As the old, as in biblical, saying goes: Judge not lest you be judged.
For the most part, I agree. But after spending some time at Club Secrets, a swingers joint just west of downtown Cowtown, I can bite my tongue no longer. All of the folks I’ve met there are cool but are utterly, completely, absolutely, undoubtedly, and probably clinically nucking futs.
OK, while they aren’t ax murderers and don’t have imaginary friends (that I know of), they are seriously out there about sex, something I happen to think is more fun when friends, neighbors, and the cast of Spartacus aren’t involved, but maybe that’s just me.
First thing you should know: The Club Secrets regulars I’m talking about aren’t exactly Victoria’s Secret models or the U.S. Olympic men’s swim team. Think: an Aledo bingo parlor without the bingo, with a lot of sagging flesh, and without nearly enough clothing. Which brings up Point No. 2: Club Secrets’ clientele isn’t that, um, secretive. Let’s simply say that a lot of the customers aren’t afraid to let it all hang out. (Excuse me. Sorry. I just swallowed some puke.)
Yet even if supermodels and Olympians were thronging Secrets, I’d still have a problem, albeit to a much lesser degree, with the V.I.P. room – it’s not the plush couches or the super-dim lighting or the florid aroma that freaked me out. No, it was the … wrestling mats. I’m not kidding. Wrestling mats. Five of ’em. In a row. Red. For what purpose? The mind reels.
Even after (temporarily) washing away the image of soft, red cushions by downing a few shots and shooting pool, I could not for the life of me get comfortable. Then I met Them, a guy and a girl, both 25 years old, who’d been going steady for about seven years. The couple made its love connection at a local 7-Eleven – she was working the counter, he was buying donuts. Our convo was going well, until, right in front of his gal, dude started talking really graphically about the “hot 50-year-old” he recently “banged.” At one point during his monologue, he thrust his pelvis forward repeatedly while rocking his arms, palms up, as if rowing a boat. On the outside, I was dutifully stoic. On the inside, my jaw dropped.
What I can say in the positive is that of all the swingers’ hang-outs this side of Dallas (all three or four of ’em), Club Secrets appears to be the classiest. As I said earlier, the customers seem cool, and they all evidently get along well with one another, playing pool, boozing, talking, hanging out, and, y’know, hanging out. Plus, cover charge to the BYOB place ranges between $25 and $50 – not too expensive, for either a swingers joint or your own personal Greco-Roman wrestling coach. For more information, visit www.secretsfw.com.
Now with blogging and MySpace, every Joe Schmo thinks he’s a “writer” or “photographer.” Case in point: Bar Monster, a seemingly sweet-natured guy who hangs out at local watering holes, takes pretty professional candids and portraits of customers, and posts the images on his MySpace page. Think of him as our resident paparazzo, except his subjects aren’t celebrities but normal chumps like you and me, and his settings don’t exactly make you wish you were there. (Just because you can press a button does not mean you are a photographer. Nor does being able to read and write English make you a writer.) Well, Bar Monster was the topic of a recent debate with a fellow scribe here at the Weekly.
My two cents: To an out-of-towner, www.myspace.com/barmonster says Fort Worth’s nightlife is incredibly, tremendously lame. My buddy’s argument: Even if Cindy Sherman were running around town and snapping pics of party people, Fort Worth would still seem lame – ’cause, you know, Fort Worth is lame. (He’s a native, so I guess he’s entitled to his opinion.) What’s your take? Check out Bar Monster’s site, and if you think you can do better, then take a few photography classes; then maybe five or six years from now, you can open a MySpace account and post something that, for better or worse, is a good reflection of our scene.
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