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Erotic City: Back To Basics

by Ray McMillin

So, it’s been a year since I took over for John Voge as editor of Exotic and, I’ve gotta say, I thought I’d last a month or two at best. However, a professional team and a great group of writers has kept this boat afloat and here we are. At one point, this column would feature a lot of stuff related to the Portland strip club industry. But, unlike Voge, I don’t get out a lot, nor do I DJ at strip clubs (aside from the one-off gig or guest spot). Thus, I have used this space primarily for around-the-nation news stories and rants, but seemed to forget about stuff advertisers care about. So, after a few bowls of reflection, I decided to return our Erotic City section to the old format, with an around-town news and events round-up, local band spotlight and, yes, I’ve reserved a few sentences toward the end for a Ray-nt about whatever. So, with all that being said, let’s catch up.

What You’ve Been Missing

Last month was year eight for the Vag Pag! YouTube sensation, DJ Dick Hennessy has been promoting the Vagina Beauty Pageant for eight years and the man is beyond dedicated. You may catch the Vaginamobile rolling up and down Interstate 5, with a full-vehicle wrap that turns heads outside the clubs, but if you are lucky enough to attend a pageant, you’re in for a treat. I was able to judge a few rounds, as it’s always a nice change to see the best, brightest, up-and-coming female anatomy in the area. Sure, it’s a tad awkward holding up a scorecard with a low-ranking number, while the owner of the vagina you’re judging stands inches away from you ("Uhh...I meant nine, yeah, it was just upside down...). But, come on...donuts, free pre-roll joints, local celebrities and even a few famous rappers all under one roof, with the sole purpose of voting one lucky va-jay-jay a cash prize (and, the respective fame-slash-parental-pride that comes from winning such an upstanding contest)? I’d say that should be a bigger dot on our map than a crappy sketch comedy show (which newcomer Molly Bourke absolutely destroys in this month’s issue).

Two months ago, we brought Polerotica to the stages and, due to extreme skill and an amazing body, Nikki Diesel ended up winning. This is dope, but the cause of a slight bit of confusion in terms of our magazine: in the history of our fine rag, I believe Nikki is the only dancer to grace our cover for two out of three months in a row. How did it happen? Well, our rotation of to-be-featured clubs landed on Kit Kat and, because Nikki is photogenic as fuck, she landed the cover shoot. No one knew that she would be winning Polerotica the following month, so she got two covers. This may seem "unfair," but let’s pause for a second and reflect on just how many goddamn times an Exotic-affiliated pageant, contest, bake sale or magazine column was accused of being fixed, rigged or otherwise pre-planned? Had anyone (including our own staff) known that Nikki Diesel was slated to win Polerotica, we would have asked Kit Kat to pick a different cover model. So, there you go naysayers—proof, in print, that we have no idea who will end up winning these contests. Speaking of which, are there any dancers who go by Bernie yet? You should enter Miss Exotic next year and fuck the whole voting system up.

Salem often gets a bad rep, mostly because we’re too far of a trek for fixed gears and Tri-Met cuts off at Wilsonville. But, if you decide to come to the hipster-free land of tacos and politics, we’ve got our fair share of awesome. Aside from the classic strip clubs (Cheetahs, Stars, that other place that always looks closed, etc.), we have a venue called Shotski’s that just got bought out by new owners. Why is this worthy of a mention in Exotic? Well, Shotski’s now features entertainment ranging from male strip shows for the adults and all-ages drag shows for the whole family (every first Sunday at 3pm). I’ve DJ’d these events and there is nothing that gives me more hope for the future generation than watching a five-year old wave a dollar bill at a woman in high heels with fake tits and a dick. Fuck you, Trump-eteers...you asked for it. Now comes the greatness. Aside from fabulousness that transcends generations, Shotskis features stand-up comedy on the second Saturday of the month, which I book—translation being, "mostly Exotic writers and off-duty strippers."

The Buzz Around Town

Now is the absolute best time to visit strip clubs in Oregon. Summer usually causes a bit of a "dude, we gotta go camping" gap in tittie-related revenue, so dancers are more than happy to pay a fair amount of attention to anyone willing to support them on a ninety-degree Wednesday afternoon shift. Instead of wasting a fuckton of money driving your ungrateful wife and kids to the beach this week, why not leave them at home, while you "go shopping" and check out what we have to offer in terms of summertime recreation of the naked breast variety.

