Thursday, March 12, 2020

Coronavirus Update

COVID-19 / Coronavirus: we are taking concerns for COVID-19 & the impact of Coronavirus on our local region very seriously. We ask that everyone take dedicated precautions in the wake of our current situation. First & foremost, wash your hands regularly & keep active awareness of when you touch other surfaces or others, & above all avoid arbitrarily touching your face. This is the best way to reduce risk of contagion.

With regard to Metro Calendars: cancellations are becoming a common occurrence, so please check w/ the host entity to confirm attendance before heading out. 

We are currently tracking regional numbers as circumstances unfold & have decided to move ahead w/ The Celtic Social at O'Connell's (Fri March 13th). We feel it is a happy hour format & offers minimal risk at this time. However, as an added precaution we do ask that any individuals who have had recent travel please sit this one out. In addition, we will be cancelling our Underground Party scheduled for April. We'll assess circumstances in July for our scheduled pool party when the time comes. Until then, we wish everyone the best of health as things move forward. 

Thank you, 
Richard A.D.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Archive: Spring 2020

Closing out the winter months, the spring party season is now upon us! Just in time, our annual build-out for The Metro Underground is now complete. The main site has been fully revised with a complete rebuild. All calendars, as well as listings for clubs, groups, & various resources have all been updated. Initial efforts for Metro Events, Underground Parties, & Scene Socials have also been established (but may evolve as the weeks progress).

Scene Socials - Our central focus has always been to bring people of a like mind together & create a forum for people to connect. Our Scene Socials offer a type of late evening happy hour fromat to do just that. All too often we converse at affairs with not much more than a sound-bite, so by design our casual socials are NOT a scene-based event. They're offered purely as a chance for people to gather & connect on a deeper level over drinks, good food, & honest conversation. So in addition to our events & parties, we now host about 6-8 such gatherings per year. Please keep an eye on our Events Page for future gatherings.

The Spring Fantasy Expose - Metro Events have always been known for bringing a strong edge w/ active play to the public forum. Indeed, The DC Fetish Ball will continue to do just that! But in 2020 we hope to bring something new to the stage. Focused more on music, entertainment, & fashion we'll offer something a bit more mainstream while keeping 'just' enough of an edge to keep it interesting. Details are coming soon, so please keep an eye out.

Road Trip!  Coming Memorial Day Weekend (2020): The Metro Underground takes to the road for an event of epic proportion. We're planning a trip to Ft. Lauderdale for the Fetish Factory 25th Anniversary Weekend. Possibly the biggest, baddest, & most amazing fetish event in North America - The Metro & Friends will be there in force as DC travels to Florida for an unbelievable time not to be missed! Offering 5 days, 9 parties, for an epic all fetish hotel takeover! Tickets are already going fast, so we hope you'll join us for an incredible trip w/ memories to last a lifetime.

News from Around the Scene: 

Rock & Roll Hotel Closes (see article from City Paper): In a continuing trend for the city, yet another DC venue for live music & events has closed. Due to the rising cost of rent, increased competition, & lower revenues, management at the Rock & Roll Hotel abruptly closed its doors as of March 2nd. They have no plans to reopen.

A Heartfelt Farewell to Frazier of The Crucible: as previously noted, back in November our community lost an icon. Frazier Botsford was the driving force & founder of The Crucible, Camp Crucible, LF&P, & a long-standing leader for the DC Scene. No doubt, his legacy carries far & his tireless efforts have touched the lives of many. Speaking personally (as Richard A.D), he & I actually go back well before the days of The Crucible, a lifetime ago when our younger selves were managing restaurants & pubs. I've always considered him a long standing friend well outside our efforts w/in the scene; efforts to which we always stood in deep support of each other. It was a fond memory to host him for Xmas during the hiatus when the Crucible stood between locations. But once up & running, he was back at it, giving all of us orphans a home. Indeed, that's what he's always done, working tirelessly to give us a place where people of a like mind could gather & explore that side of us which stood true to our inner selves. I had donated my family's pool table to The Crucible because I wanted to find it just such a home. After the opening, we shot a round but something came up & we never finished the game. Perhaps in the next life, but I feel there's a lesson here. for so much of our lives are often left unfinished, so always show you care & always carry forth a message of love to those who matter most. His legacy shall carry on, but he shall be missed. Rest well old friend. Soon enough, we shall all meet again upon the seas of time.

The Crew Club Closes in DC (See Blade Article): After decades as DC's premier gay bathhouse, & currently the only business in the city to maintain such a license, the owners have decided to cash out & retire. This brings the end of an era to the DC gay scene & carries a void that shall not be replaced.

Town 2.0 is currently in the works:  The former owners of Town are working on a new club off North Capitol Street in DC. It's always been a fantasy to convert a church to a club, so it's incredibly cool that the new place is a former Baptist Church. If photos look familiar, it's because the new location is right down from the former location for The Crucible. See Washington Post for full artilce.

Distrikt C Goes Dark? - previously the largest fetish dance night for DC's gay scene, they severed relations with the DC Eagle & moved to Karma on Adams Place NE. A new direction also saw Distrikt expanding beyond DC to include nights in Philadelphia & New York. But recently they seem to have gone inactive. We're checking their current status & will be providing updates shortly.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Archive: Summer 2019


The Metro Underground: we're back!
Back in action & taking the DC Scene to the national stage!

Aaaaand we're back! After a necessary hiatus to reassess & realign, The Metro Underground is back in action with some awesome news, new endeavors, & a new direction. 

Our main site (TheMetroUnderground.com) has been fully updated, & aside from a couple small brush-ups our annual build-out is now complete. Clubs, Groups, Resources, as wells as our Calendars for events from throughout the scene have all been updated. Also, we recognize there were some issues w/ our formatting for mobile platforms. These have now been fixed, so the site offers a better interface for laptop, tablet, & cell phone alike. We've also expanded out social media to offer a more aggressive effort across the spectrum. More on this below...

