By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
The Lure may well be the only West Village leather bar with a publicist, which might help explain its captivating contradictions. When I visited the place last year, it reeked of poppers and wicked desire, and though there was a fashion show going on onstage, the crowd seemed anxious for it to end so they could return to the hardcore mating rituals. Well, this time, I sashayed into the joint's much heralded Wednesday night party Pork, and found a Planet Hollywood version of the same that was pretty much a fashion show from top to bottom. Bouncy-looking guys in T-shirts mixed with the machos and poseurs, all facing a cornucopia of interactive options befitting a leather theme park.
An ATM greets you on the way in, and a guy offers to do your tarot cards. ("You will be double-fisted by a dashing stranger at midnight"?) To your right, there's a boutique hawking masks, dildos, body bags, and Billy dolls. And further in awaits a faux slave who'll shine your shoes, not to mention a guy who'll shave your head, for that top-to-bottom do-me credibility. It's all so much fun, you should bring the entire fetish family! There was even a performance courtesy of the Metro Gay Wrestling Alliance, whom the fascinated crowd watched get vigorously pinned and grappled. How Lure-ing. Alas, I had to leave before playing Pin the Tail on the Masochist.
I didn't get porked, but I did get a really warm welcome from a trannie doorperson on entering the Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center's annual Garden Party. "You're from The Village Voice?" she snarled. "I'll have to shoot you!" Instead, other folks simply let me in. A somewhat kinder greeting awaited me at the Gay Pride Parade, but let's emphasize the somewhat. People on a float were festively flinging necklaces into the crowd as if they were grenades, and one of these accessories came flying so hard in my direction that it almost gave me a concussion. The float was for the Anti-Violence Project!
After ducking an inordinate number of "bi-curious" people you know, guys who are curious about how many dicks they can shove up their ass I went to the movies and found out that they're queerer than ever, what with the gay couple in Big Daddy, Satan getting buggered by Saddam Hussein in the South Parkflick, and Will Smith feeling up Kevin Kline's drag breasts in Wild Wild West. And Summer of Samhas that Bob the Fairy character, whose dishy mouth plays right into the hands of the homophobes which I certainly hope is a commenton self-loathing rather than an expression of it. In any case, I lived in Bensonhurst at the height of that period, and not everyone was an archetypal Guido, nor were there that many people yelling "faggot." (I always expected to come across them more than I actually did.) Still, despite that pessimistic bent, the talking dog, the cuddly chubette who plays the killer, the Jimmy Breslin segments, and the fact that Studio 54 never had an orderly line outside it, I went for the movie big-time. It's kinetic and twisted and explosive and arguably uses the gay-baiting to make a point about the scapegoating of oddballs (the main one of which, alas, is apparently a closet case).
Meanwhile, I can't believe Stanley Kubrick's family is trying to defend the director's removal of Jewish names from Eyes Wide Shutas a sensible professional decision. Oy! But back to closets wide shut: The Globejust ran an interesting list of facts about Ricky Martin, including the revelation that he didn't kiss a girl until he was 13; he's a softy who cries a lot; he was on Broadway in Les Miz; he doesn't want a girlfriend these days because "I'm having fun now the way I am"; and he hates seafood!
By the way, if you like crabs and find yourself home around 2 a.m. instead of living la vida loca, please turn on Match Game Anita Sarkotipped me off to this one and catch a glimpse of the bizarre public deconstruction of panelist Nell Carter. The endearing Nell seems to experience extreme mood swings, making this otherwise demoralizing exercise in innuendo as strangely watchable as the head-shaving at the Lure. When Nell gets answers wrong which is often she looks devastated and hugs the contestants she's screwed over as if she has completely shattered their lives. (And she shouldbe sorry, considering she'll say stuff like "pooping" when the correct choice is obviously "fart.") She'll also blurt out personal revelations (about medication, for example) and once admitted during the commercial break as the host later revealed that no one liked her as a child, prompting George Hamiltonto give her a big, suntanned hug! When the finale comes and the panelists informally prance around, Nell's been known to do a hoggish bump and grind center stage, once even running into the audience to perform an elaborate dance up the aisle with a fat man. You gotta love this woman, but one senses that something bad might happen and damned if I'm gonna miss it.
Nell was apparently the only larger woman not walking the runway at Lane Bryant's Venezia Jeans show at Manhattan Center, a gorgeous celebration of thunder thighs that was the rare fashion event where they served food! Camryn Manheim, the anti-Calista, was the phat star, but I was equally entranced by a skinny audience member who identified himself as the lead of Deep Blue, the Israeli answer to Baywatch. This idol in the making told me he's the Pamela Anderson Lee of the show, "but instead of silicone breasts, I have silicone balls." Three of them.