“I missed out on all the really fun Black Parties,” a thirtyish clubbie recently lamented to me about the annual gay debauch at Roseland. “In the good old days, you used to see live castrations, nipple torture, and a guy who put a live snake up his ass!”
I almost squeezed out a tear as I realized that those specialty acts are clearly as gone from the culture as roadside diners with homemade apple strudel and nice old ladies selling crocheted toilet-paper covers at the weekly church sale.
Or are they? Just to make sure, I pranced over to the 32nd annual Saint-at-Large Black Party on Saturday night, this time with an anal chastity belt and some notepaper. My plan was to stay till 2, then go home, sleep, shower really hard, and come back in the morning for the extra-desperate antics I’ve heard so much about. By 9:30 a.m., the goosey gays who’ve flown in from all over the country for this old-school catharsis are so cocksure, they would probably fuck a cantaloupe (as long as the cantaloupe didn’t have a condom, ba-dum-pum). And this time I wanted all those posteriors in my face for posterity.
“We like to stay on the down-low,” murmured a promoter as I arrived at 1 a.m., sneaking me in and recommending I buy a $10 wristband for rear entry, I mean re-entry. (I did so.) Also arriving were multigenerational swarms of gays, lots of whom didn’t speak English, though one group of young HK queens was pretty adept at it. “Safety first!” one of them urged his friends, looking as pained as Dina Lohan. “Yeah, you know how crazy I get,” responded one of them, “so make sure to grab me!” Before someone else does!
As I entered the thumping dance floor, I noticed it was DJ’d by blah, blah, blah, had performances by ya-ya, and featured lights by whoever. Now back to the sex. It makes Sodom and Gomorrah look like Minneapolis-St. Paul, according to a friend who went last year with his defenses down!
But shockingly, I couldn’t find any of it—just swarms of guys baring their flesh in leather jockstraps and studded harnesses, looking like seasoned bodega fruits waiting to be plucked by the right customer. It was a gi-frantic roomful of nipples and butt cheeks and an occasional drag queen, everyone sizing up their chances while coyly eyeing the “Free Test” signs everywhere. (Some were probably thinking, “Why test now? Makes more sense to do it when I leave.”)
Back the next morning and sporting even more layers, I still didn’t find the sex! At first! The macho-looking guys in their leather accessories were busy catcalling each other with swishy comments like, “Hey, Jordin Sparks!” and “Girl, work it!” Some of the studs were dancing on the stairs onstage so it came off like a fetish version of that Times Square stairway where the tourists hang, though these guys didn’t look quite that blank, even if they’d been dancing in place for seven whole hours!
“Go to any dark corner, especially in the balcony, and you’ll find the action,” a regular had advised me like a naughty leprechaun. So I sauntered upstairs, where I went through a swinging door and came upon a shock corridor with blue walls, crumbling ceiling panels, and garbage strewn everywhere. The mother lode!
Three guys had dropped to their knees faster than old socialites doing a Pilates workout. Down the hall—which was very The Shining as directed by Helmut Newton—I came upon a suggestively lit room with some more knee action, and next to it was an armpit-dark space that turned out to be the evening’s gay outreach center, as it were. Go in there, and you could actually be done by your boyfriend without even knowing it—could you imagine anything more horribly appealing?
Strangely, I didn’t see any kinky sex going on. No fists, hands, or butts. Not even plain old anal! Just some oral, a little nipple licking, plus one teensy handjob. And then, poignantly enough, guards stormed into the corridor at 10:30 a.m. and shooed everyone out of the area. I guess they had to bring in the ballroom dancing.
After that, sex was as hard to find as a sober gay or any female. The trippy party was finally wrapping up—and besides, the anonymous loving turns out to be not as much of an attraction as the overall atmosphere that engenders it. “The sex is secondary,” one attractive Hispanic guy swore to me, eyeballs bouncing. It’s true—it’s more about the sexuality.
And the dancing! “The music was amazing,” gushed a been-there regular in a leather cap and not much else. “Some of the younger ‘Alegria’ twinks didn’t like it because they prefer pots-and-pans music, where you feel like you’re inside a blender. But Danny Tenaglia took you on an amazing druggie journey, not all on one plane!”
And it was time to finally take that plane home and let the janitors get to work. At least they’d had it easy the night before, when a Hookie Awards audience member drank every drop of a porn star’s urine onstage, as the crowd cheered. But right now, the club was vaguely redolent of manstench as the remaining chapped-lipped stragglers looked through their microscopic ensembles for their coat-check stubs and staunchly prepared for some after-parties.
So, does all of this feed into conservatives’ antigay hatemongering, especially since I’m documenting it in skanktastic detail? Probably, but at least it’s unapologetic, as opposed to the way more secretive and frequent raunch-capades of hypocritical politicos who spew homophobia for a living. They’re the snakes who need to be shoved somewhere.