Webster defines â€œawkwardâ€ as lacking ease or grace; I define awkward as having a purple vibrator strapped in place around my jeans, in a room full of giggling women.
With one of them controlling the intensity. This was the very situation I found myself in last Wednesday, and, despite my thirty seconds of shame, I had a blast.
For 12 years, Passion Parties has been enhancing relationships, â€œwith sensual products designed to promote intimacy and communication between couples,â€ according to passionparties.com.
These parties are for women, by women. The company doesnâ€™t dislike men; in fact, many of their products cater to menâ€™s preferences rather than womenâ€™s. The purpose of the all-estrogen gatherings is to make women as comfortable as possible, and to create an environment conducive to open discussion and education.
Kady Mabury, a Missouri Western junior, didnâ€™t really know what to expect when she decided to attend that night.
â€œI thought it was fun, and I learned some stuff,â€ Mabury said. â€œThe hostess did a very good job of keeping it tasteful.â€
A sensory delight.
The organization of the event reminded me quite a bit of how youâ€™d expect a Mary Kay party to transpire, but appearance was the furthest thing from our minds.
We learned about our bodies and how to treat them with care.
We dispelled common myths and discussed these delicate issues like adults.
About 15 of us sat on the couches and floor, taking it all in, sharing experiences and learning from each other.
We touched, tasted, smelled and sampled a variety of products throughout the presentation.
â€œI was shocked at all they carried,â€ said Lacy Zoubek, who attended the party.
While you may think that a company such as this one would be selling nothing but outfits, sex toys and whips, thereâ€™s more to Passion Parties than meets the eye. The catalog does offer those â€œsecret drawerâ€ items, but also boasts an array of body scrubs, massage essentials and skin care products complete with pheromones.
â€œIt was a lot different that I thought it was going to be,â€ Lacy said of Wednesday nightâ€™s party. â€œI didnâ€™t realize they had the perfumes and lotions, I thought it was just the naughtier stuff.â€
Joe Zoubek, a Missouri Western senior, was surprised but pleased that his wife Lacy would attend a Passion Party. When asked if the items she purchased were worth the money, Joe said, â€œOh yeah.â€
Our Passion Party consultant, Lindsey Hendricks, has been involved with the company for about eight months.
â€œ(Before I became a consultant) I attended a few parties and every time I went, I really enjoyed it,â€ Hendricks said. â€œI realized the impact it had on the women who were there, and when my friend who did the show told me I would be really good at it, I gave it a shot.â€
There seems to be a common misunderstanding about Passion Parties. These are not triple-x evenings for women to unleash their lust. The representation was tasteful, the discussion was respectful and the company seems to avoid naming their products crude names.
â€œI was actually surprised because itâ€™s not what I expected but in a good way,â€ Hendricks said of the first Passion Party she attended. â€œIt was tastefully done, there was no vulgarity and the products were named appropriately.â€
Theyâ€™re down with that.
Judging only by the companyâ€™s objective to â€œenhance relationships,â€ one might assume Passion Parties are targeted toward married women. That is not the case.
There are many discreet items in the catalog for â€œsolo missions,â€ as well as intoxicating scents to help you attract a special someone. The design of their products and catalogs is clearly geared for twentysomethings, but the clientele is made up of women from all age groups.
â€œYou have to be 18 or older to attend,â€ Hendricks said, â€œbut thatâ€™s the great thing about Passion Parties, we are appealing to all audiences. Iâ€™ve sold to women in their fifties. Thatâ€™s why itâ€™s great, because thereâ€™s a little bit of something for everybody.â€
Her experience with the company has been a good one. â€œI really love the company for the good things they do for women,â€ she said, â€œwhether a customer or consultant. Itâ€™s empowering, itâ€™s educating.â€
If youâ€™d like to schedule a Passion Party or ask Lindsey a question, feel free to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org