With special reporting by Olive Hui

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that the cannabis industry is sexy. But if there’s another, it’s that Happy Munkey’s 710 Sensual Soiree, held at the Museum of Sex on the cannabis holiday, was a cultural stepping stone that allowed people both familiar and new to the space to be liberated even if just for an evening. From exploring the Museum’s popular Super Funland exhibit that features a bouncy house of breasts and a 4D Tunnel of Love, to hands-on educational experiences about cannabis consumption, to performances galore, the event dared to remind us that sensuality in all its forms is deeply personal - and completely natural.

Happy Munkey's History Of Breaking Cannabis-Cultural Crossover Barriers

Happy Munkey has always boldly moved to break the stigmas and showcase what happens when we let cannabis consumers be their authentic selves. These values align well with Honeysuckle’s core ethos; not only were we proud to be the official media partner for the 710 Sensual Soiree, but we have a long history of bringing Happy Munkey’s pleasure-centric vibe to greater awareness. We were the first to record interviews with the brand’s founders, Vladimir Bautista and Ramon Reyes, when they began emerging as cultural ambassadors who helped people from all walks of life feel comfortable with the plant. For New Year’s Eve, on December 31, 2018, Happy Munkey was one of the most enthusiastic partners in our groundbreaking campaign that put cannabis brands on Times Square billboards for the first time in history. And throughout the plant’s journey toward legalization, we’ve been there to chronicle every step Happy Munkey has taken to encourage the public to embrace all the freedom cannabis embodies.

Happy Munkey co-founders Ramon Reyes @_zuripops (second from left) and Vladimir Bautista @vladimirbautista123 (far right) with Richard DeLisi @freedelisi of DeLisioso @_delisioso_ (far left) at the 710 Sensual Soiree (C) Sam C. Long / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @tissuekulture

Happy Munkey's 710 Sensual Soiree And NYC's Museum Of Sex

It follows, then, that the next logical step is to reacquaint people with their most instinctive desires. As Harrison Wise notes, writing about the event for The Bluntness, we’re living in an era constantly besieged by sexual repression and stigmatization of the erotic. Thus “Happy Munkey’s Sensual Soiree serves as a timely reminder of our history. It implicitly urges us to learn from the past, recognizing that periods of oppression and repression have occurred before and carry valuable lessons.”

The Museum of Sex, dedicated to challenging conventional mores, was a perfect setting for the occasion. Its offerings such as the Porno Chic to Sex Positivity exhibit and the biometric Lucky Lips Kissing Booth in Super Funland are already geared toward the 710 holiday’s idea of a pure, undiluted full-body experience. And 710’s moniker of Oil Day… well, let’s just say the crowds came ready for social lubrication.

Flower Mill CEO Brent Stevens @brentflowermill @flowermillusa educates visitors (with Honeysuckle) at the 710 Sensual Soiree (C) Ronit Pinto / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @honey_ronit

What Are Cannabis Consumers Saying About Happy Munkey's 710 Sensual Soiree?

Many casual cannabis consumers were drawn to the 710 Sensual Soiree’s allure, even if they knew little about the business of the plant. Marcus Laquan, founder of the fashion brand I Love It Here, attended the event based on friends’ recommendations, but admitted he’d never celebrated 710 before. “This is my first time,” he said. “But I think this is a good way to get people to come out, raise awareness for both communities… [It’s] a great mesh of both worlds. Marijuana and sex go hand in hand, and it’s a vibe.”

Pole dancer and sensual artist Sativah, who chose her name for her love of cannabis, agreed. “What I enjoyed most about the event was the community it seemed to have brought together. Stations set up for people to consume appropriately and safely was an awesome touch. I love to see a safe space for stoners to enjoy consumption amongst their peers. 710 is an important day for us to celebrate since cannabis has carried a bad stigma and has been so taboo for years. So happy to be a part of a celebration and cause that promotes consumption of cannabis and shapeshifting the way people view consumption of cannabis!”

Shibari performers at the 710 Sensual Soiree (C) Sam C. Long / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @tissuekulture
PORTIA MUNSON: THE PINK BEDROOM exhibit at the Museum of Sex, open to attendees at the 710 Sensual Soiree (C) Sam C. Long / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @tissuekulture

What Experiences Did Happy Munkey And The Museum Of Sex Offer At The 710 Sensual Soiree?

