Swelter 14

In alternative-sexuality circles, HRS officials meeting with the managers of gay clubs over the issue of public and oftentimes unsafe sex. (To be fair, we've also seen plenty of straight-up fucking and heroin smoking at glitzy heterosexual straight haunts.) Every establishment, of course, nothing but a victim of competition, accusing one another of inspiring generalized wantonness: the foam parties at Amnesia and Warsaw; leather-land tableaux at the Loading Zone; Metro Underground's back room; early-morning high jinks at Paragon. But across the board, things may be getting out of control -- the specter of indulgent parents bringing their kids to teen foam parties seems totally beyond the pale.

A nasty little brew, this cult of espuma, leavened with a touch of I Love Lucy and the witches' cauldron of Macbeth: "Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble." With all the growth-industry fuss, Warsaw owner and foam purveyor Yves Di Lena kicking off espuma nights in Chicago and New York, and fittingly, now vacationing off Monaco on a yacht. The media frenzy leaping from our own items on the early wild-thing beginnings -- now heatedly denied -- to various newspaper feature stories, TV news profiles, and other strains of the cannibalistic press. Now that foam has gone almost as mainstream as drag, we finally got around to taking in the Warsaw version: sexually mixed beyond measure because of another spate of publicity. Nelson Fox, who once ran the way-straight China Club in the space where Warsaw now reigns, showing up with a big-ticket date, a covey of Kendall girls, stray lesbians, and fag hags clinging to the fringes, adding the frisson of a spectacularly decadent high school dance.

As ever, the pounding bass system of Warsaw ricocheting around the cranium, and then finally it's theater of the absurd. The introduction to insanity ("Now, the event you've all been waiting for -- the foam party!") accompanied by the pomp of Also Sprach Zarathustra and broadcast warnings about avoiding too much sex fun, the stuff that goes on in parks and alleys every night. A kind of cattle trough for the wayward, reams of faintly acrid bubbles -- probably suitable for cleaning carpets as well -- pouring down on the dance floor from a huge overhead pipe, spotters with water guns standing on the stages to hose off the reckless like so much livestock. Sexy stuff, invigorating in a demented Beach Blanket Bingo-meets-Boys in the Band fashion: a conga line forming, some lunatic in an airline steward uniform stripping on a loudspeaker, people masturbating one another here and there. One middle-age guy with Heidi pigtails having a Pippi Longstocking great adventure, his consort/catamite draped over the edge of the stage -- directly below the fetching guard -- with his ass arched in the air like a dog in heat. Perhaps nothing but a display of fakery and unseemly exhibitionism, or true dead-ahead sodomy, bottom boy ultimately finishing off his pal with a hand job. Something completely different for once, and the larger questions may have to be left to the mysteries of the foam, the wake of a new dawn.

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