Monday, August 28, 2006
It's like a cross between My Little Pony and John Holmes...
I’m back from the vacational hiatus... Did you miss me?
In addition to visiting Chicago, New York City and Las Vegas since the last edition of 15 Minutes, I also spent a very relaxing few days doing absolutely nothing in Key West. While it’s not often that I have that opportunity, I had planned this for months and really enjoyed my time in the cell-less, internet-missing, Blackberry-void of a location. Yeah sure, I could have always powered them on, but I stuck to my guns and simply sat on the couch and watched old episodes of Absolutely Fabulous (back when it was still good). Rumor has it that BBC 4 is bringing the two of them back (Joanna Lumley/Jennifer Saunders) for some sort of comedy show (not AbFab though). Interesting.
Spending a whole week in Chicago can seem somewhat daunting, not because it’s a city without much to do, but there’s always this fear that you’ll end up going in circles and see the same old shit over and over again. Luckily, the weather was perfect for walking around town, the weekday visit made for smaller crowds and Oprah was out of town (Chicagoans seem much more at-ease when she’s out of the city).
'I don't know why Steadman gets intimidated everytime i do this...'
I went back to see ‘Spelling Bee’ at the new Drury Lane Watertower Theatre, located literally across the way from the Westin on Michigan Ave. A small venue (only holding maybe 400 or so), but a perfect size for this show. The performances were, again, spot-on, keeping this as one of my favorite shows out there. While most of Broadway is going towards revivals (plays and musicals), it’s nice to see a show like this succeed not only in New York, but in LA and Chicago too. One song in-particular is always heartbreaking to listen to (the ‘I Love You’ song), as it deals with really serious neglect issues while incorporating outstanding 3-part harmony. In a world of flashy musicals and overdrawn music, ‘Spelling Bee’ is a nice change from the norm.
Going to Chicago and not stopping by Carm’s Italian Beef Stand (on Illinois St) is sacrilege. I don’t give a rat’s ass if you’re dieting: You’re in Chicago... The city where hand-held food is a way of life. Make sure you ask for it dipped and go with the hot peppers too. No use in being bad if you’re not going to go all the way. Furthermore, if you want the Chicago-style hotdog experience, DO NOT ask for ketchup on it. You’ll immediately be labeled a tourist and Mayor Daley will publically flog you in that God-forsaken spaceship they still call ‘Soldier Field.’
Silver Spoon Thai restaurant on Rush is a great secret spot for a quiet meal, but still close to the hustle & bustle of Michigan Ave (a few blocks over). They have some of the best Tom Kha Gai soup I’ve ever had...
The new Nokia Flagship store on Michigan Avenue is a virtual porn set for those technofiles out there who are never happy with their current ‘device.’ I was shocked at what’s out there, what’s on the horizon of cell technology and how much some people will pay for ‘cell phone exclusivity.’ Ever hear of the VERTU? Yeah, well, it starts off at $5k. Ouch.
It's decision time: You can either get that lipo you wanted or this phone...
This trip put me at the Conrad, which used to be a Le Meridian until they renovated it and reopened about 4 months ago. Don’t let the small lobby fool you, as the rooms are spacious, the bath products keen (Molton Brown) and the standard 42-inch HD plasma screens (with attached Bose surround sound systems) a treat. The price is also nice. If you’re headed to Chitown in the near future, I can’t recommend this place enough. A great staff (and concierges who really know the city) make this property an excellent choice.
Alright... So some of you are possibly wondering about me visiting Chicago and if there’s a Steamworks story in here somewhere. Playing coy has never been my strong suit, so yup, there’s a story. A quite nice story at that...
I got out to Steamworks in Boystown and was psyched to see that my favorite room was available (#227, the Leather Room), so I snagged it up and went upstairs to put my stuff down and change into some workout gear. ‘Workout gear’ for me at Steamworks is basically just a pair of cross-trainers and tight running shorts. They’ve added a privacy curtain to the entryway of the gym to keep gawkers at bay, but I think it sort of ruins the fun of working out there. It was always hot to work up a sweat, get your muscles shredded and enjoy the fact that you had a little audience to your left while you pumped out that last set.
In any event, I had about an hour or so in the gym and then went back to my room to change into my regulatory bathhouse uniform. While most guys just wrap the towel around themselves and venture out, I prefer a little more originality and wore a low-slung Ginch Gonch jockstrap (in a red bandanna print). It’s an attention getter, but it’s fun.
I’ve noticed the return of the ‘hanky code’ to mainstream gay culture lately, with various shops in Boystown selling a whole slew of colors (most of which I know nothing about, except that a yellow hanky and yellow snow share much in common). Steamworks now has clips on the door of the private rooms so you can hang the appropriate color in relation to what you’re looking to do that night. Interesting concept.
