I’ve been studying all day for my bar exams. I took a break to speak to my mom about my bar exams and then continued my work. I started around 10am and it’s now 5pm.
I’m feeling pretty zapped and figured I’d have a sexy weekend date with a pizza. I figured I’d do a weekend update before getting into “do-nothing” mode.
Unfortunately, I’ve come come across reasons to get out of my PJs this weekend. Grr!
Toronto Strip Spelling Bee , Evil Twin Edition @ Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander Street)
They hold these in Montreal. They’re a lot of fun and the organizers try REALLY hard to ensure no one takes unwanted photographs. Here’s the Facebook description:
“The game is played a lot like strip poker, but it’s a spelling bee, and it’s played in front of a live audience of hooters, hollerers and hecklers who want to see some smart and sexy skin!
Sign-up at 10:30 PM sharp!
Bee starts at 11 PM
$10 at the door
FREE if you compete! (AND we buy you a drink!)
Please note that we must cap our number of strip-spellers at 10 to ensure an expedient and entertaining evening.
One by one, participants are asked to spell a word. If they get it right, they sit down. If they get it wrong, they must striptease A THIRD of their clothing off, and that is considered their first “strike”. When they misspell a second word, that is their second strike and they must striptease ANOTHER third off. A third and final strike requires that they strip down to their underwear. Or, NAKED - whichever they are most comfortable with.
After three strikes, a participant is out of the competition. But they should take heart – because while they may have lost, the audience has most certainly won.
Both the winner of the Bee and the Best Striptease of the night win (a) A CD with over an hour of cats purring! (b) A Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style book from the POV of a housecat in the zombie apocalypse!
While the Best Speller of the night will be chosen through purely quantitative means, Best Stripper is chosen in a more qualitative manner by our Secret Judge whom we have embedded in the audience. As with all things, if you compete in COSTUME, the Secret Judge will look more favourably in your direction. As this is our EVIL TWIN edition, you are best served by dressing as the evil version of yourself from a mirror universe.
All striptease spellers do not pay cover.
Anyone can drop out of the competition at any time AFTER the completion of the SECOND round.
This is a queer, senior and trans-friendly event. We have a NO BOOING policy strictly in effect. No photos are allowed except by our Official Photographer. Our goal is to have everyone feel safe, secure and comfortable enough to strip and spell.
Regarding the No Photos Rule - we also have a Snitch Policy. If you are a member of the audience and you witness someone taking a surreptitious photo, BY ALL MEANS, interrupt the proceedings, come up to one of the hosts - SNITCH on the guilty party, and once they have been dealt with, you will be rewarded with a free drink.”
Toronto Straight-ish Slowdance @ Dovercourt house (805 Dovercourt Rd)
I LOVE slow dance parties; they’re fun! This one seems to have a lot of “rules”. Here’s what the Facebook has to say:
“With a lending library of designated dancers for all you wallflowers, and a dancecard-booklet to set up dances in advance (should you choose to), Toronto Straight-ish Slowdance has all slow songs, all night long! (Except for the occasional intermission when we play the fastest songs we can find!)
It’s high school with a happy ending. Come and experience why slow is beautiful, and why love is not ironic.
Doors at 9:30, Dance from 10 PM - 3 AM.
$10 admission includes your Dancecard-booklet!
Regretfully, the Dovercourt House is not wheelchair-accessible.
