Thursday, October 27, 2005
Hey bitch! Your shoes match my friend's outfit perfectly... Give em' up.
While we’re not technically there quite yet, Halloween is right around the corner and soon gay men everywhere will have a more legitimate excuse to dress in drag and say it was ‘only a costume.’
Payless shoe store shoppers beware... All ladies heels in plus sizes will be out for the next couple of weeks. Try finding a size 12 heel the day before Hallows Eve. Ain’t gonna happen.
Seriously, it’s my favorite holiday. I’ve never been much of a Christmas person and Hallmark practically invented Valentine’s Day, so Halloween made sense as the one day a year you can be anyone or anything you want. Fantasy going head-to-head with reality, intertwining into sugar-infused coma. Whether you’re a little kid or a little kid at heart, it’s a fun way to cap off October.
Congrats to my Chicago White Sox! While I didn’t see the sweep coming, the third game in the series was incredible. It might have been nice to see the Astros fight back a little, pushing the whole shindig longer and giving the Sox a little more firepower, but overall it was a good ride. I’m sure that Harey Carey was smiling down on them from his announcer’s perch up in the sky. Ol’ Liver Lips was never at a loss for words.
Disclaimer: Not the real Harey Carey...
Anyone who’s seen Will Ferrell’s impression of him on SNL knows what I’m taking about. Towards the end of his career Carey was somewhat of a loose cannon and was known for veering WAY off topic in the middle of commentating a game. I specifically recall him going into a tirade on-air that they changed the supplier of Kosher beef hotdogs at Comisky. It took Steve Stone (his co-anchor) about ten minutes to settle Harey down and get him back into the ball game.
It's an orgasm with an engine...
Sitting on a corner of Michigan Avenue in Chicago not too long ago was Pontiac’s new model, the Solstice. It’s a two-seater that’s going head-to-head with Mazda’s Miata. Pontiac really made themselves a nice sports car featuring rear wheel drive, 180hp, six-manual and best of all, it starts under $20k. I foresee this car revitalizing their whole line the way that the 2004 300M did for Chrysler. In person, it’s got great lines and has the combination look of a Porsche and a ‘60s model Jag. It’s really stunning. Definitely a head-turner.
Cocaine? Oh heavens no... This is baking powder. I'm making cookies later.
I now subscribe to a couple of different gay ‘lifestyle’ mags (Genre, Advocate) and have always wondered about that fine line between being too gay and not gay enough when it comes to the public eye. Publications like The Advocate are quick to denounce gay actors who don’t fully embrace their gayness, while still putting very straight pretty boys without shirts on their cover. Eye candy sells more copies on the stand perhaps, but does it weaken the argument as a whole? They say the want to be taken seriously as a well-read publication, but have headlines that read ‘Big Enough? The Perfect Condom.’
I’m certain the Nobel Prize committee will soon create a special category for provolactic writing.
Sure, in a perfect world it would be nice to be able to be open with your sexuality, but in an industry like Hollywood it can be the death toll for a budding actor’s career. That’s just dollars and sense. The studio may not contractually own the actor as they did back in MGM’s heyday, but things have honestly changed very little when it comes to bottom line on profit.
Since spending time in the hospital not too long ago, I’ve been more careful to take some downtime between trips and keep things in check. It got way too easy to convince myself that a 12-14 hour turnaround was possible, with just enough time to get some laundry done and a half-night’s sleep under my belt. While fun for a little while, it wasn’t any way to live life.
It was manic. It took it’s toll. No amount of Airborne can keep you from getting sick.
I told myself I could handle it. Mentally, that may have been true, but physically it’s demanding enough to eventually break someone. I’ve always led a drug-free life, so that’s never been a bad habit of mine, but just logging over 200k miles a year on airplanes is enough to make anyone cringe. Traveling is a tough job and the only real ‘work’ when it comes to escorting.
Try an overnighter in London. You spend more time in the air than you do on the ground. A 15-hour trip to Tokyo loses it’s jet-set appeal when you’re doing it twice a month. Switching planes no less than 4 times to get to a final destination is a real ass pincher. This is all in addition to dealing with airports, security and the fact that American Airlines now charges for alcohol in their Admiral’s Lounges. WTF???
