Friday night was the 'Black' gay night at Tokyo's biggest dedicated club venue, Ageha, AKA Studio Coast: a complex with a capacity in the thousands.
'Black' was an SM-themed night, and muscled, scantily leathered boys strutted the foyer with riding crops taking turns at leisurely lounging in chairs while being administered to with various restraints by their comrades. Risque window dressing was as far as the SM went, though. The crowd was young, sporting megawatts of muscle; but the true leather crowd was nowhere to be seen. However, if the SM was only window dressing, the risque-ness was not. Among the half dozen theme rooms was a toilet that had been transformed into a dark room, complete with a DJ spinning deep down dirty tracks, and entry with shirts off only.
The main dancefloor conjured up the feel of New York's Roxy: more a dance plain than a mere dance floor, with islands of stages, dominated by epic space-age lighting machinery - incorporating a planet-sized mirrorball, that flashed, rotated and gently but grandly rose and lowered at intervals. The tribal-based beats were like aural fire leaping from no less than 30 stocky speaker modules positioned all around and above the floor. One module alone, incorporating three giant speakers, would be enough to quake an entire neighborhood. There was also a hard, fast and funky house room full of hot bodies jerking to the rhythm, a DJ in the upstairs champagne lounge weaving soulful disco sounds to the glam set throwing shade, a tent outside thronged with guys drinking and eating food from a few stalls that were set up there, and another, bigger tent - a marquee - playing trashy gay club house (the air, incidentally, marked by whiffs of a very distinctive kind of smoke!).
The drinks weren't cheap, but generous. The crowd was fired up and friendly. The night reached its peak after 1am and pounded, funked, grooved and wailed till beautiful blood-red sunrise. Outside I got in trouble with security for walking over to where the boundaries of the club meet the sea and, drunkenly refusing to budge, was forcibly moved - i.e. firmly but gently picked up by two stocky young men - to where I was supposed to be: a very tactile denouement to a very sensual night. Then I scored a phone number going home in the train!
Read more about gay Japan here.
Monday, February 13, 2006