Challenging gender norms with No Pants No Problem

Challenging gender norms with No Pants No Problem

CREATED ON // Tuesday, 22 July 2014 Author // Rachel Cook

We chat with the woman behind the No Pants No Problem parties as she touches down in Australia for the Melbourne event this month.

What’s the idea behind No Pants No Problem?

No Pants No Problem on the surface is an underwear dance party that raises money for organisations whose mandate is to advocate for HIV and sexual/gender rights. Beyond this, NPNP is a place where people get together and build/bridge communities, to challenge binary sexual and gender norms as well as constrictive inner dialogues about body image and self esteem. NPNP strives to disrupt conventional ways of approaching sexiness. We do this through advocacy, education, and creating a unique space for people from a diversity of orientations to participate in sexually charged make out games, such as Spin the Bottle, Twister, Seven Minutes in Heaven, and Kissing Booths. NPNP provides an opportunity for people to release their inhibitions and shelf their labels about sex and sexuality for at least a couple of hours.

Why do you think the parties are so successful? 

I never really think of them as successful – they just are what they are. Some places they are large with five hundred plus people, others there are about 50 in a small basement or gallery. Either way they are about community building and living outside of our own personal boxes. NPNP is kinda like Las Vegas – what happens in NPNP stays in NPNP – with possible references on Facebook.

What type of crowd do the parties attract?

NPNP is all over the place. It is definitely a queered event, but not necessarily queer – if that makes sense. All ages, shapes, genders and orientations come and are very welcome. I am selfish and love all the bodies! The rules of NPNP are easy: You will not assume anyone’s gender, sexual orientation or HIV status. If you are okay with following these, you can stay and dance the night away – and perhaps meet me at a game of spin the bottle. 

What have you got planned for the Melbourne event?

There are so many secrets lined up for this special event. I won’t give too much away but there is a games room by Positive Living Victoria (Spin the Bottle, Panty Pull-Down and more), the signature NPNP Kissing Competition and a very, very special musical performance. This one is hush-hush and you will have to come and see it for yourself.

Thursday July 24, 10pm – late, The Motel Nightclub, 172 York Street, South Melbourne.


Rachel Cook

Rachel Cook

Rachel Cook has worked in both the queer and mainstream media for over a decade. Before becoming editor of Melbourne Community Voice, she was a producer for ABC radio. Between 2008 and 2012, Rachel was the editor of CHERRIE. In 2010 her book, A History of Queer Australia, was published and is currently in use in high schools across Australia.

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