Oral histories - Page 2

Tales of the early ’90s underground gay sex club scene
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My roommate's in the kitchen if you want to check your stuff.' That was Mike, and it was funny he said roommate, because you know no one really lived there.
"At the top of the stairs was this long hallway full of amateur erotic art — not like Tom of Finland, more like a horny Grandma Moses. I stole a drawing that I think was supposed to be of an S-M twink but more resembled a Christmas pixie in irons. I don't remember much about the sex rooms, except there was a shoddy maze in the back and a sign that said 'No talking in the fun zone.'
"In the kitchen there was a beer keg and a big aluminum bowl of shiny-looking Cheez-Its that I could just never bring myself to snack on. I knew where those Cheez-Its had been. There was also this kind of 'Your Own Carnival Hot Dog' maker that was more like a filthy aquarium with gray franks in tepid hot dog water that no queen would touch — despite the metal tongs provided 'for your protection.’”
TROUBLE
"Conga-line dance-floor fucking was what I remember most about this place. Which is pretty darn difficult if you take varying heights into consideration. Trouble was a totally anything goes kind of club — after-hours alcohol served, a big dance floor with professional-looking lighting, out-in-the-open nasty sex. Like Studio 54 if Liza was a go-go whore and, you know, a sexy guy. It was in SoMa around Folsom and, I think, First.
"There were dark rooms and a maze upstairs — it was in a big warehouse space with a high ceiling. It got raided three or four times before they finally shut it down. It only lasted like eight months. During the raids the cops weren't all, like, 'Let's get the faggots,' they were more, like, bored, flashing their lights around and saying in a polite voice, 'Please leave — you have to go now,' like they were ushers and we had overstayed our welcome at the opera."
THE BLACK HOUSE
"The Black House was freakin' scary. It was this old Victorian off Castro painted completely black. I had just moved here — in 1994. I was 23 and thought the Black House was where Anton LaVey used to live and they had Satanic rituals there, but really it was just a bunch of naked guys fooling around in the basement. I don't remember exactly where it was, but somehow my drunk feet took me there after the bars closed.
"Mostly the guys were cute in a hustler sort of way — this was when tweakers left the house to get laid. But there would be some letches. One guy followed me around telling everyone I looked like an Etruscan statue. I got really embarrassed and had to leave and go look up Etruscan. One time the hot young guy doing coat check took out his teeth to blow some other guy. I wonder whatever happened to him."
ORGASM
"Orgasm was across the street from Endup on Sixth, so you could just stumble there and have sex at any time of the day or night, it seemed. There was this huge stage, 10 feet deep, where they had live sex shows and some really crusty Goodwill couches. One time I tricked with a guy who asked me to drop him off at Orgasm, and the minute he got there, he shed his clothes and got up onstage for a show. Where did he get the energy?
"Like most other clubs, it was in a warehouselike space, very minimal. There was a door guy and another guy inside with a clipboard, but that was just to look official — there was never anything on the clipboard. The space was divided by curtains for ‘privacy’ and had a long overhead shelf with candles on it, which added atmosphere to the ‘lovemaking.’ There were turntables, and I remember it was around the time that Boy George came out with ‘Generations of Love,’ which was a surprisingly good record."
CHURCH OF PHALLIC WORSHIP
"I think the Church in SoMa used to have ads in the back of the Bay Area Reporter, but everyone just seemed to know about it. It had a real rough, underground feel. I don't know if it was officially religiously affiliated, but maybe they got free parking out of it.

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