2 min

Hot wax

SM demonstration in Halifax ends abruptly

OH NO YOU DON'T. Liquor inspectors choked when a demo turned more personal. Credit: Xtra files

A Halifax gay bar received a reprimand from the Nova Scotia Liquor Board because customers rushed the stage during an SM demo.

“It was supposed to be a demonstration of safe hot waxing practices,” says owner Peter Moll. “It’s like they’re applying straight rules to gay culture.

“I don’t know if we were treated differently. I don’t know how much discrimination there is. The rules were written before there were gay bars. In a way the liquor control board is tying our hands on this.

“It’s too bad. Ten minutes wasn’t enough to teach anyone anything.”

The infraction occurred during gay Pride week in June at NRG on Gottingen St.

When posters went up advertising the event, the liquor board sent a letter stating the demonstration would be considered adult entertainment and put it in the same category as a strip show.

That means no touching and only one person at a time on stage.

Moll says that while that made it difficult to conduct a hot wax demonstration, a mannequin was brought in as a substitute.

The owner says that when he left the bar for the evening he felt everything was under control and that everyone understood the strict guidelines.

The mannequin was placed on stage and a volunteer from the local gay men’s leather group Tightrope was there to carry out the performance.

But there must have been a misunderstanding

NRG manager Billy Campbell, who was working the bar that evening, says things started out okay, but quickly got out of control.

He says the volunteer from Tightrope got on stage and announced he was doing the waxing, then allowed members of the audience to go up and drip hot wax.

Campbell said that at that point about a dozen people rushed the stage.

“We weren’t aware they were going to do that,” Campbell says. “Having the audience go up on the stage and touch people took away from the idea of a demonstration, so management went up and put a stop to it. We had to immediately call off the show.”

Even though the event was stopped within minutes, the bar still received a citation.

Moll says even though he is disappointed, he would do it

again. Only this time he would make sure Tightrope was well versed on the rules and on the importance of using the mannequin.

“You have to break down people’s barriers a bit,” he says. “But it’s important to teach people and educate them.

Moll adds he isn’t sure why the liquor control board took the action. He said the event was a private party of about 60 people and he isn’t even sure why the liquor control board deemed it adult entertainment.

The agency sent two liquor inspectors to watch the event.