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No pants, no problem

No pants, no problem

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Relive your teen years at playful underwear fundraiser
Remember all those fun sexy things we did as kids to encourage our burgeoning queer sexuality – games like Spin the Bottle, or Seven Minutes in Heaven, or Truth or Dare? Yeah, me neither. Sure, I saw my share of teeny-bopper parties where such diversions were played by the other spotty, fervid attendees, but it wasn’t terribly safe for a gay kid to point the bottle at the cutest boy or confess undying lust for the president of the school’s Science Club (okay, sue me, I was a nerd). 
 
For we who feel a little cheated out of those first baby-steps into adolescent sexuality, there’s a marvelous party event coming up called No Pants, No Problem. It’s the brainchild of party organizer Jessica Whitbread, a night of sexy frivolity that doesn’t necessarily have to end up as a drunken, guilty memory.  
 
“It’s just innocent fun,” Whitbread says. “With no pants on. We’re just being playful with it. Sometimes people do show up in their underwear, but it’s far more common for people to leave in their underwear at the end of the night. I’ve walked home in my underwear so many times.”
 
Whitbread conceived the idea eight years ago as an antidote to what she felt were overly sexualized hangouts, where the evening’s main purpose was to go home with the cutest person possible. That might work for some, of course, but she points out there are many people who can feel left out of that scene.
 
“NPNP is for people who maybe have a little tougher time getting it on with folks,” she says. “People who live on the sexual fringes, where it’s not so cut and dried.” The bubbly organizer counts herself among these tribes, having seen the realities of her own sex life mirrored in other disenfranchised communities. 
 
“It started because I’m HIV-positive,” says Whitbread, who was diagnosed at the age of 21. “I wanted to create safe places for myself, but I soon realized through some of my trans friends that other people had their own nervousness around disclosure. Hell, it is not easy for a self identifying gay  man of the past 15 years to go out and fuck a lady if they really want to -- these are the people that benefit from a space created without any box.
 
“It can be tricky, wondering how people will react, so there are lots of parallels with my situation. Sometimes I just want to go to a party with my friends and not have to disclose. Sometimes I want to just be like everyone else.”
 
The parties have proven a huge success, with happenings in Montreal, Mexico City and Washington, DC, where it was dubbed the must-go-to party of the AIDS conference by the Washington Post in July 2012.
 
“This was a loophole that I found for myself,” Whithead explains. “I feel comfortable being in a kissing booth or playing Spin the Bottle. It doesn’t have the same weight as meeting someone and ending up making out at the bar and possibly going home together. It’s a different atmosphere. If I play Spin the Bottle and kiss 10 people, well, that’s a good night. It’s fun and it ends. There’s no more meaning attached to it.”
 
Everyone is welcome at No Pants, No Problem, as long as they adhere to some very basic rules, and if cash is a problem, Whitbread assures that there are always workarounds.
 
“I never want price to be a barrier for anyone who wants to come,” she says. “So there are lots of opportunities for people to volunteer and still be part of it. As long as people realize we’re not going to put up with any transphobic, homophobic or AIDSphobic stuff. There are lots of AIDSies here like me, so if you’re going to pull that bullshit, then this party is probably not for you!”
 
No Pants, No Problem
Fri, Oct 5 
The Garrison
1197 Dundas St W
$5 before 11pm, $10 after 
Suggested donated penalty of $5 for those who are not in their underwear.
Funds will be donated to AIDS Action Now!

For more info, see the No Pants, No Problem Facebook page or contact
jessicawhitbread@gmail.com
 
 
 
  
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