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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Booze and Boys

posted by on October 26 at 17:00 PM

gay porn.jpg

Hmm… gay porn. Now all I need is a drink…

So there I was, sitting in—well, let’s just say I was sitting in a bar, one of Seattle’s better drinking establishments. I don’t want to say which bar for fear of bringing the wrath of the Washington State Liquor Control Board down on the bar’s owner. The bar, which may or may not be near my office, offers wireless Interent access to patrons. So after my drinking buddies abandoned me yesterday, I got out my laptop and checked my email.

A friend in Chicago emailed me a link to something he thought I might enjoy—a porn preview, some new porn company called “Euroboy.” I clicked through because, well, I’m like that. And, hey, the bar was empty, so it wasn’t like any one was going to be forced to watch the clip. So I sat there, drinking and watching hard-core porn. In a bar. (If you want to see what I was watching, click here. Do I even need to mention that it’s NSFW? Unless, of course, you work at The Stranger.)

It wasn’t until a minute or two into the clip that I realized I was, like, totally watching porn—in a bar. In Washington State.

If there are two thing our Liquor Control Board doesn’t think should mix, it’s sex and booze. I’ll never forget when I first moved to Seattle and went to Re-bar for a beer—they only served beer and wine then, because the Liquor Control Board wouldn’t let taverns serve hard alcohol—and saw a shirtless bartender with two little pieces of black electrician’s tape over each of his nipples. They made two small and very alluring X’s on his chest. This was done to 1. protect me from the sight of his nipples and 2. prevent the bar from losing its liquor license. Because the Liquor Control Board didn’t want people drinking and thinking about sex at the same time. (Those little black X’s on Tom of Wyoming’s chest? Shit, they made it hard to think of anything else.)

Surely the same Liquor Control Board that keeps men’s nipples covered up, the same Liquor Control Board that prevents us from enjoying a drink while we watch a stripper do her job (which people are allowed to do in Portland and Vancouver, BC), the same Liquor control board that until a few years ago was still raiding the odd gay bar—that Liquor Control Board doesn’t want people viewing hard core porn in bars.

But I don’t know how they can stop it. People with laptops and airport cards are the new smokers—we’ll sit in a bars for hours, nursing our drinks and surfing the web. Which is why more and more bars are putting in WiFi. They know we’re addicts too, but at least our addiction doesn’t pollute the air and take years off the lives of their cocktail waitresses.

And empowered with our own laptops and a bar’s wireless Internet access, we can, if we so choose, and if the folks around us don’t mind, mix all the booze and sex we want, at least until we fall off our barstools. For me yesterday, it was a little hard-core gay twink porn and Maker’s Mark, neat. And I only watched that one clip, I swear.

Short of banning bars from having WiFi or making me cover my computer screen with black electrician’s tape, I don’t know what the Liquor Control Board can do about people watching porn in bars. So let’s here it for WiFi, huh? It’s finally brought booze and sex together, where they’ve always belonged.

RSS icon Comments


Please don't give the Liquor Control Board any ideas.

I wish our politicians took a sharper eye to the archaic rules of the LCB...

Posted by please | October 26, 2006 5:08 PM

This is a Freudian Slip where I can get involved!

Wholesale Prices in a Warehouse of Bourbon

"I'll hang out in the parking lot smoking a cigarette while you go in Dan? Ok? Here's a twenty."

Posted by rocktober | October 26, 2006 5:15 PM

I have yet to discern the actual useful purpose of the Liquor Control Board. Most states do just fine without such an entity, and it's kind of horrifying that such a powerful creature exists with utterly faceless members. Do YOU know who's on the LCB? Is it a hotbed of the Talibornagain, the New American Puritan Party? Who knows. I know I have no idea who the members are or what their ideological biases are. What I do know is that it is a bizarrely archaic idea to think that a state bureaucracy of that sort is of any use in preventing alcohol abuse. All they are is a way for the bluenoses to shut down establishments they don't like.

As an aside, Dan, you could use a copy editor. There's a Maker's Mart-load of typos in this post. Then again, maybe the Maker's Mark has something to do with that.

Posted by Geni | October 26, 2006 5:22 PM

I don't think "they was hard to think of anything else" is a typo, given the context.

Posted by Fnarf | October 26, 2006 5:27 PM

Corrected Mart/Mark.

And once more, with feeling: Posts aren't copy edited before they go up on Slog. This is a blog, people,, not a newspaper. I find typos every day on Andrew Sullivan, Americablog, Kos, Atrios, The New York Times' blogs, WaPo blogs, etc. And if I'm spotting them, there are more that I'm missing. Because I'm not, duh, a copy editor.

So while we appreciate a heads-up when there's an error, and we quickly make corrections, the self-righteousness with which some folks point out misspellings and grammatical errors is a bit misplaced. Again, it's a blog—fast, immediate, in-the-moment. It's not a labored over piece in the paper, copy edited and signed off on by numerous editors—and yet where you will still find the occasional misspelling.

There. I feel better.

Posted by Dan Savage | October 26, 2006 5:27 PM

Jeez Dan, you obviously don't frequent the same gay bars as I, or you'd see porn on the jumbo screen on a regular basis.

Posted by Colin | October 26, 2006 5:28 PM

>>Do I even need to mention that it’s NSFW? Unless, of course, you work at The Stranger.)

