On Monday night, I was invited to the very swanky members-only Soho House in West Hollywood for a dinner called “Insex.” I don’t usually go to dinners with titles – especially not ones based on bug puns — but this one promised lurid stories of insect mating rituals and, as a pseudo (foodo?) dating columnist, I thought it was my duty to go. After realizing that insect sex is just as disturbing as it sounds, I’m not sure I would recommend it to anyone. Also, dinner was completely vegetarian. Why you gotta be like that, Soho House? I did, however, learn some things about bug sex, lecture dates and private clubs, which I will now share with you.
Lila Higgins, the entomologist from the Natural History Museum, was extremely enthusiastic about her bugs. She shared fascinating facts like how male bees break off their penises inside of the queen as a weird way of calling dibs and how dragonflies “like it rough.” At one point, she mentioned that male bedbugs had a “pocket pussy” in the side of their abdomen. That part made me want to throw up. When dinner was over, I had two thoughts: I may need to reconsider my stance on lecture dates and I bet the members of Soho House have more sex than your regular guy.
To my first point, I used to think going to lectures on a date was a good idea. Back in September, after extolling the virtues of food-based classes and lectures, I wrote, “these activities give you the chance to experience something with your date and they give you instant conversation starters beyond the inevitable ‘how’s the chicken?’” That’s true. Had I been on a date, there would have been plenty of things to talk about. Not exactly erotic things though. After so many stories of female bugs eating their male counterparts after sex, I think the best I could hope for would be a discussion of how I’d prefer not to be eaten post-coitally. The bottom line is, if you’re going to go on a lecture date, make sure it’s a lecture you want to attend. May I suggest “Jason Kessler’s 10 Surefire Tips for Inciting Internet Controversy?” By the way, Shake Shack is better than In-N-Out.
To my second thought, holy hell the Soho House guys must be getting laid. That place is like a cross between the orgy mansion from Eyes Wide Shut and whatever bar those Eyes Wide Shut orgy guys go to after the orgy. It had all the hallmarks of a good ol’ Hollywood sex romp: panoramic views of Los Angeles, hot women, a full bar and celebrities (My brain: “What’s up, ZZ Top? Glad you guys aren’t dead.” “Hey, it’s Sharon Osbourne and apparently I know what Sharon Osbourne looks like.” “Pesci.”). I wonder if the membership fee comes with free condoms. Either way, that is a seriously seductive spot. If I had insane amounts of money to throw away frivolously on “exclusivity,” I might consider joining.
So what’s the lesson here? It’s three-fold: (1) Don’t go to lectures where people use the phrase “pocket pussy” in relation to bugs. (2) If you’re going to take a date to a lecture, make it interesting and don’t combine it with dinner. After all, you need time to actually discuss what you just heard. (3) If you’re rich and/or famous or want to start your new career as a paparazzo, find your way to Soho House. I’m sure you’ll meet a few beautiful
actresses praying mantises to your liking.