Wanna rock out with your cock appropriately holstered in your jorts? One of the more underrated aspects of Portland’s strip club variety is the fact that we have clubs that still cater to classic rock and metal crowds. Yes, I enjoy EDM and hip hop as much as any DJ, but there is something to be said about hair bands, biker clubs and guitar riffs, especially when you mix in naked women and alcohol. Casa Diablo II: Dusk ’Til Dawn features an all-classic rock format, which leaves open a wide variety, from Pink Floyd to ZZ Top. Plus, a lot of their dancers are younger, so when you’re chatting with a stripper, you often get the opportunity to suggest "new" music for her rotation (and, in turn, creating a whole new generation of Hendrix fans). Closer into the Southeast Portland gut, Rose City Strip is a 100% metal club. Bonus points for being a "real" metal club—you’re not going to hear hours of Puddle Of Mudd or Nickelback at Rose City. DJs here are well-versed in the metal genre, which is admirable, considering that I can’t, well, understand any of the verses in most heavy metal songs. But, you’re more likely to hear a rare Slayer song at Rose City Strip than you are anywhere else on the west coast—especially inside a strip club. Dream On Saloon even offers a country music night on the last Thursday of every month. I used to hate country, but then I watched a girl with natural 38Cs strip naked to a Johnny Cash song and now I can appreciate most of it.

In addition to catering to customers, dancers have their pick of a wide buffet among clubs to work at in Oregon. So, if you’re looking to expand your income and pole skills, there is really no reason not to pick up more shifts. For the paying-for-quotes-college-quotes crowd, Portland, Salem and Eugene all feature clubs that allow 18-to-21-year-old dancers to work. Cheetahs caters mostly to the too-young-for-booze dancers, plus it’s open hella late and close to a Denny’s—making for perfect all-nighters. While most clubs feature a wider range of ages (with an unspoken cap, of course), certain clubs, like Spearmint Rhino, maintain a 21-and-over policy with their dancers, which means that old school dancers (who don’t want to babysit) won’t have to worry about playing shot glass acrobatics or waiting on security to come inside after Lolita finishes her e-cigarette. With the exception of a club that caters exclusively to plus-sized women, literally anyone can land a job stripping in Oregon, if they’re talented enough. Oh, and before you steal my plus-sized idea, this column constitutes an intellectual trademark on Tremors, which I plan to open once the price of Bitcoin reaches $500,000 (or when John McAfee eats his own dick...read on if you’re confused).

Speaking of Bitcoin, did you know that Kit Kat Club accepts cryptocurrency as payment? That’s right, you can take all that imaginary internet meme money you have laying around, bring the QR code wallet thingie to Kit Kat, have the bartender exchange it for spendable cash and make it rain blockchain. We truly do live in a magnificent age (more on Bitcoin below). If FIAT (cash money) is more your style, but you want to double (or triple) it in a few hours, check out Lucky Devil, Devils Point or Boom Boom Room for poker nights. Trust me, the women at these places are alot more attractive than the old ladies at the casino.

Lastly, even though I’m one of those douchebags who switched from real cigarettes to robo-dick e-cig juice a few years ago, I still love a good outdoor patio. Stars Cabaret, Gold Club, Safari and King’s (to name a few) all feature patios where you can share sunlight with a stripper, without having to duck out into the parking lot. We get, what, three weeks of sunlight in Portland? I’d rather tip a dancer to kick it while I get a nice "Oh, I guess they were right about the Northern Irish not being entirely white" tan.

Is there something awesome, relevant, newsworthy or just plain weird that you want us to mention regarding your strip club or adult-themed business? Email Editor@Xmag.com and I will toss it into next month’s Erotic City column.

Local Music Spotlight

Okay, fine. I’ll do it.

I used to pen the Aural Stimulation column, but it got tiring having to stretch "these guys are great live, so check ’em out" to a full page of material every month. Hell, it got so bad at one point that I even reviewed my own rap duo, which consists of myself and another white guy, Wombstretcha The Magnificent, who now also writes for us (new album, Listen And Believe is due out next spring). But, the amount of talent in the NW is fucking undeniable at this point. I’ve already contacted Cool Nutz for his long-awaited interview, so he should be dropping some knowledge next month (where is our new D.B.A. album, dude?) but, for the time being, let us shine the spotlight on what I consider to be the next Beastie Boys.

Opening acts are one of two things: either a respected, talented outfit that has a reasonable draw, or newbie suckers who are handed a pile of pre-sale tickets and told to prepare for 4pm slot. Either way, the touring act always wins and very few concert attendees walk away remembering any of the openers. However, I’ve made predictions on a few "these guys will be big, soon" bands from watching them perform two minutes after the doors opened, for crowds of a dozen or so people. Linkin Park—whose music I don’t care for, but is arguably appealing to many—was one of these acts. Kanye West was another (thank you, KPSU radio). This time around, I’m calling Portland-based, live-instrument-backed hip hop act DS8 as set to explode.

