Monday, September 26, 2016

Archive 2016

First, a Few Notes for The Metro Underground: 

HUGE changes are coming to TheMetroUnderground.com => Due to required upgrades, we're currently in the process of rebuilding our entire site (& I can't begin to express what a pain this is). So by year's end we will have completed a full overhaul of the structure, design, & all core elements. But aside from a new look & feel, once done we'll also be more mobile friendly & aligned to tech-platforms across the spectrum. So please bear with us as our general maintenance may lag behind a bit while we make way for the new build-out. 

DC's Greatest New Night => Last year we hosted The Fourth & Final Black & White Ball. It's been a great event, but the timing was such that it came at the height of my busy season. Changes were needed, so we had to let this one go. However, from its ashes one of DC's greatest new traditions will soon rise to take its place…  

Coming this January over MLK Weekend, The Metro Underground will present DC eXotica! Hosted at UltraBar, it's our intention to include all core elements of the Fetish Ball except the fashion show. But fear not! We'll be replacing fashion with some incredible demos & stage performance to carry throughout the night. So please stay tuned - details are coming soon!


Underground Parties => The Metro Underground hosts some of the region's most anticipated & respected events. But we now offer a new dimension through Underground Parties as well. Focused as more exclusive guest-list-only play parties, these are sex-positive, kink & swinger friendly, dance worthy, full blown private affairs where anything goes & it usually does. But unlike Metro Events, U-Parties are handled almost exclusively through Evite. So please RSVP to Richard A.D. for vetting & further info. With this in mind, any of our events are also a good time meet him, become vetted, & get on the list.

Changes for The DC Fetish Ball => Please note: we will no longer be doing the full fetish weekend! Rather, we will focus strictly on the main ball for one incredible night. We recommend checking The Metro for available options. 


Facebook Group vs Facebook Page => our focus on Facebook has shifted from the FB Page to our FB Group. Due to the appeasement of Wall Street, you now have to pay to promote your page & "boost your post." Unfortunately, most of our promotions are not our own events so the Metro doesn't work under that model. As a result, not only has growth slowed, but whenever we post an item of interest the current reach is basically irrelevant. Even more, due to the adult edge for our own events, Facebook won't let us 'boost our post' anyway! With such diminishing returns, efforts to maintain the page was a waste of time. However, the Facebook GROUP still offers a solid forum to get the word out. So we've shifted our focus from one to the other. The Page will now be used for event photos & occasional updates to drive traffic to the group, but that's about it. 

News from Around the Scene:  


A Few Notes for The Crucible - there have been a couple developments as of late…
For quite some time The Crucible (DC's main fetish venue for a number of years) has been locked in eternal bureaucratic gridlock as it settled in to a new location. A couple months ago the city finally dropped the zoning restrictions that allowed them to proceed.

This was a huge milestone to get them back up & running. Currently, efforts have been under way to move forward with interior construction. The permits are in place & things are moving along. However, they still need funding to install a commercial sprinkler system which will bring the new space up to code. This is the final major hurdle before DC can have its main play space back. With this intention, crowd-sourcing has been initiated & investors are being sought.   Please see: The-Crucible/FrontFund. .

Studio 58 - As the only on-site fetish club in Frederick, Md. Studio 58 drew from not only its own regrion, but Baltimore & DC as well. However, they were having problems on a number of fronts. One core issue was the zoning was aligned for a photography studio & the did not have proper fire escapes for larger crowds. This put them under the microscope w/ the city & they suffered as a result. So as of May 2016, they ceased operation at their previous location & have since been searching for a venue that more conducive to their intent. We'll see how it all shakes out, but we expect a long hiatus in the meantime.
For their public statement on the subject, please see the Studio 58 Fetlife Post

Dark Odyssey Happy Hour - Although they primarily remain as a DC organization, the core promoters for Dark Odyssey have moved from Maryland to San Francisco. In turn, the local group who has been running the Thursday D.O. happy hour has decided to spin off into their own group. The Thursday night gather is still held on the same night at the same location (see our calendars), but they are now called DC After Dark

Changes to D.O's Summer Camp - Another change for Dark Odyssey pertains to their two main festivals: Summer Camp & Fusion. Although the last festival was lauded as a fantastic time for most, it should be noted that several core elements are no longer present. The ever so popular Clit Washer, Primal Arts Camp, Little's Camp, & Tailgate Camp are all no longer with the Dark Odyssey organization. It should also be noted that the traveling open bar that was always so popular at event parties is no longer serving alcohol. You can get "mock-tails" & bring your own liquor, but booze on site will no longer be provided by D.O.
This was the case for Summer Camp 2016, so we assume this will carry over to Fusion 2017. But that is not yet confirmed. 

The Baltimore Eagle is Set to Reopen in September - After its closure in 2012, the Baltimore landmark was left in purgatory for a number of years. Quibbles between construction & the liquor board dragged on to seemingly endless gridlock. But the long awaited opening has finally become a reality as the former board was dissolved & replaced. This opened the door for new negotiations & permits were finally passed. Now that construction has been completed, the Baltimore icon is ready to open its doors once again.See Washington Blade article for the full scoop. 
---------------------------------------------------------

Camp Crucible (Memorial Day Weekend): A Personal Review...
While the Crucible may be structurally in transition, the group remains active. Ongoing parties, events, & cruises have been hosted at various locations throughout the area - including their flagship affair Camp Crucible...

For a change of pace, this past summer we took a trip to camp. I must say, it caught me off guard. It was different, but in a good way. As it is an often overlooked camp for so many in the fetish culture, I'd like to offer a quick review.

Hosted at Ramblewood in Darlington, MD, it's held for 9 days over 2 sessions on the crux of Memorial Day Weekend. Overall, I found it was a noticeable change of pace.

The first thing that struck me was the numbers. They intentionally strive to fill the dinning hall ONCE, but not much more. They feel to do so will lose the cohesive nature that allows for more intimate connection. Fair enough, but my take was a little different. I found it was instrumental to creating an atmosphere & overall vibe that was incredibly relaxed. For once, my camp experience actually felt like a vacation. I actually came home recharged & ready for the days ahead.

That's not to say that other camps offer a bad experience – NO, that's NOT what I'm saying. I simply mean it was a nice change of pace from the high energy festival format.

The other thing that hit me was the incredible use of space. I've been to Ramblewood many times for various festivals & camps from across the scene. But I have NEVER seen a build-out as beautiful & well considered as Camp Crucible. As a promoter, I found the attention to detail & layout to be simply awesome.

One trade-off was cost. Yes, on the surface the camp IS more expensive. But that perspective can be deceiving. The entire experience operates as a type of Kink Club Med. Everything is included: entrance fee w/ the usual parties, play & classes, but also three meals & midnight snack, cabins (there is a discount if you tent), nightly bar-service, beer/juice/soda/water available 24 hours, & they even offer a snack shack anytime you want it. So you get a lot of mileage for your buck.

