The Big Easy

 NEW ORLEANS—What makes a city sexy? I didn't know much about New Orleans before my boy and I traveled there in November for a swingers' convention. With images of women flashing their tits on Bourbon Street dancing in my head, I was ready to put the town's reputation for debauchery to the test. We shared a limo from the airport with two couples who'd been to both the city and the event before, and almost immediately, I had to confess our virgin status on both counts. One of the husbands said to me, "Bourbon Street is real nice. . . . Well, there is this element—the topless joints and the gay clubs—but besides that sleaze, it's great." Little did he know that "that sleaze" was exactly what we were after.

We did some pre-scum shopping in the French Quarter, where we drooled over all the fabulous stuff at Chiwawagaga, which calls itself "a small store for dinky dogs" and has everything for canine owners who love to indulge their pups, from blue sailor collars and yarmulkes to plaid jackets and cowboy hats (not all one's fetishes must be sexual). We stumbled into another store, attracted to its name—Dark Entry—and found goth goodies, faux fetish wear, and sex toys. The guy behind the counter was sweetly ambitious, and when he saw me glancing at a vibrator, he announced, "We've got some stuff that'll really impress you." I replied, "You have no idea." He proceeded to pull cheap, obvious novelties from a glass case until I steered him away from the jelly dongs and toward the white PVC boots with a red cross on them. "They match the naughty-nurse outfit," he beamed. "Thanks," I said.

Lots of the strip clubs on Bourbon Street have pussy pushers out on the street trying to lure people into their fine establishments with signs like "Topless" (duh) and "Bottomless" (which was a great selling point, but not accurate as we discovered once inside). We had heard that Big Daddy's was a hot spot, but we opted instead for the UniSex Club just down the street, as its signs promised much: both male and female dancers, live sex acts, and more than 100 positions. My mind immediately went to the live sex shows in Spain I've heard about, where people fuck onstage to music and the male performers come, on cue, exactly as the song crescendos. They sounded just unbelievable. We paid the $2 admission (that should have clued me in right away—you can't get live sex for $2), which included $2 off the first drink (sounded like a bargain until we realized that a soda was $8) and wandered into the small, dark club with a stage in the middle of it.

On the stage were two standard stripper poles, and wrapped around the one on the left was a pair of long, pale legs belonging to a blonde who looked about 19. She wriggled absentmindedly in that way that girls in small local clubs do, where the women have conversations with each other while dancing onstage, and music sometimes plays for a while before someone yells and a stripper leaps onstage. But that's where this place's predictability ended. I looked around at my fellow patrons and noted that the majority were male-female couples, a rarity even at a "couples friendly" joint.

A dark-haired, well-built black guy joined the woman onstage and started strutting his stuff. He grabbed the pole, then proceeded to spin around, shimmy up the thin gold phallus, and hang upside down. I've only seen male performers in Chippendales-esque revues, and I've never seen a dude stripper do pole tricks—what a treat! Plus, once down to a G-string, he displayed an enormous package—so big that even the men in the audience couldn't stop themselves from staring.

The two met in the middle of the stage and started to execute their clearly rehearsed routine, full of grinding against one another and simulating all sorts of naughty things. It could have been boring, except that the slender blonde actually perked up quite a bit when her dance partner showed up, and together their energy level peaked and magic happened: They looked like they were having a good time—the one element in an erotic performance that can always get me wet. When the song ended, they headed into the crowd, and they were each giving lap dances when we finished our ginger ales and decided to go. The experience left me with only one question: Why aren't there any coed strip clubs in New York City?

New Orleans is not just the possible birthplace of the co-gender strip show, it is home to transsexual male porn star Buck, whom you may remember from a column earlier this year ("Buck Naked," April 23-29). Founder and object of the controversial site, Buck—who, for the record, is even hotter in person than he is on film—just married his girlfriend, Kitty, who can also be seen on the site. We met up with the newlyweds in one of those wow-I-didn't-recognize-you-with-clothes-on moments and got a tour of the dungeon and a private screening of Buck's truly perverse new porn video. We decided to check out Colette, rumored to be the best swingers' club in the city. It boasts three floors of delight: a dance club, an entire floor of private and group playrooms, and hotel suites upstairs for overnight guests.

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Tristan, I just read your article on visiting New Orleans and the Unisexx Club.  I used to dance at that club 2 separate times.  It was nice to hear "that someone had a decent experience there".  When I first got hired there in summer of 1997 the place really packed them in.  At that time I could sometimes perform with 4 different girls on a night.  I always felt that the shows we put on were very erotic and sensual.  Obviously, this was what we were selling especially to the older tourists who would wander in there.  Some of the girls and I worked off schedule to perfect the acts.  I find it strange when I hear "that people were disappointed that were no live sex acts"?  That is not legal anywhere in the U.S.  I would think that anyone would know this?  I have since heard "that the place has gone downhill". Like yourself I wonder why there are not more coed strip clubs in the U.S?  Later on in my life I got hired as a dancer at a club in Dayton however there was absolutely no love dances between male and female dancers permitted.  I was an athlete in high school and I also took some ballet.  I have always felt that a man and woman performing an erotic pas de deaux  is beautiful to see.  I never cared less that I performed wearing just a G-string.  I love to dance and be up front and if you have passion for it then no venue you do this at is too sleazy.  Selling the love acts I danced was fun and cool to do.  If you really wanted to sell it then you really had to have that passion and intensity.  This is the same thing you would see at a ballet.  People, even those in strip joints can sense it and get completely engaged.  When the audience would quiet down then you knew they were enthralled.  I felt that it was a definite "high" to do that.