♥ A NOTE ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS TO BE “STRAIGHT-ish”: So, for awhile now we’ve been doing regular Toronto QUEER Slowdances, and they have blossomed into a teeming and beautiful garden full of lovely perennials. Over that time, we’ve gotten regular emails from folks who may not identify as queer but rather straight, or straight-ish, and love to slowdance, and would like a night where they can express that too, so we are trying to accomodate you with this event. We called it “straight-ish” because gender identity and desire is complicated, but we’re trying to come up with a title for the event that is direct and uncomplicated. So please, forgive our clunky and inelegant solution. It’s only because we are clunky and inelegant. Most of the folks you will encounter at this particular event will identify as straight and likely fall into a heteronormative gender binary - this is in no way to say that everyone here will be that way. If, on the other hand, you feel that you would rather go to the Queer Slowdance, you can check out THAT event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/417170581754929/
♥ A NOTE ABOUT THE DANCE CARDS: The dancecards are these little booklets that contain a setlist of every song that will be played that evening. The idea is that during the course of the evening, you can “book” certain songs with certain people, and vice versa. So when your charming hosts announce a particular song, you can look on your dancecard and see who it is you’re going to dance with next. There is a little space after every song where people can write their names. How filled your dancecard gets depends on you, of course. Ask someone to dance! Or give someone meaningful looks! Look for the Dancecard-Signing Station located somewhere on the premises, usually near a light, where small pencils are available. The dancecards also - thoughtfully - have lots of empty places where you can write down the names and numbers of charming people whom you may have danced with that night. Use of the dancecards, is, of course, optional, and completely up to you. Proceed at your comfort level.
♥ A NOTE ABOUT THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT: The Rules essentially state that as someone coming to Slowdance, you have the right to ask anyone you want to dance. But whoever it is you asked has the right to refuse your request, and not have to give any reason why. But wonderfully, you have this right as well. This is done because slowdancing with someone is rather an intimate sort of enterprise, and a minor commitment, and you should have the right to back out anytime you wish. Slowdance is about consensual respect and enjoyment. Just because you may have danced with someone for most of the song, if at any point you are feeling unsafe or uncomfortable, you can simply walk away. If whoever it is persists in their attention, locate one of the organizers, and they will be ejected from the premises. And fucked-up. Anyone who refuses to comply by the rules will be fucked-up. Kidding! Kinda.
♥ A NOTE ABOUT THE DESIGNATED DANCERS: On any particular night there will be a handful of our Designated Dancers available to dance with you for the first half of the evening - so arrive early! They will be wearing glowing items over their hearts, and these Designated Dancers are warm, charming, and safe people to ask to dance. Of course, the same Rules of Engagement apply, and they, as free agents, can decide for themselves who they want to dance with, and for how long, but in all likelihood, they would be very open to dancing with you. Please think of them as a warm taxi light in the middle of a blizzard; the cast of a lighthouse, when you are too far from shore and shrouded in fog; a glimmer of hope after a lifetime of desolation. Well, actually, that might be pushing it. Please think of them as a temporary safe harbour. They will also be looking for you, and asking you to dance, trying in their way to turn any wallflowers into perennials.
♥ A NOTE ABOUT ACCESSIBILITY: Regrettably, the Dovercourt House is not an accessible space. For those who are interested in the particular accessibility challenges that the Dovercourt House presents - there are 12 steps going up the front to the “main” floor, with a handrail, and then another step at the doors. The bathrooms have stalls, but they are very small and difficult to manouever. We have been the recipient of a number of emails and wall-posts about accessibility - or rather, the lack of it - at our current venue, the Dovercourt House. We understand, and it is an ongoing concern. A more complete statement about accessibility and our efforts to find an accessible space can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/sherwin-sullivan-tjia/a-note-about-accessibility-at-my-events/10152392794924459
♥ A NOTE ABOUT COMMON SCENTS: Because at this event folks will be in very close proximity to each other, pretty much hugging, we would like attendees to be mindful of what they smell like. Now, we don’t want to stipulate that attendees must not wear scents, or use scented soaps or shampoos, or not smoke. One of the best thing about Slowdance is that you can choose who you would like to dance with, and we are loathe to take choices away from attendees - but if you have a habit of spraying a cologne or perfume on before leaving the house, we would ask that you consider NOT doing so. Smell the way you smell. This does not mean not bathing. We heartily encourage bathing and wearing freshly laundered clothes. But the fact is, in this culture, we often try to cover up “bad” smells by pouring on the “good” ones. We would ask that you take as much consideration regarding what you SMELL like as what you LOOK like before you leave the house. (PS. We recognize that our providing breath mints and gum is totally hypocritical here). And actually, for some chemically injured/scent-sensitive folks, this is an issue of accessibility, so we ask you to be considerate. Thank you!