I also understand they host the largest & most recognized pony camp anywhere east of the Mississippi (possibly for the entire U.S). I even met a couple from Sweden who came across the pond so they could attend pony camp. So if you've ever had an interest in human equestrian / pony play then IS the place you need to be.

Predominantly, they do cater to an older crowd. But overall I found both the beautiful people & us regular folk fully represented.

The final word? Everything in the scene has its pace & place. For some, this may not be quite what you're looking for in a camp or festival experience. But if you'd like a change of pace with a more relaxed atmosphere - in a place that is kink & sex friendly w/ truly open minded people - then this just may be exactly the place you need to be.


Metro Reviews you say? Some time ago we were publishing active & unbiased reviews from our travels throughout the scene. Basically, we wanted people to know what they were missing. We kind of pulled away from that, but I think we'll be reinstalling this element under News & Notes (on our main site). So please check back, we'll do our best to keep you up to date.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Archive 2015

Just in time for the summer season, the annual build-out for The Metro Underground is now complete. No doubt, this was our largest build-out since we launched efforts back in 2008. It's been quite the undertaking, but it we've added a lot so we have all that much more to offer.  Our apologies for the delay, but due to personal reasons it was necessary to take a brief hiatus. Either way, we're finally back so we hope you enjoy! 

First & Foremost, Our Email has Changed - It seems the spam-bots found us, so the old email (Rick@TheMetro) now diverts to a secondary inbox. Additionally, personal email for Richard A.D. has also changed. We're phasing out both so please update any info to
OUR NEW ADDRESS HERE (hidden for fear of spam-bots). Thank you.

A Critical Change for Facebook - Please note: our focus on Facebook is shifting from the FB Page to our FB Group. Previously titled "DC Fetish Ball / DC Fetish Weekend," the group has been renamed to The Metro Underground & will now carry an expanded focus. 

This will do 2 things: First, it will expand the scope & use of the group beyond our own events to cover the full spectrum of the scene (more hard-edged events will still be placed to Fetlife). Second, since Facebook is more mainstream in nature it will also tone down the impact of the previous title. The reason for this is due to changes in policy. We've grown progressively disillusioned w/ Facebook pages. You now have to pay to promote your page & "boost your post." Unfortunately, since most of our promotions are not our own events the Metro doesn't work under that model.

As a result of the new policies, not only has growth ground to a halt but whenever we post an item of interest the current reach is basically irrelevant. With such diminishing returns, efforts to maintain the page at previous levels was seen as a waste of time. However, the Facebook GROUP still offers a solid forum to get the word out. So we're shifting our focus from one to the other. Now the Facebook Page will be used primarily for event photos & bi-monthly updates to drive traffic to the group. 


================================

Empire & the Alchemy Room have Closed - As of May 5th Springfield's main concert venue has closed. They've certainly had some issues so this doesn't come as a surprise. In fact, bigger bands may now be diverted to better venues such as the 9:30 Club so hopefully this might be a good thing. New ownership may even address some of the issues that plagued previous ownership so we'll have to wait & see what the future holds. But for now, the venue is closed.

Scene favorite Mad MoMo's closes - a DC favorite for smaller events such Burning DC, Tribal Fusion, & our Pre-party for the DC Fetish Ball has recently closed as well. We wish the owners well in their new endeavors.

A Few Changes for Key Events - Burning DC, DC Tribal, Black Beat, Floating World, & GlamourCon are all on hiatus. Tampa Bay Escapes & SteamCon are both cancelled. Kinetic (as expected) won't be returning. Scene favorite, TKN (The Kilted Nation) seems to have closed.

Work Continues on the Crucible - Having moved from its previous location, The Crucible is currently undergoing a full build-out on their new venue. They hope be open for business sometime by the end of summer. Volunteers to assist w/ needed construction are VERY welcome. In the meantime, Camp Crucible held at Ramblewood over Memorial Day Weekend is still on.

The Scene vs. Bureaucracy - it seems that several of the area's main fetish clubs (from DC, to Baltimore, to Frederick) have all faced a heavy assault by bureaucratic entities. Attempts to hinder or close said organizations were offered in the guise of zoning issues or fire codes (as usual). However, we're happy to report that each in turn was eventually give a clean bill of health & operations seem to have now passed beyond scrutiny.

The "50 Shades" Effect - A lot has been said about the recent fever over 50 Shades of Grey. Almost without exception the battle cry of the scene has been for concern over consent & abuse. Make no mistake, these are at issue & need to be addressed. But so much on this subject has already been said that I don't feel the need to reiterate it here.
Personally, I think an overlooked element in all this is the reach it's achieved. Most people have been crying foul because it gives a bad perspective of true BDSM, but to be honest I couldn't get past the writing. It was just bad (REALLY BAD). My impression is that it's basically a Harlequin Romance novel set in a storyline of misinterpreted BDSM. Take away the aspects of BDSM or Fetish then all you have is a body of work that's absolute crap. Yet this woman sold over 100 million copies! Then got a major movie deal! The writer in me wants to cry foul. The other side wants to scream that this living proof that our "Taboo" culture is actually very mainstream. So next time someone rolls out how twisted the kink scene is, let the trumpets blare that this is actually a very mainstream practice carried by a LARGE part of the population.

As a side note, there are a few things to make clear with regard to the entire body of work. The targeted demographic for this is primarily housewives in their 30's, 40's, & 50's. Essentially it's a group who is desperate to spice up their lives but who are not exactly clear on an understanding for things beyond the vanilla. The Author (E.L. James) started the whole thing as a Twilight Fanfiction (I swear, you can't make this stuff up), but that story soon evolved into 50 Shades of Grey. She was an erotic novelist in a mid-life crisis, & like any writer she wrote what she knew. In this case, she was morphing a basic story of fandom into a realm which she knew almost nothing about. BUT she had an array of deep fantasies fueled by an imagination that lived primarily in her own head & which was born of fanciful flights with her erotic novels. So what ended up on the page was not a relationship born of a healthy power exchange, but rather was something that she could superficially understand - something of coercion, total control, & dominance for the sake of it. The rest is a complete rip-off of Secretary meets 9-1/2 Weeks (which were both great movies). So there you have it…

And yes, we broke the " more concise" rule on this one but it was worthy of discussion.
AirBnB Meets Kink - There was Facebook, then came its kinkier cousin Fetlife. So too is there AirBnB, an online network of off the grid privately owned Bed & Breakfast establishments for local travelers. Well now there's KinkBnB offering the same accommodations but for sites of a more sex positive nature. See: kinkbnb.com.