Indeed, there were delights of every sort to tantalize the senses. The Museum’s wide array of immersive curiosities were available to enjoy. Everyone seemed to revel in the psychedelic mirrored walkway Stardust Lane and the joyful chaos of Super Funland, while shibari performers helped create open dialogues around kink. Musicians, comedians and visual artists provided an aura of imagination; cannabis brand partners had both consumption and education stations set up to guide visitors toward their most customized wants and needs (hello to those one-of-a-kind artisan rolls by Wolf Stoner Queen).

For Ashley Jelks, founder of the cannabis sexual wellness brand The High Priestess, the mingling of so many elements was an inspiration. “It’s beautifully curated,” she declared. “The event is really dope; I love seeing all the people.” As a sponsor of the 710 Sensual Soiree, Jelks felt elated to be part of such a transformative cultural moment and in a venue that spoke to her. “The museum itself is fascinating. The nerd in me is like, ‘Oh, tell me more about the history of this sex machine that looks very much like my vibrator at home.’”

But for Jelks, whose products feature herbal blends for purposes including productivity, increasing dreams, enhancing mindfulness, and yes, arousal, the importance of the 710 holiday in its purest form must not be forgotten. “I feel [consumers who prefer to dab] are the OG medicinal patients. Because a lot of people come to cannabis and they need the medicinally higher concentrated stuff. We’ve always got to come back to plant medicine, and the people who really need it should be celebrated most. I think 710 is a great way to celebrate them. 420 is a bit too saturated, too commercial. But 710 is a special holiday and way to consume the plant.”

Full body experiences at the 710 Sensual Soiree (C) Sam C. Long / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @tissuekulture
(C) Ronit Pinto / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @honey_ronit

Who Sponsored Happy Munkey's 710 Sensual Soiree And Which Cannabis Industry Professionals Attended?

It’s evident that many in the industry were entirely onboard with Jelks’s line of thinking. The 710 Sensual Soiree’s sponsors included KushyPunch, MKX Oil Co., The 8th By White Boy Rick (created by notable former incarceree turned prison reform advocate Richard Wershe Jr.), Select, Matter, Magnitude, Union Square Travel Agency, Rove, Myhi, KayaPush, Moodmats, Cann, True Terpenes, Etain Health, House of Puff, SannaOhana Wellness, Maison Bloom, Weed Auntie, Zenco, Boveda, Pleasure Peaks, Chill Steel Pipes, DynaVap, Brooklyn Dumpling Shop, Rounders, Millennial Strategies, Ayrloom, Flower Mill, iSpire, and BudsFeed.

Numerous cannabis professionals also arrived throughout the night to release their inhibitions with glee. Elyssa Colon and Jackie Conroy of HighGarden, Arianna Lesi of Vitabudz, Frankie Martinez of Flowerhouse, Siddy Static of TribeTokes, Mary Bailey of Last Prisoner Project, and Richard DeLisi of DeLisioso (formerly the nation’s longest-serving nonviolent cannabis prisoner) were among those who partied hearty, while also recognizing that this festive gathering will have major sociocultural ripples.

The Happy Munkey Team at the 710 Sensual Soiree at the Museum of Sex. Left to right: Co-founder / Chief Strategy Officer Ramon Reyes @zuripops_, Chief People Officer Vanessa Perez @vperez2010, and COO David Hernandez @davehv (C) Sam C. Long / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @tissuekulture
Honeysuckle was proud to be the official media partner for the 710 Sensual Soiree (C) Ronit Pinto / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @honey_ronit

What Made The 710 Sensual Soiree Special?

Sex and cannabis both draw on the human need for communication, connection, and pleasure. Happy Munkey’s 710 Sensual Soiree took that similarity and amplified it to the nth degree, creating a world where we could rediscover our most natural selves. It showed us that there is a place without repression or shame, where we are invited to live authentically. Perhaps, with luck, it’s a glimpse of a future we can aspire to.

So bravo to Happy Munkey and all of New York’s cannabis community. When you can come as you are, over and over and over again, that’s the most powerful high of all.

For more about Happy Munkey, visit happymunkey.com. To learn more about the Museum of Sex, visit museumofsex.com.

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Featured image: Happy Munkey and friends at the 710 Sensual Soiree: Mike B of HighGarden, Ramon Reyes, David Hernandez, Honeysuckle founder Ronit Pinto, Vanessa Perez, Elyssa Colon and Jackie Conroy of HighGarden (C) Sam C. Long / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @tissuekulture