Even before the hit song by the Village People, everyone knew what went on at the YMCA. But, after a day walking around the streets of Manhattan and a night running around the moors of Scotland, I was too whipped to care. Plus, the “Y” was only minutes from the theater and Jersey wasn’t. So, I risked it. But, getting a room at the “Y” was not easy. It was a popular place for young Christian men to fellowship, evangelize and sodomize. The line at the check-in desk looked like a casting call for The Boys in the Band.
So, I counted my blessings whenever I could get a four-dollar room with the all-important private shower. I felt like a real swell as I piled all the furniture against the door to dissuade unwanted visitors and watched Johnny Carson in glorious Black & White. For two bucks, I could get a private room but with a gang shower down the hall. One catch. There were nightly gangbangs in the gang shower. So, on two-buck nights, I’d wait until 4 AM when the orgy had finished then tiptoe down the hall and take a shower – fully clothed. For a buck, the “Y” supplied a bunk bed and a butt-plug.
My agent finally found my phone number and told me he had a friend who managed the leading male strip show of the era – The Plantagenets. Its current Master of Ceremonies had lost his voice (as had every previous MC) due to the impossible task of screaming over the screaming women in attendance. But, this MC gig had definite merits –
Very good money
Very good money – in cash
Only four shows a week
Late show times so I could do a play and then do the strip show – not that I had any hopes of being in a play
Problem was that after one night of non-stop screaming I’d have no vocal cords to do a play with for the rest of my natural life. Another problem was that The Plantagenets’ show was crap. But, the main problem was that the MC had to not only scream but also scream whilst on roller skates and scream stinko jokes like –
“Ladies, our next gorgeous hunk of man is a Jewish butcher’s son from Brooklyn and believe me that meat is all kosher!”
“Girls, this Italian Stallion says his favorite pastime is playing hide the salami.”
But, I was hungry for a bit of salami myself, kosher or otherwise, so I agreed to catch the show. I immediately realized that the women had whipped themselves into a lather before the first man had unzipped his first zipper. And, that lather had nothing to do with what was happening on stage. And, what was happening on stage was surprisingly tame – no full nudity, just a succession of oiled men with fake tans wearing dumb costumes, dancing awkwardly and stripping clumsily. (Imagine the Village People spazzing around in their jocks.)
Naïve me later learned that the real action happened backstage where desperate women paid for the privilege of blowing the strippers. (In our still coarser age, young ladies don’t bother to retire backstage to get “up close and personal” with their favorite danseurs érotiques.They blow the strippers right on stage in front of their cheering girlfriends.)