Saturday, January 22 2000
At a certain point in the afternoon, Matt Rogers, Kim and I went to the campground where Matt's mother is staying, mostly to take advantage of the pools and hot tub there. (Even though it's late January, the weather in San Diego is about the same as it was in early August, though now the nights are a little warmer I think.) The campground was somewhere within the labyrinth of Mission Bay and packed wall-to-wall with big camping structures, most of them driven by elderly people.
The hot-tubs were the best part of the experience. Though the pool was heated to a pleasant 80-something degrees, the water smelled sort of like old dog. Perhaps some of these old people had forgotten to remove their Depends before wading into the warm bowel-stimulating water.
Kim, Matt Rogers and I had plans of maybe going to downtown Los Angeles tonight to see another wild & crazy show at Dr. Susan Block's Speakeasy Gallery. And though we didn't think we had quite enough energy as evening set in, Kim rallied us anyway and off we went. [REDACTED]
By the time we rolled into downtown Los Angeles, Kim was running seriously low on energy. So after we'd paid the speakeasy doorman and signed all the necessary photographic releases, we picked up food at the nearest Jack in the Box. Then we returned to our parking spot out in front of the gallery to eat our junk food and enjoy a dessert of hot marijuana smoke. It was the first time I'd had a Jumbo Jack since this summer when I suddenly noticed I had developed an unmistakable belly.
The first thing we did once we made it inside the gallery was to secure a spot on one of the sofas. For some odd reason, though, the sofas are not arranged for the comfortable seating of many people with a view of Dr. Susan Block's bed/stage. Thus, we found ourselves on a sofa with no leg room and an often cluttered view of the stage.
Today was, we learned, "Eros Day," the day when the phallic-shaped asteroid Eros makes its closest approach to Earth, approximately 20 million miles. Eros is named after the Greek god of love (and the old ho-dee-doo), so it was natural for this day to have a special resonance with the people of the Speakeasy Gallery.
It being Eros day, lots more was being spent on the webcast. For example, the cameras focused on Susan's bed were not simply mounted on tripods; they were being wielded by two live cameraman. This added to our difficulties in seeing Susan's bed, but that's how it goes.
Susan's interviews today started with a small emoish gentleman who turned out to be a photographer with a foot fetish. Dr. Susan interviewed him alongside one of his models, a tall, blond, vapidly attractive German model. She was full of empty little flirtative declarations, and the only interesting part of the interview came when she stripped off her fishnet dress and showed off her bright red bra and panties.
Next came an interview with a washed up old Playboy model; a woman who had once played Al Bundy's "dream girl" in an episode of Married With Children. She was blond, of course, and had that hard sort of face one normally associates with years of living in the southern United States. She was accompanied by her boyfriend who looked a lot like David Lee Roth, complete with a long greying head of hair cut with bangs that verged on a mulletization. She took all her clothes off even before the interview started. I don't remember much of what she said, just that she gave her boyfriend head on stage, proceeded to have him lick her to orgasm, and then was fondled by a similarly blond audience member who saw her as a celebrity worthy of worship.
As had happened last week, live callers were patched in and were encouraged to reveal their deepest, most shameful sexual secrets. One caller claimed to be masturbating, so Dr. Susan naturally encouraged him, asking what he liked to think about. When he said he particularly loved the idea of licking female asshole, Dr. Susan and all the nude/semi-nude girls on stage (and there were three or four) turned around, bent over, spread their cheeks and bared their anuses and wriggled their butts. When the caller made the non-verbal sounds indicating orgasm, everyone (including the studio audience) applauded enthusiastically.
Somehow Kim got to talking with a guy named Dave, an Australian journalist, telling him that I too was a journalist. When she got around to introducing him to me, I corrected her and said that I wasn't actually a journalist, that I just published writing on the web. Dave didn't think that too shabby until I admitted that I normally write in the first person. His main interest was clearly Kim, and every time she vanished he'd gush about what a "knock out" woman she was and how much cuter she was than any other girl in the gallery. He was never far from Kim for the rest of the evening, and his continual presence was enough to cause Matt Rogers to dismiss him as a shameless scammer, which he wasn't.
Meanwhile, Dr. Susan Block was continuing talking with people on the phone as her silver-skirted helper alerted her to their calls. As she talked, Susan waved various dildos at appropriate moments. One of these had a head shaped to look like Bill Clinton's.
Kim was socializing with Dave the Australian guy in a side room overlooking Hope Street and the famous Morrison Hotel. When I joined them, they started smoking cigarettes, so I whipped out the "bat," a one-hitter designed to look like a cigarette but which is really a clever piece of drug paraphernalia. I didn't have any pot and would have been content to smoke resin, but then Dave produced a bag of exceptionally high-grade kind bud. Before long we were busted by security, but all they wanted was to join in the pot smoking. Yessir, we were a long way from the Gaslamp District.
