Monday, April 22, 2013

I Wanna Dance With Somebody

(L to R) Thorgy Thor, Trenton Ducati, Lady Havokk, Eli Lewis, and Tate Ryder at F* Word in Splash Bar NYC

I first started go-go dancing at the age of sixteen (I was a wily one then, too) in Los Angeles, shortly after I came out of the closet. I wanted to know what this whole 'being gay' thing was all about so I would constantly explore San Diego's gayborhood, Hillcrest, to try to find myself. What I found were a lot of wandering eyes and lingering glances. Did I have something on my face? I tried to enter one of the local gay bars and was immediately stopped at the door, "You can't come in." Why not, I asked. "I know for a fact that you're underage. I saw you in the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet just last month. Nice try, though - and great lines!" It was clearly time for plan B.

One weekend I went up with my cousins and some friends to Los Angeles with my brand new fake ID in my wallet and ready for an adventure. When we walked into one of the bars I was sure they would stop me, take my ID, and report me to the police for being a complete asshole. By the powers that be I was let in and ordered myself a cocktail, and before you knew it I was making an ass of myself on the dancefloor gyrating with my shirt tucked into one of my belt loops.

My lack of inhibitions, formal training, and status as the bar's fresh meat caught the attention of many patrons and a few of the go-go dancers, one of whom started dancing with me during his break. He pulled me onto the stage and proceeded to rid me of my jeans, "Dance!" Like the good, submissive bottom that I was, and still am, I didn't hesitate when an order was barked at me and started moving my body to the rhythm of the night, feeling the fantasy.

Nasty Pig jockstraps are where it's at.

While I certainly don't condone underage drinking and the use of fake IDs, that first experience at a bar definitely had a profound and positive effect on the rest of my life not only as a professional and go-go dancer, but also as the man you all know and (hopefully) love (to varying degrees). I was never a shy one and, while not the most gorgeous or striking person in the room, would take full advantage of the energy and life I can bring into a room. Whether I took the stage of a theatre or a go-go box I brought my game face on, ready to give the audience 200%, and a show they wouldn't soon forget.

I have since hung up my go-go outfits, only to take them out of retirement for special events and occasions. I certainly do miss the gigs, but dancing professionally all day takes its toll on me so that last thing I want to do at the end of the day is get up on a box and continue working it. The money has also been a lot less glamorous than in previous years - mostly due to the fact that I am typecast to dance at twink and/or college nights at bars and clubs in New York City. These gigs aren't exactly lucrative since younger guys, especially those currently in or recently out of college, are not typically big tippers - if they even throw down any cash at all.

When I used to go-go dance in California and Texas, bars and clubs would hire a variety of dancers ranging from the bigger, muscular guys and scruffy jocks to the younger, twinkier boys which gave patrons the full spectrum of body types and flavors. Even Latino nights would serve up a selection of guys. This model worked well because a selection of different options and looks brought a much greater, and far more eclectic, crowd of party-goers who were more than ready and willing to spend their money to see and play alongside the hottest guys and dancers in town.

Do I miss go-go dancing? Of course I do, I'm a performer at heart and love twerking to the beats of a great DJ. I love the spotlight and the hoards of men looking up at me in lust and anticipation. I miss being a regular go-go dancer and digging through my collection of costumes to pick out the look for my upcoming number. Unfortunately, I no longer have the time for all that - though I do love a good guest appearance! If and when I return to the go-go stage y'all will be the first to know, so stay tuned!

Follow me on Twitter (@EliLewisXXX) for constant updates!

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