Over the last few months I have had the opportunity to but dip my toe into the veritable sea that is the Portland Strip Club Scene, and I have enjoyed it thus far. It all began when a friend visited from Puritan New England and he and my flatmates discovered that I had inadvertently moved us into close proximity of the local Gay Ghetto, a section of downtown Portland with gay clubs of varying flavors, and had chosen one in particular as the place to go, Silverado ($$, ***-1/2), a gay club with men stripping. It is not a strip club per se… You don’t belly up to the rail in a chair, doling out the ones, with the men’s private parts in your face, but instead hang with your friends at a remove, walking over to the stage or cage to tip a dancer. I won’t bother to go into detail on the decor, as they have apparently doing a bit of remodeling and my memory has faded, but I liked it, dark yet bright, filled with men, some of them naked. I might like it more if it were a bit more strip clubish, with stage-seating and music actually geared toward the dancers but I think the go-go dancers are intended as an addition to the scenery and thus an experience within the evening, not the focus of the occasion.
I discovered a few things here:
1. you can see more of the men than you can in many parts of the country – friends visiting from the heartland remarked on this during their visit, in fact,
2. the brtenders mix an excellent Cape Cod (or Cape Codder as it is known in Massachusetts,
3. I did not actually like to watch male dancers as much as I thought I might, and here at least here I think that might be okay.
I love men and their form, especially when they take the time to sculpt it just-so, but they are not dancing for women here, they are dancing for men, and I imagine as such they approach it differently, consciously or no. Many I saw didn’t dance so much as pose majestically, perhaps throwing in a shimmy here, a body pump there, but again it is aimed at the male customer, so movements reflect simulated male on male action, and while I am not above taking a temporarily-affixed phallus to a man, nor in watching some excellent man-on-man, the simulation of this movement just did not do it for me that night. I was impressed when one bloke placed his leg behind his neck quite comfortably while maintaining the suggestive motion of his dance and was sure to tip him on my way out. I didn’t stay too long as I had had quite a bit to drink at Hamburger Mary’s, as may possibly be detailed in a future blog post or a past Facebook post my friends may remember.
A couple things worth noting: I am told by my friends that the lounge food here is superb and that women are horrible tippers. Shame on you ladies! At least men are generous with the money when admiring women; we owe the same courtesy. As with all strippers, the money is in the lap dance, and here they set their own rates, one dancer I am aware of has a scale based on the guaranteed awesomeness of the dance to be provided (awesome literally, as in inspiring awe in those who observe). The music seemed easier to dance to and harder to strip to in many cases, but overall I liked the lighting and ambiance and the site of the dancers, like statues of gods, moving in their artful ways.
I hope to make it back soon to see the changes made and see if my personal assessment was simply the mood of the day.