In our research, we were a bit surprised by just how much the scene has tangibly shrunk over the past year or so. The chaos of hate culture seems to have taken its toll on a good number of organizations, many who's leaders simply became dissolutioned & decided to step away. Many more ceased efforts for public parties & pulled back to a vetted list for private functions. Across the entire country, larger full scale events have seen a decrease in numbers (still pulling enough for a good event, but down none the less).

However, we seem to be entering into a period of transition. Where chaos once reigned, more tempered attitudes seem to now be taking hold. Where event hosts were quickly stepping away, we now have several new additions for the local & regional scene. So it seems we've begun a new day as we step onto the path for what lies ahead. Just where that path will take us is entirely up to us. We can continue the rhetoric of hate & division, or we can move in a more positive direction, taking a stand to bring back the sense of community & acceptance that once brought us all together.

In this spirit, The Metro is returning to its roots as we launch new initiatives for something pure. Since its inception, our central focus has always been to create a forum for people of a like mind to come together & connect for something more. In this, we have some major announcements, both for The Metro itself as well as the scene in general...

Major Announcements from The Metro Underground:


The DC Fetish Ball - We'd like to thank everyone who made it out to this year's edition of The DC Fetish Ball. I honestly feel this was the best event we've ever produced & I couldn't be more happy w/ the night. The energy of the crowd was amazing, the fashion & entertainment were off the chart, & the feedback has been incredible. In the end, we did hit sell-out capacity & rolled well into the morning hours. I'd also like to thank my amazing team who brings the magic to make it all happen. They are truly the heart & soul that gives it life. It is indeed a true honor to host such an incredible affair & I am forever blessed by such an incredible group who stand in support. We hope to have full galleries out in a reasonable time (for both this year & past events yet posted). Until then, The Metro has a number of projects in the works so please keep an eye out. Thank you for your support, & may the coming year find you healthy, happy, & prosperous in all you hope to be.  - Richard A.D.

The Metro Launches Happy Hour Socials - Our central focus has always been to bring people of a like mind together & create a forum for people to connect. Our Happy Hours strive to do just that. All too often we converse at affairs with not much more than a sound-bite. So by design our casual socials are NOT a scene-based event. They're offered purely as a chance for people to gather & connect on a deeper level over drinks, good food, & honest conversation. So in addition to our events & parties, we now plan to host about 8 such gatherings per year. Please keep an eye on our Events Page for future gatherings.

The Spring Fantasy Expose - Metro Events have always been known for bringing a strong edge w/ active play to the public forum. Indeed, The DC Fetish Ball will continue to do just that! So in 2020 we plan to bring something new to the stage. Focused more on music, entertainment, & fashion we'll offer something a bit more mainstream while keeping 'just' enough of an edge to keep it interesting. Details are coming soon, so please keep an eye out.

Road Trip!  Coming Memorial Day Weekend (2020): The Metro Underground takes to the road for an event of epic proportion. We're planning a trip to Ft. Lauderdale for the Fetish Factory 25th Anniversary Weekend. Possibly the biggest, baddest, & most amazing fetish event in North America - The Metro & Friends will be there in force as DC travels to Florida for an unbelievable time not to be missed! 5 days, 9 parties, for an epic all fetish hotel takeover! Tickets are already going fast, so we hope you'll join us for an incredible trip w/ memories to last a lifetime.


News & Notes from Around the Scene:

The end of an era as Bound comes to a close: after 23 years in the scene, Bound finally comes to a close. Celebrating incredible highs & lows for an amazing run as one of the scene's most recognized club nights, Bound finally celebrates a final farewell with its last Summer Masquerade Ball hosted at the DC Eagle. We thank Todd & his crew for over 20 years of memories to last. Life is a moving parade & change is an ever present reality for us all. With the passing of Bound, we celebrate the end of an era for the DC Scene.

After 25 years, DC 80's Night bids a final farewell: after a quarter century in the scene, Neal (The Angel) has decided it was time to reprioritize & move his efforts in a new direction. In this, 80's night has taken its final bow as DC's longest running dance night. We wish him well & hope to see him spin his signature old school sets on occasion around the area.

Elektroschock rebrands & moves to a new venue:  after its host venue sold & was closed, the region's last great night for gothic-fusion came to a close & hosted its last night. It was a sad affair for many, & yet again it signaled the end of an era for many. But DJ Neska, Nicholai, & Cerberus have decided to rebrand & launch a new night at Baltimore's Metro Gallery. September 2019 shall see the launch of 'Metroschock' to keep 1st Saturdays alive & well. Please see our Club Listing for links & more.

The West Wing joins forces w/ Del Viking for new initiative:  for a number of years, The West Wing offered an incredible venue w/ great parties on Maryland's Eastern Shore. But health issues caused its owner to soon step back from actively hosting such activities. Rather than to call it quits altogether, he joined forces with Del Viking & transferred both equipment & membership to the Viking Castle in Seaford, Delaware. We wish him well, & thank him for all his effort in the scene.

Abberrant rebrands to Spectra DC: a newcomer to DC's circuit of kink oriented happy hours, Abberrant soon found itself embroiled in scandal & beset by internal issues. Previous leadership stepped away & new members stepped up to resurrect the fallen night with new possibility. The previous night was shut down & rebranded to Spectra DC. Currently it hosts happy hours twice monthly at its previous location. See Groups for more.

Saints & Sinners opens in Philadelphia:  Lifestyle organization Saints & Sinners provides beautiful hotel accommodations on the boardwalk of Atlantic City. But they have now expanded their operation to include a new club in Philadelphia just north of Fishtown. The club offers beautiful decor & an active calendar throughout the week & month. Indeed, Philly has a highly active swinger scene & we look forward to hearing feedback on what the new club offers. 