Too Strange Not to be True - With ALL the religious debate now entering politics, beware of what may come. First there was a Florida church that lost its tax exempt status because it was actually operating as a night club for college kids on spring break (although they seem to still be operating as a major dance venue. See: CBS News). Now in Nashville there is a Swingers Club that has applied for zoning as a church (See Full Story Here). God love the entrepreneur in all of us. ;-)

Polly Goes Mainstream - You could call this a new age of sexual enlightenment. The Huffington Post recently featured the Polyamorous Lifestyle in a very positive light (See full story here: Huffington Post Online). It's intriguing how often you're starting to see various cultures gain positive exposure for what are generally considered an 'alternative' culture. I would even say the reason you're hearing so much from leaders of conservative religions is that they know they're losing ground. The only response is be loud (which they do very well). I think down deep they know they're on the way out.

Have a Favorite TV Show? - The Summer Schedule for renewals & cancellations has recently been posted. See article here: WashPost.

Speaking of which, stay tuned! We have more to come!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Archive 2014

A Few Notes for The Metro... 

We've Changed Our Email - Please make note, it seems the spam-bots have found us. we started getting over 400 emails per day of nothing but spam. Consequently, we needed to change our address so Rick@TheMetroUnderground.com will no longer be active. If you need to reach us then you can contact Richard A.D. here. 

The Metro Underground is actively searching for a new venue:  We're currently seeking new locations for our Spring Formal & other events. Potential venues must be able to host 400 (+), be amiable to adult themes, have availability on the weekend (Saturday), access to a good sound, proper ambiance, & be financially viable. Metro access & parking are a plus. Allowing ages 18+ is preferable but not a deal breaker. Central to DC is also preferred (but there has been discussion of moving our spring formal to Baltimore). Most important is a good relationship w/ the owner to build an ongoing relationship that will carry forward.  Please contact Richard A.D. for details.

DC Fetish Ball / Black & White Ball (dcfetishball.com): I want to thank EVERYONE who came out to this year's events. It was an incredible year, no doubt. I also want to thank the incredible team of top talent who come together year after year to make it all happen. It's an honor to host such fantastic affairs, & I'm humbled by the talent, tenacity, & sheer dedication of all those involved. I should have galleries & pics posted soon.  With deep thanks & gratitude,  Richard A.D. 

Changes in Format - In order to streamline our Scene Guide, weekly recurring events will no longer be placed to the Main Calendar except for special theme nights. From now on, please see Recurring Events for ongoing weekly gatherings. 


News from Around the Scene... 

Departed Conventions & Events - Each year as we work on the Metro Calendars, we basically take the pulse of the national & local scene. This year we've noticed a few major conventions & events that seem to be no longer. These include: Colonial Kink, Rubber Ball / Miss Rubber World, Kinetic, Leather Sinsations, Atlanta Bound, Barcelona Fetish Weekend, Queer Playcon, DC Goth Prom, Wicked Woods, Starscape, Leather Cruise, Montreal International Kink Festival, Fires of Venus, Key West Couples Fest, Fetfest, Spooky Halloween Ball, UtopiaCon, & others. There's a story behind each & others are currently on hiatus, but it's worth noting the monumental effort that goes into carrying such affairs forward year after year. We applaud those who keep the scene humming along & those who have put such work into creating those moments of enduring quality.

Maryland Renaissance Festival Explores Opportunities for a New Site (www.rennfest.com): currently located in Crownsville just outside of Annapolis, the Maryland Renaissance Festival is one of the largest & most well regarded festivals of its kind in North America. They currently lease the land upon which the festival is built, but inside sources allude to an issue with the family that holds the lease. Apparently, the core problem comes down to the owner that holds title to the extensive parking area vs the site itself.
       We're not sure of the exact details or nature of the debate, but as a result the board of directors has begun to entertain opportunities for relocation. This could be a power-play to shore up negotiations or it could be an earnest attempt to ensure its viability for the future. In either case, if push comes to shove then this is HUGE news for one of Maryland's most beloved festivals. We wish them well, for merriment in the grove is a favorite way to spend a fine afternoon of merriment with friends. See Facebook Page for official announcements: Facebook.com/mdrenfest

Philly Goth-Industrial Resurrects to Facebook (Facebook Group):  After years of promoting the Philly Goth & Alt. Music scene, their main site was hacked & materials were wiped from memory. Faced w/ starting the entire effort from scratch, their promoters decided it best to shut all efforts down. Can't say we blame them, we'd probably feel the same way.  But after a brief hiatus, they've now resurrected the effort as a Facebook Group. They currently offer updates on club nights & events throughout the area.

The Crucible is on Hiatus - Long time staple for the DC Scene has come to the end of their current lease. The location on M Street has closed, but they're already in final negotiations w/ a new space. Hopefully things will go smoothly & they'll be back in operation soon.

Baltimore Playhouse Reopens - After a fire that ripped through it's previous location, the long time staple for the Baltimore fetish scene has finally found a new home. Established in a 12,000 sq.ft. location, they are now be located at 3010 Washington Blvd. Final details have been taken care of & they're now operational at the new location.

Virginia Unanimously Repeals Outdated Law for Ban on Oral Sex - The Virginia House of Delegates has finally passed a bill to eliminate an outdated law that oral and anal sex a felony (even between consenting adults or married couples). The legislation, which passed the Senate will now go to Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) for his signature. For full article, see: Thinkprogress.org 

Fuel Play Parties are Cancelled & the Venue is Closed - We're not sure the real reasons behind it (although we understand that their numbers had been dwindling), but Baltimore's Fuel Warehouse has been closed until further notice. The official notice is that they had a problem w/ fire code. We'll see how things evolve & keep you posted.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Archive 2013

 
PROHIBITION (Facebook): In celebration of the 80th anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition, Richard A.D. & The Metro Underground held a special Prohibition Speakeasy. Good God, what an incredible night! What an amazing crowd! PROHIBITION ROCKED!!! I want to thank everyone who made it out, & all those involved who made it happen. The event was a monumental success, the feedback is great, & we need only a few tweaks (the bar) to help make this venue even better for next time. Thank you for such an awesome night.

The DC Fetish Ball - currently featured in Skin Two, Von Gutenberg, & Regen Magazines, with articles pending for Marquise & more to come! Please see current write ups here:
 

The Black & White Ball - Driving off the success of last year's Fetish Ball, on Black Friday (2012) The Metro also hosted The Black & White Ball.  Designed more as a dance night vs. heavy play party, the evening was indeed a true success. Indeed, we're bringing it back for 2013! Offered in special celebration for the birthday of our own DJ Cosmo, we blend a perfect balance of burlesque & belly dance while DJ's keep the dance floor humming. A high energy crowd w/ a bit of play finished the night out to the morning hours. It's the perfect way to celebrate the coming of the December Season.
Changes in Format - In order to streamline our Scene Guide, weekly recurring events will no longer be placed to the Main Calendar except for special theme nights. From now on, please see Recurring Events for ongoing weekly gatherings.

