At some point in June- usually after three Planters Punches at Low Tea or three Frozen Margaritas on the Beach- the housemates and I settle on a “house theme” to dress for the upcoming Pines Party.  The Pines Party, the premier party of Fire Island is held from 10PM to 6AM with world renowned DJs and benefits the FIPPOA and the Stonewall Community Center. The themes of years past have included Wild West, Space Odyssey, Colossus, Heroes & Villains, Circus, TV Land, and this year Endless Summer- which does make you reflect that perhaps the members of FIPPOA chose their theme after a few cocktails as well! And, in the spirit of the Party Theme our house has developed appropriate costumes for each. We have gone as Cowboys & Indians- mandatory loincloths with no underwear, sexy characters from “Lost” with well thought out rips in our clothes, Military Men- okay a stretch- to honor our soldiers, and one year of unfortunate Toga outfits that did not bode well in a downpour.

On high weekends such as this we open our house to all of the housemates -although no dogs or children allowed- and we easily top 10 to 12 people. Normally you might think that would be a problem, but the majority of our house is made up of single girls who often prefer to sleep elsewhere. Saturday afternoon finds our house in a flurry of activity as we burn, rip, hem, drape, duct tape and staple to reach the desired effect. Remember it’s always a challenge to put together an outfit that will stand up through the night, grab the attention of some dark stranger and at the same time not look as though you came off the set of “Camelot”.

So, after a light dinner of chicken breast and salad- definitely no carbs- and three or more Vodka Red Bulls (hey, it takes liquid courage to wear a loincloth) we make our way to the party around midnight. As you approach the Beach you can hear the pounding of the music in your chest and as you cross the boardwalk and it is a sprawling, light dazzled small village on the beach that greets your eyes.

The housemates and I generally stick together for a few rotations but then we quickly adopt the “Divide and Conquer” mentality throughout the rest of the night as we wind our way through the VIP booths with men of a certain age, flirt with the cute volunteer bartenders, dance with hot muscle guys on the dance floor, pose with Porsche and the other drag queens, and make out with slender Latinos sprawled on the benches and sofas scattered throughout the party.

And, as the first light of dawn begins to brighten the beach you will find yourself in the arms of someone warm and sexy as the DJ spins “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.