Distrikt C moves from the DC Eagle: the largest fetish dance night for DC's gay scene has decided to end its relationship with the DC Eagle & move to Karma on Adams Place NE. While we sense there's more going on behind the scenes, the new venue purportedly offers a much better system for lighting & sound taking the night to a whole new level of possibility. The new direction also sees Distrikt expanding beyond DC to include nights in Philadelphia & New York. No doubt, they are growing become a premier night for the gay culture throughout the east coast. We applaud such efforts & wish them well in their new home. See links in the Club section for more.

She Productions gives a final farewell: under the tireless efforts of Wendy Fox & Tauni, one of Baltimore's best dance nights to the lesbian, queer, & gay scene takes a final bow & fades into the distance of clubs no longer. February saw the close to a great night for She Productions.  

Glorious Health is set for a Sex Conduct Hearing - As of our writing, Glorious Health Arcade is closed pending a mid-August hearing for a case of sexual conduct. Once home to Code, later Hummer, & a handful of other special events, the club is actually licensed as an art gallery & gym. As was posted to their webpage: upon a recent inspection, a person was witnessed in a towel & the inspector wrote them up for sexual violations as running a bath house which is beyond the scope of their license. We'll have to see what the final outcome is pending the hearing, but for now the club remains temporarily closed.


Metro Reviews You Say? Why Yes!   In the beginning we would publish active & unbiased reviews from our travels throughout the scene. Basically, we wanted people to know what they were missing. We pulled away for a while, but have since reinstalled this element under News & Notes. So please check back, this is an occasional forum that is constantly evolving. I hope you check it out & expand your horizons for some new & exciting. The scene has many corners, so we'll keep bringing you some insight as the days & months progress. We look forward to crossing paths sometime soon. 

The Dual Nature of Pennsic:  it's a common saying: "There's really nothing like Pennsic. To understand, you just have to come."  This may be true, but there are references to it. There are certain festivals such as Burning Man as well as various Fetish, Pagan, or Music Festivals which all have a similar creed. In short, Pennsic is a HUGE festival with the underlying theme of a medieval reenactment. On the surface this lies at its core, but there's a LOT more going on than meets the eye.

Overview & Background: 

The name “Pennsic” is a combination of “Punic Wars” (a series of three wars fought between Rome and the Phoenician city of Carthage) & “Pennsylvania” (where the festival is held).

It all began in 1966 with a small get-together in Oakland, California. A group of students gathered for a medieval theme-party. People dressed in period garb, knights fought w/ fake swords, & afternoon revelry ended in a small parade down Telegraph Avenue. This simple beginning soon gave birth to an idea, & in the end an institution was born.

The first official "Pennsic War" was held in 1972. Hosted by the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism), the next 40 years saw slow but steady growth until it finally became one of the nation's largest gatherings for a theme-based festival. Each year it draws around 15,000 in attendance & has become so significant that the festival is given its own temporary zip code while in operation.

Located in Slippery Rock, Pa, it's is held for 2 weeks at the onset August.
          
In addition to a mind bending array of activities, there are also a few core amenities: merchant vending, a food court, camp store, the battlefield, Cooper's lake, its own medical facility, & a vast array of various camps each with their own flavor & theme (many with lavish accents & accommodations).
  • Merchant Vending - Spanning the equivalence of 3 football fields, vending offers everything from garb & pelts to umbrellas, weaponry, & armor - all sold at very reasonable prices.
  • Food Court - Offering an array of possibilities for breakfast, lunch, & dinner, the food court is a great way to give yourself a nice change of pace.
  • Cooper’s Store - The main grounds provide a well stocked store with everything from milk to bug spray. They also have an ATM, cyber cafĂ©, & ice (in cube or blocks).
  • Battlefield & Lake - Sometimes you DO want to take in the more mainstream activities of Pennsic. Each afternoon the main battlefield offers a spectacle to behold. If you're looking for something more peaceful, then a scenic stroll around Cooper's Lake can offer the perfect escape for any afternoon or evening.
A Split Personality: 

On the surface, Pennsic may seem like a cross between a fantasy paradise for the kids & ultimate geek vacation for those into the local Renne-Fair. The only problem is the dual nature of things - for there are literally TWO gatherings taking place, each side by side.  In short, it comes down to those on what is termed "Top-Side" vs. those in the Lowlands or Swamp.

Life Up Top - The more general aspects of Pennsic take place on what is traditionally known as the Serengeti (primarily because it's a large open field where people tend to bake in the open sun). Most people refer to this as being Top-Side because it's literally up the hill from the rest of us.

This is where most of the hard-core re-enactors tend to dwell. Each day they strap on armor, gather their weapons, & fight. Then in the evening they attend pleasant affairs for would be Lords & Ladies. For the most part, they take the medieval role-play very seriously & tend to adhere to some fairly pronounced rules on the subject. This is the face of Pennsic most people see.

However… 

There are those down in what is affectionately termed The Swamp, called this mainly because it’s the lowlands, there's a lake, & the outlaying border is marked by a stream. It also carries a large amount of trees (& thus shade), but there's no actual swamp as the name would suggest. It's also worth noting that people often use the terms Swamp & Bog interchangeably, but they’re actually two separate areas.

This is the other half of Pennsic. Whereas people up top are more focused on fighting & medieval reenactment, people in the lowlands are more about the party. Up top they rise w/ the morning sun to strap on armor for the day's main battle, where down the hill we party until the sun comes up & tend to sleep late. It's an entirely different mindset & represents a dual personality for the entire event.

But how can one really describe it?  In short, if you were to hold a version of Burning Man 500 years ago in the woods of Pennsylvania (sooo much better than the dessert), then you'd have something very close to the Swamp of Pennsic. We host parties well into the morning hours, & most carry a deep slant toward fun debauchery to offer a vacation unlike any other. Other than this, it's true…   you just need to come before you can really understand.