==========================================

The Scene in Philly Restructures - For the alt music scene in Philly, Nocturne Wednesday was not only the region's longest running Goth Night but it was an institution. Hosted by Dancing Ferret (the people who bring you Drac's Ball), the last scheduled Nocturne was held in November. But as things progressed this was seen less as an end & more as a restructuring.
        Indeed, the Goth Scene has been dying a slow death over the past couple years. From Philly to Richmond, including DC & Baltimore, weekly nights in the Goth-Industrial culture have fallen one by one. Once mighty nights such as Alchemy still produce great events (Goth Prom, Spooky, etc), but dwindling crowds simply can't support a weekly night, at least not during the mid-week.  Promoters have sought to restructure as they seek a sound footing. Most are moving into a quarterly schedule of specialty events. Others have moved outside the restrictions of a single genre to be more inclusive & explore the possibilities. Such is the case in Philly…
        As great club nights such as Nocturne & Sex Dwarf have passed into the night, others have since risen in their wake to restructure & bring new blood to the local scene. UnScene Philly (hosted by the same people who brought you Nocturne) temporarily picked up the flag for Wednesday but has since fallen. Drac's Ball will still carry forward as a quarterly event, while one man marketing machine Might Mike Saga has stepped in to produce Vortex (future yet to be determined).

        Of course, well beyond the smaller nights provided by Goth-Industrial-EBM, other movements such as the local Rave Scene have witnessed enormous growth over the past couple of years. In fact, in many ways they're now witnessing some growing pains & several large-scale events have begun to collapse under their own weight. The solution? Several are throwing back their roots as they strive to move back into a truly underground format.
        Either way, the future looks bright for Philly. Tireless promoters coupled w/ deep talent makes for a strong foundation. We expect current experimentation will yield good results. So stay tuned as things evolve, for such change will no doubt bring a moving parade for the weeks & months ahead. See 'Clubs' under Philly for a full listing of available venues.
Shampoo Nightclub Closes - Probably the biggest news in Philly is the recent closing of Shampoo Nightclub. Home to just about every alternative event ever hosted, this represents the end of an era for Philly. Much the same as when Nation closed in DC, this will represent a significant change for our brothers to the north.
Asylum 13 brings the Scene to Delaware - When one thinks of a hotbed for the Alternative music scene, Wilmington, Delaware rarely comes to mind. But Asylum 13 has done an incredible job to change all that. Hosting both live bands & top DJ's from around the region, blending specialty nights that cater to the kink scene & burners alike, this weekly dance night has made quite an impact. Indeed, not far from Baltimore or Philly & worth the drive from DC, Asylum 13 is one to keep an eye on. So be sure to check 'em out. See 'Clubs' under Delaware for more.

Orpheus Shakes Up - Working under new management, Baltimore's mainstay has recently made a major shift to their lineup. Former dance nights such as Obscura, N-Code, & Tokyo Shock have since restructured into specialty Goth & Fetish nights such as Hex, Submission, & Regeneration. Even still, the former flavor of Baltimore's most recognized venue for the alternative & underground scene has carried forward. See "Recurring Events" or "Clubs" for a full rundown of select nights.
RVaFreaks.com Calls It a Day - After years of promoting Richmond's Underground Culture (in similar fashion to the Metro), RVaFreaks has since shut down & called it a day. We thank them for their effort & wish them well w/ future endeavors.
Define Clusterfuck (Facebook Thread):  So according to direct Facebook posts from the promoters, the "Bondfire Crew" were to offer the ambitious Temple of Drums II - a free concert of Dubstep, DnB, & EDM on the National Mall. Sounds pretty cool, right? We thought so...  Hell, we thought it was quite impressive. Except for the small fact that full promotions were moving forward while organizers  apparently hadn't even filed for permits. DJ's, Photographers, & a whole team were apparently lined up & ready to go until the ax fell. The kicker? The core promoter was apparently scheduled for Jail just before the concert so organizers currently aren't able to even pull down the event page even though this thing has basically been cancelled. The lesson here?  Just because a few good friends have a "cool totally bitchen" idea, doesn't mean you have any business being in the business.

New Faces at the Crucible - Two Hot Nights to keep an eye on:
  • Risque - The maiden voyage of Crucible's new monthly night took flight on March, 29th. Under the guiding hand of DJ Cosmo, we can attest to its success. In fact, it was possibly one of the best nights the Crucible has ever hosted. With a focus on music, a beautiful high energy crowd created the perfect balance between dance, party, & play. Hosted on the final Friday of each month, it's a new face for an old stand-by & a new night well worth checking out.
  • College Park Kink - Serving as DC's most recent entity for the TNG crowd, CPK has not only brought a new generation into the scene, but has created a bangin' new night for The Crucible. With Mr. Fox at the helm, the monthly event draws a young beautiful crowd of up & coming kinksters. The level of play is very high, social engagement is good, & they've now reached capacity crowds to fill the space. Hosted on the 2nd Friday of each month & available to kinksters young & old, it's a night to definitely keep an eye on.
Club Fantasies Separates from The Crucible - Initially promoted as the Crucible's Swinger Night on 1st Saturdays, this monthly gathering was actually a joint venture the Crucible & Angelo's Club Fantasies. Angelo began as a core promoter for Entre Nous back in the day, later moving on to develop Capitol Cream. After some difficulty with his previous venue (an issue that plagues us all), he rebranded his group into Club Fantasies & joined forces w/ The Crucible to promote the new night. But not all matches are meant to be, so the two soon parted ways. The Crucible still maintains 1st Saturday as its swinger night, while Club Fantasies has now moved on to other venues more accommodating to the more intimate swinger parties for which it strives. Club Fantasies now hosts active play parties for about 20-40 couples at each gathering. More info under 'Groups.' 
Baltimore Polly gains ground on Meet Up - All too often the area's Meet Up groups tend to come & go. But one group that has gained a solid footing is the Baltimore Polly Group. They offer some great insights into the Baltimore Scene as well as providing a fantastic venue for like minded individuals to meet & socialize. Please see Clubs for more.
Recent Closings:  Several area venues of note have recently closed their doors…
Red Palace Closes - Long held as DC's best venue for burlesque, miscellaneous side-show circus acts, alternative music, belly dance, & the like. But w/ the gentrification of H Street, the call of profit finally took its toll. So the owners have since decided to refit the old space into an upscale restaurant more attune w/ the current direction of the H Street corridor. However, in the wake of such loss burlesque has come on stronger than ever & several new venues throughout the city have stepped in to fill the vacuum that was left behind. We have several possibilities so if you are a promoter of such acts, please contact Richard A.D. at The Metro for a few leads.
Baltimore Playhouse Closes - Baltimore's oldest playspace for the fetish & kink culture has recently closed its doors. In short, the venue was dealing with some major structural issues that needed deep attention. After negotiations between the building ownership & the group managing the Playhouse proper it was decided that the membership should seek out a new home. In a twist of fate, the building once vacated saw a catastrophic fire that basically gutted the entire structure, so the building is no more. In the wake of further issues, the leadership of the Baltimore Playhouse seems to be in question if they'll continue such efforts. For a full discussion, see dialogue presented on Fetlife: https://fetlife.com/groups/37194
DC Eagle Set to Move - DC's oldest (& to our knowledge only) club dedicated to the gay male leather culture is currently set to move or close its doors. Current ownership was given a reprieve on its initial deadline for Nov. 2012, & now has until the end of March. Currently in search of a new location, this is not the only time this institution has moved. Previously they had been displaced 4 times over roughly 40 years. But with development taking place throughout the city & commercial rent skyrocketing, new challenges pose a deepening threat. Regardless, deadlines draw near so closure is one possible outcome. We wish them well as they strive for a new beginning!  See more in Washington Blade:
Omega Closes - Previous ownership of DC's Apex abruptly closed its doors. See article in Metro Weekly for more: www.metroweekly.com/news

