: an entertainment company for women, began in New York City with the question: “What are your sexual fantasies.” Posted online and sent to friends, the question generated much discussion and led to a small community of women eager for a way to live them out. From this, an internationally recognized brand promoting female sexual pleasure was born.
In September of 2000, CAKE hosted the first of what would become the infamous CAKE parties at club FUN, under the Manhattan Bridge. Billed as a Porn Party, the hosts showed clips of explicit videos edited together and displayed on floor to ceiling screens. The guests enthusiasm was captured in an online survey conducted some days after.
Shortly after the first event, CAKE was featured on the cover of The New York Post for their Striptease.a.thon party, held at the Spa. It is rumored that The New Yorker was to publish an around town column on the club before the Post’s cover story appeared. Controversy was sparked and the parties continued at the rate of about one every month, each time at a different venue.
The parties were accompanied by a weekly CAKE.Byte, a newsletter installment of editorial about emerging female sexual culture. These colorful emails captured the attention of over 30,000 international subscribers in a few short years. Online versions of the newsletters invited women to respond to the topics in an open forum.
Through their years of operation CAKE offered members to women. The application question was “Why do you get the juice?” and encouraged women to write about why a community of nonjudgmental people interested in exploring sexuality would be useful to them. Over 5,000 women joined.
Along with memberships, CAKE sold kits including silk screened tee-shirts and hand made lip gloss all featuring the CAKE Girl logo. Hand-picked sex accessories proven valuable to women were available for purchase online at the CAKE Boutique. These packages were sent in white CAKE boxes with red and white ties to thousands of men and women.
The group’s decidedly political bent keep a constant stream of freedom of choice commentary alive throughout the Bush administration. On the Spring of 2004, the CAKE.Girls attended the March for Women’s Lives in Washington DC. An election party featuring the Bush / Kerry debates emphasized the agenda of women’s health along side the entertainment.
Women from New York , and many others from all over the world, continued to document their sexual adventures in a collective column entitled: Surrender the Pink. Later, the CAKE Report expanded the line of questioning beyond fantasy and included detailed investigation of sexual habits and personal evolutions. In 2005, Simon and Schuster published CAKE’s sexuality guide book for women based on the information amassed.
Annual traditions were established: Summer lingerie parties, anti-Valentine’s day events, and Devil’s Night Masquerades were all part of the regular fair. CAKE Parties achieved cult status with the help of lengthy Vanity Fair article calling attention to the mash-up of feminist, hedonist and gender-bending ideas the events brought to life. Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and a gluttony of national and international magazines and newspapers followed suit.
20/20 paid attention and posed their own questions about the agenda behind these women and shot a rare TV interview with the three founders. CAKE also granted permission for Wild on E! for a one night shoot. The crew forged their own way into production with a reality/doc funded by Showtime entitled: The Pleasure Club.
CAKE expanded operations to London. UK women responded to the dress up appeal of the events and launched a series of themed parties rich with costumes and props. The Guardian picked up on the story and reaffirmed the cross-cultural appeal of a women’s club that challenged mainstream media’s assumptions about sexual lifestyles. In 2006 the CAKE book was on the market in the UK
CAKE parties also popped up in San Francisco. In the Fall of 2008, Random House translated the book for a German audience. The last documented CAKE party was in the Fall of 2007.
Founder Melinda Gallagher is currently in training practicing psychotherapy focused on women’s issues while acquiring a graduate degree in psychology. Co- founder Matthew Kramer currently produces digital software for music. Co-founder Emily Kramer writes cultural reviews and manages websites. In January 2008, Matthew Kramer and Melinda Gallagher welcomed their first child, a baby boy, Logan Alexander Sky Kramer.