So these are two faces to the overall event. You choose your flavor & get the most out of what you're looking for in a festival experience.
Coming & Going (In-&-Out):

Recent Additions:

  • Clubs:  Metroschock Baltimore, Dandies & Quaintrelles, Mike Saga, The Baltimore Eagle, Distrikt-C Philly.
  • Groups:  Mischief DC, Citadel of Kink / Catacombs, DelViking, The Cell Bloc, Spectra DC, DC Glory Hole Club.
  • Recurring Nights:  Metroschock, Beat by Beat, Society of the Phoenix, Shadows, CapitolBate, L.U.R.E.
  • Also:  Twisted Edge Magazine, DC Clubbing
Currently Inactive & Recently Deleted:
  • This section covers only those entries removed from our last round of updates.
  • For a full listing of archived content see Metro Archives.
80's Dance Party - On occasion they promote live acts from the area & ongoing retro nights with resident DJ's Angel & others. After celebrating their 25th Anniversary, Neil (The Angel) made the final decision to focus his efforts in a new direction & gave a final bow to DC's longest running dance night.

Elektroschock - One of Baltimore's very best alternative dance nights.

Bound - Long standing industrial dance night in DC. They maintain 2-3 small affairs each year: The Summer Masquerade (SMB), Hell Ball, & Alice in Wonderland. After 23 years, in August of 2019 Bound held its final event & past into the night.

KUNST UND WAHNSINN - WaxTrax! Industrial at The Windup Space in Baltimore. They seem to have hosted their last event in October of 2018 & have been inactive ever since.

Nu Fusion - Underground Band Showcase hosted by Flock Baltimore. DJ & Live music featured at Club Sonar in Baltimore.

Gorgeous Freaks - Launched in 2011, Gorgeous Freaks covered the full breadth of alternative culture from Goth, Body Art, Fetish, TV/TS, & a wide range of diverse interests. Available in print & electronic formats. Although they hoped to resurrect efforts on the magazine, efforts shifted to their clothing line so this initiative was placed on hiatus never to return.

Steampunk Empire - A fully evolved resource covering all aspects of the Steampunk Culture on a national level. Membership is also available to create a social networking opportunity in addition to a fundamental a scene guide. With the demise of Steampunk World's Fair, the forum soon went inactive & all forums dormant.

Flock Baltimore - Excellent resource & event promoter for alternative music & the underground scene in Baltimore & its surrounding area. Efforts for Flock have been suspended.

DC Rope - Founded by Green Eye'd Devil & later run by Mystic Scholar, DC Rope provides an educational focus for those with an interest in shibari, bondage, & all things rope. They are often found hosting demo stations for The Crucible & Baltimore play parties.

Aberrant DC - One of DC's newer groups, Aberrant offers social gatherings on the 1st & 3rd Monday of each month. They also host ocassional play parties, usually held at the Crucible. Check thier Fetlife profile for details.

Phyxios Mystique - Richmond based pansexual organization for people interested in the Alternative, Fetish, & BDSM Lifestyle. Thier website finally went inactive & showed no activity.

The West Wing - Secluded playspace & retreat located in Kent County, Md, Main space is actually the "West Wing" of a 7,000 sq.ft. mansion on a $3.4 million waterfront estate. With a wide range of amenities, visitors have access to the entire estate & surrounding grounds. Available for private play or would be equally perfect for smaller group retreats. Due to health issues, its owner combined his group w/ DelViking in Seaprt Delaware & stepped away from host activities.

FREAK / FREderick Area Kinksters - Covering Frederick County, Western Maryland, West Virginia, & N.Va. Primarily a Fetlife group offering Kink-friendly activities, gatherings, meetings, & munches. Over time the main promoters simply moved in a new direction & the group's core gathering for happy hour soon slipped away.

Latex Capital - Fetish-based group promoting European-style latex in DC. For those in  DC who love latex, and want to connect with other in the area. After its main promoter moved out of the area, the core of the group fell apart & soon became inactive. 

Black Beat - National organization with a local chapter that host special events, socials, & educational opportunities for the African American Culture interested in BDSM. The founders & board of organizers decided it was time to take a hiatus so as to refocus on life's core priorities. But after 4 years, it can be finally confirmed that said hiatus was indeed the end to Black Beat.

Bondage Club Baltimore - A forum dedicated specifically to the art & desire of Rope Bondage. Meetings & educational forums are held every 2 weeks w/ a heavy emphasis on Shibari & Kinbaku. Hosted by Lochai, BCB finally slipped away & became all but completely dormant.

Big Bad Nasty - Traveling between Baltimore & DC, they throw private parties w/ a highly explict nature. Currently organized as a Fetlife Group w/ a growing membership.  Amid continued scandal, the main promoter finally backed away from hosting full scale parties & moved into a more personal/private avenue of engagement.

B.A.D.A.S.S. - Baltmore And DC Area Suspension Squad. Shibari rope group spanning form Baltimore to DC. This group was pulled due to lack of activity.

SPANK - A short cannon shot east of Gettysburg there sits a great little town that seemed sleepy enough but apparently had a good number of kinksters in it. So the lovely Madam Cassie & her buff beau had the great idea of forming a more local venue for fellow people in the scene to meet, mix, & mingle without the need to always travel so far. Thus was born the Hanover TNG, now SPANK! Initial efforts for smaller play parties & happy hours soon gave way to a major effort involving education & outreach through Touch of Flavor. With the new focus, old efforts were set to the side & allowed to drift away.


BP Events / EPIC - Based out of Dover, they host events, educational forums, & social gatherings for kink aware sex-positive individuals & provide discussion forums for the Delaware scene. Their membership never really hit a level of sustainable growth & interest soon waned. In time all efforts simply drifted away.

EROS - The main purpose of EROS is to promote fellow leaders in Delaware kink community to unite & help bring a higher sense of influence to the region. As a group, they also host monthly munches in New Castle & Kent County.  With a decline in membership, follow through soon lost momentum & the group finally fell dormant.


Fixe Magazine - Based out of New York, Fixe is an online publication that presents Fetish, Pinup, Goth and other alternative features in a mainstream & accessible way. Self-described as, “Like Maxim, but kinky.” Efforts eventually shifted from the magazine & online forum to focus more on events & fashion.

