Spin the Bottle at the 2012 Bitter Ball -Photo courtesy of Alice 105.9

Last Thursday night, I gathered up three of my single girlfriends, donned a sexy little dress and stiletto-heeled boots, and headed out to Slacker and Steve’s Bitter Ball at Suite 200. This was the 4th annual Bitter Ball, put on each year by Alice 105.9. It is held the Thursday before Valentine’s Day, for singles to mingle and hook up, with the hope that they won’t spend another Valentine’s Day alone I suppose. Advertised by the radio station as Slacker and Steve’s sexiest, hottest party yet, and by the club as the most scandalous night of the year, how could I, who lives, writes, and breathes sex, possibly miss this event?

The name alone captured my interest. If you read my last post on love vs. lust, you know it’s not that I’m bitter, but I am somewhat skeptical of Valentine’s Day in general. My theory is this: Valentine’s Day is for youngsters and married people. My niece and nephew love giving and receiving those cheesy little Valentines at school and receiving candy conversation hearts and chocolate kisses wrapped in pink and red foil.  On second thought, do they still do that Valentine card thing or do 9-year-olds just text each other these days? Anyway, it’s also perfect for married people, because it is possibly one of only a dozen or so days a year they actually get laid.

So here’s how the event worked. When you walk in the door you get a badge with a number on it. You text the number to the man behind the curtain and then you are in the system. When you spot a hottie in the club and want to send them a message, you text their number with a message to the wizard of Oz and the text magically appears on the TV screens around the club. Only problem with this is the messages roll by really fast, and who wants to stand around in a night club where you’re with hundreds of other people and read TV screens? Cool idea, but it would be better if you actually received the text on your phone. Besides, how would you find each other in the sea of bodies? I’m still trying to figure out if anyone actually hooked up this way, or if it was purely entertainment for shy twenty-somethings with ADHD who need to hide behind their smart phones. Since I’m not shy, I talked to a number of people to see how the night was going for them. Most of them were still trying to figure out the texting thing, but all in all everyone seemed to be having a pretty good time.

There was also Slacker & Steve’s Love Board, where you can anonymously post messages for your object of lust, again, by number. Still, I don’t get the anonymous thing, but I’m an extrovert, and I’m not 22 anymore. I guess I prefer a man who is confident enough to walk up to me and say what he has to say. If he can’t do that, the outlook for any future communication is grim indeed.

There was also speed dating and an on-going game of spin the bottle. I had one guy tell me it was a little hard to want to jump into the circle however, when there seemed to be a shortage of willing female participants. I kind of think that once chicks get past Junior High, we like to choose who we kiss, rather than leave it to chance. Interestingly enough, the most passionate kiss I witnessed during the game was between two girls, which all of the male participants obviously approved of. I’m sure that alone was worth the $20 entry fee to most of the guys there.

I didn’t see a lot of people ‘hooking up’. At least not any more than one would normally witness at a night club on a Thursday. I did notice the guy with the mullet making out with a girl on the dance floor. That in itself was heart-warming. There was an old-school photo booth, though my friends and I never did manage to get to it for a photo op. There was a guy in a kilt demonstrating the art of rope tying with a young woman in a cage. I kept wondering why they didn’t just call it what it is – bondage – or use some corny phrase like ‘prisoner of love’. Me and one of my friends thought it would be entertaining to be tied up, and I asked the guy if he could manage the two of us simultaneously. Our turn in the cage was preempted, however, by the lingerie fashion show that seemed more like a Mardi Gras costume pageant.  I wondered where the male models were. WTF? I know a couple of Denver-based male stripper/gymnasts who would have really turned up the heat in that place, since it seemed there were more women than men in the audience.

I was hoping for a brief interview with Slacker and Steve. I approached Slacker and introduced myself but he was easily distracted and I was quickly dismissed. I must confess this is something that rarely happens to me. Perhaps it was bad timing, or maybe he thought I was just another DJ groupie trying to hit on him. It occurred to me that his name is probably fitting, but there were a lot of people vying for his attention and I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. A few minutes later as I walked by him, however, I overheard him saying ‘You’re really hot!’ to a twenty-something year-old blonde. Really?  Steve was much more receptive and generally friendly, although in the midst of hosting the ‘fashion’ show and giving away door prizes it wasn’t a good time to chat. That said, I’m sure they’re both okay dudes, as evidenced by their effort to raise funds for the Denver Children’s Hospital, by broadcasting live from the hospital the rest of this week.

Overall, it was a fun event. Now that I know the ropes, I may even do it again next year. My friends and I had a blast, and I did meet a couple of guys with whom I’ve stayed in touch.  I think it was a bit confusing for Bitter Ball virgins, which could have been avoided if the hosts had gotten on stage and made the games and the rules clear. After all, if it wasn’t for the events going on it would have been just another Thursday at a club with an over-inflated cover charge and a lot more people. I think it could have lived up to the ‘scandalous’ adjective if all of the attendees were required to show up in their pajamas or underwear – sort of like the PJ Party at Hef’s place. And spin the bottle might have been better balanced and more entertaining if Slacker & Steve had selected participants from the audience, and coordinated the game onstage.

I don’t know that it was really the place to find a ‘sweetheart’ for Valentine’s Day – maybe a future date, or an immediate hook-up for the night. In fact my friends and I got hit on a lot less than we do on any other evening out at a club. I mean what guy really goes out looking for a ‘Valentine’? I think it’s more likely that a guy will dump his girlfriend pre-Valentine’s Day so he isn’t stuck trying to come up with some romantic, over-priced bullshit in exchange for a blow job.  And statistics show that a lot of break-ups occur just after Valentine’s Day – probably because there’s so much pressure on being ‘romantic’ that a woman will dump your ass if you can’t measure up.

I didn’t see a lot of people leaving together, but I also escaped before that 1:30 drunken, desperate sweep of the dance floor. I didn’t see a lot of ‘bitter’ people either. What I did see, was a lot of single people in one place, dancing, talking, laughing, and having a really good time with their friends and making new ones. Quite frankly, it made me realize that there’s no reason anyone should feel sad about being alone on Valentine’s Day. There are plenty of us who are single by choice, at least for the time being. Better to be alone and happy than in a bad relationship. Perhaps next year the Bitter Ball should be called ‘The Single, Free, and Loving It Ball’, because some of us really are having a ball being single.