Saturday night on the West Side, 6:51 p.m., and already, it’s clear that the woman wearing the white, pointy-toed, high-heeled boots will win orgasm bingo. It’s a Passion Party: Five women, mid-twenties to early thirties; one cat, inbred; one consultant, Kay Sonnenburg, peddling her wares. Some of these goods—the sex toys like the Jelly Osaki, the Jack Rabbit and the Bullet—can be dangerous. In January, a pair of undercover police apprehended Sonnenburg’s colleague in Texas for demonstrating the “obscene” devices.
“It was kind of a setup in a way, but the company [Passion Parties, Inc.] backs her,” says Sonnenburg, in a black suit and gold-and-black hounds-tooth blouse, placing the edible, smearable or insertable products onto a dressed-up card table as the hostess sweeps her lashes with mascara.
It’s Sonnenburg’s first party since the Texas arrest. Over the phone, she admitted she was just a little bit nervous, being new to Montana and unfamiliar with its laws. But she expressed more righteous indignation than anxiety. She is educating women. As far as the products go, “I don’t do anything illegal with them,” she says. After an introduction to the company, a game of bingo and review of ground rules—“Left hand is for licking, right hand is for rubbing”—the show-and-tell begins.
The women weigh Ben Wa balls in their palms, they taste white-chocolate powder—left hand only—and they complain about the creepy men behind the counters at adult stores.
The inbred Persian, mass of grey fur splayed across the front doorjamb, exhibits a post-coital air early on.
Fritz Snyder (who did not attend the party) is director of the law library and associate dean at the UM School of Law. He doesn’t believe Montana has any laws that could ensnare Sonnenburg. In fact, Montana law might provide more privacy protections than federal law. Last summer, in overturning an archaic Texas law prohibiting sodomy, the U.S. Supreme Court cited a 1997 Montana Supreme Court opinion, Gryczan v. State.
Before the guests arrived at the party, Sonnenburg had set a yellow bath ball a-buzz and smiled: “Just two AA batteries in it.”