BDSM Events Calendar - Providing Fetish & BDSM Event listings from across the nation. Site is down.

Jane's Guide - also relevant to Swingers - Offering hands-on reviews for damn near everything & anything related to the Adult alternative culture, from clubs & groups (categorized by location), to movies, books, products, websites, & just about anything that you could possibly think of. It's a mainstay for the culture & one of the best resources available anywhere. It's a sad day as one one the scene's best online resources has gone inactive.

Club Fantasies - Offering an intimate low pressure atmosphere, Angelo above all knows the key ingredients to host a fantastic night. On premise play parties are hosted at a private location in the DC area. Each gathering ranges from about 20-40 couples. Club Fantasies rebranded to Catacombs & merged with Citadel of Kink to serve as its host venue. This shifted the more dedicated swinger orientation to kink & fetish for an entirely new direction.

DC Polyamory TNG - A membership network dedicated to providing a forum for "polyamorous, curious, & friendly people 35 & younger of age and under to meet, socialize, & talk about matters of common concern." Formerly known as CPN TNG, (affiliated with the Chesapeake Polyamory Network), CPN stopped sponsoring groups in late 2010 so they went out on their own. However, this organization seems to have faded away & to our knowledge is now inactive.

Chesapeake Polyamory Network - CPN used to be a centralized organization, but when its formal membership began to dwindle it changed its format to more of a community. It remains active in the area, but events now come from the community itself & not a centralized structure. Events & discussion are posted through yahoo groups.

Northern VA Couples - Monthly off premise socials are held for couples & single women in the Fredericksburg area. Current association is about 400 members. All contact information was recently returned as undeliverable

Mid-Atlantic Couples - An on-premise club holding monthly events in various Richmond hotels. Main activities take place in a public forum but open play takes place in select suites within the venue. Gatherings offer an opportunity to have fun while meeting like minded couples & single women in a safe atmosphere with absolutely no pressure. Monthly seminars are also held for those new to the culture. Site was initially moved to Kassidie but all links & information have dissapeared so it seems the group has gone inactive.

SWANTIC Parties - In operation since 2003, Swantic offers sophisticated all inclusive sex positive events that catering to bisexual men & women. Most events are fully inclusive as to sexual orientations - bi, gay, straight, trans, ts/tv, etc.  All links have gone dormant & search efforts turned up nothing. Swantic has gone the way of the DoDo.

Heavenly Events - Self-described as a discreet adult swingers group providing a safe, comfortable &sexually open environment for couples who enjoy the adult life-style. They welcome couples & single ladies (single men must be accompanied by a woman). All parties cater to those that enjoy threesomes & single ladies that are bi-sexual or bi-curious. Group is based out of Baltimore. All links & means of contact were down & subsequent searches turned up nothing. The group was pulled as a result.

Swizzle Sticks - A diverse group providing weekly Off Premise Meet & Greets each Friday in Middle River, MD (Baltimore). If this group remains active, their website & means of contact are completely unmanageable. As a result they were pulled from the site. 


The Society for Human Sexuality - An excellent resource that provides numerous links to topics on human sexuality. Including: books, forums, & organizations; scene relevant events, erotica, & matchmaking; various articles concerning numerous aspects to sexuality & perspectives on a wide range of topics such as Tantra, polyamory, bdsm, anal, oral, sexual positions. This site hadn't been updated since 2007 and was no longer receiving significant numbers of visitors so it was finally retired.

TOWN - Brought to you by the former owners of Nation, TOWN Danceboutique offered one of DC's better venues for the all male club crowd (2009 8th St. NW DC). Nightly drag shows were at 10pm.  Town closed in July 2018.

S.H.E. Productions - Event production group in Baltimore specializing in LGBTQ parties for over 6 years. They also produce functions, benefits, & dance nights for various aspects of the alternative cultures throughout the area. "Lights Out" in Feb. 2018 offered a final farewell to a Baltimore Institution for the LGBTQ Community.

Hot Men DC - Local Meet-Up Group for fit men who want to explore their sexuality in the company of like minded men. As of 2017 they carry over 420 members. In 2018 the group went inactive. It's last hosted group was listed in August 2018. 

F.I.S.T. / Females Investigating Sexual Terrain - A woman's leather & BDSM organization based in Baltimore. They host monthly play parties every 3rd Saturday in their Playhouse Studio, as well as workshops on every first Sunday. They can also be seen participating in many community events throughout the year. They do have an application process & pledge period to gain full membership. After 25 years in the scene, FIST celebrated their silver anniversary & soon thereafter went dormant.

Marcus - Sex-Positive educator & presenter for the gay, bi, & pansexual communities. Called "a truly engaging educator" - Marcus teaches classes, runs workshops, and even holds interactive sessions with demo tops or bottoms. Having moved to India, he no longer carries efforts in the DC region.

Eroticacy Inc - Hosted by the ever crazy Stormy Vain. Providing Drag Queens, Nude Houseboys, & Dancers. Shows or services are available for any occasion. Site is down & no information is available.

Little Black Dress Club - A social group designed for women (sorry guys, it's an all woman's group) to get together, socialize, have fun, & have the occatsonal 'girls night out'.  Link is down & group is inactive across all forums.

Washington Wine Academy - Hosts public & private wine tastings & educational forums (the wine brats have since merged w/ the wine academy). Events include a wine & Jazz series. This is a great venue for a casual date or an evening w/ friends. One of DC's more active & intriging organizations went inactive back in 2016.

Taste DC - Organizing culinary events throughout DC, prices range from $55-$125. The website is down & online activity has ceased.

