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    Rip Skor
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Boy Story: Go North Young Man - 1. It’s Called (Not) Club David

It’s Called (Not) Club David

Did you ever have one of those events in your life that you never thought possible? When for no apparent reason, all of the rules of the universe suddenly tip in your favor. Something significant happened to me during a road trip in the 1990s that defies logic, but let me back up first. At the outset I will state that I was a good-looking guy in my late 20s, so that certainly played to my advantage. While I might not have been everybody’s cup of tea, being tall, dark, and somewhat handsome kind of fits. I guess I was the “type” that more than a few people find attractive. I had dated numerous girls all through my teenage years, but by the time I graduated college, I realized that I was more comfortable being intimate with guys.

Many straight guys have a fantasy that kind of goes like this: One day I’m going to walk into a strip club full of hot women, one of the hottest dancers will see me, immediately fall head over heels for me, I will offer to free her from having to be a stripper, she will be indebted to me for life, and we will live happily ever after.

Something like that, right? I mean, what straight young man wouldn’t want to be a knight in shining armor to a beautiful young woman?

Of course, that never really happens anywhere, except in a movie like Pretty Woman or something. But it is still a fantasy for many straight guys because the women in the better strip clubs are gorgeous, and what straight guy is immune to a gorgeous woman? Most of those women are really good at two things: feeding into that fantasy and lightening a guy’s wallet legally before the end of the night. OK, maybe that’s a little more diabolical sounding than reality, but the way that strippers make most of their income is the flow of cash from the client’s wallet to their G-string.

But what about those clubs where young men strip for a largely gay male clientele? Do the same rules apply? I figured that it was interchangeable. You have dancers stripping on stage to music and you can hit them up for a “more private dance” in the back room for a fee. Or course, you are not permitted to touch them, but they are permitted to tease you…thus the term “strip tease.” Then, if you want the tease to continue, you pay for it.

In my post-college 20s, I met a guy around the same age who became my best friend and then came out to me when he felt I’d be cool about it. After wrestling with it for a while, I eventually came out to him as well—only him—to start. Through him I met his other gay acquaintances and we developed a small group of “friends with similar interests.” These guys were not your stereotypical effeminate gay types…for the most part. One guy was questionable, but he was good looking, so he stayed a member of our intrepid band by default. Being the youngest two in our group, he and I battled for eye candy supremacy. I guess it was inevitable that we would eventually hook up a couple of times. He wasn’t very good in bed, but he did like to suck cock and, well, any port in a storm.

One day our core group was at a backyard barbeque, and the subject of travel came up. Within a few minutes, we had the whole bunch of us wanting to do a group trip. But to where? Europe at the time was expensive and who wants to fly for 6 hours and worry about exchanging money and potential language barriers? Then one of the guys mentioned that he heard the U.S. dollar was worth 30% more in Canada. Hey, let’s go to Canada. This wasn’t a bad idea because we could simply drive north for under five hours to Montreal.

Once we traveled to check it out, we found the more, let’s say, permissive attitude in Quebec Province (French-speaking Canada) appealed to us. Plus, going to Montreal was like going to France without the flight, and our money was worth more. How could we go wrong? Between the restaurants, dance clubs, rock clubs, outdoor events, strip bars, and bath houses, there was at least a little something to please every gay man. We were quickly hooked and Montreal became a twice-a-year pilgrimage, but it had to be scheduled between May and October. The colder months in Montreal can be brutal.

The story I’m about to relay to you took place before the internet became omnipresent. In those days, the only place a gay guy could get his fill of porn was video tapes, magazines, movie houses/peep shows, or all male strip bars. First, let me say, there’s a huge difference between a male stripper bar for gay men and a male stripper bar for women. The whole Chippendale experience is not what you get in most gay stripper bars because it is not what most gay men are looking for. At the time we began visiting Montreal, there were about a half-dozen gay nude dancer bars, most of them close in proximity to the “gay village.” These clubs all used the same formula by featuring nude male dancers, serving drinks, and offering private dances for a fee. The types of dancers featured would fall into one of three subcategories: guys with muscles, average guy next door types, and "go-go boys" or twinks (younger 18- to 25-year-old guys). Our group unanimously was in favor of twinks.

The entertainment at any twink club featured similar characteristics. The dancers would do three sets: first with clothes on, second in underwear or somewhat revealing clothing, and finally you get the full monty. Now most of the customers would probably prefer three fully nude sets, but there’s an obvious business reason why this doesn’t happen. As long as clubs keep customers waiting for the nude sets, they have the opportunity to sell them more drinks.

I need to pause here to insert a disclaimer. The events described in this story didn’t actually take place at Club David. By 1995, the entire block in which Club David was located was sold and rehabbed before this story actually took place. However, to protect the identity of an establishment that may or may not still be in business and the people involved in the story, I’m going to use Club David as the name of the gay male dancer club. From this point forward, Club David will be used in place of Club X.

Still with me? Then here we go...

Club David was one of the first strip bars we visited and quickly became our “go to” favorite. Think of Michelangelo’s David statue as their logo and you get the picture. In our opinion, Club David had the best “talent” of all. The club was medium sized (a capacity of probably between 150 and 200 patrons), but almost always had a good crowd, so its popularity was not a secret among the gay clientele who appreciated youngish dancers. Management was smartly discriminating about the type of boys they hired as dancers. On a scale of one to ten, with ten being the highest, nearly every stripper they hired would rate between a seven to a nine, which is pretty darn good. This was the key to its popularity. Plus, Quebec (the province in which Montreal is located) was in an economically stagnant period (mid to late 1990s). A good-looking, skinny, 18-year-old French Canadian boy, could fight for a job in retail and walk home with $50 per day or, if your morals allowed, you could earn $200 on a good night from strip club work. Which choice is going to pay your rent or fund your college education quicker?

My guess is that most of the boys who danced in the gay strip clubs were either gay or bisexual, but there had to be a few who were gay for pay. Maybe 80/20 gay vs. straight, it’s hard to say. In Montreal, there was only one Chippendale-style club when it came to male dancers for women. Since there were a greater number of gay strip clubs, nude dancers had more opportunity on the gay circuit if they had the goods. If you didn’t mind dancing nude to a roomful of gay men and doing private dances for customers who were willing to pay for it, you could probably do well for yourself during a weak economy…of course, the internet would eventually change that a few years later. But again, these events took place during the golden years of the "gay nude male dancers" in the 1990s.



©Copyright 2017 Rip Skor; All Rights Reserved
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It's mostly nonfiction. That's why it seems so real. It's easier for me to write about events that really happened. 

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