♥ A NOTE ABOUT POLITELY DECLINING: So at this event, there is a high likelihood that you may be asked to dance by someone of the same, opposite, or indeterminate gender. We understand that people have preferences, irrespective of gender, regarding who they want to dance with. We urge you to be very polite if someone has asked you to dance but you do not want to dance with them. A simple “No thank you,” will suffice. You do not have to explain why. We urge you, when declining, to be brief and polite. Please keep in mind that the person asking you to dance is taking a big emotional risk. You do not have to explain why you are declining. Indeed, we urge you not to.
♥ A NOTE ABOUT HOMOPHOBIC ARTISTS: It was recently brought to our attention that certain artists, like Bon Jovi, Guns ‘n Roses, Sting, Eminem, Ween, Public Enemy, The Pogues, The Kinks, Sex Pistols, Frank Zappa, Korn, Violent Femmes, or Chris Brown, are alleged to have made homophobic slurs or statements in the past, and/or have homophobic lyrics in their songs. In certain cases it’s hard to be sure if the homophobia was deliberate, like in The Kink’s “Lola” which leaves things kinda mysterious. In other cases, like The Spice Girls’ “2 Become 1”, heteronormativity is espoused, like in their lyric “Any deal that we endeavour/boys and girls go good together”. Though, to their credit, in recent years, a new version of that song has emerged, which has changed the lyrics to: “Once again when we endeavour, love will bring us back together” which is more inclusive. This puts us in a bit of a quandry, as you can imagine, because it’s hard to keep track of every homophobic artist and every homophobic song, and even more difficult to parse out the meaning behind every lyric. Additionally, this brings into question whether we necessarily need to attach the views of an individual artist or band to a particular song. What if the artist is homophobic, but the band is not, and the song has nothing to do with queerness? Should we enjoy the song? Here, at Slowdance, after much agonizing, we’ve decided to take on the possibly controversial policy of “Fuck It – it’s a great song.” We are going to play whatever song we like because it’s a wonderful song and succeeds in bringing people closer together. We know that some of you might disagree with this, and we look forward to your angry emails, but we are also big believers in Ani DiFranco’s truism: “Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right.” And we believe that any song can be made beautiful if you’re holding the right person in your arms.
♥ A NOTE ABOUT SAFETY: Sometimes it happens that there is someone in the crowd who will make you feel unsafe or uncomfortable when dancing. This does not have to be an obvious thing, like leading with their groin, or grabbing your bum. It could just be a weird feeling. You are more than within your rights to stop the dance right there, and not have to explain. Overwhelmingly, our guests are courteous and polite and will comport themselves like gentlefolk, but every event that is open to the public may occasionally encounter someone who is, let’s be honest, kinda creepy. While we encourage testing limits, when it infringes on someone’s boundaries, that is when we draw the line. If something like this happens, do please let the organizer know. The organizer is the man in the stunning dress at the DJ Laptop. He is both your mom & dad tonight and a safe person to come to if something happens, and we will try to resolve it with everyone’s safety in mind.
♥ A NOTE ABOUT HELPING: We would love it if you would share our event on your Facebook page and invite your friends! You likely know hundreds of people we have never met, and in our attempts to bring slowdancing to everyone on the planet, we would really appreciate it if you would share the event. Thank you!
♥ ANOTHER NOTE ABOUT SAFETY: The organizer reserves the right to ask anyone to leave for any reason which he does not have to divulge to anyone.
♥ A NOTE ABOUT THE NOTES: Holy shit! Did you really read down this far? That’s awesome. We always read all the minutiae & marginalia too. But really, you’re a hero for getting all the way down here.
PS. Fabulous and inspired attire, while desired, is not required. But would be AWESOME and HAWT.
Finally, you do not have to be straight to attend this party, but you must have an open mind, an open heart, and have open arms.
We are always looking for designated dancers for our evenings. If you are outgoing, warm, and willing to undertake the very serious duty and responsibility of inviting wallflowers out onto the dancefloor - if in fact, such a prospect gives you great joy - then please contact the organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org.