The first part of that clip actually looks like it was shot at The Stranger's headquarters.

Posted by Explorer | October 26, 2006 5:30 PM


Not to get too technical, but the WSLCB is a very OLD manifestation of American Puritanism, seeing as it's been in existence since the repeal of Prohibition. And you can blame the State's restaurant lobby as much for its perpetuation as anything else. Up until just a few years ago, the only two places to buy hard liquor in WA were either in a State Liquor Store, or - ta da! - a restaurant.

It was a win-win for the State, which not only got to impose taxes, but a hefty markup to boot (by suppressing free-market competition and thus artificially setting prices), and for the restauranteers, who effectively locked out any competitor that didn't primarily sell food from making money off booze sales.

Posted by COMTE | October 26, 2006 6:03 PM

Oh, and Dan - just remember to keep that laptop at least four feet away from your lap.

Posted by COMTE | October 26, 2006 6:04 PM

Damn, Dan, I thought I was being funny, not self-righteous. (I WAS a copy editor, though, so I think I have a thinner skin than some.)

Comte, that's a good point. I'd forgotten how much stake the restaurant lobby has in keeping the LCB dominant.

Posted by Geni | October 26, 2006 6:10 PM

Sorry, Geni. It just pops up all the time, and I lost my patience. (sp?)

Posted by Dan Savage | October 26, 2006 6:11 PM
Posted by charles | October 26, 2006 7:20 PM

Dan, I guess you've never been in a bar with TVs and cable— and a staff that puts on the public access channel late at night. I've seen plenty of porn in bars, displayed a lot more prominently than on a little laptop screen.

I confess I'm not a fan of the big cocks wobbling around on screen, but then, it didn't put me off my beer, either, so I'm not sure what the problem is.

Posted by robotslave | October 26, 2006 7:22 PM

Hey, I saw that pr0n clip too, I think it was featured on the Fleshbot gay porn blog. Not bad IMHO, but if your into twink porn I much preferred Eurocreme's british boys in "Skater Boy", complete with non-british teeth. As for the tape on the nipples, it sounds like an idea for a cheesy halloween costume.


P.S Why doesn't the stranger do porn reviews (kept well within what ever limits there may be of course)? Seems like it would go well next to Savage Love.

Posted by brandon | October 26, 2006 7:35 PM

This is how dumb the liquor control board is. They recently "liberalized" the rules about videos. Now, it's OK to show a cock, BUT NOT A HARD COCK!!!! I don't know what the deal is on boobies and vaginas, because I don't go to the kind of bars that would show straight porn, but I'm sure it's a similar arrangement.

Speaking of smut, here's the great thing about Oregon. If you go to an adult arcade, you get a little room to watch your movie in. That little room has a door that goes all the way to the floor, and has a lock. If you want to have a friend in with you, no one freaks out. They even have "buddy booths" where you can see who is in the room next to you via an LCD-ish sort of screen (only if they want to see you too, of course) No one bothers you, as long as you keep plugging the machine.

It's just much more civilized.

Posted by Pervy Perv | October 26, 2006 9:32 PM

I used to work for the liquor control board when I was 16, and though I don't know who the higher-ups are, the agents who go around checking mini-marts and dive joints are mostly former cops who don't give a particular shit about the moral/puritannical/whatever stuff. They're just trying to get enough overtime to upgrade from a Sebring to a Stratus.
The only thing I was shocked by was how many of them were cheating on their wives. But maybe that's just cops...

Posted by Rottin' in Denmark | October 27, 2006 12:23 AM


Posted by jonny | October 27, 2006 1:40 AM

Havana has wireless.... And we are nice folk...10th and pike, right across from Cafe Vita coffee, come on down...

Posted by Amy Dials | October 27, 2006 3:32 AM

And did I mention the happy hour? $2.00 beer (stella, alaskan amber, pilsner, and oly on tap) plus $3.00 well drinks and a buck off anything else.... And wireless, and we are nice... Did I mention we are nice?

Posted by Amy Dials | October 27, 2006 3:38 AM

They are nice. And they give you chips. Or nuts. And you can get pizza...

Posted by Dan Savage | October 27, 2006 7:52 AM

@ 16:
I drive a Dodge Stratus! Do you have any idea what that means?!

Posted by Investigatory Journalist | October 27, 2006 8:48 AM

It's a neat idea, Dan, though you have to remember that coffeehouses have welcomed wi-fiers and said venues have gotten fed up with 'squatting,' or wi-fiers who buy a cheap drink and then camp out for hours without buying anything else, who take up all their seats. Victrola and Joe Bar are examples.

A proliferation of this could lead to the same issue in bars.

Posted by Gomez | October 27, 2006 8:58 AM

Well, bars loved smokers who sat all day, nursing drinks and smoking... People are likelier to go into a bar that has a few people in it than they are to go into an empty bar.

Posted by Dan Savage | October 27, 2006 10:24 AM

Speaking of inane Liquor Control Board dictates: When Thumper's closed this past Saturday after its final day of business, someone asked the owners afterward "what did you do with all of the remaining open liquor?" Liquor Control Board said all of it must be poured down the drain...!!! There seemed to be the unexpressed threat: "...and we'll be watching you." So much for sumptuary laws and the troglodytes who enforce them.

Posted by SOUNDS LIKE SETTEE-EM | October 27, 2006 11:36 AM

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