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March 6th, 2010
Amsterdam Gay Bars
We went to Amsterdam last year and I made notes on the bars we visited:
Arrived around 8 PM. The bar upstairs was crowded and people were nice: men from 30's to 50's. Drinks/coat check cost was the same as other bars. Downstairs was the "back room". It had a very low ceiling - I'm six feet tall and my head touched the ceiling in several places. There was one room that was completely black. The "smoking only" maze was very smoky. There were lots of people just standing in the doors of the cabins. Only 2 cabins had glory holes. Maybe it was too crowded for a lot of action.
We arrived at 10 PM on Saturday. The bar is not too dirty - no broken glass anywhere (which we'd read about in one review). The staff was pleasant. Drinks/coat check cost was the same as other bars. Good mix of men in ages of 30's to 50's. Some were looking for "Mr. Right", but most were looking for sex. Upstairs, it smelled like piss. The lighting was good (not too dark, not too light). 4 adjoining cabins had glory holes. There was a sling room. There was a watersports area that really smelled like piss that had two broken showers.
Stopped by around 11 PM. Three other guys were there. Very friendly staff. No one was in leather. About ten other people showed up as we were there. The "back room" was down some steep steps. It had a sling room; six cabins, all with glory holes. The "dark room" had a light in the floor that faded on and off.
Stopped by at 11:30 PM on Saturday. No one was in the bar: there were absolutely no customers. The bartender was nice. It looked like it would be a fun and sleazy place but we didn't make it back.
Tags: bars amsterdam leather gay
October 2nd, 2009
The Death of Gay Bars
(I wrote this in January 2008! but never posted - I just found it on my computer.)
One of the discussions a friend of ours (Joe) started on Thanksgiving was that gay bars were "dead". He said that he'd read that the Internet had subsumed the traditional role of gay bars as the primary hookup spot. We all agreed that he was right, but I didn't really think much about it.
However, this last weekend I noticed that he was right: we visited the Ripcord, our favorite hangout, from about 11 PM until 1:30 AM. In the old days, the bar would have a sparse crowd until about 1 AM, when everyone from all the other bars would come looking for action. In those days, the bar would be so crowded that guys were literally packed together in certain spots. This weekend, the crowd at 11 PM was decent, but it never got any more crowded (and the temperature was 73 degrees and clear, so there was no weather issues to keep people in). The few people who came in were coming from South Beach, the major dance bar, and they said it was "dead". So, it appears to be true that the gay bars are declining in popularity.
When we logged on to Manhunt the next day, there were over 400 guys in Houston logged on: a year ago there were about 250 people logged on during a Sunday afternoon. Since computer ownership and Internet access are not increasing at that great a rate, it appears that more men are logging on to that Web site looking for something (they claim they're looking for sex, but I'm not sure). Interestingly, gay.com seems to be steady at about 300 people logged on to Houston.
Tags: gay bar
So gay bars are in a mode of change. They aren't going to disappear completely: after all straight bars haven't disappeared yet, either. However, they cannot continue to focus as "pickup bars". They're going to have to expand: I foresee them adding wireless access, so people can relax with a beer in a public place and still cruise guys on the Web. They could add features not available, such as "real entertainment" (enough with the drag shows already!), although Houston's piano bars went out of business and the gay theater group has sporadic support at best. What I'm hoping is that straight and gay business owners will start lobbying lawmakers/challenging existing laws and will bring back naked dancers and back rooms (I can barely imagine Republican Texans changing those laws, but they're able to get massive kickbacks to all sorts of other businesses without anyone noticing, so it would be done very quietly, I'm sure). Joe thinks coffee houses, like Starbucks, are the coming gay rage (he says that at the local one, the men's bathroom is already a "back room"). I'm guessing that could be true, but adults like alcohol to loosen their inhibitions - so the gay bars will have to incorporate the "coffee house vibe" to continue.
November 22nd, 2008
( You are about to view content that may only be appropriate for adults. )
Tags: aaron Current Mood:
Current Music: silence
October 20th, 2008
The year of travelling sexually
I'm considering convincing Steve to add a couple more places no next year's travel itinerary that will take us through the sexual hotspots and events of the world. Some of the criteria include
- Public sex
- Sex in bars
- Public sexuality/nudity
- Bar nudity/strip clubs/naked dancers
- XXX Gay videos in bars
- Primarily "Men Like Us" - adult, hairy, social, sober, average size
- Some "Porn Stars" - see Raging Stallion, Titan Men, Colt
- Lots of men
- Note: We don't necessarily want to have sex in public, etc., but we don't want to feel like we're going to go to jail if we do. We like watching others have fun, too. And we don't require seeing naked guys all the time, too, because sexually provocative clothes and manners are exciting, too (i.e., IML).
