(Small town clubs may be where it’s at.)
By: Sarah Glass @SASzilla
Turns out you can buy a tickle. Or, technically, the tickling is free, it’s just $15 cover at the door.
Fetish night at The Brickhouse in Springfield, Oregon immediately reminds me of a small town Halloween party I went to in grade school, hosted at the school auditorium, except instead of booths for bobbing for apples, face painting, or searching for pennies in piles of hay, these booths have caution tape around their perimeter, men and women in latex gloves at their entry, and waivers for employees and patrons to sign before participating. It may not be the high-octane fetish expected from the European underground, but in the realm of gentleman’s clubs, Springfield might be “keeping it weirder” than its neighbor to the North in Portland, not to mention most of the West Coast.
Most out-of-staters and out-of-towners are surprised to find liquor and pastie-less women all in one place, and in Springfield, Oregon no less. Larger cities like Seattle and L.A. usually allow one or the other, liquor or nudes, but not both. In the meantime, Springfield is starting to be recognized for more interactive club scenes. This DOES NOT mean, I want to clarify, that just because there are no 6-foot invisible bubbles surrounding the dancers that you should treat them like prostitutes or disrespect their boundaries. The reason they seem like human beings is because they ARE human beings!
That said, fetish night at The Brickhouse is that special day that only comes once a year where both patrons and entertainers get to play, and like any other holiday gathering, some years go better than others. This year the large bar with wraparound counter and stools shines an island of light and liquor at me as soon as I walk into the club. As my eyes adjust, I see a booth immediately to my right, taped off and with a pressing crowd surrounding. One of the club’s dancers has volunteered herself for what I’m told is an “electric wand.” The blond, tattooed beauty squirms on a black leather massage table in only her g-string and 6-inch heels as another woman, the technician, instructs her to squeeze the ‘wand,’ in one fist. This metal post has electricity running through it, and as the dancer grips it the technician moves her fingertips and long nails over the her as if she were a masseuse, and the dancer girl, her client. She continues stroking chest and breasts with her palms as the low-volt electricity moves between her palms and the entertainer’s exposed skin, provoking the dancer girl’s mouth to part with pleasure as her thighs press in squeezing her crotch and spread out again at the knees.
To my left is a small stage donned with the club’s usual suspects, but for the day’s festivities, these entertainers have upped their game. On stage they do striptease to sultry numbers as well as amazing acrobatics, dressed in leather or dressed in fur; one girl even does her set with a fresh corset piercing laced into her back just before at one of the booths. A woman walks by in plain clothes, her slave in front of her on a chain, shirtless and in tight leather shorts, bound behind by handcuffs.
Beyond the bar is a second seating area and a large stage flanked with cages on each side. The crowd pressing in is a mixture of patrons and scantily clad women in heels. It’s obvious a lot of the people here know each other, but even the new-comers don’t shy away from offering encouragement to the dancers on stage or the strangers participating at the booths. A husky man that originally came to watch the show, and a brittle looking dancer who originally just came to work, both end up behind the flog on the main stage at some point for their enjoyment only. The kink isn’t restricted to employees only tonight. An unfamiliar lady from the crowd shows everyone up in a lesson of pain as she gets a circle of needles pierced ornamentally above each breast. While some kind of grand finale might have been nice, the fact that it has little feeling of being a show here more than party isn’t discouraging.
As all this is going on, an older man in leather pants and bare chested underneath a leather vest starts weaving rope around a girl in black lingerie center stage. I move around booth to booth, strangers to friends, White Russian to Vodka Redbull, until I notice the process center stage is finally completed and the man has fashioned a harness around his beautiful assistant, a delicate dame now attached to a T-bar which allows her to flip head over feet and back again all while being bound. In this contraption, when the girl moves her arms in and her legs spread, and vice versa. She flips and spreads and stretches, posing as if sitting mid-air, splayed, or upside-down and curving her feet back towards her head.
All and all, fetish night at The Brickhouse had the feeling of a campfire kumbaya but with cross-dressing, flogging, tasteful nudity, and leather. All attending regulars, dancers, fetish vendors, and even the voiyer “just curious” category in their blue jeans and ironic T-shirts, all came together to forget social status and embrace their weird selves. In lue of a real central show, it was the people who came out that ended up playing both observer and exhibit, audience and entertainer. The club was alive with the sound of music, and, of course, consentual spanking.