A few times each month, the Ramrod, Lauderdale’s leather bar, holds what I like to label “festival” nights. Their aim is to lure in the crowd they used to have every weekend, but now as the leather scene is waning, find harder to generate, even with two-for-one drinks on a Friday night.
The most popular of these festival nights is Pig Dance, held the first Saturday of the month where mostly middle aged, or getting there, in-shape and out of shape leather men come to roost, together with twinks that use their harnesses as trainer bras and their youth to entice the daddies, even the ones without money, and a handful of truly beautiful men that go to make the rest of us drool.
A fellow bar fly buddy and I had agreed when we ran into one another on Friday night that we wouldn’t hit this month’s Pig Dance: it just gets too crowded. So when we saw one another from across the tiny dance floor Saturday night, we just shrugged one another’s shoulders and grinned. You can’t keep a leather man – even a fading leather man – home on a Saturday night.
Hell, it’s sacrilegious.
But, “been there, done that,” so I could have predicted what to expect without leaving the comfort of my furry dogs and stash of prerecorded TCM movies. It seemed everywhere short little me went in the bar the tallest, biggest faggot or faggots in Florida were right there, like I was some magnet attracting them. I call them my Mobile Sherwood Forest who often surround me in this closet-sized bar with its low ceilings. Worse, they’re so high up in the stratosphere they can’t hear you or are immersed in some lofty conversation with their buddy or potential fuck for the night when you politely ask them to move so you can still get some oxygen.
And as predicted, the place got increasing more packed (I had to park two blocks away when I arrived at the still tender hour of 11.) In fact, at one point I clung fast to a pole as the two lane highway traffic crushed by me, like I was on a New York City subway at rush hour. It was a perfect place, with its three almost impassable exits, to re-create the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911 where 146 garment workers died, or for ISIS to stage a retribution bombing against ungodly Sodomites.
I’m over 50 so I can say it: It’s kinda sad, depressing, even repulsive to see some older guy with his tits hanging and his belly out to Alabama and his butt out to the Panhandle, shirtless or near that, shaking his booty on the dance floor like, to paraphrase Prince, it was 1999, or worse, 1979. When are we – and that includes me – when are we all gonna grow up?
I’m turned off by the endless cliques, the party talk, the frivolous conversations, the tourists who think their visiting royalty, the super butch guys with the girly voices, and, enough unjustified attitude to sink ten Titanics, no icebergs required.
So, you say, stay the fuck home, Ray. I mean, if you’re so fucken unhappy, why the fuck do you go?
For the occasional ego moment like when two hairy humpy hot guys eyed me from the dance floor and one of them reached out and stroked my furry chest with a smile. When I went over to acknowledge his act of kindness, his taller clone made sure I knew he had given his paramour permission.
Or the pleasant looking but not-my-type guy who had been stalking me on the web who didn’t have to stop but did to say to me as he passed, “You’re even better looking in person.” Even coming from someone I didn’t desire, the gesture, nonetheless, was noble and something my very fragile ego devoured like a Jenny Crag failure let loose in a bakery.
Or maybe, in the end, why I go out at all any more is to still feel alive and part of the scene, and not become a total recluse. It’s certainly not to pick some guy up, not in this age of the web. Though maybe one of these nights, a guy on his phone staring at Growlr – that’s every fifth person – will actually come up to me.
So when your doggies start looking funny, even without the meth, it’s time to polish those boots, tighten that harness and get movin’ buster.
It may be only 11, but it’s later than you think.