From Broadway to the never-ending bar scene, there are plenty of fun ways to spend your time in the city that never sleeps. But for the adventurous few, sometimes you need something a little off the menu. Thankfully, New York City is alive and well. Original and exciting businesses are taking off, such as Instagram’s favorite piercing shop, and inclusive and trauma-informed tarot services. The goth scene is back, and it’s cooler and queerer than ever before. And, of course, New York City promises cannabis speakeasies, elite sex parties, and iconic cigar bars. Whether you’re looking to shake up your social life or impress a date, these are the most risqué things to do in New York City.
Company XIV is the most fabulous way one can spend a night out in New York City. Their signature mix of circus, opera, burlesque, and lavish set and costume design has been impressing New York for over 14 years (and New York is a tough crowd). Currently on sale is Nutcracker Rouge, their iconic take on the classic after a COVID-induced break. “We are unbelievably thrilled to be back live and in the flesh. The love, joy, and celebration of life we are feeling nightly at Théâtre XIV is overwhelming and moving,” says founder and director Austin McCormick. “To see that fantasy, beauty and escape is so needed by the audience has been fantastically gratifying, and the artists of XIV have never been more thrilled to share their spectacular gifts.” It’s an ideal night out for anyone who enjoys a mixture of high and low brow and a wow factor with the talent to back it up.
Before you hit the town, upgrade your ear game at Studs, the Instagram-famous and celebrity-approved piercing parlor and jewelry store. With New York City locations in both Nolita and the recently opened Upper East Side (and more storefronts opening across the country so quickly it’s hard to keep track), Studs is both chic and affordable. Studs does all of their piercings with a single-use sterilized needle with jewelry made of 14k or 18k solid gold or high-quality, implant-grade titanium. Their appointments are fun, efficient, and affordable, with jewelry ranging from $30 – $135 and a $35 fee for one piercing. Not sure where to get pierced? Their experts will guide you through all the ways one can turn their ear canvas into a signature earscape with spooky spider and scorpion studs, sparkling colorful huggies, or classic gold hoops.
During the 80s and 80s, black leather and lace took over the club scene, to the tune of bands such as Bauhaus, Type O Negative, and The Sisters of Mercy. So, where’s the best party in the goth scene as 2022 approaches? Well, at a discotheque on the border between Brooklyn and Queens, at a party thrown by queer kids, every second tuesday of the month. Aptly called Sissies of Mercy, the party gives queer goths the dancefloor and social environment they deserve. Cishet allies are welcome, but they must acknowledge that this night isn’t about them. Instead, this is a space to celebrate alternative identities in their truest form. Sissies of Mercy provides a safe environment to reclaim the dancefloor and give everyone space to feel a sense of belonging in the beloved subculture. Plus, with a different guest DJ each month, there are always fresh goth and dark alternative tunes to dance to. Finally, if you need a break from dancing off your black eyeliner, there’s an ample patio space to look mysterious and smoke in.
Dubbed a “Bisexual Mega Influencer” by NY Daily News, Zachary Zane, sex columnist and Editor-in-Chief of BOYSLUT Zine founded the BOYSLUT party after noticing something was missing from the traditional gay sex club scene. More accurately, the sex is happening, but he wants more than that — community. “I wanted a party for gay and bi men where you can actually mingle, get to know one another, and then also have sex,” Zane says. “The BOYSLUT party has become a community space for guys who are looking to meet other sex-positive men.” So, are you curious and queer but don’t identify as a boy? Zane’s got your back with expansion plans for his bi-empire. “We’re also going to have ‘BISLUT,’ a party where bi and pansexual people of all genders can mingle and have a little, naughty fun.”
The Slipper Room, New York city’s legendary variety theatre in downtown Manhattan, is an iconic establishment for comedy, dancing, circus arts, magic, aerial, and more. They produce variety shows every Wednesday through Sunday night that is sure to shock, titillate, and impress your date. An iconic establishment in the Lower East Side, and watch the city’s most titillating performers from the main floor or mezzanine as you laugh, get turned on, and sip on a decadent cocktail.
The Astor Club is a members-only cannabis club in the Lower East Side. No, you can’t find it on Google Maps. While Cannabis is now legal in New York for adults 21 and older, that doesn’t mean that it’s always easily accessible. Sometime in 2022, you should be able to walk into a dispensary and get what you need. But for now, what you need is a friend willing to introduce you to this New York Times-reviewed speakeasy, where cannabis lovers can immerse themselves in a safe, elevated, and sophisticated environment.
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If you want an Eyes Wide Shut sex club experience, look no forward than SNCTM. Initially founded in 2013 in Beverly Hills, there is now a Manhattan location. However, as the party is frequently called the world’s most exclusive sex club, getting in is another matter. “We consider ourselves the Louis Vuitton of sex clubs,” says Robert, SNCTM’s managing director. To join or attend an event, a guest must complete an application and submit photos for approval. But once you’re in? Well, go forth and live deliciously.
The Carnegie Club is a New York City establishment where you can enjoy a fine cigar, single malt scotch, and live music. For example, witness New York City’s longest-running Sinatra Show featuring Steven Maglio and the Stan Rubin 11-Piece Orchestra. Pick a cigar, cocktail, or light bites from their menu and savor the old-school atmosphere. Located near Carnegie Hall, the club provides a classic and chic backdrop of hand-carved 18th-century bookcases filled with sophisticated leather-bound titles, a stone fireplace, 20-foot ceilings, and several cigar humidors, including big comfy chairs and couches to lounge on.
Tarot Readings with Marisol
If you’ve been tempted to get a tarot reading but still haven’t tried, look no further than Marisol Espinoza. Marisol is a Black trans bruja who offers tarot readings and other spiritual services through her brand Marisol Vibración. Currently, she’s offering readings at The Alchemist’s Kitchen in SoHo and Brooklyn nightlife venues. As her work is trauma-informed, the reading will be insightful and gentle. But, just as a heads up for any newbies, tarot cards have a way of calling you out.