Ultimately I can’t complain though, as everyday turns out to be an adventure.
What’s with the stigma amongst gay men that bathhouses are horrible, vile places? Am I correct that some of these same protestors have done their own independent cruising, either online or in other public places? Possibly. What makes a place like Steamworks any different than logging onto Gay.com or catching the eye of a hottie at the local gym? It’s not. The only thing that’s different is the lack of pretense. Bathhouses are a quick and easy way to satisfy fantasy, while remaining as safe or as unsafe as one wishes. It is, however, self-serving, egotistical and insipid thinking that everyone who frequents a bath is barebacking (although, realistically, it does happen).
Personally, I don’t bareback, but I also don’t chastise those who do. Your body, your life, your call. I suppose if we can drink ourselves to death and gamble everything away, then it's our American right to fuck to death as well. I don't condone any of it, but it's there.
Life is a series of cause and effect. Don’t give too much undue cause and you won’t end up with an undesired effect. Play as safely as you can. Have fun. Experience everything. No regrets.
All that being said, I’ve received emails from guys asking for a more detailed review of Chicago’s Steamworks and it’s facilities. I added the above as somewhat of a disclaimer, as I’m sure some of you are adamantly against such places or are just looking for an axe to grind. Just skip over this section. It’ll be easier that way ;)
Steamworks initially opened as The Unicorn on Halstead in the heart of Chicago’s Boystown. That was way before my day, but I’ve heard from friends that pre-renovation days were perfect for those looking for a sleazier atmosphere. If you’ve been to the Nob Hill in San Francisco, then you can get a pretty good idea of things from the look of the arcade downstairs.
$4 million and a whole hell of a lot of stainless steel later, Steamworks was born. It’s sleek, lit perfectly for sex (dim and downlit) and massive in size. It’s a membership-based joint, but buying one won’t cost much. It’s good for a year and the card they issue you is pretty non-descript and easily carried. From there, you’ve either got to purchase a room or a locker.
Lockers are for those looking to get in, fuck around and leave, while the rooms generally tend to give you more privacy, a place to take guys back to (if you’re not inclined to play in public) and sleep if the mood strikes. I don’t spend much time relishing the atmosphere at any bath, so a room is simply a place for me to go back to when jacking off is the best means of pleasure. Yeah, it can be fun to do for an audience, but sometimes it’s more about a chance of atmosphere and a singular room can just as fun.
Lockers are around $15, while rooms can cost up to $60 (for 8/hrs). The differences in rooms are wide, with some offering slings, medical stirrups (yeow!), mirrors, two-way mirrors, digital video on demand (aka, porn) and the unique ability to cruise from your room via closed-circuit TV cameras throughout the club.
Steamworks itself is 4 floors. Once you’re undressed and wrapped in a nifty towel (or simply wearing some tighty-whities as I do), head down to the street level to see who’s checking into a locker or watch some TV in the large lounge. There’s also an awesome wet area, with two huge steamrooms, a dry sauna and large bank of showers. This is all very dimly lit, well-kept (the whole place is spotless) and easy to navigate. The hottub is large enough to need to take a small bridge into it and is said to be one of the largest in the world. It’s partitioned off in many areas, with alcoves and darkened areas for play. I don’t get much into sweating my ass off in there, so most of my experience has been just looking and not partaking. Looks like fun though :)
Nifty feature in all of Steamwork’s bathrooms: The choice between regular water from the water fountain and Scope mouthwash. Pretty interesting, but an unmarked benefit, so be aware when you’re wanting to take a gulp of water as it may be more minty than expected.
Second floor are mostly rooms. You can also find a glory hole room with various porn playing overhead, a general purpose porn room with tiered seating and a dark maze with bunks and a few general purpose slings. Everything from mutual jacking off to full-blown fisting goes on in these public areas, so if you’re a bit on the voyeuristic side (or an adamant exhibitionist), this is definitely the floor for you.