 
And Our Memorial to National Events Now Left to the Memories of Good Times Past:
  • Potterverse - Maryland's Wizard Convention at the Bethesda North Marriott.
  • Bass Harvest Festival - Music Festival at Four Quarters Farm, Artemas, Pa.
  • Flow Camp - Fire & Flow Art retreat in Harrodsburg, Kentucky.
  • Steamposium - West coast gathering of all things Steampunk. Seattle, Wash.
  • Louisiana Steampunk Festival - Hosted in Lafayette, La.
  • The Geeky Kink Event - For a kinky, steampunkish, geeky good time!
  • Dominatrix - Amsterdam fetish festival dedicated to European Domme's

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Archive: Fall 2018

Important Notes from The Metro Underground:

Social Media: we’re on it! 
Photo Galleries: we’re getting caught up!  Pics – yes, we hear you & offer our deepest apologies! Life issues first got us behind on posting galleries. We even got caught up, but our computer crashed w/ files that were not backed up (actually, our back up was corrupted – we usually do a triple back-up had not yet done so). Consequently, we had to start rebuilding multiple galleries from scratch - an arduous process. And yes, I almost cried. But we’re back on it & finally getting caught up!


The Metro Underground:  moving in a new direction - For over a decade The Metro Underground has carried TWO core principles: First, to serve as a primary gateway to the 'Full' spectrum of the alternative, adult, & underground scene (for DC, Baltimore, & the Mid-Atlantic region). But ALSO to serve as a forum for bridges to be built from one culture to another & from one group to the next. Until now, we’ve focused on the first. It’s time to change the dialogue & focus more on the second.
Our nation has been bathed in a rhetoric of division & hate for several years now. Indeed, we're seeing the saturation of this in almost every circle & the scene is no exception. More & more the fabric of that which once brought us together is now tearing us apart. Perhaps we can’t change the tide for everyone out there, but we CAN change the conversation w/in ourselves. We can choose to find love & community w/in the circles we engage, & we can create a sense of love & light for all of those around.
  • This year The DC Fetish Ball is dedicated to “Tough Love” - It’s easy to tear something down & fill your heart w/ hate or vengeance for the world around you. To choose love is a much more difficult path. But it’s possible, & only YOU can change the dialogue. So for yourself, for the sake of the scene, & indeed for the world in which we live - do not bow to the message of hate & division that surrounds us. Rather, carry love in your heart & let it shine to all of those around you. Only then will we find the path for a new & better tomorrow.
  • DC eXotica & The Metro Spring Formal are no more – never say never, but as it stands we will no longer be hosting The Metro Spring Formal or DC eXotica. We’re sorry for the abrupt shift. But if you missed the last one, well you missed the last one. As stated, we’re moving in a new direction & the nature of our efforts will reflect this. For now, we plan to keep The DC Fetish Ball & Underground Parties alive, but we’ve decided to shut down DC eXotica & the Spring Formal.
  • We’re possibly working on The Fashion Fantasy Expose – one new event we’re looking into will be the Fashion Fantasy Expose. Focused on great music, top talent, fashion, & a night of high energy opulence, we’ll still offer an awesome affair that you’ve come to expect from The Metro Underground, but we’ll be moving our efforts in a more mainstream direction. So there will be no more play-space, fetish elements, or overt adult themes (the only aspect we may keep is Shibari).
  • More to come so please stay tuned!
We're Looking for Private Venues!  We're currently seeking private accomodations for future Underground Parties. Please let us know should you have any leads – thank you!

News & Notes from Around the Scene: 

DC 80’s Night celebrates 25 Years (!) – DC’s longest running dance night will celebrate its silver anniversary at the Black Cat (Sat Oct 6th)! Hosted by The Angel & still going strong after 2-1/2 decades, this is an incredible accomplishment for any endeavor. But it’s almost unheard of in event production! We salute awesomeness as DC 80’s night moves forward in the coming years. See Facebook.

Nightmare Festival moves to 4 Quarters Farm – After last year’s shake up at Dreamscape, the June festival was abandoned & apparently further relations between Badass Raves & Ramblewood were severed. Moving over to 4 Quarters Farm (home to BigDub, their largest festival of the year), Nightmare will persevere & move forward. Representing one of the area’s largest festivals for fall, it offers a rave format music festival while celebrating the true spirit of Halloween. For more info see Links.

Baltimore Beyond is Back (!) – Serving as a gateway group for the kink & BDSM scene, one of Baltimore’s most beloved happy hours is back in action! Representing an awesome group in a welcoming environment, they now meet each month at [venue] for one of the area’s best social gatherings. If you’re in the Baltimore area, then be sure to check them out! See Fetlife Group for further updates.

Abberant DC is in Flux – Fairly new to the scene, Abberant initially was created as a true TNG organization specific to the under-30 crowd for the local kink scene. Low numbers soon led them to a conversion of all ages. Hosting happy hours in NW DC & a mid-week play night at The Crucible, there was recently a shake up as one of their core directors was called out on multiple consent violations. With backing from its leadership, they since gone on hiatus pending decisions for possible adjustments. A recent town hall was held to determine the viability of a new & better direction, but a new course is uncertain. You can follow further developments Here.  

TABU Launches TABU Travel – Baltimore’s most recognized & only ‘on-premise’ club for the Swinger Lifestyle has now launched a new initiative w/ Tabu Travel. Hosting annual trips to such destinations as Hedonism & more, this creates a new dimension for the social circles of the area. Please check it out: Tabu Travel.

Baltimore Eagle is Restructuring – After its recent closing by previous ownership (see announcement Here), new ownership has seen the opportunity such a venue carries & has not only stepped in to take over the old space but has purchased the adjacent buildings to expand operations. They are currently renovating the entire site & are planning a grand re-launch soon.

DC MixTape bids farewell w/ their 10th Anniversary – With one of the core promoters now having moved to India, one of DC’s most eclectic & beloved dance nights for the LGBYQ community has offered a heartfelt farewell. Having recently celebrated their 10th anniversary, they also made this a sendoff good bye. We wish them well in the next phase of life & thank them for 10 years of memorable achievement. See Mixtape.

