Susan Behrends Valenzuela
“I want a nipple-pierced cupcake!” my roommate and first-year Liberal Studies student, Mia Hejlsberg, said to me as she started getting ready for the day. In any other context, I would have called her crazy, but Hejlsberg was referring to Kinky’s Dessert Bar, the bakery selling genitalia-shaped waffles, among other sex-themed treats.
Kinky’s opened their storefront at 181 Orchard St. this past Valentine’s Day. The desserts have quickly garnered attention on social media platforms such as TikTok. On Instagram, the store’s signature genitalia-shaped waffles — either the “Dicky” or “Va-JayJay” — were featured on the stories of many New York-based accounts.
Chefs August and John DeWindt created Kinky’s after being inspired by the night markets in Taiwan.
“We actually saw the penis waffles being done in Taiwan and kind of jokingly said, ‘Oh, this would be great to do here,’” said August DeWindt. “We expanded that idea into it being a sex-positive space, dedicated to all types of sexuality.”
“Everyone should feel welcome in this space,” August DeWindt said. “All genders, races. Kinky’s is a place for everyone.”
The shop opens at 5 p.m. every Tuesday through Friday and at noon on the weekends, perfect for grabbing a dessert after a day of class or on a fun weekend outing. After our Thursday classes finished, Hejlsberg and I headed, in anticipation, to the Lower East Side to see the waffles ourselves.
True to the theme, the walls were plastered with an array of colorful pornographic posters. My personal favorite was a poster with a rainbow background that highlighted a psychedelic-style depiction of a phallic mushroom. Customers could enjoy their treats on benches in the corner, which were adorned with a collage of cutouts from vintage erotic magazines. Upstairs offered more seating options for customers in a well-lit area, adorned with colorful neon lights curved to imitate the shapes of different body types. As Doja Cat blasted through the speakers, the infamous desserts were on display for the customers to choose from.
“We wanted to make it really fun, like a kind of playhouse for adults to go to,” said August DeWindt. “We wanted to create that nostalgic kid in a candy store feel, but for adults.”
The “Dicky” and “Va-JayJay” ($8 a waffle) had their own flavors named after the filling inside. These included the “Slutty Cinnamon” filled with cinnamon roll cream and glazed with a cream cheese frosting, the “Chocolate Orgasm” and the “Oh Behave Vanilla.” The latter two had classic cream filling in either a vanilla or double chocolate chip flavor.
The store also offered cookies ($4) and cupcakes ($5), which featured similarly exciting names. The chocolate chip cookie, known as the “Fuck Me,” came as a warm cookie with a pink fondant spelling out the title of the cookie. Cupcakes were topped with icing and designed to resemble different body parts.
Among these options, August DeWindt’s personal favorite is their signature red velvet cupcake, or as they call it, “I Like it Rough,” a red velvet cupcake with a tiny chocolate penis sitting atop the cream cheese frosting. However, the store’s best-selling dessert remains their waffles, complete with cream oozing out.
Kinky’s offers one vegan option for each type of dessert — a vegan chocolate chip cookie, chocolate cupcake and apple cinnamon waffle. The owners hope to add gluten-free products to the menu in the next couple of months. They were also recently approved for their beer and wine liquor license and expect to start selling alcohol in the coming weeks.
Though Kinky’s is their first brick-and-mortar storefront, the DeWindts aren’t new to the restaurant business. They operate John’s Juice, a seasonal pop-up juicery which they’ve been running since 2016 at the food bazaar Smorgasburg. They’ve also served customers at various outdoor musical festivals, including Governor’s Ball, Afropunk and Firefly.
If you’re looking for a fun, sex-positive environment with delectable — and Instagrammable — desserts, Kinky’s Dessert Bar is the place.
Annie Mach contributed reporting.
Contact Olivia Liu at [email protected]