Today's background music comes courtesy of Florrie - it's called "Left Too Late."
Grindr has taken over the world. It is everywhere! Originally marketed solely to iPhone users, they have now adapted the application into Android and Blackberry formats as well. If you're not sure what Grindr is (again, for any straight people that ever read this) it's essentially an app that uses your GPS location to tell other gay guys how far away from them you are. You can send messages, photos, and your exact location to other users for free. It is pretty hilarious - some people are on it ironically, but most seem to use it simply to show off their highly toned headless torso. It's gotten so big that it's even inspired a spin-off website called Douchebags Of Grindr, which essentially just calls out guys who have douchey things written in their profiles...you know like "not into Asians" or "I like my guys to act like guys - no fems" kind of stuff. The Grindr website says they are approaching a million users worldwide. So with that kind of power, it's no surprise people have decided to use Grindr as an advertising platform, telling you about events in your area.
The other day I signed on and was greeted with an ad for an event at a place called Club 39. "20 of NYC's best dancers perform in a Cabaret show every Wednesday night." I was intrigued! I had visions of gorgeous Broadway boys performing numbers from their current shows - maybe whipping out some old musical theatre standards too. I envisioned a line of sculpted dudes taking on Hey Big Spender...which, now that I think of it should probably have prepared me for what the "show" turned out to be. I brought along my friend IR (International Rhythm, he's danced all over) for company, and he was skeptical. After a yummy casual Italian meal (essentially fancy mozza sticks) we headed over to 39th street. I showed my Grindr profile at the door and received a VIP wristband then I entered the space. I found a room full of boys in their underwear - one of whom was dancing at the front on a stage barely big enough for him to stand on.
We realized quickly that this place was really a spot for men to watch the man candy (for a price.) The bar informed us we had to spend at least $50 which wasn't going to be difficult between the two of us when a beer was $9, so we started a tab. The moment we were seated on a couch we were quickly accosted by a more aggressive dancer who grabbed our heads and held them near his crotch, which happened to be at eye level. IR looked at me across the bulge in between us and said "I think I just caught hepatitis A through F." When this guy realized we weren't going to tip him for this 'service' he called me a Bad Boy and ran off. Another one, who we will call FP (Fake Package) with an obviously stuffed pair of underwear didn't wait for our permission - he stood right up on top of IR and asked if he could handle a tidal wave. IR was concerned he might drown, but FP is apparently a master of CPR. FP let (or made?) IR touch it his FP...I was later informed that it felt like he'd wrapped his penis with a grocery bag. This was at least entertaining, and earned FP a $5 bill from me.
It was an interesting spectacle to behold. Some men were obviously older, wealthier, maybe closeted, and each of them seemed to have 'their guy.' The one dancer that they looked after. The set up of the club was done very well - the lap dance area was at the back but the view was only partially obstructed so the other patrons would watch and be envious of the goings on. There were moments when I thought I could be good at this job, but then I would see the faces on these dancers - an old man hugging one from behind while he gazed off seemingly pretending to be somewhere else. One dancer even took a bill from a man and immediately walked off, not wanting to be near him any longer. Assuming the place is about making these men feel special, I don't think that man left feeling very special at all.
But I did. I think I may have met my FH (Future Husband.) He was tall, muscular, and dark. He was wearing blood red underwear that complimented his skin tone perfectly. He came over and introduced himself earlier in the night and neither of us could remember his stage name - we must have been too distracted. I was sure it started with an F (Freeze? Fleece?) and IR suggested perhaps it was some sort of spice (Oregano?) When he came back to see us again, we found out it was Flex. I was close. IR told me he thought FH was straight, so I asked - and his reply? Bi. I wondered if that was a scripted response, designed to arouse the gay man who always wants what he can't have. We watched Flex dance on the podium and he actually had rhythm, a pleasant surprise. I went up to him and offered him a few dollar bills, and when I went to walk away he leaned down and kissed me on the cheek. I told him he was beautiful, he told me I was beautiful. He came to see me again later and told me his real name (or, he said it was his real name) and explained how he had come to be here. I desperately wanted to see him in action, so IR decided to have a lap dance. (The ATM was broken, naturally, so we had to quickly run out to the bank and have pizza at a place called Hot & Crusty first...surprisingly tasty. Terrible name.)
IR's lap dance from Flex was impressive, passionate, and just plain hot. Perhaps he was more into it because he is used to doing the same to men who are generally unattractive, or perhaps he's just good at his job? He had succeeded in making me feel special. I watched voyeuristically from outside the curtain, and then the aggressive guy from earlier tried to pull me in too. I wasn't interested, I only had eyes for Flex. My jealousy was heightened when I found out IR had gotten his phone number. I hoped it was for me, but alas. I even checked the Missed Connections section on Craigslist today to see if he'd posted anything about me...it was not meant to be.
IR and I discussed the possibility of working in a place like this and decided it wouldn't be worth it. Never do something for money that you wouldn't do for free. Besides, when we went dancing at Splash afterward I demonstrated some of my newly learned stripper moves and the crotch of my shorts split front to back and side to side (the second pair of pants I have ripped this week) so maybe the less of that type of dancing I do, the better?
Then again, I guess I wouldn't be wearing pants.