Once upon a time, there was this fantastic gay bar in East St. Louis called Faces on Fourth. It was in East St. Louis, mind you, which meant that it was across the Missouri River from it's competitors in St. Louis, Missouri. It had some challenges, what with being in an economically depressed suburb, but it had a major competitive advantage: because it was in Illinois, not Missouri, it could stay open later than its Missouri competitors ... and it could allow full nudity because Illinois State Law apparently doesn't prohibit nudity in bars the way most other states do.
Full nudity meant, of course, that when they hired porn star go-go boys, the boys could choose to show everything if they wanted. When they did an amateur strip contest, the contestants didn't have to stop at their underwear if they didn't want to. And when they did lube wrestling contests, the boys could rip their opponent's underwear right off, or start completely in the buff if they wanted.
Sadly, after being open for more than three decades, Faces was forced to close a few years ago. Unregulated utility rates caused crippling electrical bills, combined with other circumstances like extended freeway work that hindered access to the bar.
Although they were forced to close down, the previous owners still occasionally post photos on the web of their past events. Today they posted this one of one of their lube wrestling events:
You can find more of their slideshows on Slide.com.
Of course, seeing their slideshow made me think of the lube wresting that we used to see at a SOMA bar in San Francisco that had a club event called Hot Mess. There, the boys always started in their underwear, but they didn't win until they ripped their opponent's underwear off. That meant that at least one player (and often both) always ended up completely naked.
(Although they called it lube wrestling, they actually used baby oil. To this day, the smell of baby oil is an aphrodisiac for me.)
Sadly, they didn't always manage to recruit players for the lube wrestling. Every club event eventually loses its freshness and either closes or somehow reinvents itself. Hot Mess eventually closed so that the promoter could devote his resources to other club nights in other venues in the City.
As a salute to Faces and Hot Mess, here's a slideshow of some of our lube wrestling pics. And here's a shout out to every club promoter in the City: if you push the envelope with fun stuff like this, we'll help promote the shit out of your event!
May 2, 2008
May 22, 2008
August 4, 2008