two days later and I'm still trying to get my head around my reaction
to going to London's notorious gay sex club, Fist
I went for many reasons: it was the closing party, I'd heard about
it and this would be my last chance to see the place, a friend was
playing there, some people I knew were going... all good reasons
I suppose. I'm glad I went as it was an experience, though not one
I'd choose to repeat. Where to start? At the beginning I suppose...
I went down with Chris G.
and we found the place on Clerkenwell New Road, under railway arches.
Yes, yet another club in railway arches. Railtrack (or whatever
it's called now), must be making a fortune renting out property
Whoever thought up the name of this dump had a vivid imagination;
with it's corrugated roof dripping drops of cold condensed sweat
there's nothing Imperial about it and it's about as far from a garden
as you can get. Even the sound system was dire - but I get ahead
The entry was via a long narrow alleyway where we queued in the
drizzle, feeling like an enema hose being inserted into an unwilling
anus. Entry was ten quid, a quid for the cloakroom and three quid
for a Red Bull, so pretty standard for London on a Saturday night.
We were all told as we came in that there was to be no sex
, as the club had had trouble with the authorities
- a complaint had been registered by a health worker to the effect
that people were (shock! horror!) having sex at the club, and the
police were clamping down. This in fact was the ostensible reason
for the club's closure, (I've heard another but let's stick with
the official patter for now anyway as it's more relevant to my impressions
of the place).
Things progressed pretty standardly, for a while - I saw my friends,
we explored the venue which didn't take long, Chris went off to
the smaller dance room where they were playing funky/tribal stuff
and I stayed in the main room. The place filled up to being packed
fairly quickly and first shirts, then everything, came off as the
temperature started to rise.
I wasn't the only person there with his shirt on throughout the
night, but there weren't many of us, and there were plenty wearing
nothing but trainers and a hard-on - well, not the naked, flabby
tattooed woman of course, who didn't have a hard-on, well I don't
suppose she did anyway; I tried not to look.
As Chris said to me later, some people have never heard that
less is more. OK if you've got it, flaunt it,
but if it's sagging, wrinkled and spotty, I don't want to see
it thanks very much. Don't get me wrong there were some nice-looking
people there, both male and female, though the vast majority of
people in the club were men, and they were mostly in their thirties/forties.
There were some interesting costumes, one guy in a full body rubber
gimp outfit, others doing some interesting things with rubber
and leather, but this was no fashion show. Guys were there for
shagging, and they were determined to have it - for those into
fisting one might even say 'ave it large!
There was some chat from some people about there being a strange
atmosphere 'cos there was supposed to be no sex: usually, I was
told, there's a marquee put up where people do their sex thing
and it wasn't there and it seemed like the third room was closed
too. Well, the marquee didn't appear but the third room was
open, showing full-on videos, while guys sucked, wanked and fucked
on the balcony. The fisting I saw didn't take place there but
was done in the main dance room behind some banners hanging along
one of the walls - all very discreet, no honestly, you could hardly
see it if you were on the dance floor.
I'm making no value-judgement about this, it's just that it's
not my scene; I've never been that hot on casual sex, and this
seemed about as casual as it gets. The weirdness for me, in my
expereince of this club was my sense of alienation from the environment
I was in; not something that happens to me often, perhaps because,
like other people, I go to places where I don't expect to feel
alienated. With no interest in shagging, Matt, a cute guy I had
chatted to having a boyfriend, (who was off at a free-party rave
somewhere), and there being almost nowhere to sit down, I began
to get ... well.... erm... bored! Not surprising really - as my
old granny used to say: don't go to a sex club if you
don't want to have (or watch) sex.
So, the bottom line, (oh god this review is riddled with puns
and innuendo, can't help it, sorry), is that if you like hanging
out with near-naked middle-aged men and want a shag this is a
great place to go, but though people were dancing to some good
music (played through a muffled sound system) that ain't the reason
most were there.
Afterwards we went to Twist,
a new after-hours club at The Viaduct in Vauxhall which hopes
to replace Trade and