“What’s pig dance?” reads the message on Scruff from R., a new NYC transplant now living in Paradise, after thanking me for the warm-up blow- job I gave him the other night at Slammers as I tell him I’m on my way to the Ramrod.
“Crowded,” I reply.
Pig Dance is a monthly gig sponsored by Ramrod, Lauderdale’s leather bar, as a way to boost liquor sales, and it works. While weekend nights down here before Season and the tourists hit in late October are so-so, Pig Dance pulls ‘em out in droves, some young, but mostly older leather boys like me who are running out of places to wear all our shit.
I go because I’m bored and, yes, a bit depressed. I’ve just had two Latin kids, both in their thirties, back to back in the last few weeks who I thought loved their furry daddy, but I realize now why they call them Latin Lovers. Hot as geysers one night (“I can’t stop kissing you!”), cold as icebergs two days later when you try to confirm a date and feel like your texts went to Pluto.
So solo on a Saturday night, I wrestle with my bulldog harness – the new rage in leatherwear but a pain in the ass to put on – decide to wear black short shorts rather than jeans, lace up my boots and hit the door early so I can get a decent parking space and before the place gets too crowded and shrinking five foot six me is surrounded by the Sherwood Forest, i.e., the tallest gay men in south Florida.
I arrive about quarter of eleven and the larger of Ramrod’s lots is still practically empty as is the bar, but within half an hour, as I nurse my beer, the place is transformed into Grand Central at rush hour.
Sure, there are a handful of glory boys – tall, handsome, muscular fucks you’d whip your Visa card and cock out for. But most of the crowd is well, pretty ordinary – just like the human race I guess. Here and there, the curtain has gone up on the theatrics: two half naked guys making out at the bar, their jeans down and ass cracks showing, as if they were shooting the beginning of some porn flick, as bored and lonely men voyeurishly converge around them like this was some sacred virgin experience.
Or the master/slave dynamic duo, master dipped in leather, slave, an Auschwitz poster boy, clad only in a red jock and a collar around his neck for master’s leash, prancing around the dance floor, desperate to be noticed. But few do. After all, this is Saturday night in a leather bar and such sights become ho-hum for us seasoned gay men. Plus neither guy is that attractive.
And then there are the regulars, a pair I’ll call Jimmy and John, obviously partners, north of forty, who usually come in shirtless and suspendered with their jeans drooping around their 28 inch waists. Tonight, they’ve changed costumes and wear tight spandex work-out pants like gay foot players wear I guess, that probably cost a cool hundred bucks. But I can see in their faces that the bang for the bucks they expected from the humbled masses hasn’t happened.
I speak to a few guys I know, one a humpy Latin from the gym who gets more touchy-feely every time he passes me by that night which I assume is directly correlated with the number of drinks he’s had; the super tall, super-built owner of the clothing store down the street where I got the black short shorts I’m wearing who bends down and whispers in my ear, “New shipment coming Tuesday,” ; and here and there a guy strokes my chest or grabs one of my nips as they pass by with a smirk as I smirk back.
One handsome, bearded thirty-something harnessed, humpy couple catch my eye and I fantasize for a moment what a threesome would be like with them, until one of them opens his mouth and my fantasy is blown away faster than a puff off a meth pipe. What a waste of Grade A beef.
The solo guys I have an eye for? It never fails – they usually end up with one another.
By 12:30, the place has become a fire hazard, and I debate whether or not to have my third rum and coke (you see, my beer doesn’t count), but as I make my way through the crowd to my favorite bartender, John, who actually puts liquor in my drinks, I scan around and realize that I’m surrounded pretty much by a bunch of old men like myself with an occasional young, usually twinkish exception thrown in every tenth man. When the guy who’s so big and so wide he must be his own zip code moves three men ahead of me into the tiny aisle next to the bar where John awaits, I decide it’s time to call it a night.
Sure enough, three cars converge on me in the parking lot as soon as I press my security lock key and the lights of my Honda Element flicker, but I manage to maneuver out before the feeding frenzy for my space begins.
Now in the old days, once you left a bar or a whorehouse, that was it. But with the web and phone apps, well, now cruising is a 24/7 game. And at this hour, midnight, the night crawlers are just waking up.
But I wait til I get home before I check my phone, lying on my car seat.
After all, I need some surprises.
And as they say, you got to be in it to win it.