After midnight, things started getting a whole lot crazier in the Speakeasy Gallery. Out came the "S & M Cross", a large, black, metal-studded X made of wood. It had cuffs for ankles and wrists that could be tightened by someone at the controls. The first I saw trussed up and getting flogged was Dr. Susan Block's silver-skirted helper, who had stripped down to a stiff silver girdle.
Next the David Lee Roth guy was placed on the cross and was sucked off by his girlfriend, the washed-up Playboy model. There were a couple dominatrices present, and both of them were fat and ruthless. One of these was tall and blond and the other was short and black. The tall blond dominatrix worked on David Lee Roth for awhile during the time when I wasn't in the room, and at a certain point something went terribly wrong. "I thought he was dead!" one of the security guys said as he came out of the room. The washed up Playboy model was in hysterics, but whatever was wrong with David Lee Roth wasn't fatal and he soon recovered. I don't know what had happened, but that particular dominatrix didn't do any more dominating for the rest of the evening.
Next on cross was a gentleman who had arrived wearing a swallow-tailed jacket and fishnet pants, complete with a penis-containing fishnet codpiece. The short, fat black dominatrix spanked him until he said the "safe word," which was "red." Then out came a preposterously long dildo which she crammed several inches up his ass. One of the bartenders looking on, an obviously gay young man, licked his lips in intrigued discomfort.
One of the guys hanging out at the gallery was a famous German maker of erotic films, and he tried to get Kim to be the next person on the cross. She didn't really want to, but she didn't say no either. And then, several minutes later and with great fanfair, Dr. Susan Block and the German erotic filmmaker announced that the next person on the cross would be "Kim from San Diego." The crowd went wild, of course, and Kim didn't know what else to do but to be agreeable. She walked up to the cross and, in short order, was completely naked. Kim has an exhibitionistic personality, so this wasn't particularly surprising. Indeed, for me, it was a good thing. I love it when Kim pulls shit like this.
So there Kim was, chained to the S & M cross, being flogged with two different sorts of whips. She didn't get it nearly as hard as the swallow-tailed gentleman before her, but nobody really noticed. She held herself with such dignity and poise through it all, like some sort of flawlessly beautiful Joan of Arc, that she completely outshone everyone else in the gallery, Dr. Susan Block included. Soon she was swarmed by photographers and instant fans (most of them male). They reached out to fondle her as much as propriety allowed, almost to the point where I grew alarmed. But she seemed to be enjoying herself, actually taking two whipping sessions, both on the front and back.
When she was done, the cameras continued to follow her, as did some of the men. Particularly drawn to her in her whipping's aftermath was the swallow-tailed masochist. But there were others, including the gallery's management, which negotiated with her for an interview on a future show. I was particularly amazed. Suddenly I saw something in Kim I had never seen before: she's made out of genuine star material. She really is a goddess. She doesn't want her father to read this either.
What I like best about the Speakeasy Gallery is its complete lack of pretense. But even though the place revels in its primal eroticism, calling itself slutty and baring it all to prove it, there's something much deeper and artistic going on here. It's the perfect replacement for Galoka, our erstwhile hangout in La Jolla. It has art, it has performance and it has booze but it has none of Galoka's uptightly self-righteous atmospherics. Too bad we have to drive to Los Angeles to get there.
My only question is: why is the Speakeasy Gallery so seemingly obscure as a scene? (Kim explains that it's all about the building's occupancy limit and the vigilance of the security guys at the door.)
We'd entertained notions of perhaps getting a hotel for the night. But, drunk as I was, I drove us all the way home. There was a moment on the road when I thought we were coming into a sobriety checkpoint. But it turned out to be a rolling roadblock, perhaps behind yet another LA chase. Later in the ride I found myself having great difficulty keeping my eyes open, so I'd turn my head to face downward so as to strain my eyeballs with the force of pointing forward. This technique worked well, but Kim freaked out when she saw me doing it.
Matt Rogers with Sophie. That's one of my paintings on the wall.
Matt Rogers and Kim clowning around in our apartment.
Me with my devil sticks and Matt Rogers holding Sophie.
Kim and Matt Rogers on Newport Avenue.
A foot fetishist and one of his favourite models at the Speakeasy Gallery in downtown Los Angeles.
Kim and her new friend Australian Dave.
Kim and Matt Rogers in front of a colourful relief at the Speakeasy Gallery
A masochist awaits torture on the S & M cross.
The masochist prior to being anally violated by the long dildo which lies just beneath his rump. The fat black woman wearing the black cowboy hat is his dominatrix for the evening.
Kim on the S & M crucifix. She just climbed up there like the trooper she is.
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