Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Whips and knives

The shirtless guy stood with his hands bound above his head. Techno music blasted throughout the club. A petite woman drew her hand back as if she was winding up for a softball pitch, then lashed the bound man across his back with a whip.

He grinned broadly and bounced his head to the music as if to say: “Is that all you’ve got?”

She whipped him again and again. Then she ran her fingernails down his back. He kept smiling.

Similar scenes played out in various corners upstairs at Amos’ Southend during Purgatory’s fifth birthday party on Saturday. The fetish party started in small clubs such as Liquid Lounge. Back then, Autumn Twilight was the main performer and the most entertainment was her playing with fire and some liquid latex action.

Now, Single Cell has created a full party with elaborate stage performances, whip-wielding women stationed throughout the club, vendors downstairs and ominous hooks that suspend people from the ceiling.

On Saturday, several people lay on the floor with a rug across their chest. Partiers walked across their bodies.
Purgatory draws a mix of fetish fans and voyeurs. If you’ve never been, it’s worth experiencing. You don’t have to be whipped to have fun. Not that there’s anything wrong with a good whipping.

A beer crawl emergency

"We have an emergency," said a woman as she stood up.

Everyone looked at her. My mind flashed back to a dark Virginia road and a bus trip to New York. My heart pounded. Then I realized I was sitting in a chair at Dilworth Neighborhood Bar and Grille, not on a bus.

The woman pulled back chairs as her friend crawled on the floor. Another flashback: missing turkey pepperoni. The young woman on the floor lost her Carmex, and she was freaking out.

Dilworth was the fourth stop on the Charlotte Beer Week beer crawl on Monday. Judging from the way the young woman frantically searched for her Carmex, the effects were kicking in. A manager came over with a giant flashlight and located the missing lip balm under my table. Disaster averted.

Monday’s beer crawl started slowly. Seventeen people participated.
On the ride to the first stop at the Flying Saucer, most people paired off with their friends. By the time we finished at Mac’s Speed Shop later that night, many folks had exchanged business cards and a couple of people took turns dancing on the bus.

My favorite beer of the night was the Duck Rabbit at Brixx. Other crawler favorites were an Imperial Stout at Mellow Mushroom, and an I.P.A. on the bus ride.

Tonight’s Charlotte Beer Week event is the Gravity Head Mini Fest at Mellow Mushroom. Tomorrow, it’s the Becoming the Beer Girl competition at Dilworth Neighborhood Bar and Grille.