All the bars I've fingered strange women in are closing. That undergrad dive on 8th Street, the sporty spot on 3rd Avenue, the one that attracts the srat scene spillover from across the street. (I'll keep your names a secret. I will not speak ill of the dead. But, hell, will I miss you.)
Oh, the humanity. Where did the time go, and when did these places get so old?
Loss comes so swiftly and surprisingly. One day, they board up the doors. And then, when they start breaking down the bar and hollowing out the halls, you'll fight in your mind to keep the secrets you think will die along with that place.
You know those memories will never truly leave you — you just hope they're enough to cancel out the many that bar has already erased forever.
I passed by the 3rd Avenue bar the other day as my cab sped down the block. I couldn't believe what I saw. I immediately texted my buddy, Duffy. He was stunned. “An end of an era,” he said.
I don't know if I agree with Duffy about that. I wouldn't be so sanctimonious. But I can see where he's coming from.
Seeing the bar made me think about how much I miss having sex in public, and how I'll need to find another spot to practice it. Not that you can ever plan those things. Although I don't think it's a coincidence that so much of my nakedness occurred within those four walls.
The place had everything. Dim lights. Cheap beer. Segregated rooms (dancers and drinkers, rich girls and poor). Ratchet-ass bathrooms. Ugh. I need a drink just thinking about it.
You have to understand: Sex in public is such a high-wire act. It takes not only enviable balance, but impeccable conditions to pull off. The setting is important. There's a reason you don't see much sex on a main subway platform. Conditions aren't right.
And it's also not easy to come by when you're single; there is no planning, no compromise, no shared fantasy and certainly no seeing it coming. All there is is the moment and whoever you're with and what the world has given you to work with.
This srat scene bar had everything you needed. You'd never know it from the outside of the place. I never expected it. Just stumbled into the place one day, and it sent my world spinning.
I'd had sex in public before, but it had been knick-knack stuff – schoolyard titty touches and state-park finger fucks, which eventually led to towel-less beach bangs and backseat blow jobs. All of these come inherent with decent levels of anxiety and difficulty, especially when adjusted for age and the fact that we were typically high as hell.
But none of it prepared me for the July night a few years ago, deep inside the 3rd Avenue bar, hogging the one-stall women's room with a short-haired blonde while a populist mob formed restlessly outside.
WHACK! Someone's elbow hit the bathroom door from the outside.
WHACK! Another one.
I don't know how we got there. My brain mushed and my eyes wide, I sat there on the bare toilet seat and tried not to fall while the blonde pogoed on my cock, facing the doorway and the mob's shouts.
"WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON IN THERE?”
“Are they fucking?!”
OK, so maybe this bar didn't have everything you need for public sex. One bathroom just would not do on a packed Friday night. That was becoming clear.
But the place was gloriously unkempt. Green walls, peeling paint, Alt band fliers from 2008 half-shredded and somehow still sticking to the wall. We were here, goddammit. We'd earned it, and we weren't leaving until the Earth was scorched.
It's a stressful thing, sex in public — in the best way. So many thoughts run simultaneously through your head: How did we get here? Why don't we always do this? Are there security cameras? How will I explain the mug shot? What was this girl's name again? What are the chances that the door actually breaks?
People kept slamming the door. They said the bouncer was on his way. We were trapped in the foxhole. If this was the end, what a way to go out.
We kept going. I turned her around and grabbed her face. I used the drum of the door slamming as rhythm and tried to channel that energy for good. They kept slamming. I kept thrusting. One, two, THREE. One, two, THREE.
She threw her head back. I grabbed the wall. The knocking went faster and it seemed to be coming from more fists. They knew what we were doing in there. And, to their credit, it was bullshit.
I was having too much fun, reveling in it. This is the whole point of having sex in public: to get (or almost get) caught, and for that adrenaline to fill your synapses and let you show other people what it's like to keep on living.
There were going to be more fires, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados, volcanoes, shootings, wars, cancer, carnage, pain, guns. And, as time went on, less and less to fight for. I started to think about how society had more to worry about than me fucking a blonde in a bathroom stall.
Let them break down the door. I had a feeling they wouldn't actually rip us to shreds.
One, two THREE. One, two THREE.
“COME ON IN,” I shouted. “Mothafuckers!!!”
And then it was over.
She and I put our clothes on and washed up. We recounted the whole thing in giddy detail for a few seconds. Then, we were silent. The soap dispenser didn't work and there were no paper towels.
When I opened the door, it was just Duffy standing outside.
“You're welcome,” he said.
That's how we met, that Third Avenue bar and me. We'd gotten real close ever since. I'd been back to the women's room several times – on slower nights – typically to shake myself out of the mid-week lull. I learned that there were no security cameras, but you need friends to lure bouncers away from the door.
I want to thank that place for showing me the salacious fun that can be had by coloring outside the lines. You were a rush, a trip. You had $3 pilsners and you kicked out guys in bow ties. You will be missed.
Goodbye my lover, goodbye my friend. I'll always think of you when I publicly venture down below the panty-line.