Should not include
- Bars that don't/can't tolerate seeing/showing a cock (i.e., Houston during non-LUEY)
- Sexually specialized (no Fisting-only parties, no Watersports-only parties)
Here are some of my ideasVery Sexual Events
Sexually Charged Events
- LUEY Weekend in Houston
- Southern Decadence in New Orleans
- Bad Boys Pool Party in Palm Springs
Great Sex Clubs
- IML in Chicago
- Dore Alley in San Francisco (never been)
- Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco (never been)
Great Sexually Charged Bars
- Slammer in LA
- Blow Buddies in SF (never been)
- Madrid? (never been)
- Berlin? (been to the city, but never considered sexual side)
- Amsterdam? (been to the city, but never considered sexual side)
- London? (never been)
- Prague? (never been)
Other Places and Events I've heard of
- Sunday afternoon Beer Bust at Eagle in San Francisco (never been - does it still exist?)
- Serpent in Cincinnati
- Rawhide in New Orleans
- Phoenix in New Orleans
Other Places that didn't make the cut
- CLAW in Cleveland (is it like LUEY or is it just a Bear run)
- Burning Man
- West Hollywood Gay Pride
- Montreal Gay Pride
- San Francisco Gay Pride
- Mardi Gras, New Orleans
- Mardi Gras, Sydney
- Halloween, New Orleans
- Halloween, Key West
- Halloween, San Francisco
- CCBC in Palm Springs
- Mid Atlantic Leather in Washington, DC
- Naked bars in Key West (no sex allowed)
- Nude Beaches: Little Beach, Maui, and Hippie Hollow, Austin (we've been there recently)
- Austin First/Last Splash (there are more naked people/sexuality every other day of the year)
- Baths in Chicago, Houston, DC, Austin (nothing special)
- Atlantis/RSVP cruises (too much like typical gay dance bars - although I must say the one we went on was fun - right dendren?)
- GNI gathering in the Poconos (don't want to be naked all the time)
- Lazy Bear in Russian River (not sexual enough)
- Gay Rodeos (lots of hot men, not a lot of overt sexuality)
- Gay Games (everyone's too worried about their competition)
- New York Gay Pride (too conservative)
Tags: events iml
September 15th, 2008
Steve and I are OK. We stayed in our house for the Hurricane.
The Eye passed overhead from 2:45 AM until 4:15 AM on Saturday morning.
We lost power, water, and cable/internet access (AT&T Uverse) during the storm, but not cell phone coverage or landline phone service. I'm posting this via dialup that's clocking in at 4K (yep - that's "4" as in 1/6 of 24K baud modem - not sure what's causing the painfully slow connection)
None of our big trees fell down, but they all lost a lot of branches (pictures at http://picasaweb.google.com/marzke/20080912HurricaneIke
- but they don't do justice). Our neighbor behind us had 50 foot white oak tree that fell across our back fence and into the yard - it missed the pool and hot tub, but is covering everything else. No windows were blown out and there was very little roof damage.
Basically - the best description is "it looks like a Hurricane hit it". On TV, the people who had flood damage have it worse than we do, and anyone who actually had a tree crash through their roof has it worse. But our neighborhood still has impassable streets because of large trees blown across the street.
My sister Shirley had purchased a generator before the storm (she's in Katy) and since they didn't lose power, we borrowed it yesterday (Sunday). My laptop PC has dialup, and I finally got my battery recharged, so I'm sending this note out.
We're cleaning up things in the yard - I'm guessing it will take 5 more days to pick up everything and get it on the curb. Only heaven knows when the city will pick it up - maybe in October...
Tags: hurricane ike
Current Music: generator noise
August 28th, 2008
Southern Decadence - frustration abounds
Steve and I were all excited about taking Amtrak to Southern Decadence this year, even though the train left at 6:15 AM on Friday morning from a section of town where you can't even leave your car parked overnight without fear of a break-in.
I was also excited that I got reservations at the St. Pierre for only $150/night (they lowered their price from $212/night.
Then, we just got a call from Amtrak saying that the train was canceled because of Hurricane Gustav. Yep, Gustav is currently located in Jamaica and will still be in that area tomorrow when our train is scheduled to arrive on Friday afternoon. And it's not projected to hit until 2 PM on Tuesday (5 days from now!) But Amtrak has canceled our train. They are offering to take us by bus (and we get to stop at all the same train stations all the way there!) It's unbelievable.
We're taking it as a sign that we're not supposed to go to Decadence this year.
We have Southwest airlines tickets, which are completely transferable, but the hotel cancellation cost is $208, so I'm on hold right now waiting for Orbitz to convince the Hotel St. Pierre to refund that $208.
