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The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.

-- Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde

Bachelorette Party (B.P.) -- An event at which a bride-to-be drinks excessive amounts of alcohol and is forced to perform humiliating tasks while her groom is at a separate location, licking whipped cream off of a strange woman's body. Well, at least that's how it's widely perceived.

As a woman approaching 30, I've attended my fair share of these "last hurrahs" for ladies, beginning seven years ago with my sister Faye.

I recall standing in the center of the dressed-up pack of women as we waited in line at one of downtown's many "meat markets" for the bouncer to card us. This would be the debut of my second fake I.D. (the first was retired when it generated laughter instead of admission). When it was my turn to proffer the new card, my heart raced. The large man with a small flashlight looked at the card in his hand, then at me, then at the card, then up at me, now with a scowl. I'd spent hours practicing someone else's signature, should the veracity of my laminated entrée into the adult world be put to the test. I started when he said, "All right Kristen, go ahead. Next!" I'd almost corrected him when I realized he'd allowed me entry, so I scooted inside with the others.

Like a scavenger hunt, Faye's friends had come up with a list of items she'd have to obtain, mostly by sweet-talking men at the bar. She had to collect everything from a free drink and buttons to a man's socks and underpants! Focused on her task, Faye began asking men to help her out, and I decided to assist. To everyone's shock and amusement, a short man with a pink face and fair hair (sufficiently drunk and standing between the bar full of people and the table full of bachelorettes) unfastened his jeans, dropped them to the floor, and ripped his boxers from his body. I have a photo of him mid-rip, face beet-red, vessels on his forehead visible from the strain.

Laughter and exclamations of "Aww, man! That had to hurt!" filled the area. I held out my hand, and smiling with satisfaction at my success (What, you think he just "came up" with the idea?), I collected the destroyed undergarments for Faye's booty stash. After I convinced the manager not to throw my poor pawn out of the bar for his offensive display, I returned to the table.

I learned that no two B.P.s are the same. If I have any say in the party plans, I nix the use of veils. I don't know why it bothers me so much to see a gaggle of girls surrounding their veil-topped sacrifice. Most likely, it has to do with the myriad experiences I've had with such groups downtown -- they're drunk, loud, annoying, and that veil looks tacky. Faye did not wear one, nor did our sister Jane during her bachelorette weekend in Vegas. She opted for fake teeth, so that men approaching, ready to deliver a smooth line, would quickly search for excuses and back away as she flashed a broad smile.

My sisters are goody-goodies (this badness ain't hereditary), so it was a few years before I got to see a male dancer at a party. Though men tearing their clothes from their muscular bodies and making love to you with their eyes as they gyrate about the floor have their appeal, I've found that there's always someone in the crowd who can't handle the heat. Once, after enjoying two average-looking guys in leopard thongs cavorting about a friend's living room, the evening turned awkward. First, the boogying boys were friends of the groom, and second, at least one of the girls (perhaps including the bride-to-be) had fucked at least one of the guys, and another would end up fucking him after that night. Eeeww.

Diva tip: If you are going to hire a stripper for an erotic effect, make sure it's someone you don't know. We were still playing a dick game at my friend Renee's B.P. and ready to cut the penis cake (don't ask), when someone turned the music up LOUD. A man came bounding up the stairs, wearing a ski mask and pajamas. He energetically danced and stripped, revealing a tight, fit body and a small thong with a big bulge. But those eyes looked familiar.... It's not fair to the single women in the crowd when the fantasy of the unknown becomes the familiarity of a friend.

We laughed hysterically (it's not often one sees a thong that consists of a small elephant face with a long trunk fronting for a man's wobbly bits). Few of us were single and/or fantasizing. It was more humorous than hot, which worked perfectly for this crowd. Still laughing, I bid them farewell as the remaining women prepared Renee for an excursion to a local bar by dressing her in a shirt fixed with dozens of lifesavers for random men to "suck off."

Each party was fun in its own way, but the most recent one takes the wedding cake. My friend Gee, Korean by blood and American in spirit, decided she wanted to have her party in San Francisco. Taking a trip out of town isn't cheap, but I considered it a little vacation with friends worthy of the time and money.

Friday, a handful of women and Eddie, a.k.a. Cabana Boy (a weekend with the girls is not complete without a Cabana Boy), arrived at the hip hotel within steps of Chinatown. We checked in -- me to my own room, because I insist on space and privacy, and everyone else to a fancy suite.

I was relieved to learn that Gee had no intention of wearing a veil, and the ladies -- Jen (recently married to Jim), Shonda, Alex, and Eddie -- were all in agreement. I heard that for Jen's B.P., someone creative decided that they would wear short pink wigs, with the bride sporting a shiny white wig.

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