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Archived 2012: 

Coming & Going (those )…

ALCHEMY 2.0 - After a second attempt to recapture the glory days of an era long since past, the promoters of Alchemy have suspended all further activity. Dwindling numbers & prolific drama were fundamental factors in its closing, but it is hoped that they'll eventually come together to focus on their more major nights of Spooky & Goth Prom. Only time will tell...
Club Midnight Restructures DC’s longest running Saturday Goth night has recently restructured. After an initial announcement that they would close for good, area support caused them to rethink their options. Consequently, they have decided to move from a weekly to a monthly club night. Generally, they intend to carry forward on the 4th Saturday of each month but this is not set in stone so please check their facebook page for more current updates.  In the meantime, we thank Scott for his tireless effort & we wish him the best!

Black Saturday Comes to a Close - Philadelphia's Ulana Nightclub has hosted a Goth-Industrial night as far back as memory can serve. But this era has finally come to a close. The promoters of Black Saturday have finally decided to call it a day. It is uncertain if they will pursue other venues for specialty parties, but for now the night has made its final curtain call. 

Nocturne Wednesday Ends an Era An institution for Philadelphia & the city’s longest running goth night has recently held its last night. After spending a generation at Shampoo Nightclub, they will now focus exclusively on their quarterly presentation of Drac’s Ball - still be held at Shampoo.

Changes at Bound & Entre Nous - After years of discussion, Todd & Jen have finally moved to Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Still at the helm of his various endeavors (which include Bound, Entre Nous, XOXO, & DC Bukkake), Todd now handles promotions online & has turned over the reigns of local management of Entre Nous to his confidant, Bella Bliss. 
       Bound, however, hasn't fared as well. They recently lost their space at The Loft Warehouse & remain in limbo as a monthly event. As it stands, they do plan to hold their larger annual events (Summer Masquerade Ball & NYE Perv Ball), but the rest of the operation remains in question.

The Crucible Rises Unless you’ve been living under a rock, then some of our biggest news is the reopening of DC's Crucible. It took an arduous effort to become reestablished after closing its Half Street location. But they've since settled in at 16 M St. NE DC. Now licensed as a private club, you may no longer pay at the door. All events require prepaid membership, but such membership is readily available online for an annual fee of only $20. We wish them luck as they finally turn the page to a new chapter.

Baltimore Beyond is LaunchedWhat happens when the core membership of TNG Baltimore (a group dedicated to “The Next Generation” which offers a gateway to the youth of the scene) starts aging out of its own organization? Well, in this case you make the bold move to spin off another great group for those who are a bit older & run the two side by side while continuing the momentum of a great institution! So in the footsteps of TNG Baltimore, after a brilliant run the founders have all joined together to now give us Baltimore Beyond! While TNG offers a forum for those between 18-35, Balt. Beyond will now offer a fundamental gateway for those over 30. However, the two will run parallel for events & major functions until each reaches critical mass on its own. A great idea from a visionary group – we wish them luck & offer our deepest support! See Fetlife Group.

Chesapeake Polyamory Network Decentralizes CPN was a structured organization holding topical discussions, culture gatherings, & local parties until November, 2010. At that time it was dissolved due to dwindling interest & a lack of numbers for its efforts. Although the group is no longer served as a formal organization, it does carry forward as a community resource through Yahoo Groups. Former members create gatherings on their own merit & chat is still active. See Yahoo Groups.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Rogues & Weekend Themes at Renne-Fest - Many noticed that The Rogues were painfully missing from last year's Renaissance Festival. Rumors have flown that there was a falling out w/ its organizers but the official party-line is that this was not the case. Apparently, it was decided to change things up a bit & rotate in new bands to keep the venue fresh & different. However, as a festival favorite there is a very good chance that they'll be returning in future seasons. Also missing were the well loved themed weekends (Pirate, Celtic, etc). This too will hopefully return as such flair offered a sense of fun & frivolity to the normal seasonal calendar.
Von Gutenberg Launches their "Fantasy Event List" - From the mad mind behind the ever building Von Gutenberg Empire (including the Von Gutenberg Fetish & Fantasy Ball, Magazine, Blog, Online Store, & Social Media), now comes his latest initiative - The Von Gutenberg Fantasy Event List. Similar in nature to the Fetish Events Page (only much more proactive on the part of Eric its promoter), this promises to be a an excellent resource for national & worldwide events. See: www.FantasyEventList.com

Skin Two Releases Issue #62 - Highly regarded as one of the world's leading magazines for the fetish culture, Skin Two has just released its 62nd edition: The Fetish Style, Fashion, & Nightlife Issue.  Covering top fetish nightlife & events, from their own Skin Two Rubber Ball to Barcelona Fetish Weekend, the German Fetish Ball, Kink in the Caribbean, & more. Also featuring full fashion spreads from Mademoiselle Ilo & HMS Latex of Paris, Abigail Greydanus of Los Angeles, Jane Doe & Kaori’s Latex Dreams of London, Dawnamatrix & more.
Purchase your copy here: 
SkinTwo.biz


Weekend Camps Restyle to a Festival Format - Driving off the success of last year's events, both Fusion & Fetfest have now set the tone for regional weekend camps. Moving from the more structured elements of a weekend retreat, they have made evolutionary changes to meet the new climate of participant desires. What then is the difference in style & format?  Primarily it's a matter of price & accommodations. Previously, such venues offered a single price format which included cabins, food, classes & activities for those in attendance. Now under a more 'ala carte' configuration, tent camping is available, food is an option not a requirement (you can bring your own), & early bird incentives have dropped prices to as low as $100. With supply & demand now in higher equilibrium, a larger number of those attending may then work to transform such retreats from smaller gatherings into a more festival atmosphere.

