Navigating the high seas at the Palms to discover a ‘Pirate’s Guilty Pleasure’


Part Pirates of the Caribbean, part AVN Award-winner Stagnetti's Revenge, the Playboy Midsummer Night’s Dream party washed over the Palms last night.

The third Las Vegas installation of Hugh Hefner’s annual event transformed the Palms Pool and Bungalows into a scene straight from the adults-only high seas.

While there was less lingerie at this year’s event compared to last year’s whimsical, satin and lace-filled Midsummer Night’s Dream, it was still a seriously sexy soirée.

This year’s pirate-themed party was dubbed “A Pirate’s Guilty Pleasure,” though it was unclear what, exactly, a pirate’s guilty pleasure was.

Did pirates feel any guilt for after making enemies walk the plank or burying their stolen treasure? And did they take pleasure from any of it? It is hard to know for sure.

As such, we set out to ask the modern day pirates at the Palms about their land-locked guilty pleasures.

After hours of cocktail-induced quizzing, the results were inconclusive but seemed to focus around sex and food.

Playboy’s Miss September, Kimberly Phillips, said hers was the latter.

Midsummer Night's Dream Photo Booth

“Oreo cookies!” she smiled. “Oreo cookies, totally.”

Despite her picture-perfect frame suggesting she didn’t indulge all that often, Phillips insisted it was the opposite.

“More than you might think,” she said. “Whenever they're within my reach.”

Former Playmate Tishara Cousino also said her guilty pleasure was sweets.

“Literally, I'll have dessert before dinner and after dinner,” she said. “I’ll have tiramisu before and tiramisu after.”

Yet once again, the model’s figure showed no signs of over-indulgence.

Beyond tiramisu, she said N9NE Steakhouse’s s’mores and Ruth's Chris’ banana foster are two of her favorites.

N9NE bartender John O’Donnell said he prefers to drink his dessert and guilty pleasures, too.

“I just drink too much, that's all,” he said unapologetically.

As far as guilt is concerned, O’Donnell doesn’t seem to have any.

“People feel guilty about eating chocolate and shit,” he observed. “I say just eat it.”

Chef Kerry Simon of namesake Simon restaurant at Palms Place listed chocolate and copious amounts of red wine as two of the first guilty pleasures that pop into his mind – but he wasn’t sure if they were guilty pleasures as such.

Palms owner George Maloof, however, was more certain about his favorite indulgence.

“There’s a Carl’ Jr.’s by my house,” he said, and he loves their signature sandwich, the Teriyaki Six Dollar Burger. (That’s 100% black angus charbroiled with a teriyaki glaze, served with a ring of grilled Dole pineapple, Swiss cheese, red onion, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise -- on a toasted sesame seed bun.)

Audrina Patridge (who was also in town last night, but at Tao for Rumer Willis’ birthday party) has endorsed the burger in commercials, calling it her “bikini burger” – despite the fact that the sammie packs 840 calories and 43 grams of bikini-blasting fat.

Pro skateboarder Jake Brown said his guilty pleasure doesn’t have anything to do with food. While he said he feels guilty for “not answering the kids on MySpace” but certainly doesn’t take any pleasure from failing to respond to fans.

Instead, the Australian-born “Ironman” said Vegas, Amsterdam and London are his three favorite guilty pleasures – and for reasons that he declined to share, citing the Fifth.

Instead, the former “X Games” competitor just said, “Those are the best places in the world,” and smiled as he gazed upon the colorful crowd down below.

While Brown enjoyed the company and relative calm in the VIP cabanas, the crowd of commonfolk mixed, mingled, and enjoyed a little mayhem on the main pool deck.

John Langer, one of the revelers on the improvised dancefloor, shared his guilty pleasure without hesitation or resistance.

“My guilty pleasure is having sex with two women at the same time!” he boasted. “And that's what I'm going to do tonight!”

He grinned and gestured toward a pair of women who were standing just off the dance floor, sipping cocktails.

One of the two costumed temptresses caught sight of Langer as he pointed toward her. She smiled, then lifted her skirt and flashed her black and white pirate-like panties.

Langer just laughed.

When asked where he met such stunning and sexually liberated ladies, Langer laughed once again.

“At work!” he yelled, throwing his hands up in the air.

He declined to say where, exactly, he works, but said it fell under the mile-wide umbrella of “hospitality” here in Las Vegas.

The majority of the little that Cee Ojas was wearing was mostly lingerie, but the local beauty suddenly became shy when she was asked about the things she privately enjoys.

“My guilty pleasures are secret,” the 23-year-old said -- yet it didn’t take her long to confess.

“Tying my partner up,” she said, eyes sparkling from behind her sequined mask. “That's my guilty pleasure.”

“I like hand ties, not handcuffs,” she explained with a coy smile, noting, “I don't want to hurt him.”

Amber Riggio is also both 23-years-old and local but she revealed her guilty pleasure was little more than “dirty dancing.”

Meanwhile, her friend, Marlene Quinn, said hers involves costumes.

She confessed how “dressing up and being not normal, like the fantasy” is her secretive pastime of choice.

“I’ve always wanted to do the Can Can Room (outfit) but I've never been able to make the costume,” she said.

Starting with black boots, fishnets, a tattered black skirt, and red corset, she accented the outfit with several necklaces and a gold coin-covered sash that was tied around her waist.

“I took a belly dancing class so I had the (coin) skirt,” she said, noting that her skirt and corset came from Studio Lights on West Sahara Ave. – along with “Lots and lots of advice” from the store manager.

“This is my best costume yet,” she said, admiring her pirate-themed ensemble as she shook her hips to the music.

Riggio said her favorite song to get down and dirty on the dance floor is 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” but said she was hoping to hear “Everybody in the Club Gettin' Tipsy” by Chingy or “Just Dance” by Lady Gaga.

Half of half of one of Riggio’s requests was satisfied moments later, as Lady Gaga’s more recent and Vegas-appropriate dance track, “Poker Face,” made its way into the DJs rotation.

And though they may not want to admit it, dancing seemed to be a common guilty pleasure for guys, too.

While he didn’t want to go on the record about it, Alex My-wife-doesn't-know-I'm-here seemed to get a lot of joy out of secretly dancing really badly with unsuspecting women.

His friend, Rob Simon, was more eager to share his guilty pleasures – and go on the record about them, too.

“I love older women,” the 34-year-old said. “They know exactly what they want, they don't play any games. … “I'll take a woman in her 40s any day over a girl in her 20s.”

Yet there would be no, ahem, getting to know anyone a little better at the party last night, regardless of Brennan met that night: A sign near the entrance warned partiers to keep their clothes on. No nudity was allowed, it said, and the resort would enforce a zero tolerance policy.

The sign threatened that, “Persons violating Nevada revised statutes regarding drugs or nudity will be subject to arrest.”

While posted warnings like these weren’t likely one of Hef’s demands for the Playboy-sanctioned party, they are signs of the post-Privé times here in Las Vegas.

Though it’s fun to party at the Palms, there’s no Playboy party like a Playboy Mansion party.


Melissa Arseniuk

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