‘Naughty’ Facebook App Throws Real-World Parties

It turned the real-life sex-toy trade into a popular virtual diversion; now it’s turning it back again. Naughty Gifts, one of the most used Facebook applications, is throwing a series of adult parties in the real world this week.

Some 2.6 million Facebook users have sent 33 million naughty gifts – including thongs, whips and condoms – to their friends since the app joined the social network’s platform in August.

Like the site’s own gifts feature, the items are merely iconic online representations of the real thing. But now the publisher of Naughty Gifts, Going.com, is hosting bicoastal bashes for app users to party in all their fleshy, costume-wearing glory. Events take place at New York and Chicago this Friday and in San Francisco next Wednesday.

“People like getting naughty online and offline,” said Natasha Chatilo, 26, who developed the widget with Adam Gries. “We’ll have lots of awesome physical incarnations of the naughty gift icons – think whipped cream, pearl necklace, joy stick – and we also have some T-shirts and cute little undies.”

“The first day I saw the platform, I realized that every type of social activity was going to take on some manifestation on Facebook,” said Gries, who last month sold his first app, I Am Hungry, on eBay for $20,100. “Therefore, sexuality and flirtation would obviously have a large role.”

Chatilo and Gries flirted with building apps to test users’ purity and to offer daily sexual positions but quickly saw those ideas get taken by rival developers. Hotornot and Facebook had already let users buy each other non-existent virtual goodies like flowers and teddies, so Chatilo and Gries settled on making a kinkier alternative.

Users get a virtual budget of $200, refreshed daily, to send gifts. They can choose from 60 items, ranging from conservative ice cubes, boots and lotion to racier handcuffs, pearl necklaces and others that might give pause to those reading at work. Images of items can be proudly displayed on members’ profiles, given privately between users or sent anonymously.

The plan was to inject some sauce in to Facebook’s particular user base, where the majority of members are now over 35.

“The kids of MySpace appeared to be more deviant than their Pottery Barn Facebook counterparts,” said the St. Petersburg-born developer, a member of several women’s advocacy groups including the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus. “Facebook users, much like Southern senators, kept their naughty sides under wraps and it made sense to make an app to bring out the naughtiness.”

The app’s blow-up doll ranks as the most popular virtual gift. Demographically, Canadians and New Yorkers are amongst the biggest users of Naughty Gifts.

Two of the party venues are being kept secret until the last minute to ensure attendees are over the legal age, but the New York event will take place at Webster Hall.

Chatilo promised “no illegal stuff” at the party. “Granted, during Halloween people get really naughty, but everyone will be over 21, so its up to the guests to see just how naughty they are willing to get.”