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MY LIFE IN THE FLESHPOTS OF SAN FRANCISCO

12 March 2002

I realized when I was putting together yesterday's entry, that I somehow had not read Al's  "Lives on Line" for this month. As I said yesterday, I usually check out all of his links and sometimes find new journals that interest me. At the very least, I often come across a few gems of entries, even if the journal itself holds little interest for me. So today, I got caught up on his recommendations for this month.

I'd never heard of  Gargy before, but Al linked to her entry about visiting Sexpo (a Sex, Sexuality & Lifestyles Exhibition). The piece (which is very...uh...interesting) talks about this exhibition taking place in Brisbane. I don't know if that is Brisbane, California (south of San Francisco) or not. I wouldn't be surprised. San Francisco is awash in sexuality and I'm sure you can find anything you want within the confines, or outskirts, of the city.

This is nothing I have great experience with, but there was a time, years ago, when we paid a couple of visits to some of the sex shows on Broadway Street.

The first time was when Jeri's godfather (then unmarried) came from his home in Maryland to visit. I'm not sure if he had ever been to a topless show before, since topless shows were fairly new in San Francisco about that time, but he was quite adamant that he wanted to see for himself. And so we went. This pretty straight-laced suburban couple with a new baby sleeping quietly at home with the babysitter, and a guy who was eager to have some boobs shaken in his face. It was my first experience with "pasties" up close and personal--and I do mean up close and personal.

Some time later, we had other visitors from Maryland. The husband, too, was eager to visit the clubs of Broadway (I guess that in the 60s there weren't any nudie clubs in College Park!) By this time, the pasties were gone, as were the g-strings and the clubs now advertised "all nude!" dancers, and so, to be hospitable, we agreed to take him.

The first thing that was strange about this experience was that it took place in 1967 and his wife and I were both pregnant. Two pregnant ladies out on the town looking for nude female dancers.

We went first to The Condor, then the most famous (or infamous) of the clubs. Carol Doda, the queen of San Francisco's topless [do check that link--it's wonderful], whose silicone-enhanced breasts were insured by Lloyds of London for $1.5 million, was still dancing at that time). The Condor had a huge sign hanging over the corner of Broadway and Columbus, a nude neon woman with red neon nipples. Years later, the kids would refer to this as the "blinking boobs."

The Condor seemed to be "the" place to go for lascivious husbands and their pregnant wives, but the cover charge for the uncovered show was astronomical and we wondered if it was really worth that much money. We walked up and down the strip, past one big club after another, each with its barker out in front telling us of the sensual delights that were to be found inside.

Each club had the same hefty cover charge and while we were curious, we were also cheap. We didn't want expensive thrills, we wanted cheap thrills.

Finally we found it. We were collared by the barker for a small club, in the shadow of one of the bigger, more popular clubs, and just off the beaten path enough that there were no large crowds of people passing by.

The barker promised us a spectacular show for an affordable price. The price was right, and we decided this was the place.

We went behind the velour curtain and found ourselves in a very narrow, very small club which was totally deserted. There was a bar to our right, a stage in front of us, and several rows of wooden chairs (not even any tables) facing the stage. The stage was empty. We'd paid our cover charge so we decided we might as well sit down and see what was going to happen.

We sat in the uncomfortable wooden chairs and looked to the stage, which was ringed on all three sides by a wall of mirrors. There we looked at our own reflection, two men and their pregnant wives and a bank of empty chairs behind us.

Soon, we heard the scratchy sound of a needle being put on a record and our performer stepped out on to the stage. And yes, she was totally naked. Looking very bored and not in the least sensual. As the music started, she began to twist and turn and gyrate and I had to giggle. The music to which she was dancing was Jeannie C. Riley's  "Harper Valley PTA," for god's sake. How provocative is that??

It was the longest song and dance I ever remember. From where we sat in the front row, about 1 foot from the stage, we had two options. Either look up at some stuff we probably had never quite examined from that angle before, or look straight ahead at our own very embarrassed reflections in the mirror. I think even the guys were embarrassed. We all agreed later that we all wanted to leave, but how do you walk out on a performer when you are the entire audience? The dancer did her best, but couldn't hide the total boredom on her face. (At least she didn't yawn, as she rubbed up and down against the mirror on the side of the stage.)

Thankfully, the dance finally ended, the dancer walked off the stage, and we beat a hasty retreat.

We definitely got what we paid for--cheap thrills!

I wouldn't put you on because, it really did happen just this way.
The day we saw a lady dance to the Harper Valley PTA.

 

Quote of the Day

The difference between pornography and erotica is lighting.

- Gloria Leonard

One Year Ago

Rose Colored Glasses


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