An unspoken code of secrecy surrounds bachelor parties. I think it’s to keep women on their toes, and to spare them the grief of the details. “The boys got together and went to a strip club,” is a heck of a lot less upsetting than, “We got trashed on cheap whisky, went to Hooter-Nannies, and I lost myself in a lapdance given by a tall, lithe woman who called herself Luscious Linda. Oh, and she smelled divine!”
Before I go on, let me just say that I am so happy that The Beard did not have a bachelor party. Even though I know that his friends – who are also my friends, for the most part – likely would have planned an evening of PBR and Wii, I’m still happy. Why? Because after reading Bachelor Party Confidential by David Boyer I now know that all it takes is one sleazy friend with a phone book handy to turn a relatively mild evening of male bonding into a sex crazed evening that could be considered grounds for annulment.
Yes, the men interviewed in Bachelor Party Confidential were given the sweet gift of anonymity. Yes, the author is a gay man and thus had little vested interest in the mythos surrounding hetero bachelor parties. And, yes, strippers and such ilk were also given space to tell their side of the story. But I remain a skeptic. People in general tend to brag when they know their story can’t be verified. When I lived in Costa Rica, I’d sit at the bar talking to strangers, lying my butt off about my life, and for all I know they were journalists writing stories about ex-pats in Central America. People exaggerate and embellish some parts of their stories while holding others back. They may not even realize they’re doing it!
Did Anthony V. attend a bachelor-party-turned-orgy in 1996? Did he marry a stripper he did the deed with at a fake bachelor party he and his buddies held for the heck of it? Does VancourverGuy, a member of LoveShack forums, really think that, uh, manually stimulating a stripper isn’t cheating? How many people are really hiring little people to dance and undress at their bachelor parties? The one thing Bachelor Party Confidential doesn’t do is give you any idea of how frequently best men are calling up acts like Ouchy the adult sex clown to beat the groom-to-be or substituting girl-on-girl sex shows for the traditional strip-tease dancer.
What Bachelor Party Confidential does do is give vanilla white-bread nerd girls like me a reason to turn beet red and mutter, “Oh my gosh!” while reading on the treadmill at the gym. I think the old biddy on the treadmill next to mine got more than she bargained for when she decided to read over my shoulder.
Bachelor Party Confidential also served as a reminder that my group of pals is in no way representative of any sort of “norm.” The Beard grew up in Nevada and had frequent non-sexy contact with strippers as a pizza delivery boy…which may be why he’s not so keen on them today. Most of my male friends would choose marathon Zelda (yes, original Zelda) sessions over live sex shows. And the one time anyone tried to order a dancer at a party I attended, no one could figure out who to call. Sure, you could easily find pictures analogous to the grainy snapshots at the start of each chapter in my own college photo albums, but…well, you’ll just have to read the book.
Before you write it off as some sort of titillating men-are-such-dogs song and dance, however, know that there are plenty of gents who shared their stories with Boyer that did not shame themselves on the evening before their wedding. There are even plenty of guys who said, “To heck with whole strippers and booze thing, let’s get creative!” Cade H. and his posse built a tree house in the middle of the woods in Woodstock, NY. Bryce C. and his buds bonded over D&D. And services are popping up all over that will plan the ultimate in extreme bachelor parties with white water, parachutes, and the like.
After finishing Bachelor Party Confidential, I’m still happy that The Beard didn’t have a bachelor party. But I’m surer than sure that his wouldn’t have been a balls-out Vegas hookers getting nasty in the bathroom kind of affair. For every guy who does have that kind of party, I’m going to guess that there are about 100 or 1,000 who sit around in a basement rec room getting kind of drunk and reminiscing about old times from 8 p.m. to midnight.
If you decide to pick up Bachelor Party Confidential — and I highly recommend you do, if only to make the biddies blush — just remember that it is a book designed to shock you, not a book outlining ALL of the possible forms a modern bachelor party can take. Enjoy!