No More Swinging Dicks

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SNAPSHOTS: When I was in Fort Lauderdale on a year-end vacation in 2014, a friend and I decided to stop by Swinging Richards, the Pompano Beach spinoff of an Atlanta institution. The Swinging Richards we visited was a large, fairly upscale-looking nightclub situated in a desolate warehouse district to avoid prying eyes. Inside, the club offered a nightly-changing array of handsome, buff male dancers who stripped completely naked, while pole dancing for a largely gay male clientele. And, even though it was the night before New Year’s Eve, the club was packed.

Patrons could pay extra for a private lap dance with the dancer of their choice in an area at the far end of the club. I didn’t partake of this activity, but I surreptitiously flouted the club’s rules against taking photos of the dancers and snapped a couple of pics of them in action.

The Fort Lauderdale club closed in 2015, and recently, I ran across a headline in Queerty, the gay news blog, informing me that “Unpaid dancers sue Atlanta’s stripper bar Swinging Richards into bankruptcy.” Management had apparently been underpaying its strippers for years and recently lost a court case on the merits. It seems those fabled dicks are fated to stop swinging soon.

You can read more about it here https://www.queerty.com/unpaid-dancers-sue-atlantas-nude-stripper-bar-swinging-richards-bankruptcy-20190510

A Brief Encounter (Istanbul 2015)

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A good friend once told me, “Never trust a married man. Just by being involved with you, lying is part of who he is.”
 
Sexual relations between men has been legal in Turkey since long before it became a nation and was a somewhat a common but unspoken thing in the old Ottoman Empire. Today, Turkey is still very much a traditional culture and most Turkish men are pressured to marry and have children—regardless of their sexuality. I, myself, am pretty much out, single, and live a somewhat open gay lifestyle. The result is that, for me, dating can be fraught with risk, as there are a lot of “straight” married men just looking to mess around.

On Trial

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It was like being naked and shot at by a firing squad. The year is 2010 and I am in court, battling for the custody of my three-and-a-half-year-old daughter. I’m standing there next to my attorney, Susan Daley. I am dressed in all white. Simple yet elegant. I want the judge to see me. My face. My eyes. My soul.

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LGBTQ Writing Workshop in Italy (Aug. 24-31)

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Puglia

We’re excited to announce that we’ll be hosting a memoir-writing workshop in Puglia, Italy, on August 24-31. The event will take place at a 500-year-old villa near the town of Terlizzi on the Appian Way in the “heel of Italy,” which was purchased by an American couple we know and turned into a boutique hotel.

Bar Wars – Quarter Stories 16

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Jason, the back bartender (on his knees) having a little fun with Noah (right).

Fourth of July on Bourbon Street, hot muggy and so crowded you couldn’t move on the street or in the bar. I squeezed my way into Lafitte’s past the doorman checking ID’s and stood a minute by Steve Wiley, our manager who was surveying the door and the crowd. “It’s nuts, been like this all day.” I could tell. The floor of the bar was a mess and the music was pumpin’. Steve was a guy who weighed 350 lbs. He was huge and it wasn’t all muscle. He was sitting on a stool sweating. He used to tell me about trying to exercise, he had a pair of gravity boots. He’d hang upside down. I always wanted to take a picture of me next to him holding a fishing pole like I’d caught the big one.

Ben, Minnie, and Ben’s Guardian Angel

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Thousand Islands Bridge

Gananoque, Ontario (2015)—It was my last day in Canada before returning to the United States. Driving south on the Queen Elizabeth Way, past the flat farmlands along the Saint Lawrence Seaway, I was approaching Gananoque, a small and vibrant tourist community just south of the Thousand Islands Bridge, which leads to the States. I was anxious to get to my destination, the Colonial Inn on King Street, check in, have some dinner and relax for the evening.

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Tel Aviv Meet-up

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If you or anyone you know will be in Tel Aviv this coming Monday, please come to the “meet-up” BAMMER.co hosted by co-founder Mike Balaban at that city’s only remaining gay bar, Sphagat (it’s such a gay friendly city that LGBTQers now feel welcome in almost every bar).

We’d love to have you / them join us and learn about our effort to create global LGBTQ community while documenting our stories and images.

My Savior Max

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Istanbul/Berlin, 2008-2019 – I don’t have a fond memory of the first time I had sex with another man. One night in 2008, hornier than ever, I took a chance and propositioned a taxi driver who I regularly called to take me home from work, after I’d noticed him checking out my butt and crotch for the umpteenth time. He was willing, but drove us more than 200 kilometers outside of Istanbul, so that no one either of us knew might witness our liaison. I expected a romantic interlude, but he just wanted to get off. What a letdown

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Gay Life in Brooklyn in the 1800s – New Exhibition Opening

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Nineteenth-century male impersonator Ella Wesner was one of the Brooklyn’s most popular vaudeville performers.

When someone says gay community in NYC we think of Greenwich Village in the 70s and Chelsea in the 90s, but Brooklyn in the 1800s? “On the (Queer) Waterfront: the Factories, Freaks, Sailors, and Sex Workers of Brooklyn,” explores the Victorian queer culture of Brooklyn through relics that include a never-before exhibited scrapbook of a lesbian living in 19th-century Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Historical Society (128 Pierrepont St. between Clinton and Henry streets in Brooklyn Heights, www.brooklynhistory.org). Opening reception March 5; 6:30–8:30 pm. Free. Exhibit open through July 7, Wed–Sun; noon–5 pm. $10 suggested donation ($6 seniors, students free).

Nigeria Gay Life

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Welcome to my world! I’m Nigerian, 33, Christian born and bred in the city of Lagos, where life is comfortable, at least for the rich or average straight person. My parents were not rich, but we five kids were given the best in life, in terms of education, food, and shelter.I didn’t lack for anything…except LOVE.