Archive Spring 2018

The Impact of SESTA/FOSTA – As our trumptopian world offers up an endless parade of weekly chaos, slipping under the radar was the recent passing of the SESTA & FOSTA Acts. While on the surface such initiatives carry the spirit of something truly good & strives to put an end to sex trafficking, as law they are poorly written, FAR too vague, & carry deep ramifications for the entire scene & how we interact online. The fallout is already being felt as various online providers have scrambled to contemplate just what the new laws will mean. People affected are dating sites, hook up sites, anything listing legitimate escorts or adult services, as well as Pro-Domme’s, & an array of others in the alternative culture. Services such as Craigslist & others have already cancelled services for online personals & the reaction is already being felt on mainstream forums across the net. It’s no secret that big brother has been watching, but his impact just became very real for all of us.  See related articles here...

Dreamscape is No More – One of the East Coast’s largest & most loved rave-format music festivals is no more. Hosted at Ramblewood in Darlington, MD, last June saw the close of a giant. The official word is that its promoters are shifting gears to focus on their other two festivals & club nights. But like any major event that comes to a sudden & unexpected end, there’s always more to the story than what you read. Unfortunately, it’s not our place nor intention to comment on such issues. What matters is that one of the greats is gone & there exists a deep void that has yet to be filled. See Link for official statement.

The Steampunk Worlds Fair is Cancelled – Collapsing under the weight of deep scandal & continued allegations of sexual misconduct, Jeff Mach Productions lost full support of his base, & all of his events have fallen as a result (including Wicked Fair & The Geeky Kink Event). As the largest steampunk festival in the eastern U.S. & one of the largest in the world, a savior organization tried to initially step in & carry the banner forward. But we believe the reality of what it takes to create such an event was a bit too much. Consequently, they pulled out & there was no one left to take over the magnitude of such efforts. As a result, the World’s Fair & all Jeff Mach events have been cancelled. There are no current plans for a future resurrection.  See Link for public announcement.

Transformus Rises from the Ashes! – As other giants fall, like the Phoenix from the flames one has risen from the ashes! Indeed, Transformus is back! After a temporary hiatus, they now have a new location offering more space & better accommodations to fit the size of its crowds, Indeed, one of the East Coast’s most revered burns is a welcome return.Tickets are currently on sale & available. Please see Mainn Site for details.

Larry Harvey (Burning Man Founder) January, 11, 1948 - April 28, 2018 - Larry Harvey, the founder of Burning Man & main force behind its core principals has recently passed away. Most people grieve such loss, but I take a different perspective…  What an incredible life to have created something that would have such an impact on so many. My god, what an amazing legacy to leave behind!  THAT is a life well lived!  Rest well good sir, you have brought a sense of love & light to the world that burns bright & carries forward forever more. We honor your memory, your life, & the impact it’s had on so many throughout the world. Please See: Journal Memoriam.

Drac’s Ball Celebrates 20 Years! - On April 14th, Drac’s Ball will host its 20th Anniversary in Philadelphia. We believe this is the longest running Goth Night on the east coast & possibly the nation. The event is already sold out & plans are set. Twenty years in the scene is an amazing accomplishment. So we salute such an awesome achievement!

Tribalcon Draws to a Close – Offering one of the nation’s most beloved gatherings for Tribal & Fusion Dance, this past February Tribalcon celebrated its final installment. This effectively brought the end of an era to a close for a great many. In short, the rising expenses of travel, lodging, & venue created an inequitable weight on its promoters. The economies of the festival just could not support the rising cost for such an endeavor. So the core promoters have wisely decided to refocus efforts into a single teacher model for those in the community. We wish them well w/ their new endeavors & hope for a fulfilling future as they now venture forward.  See Facebook for follow-up.

Spoutwood Faerie Fest Hosts Its Last – Spoutwood Farm has announced that this May will probably be the last Faerie Festival for the venue. Never say never, as the owners ‘may’ move the beloved festival to a new location (ha! I see what you did there). But as it stands, the plan is to simply let it draw to a close.  Growth is good, but the festival has grown so much that its now stressing the farm, surrounding township, parking, & staff. So, after 27 years of making magic come to life, 2018 will host the last May Day Fairie Festival at Spoutwood Farm.  See Link for announcement.

Klimaxxx Takes a Break while Swinky Fills the Void – As one of the area’s more active swinger nights, the founders of Klimaxxx have decided to step away & take a break. This is a great loss for the scene & we thank them for all their effort to create such a great night. However, in its wake one of their core promoters has stepped forward & created “Swinky” to help fill the void. The inaugural event offered a great night which we hope will build to an amazing future. We wish them luck as the weeks & months progress.

TABU Launches TABU Travel – Baltimore’s most recognized & only ‘on-premise’ club for the Swinger Lifestyle has now launched a new initiative w/ Tabu Travel. Hosting annual trips to such destinations as Hedonism & more, this creates a new dimension for the social circles of the area. Please check it out: Tabu Travel.

Mixtape Draws to a Close – Traditionally hosted at the 9:30 Club, Mixtape offers one of the area’s best & longest running dance nights for the gay communities. Unfortunately, the promoters are moving on with other endeavors. So this brings an amazing night to a close. We wish them well & hope for a bright future in all they hope to be. Their final nights will be Gay Pride at the 9:30 Club on June 9th, & a final farewell at the U Street Music Hall on Sept. 8th. See Facebook.

Code DC is now Hummer – DC’s all male night for those into gear, leather, & more has passed the baton. As Code DC comes to an end, Hummer has risen in it’s place. Hosted 1st & 3rd Saturdays at the Glory Hole (just off of New York Ave), they offer a very similar night under new leadership.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Archive 2017

First a Few Notes from The Metro Underground:  
 

The DC Fetish Ball Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary (DCFetishBall.com):  A decade in the making, the area’s most respected & anticipated event returns to Ultra Bar on Sunday, Oct.8th (Columbus Day Weekend). Due to its increasing popularity, this year we’ll be limiting attendance & will absolutely sell out! So don’t wait - tickets go on sale immediately after Labor Day.

DC eXotica Returns (MetroEvents): After an unbelievably successful debut, DC eXotica returns to the district for a second year. Planned for Sunday, Jan 14th (MLK Weekend) we’ll be back at Ultra Bar for a night of decadence & beauty you won’t want to miss.  

