Monday, July 12, 2004

The Hoist

mfft. there aren't words to describe it. well, all right: here's some:

Boil wash. Sticky boots. Bleach for the soul.


That was an experience. Well, okay. Waking up wearing half an army uniform this morning was an experience. Things are a bit blurred.

I've always wanted to go to The Hoist. Call it morbid curiousity - but a uniform club sounds fun. I figured, naively, that it would involve people wearing silly clothes and dancing. Apparently, up until a few years ago, it did. Now it's just people wearing silly clothes and... and...

Well. It's a great venue - it's a series of railway arches in Vauxhall, done out with girders and guttering candles, and Harley Davidsons and (for an archway) a surprising number of dark corners.

It also has the nicest bar staff in town - they're friendly, warm, and ring a bell whenever they're given a tip. Which I find thrilling.

All of which is a neat distraction from the fact that this charming, welcoming venue is basically a place where the weirdly dressed come to have open sex. Oh, how naive was I?

Hanging over the bar was a screen showing films where men looked for their keys in unusual places. Which set the tone nicely.

I was about the only person wearing combats and a t-shirt (my ridiculous army jacket I coat-checked - it smells of someone else's BO). Everyone else was wearing... well... bits of rubber. revealing bits of rubber. or other things.

There was one man dressed like a surveyor (hard hat and reflective jacket). Four men with pvc waistcoats were all over him. A fat man in leather trousers and a snake tattoo was buried in a young man with a goatee. Three men with chaps were stood spanking each other in a corner.

There was really a gimp. Honestly - led around on a chain by an amiable looking old man who made small talk with regulars ("football was terrible, wasn't it?") while his gimp followed behind, sipping a pint of cider quietly.

Sudden thought. Oh dear god. I hope it was cider.

I should mention the loos. When I first got there, they were smelly, but fairly normal. Half an hour later, they were a different world. You couldn't move for men watching other men piss over each other. New fact: When you hold open someone's rubber tshirt, piss in it and let it go, it makes a slapping squelching noise.

At some point a very pretty man with a dazed expression pulled down his rubber shorts and wordlessly offered me his erect penis. I stared at him. He looked down, seemed momentarily suprised, and then became enraptured. I left him, staring with childlike joy at his cock. Someone tugged at the back of his rubber shorts. Slap! Squelch!

Oddly, I discovered I was not catnip for fetish fans. Maybe my sullen expression of disbelief kept the greedy hands away. But there was actually a lot to enjoy. Some of the men were startlingly handsome - and some were just startling.

And then there was a man called Keith. Wearing chaps. And weirdly pretty. Well, pretty for a man in rubber trousers. Having an awful lot of muscles appears to help. He'd just come from another fetish night "God, it was filthy," he said. "Not fun filthy, mind. Just filthy. The toilets were disgusting - no seats or bog roll. And men were squatting down by the urinals with their gobs open. I ask you. Floors hadn't been cleaned, either."

We sat down on steel beer kegs and watched the chaos around us. The gimp was grovelling on the floor, cleaning boots with his tongue. Someone else was doing something with chains.

"Do you mind if we go?" asked Keith. "It's just these steel beer kegs are rather cold, and these trousers are open at the back. My cheeks are freezing."

Fair enough.

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