Last weekend, I unwittingly walked into a heterosexual bachelorette party – actually it was about seven bachelorette parties occurring simultaneously. There were gaggles straight chicks in short dresses sipping cocktails out of penis straws as far as the eye could see. I lost count of the “bride-to-be” sashes and cheesy white veils covered in condoms. The irony of this rhinestone tiara-studded spectacle was that I was at a gay bar. Apparently, straight gals cannot resist the allure of drag queens on the night of their bachelorette parties.
Straight ladies are obviously free to celebrate their final days of singlehood however they choose, but I personally experience emotions ranging from mild annoyance to downright outrage by when I see gay culture being commoditized for heterosexual consumption. I understand that drag shows are a novel and entertaining way to spend an evening, but it seems to me that drag queens have become de rigueur for straight bachelorette parties – and I just don’t get it. What happened to the good old-fashioned male stripper? Why do heterosexual women (most of whom I’m assuming aren’t regular patrons at gay bars) have to descend in droves on gay clubs every Saturday night during wedding season? Can you imagine if we started perpetuating the reverse situation to celebrate our upcoming nuptials? I’m not sure what that would be, but I’m picturing lesbians flocking to sports bars to ogle hunky straight men, while coquettishly convincing them to buy us drinks.
I’ve never been a huge fan of bachelorette parties of any variety (in case you couldn’t tell by now). Yes, I think that they can get tacky very quickly. But, what really bothers me about the whole concept is that I don’t see marriage as the end of something. I don’t understand the desire for one last hurrah or the need to celebrate my last night as a “free woman.” Any marriage I would be a part of will not limit my future freedom to stay out late, do shots and squeal with my friends.
So, you can imagine my surprise when, about half way into my second deceptively potent fruity martini, I started to feeling something verging on jealousy as I watched the soon-to-be-married girls in the gaudy veils and the glittery sashes. I may not endorse everything that the straight bachelorette party is about, but I am 100% in favor of me being the center of attention. Maybe, I started to think, a bachelorette party is actually some sort of rite of passage I won’t want to miss out on. Yikes!
But, what should a lesbian bachelorette party even look like? Certainly, penis straws and veils decorated in condoms will not play a prominent role. So, what are two chicks getting hitched to do? After hours and hours of pondering, here are some options I’ve come up with.
Make it a more dignified affair
While the crowd at any drag bar on a Saturday night would suggest otherwise, I don’t think a bachelorette party has to be overtly about sex. If the idea is simply to do something special with your best buds, I think it’s perfectly fine to choose an activity that is more your pace. That could mean dinner at an upscale restaurant or a tasting at a chic wine bar or local brewery. I think a spa day (with champagne, of course) or an elegant afternoon of high tea with finger sandwiches also would be awesome low-key bachelorette options.
Hit the road
If you’re looking for some serious quality time with your pals, consider a weekend getaway. Active types might enjoy a ski trip or white-water rafting adventure. If you and your friends can afford it, a wine tour in Napa Valley sounds like an amazing way to spend your final days as a single gal. For more budget-friendly options, consider a camping trip, a weekend at a cabin on a lake or an old-school sleepover at a friend’s house.
Traditional – with a twist
If you just won’t feel complete until you get your night on the town wearing a “bride” sash and sparkly bachelorette tiara, I say that night should be yours. Replace the penis straws with these boobie can-top sippers. Your gal pals can even buy a mold to bake you a boobie-shaped cake. Just imagine all of the fun you’ll have responding when strangers ask you, “Who’s the lucky guy?”
Bring on the bromance
If you’re not the veil-and-dress-wearing type, that doesn’t mean you have to forgo a pre-nuptial blow-out. In fact, there’s already a name for the kind of party you’ll probably want – bachelor party. If your idea of the perfect night involves scotch, cigars and naked ladies, then you will enjoy what I like to call the “butchelorette” party. How you handle the argument that may ensue when your fiancé finds out what you did at the strip club is entirely up to you.
The couple that plays together.
Personally, I love the idea of a joint bachelorette party. Who says you have to split up to have a good time? Lesbian couples usually have plenty of mutual friends, so round them all up and head out together to paint the town. You can incorporate whichever trappings of traditional bachelorette parties feel right to you – and skip the rest. Maybe both of you want to wear veils and do buttery nipple shots, or maybe you’d rather put back a few bottles of pinot with your inner circle. The point is to have a good time, and if that means having your bride-to-be on your arm, I say bring her along. Don’t forget a batch of “hers and hers” cupcakes.
Party time – what do you think is the best way to celebrate a lesbian bachelorette?