I spoke with Rify about party, which he's been attending for six years, which is, in fact, as long as he's been working nightlife. "People make an entire weekend of it," he said, "They come from all over the world. There's dancing, sex, performances involving sex. It's a blast." There was a hint of regret in Rify's voice as we talked about the party: while he is the cover boy for the event, he ironically will be unable to attend, a victim of his own success - he had already arranged to produce his own party in Miami for Miami Pride this weekend before The Black Party had announced its dates. Still, it's hard to regret a trip to Miami. "They have their pride pretty early," Rify said, "Most prides happen in the summer, but in Miami it's just too hot. It's 80 degrees there right now."
While Rify will be enjoying the Miami heat, those who flock to New York once a year for The Black Party will be bumping the night away. "There's a very strict dress code," Rify added, "harnesses, leather, jockstraps, the works." Lots of skin, in other words, and plenty of leather. It's a veritable Garden of Earthly Delights, where pleasure and pain coalesce on the dance floor for an eye-popping spectacle that could only exist in the realms of the night.
When I asked Rify for any last words on The Black Party, he quipped: "Get tested afterward." I laughed, the advice was more than apt. "But make good choices, and be safe," he added for good measure. Sage words.
Below are selects from last year's party. Hope you're ready to gag.