Life Exotic

May 17, 2010, 12:53 a.m.

For a mid-May evening, the air was unexpectedly chilly. And yet, partygoers were surprisingly…naked.

(BECCA DEL MONTE)

That’s the nature of Exotic Erotic: a slightly sexy, moderately disturbing and downright grimy excuse for public nudity. The theme this year was “Exotic Aquatic,” adding to past themes such as “Adam and Eve,” “Rave” and “Cirque d’Exotique.” Hosted by 680 Lomita (a.k.a. “680”), this infamous Stanford tradition once graced Playboy’s top-10 campus parties list.

“I think Exotic is such a popular event because it’s an opportunity for students to let loose and a party to brag to friends at other schools about,” wrote Taylor Durand ’10, a 680 resident and the main organizer for the event, in an e-mail to The Daily. “Kind of like FMOTQ [Full Moon on the Quad].”

Although Exotic Erotic means letting loose for students, the flipside is an increase in security measures. This is because Exotic Erotic tends to attract high numbers of non-Stanford party guests–both older and younger. This year, the residents of 680 spent over $10,000 on security alone.

Dozens of police were already in place two hours before the 10 p.m. start time. Barricades surrounded all of 680, as well as neighboring fraternities Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Theta Delta Chi. The barricades at the party’s entrance wound around in a labyrinth maze, akin to the long lines at airport security.

“As Dorothy said, just follow the yellow brick road,” shouted an on-duty policeman to the first guests, who had been trying to jump over one barricade to the next.

At 10 p.m., the first real guests arrived right on time. Eager to show off their orange polka-dotted swim trunks and navy striped bikinis, they flashed their IDs and tickets to security and gleefully pranced into the house.

Not everyone was happy to have arrived so early, especially the under-21-year-olds craving liquid courage.

“This sucks,” groaned a freshman. “This is 680. There’s supposed to be alcohol everywhere.”

His friend, boasting a glass-half-full perspective, said, “I’m just going to take a bunch of these Red Bull…because they’re free.”

Costumes ranged from slutty to cute to bizarre. Although swimsuits seemed to make the most sense–the only Exotic Erotic rule mandates one article of clothing for guys and two for girls–there were also a couple of sushi chefs, a guy dressed like Zorro and a 680 resident acting as mayor of the lost underwater city Atlantis.

Some took the rule literally, but stayed conservative by choosing to wear onesies or bathrobes.

“Are you really only wearing one article of clothing?” asked a girl to a guy she had just met, who was wearing a long, dark red robe.

“Want to find out?” came the smug reply.

By midnight, the dance floors had reached the point of being uncomfortably full. Dancers grinded against not only their partners’ naked torsos, but also with random strangers. It was impossible not to dance –even if you weren’t dancing, the movement of the crowd was moving you anyway.

Although most stuck close to their designated friend groups, some took advantage of the boldness of the night’s theme.

“That’s my teacher’s daughter over there against the wall. I’ll give you 20 bucks to dance with her,” a half-naked guy dared his wingman. “Wait, no…a hundred.”

“Uh…”

“A million to hook up with her!”

Outside, dozens of students waited in line to get into the already overly crowded house. Practically stacked on top of one another, they huddled together so as to better bear the ever-increasing cold. Toward the end of the night, the line to enter the party took almost 20 minutes.

“They’re calling it the Trail of Tears,” joked an observer.

Those lucky enough to make it inside got to witness this one-of-a-kind party of half-naked–and a handful of fully naked–peers. But at 1 a.m. sharp, Exotic Erotic came to an end. Guests shivered their way home from 680, leaving behind careless beer spills, ocean-themed wall decorations…and even the occasional left-behind garment of underwear.

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