We’re Phasing Out Our Facebook Page (Facebook): Due to the new policies of Facebook, The Metro Page has become almost irrelevant. As a result, we’re now focusing almost exclusively on our Facebook Group & Fetlife for social media.  So: FB Page = to => Facebook Group

Work is Moving Forward on Galleries & Pics (Galleries): We’re currently in the process of posting full galleries & top pics from past events. These include the Final Black & White Ball, Aiyoku & Steampunk Apocalypse (Spring Fromal), DC Fetish Ball for 2015 & 2016, as well as DC eXotica. We’re terribly behind & apologize for the wait. However, we hope to be caught up by the next Fetish Ball in October.  Thank you for your patience.

News from Around the Scene:  

Fall PDF is Cancelled (Announcement-Link): Due to struggles with its current location, the Fall event for Playa Del Fuego has been cancelled. In its place, a new burn has been organized called Constellation. It’s currently uncertain if this will affect the spring PDF or if they’ll just host it at the new location. Indeed, the search for a proper venue is an ongoing struggle for most. Transformus has fallen to the same circumstances & is no more. But the organizers of PDF seem committed & should find good ground upon which to build soon.

Cranberries Tour Cancelled (Announcement-Link): Unfortunately, The Cranberries North American & European Tour has recently been cancelled. The only east coast show still in progress will be New York. According to the band’s official statement, Doloris O’Riordan has been suffering from extreme back problems. On the advisement of her doctors she was forced to drop out & the band cancelled the tour. See link for full statement & possibilities for a future return.

Mixtape Goes Quarterly (Faebook): One of the 9:30 Club’s most beloved nights has shifted to a quarterly format. Celebrating 9 years in the scene, the burden started to wear on its promoters. Although they considered shutting it down, they still loved the night & all it brought to the scene. So the perfect compromise was to shift formats to a quarterly schedule & move forward while creating a better balance within themselves. The new schedule will include nights for September, December, March, and June.

Recent Shake-Up on Fetlife (Announcement-Link): For those who are unaware, Fetlife has recently suffered a major shake-up. Several groups & elements of certain profiles were pulled. This was due to a recent governmental shakedown under the initiative of “Operation Chokepoint” (worthy of note that this law was recently taken off the books). The master minds behind Fetlife have made full disclosure of the problems involved & have worked diligently to maintain full integrity of the site. See link for more.

The Crucible is Now Open & Active (The-Crucible): In case you’ve been living under a rock, DC’s one & only playspace for the kink-set is once again open! After a 2 year hiatus, Frazier & his aligned powers have been working diligently to fight a mountain of red tape to get the doors open. Indeed, the new space is a beautiful venue & marked improvement over the previous 2 locations. They’re quickly gaining speed & now have a very active calendar. So be sure to check it out & throw some support for the new initiative. And congrats on the tenacity to see it through!   

CCPS 2nd Attempt has Left Them Indefinitely on Hiatus (CCPS): After significant financial difficulties drove the Charm City Play Space from its previous location, a second attempt was made at a new location just north of Baltimore. Unfortunately, things have not come together. This coupled health issues facing the owner has left them indefinitely closed until further notice.  

Big Changes to DC TNG (Announcement-Link):  As of late, there’s been a bit of a shake-up w/ DC TNG. The end result of which is a step in a positive direction. For sometime now, DC TNG has been open to all w/out the usual requirements of a 35 & under group that is usually seen. So ‘The Next Generation’ is spinning off into its own group while the current group is restructuring under Hellfire DC. This new group will serve as a fundamental ‘gateway’ group w/out the age restriction, & will carry forward w/ its current happy hour & monthly play party. We wish them well as they rebrand & restructure the new initiative!

Update for Indecent Enterprise (Announcement-Link): Having lost 2 of its core venues, Indecent Enterprise is temporarily scaling back its once active calendar to take a bit of hiatus while it regroups. This does not mean it’s inactive. Currently they do plan to maintain their presence at regional camps while they sort out issues with a new space.

Diabolique Ball is on Hiatus (Diabolique): But alas, it appears that a recent shake up w/ one of Philly’s most beloved events has potentially put them on temporary hiatus. Please keep an eye out for future announcements.

Skin Two Magazine is Refocusing Efforts (SkinTwo):  With a worldwide following, Skin Two has stood for years as the most respected magazine for the fetish & latex subculture. But in an era of social media & dwindling returns on print media, they too have felt the reality of industry economics. As a result, they are now focused almost entirely on their clothing line & have phased out the magazine almost completely. To which, they do not stand alone. Gorgeous Freaks Magazine has followed suit & is currently directing almost all activities toward their clothing line as well. We respect their effort over the years, wish them well in their new endeavor, & lament the passing of a giant.

Our Love & Best Wishes for Richard & Vicki of Tabu (Facebook): For those who may be unaware, Richard (co-owner of Tabu Social Club w/ his wife Vicki) recently collapsed a lung & has been having a difficult time with his health. Although we expect a full recovery, our heart goes out to Vicky & Rick wishing him a speedy recovery, good health, & prosperous days ahead. Please send some love if you’re able, they could use some good vibes through this difficult time.

New Club Comes to Hyattsville (ClubShadow): DC has a new on-premise brick-&-mortar swinger club! To date, we have not been to any of their functions. But for those groups who may be looking for a solid venue, you may want to check them out.

Antibiotic Resistant Gonorrhea has Hit the U.S. (article): Numbers are still miniscule, but it must be noted that a new strain of antibiotic resistant gonorrhea has recently encroached on the U.S. We don’t want to spread unwarranted fear, but this is a significant development worthy of note.

The DC Eagle is Alive & Well (DCEagle): Also filed under the heading of “in case you’ve been living under a rock” - DC’s one & only gay male leather club has returned to form. The new venue offers a vast space w/ secured parking & an active schedule of events.