As promised, here's a recap of Kevin's adventures at the Manwash fundraiser for the Stop AIDS Project, held June 22 at the Powerhouse, a SOMA bar in San Francisco.
I showed up at the Powerhouse around 10:00 pm, knowing that although the fundraiser was supposed to officially start at 9:00, it really wouldn't get going until later. Sure enough, shortly after I arrived, Greg the Gay Sportscaster of Energy 92.7 Radio took to the stage to announce the evening's activities.
The fundraiser had two sources of revenue. The first was the nominal cover charge at the door (I think it was $5), which apparently was entirely allocated to the charity. (The bar kept all of the drink revenue, since it wasn't a beer bust, so they did well that evening too. A win-win.) The second source was raffle tickets. They were raffling off a few gift bags with Energy 92.7 shirts and a few other items, but the main prizes were (1) the opportunity to get Pete Ross dirty with body paints; and (2) the opportunity to wash him down later.
The event also featured an underwear fashion show sponsored by In-Jean-Ious (a clothing store in the Castro), and later in the evening was also going to include auctioning birthday spankings for Pete Ross (as it was his birthday at midnight), but I didn't stay for that so I can't report on how that went.
Greg kicked off the event, announcing the logistics of the evening, and then pairs of volunteers worked the crowd to sell tickets. There was a pair of really cute Stop AIDS Project volunteers who were teamed up, and Pete Ross paired up with another volunteer. I was interested in buying tickets from Pete until I saw what happened to his first customer, a cute Latino boy. Usually with these things it's a dollar per ticket or $10 to have your inseam measured. But when Pete went to measure the Latino boy's inseam, he had the guy stand on the stage and then he proceeded to pull down the guy's jeans. Naturally, he wasn't wearing any underwear, so he was stuck bare-assed on stage cupping himself while Pete nuzzled and fondled him. Wow!
I didn't want to embarrass the Latino guy by taking pictures of him undress, but that didn't stop me from taking some of Pete in action later. (Check out the full set.) I was too intimidated to buy from Pete (I didn't want him to get me naked!), so I bought $10 in tickets from one of the other really cute, lanky volunteers who proceeded to unbutton my jeans in order to insert the top of the strip of tickets into my underwear (and he proceeded to grope inside my underpants, which was very, very nice). I probably got 25 tickets from that purchase.
Pete was definitely working the crowd. It took him forever to sell tickets to each person because he gave them a lot of personal attention. Greg was getting his female friends to buy tickets, and Pete worked them over with equal gusto. By this point I noticed a new fellow in the audience wearing a Superman "S" t-shirt (we'll call him the "S Man.") He was following Pete and taking pics (which made me feel more comfortable taking my own), and seemed quite smitten, buying the porn star drink after drink. My immediate thought was "tourist." Don't know why -- it's not like everyone else wasn't acting similarly, I just assumed. My second was: "tourist might have a great story when he goes home about how he got lucky with a porn star," because Pete seemed interested in him, too (though it didn't distract him from being very friendly with the other patrons).
Eventually I bought $10 worth of tickets from Pete, too (for luck, of course), and almost immediately after that it was time for the raffles to begin.
They started by raffling off three gift bags, which seemed to take forever because several of the winning ticket-holders didn't respond. Greg seemed to be a little over the crowd at this point. It was during the usual banter on stage that I learned (when they called out for out-off-towners) that the S Man was from New York. See, I was right!
And then it was time to get Pete dirty.
They did two drawings to get two guys up there to smear Pete with body paints. Yes, I took loads of pictures. While they were painted him up, they started the raffle to find two people to clean him up. After a few false starts (naturally, for this kind of prize the winner has to be present to win), they found someone present with a winning ticket: me. I won with one of the red tickets, which means it was one of the ones I bought from Pete Ross "for luck."
Yup, it was my job to give Pete Ross a sponge bath. A dirty job (in many, many ways), but I was up for the challenge.
They couldn't find a second winner to help, so I had to clean up Pete all by myself. Poor me!
Naturally, I didn't get a chance to take too many pictures, but the paparazzi were out in force -- including the S Man, who offered to take a few pics of me and Pete (one being the one at the top of this post). And then it was time for the underwear fashion show.
During the fashion show, I found myself standing next to the S Man and we struck up a conversation. We both remembered little details of each other (I remembered he was from New York, he remembered I was from SF, etc.). I asked if he had come out here for Pride, and he said he was a professor off for the summer, and had been here for a month. When I asked why, he confessed that he was Pete Ross' boyfriend!
Now it all made sense -- the drinks, the pictures, everything. He wasn't just a stalker. (Um, so what does that make me?) He was super friendly, as was Pete. Perhaps we'll wrangle him into participating in a future fundraiser at the Big Gay Frat House.
I didn't stay much longer. I had a few more words with the cute Stop AIDS boy, the one who sold me my first set of tickets. He was awfully cute and awfully sweet (and jealous in a friendly sort of way that I had won the grand prize). But no, I went home alone. (It was a Thursday night, after all!)
All in all, a very successful fundraiser, and very much in keeping with the sort of fun, interesting, outrageous fundraisers that the BGFH does.