The song is unabashedly about gay sex (“The boys in the back room / Laughin’ it up / Shootin’ off menergy” goes the jingle-like hook, sung by a group of gleeful women)
Tavares, meanwhile, has been throwing Harder for almost two years now, and he’s showing signs of fatigue. “If I want to make more money, I need to get out of the sex party business,” he said to me by phone last month. Earlier this month, he moved Harder to a new downtown location, in a venue not associated with sex parties. The party’s toned-down, dance-focused angle seemed to do the trick-Tavares said 700 people attended (versus the 150 or so the raunchier incarnation of the party regularly attracted).
Limited as their clientele may be, sex parties nonetheless thrive. In June the New York Times ran what was purported, per its headline, a survey of the current state of queer nightlife: “ Defiant on the Dance Floor: L.G.B.T.Q. Night Life in New York, 2017 .” Sex went unmentioned, and that was an oversight. Sex parties in New York appeal to a niche crowd, sure, (the number of bodies Luke has ever packed into his party topped out at 270-blockbuster numbers for the relatively small venue and nature of his gathering), but it’s a crowd that is, in a major way, philosophically aligned with one of the fundamentals of the gay liberation movement that stretches back decades: the belief that we should be able to attain consensual pleasure as we see fit without reproach. Continue reading He sounded sapped of his usual pep, and bemoaned his party’s reputation as solely a sex spot