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Last modified: Fri Jun 8 03:29:19 PDT 2001

Preppy Night at the Powehouse, April 5, 2001

Preppy (noun): 1. A student or former student of a preparatory school.
2. A person whose manner and dress are deemed typical of traditional preparatory schools.
-The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition.

Bewildered Leather Daddy 1: "It's really crowded in here tonight."
Bewildered Leather Daddy 2: "It's all these sweater people."

Oh boy oh brother oh daddy, here goes another report on another smashing party:

It was at the Powerhouse, South of Market's premiere cruise-and-fulfillment leather bar. The event that we gleefully crashed was one of 12 Bare-Chest Contests the Powerhouse hosts each year to fill a Bare Chest Calendar, which is then sold to raise money for the AIDS Emergency Fund.

For pure entertainment's sake, an impressive number of our crowd arrived dressed in theme: 80's candy-ass preppie. We mingled cordially, and later conjugally, with the 70's rough-trade leather aesthetic. Those of us not in costume blended well with those Powerhouse regulars not in full leather, so we gave up trying to estimate attendance.Those of us not in costume blended well with those Powerhouse regulars not in full leather, so we gave up trying to estimate attendance. As for those of us in preppie drag, let's say there were about 50 or so who decided to work it. Twenty or so guys wore button-down oxfords and sweaters tied around their necks, and many others looked spiffy in polo shirts with up-turned collars. One guy with a good memory wore a red polo over a white polo with both collars reaching for the rafters, another wore a narrow red necktie with a gold tie bar, and a third brought a PVC shoulder bag with a Patrick Nagel girl emblazoned on it. (If you don't remember Nagel, think Duran Duran's "Rio" album cover from 1987: painting of a chalk-white woman with fine features, black hair, and very large mouth.)

I hope that all who missed this absurd and sexy scene can appreciate the value of a cute young man in a necktie and navy sweater-vest being thoroughly cruised by a burly guy with a hairy chest and a black leather vest. Delicious, fag-ulous, damned wacky. And I don't even need to mention what exactly went down out on the back porch.

The winner was a flight attendant, if you can believe it, complete with the handlebar moustache and leather strap around his bicep. He was all smiles the whole time, tough-looking but quite jolly. Mr. Marcus, the revered Methuselah of Leather Men, was the MC of the contest. He and the judges, calendar men from previous years, asked personal questions about sexual fantasies, sexual favorites, and sexual history. Vanilla answers were not winning answers. I kept waiting for someone to get really twisted and start talking about his prick-teasing pets, but I was disappointed.

I ran into a few nice fellows who weren't really there for either event, not GQB nor the Bare Chest Calendar Contest. They all said they rarely go there. Suuuure, boys, clearly. I always stick my hand down the bartender's pants in greeting at the places I rarely frequent.

We did get one complaining e-mail message through the website before the party, asking us to leave the leather scene alone and stick to invading straight spaces. Which led us to wonder if the leather scene is really so fragile that the presence of an other-inspired crowd in preppie drag for one night could ruin rather than enhance the whole thing. With the confluence of our guys and the leather crowd, it is hard to imagine an atmosphere any more "enhanced." We got along famously, and Mr. Marcus even thanked "the guerrilla people" twice at the end of the contest. Thank YOU, Mister. It just warms our cockles to see that leather men in their chosen environment can have a lot of fun with a bunch of us who dress a bit less tough. Cool guys, and thanks for the grope-fest. As a friend in a pink button-down with a gray sweater knotted across his chest stated earnestly, "If you didn't want it grabbed, you should have left it at home." Truly, words to live by.

Again, our accidental formula for too much fun worked great. Might as well let the secret out to you, our precious 1800+ member e-mail list. It's a handy little recipe, and you can call it the three S's of GQB: silly, sexy, and shocking. Thanks for being the chefs, tasters, and ingredients. We look forward to cruising (a-hem) into our second year.

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2001 (c) Urban Anthropology Institute