By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
By Ryan Yousefi
By Kyle Swenson
When navigating the most elitist nooks of South Beach clubland, it helps to have breasts. Not necessarily on your own body either. Just in your presence, nearby — bouncing against your arm if possible — and the chances of getting past the doorman officially quadruple.
Blair Russell, a gay 47-year-old, long ago learned this little trick. He has lived in South Beach for 21 years and didn't think much of it until a couple of Tuesdays ago.
A dapper fellow and a big spender, if he does say so himself, Blair began the night with a steak dinner. Afterward, he and a male companion arrived at the Delano Hotel's Florida Room, an opulent 1920s-style piano bar designed by Lenny Kravitz. They wore thousand-dollar suits and "were all dolled up."
At the door, the bouncer sized him up and scoffed, Blair claims, and then explained he wouldn't be admitted without a woman on his arm. They could either pay $300 for a private table or leave. Inside, there were ten women to every man.
"Other guys were walking right in with two girls — or probably two whores," he sasses. "I was, like, What?"
The rule itself isn't shocking — most clubs want high female-to-male ratios — but Blair is irked about the bigger implications. The policy is like mandating separate water fountains in the South, he says: It encourages gay-straight segregation. "We call 'em breeder bars," he quips.
Alan Roth, who hosts the Tuesday-night party, contends, "Any guest that gets past the velvet ropes knows we don't discriminate and we welcome a diverse crowd." He cordially invited Riptide to come see.
But, to be fair, that would only increase the number of boobs in the room.