While my favorite color might be blue, I was afraid to even ask what that might mean in hanky code. Inquiring minds would like to know, so if sprechen that lingity, then please email and drop me some info.
Back to the good stuff: The club was brimming that night with a pretty diverse crowd, with everything from octogenarians feeling the effects of their Levitra to pretty-boy 18 year olds who looked barely old enough to shave, much less get fucked at a bathhouse. Luckily, it didn’t take long to scope out what I considered an incredibly good-looking guy (5'9", muscular, well-groomed and very all-american) who flashed me a glance of his goods a couple of times in the hallway (it was massive). I didn’t want to make this some sick, sexually perverted Ed Sullivan rerun, so we took it back to my room.
We get back and here’s the kicker: I know this guy. Yep, he looked familiar to begin with and over the course of about 4 questions, we both realized we were in the same business. Here’s who I’m talking about...
Eric of NYC
Not only is Eric incredibly hot, hung like a pack-mule and charming, but after talking awhile with him I also found he’s an intellect and someone you could easily take home to meet mom. We had great sex, but more importantly (for me), we had a good conversation. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this guy as both an escort and overall cool person any day of the week. If you’re headed to the Apple or looking for someone to travel with, Eric definitely gets my ‘thumbs up.’
Brandon Baker, resident PR guru with RentBoy.com, as well as the Miss Congeniality of the gay porn industry contacted me not too long ago to let me know that I’ve been nominated for Rentboy’s International Escort Awards.
How flippin’ neat is that? I’m still smiling!
It looks like I’m in two categories (Best Escort Website & Best Overall Escort). While I’m obviously psyched about the nomination, I’m also happy to be in such good company with the likes of Jason Carter, Tristan Waters, Tommy Deluca, Josh Westin, Talvin DeMachio and others. All very professional guys who have set the standard for how an escort should handle himself with not only his clientele, but on an overall basis. Congrats to you all and I look forward to seeing everyone at the Gay Erotic Expo in October for the awards.
If you’re hankering to take a gander at the line-up of gutsy guys in the running, here’s the link to Rentboy’s voting website. As always, a vote for me is most appreciated (I’m the guy better known as Benjamin Nicholas), so get out there and do it before I start making campaign promises that I can’t keep. The whole ‘free blowjobs’ shtick just doesn’t cut it anymore...
15 Minutes Online is getting more plugs lately than John Travolta’s hairline! Look for mentions of the blog in this month’s issue of Cybersocket and XY Magazine, as well as next month’s edition of OUT. I’m a mighty proud parent right now. *grin*
After Chicago came a quick trip to NYC, with just enough time to try out the hot restaurant Buddakan in the meat packing district. I had tried it when it opened and didn’t really feel the vibe of a very tapas-like menu. There simply wasn’t enough food on the plate and I left the table hungry, suddenly feeling like some Richard Simmons, Deal-a-Meal flunky. Luckily, I ordered most of the left-side of the menu this time and it was excellent.
Oh come now Richard, you can open wider than that...
Buddakan still seems to be a very ‘in’ spot to be seen and the decor is still as dramatic and striking as I remembered. Everything is lit very theatrically. I recommend asking to be sat downstairs where it’s a bit more quiet and the atmosphere is quite original. Reservations (especially on weekends) are a must and the dress code seems to be somewhere in-between the stylings of Ralph Lauren and Diesel. I didn’t feel out of place in a v-neck and a pair of Diesel jeans. Casual for sure.
From the Big Apple to a big spectacle, I then spent about 15 hours in Las Vegas battling (unsuccessfully) the dry climate and the fact that it turns me into something closely resembling a puckered butthole. I was only seconds away from pulling a Liz Taylor-moment and asking where I could buy a vat of whole milk at 3am for a quick bath.
It was as luxe as it could get with an airport pickup in the MGM Skyloft’s Maybach (seen above), a $500,000 sedan that’s got more bells, whistles and gadgets than Jenna Jameson’s bedroom. The ride from the airport is only about 10 minutes at most, so I didn’t even have time to leave a butt-imprint in the seat before they rustled me out and into the loft. I’ve talked about this property before in previous blogs, but let me reiterate that this is one of the best deals in Vegas if you’re wanting privacy, exclusivity, personal attention and everything in the city at your fingertips. Albeit, it’s a bit more expensive than a suite at the Wynn, but it’s well-worth the splurge as you’re getting so much more in terms of perks. It’s a great way to ‘live large’ if only for a few days while taking in the fantasy that is Las Vegas.
It turns out that this trip would incur a sexual five-way in the bedroom. You heard me correctly kids: We’ve surpassed fourgy territory and have gone directly into a full-blown (ahem) Bel Ami-style orgy with various appendages flying about and a full-time choreographer hired to make sure things stay smooth. Luckily, the choreographer also had some stage lighting experience in college, so we all looked pretty damn good on the bed too. I was elated that I always found my light.
