Behind the Penis Straws

By Hilary Winston

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What really goes on at a bachelorette party? The answer might put you to sleep I’ve heard a lot of bachelor-party stories. I work with mostly male television writers, and it’s worse than being in a locker room, because they’re great at detail. Like with just how much force the stripper shot the Ping-Pong ball out of her vagina. One of the worst stories, I don’t even want to tell. It involves a prostitute and the groom. And the prostitute showing up at the wedding. It’s the kind of story that makes a girl never want to get married—and if she does get married (this year), to never let her future husband (mine) have a bachelor party.

For all the bachelor-party stories we’ve heard, there are as many bachelorette-party stories, right? Nope. When we hear “bachelorette party” we think women in limos “woo”-ing out the sunroof while wearing penis hats. You don’t hear about guys shooting Ping-Pong balls out of their assholes. Or naked guys doing stuff to each other on a blanket while girls stand around drinking scotch. I’ve also never heard of a mother-daughter team going down on strippers, but I have heard that about a father-son team. And these stories are from normal guys. That dad and son probably hit Chili’s the next day with mom and fiancée. These are regular dudes, who go crazy. You know. I’m sure you’ve heard/done/seen worse. So why do men do this as preparation for marriage? How is doing a shot of tequila off a stripper’s snootch a rite of passage? Hopefully my fiancé will tell me, because I lost the “let’s have a coed party” fight. The coed party sounded like a good idea because it seemed unfair that men get this hedonistic send-off and ladies get tea parties. They’re just not the same. But after losing the argument, I was determined to compete…and get a little bad myself.

My big night began with 13 special ladies. My bridesmaids and I got a hotel room in Santa Monica, and my other friends met us for dinner. One of my college friends began a toast to my “finding true love,” and I ended the toast by saying, “I went through a lot of dicks to get here.” Pun intended, unless my fiancé is reading this. At the time, I meant it only one way. The food was served family style. The bubbly flowed. Then, determined to show up whatever bachelor party my fiancé had in store, we got bad. We gossiped! We threw Weight Watchers points out the window! We over-shared about our significant others!

And then we went to a club. In line, I saw young girls in dresses that didn’t leave anything to the imagination but what the dress would look like with underwear. And then there were my ladies. In the VIP line. One eight months pregnant with twins. When one of the young girls in line was questioning the bouncer about why my friends and I got to go in first, I added, “We may be old, but we have money.” Inside we danced and, I’m sure, killed the vibe for the “cool” kids who had waited for hours to get in. Then we got really bad.

The more liquor we had, the more we talked, “real” talked. About what drives us. What completes us. What we want for our marriages. We talked about getting pregnant. Having trouble getting pregnant. We talked about divorces. And how to avoid one. We talked about miscarriages. Postpartum. And whether Kanye and Kim really love each other. The same things you guys talk about at bachelor parties, right?

We took selfies. And groupies. And broke down our lives. No strippers—well, other than my friend from college who popped out of the hotel-room closet later that night. He sported a mustache, a cop costume and mirrored sunglasses and tossed out penis straws. He didn’t have the body of a stripper, but he had the confidence of one. When I finally climbed into bed, I took a final sip of champagne from my penis straw and felt lucky. I felt less scared (yes, girls are afraid of marriage too). But I realized that the best part of my single life wasn’t over. Only the part where I stand in line outside a bar without underwear was over. My friends will still buy me drinks and tell me he’s an asshole. It was a perfect night. I didn’t get “bad” in the way bachelor partiers do, but it was perfect.

I guess I didn’t really want a coed party after all. We would all have been on our best behavior. Guys wouldn’t have gotten lap dances, and ladies wouldn’t have confessed to reading Fifty Shades of Grey unironically. We’d have been tucking in different things, but we’d still have been tucking. Maybe I couldn’t compete with a bachelor party, because it’s true—they aren’t the same. But they also are. Men and women send each other into marriage in very different ways, but it’s the same idea. My lady friends tell me they’re there for me by “real” talking. And your guy friends tell you they’re there for you by getting a lap dance with you or going down on a stripper next to your dad. It’s about feeling supported. Maybe it doesn’t matter how you get there. But if my fiancé watches a stripper shoot Ping-Pong balls out of her vagina, I don’t want to know about it.


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