Rappers are a dime a dozen and, to be fair, at least three current or past members of DS8 have been solo artists and/or involved in fun-but-not-that-successful rap crews. This is, after all, where I met most of the guys. So, imagine my surprise when, a few years after watching emcee Nocturnal perform for a six or seven people in a video lotto bar on Powell, the guy is now rocking the stage as immediate support for ICP at Hawthorne Theater. The best part? The group he was in stole the fucking show. Yes, ICP shows feature some of the best theatrics since GWAR, but the Juggalo duo is pretty cut and dry in terms of using a DJ, backing tracks and, well, somewhat juvenile rhyme schemes. DS8 has drums, guitar, bass, three emcees and sexy, sexy backup dancers (strippers that twerk, not Robert Plant mimes).

Musically, I’d put DS8 somewhere in between early Faith No More, Paul’s Boutique-era Beastie Boys (second side of the album), Clutch and Rage Against The Machine. More regionally, DS8 would be a great fit with Raise The Bridges or Eastern Sunz. The group’s biggest flaw, which is also their biggest draw, is the association with the Juggalo subculture—an easily-dismissed batch that is more often than not mocked and dismissed by music critics. Well, gangster rap is nothing to fuck with and no one dismissed Mc Ren as being a bad writer, simply because he associated with Eazy-E. Most punk rock is inspired by bands who used two chords to write one song a hundred times. Early Ministry is basically a Casio keyboard run through a divorce processor. You get the point. Do not be turned from catching DS8 at a show, simply because the touring act they’re supporting wears face paint. I honestly, truly expect to see these guys rise to local headliner and, eventually, a nationally known act. The one thing that I can suggest to DS8, is to get some live tracks up on your band’s web pages. The studio stuff is good, but the live tracks are what set the band apart from other rappers.

Ray’s Rant: Eat A Dick, McAfee!

Antivirus software mogul, accused dog murderer and insanely epic tech maniac John McAfee was asked, last month, about his opinion on the price of Bitcoin. For those of you that don’t know, Bitcoin’s value corresponds with that of, say, mobile phones. Early adopters caught on, the market caught up and now it’s out of control. But, unlike cell phones, the price of Bitcoin has increased along with its value. Currently at around $2,000 USD, Bitcoin will, according to McAfee, reach $500,000 by 2020, or he will "eat (his) own dick on national television."

At first, I thought this was a great thing and tossed a few hundred at imaginary internet money, just in case. But then, I pondered on the concept of "value." What, if anything, will I do with my share of a $500,000 Bitcoin? Buy stuff? Pay bills? Save it for my kids? I don’t even have kids! The more I think about it, I’d spend far more money on watching a semi-celebrity eat his own penis on television. Yes, I know we don’t live in a Black Mirror world yet, but this is as close as it’s gonna get for some time.

Ladies and gentlemen, Bitcoin holders and "hodlrs," this is our chance to be part of history: on December 31st, 2019, regardless of the price of Bitcoin, sell all of your coins...just for a few months. This will cause the price to drop rapidly, triggering stop-loss orders on all the exchanges and lowering the price of BTC so far, that a human being will be forced to serve himself his own severed penis for lunch. "But, Ray," you object, "what television station would air that?" Are you kidding??? We’re talking three years from now. We’re already making YouTube videos that show kids how to use dildos (yes, this is a real thing and, no, I don’t think anyone involved should be allowed access to oxygen or food). Hell, most of America stays up to watch gladiator incest porn on Netflix. By 2020, we will probably have an entire network (or two) dedicated solely to watching people eat their own genitalia as a punishment for making bad bets. So, don’t worry about what station the dick-eating Bitcoin crash will be broadcast on: just make sure to buy some now, so you can sell it in three years and make the guy who installed that pesky antivirus crap on your laptop eat his own cock.

I mean, I like John McAfee. I’ve met the guy. He was cool as fuck. But, he’s gonna have to put his money where his mouth is, even if said mouth is full of cock.

This Month’s Magazine

And, with that, let’s get into the West Coast Issue of Exotic. We have not one, but two new writers this month—Zeke Herrera and Molly Bourke, the former being from Denver and the latter repping the Rose City. We touch on the west coast’s best eateries (which are within walking distance of clinics), marijuana (ours is the best, deal with it) and much more.

Spotlight Of Events - August 2017