• Evan Seinfeld and Co. at the 2006 Exotic Erotic Ball / Photo by Louis Dollagaray/WireImage

    Sex With Strangers: David Rakoff on the Exotic Erotic Ball

    Author, humorist, and storyteller David Rakoff has died at age 47 after a lengthy fight with cancer. Six years ago, SPIN sent him to the first ever New York installment of the Exotic Erotic Ball and he gave us the following report, which ran in our September 2006 issue. By the time five-time Grammy nominee and synth-pop pioneer Thomas Dolby takes the main stage at 12:40 a.m., 40 people are gathered by the stage. By his fourth song, Dolby's audience has winnowed down to 20 individuals. But let us backtrack 36 hours. Twelfth Avenue is unserved by a subway, barely kissed by a bus route. It is as far west as one can go in Manhattan before dropping into the river. At 54th Street, 12th Avenue is an inhospitable, multilane highway. Twelfth Avenue requires commitment.

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