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The Big D

B and I have been trying to see each other about once a month. At first the ratio of time away to time together was way off, but I’ve slowly acclimated to the fact that (A) this is as much time as I can spend away and (B) this is about as much as I can afford to spend on travel.  A few weeks back B and I met up in Dallas for an extended weekend. I was able to get a deal on a downtown hotel and decided to drive down to save money, and B made his way after work on Thursday.

I often say the only things you can do in Dallas are eat and shop, and I stand by that. There are places to visit (The Sixth Floor museum, the Aquarium, the Farmer’s Market) but in general it’s a consumer paradise, which may be why it has such a large gay population – we love that shopping! After what happened on New Years, B and I had made an agreement that while we are on vacation we would alternate days where we only do what the other person wants. Friday was B’s day to drive, which he used to do everything I would want to do – shopping, eating, and hanging out at the pool. Honestly, it was pretty glorious; I even found a pair of shorts that make my butt look good. B and I hung out at the terrace pool of the hotel, had dinner at Dakota Steakhouse, and then went out clubbing (more on that later). Saturday, my day to plan, was far more scattershot. We went antique shopping at Knox-Henderson – B needs antiques for his office, but the ones there are too pricey – had lunch with a friend, went to North Park mall in search of clothes and legos, and then had dinner with another friend of mine (with a little pool time in between). Sunday morning B left at 4 AM to make it back in time to play his service, and I left an hour later for home

B knows that when I’m in Dallas I like going to gay clubs, and I know that he really doesn’t enjoy them. I enjoy having a drink, feeling the pulsing music and flashing lights, and blending in with a bunch of guys shaking it on the dance floor. Despite being both gay and hispanic I have zero dance skill, but I’m okay with that because you don’t see that on the dance floor; you just feel the energy. B is quite a bit more self conscious, and I think he feels watched when he walks out there. It might be true – he is very easy on the eyes and the first time he walked into a club he was hit on within five minutes – but it makes him feel uncomfortable.

Either way, a night on the Dallas strip often starts for us at Skivvies, which specializes in, um, upscale underwear and swimsuits (When you swim with a gay swim team, swimwear is something of a competition, and you always have to keep up with the Johnson’s). After convincing myself I didn’t need another new swimsuit, we were stopped on the way out by a guy handing out maps to all the gay clubs in the city. To me this was a shock – I’d lived in Dallas two and a half years and had never seen any maps. B and I started flipping through, and B found one and said “Let’s go to that one!”

B.J.’s is Dallas’ gay strip club. When you walk in, you are greeted by beefy guys in skimpy wares shaking it for your enjoyment and Washington’s. Neither B or I had never seen anything like it. Whenever I thought of strip clubs, I had terrible images of me trapped for an evening with a bunch of straight friends who are all stuffing dollar bills in the bikini’s of women with augmented breasts. The idea of a gay strip club had never crossed my mind, and honestly, for the first time I could understand the appeal. Mostly naked people shaking it for you? Oh okay – now I get it.

The club had a bar in the middle and to the side it had a platform with two poles and a trapeze swing, and there were two or three guys shaking it at any moment. The guys could be broken into the following categories.

  1. The beefcakes were mostly muscle. They didn’t have much appeal (or talent) outside of spending their spare time in the gym, and they knew they didn’t need more than that. They mostly stood up there and did the white man shuffle.
  2. The twinks were skinny kids whose main appeal was being young and skinny. They probably spent some time at the dance club, and it showed.
  3. The gymnasts weren’t particularly beefy or particularly thin, though they were fairly toned. What set them apart was the crazy acts they could do on the pole or trapeze. You couldn’t help but state while, hanging upside down at a 75 degree angle off the pole, they slid down in a spinning motion.

One of the gymnasts had left his can of Red Bull on the table where B and I were sitting. He was putting on a very good show and I thought he deserved some tip, so I tried to leave a $5 under his Red Bull, perhaps as a way to admit I was having a good time without slipping to the level of a strip club. The gymnast saw what I was doing, walked over, and said “What are you doing? Just put it here!” and grabbed my arm. When the back of my hand brushed against his bare abdomen as I put the $5 in his underwear, I almost exclaimed “My god, you have like zero percent body fat! B, you’ve got to feel this! I’ve never felt this in my life!”

Not everything is fun at the strip club, though. Aattractive naked people dancing in front of you aren’t the perfect photoshopped still image of an A&F ad, but people with flaws and imperfections: Muscle-y guys have veins popping out, twinks are way too skinny, hot guys have some fat on them, etc. The big reality check came when one of the dancers came to talk to B, and gave us the low down.

  • Only a few of the dancers were paid by the establishment, the rest worked for tips.
  • Many of them were straight.
  • In his case he was working to pay child support for the kid he had during his “straight” years.

And on and on. By the time I gave him a pity $5 I felt like I had to confession for having any fun that night.

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