Some of the guys included a stripper from LA (who was stacked and a cute guy) and an up-and-comer from West Hollywood, Justin Masters.
We all had a great time together and I got to know Justin a bit better. He turned out to be a really bright guy who’s got a lot going for him (and from experience, a really healthy sexual appetite). Masters is yet another escort I recommend as one to keep an eye on. With a combination of a very boyish good look, childlike curiosity, razor-sharp wit and sexual maturity, I imagine he’d make an excellent choice for a long-term meeting.
The five of us tromped over to NYNY to catch the late-showing of Zumanity. The show is holding up well, with some of the script changed and new performers rotating into the cast recently. My friend Vanessa is still with the company, pouring milk over herself nightly in the finale and serving as the initial tease in the clear-glass booth in the lobby. After chatting with her for awhile before the show, she decided to talk dirty to Justin (who then let her know in no uncertain terms that he had already ‘popped’ twice that evening)... Y’know, I really don’t think that Hallmark makes a sentiment for that sort of situation. It was pretty funny.
Won some money playing blackjack at Flamingo. Left while the table was still warm. Watched my partners-in-crime sit and, knowing nothing about the game, do pretty damn well against a table of what appeared to be serious gamblers. Saw a poster advertising that Jennifer Holliday is now opening for George Wallace (a comedian). How sad. At least give this Tony Award-winner a sporting chance by letting her open for Toni ‘Un-break my Bank Account’ Braxton, who’s recently taken over Gladys Knight’s old spot as headliner. Oy.
Speaking of Gladys... Very few know why she decided to headline at The Flamingo for so many years (ending her run eventually in 2005), but I certainly do. Let me share:
Seems that Knight had a slight (ahem) gambling problem that left her in the financial lurch and indebted to the hotel. Not able to pay the debt, she worked out a deal that let her perform in the showroom until her blackjack bill was paid-off. My sources tell me that she’s been in the free & clear for quite some time and has successfully controlled her habit. That’s a great thing, but ultimately Las Vegas’s loss, as the soul-singer has mentioned that she would never be playing that city again.
For the record, she put on one HELL of a show. Her talent is still jaw-dropping.
Hey kids... Want to be an Abercrombie & Fitch model? A&F is finally allowing mere mortals the chance to photograph with the likes of Bruce Weber in their upcoming spring campaign and they are looking for YOU! (That is, if you look white, a bit starved and soulfully vacant). Want more info? I bet you do.
What recently ‘out’ celebrity was spotted frolicking through the hallways of the Hollywood Spa while his significant other waiting back in the room? Far be it from me to criticize free love (and I hear that they gave QUITE a bit of it away that evening)...
Loose lips let it recently spill that these two A-list brothers use their Hollywood resources to pull the hottest male ‘talent’ to their secret bungalow in Beverly Hills. It looks as if the two not only have a thing for hired help, but also for eachother, as it was let slip that they occasionally wander around eachother in less than a brotherly sense.
Season One (and only) of Lisa Kudrow’s The Comeback is now on DVD: Let fans of this ultra-satyric and somewhat sad series rejoice! It’s a complete joy watching Kudrow melt into this character. It’s also a crime that HBO didn’t give this series a fighting shot for a second season, as it did have a decent fanbase and an Emmy nod for Kudrow only solidifies the notion that there’s good stuff to be had with this lampoon on an LA story.
And speaking of DVD’s... Season Three of Nip/Tuck is on its way to shelves next week, where you can find out for yourself who ‘The Carver’ was and enjoy all the wholesome goodness that is the Nip/Tuck cast. An extra-special shout to Willam Belli, who stars on Season Three as Cherry, who we get to see in various states of torture from episode-to-episode. It takes a strong man (or woman... or man dressed as a woman) to sit in that makeup chair for so long while they bloody you up, so 15 Minutes raises our glass to Belli. As always, Willis... You thrill us ;)
This week’s EYE CANDY is a salacious bunch, but thanks to blogger.com giving me some technical issues (bastards), it looks like this week's group will be featured on my free-to-join InfoGroup. The group also features archived eye candy from weeks past, as well as all of the uncensored, too-hot-for-15 pics. Just click to sign up for an account (it's fast, easy and yes, FREE). I do expect to have next week's edition of 15 Minutes back to normal, with the EC present and accounted for.
Look for a more narrative edition of the 15 next week, but with so much happening these past couple of weeks, this was more of a ‘catch-up’ blog than anything. I still have lots to share from my Key West vacation, as well as an up-close-and-personal experience with America’s Next Top Model winner Eva Pigford. Later today I’m headed for NYC to see what all the hub-bub is about over Martin Short’s new Broadway show and should have some interesting things to share as well.
Thanks so much for staying tuned... Until next week.
Who's drinking new Penta bottled water like it's going out-of-style