Sebastian Horsley wrote up his thoughts on attending Fever’s 2001 Christmas party in his column in The Erotic Review.
I was born into the purple; prose and clothes. I dress toe cap to tiara in emperor’s purple velvet and stand proudly before her. I look in the mirror; yes, nature never blunders; when she makes someone beautiful, she means it. And then I look at her. And from my eyelids drip love. Most men, when they cannot catch a bird of paradise, settle for a chicken. But I am not a chicken kind of guy. Pointlessly beautiful, the idol of the sexual myth, I almost faint with pleasure when I look at her. God would have made everyone look like that if He had the money. I thought the wind was the only thing in civilisation to enjoy freedom but I was wrong; I’m not attracted to her mind, I’m attracted to her by what she doesn’t mind.


Bedizened in diamante, entombed in velvet, we set off proudly marching towards nowhere. If only. We are going to a party. How sweet. Open house? Open bed. Well darlings what can I say? Given the choice between group therapy and group sex…? You’ll be delighted to know I chose tissues rather than issues. We arrived at the venue in an area of London riddled with standards of living. The flat itself was large enough to house an entire Catholic family, stripped of identity and staffed with bar, drawing room and three large fuck-rooms – the gang-banqueting suite. I was nervous. Very nervous. In fact I was a sewer of insecurity. My personality seemed to have evaporated in the heat. I caught my reflection in the mirror and winced; these clothes had no emperor.


I wanted to be pavonine, supine and devine; instead I was desperate. Where I was anxious, our host, John “The Glide”, was calm. Where I was clumsy with frustration, he was airborne with sangfroid. He took me aside and left me there. I looked around the room. From over 500 applications, John had weeded his erotic garden down to 100; we had to be under 40, naughty and, I thought, at least of abiding interest to somebody. Anybody. I had assumed that I would be an electric eel in a pond of goldfish. I was wrong.
If the war between the sexes is the only war in which both sides regularly sleep with the enemy, I was in the curious position of going into battle with my charms disarmed. Wit, wisdom, beauty, style, charisma, chutzpa, fame, fortune, heroin, cocaine, pain, leers and tears – all of the most potent weapons in my bitchy and inexhaustible arsenal of seduction were redundant. It is said that only the final curtain is certain. Not to get laid at an orgy would require the skills of a loser beyond even my calling.


There was only one woman in the room for us. An essential ingredient of beauty is romantic melancholy and she had it; hair blacker than the raven wings of midnight, and when she raised her eyelids it was as if she were taking off all her clothes. There are some women who inspire you with the desire to conquer and to take your pleasure of them; but this one filled us only with the desire to die slowly beneath her gaze. Her blood spoke to us in our veins. We were going to flow into her like a river and drown. It is not enough to conquer, one must know how to seduce. I leant over and kissed her and the kiss that blew between us cut Rachel like a knife. If love is blind then it is jealousy that sees too much. But Rachel is no fool. If an existentialist is someone who swims with the tide but faster, then Rachel is an existentialist. If you threw a petrol bomb at her she would drink it. She led us all into the orgy.
Nudity and sex are a threat to my existence. Why? The answer lies at the heart of the human paradox. Sex is of the body and the body is of death. This is the meaning of the biblical account of the ending of Paradise, when the discovery of sex brings death into the world. Animals who procreate die. Nature conquers death not by creating eternal organisms but by making it possible for ephemeral ones to procreate.


But now the rub for the dandy. If sex is a fulfilment of his role as an animal in the species, it reminds him that he is nothing himself but a link in the chains of being, exchangeable with any other and completely expendable in himself. He becomes a standard homo sapiens, as interchangeable in motives and drives as any other. The orgy in front of me represents species sameness and, as such, the defeat of individuality of personality.
But it is just this personality that man wants to develop: the idea of himself as a special cosmic hero with special gifts for the universe. I don’t want to be a mere fornicating animal like any other; this is not a truly human meaning, nor is it a distinctive contribution to world life. The sexual act represents a double negation; by physical death and of distinctive personal gifts. The point is crucial – it explains why sexual taboos are always at the very heart of society.


So, what to do? I stripped and got stuck in. I took Rachel, my dirty little whore, everything and more, the dark beauty we had scored, and buried ourselves deep in an abyss of sensuality. In voluptuous calm, gorging our luxuries with stroking palms; for all forms of love, suffering and madness, we search ourselves, exhausting every scent until the terrors of the world fade in a haze of eroticism. From Rachel I learned we have to give of ourselves; to ask not what your cunt can do for you but what you can do for your cunt.
And what have we learned? That virtue can be found in everything. That there is, of course, nothing wrong with being sordid – it makes a rattling good lifestyle. To a pervert nothing on God’s earth is unclean. But most importantly, I have learnt that individuality is a conceit, and that I am no different from anybody else with two arms, two legs and eternal beauty. Yes my darlings. I am just a baboon in a velvet cocoon.