Let’s break from the baths to interject something totally random into the mix...
A friend of mine who just got back from a preview of the thought-to-be smash hit ‘The Odd Couple’ said it’s trash. I usually wouldn’t accept just one opinion as the word of God, but I’ve been hearing this from several people who say that Matthew Broaderick and Nathan Lane are seriously miscast. I would have thought differently, as they worked perfectly in The Producers. I suppose this show leaves them less room to ham it up off-script, so maybe that’s the ultimate downfall. Reviews will be out this weekend, with the official opening tonight. At this point, it really doesn’t matter, as the whole show is sold out for the entire run. Scalpers are easily getting $600 a ticket or a first-born on the streets, so I’m sure the producers of the show aren’t sweating over a bad review.
From the gloriously trashy pages of Page Six:
Boy George hired a male hustler who tried to rob him the morning the cross dressing Culture Club singer was busted for cocaine possession, PAGE SIX has learned. George called 911 last Friday morning to report that his Centre Street apartment has been burglarized -- but he was arrested when cops found a mound of what appeared to be Bolivian marching powder piled near his computer.
A source said that George called 911 after the hustler he'd ordered up demanded that he hand over all the money in the house. "George said no and that he was going to call the police," says our source. "The prostitute said,"Go ahead and you'll go to jail. ' So George freaked out becasue he was high, called the police, the prostitue left, and George was arrested." A police source said George did not mention the hustler when he was arrested.
His lawyer, Lou Freeman, could not be reached for comment yesterday but he told the Post last week that the cocaine was not George's, adding "Tons of people come in and out of his home."
What’s this talk about Tom Sizemore putting the sexual smack on Paris Hilton? Sounds like a scheme for Sizemore to sell more DVD’s to me. Paris might be apt to screwing on film, but from her past clips, it seems she prefers men of GREATER size. Sorry Tom...
This friggin’ hilarious... Check it out: The Tom Cruise Blog.
Okay. Enough of that. Back to the baths...
The mix of guys is all over the board at Steamworks. I’ve seen bears, twinks, muscle jocks, obese guys and everything in-between. While there still can be some obnoxious guys roaming around, for the most part the law of the jungle applies and a simple ‘no’ or ‘let’s go’ works wonders. Being concerned that you won’t fit in is the last thing you should worry about. This isn’t like going to a bar or club. When people stip down to being naked, they also thankfully strip off a lot of their hangups and ego.
The third floor has a beautiful gym. If you want to pump up before pumping out, then this is definitely the place to feel good. It’s usually pretty deserted. You occasionally have a few lurkers around watching or cruising, but they generally leave you alone. It’s especially hot being able to lift while shirtless, getting to see each and every muscle contract under strain. I think I get a much better workout when I can see the work that’s being done.
Other feature on the third floor include a large dark maze, fenced-in cages (for that especially bad slave in your life), glory-hole booths, cyberstations to cruise online and the larger private rooms. WiFi is available throughout the whole place. Slings can be added ala carte to any room for a cheap price as well. Steamworks does a very good job at customizing an experience and making it as kinky or as vanilla as one wishes. They also take safe sex as seriously as they can by putting free condoms and lube EVERYWHERE. If you are looking to screw like a rabbit, you’ll literally never be that far from protection. Wrap it up. It’s not that tough.
Fourth floor is only open in the summertime, as it’s an outside rooftop playpen. For those who enjoy getting off under the open sky, it’s a good time. The fourth floor doesn’t have a set schedule, so you might want to check their website for details (along with current prices, hours, etc).
While I wouldn’t pick Steamworks over the Art Institute or spending a day at Lake Michigan, I will say it’s a fun way to spend an extra evening. The last time i checked, it's not a regular stop on the 'Chicago Double-Decker Tour,' so you may want to take a cab out to Belmont/Halsted and look for it down the block a bit.
From bathhouse chat to Eye Candy, here’s what I’m peddling this week. Enjoy and thanks to the usual suspects for making this week particularly hot.
Thanks for staying tuned to the 15... See ya in the funny papers!
'A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.' -- Oscar Wilde