Summer Camp vs. Fusion - As change takes hold, Dark Odyssey carries both formats on its annual calendar:  Fusion which is scheduled for June, then Summer Camp which takes place in September. But is there really a difference?  Very much so...  There's actually a great discussion on this topic through Fetlife Groups => Fetlife.com/groups/756/group_posts/1583879 

New Playspace Available - With intentions
to be available around the 2nd week of April, there is a new space available for clubs & groups interested in a weekend or overnight getaway. Located on Maryland’s Easter Shore, amenities include a 3-level 4,500 sq ft colonial estate. Accents include 4 bedrooms, 2 full baths, a 30 x 40 party deck, & views of the tidal river throughout the mansion. A fully equipped dungeon is in progress & will be available as well. The great hall has vaulted ceilings w/ a pool table & vintage coke machine. Once completed, the kitchen & bathrooms will all be fully updated w/ new appliances & fixtures. The main grounds cover 7 full acres which are hidden by a dense line of pine trees so privacy is not an issue. A screened gazebo is down by the river & there are also 2 large bandstands (25 sq.ft) framed with a roof. Future plans include the build-out of a large spa behind the house, but this has not yet been implemented.
        Located just 55 minutes NE of the bay bridge, it is an easy drive & definitely striking distance for both DC & Baltimore. While Ramblewood offers proper infrastructure for full scale events, festivals, & major camps, the new venue provides an excellent opportunity for smaller retreats & weekend getaways which are more attune to an individual group. Please contact Rick@TheMetroUnderground.com to be placed in touch w/ the owners.


Crucible Lifestyles / Club FantasiesAs the Crucible has now settled into its new location, one specific theme-night has truly risen to shine. Held the first Saturday of each month, Club Fantasies offers an on-premise event for area swingers & lifestyle couples. What made the night such a success was a strategic alliance between the Crucible & Angelo, formally of Capitol Cream. Angelo used to manage Entre Nous back in the day & later founded his own group Capitol Cream. More importantly, he understands what makes for a good club night & a great event. The lighting is set to a perfect glow, the music pops, the venue offers the perfect atmosphere for people to comfortably mix & mingle, while the host offers an inviting sense of no-pressure engagement. It’s been building month after month & is poised to be a true star for the area as well as a marquise event for the Crucible itself.  See: cruciblelifestyle.com


Entice "Falls" to Community Pressure - One of the largest Swinger Conventions consistently held in the Northeast has fallen to public pressure. Entice of Candlelight Productions has held a swinger convention for several years just outside Niagara Falls. Numbers consistently expect over 600 couples (over 1,200 people) for a 4-day romantic getaway. Unfortunately, community pressure forced town officials to take action. The means used to squash the event from moving forward? Body Paint...  There's a Zoning Ordinance that disallows body paint for anything expect children (say for a clown painting kids faces at a carnival). No body paint means open nudity in a public space so the legalities got sticky. In the end, the event organizers decided that w/ such public pressure against them it was best to take such efforts elsewhere. Unfortunately, their site has since gone inactive so future activities are uncertain. 
Chesapeake Summer Gathering Has Been Canceled - Please Note: the 9th Annual Summer Gathering for the Chesapeake Pagan Community (traditionally held at Ramblewood in Darlington, MD) has been canceled. If you've already purchased tickets then they will be refunded through the groups treasurer. There is no further information at this time. See: ChesapeakePagans.org
Apex Closes - Formally Badlands, one of DC's most recognized venues for the Drag & Gay Community has since closed its doors. The operation was formally up for sale, but the economy hindered such efforts. To which, the owner finally closed his doors & left town for good - an abrupt end which left no notice to either his employees or the community. 
Archived (2011):
The Welcome Return of Tronik (www.Facebook.com/event):  After an extended hiatus, Thursday, March 31st will bring the welcome return of Tronik with "Project Tronik" - An Underground Fashion Show (presented by Kit Psychotic). Over a dozen designers & a host of models will take to the runway for what has become one of their best annual events. Hosted at the elegant Town Danceboutique (8th & U St. NW DC), this is a welcome return for the scene. Doors at 9pm. Fashion show at 11pm. 

New Venue Brings a Triumphant Return for Dunkelhiet (www.Dunkelheitdc.com):  From outside, the new club looks quite unassuming. But upstairs, one quickly finds an altogether different vibe. The staff is both friendly & competent while the bar is well stocked. Overall, the club offers state of the art sound, a sleek look with good dance floor, functional stage area, & cafe style seating. The new venue still offers the same intimate space that is a hallmark for Dunkelheit, but the look & feel is more upscale than previous locations. A good move for what has quickly become a great night for the DC Underground Scene. We'll see you there!

The Launch of Obscura (www.Facebook.com/Obscura):  Baltimore's newest Goth night takes place the second Friday of each month at the ever popular Club Orpheus (1003 East Pratt St).  Hosted by Kele-De, Obscura features primarily Goth, Deathrock, Darkwave, Eathereal, & a dash of old school Industrial with Dark-Electro. This is one night among a rolling schedule for Club Orpheus - one of Balimore's top underground clubs under the skillful management of VJ Umbris (a mainstay for the scene).

Pennsic Celebrates 40 Years
(www.PennsicWar.org/Penn40): What began in 1972 with a mere 150 in attendance has since grown to a scope & scale that yields the largest gathering of its kind anywhere in the nation. Last year's event drew well over 10,000 & this year is expected to reach a record turnout. But what's technically billed as a medieval war game is really much so much more. Even its scope & complexity can be a bit overwhelming. Although it's hard to describe Pennsic to anyone who's never been, there are references for it (Burning Man & Starwood for example). In the end, however, it really stands alone in its uniqueness & like most else is what you make it to be. Here we find the real core of what keeps it going - this simple fact that the overall gathering is divided into individual camps each with its own unique flavor, focus, & personality. This creates a true sense of brotherhood, togetherness, & true sense of family for those who participate. The day brings war games to those who seek it, the night creates a rolling party of epic proportion for those who want it. Great food, fun times, an active marketplace, & endless diversions add to the flair. But ultimately it's about the friends you make & relationships you build that keeps drawing so many back time & time again. 

The Crucible Begins a New Chapter (www.the-crucible.com):  Possibly the most significant item for the DC Scene involves the closing of The Crucible on Half Street. Rumors abound about the reasons involved (everything from Frazier's failing health to issues of legal trouble), but we can assure you that all of these are absolutely FALSE. Truth be told, Ziegfelds took over the space that was formally Club Lime & turned the club into a wild success. A couple other businesses have also done well & as a result real estate on the block became very valuable. When the Crucible's lease came due the cost became prohibitive & Frazier was forced to move his operation elsewhere. Which brings up a point which needs to be made clear: The Crucible is by NO means closing!  Rather, they're beginning a new chapter at a new location. Details of the new space haven't yet been released, but efforts are in the works. In the meantime, March will be the final month at the Half Street location. Saturday, March 27th will host their official closing party. Membership is still required to attend. As an organization that has carried such a strong presence in the scene, we wish Frazier & the Crucible a smooth transition & prosperous future.

