By Ray Stern
By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
By Stephen Lemons
By Stephen Lemons
By Monica Alonzo
By Chris Parker
Thankfully, Wednesday night in the Zona is hotter than Cameron Diaz's S&M video. Last week, P-town's lipsticker dykon (that's dyke-icon, natch) and I lit the roof on fire at Next's Batucada. And this week, we did the same for the Wednesday eve 2-4-1 at BS West, Scottsdale's premier alternative club where a two of a kind always beats a straight.
Despite a Fifth Avenue address, BS's main entrance opens onto an alleyway back behind and next to ACME Bar & Grill. Past a small patio and through a door to the left, you step into a two-story club that has almost a collegiate feel to it, with a big main bar on the first floor, a game room with a pool table, and a dance area 'bout the size of a Cadillac Escalade. Upstairs is another pool room which overlooks the patio, a closet-size bar, and a railed-in area where you can peep the dancers on the floor.
This Wednesday night, BS is bangin', with the big-screen TVs playing videos from Usher, Enrique Iglesias, and Juvenile. The downstairs bar is four or five deep with fellas slammin' those drinks, each time getting a casino chip with "bs" on it for the next round on the house. Though it's mostly guys in da hizz-ouse, there's a sprinkling of ladies as well -- some dancing, some hanging with their gay pals in classic fruit-bat style. Everyone is dressed down, super kicked-back, and, unlike a lot of Snottsdale, extremely friendly and drama-free.
The J-grrl and I score drinks and one of those "bs" chips apiece. FYI: I found out later from one of the owners that BS ain't nothing nasty. Get this -- it stands for "breadsticks." Seems way back it was an Eye-tie joint, and the name stuck. Why West? Well, there used to be a BS East in Manhattan, but now no more. Eventually, owner Michael Fornelli and his partners plan to chop off the West and keep the BS.
We take a tour of the place, stopping upstairs to chat with John Miller, 28, a genial gent in a lavender and burgundy golf shirt with earrings in each lobe, and brown hair pulled back. Buff, but not grossly so, John explains that he stays in shape by beating up folks' luggage for Mesa Airlines.
"Right now I'm studying to be an airline pilot at ASU's flight program," he tells us. "It's my passion, and it's what I want to get paid to do, but it's taking me fucking forever right now. That's why I work for the airline, because I eventually want to move up."
"Airline pilots are cool," I say. "And they get more action than the elastic in George Clooney's underwear."
"Assuming he wears any," cracks Jett.
"Good point," I reply. "So, John, why are you out tonight?"
"I'm hanging with friends," he replies. "See, I haven't been in the scene for a long time. I was in a really good relationship for two years with a younger man, but then I caught him out with someone else. It really broke me down. I guess I'm still a little bitter. But I've decided I'm just gonna have to be single. I've become very asexual since then. I can't let anything interfere with me while I'm still pursuing my dream."
"I know how you feel," I say. "I get rejected so much I've become a unisexual."
"Yeah, that means I have sex once a year -- with myself!"
My fembot gal-pal rolls her eyes, and we move on back downstairs, squeezing past the dance floor and into the pool room, where no one seems to play pool. Mostly folks just hang here and confabulate, or take a breather from the mass of gyrating fly guys next door. Of the latter is Levi Elliott, a studly, blond surfer-lookin' dude wearing a black tee that says "Recruiter" in rainbow colors. (Recruiting for the gay nation, apparently.) Levi says he used to work at BS, but no longer.
"That's why I like to come to BS on Wednesday nights," he says. "Because I know everyone here. It's like the gay Cheers. Everyone knows everyone else, and it's been around for-ever. If you wanna go somewhere and just have a good time, you come here."
"Levi, don't be offended by this question," I begin. "But us het males always assume gay guys score all the time. True?"
Levi laughs, "Are you asking if I get laid a lot?" He pauses, then answers his own question. "Yeah. But I can't help it, I'm a Virgo. We're the most sexual sign."
"Good man!" I exclaim. "That's why we breeder males look up to you. So how do you stay so buffalicious?"
