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For more information about adult parties for women, call Mary Dean Mayhugh at (970) 620-1992 or e-mail mdballeck @hotmail.com, or visit www.slumberpartie...>
It's typically the quiet guests who buy the most at Gerri Kassel's slumber parties, where she sells an array of adult-themed products.
"People who are super shy and don't say anything are usually the ladies who buy everything," said Kassel, who is based in Denver but travels around the state for Slumber Parties Inc.
She has facilitated "Ladies' Night Out" parties for almost six years. The parties entail a distributor, such as Kassel, coming to someone's home with products that include lingerie, lotions, potions, games, adult toys and novelty items. The items are demonstrated and passed around.
"A lot of the products that are edible, you get to try before you buy," Kassel said. "And it's private, so you don't have to worry about the local teacher at school seeing you go into the XXX store."
Kassel said the parties are more common than people realize and that they help empower women, educate them about their bodies and provide a safe environment to explore their sexuality. At least one Steamboat Springs resident hosts and advertises such parties.
"Slumber Parties has been around since 1993. When I signed up 5 1/2 years ago, there were 1,169 distributors," Kassel said. "Today there are over 12,000 distributors."
There are many national companies that manage these events.
"They are a lot like the drugstore, because they're everywhere," Kassel said. "They are very professional and very classy. People who have never been to a party before are so glad it is what it is, and not some woman in leather up there swinging a whip."
Kassel said she began working with Slumber Parties so she could stay home with her two children during the day.
"I get to pick them up from school and cook them dinner," she said. "And my husband watches them at night. It works out for our lifestyle."
Mary Dean Mayhugh of Craig is a distributor for Passion Parties. She also has two children. She throws the parties as a second job to help support her family and pay for tuition as she works toward her nursing degree. She realizes it is not your average job.
"It's something fun and different for women to do. You get to hang out with the girls, and it's not the same mundane sort of thing," Mayhugh said. "Everyone can have a laugh or learn something they didn't know before."
One of the main objectives of the parties is education, and distributors often play a supportive role for the guests.
"Everybody promotes safe sex," Mayhugh said. "I've also had women who have had hysterectomies. I like to give them information that will help them after hysterectomy problems, and will help to bring the fun back."
Kassel's parties have included women ages 19 to 80.
"Women are realizing if they don't take things into their own hands, no one else will," she said. "I think it just shows that we are more willing to talk about our sexuality and what we need to have a better relationship."
Steamboat Springs resident Veronica Malachowski found the party she attended just another fun way to get together with her friends.
"It makes women come out of their shells a little and become more open," she said. "Especially around a group of friends where they are not so nervous."
Malachowski said the party she attended was relaxed.
"We got to play with the different settings and check it all out," she said. "It's easier to get together with your friends and talk about it than go out on your own. And it's more fun."