party that is open to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or “sexual expression.” Oasis’s pricing structure is often cringe-inspiringly confusing, but the price to get into Hot Kiss is a straightforward $30 per person, no matter one’s gender or whether one is part of a couple.
The gender-free pricing — which, unlike the pricing of Oasis’s other events, virtually shouts “everyone welcome!” — is part of Mechtab’s effort to ensure that queer people of all sorts feel comfortable coming to the event. “I feel like a lot of heterosexual people who know about Oasis already feel comfortable there,” she says. “But people who are queer or trans don’t always.”
The images on Oasis’s flyers and ads tell very clear stories, and they’re usually straight ones, from the ad with two men hoisting a woman out of a pool to the one where a naked woman is sitting next to a man who is for some reason wearing a suit (is he a businessman who’s gotten lost?). The imagery for the Hot Kiss ads — a pair of lips — was chosen because it suggests no particular gender or orientation.
In addition to music by DJ Millhouse, the inaugural Hot Kiss event will feature a sex-toy workshop, a birthday celebration for popular T-girl model Blair Ryder and a performance by Wood Butcher, a rockabilly punk band that performs in drag.