Dark Odyssey Leather Retreat Changes its Format to "Fusion" (www.darkodyssey.com): After 13 years in operation, Dark Odyssey's Leather Retreat has developed a reputation that's spanned the nation & is openly recognized as a forerunner for the camp format in the kink community. But as is the case with any great idea, as momentum for the format began to build, its popularity also brought a high degree of competition. Such popularity soon gave birth to new innovations & things began to change. So in order to stay fresh & keep up with the trends, Dark Odyssey re-engineered an already successful concept to create Fusion- "reflecting the movement toward festival style events, Fusion represents much more than simple rebranding." The most noticeable change will be pricing: registration will be broken into Entrance Fees, Cabin Beds, and a Meal Plan.  New pricing will be much lower than previous years while a greater opportunity for diversity & excitement will be created a result. This represents a significant shift for one of the scene's longest running retreats. But such positive change sounds like things will only get better from here.

DC TNG Changes Their Happy Hour Location
(Fetlife.com/Groups):  Of note is a change in venue for DC TNG's Tuesday Happy Hour. In short, Lounge 201 stopped permitting patrons 18 & over. This was obviously a problem for an organization dedicated to "The Next Generation." As a result, Ariel & his crew have since settled into Public Bar in Dupont (1214 18th St. NW DC).
One of Baltimore's BEST Happy Hour Socials (Fetlife.com/groups): Looking for something cool to do on hump day?  Shucker's in Fells Point hosts Baltimore TNG on the 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month. By far one of the best happy hours in the area & a great gathering for like minded kinksters in the scene. All your favorite people are there, the energy is high, the crowd friendly & unassuming.  Overall turnout ranks somewhere around 130-150. Plan for a late morning on Thursday since you may get in late. 
 

BLP Ltd. Launches Efforts for His Ambitious Fet-Fest (www.FetFest.com): Scheduled for Labor Day Weekend at the ever popular Ramblewood Retreat, the folks at BLP Ltd. have lofty goals for the new event. With a camp format structured to develop a higher sense of community, 'party' is still the name of the game. Special events are planned each night & activities set each day, so the calendar is busting with a very full weekend. Aggressive promotions & a well conceived event hope to pull a large turnout 
 
Marquis America is Now Von Gutenberg Magazine (www.vongutenberg.com/shop):  The Metro Underground is proud to have been a part of the inaugural issue for such an important publication in the scene. With an international reach & quality network, Von Gutenberg is a valuable resource for the fetish scene & offers a broad spectrum of possibility to those in the alternative lifestyle.  Now on its 4th issue, they're going strong not only as a magazine, but also hosting a top blog, online store, discussion forum, & San Fran's Von Gutenberg Fetish Ball.

Southwest VA Socials (www.SouthwestVa.Socials.com):  Unfortunately it's been confirmed that SW-VA Socials has been disbanded.

Todd & Jen Make Plans to Move South (www.EntreNousDC.com):  As the promoters of Bound, Entre Nous, XOXO, & DC Bukkake, Todd & Jen have been talking for years about moving to Mexico. But plans are finally set in motion & they expect to make the trek south by the end of the year. What does this mean for Bound, Entre Nous, & the rest of what they promote? Apparently, not much at all. Todd plans to handle online promotions from his new location while his current staff handles logistics up in DC. He also plans to make it back for major events such as SMB, etc. We hope it all works out, as the nights in question have become institutions for the DC Scene.

CODE Moves to Green Lantern (www.CodeDC.com):  With the prior closing of EFN Lounge & now The Crucible, CODE-DC has been forced to move around a bit. But one of DC's best nights for the all-male fetish crowd has rebounded well with each new incarnation. Currently they reside at The Green Lantern just off of Thomas Circle in NW DC (Google Maps). See website for more.

MAL Changes Its Location to Capitol Hill (www.LeatherWeekend.com): After years with The Washington Plaza, the venue decided they wanted to move in a new directions & didn't renew this year's event. Consequently, Mid-Atlantic Leather has moved to the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill (same location as for other gatherings such as Winter Fire & Black Rose). Reviews for this year's event were mixed, but this is usually the case when such a long standing event meets with sudden change. In the meantime, dates for 2012 are set & the Hyatt is primed for another great year as MAL settles in its new home. 
 

An Update Regarding Dirk & the Trial of Cara Cottle - As winter drew to a close, the trial of Cara Cottle in the murder of scene personality Dirk Smiler finally went to court. Her attorney negotiated an "Alford Plea" offering a defense which doesn't plead guilt but acknowledges that the prosecution has enough evidence to convict. We'll see if such tactics work, but at least the family was spared a long & drawn out trial. Sentencing is scheduled for June 3rd in Fairfax County Courts. Relevant articles can be found through The City Paper & Washington Post.   

Match.com Acquires OKCupid - Although OKCupid is a mainstream dating site, it carries a large number of people in the alternative culture & is thus very relevant to the scene. However, the site has recently been acquired by the uber-popular Match.com. It's uncertain how this will influence OKCupid (if at all), but it's possible that new efforts will homogenize the client-base to at least some degree. Even still, it seems more likely that they'll leave current operations alone & such changes won't be felt much at all.
Archived (2010):

Offering some news & reviews, as well as a few notes for what's going on - working to keep you informed & in the loop! 

We Need Your Help...  In the short time that The Metro has been in operation we've definitely achieved a high degree of exposure & strong traffic for the site. In fact, from the consistent feedback we've received, we really do feel that we're making a difference, & will continue to do everything we can to help spread the word for the benefit of all.  But we need your help!
Viral marketing has taken hold in our society like nothing else, & we can only do so much. In that, if you belong to Facebook, Twitter, any post-boards or online journals, perhaps have a website of your own, & have the availability to offer us a post or can help spread the word (in any capacity), then anything you could do would be DEEPLY APPRECIATED. The more we can get the word out for The Metro, then the more it will help spread the word for what's going on in the scene, & the more it will help the various venues to grow & prosper. In the end, we all benefit & such efforts thus serve to help everyone. Whatever you can do will carry our deepest gratitude... 

A Review from the Week of Halloween & Some Cool Notes for Stuff That Moves Beyond:

SPOOKY & TRONIK (TronikDC.com): From the glory days of an era that seemed to have passed well into the great abyss, the promoters of Alchemy & Tronik have finally brought SPOOKY back to life. And from the ashes of the past couple years, it seems that a new rebirth has again come into its own. Indeed, the Thursday before Halloween brought forth a fabulous crowd that went all out & filled TOWN Dance-boutique (8th & Florida, NW DC). It was an extravagant evening that beautifully carried forward one of DC's greatest traditions for the Goth-Industrial & Alternative Music Scene. A great time was had by all, & we trust that this is a sign of good times yet to come.