"I find that if you're doing what makes you happy in your daily life, then working out ridiculously isn't important," he responds. "Of course, I'm also a dancer, so that helps too."
"Yeah, 'cause what makes Kreme happy in his daily life usually comes la mode," joshes Jett. "Actually, Levi and I know each other. You should tell Fat Albert here about what happened to us on Cinco de Mayo."
"Well, I was out at Amsterdam's, and I spotted this chick in the crowd," says Levi, nodding at Jett. "So we're talking, and she says, 'This guy I'm with thinks you're cute, blah-blah-blah.' We all go to his place, and she happens to hook up with his roommate, a chick. And the next morning, this guy makes us all breakfast."
"Eggs and bacon," says Jett. "And strangely, rice. Because he was Asian, I guess."
"Good times," says Levi. "And she and I've been friends ever since."
"Nutty. Maybe I should switch teams," I sigh. "I'm in awe of the sex lives gay people lead."
"But then you'd have to work out," chides my Sapphic sidekick. "Queer guys are in shape. And didn't you tell me you're hung like a grain of rice? That won't fly."
"Yes, but I'm full of inner beauty, Jett," I tell her. "The outside may look like a pre-op Al Roker, but inside, I'm Brad Pitt in Troy. Anyway, I need another drink -- be back in a sec."
I leave Jett and Levi in the pool room, and head for the bar. As I'm ordering my greyhound, I catch the eye of a tall, attractive African-American fella who compliments me on my Jim Jones-like shades. We take our drinks to the sidelines where he says his name is Orsur, and that he hails from St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. He explains in his très charming accent that he's been in the PHX for about a year.
"I originally came here when I was in the Air Force for training, and I fell in love with Arizona," relates the handsome 27-year-old, who's wearing a brown sleeveless tee. "So I came back. And now I work in a bank, believe it or not."
"Why BS tonight?" I query.
"The people are excellent here, it's a great atmosphere, and of course, it's a great drink special on Wednesdays," he says, smiling. "Right now I'm drinking Frangelico on the rocks with a lime. It's a really good drink to have if you just want to be laid-back."
"Do you have a boyfriend right now?" I wonder.
"No, but I'm looking! Nobody wants to hook up with me for a relationship. They all want a fling. But I don't want a fling."
"What are you looking for in a man?" I toss my hair, all atwitter.
"Whatever catches my interest," he says. "They could be good-looking, they could be not. I guess it's the whole vibe."
"Wait a sec, you mean you might go for a guy who's not good-looking?!"
"Sure, why not?"
"Th-th-th-then I might actually have a chance!"
"Yes, but that vibe has to be there," he says, sipping his drink.
I get it. Orsur's letting me down easy. So I waddle sadly back to Jett, who's talking to one of the few babes in the place, an auburn-haired gal named Jessica, who says she works for a cell phone company. She parties at BS with her gay friends because she likes to dance and not get hit on endlessly.
"I'm straight," she confesses to Jett. "But I have to admit, I'm really into women."
"That so?" replies the L-Word Don Juan, supremely confident.
"Absolutely. I've even made out with girls before, but that's it. I'd say I'm 80 percent heterosexual, but that other 20 percent is lezzie."
Jett's eyebrows arch. "Gimme a call if it ever swings 70-30 the other way. Once you get the training wheels off your bike, maybe we can go for a ride," she says.
Jessica's gay pal, a Latin boy named Antonio, nudges up next to her. "Are dju making a love connection, baby?"
Jessica looks longingly at Jett. "Not tonight, unfortunately."
Jett and I mosey on. "You're turning down a roll in the hay with that dime?" I ask my vagitarian bud, holding my hand up to her forehead. "You got that West Nile or something?"
"Get your paw off me, fudge-bucket," she snorts, slapping away my digits. "I'm not taking the first kitty out of the litter. I've got standards."
"I wish I had that luxury. Fortunately, I have a little piece at home waiting for me."
"Really? So what are you whinin' for?"
"Problem is she's made of vinyl and has a slow leak," I confess. "Otherwise she's perfect."