Wait - here's the response - the hotel won't refund the money - so it looks like we'll be going to Decadence ---- by bus.
Tags: southerndecadence amtrak bus travel
Current Music: Pacabel's Greatist Hit
August 3rd, 2008
One of the Yahoo! groups
I follow is all about Southern Decadence
. Someone who was attending Decadence for the first time asked what he should do. A few people wrote in with suggestions about tours and restaurants and all the other normal things to do. I didn't think that anyone was covering some of the more essential parts of Decadence, so I sent the following:
I feel that when I travel or attend an event that it's important to take advantage of the uniqueness of the location and event, i.e., do things that you can't do at home. So, in addition to the other people's posts on what to do, here are my thoughts on what I can do at Southern Decadence, but can't do during the rest of the year (mainly for men):
Optional things to do
- Buy a "Big Ass Beer" and drink it in the street. But just one - those things are expensive. For my other beers I'll buy them at a local store.
- Drink a potent slushy drink in a cheap, stupid, souvenir cup while walking down the street. I just can't help myself.
- "Earn some beads". Get them from The Right Reverend JJ, Theologian Extraordinaire, in the Preachers' Gallery of the Church of the Holy Parade while you're down in the street. If hat's too much, feel free to earn the beads in private.
- Give those beads away to some little kid watching the parade on Sunday.
- Watch others earning their beads: stand on the sidewalk under the balcony and just watch. It's a fascinating display of human behavior (as is most of Southern Decadence).
- Wear your most comfortable clothes - don't "dress to impress".
- If you're the kind of guy who takes his shirt off, then wear shirts that you can stand losing - there is no "three second rule" in a bar or in the street. Once that shirt touches the ground you will never want to touch it again (perhaps you've seen the videos from last year...)
- If you're an exhibitionist, then wear pants that don't have a belt and zippers to fuss with: some draw string work-out shorts are great (and they're comfortable).
- Watch the dancers in the bar. Feel free to wander from bar to bar (don't forget to go upstairs) until you find one that gets you worked up. Then tip him.
Here are some of my "Don'ts"
- Go to the Rawhide at 1 AM on Sunday morning and take a trip around the pool table.
- Offer a straight woman beads, if her husband will "earn them" for her. Feel free to pick the hottest guy standing around with his girlfriend watching in lust for some beads. This has worked countless times for us.
- Go to Chi-Chi LaRue's Biggest Dick contest on Thursday.
- Wear something that you'd never wear in public at home: dog collar; harness and jock; cheap jewelry and androgynous makeup; short-shorts; chaps without a butt. And then walk down Bourbon through the "straight section". People (primarily women) will love it and want to have their picture taken with you.
- Participate in the parade: the theme is "Disco" and the colors are "black, white, and silver". Surely your gay gene can kick in and come up with something. If you can't participate, then enjoy watching it, but don't feel compelled to watch the whole thing, because it can get quite long.
- Wear a boa. They look interesting in the pictures, but they're very hot and you have to carry them around all the time.
- Worry about the weather. It's probably going to be hot. It's probably going to rain. Have fun indoors if it does rain. Or just enjoy standing in the rain. You're on vacation!
- Drink until you can't remember what's going on. What's the point?
- Drink until you puke. It's not amusing. And you'll regret it when your boss sees the video of it on YouTube. Or, heaven forbid, XTube.
- Forget to eat. It can be hard to pull yourself away from all the excitement, but do it. Sit down someplace and eat: there will be hot guys wherever you go, so you won't really be missing anything. In case of emergency, the Lucky Dog or a walk up pizza place are acceptable.
- Talk to the Christian protesters. As Mark Twain said: "Never argue with a fool: onlookers may not be able to tell the difference". Instead, have your picture taken with them. Preferably on all fours wearing a jock and butt-plug tail.
Tags: southerndecadence neworleans beads chich
July 28th, 2008
Vodka Tasting party
On Saturday, 7/19/08, Steve and I had a Vodka Tasting party. It was a hoot. We asked that all our guests wear white (which they did - it just shows that our friends understand the concept of "Theme parties".) Let me just say that there's nothing quite like getting all your guests drunk in the first 20 minutes of a party to make it interesting. We tasted 8 different vodkas (Level
vodka was voted the best, Gray Goose
had it's fans, too. Other vodkas were Absolute, Absolute Citron, Imperea, Smirnoff, Shustoff, and Taaka (the cheapo)). I was bartending so I didn't have a chance to take pictures, but Steve took a couple, including this one of me and our friends John and Aaron. And yes, I do look like a dufus.
Tags: vodka white underwear party