Momentum is definitely building for the scene, & the full force of it can tangibly be felt. The hope for a lasting resurgence seems to now usher forth through a number of great events such great events such as Capitol Punishment, Spooky, & Tronik. So don't miss one of the area's best nights! Now that Spooky has past, Tronik will continue to offer a fantastic night on the Final Thursday of each month. We would like to congratulate all those who participated in such a fantastic event, & we'll look forward to seeing you out next month!

And yes boys & girls, there IS something to do on Thanksgiving! So after you've had your fill of turkey & bit of a nap, then TRONIK will be held on Thursday night for the 26th - THANKSGIVING!!!  

Opening Night for III (Three): DC's latest addition to the Goth-Industrial pantheon is hosted by DJ's Vlad & Javier. With their inaugural flight scheduled for Sunday, November 15th, the new night will be held on the THIRD Sunday of each month at Cobalt (1639 R St. NW DC - on the corner of 17th & R St). Cobalt offers a state of the art club & a beautiful venue for the scene. So come out & support a great new night! Doors open at 9pm. Cover is $5 ($3 before 10pm).

Bound / Hell Ball (dc.bound.org): The recent production of the combined Hell Ball / Entre Nous were a return to form for the crew at Bound - just one more sign that the scene is again seeing a full resurgence. Hosted in a space usually populated by the rave set, it offered a great night & an awesome crowd. In fact, driving off this momentum, Bound will no longer be held at Asefu. They'll be moving to their new location at The Loft Warehouse (411 New York Avenue - same location as SMB & Hell Ball). The new location also brings forth a new night, as they move from the Last Friday of each month to the Second Friday.

Midnight Celebrates 7 Years! (www.dcmidnight.com): On Saturday, November 14th, DC's longest running Saturday Night Goth Club celebrates 7 years at The Meeting Place!

Volgothic Sundays (volgothic.t35.com): One of Baltimore's Best Alternative Dance Nights continues to hit it's mark as a strong player in the scene. If you haven't been then you absolutely need to check 'em out!  Held on the 1st Sunday of each month at Angel's Rock Bar (10 Market Place in Power Plant Live), the night offers an INCREDIBLE club with awesome DJ's, & occasionally live performances. Doors at 9pm - cover is $5. And fear not the weekend crowds of Power Plant Live, it's Sunday so they have the whole complex to themselves.

DC TNG Celebrate a Milestone Anniversary w/ a Special Celebration (www.DCTNG.com): If you missed it, Ariel & the DC TNG Crew recently celebrated a milestone anniversary with a great turn out. Consistently hosting INCREDIBLE parties, their effort & attention to detail have not gone unnoticed. For instance, at the back to school spectacular, they brought in an adult moon bounce, vodka spiked snow cones, & had live presenters "holding class."  Of course this has built over time to create one of the best groups currently in the scene. Consistently, these are a well conceived affairs with a great crowd. But 'crowd' it is not. Ariel offers a cohesive & inviting group with a sense of warmth & friendliness uncommon in any culture. So stop in to meet the crew & get on the list for his next affair. Happy hours are held every Tuesday at Lounge 201 on Capitol Hill. Their coming party in November will round out the celebration with a special event at Judy's Playspace in Silver Spring.

British Lucky Paul's "Castle" Parties (BritishLuckyPaul.com):  What can we say?  If you haven't been then you need to check it out... Renown for his incredible parties, Lucky Paul has hit the scene in full stride & continues to impress with one the best events going on. Hosted in a beautiful & spacious residence just minutes from downtown DC, featuring a well equipped play space, not to mention a fun, beautiful, & cohesive crowd, 'The Castle' has already become ground zero for some of the region's most progressive affairs.  We'll hope to see you out!

Final Call on DXS Rapture Before a Brief Hiatus (www.dxsrapture.com/events):  Please note that the November event for D~X~S Rapture will be the last party held as they plan to go on hiatus for the December & January Season. Events are currently hosted in a private residences down in Sterling, Va. so be sure to make it. Also of note, we'd like to thank them for their tremendous job of running the dungeon at Capitol Punishment. So if you get the chance, please come out & say hi to some the scene's most endearing people.

Hanover TNG is to Change Its Name (fetlife.com/groups/4837): Located just north of Baltimore & west of Philly, Hanover TNG has decided that the "TNG" label excludes too many fun kinksters & are thus looking to change their name to something a bit more representative of who they are.

DC Starz & Rites of Bacchus have merged into the "Crucible Lifestyle" (cruciblelifestyle.com): in his effort to carry the scene under the Crucible flag, Fraizer purchased all rights to both DC Starz & R.O.B.E sometime ago. He has now merged both groups into one unified organization called "Crucible Lifestyle" & has subsequently folded all events into one monthly night. Affairs will thus be hosted at The Crucible, to which the group's mainstay will remain the first Saturday of each month, basically replacing the Starz monthly social.

Entre Nous (www.EntreNousDC.com):  Has recently moved from Halo to The Loft Warehouse (same location as Bound). New rules are in place & membership is now required. RSVP is strictly enforced, so please check the website for updates on recent changes. And sorry guys, as is the case w/ the rest of the swinger scene, no single males will be allowed.  

Code DC Offers the Newest Addition to the Al Male Kink & Gear Scene (www.codedc.com): With an incredible turn out for their inaugural night, word has already gotten out & the exposure in publications such as the Blade have only given them more momentum. So expect it to make a major & continued contribution to the all male fetish scene. Held the first Saturday of each month at EFN Lounge (formally Be Bar), it's focused toward those into Latex, Leather, Uniform, Gear, & have an orientation to the city's younger TNG Crowd.

Deck 10 is Still Going Strong (www.deck10.org): offering nude pool-side & house parties , it has recently been made clear that apparently there was for a while a second group operating under the same name. We've been recently informed that an individual was causing problems with Steve & Joe (who run Deck 10) & he was subsequently banned from future parties. As a result, he went out & started his own organization under the same name. Tsk. Tsk. Shame on you dude - lose 50 points for lack of originality. Is it any wonder that "6-12" went out of business while 7-11 is still holding strong?   

At any rate, for completely unrelated reasons (actually, it was grumpy neighbors) the new venue was eventually disbanded. The problem is that posts were made online speaking of DECK 10 being shut down. BUT THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH STEVE & JOE. So in the ultimate twist of Karma, the new is out, & the original Deck 10 parties continue to prosper. See website for updates & details.

Men's Parties on 14th Street has Closed:  We've just been informed that Men's Parties, formally held at a nondescript location on 14th Street has recently closed. Apparently a member of the group fell down a flight of stairs & was accidentally killed. In a prudent move, the owners of the on-site club have shut down operations. However, it's unclear if this is a permanent or temporary initiative. Please see posted article in the Washington City Paper & keep an eye out for more information:  www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/sexist/2009