Keep Calm and Paint On Sat, June 14 at Club120
It comes out of nowhere, fast and furious. It’s all over my shirt, sticks to my face and, worst of all, gets in my eye. But I’m not the only one. Everyone is covered in it. We look like messy, milky men as we bump into each other blindly under pulsating lasers. Really, this is happening. York Pride Fest’s Keep Calm and Paint On, a glow-in-the-dark paint party at Club120, is one of the most unique and outright fun parties I’ve been to in years. We’ve been told to wear something white that we don’t mind getting paint on “or just go naked.” Club120 co-owner Todd Klinck is, surprisingly, not here to supervise the messy madness. “Kids these days,” is all he has to say. Head kid and organizer Jacob Gal is up onstage in swim trunks armed with an arsenal of paint-shooting devices firing non-toxic colouring into the white-clad audience. White shows off the paint better and under black lights glows magically like one of those tacky yet mesmerizing black-velvet paintings you buy at flea markets. The club is covered in clear plastic, and we take refuge every so often in the paint-free, second-floor VIP zone between strategic advances to the front. As we battle our way between others who’ve taken heavy hits from paint cannons, we watch for roving brush-and-bucket-carrying infantry who sneak up and splatter us with psychotic paint lust. Next time, I’ll leave my drink outside the battle zone. My gin and tonic is now a gin and non-toxic mess. Cheers? Choke.
XXX Men’s Night Fri, June 13 at Fly
It comes out of nowhere, hard and throbbing. It’s in and out, and out and in, and up and down, and down and up. But I’m not the only one trying to track its ooey-gooey trajectory. Penises are hard to follow. I’ve come to check out what the commotion is all about at the final XXX Men’s Night at Fly (launched just two months ago, it ends with the closure of this legendary club). But “the party will continue,” organizer Ryan Russell assures. Perhaps he’ll move it to his other home base, the Black Eagle, or Club120. Russell, by the way, is looking big, beefy and bald. Having shaved his head, he looks even more like a hard-core pornstar than ever. Always one for new challenges, perhaps he’ll enter next year’s Mr Gay Toronto contest. Current titleholder Obed Urquilla and current Mr Gay World Christopher Olwage, visiting from New Zealand, are making their rounds promoting the organization, which is fairly new to Toronto. It’s like a pageant, but for gay men, and even includes a written test. Watching the action onstage, though, the only thing being tested is my companion’s patience. “Are they done yet?” he asks. “I just wanna dance.” But the show is just about to begin: four very erect men (Stuart Ross, AnacondaHunga, Sebastian Woods and Landon Long) mount the stage and proceed to entertain each other for our entertainment. Sucking, fucking, rimming and, yes, even a bit of fisting. It’s like a grab bag of grabbing bags. Every orifice is invaded and all eyes watch wistfully. Next time, before I shake the hand of a porn performer post-penetration, I’ll ask him to wash up. My nice Nivea-oiled palm suddenly becomes a greasy Gun Oil grip. Handshake? Handjob.