At the entrance to Miami Velvet, a list of disclaimers is headlined by a forthright suggestion: "If you're offended by sex, please do not enter the premises." Miami Velvet is a "lifestyles club," which is a politically correct term for "swingers club." Truth is, the Velvet resembles a SoBe hot spot, though a literal, rather than contrived, sense of sensuality abounds. That means there are topless women with body paint parading through and shirtless fellas with belt lines riding just above their pubies. Of course there are fully clothed people too, and they actually outnumber the indulgent ones by a handful. But unlike many places elsewhere, none of the scantily clad here are being paid for their sexually charged antics. This is decadence for the sake of decadence, no charades. It's the only place in Miami-Dade County where saucy shenanigans ensue with no strings attached.
It's not that easy, though. You need to apply for membership and pay a monthly or yearly fee. Couples pay $250 a year, while singles pay more or less depending on the gender. There are also cover charges that range from $35 to $75 a night. Obviously guys are better off with female partners.
Approval for membership is at the club's discretion, or rather, marketing director Allissa Huaser. She's an infectious and fit young woman with wavy blond locks and a spunky attitude that rubs everybody right. "I insist on adding positivity to this liberated environment where people can be themselves," she says. She adds that Velvet has no tolerance for prostitution or drugs. She means it. When I went to the restroom, I didn't hear the usual snorting that echoes throughout the stalls in clubland. Allissa says all the stiff rules add up to a comfortable scene lacking in undesirables, namely young punk males who think this is nothing but a fuck fest, because it's not ... it's more than that.
First there's a free buffet with meat, rice, and veggies, not to mention desserts like key lime pie. And if that doesn't kick ass, the place is BYOB (they don't sell liquor). The discotheque downstairs often fills up like an orifice in a porno as a mix of Latin and hip-hop blares from the sound system. Unlike the Seventies swinger image, the crowd is not entirely made up of old Three's Company rejects. The ages range from midtwenties to late fifties, body types go from fine to fat, and most people speak Spanish (although it should be noted that big and black is beautiful here). The protocol for hooking up involves a lot of small talk. If you're not as talkative, dancing can be a good intro, especially around the center stage stripper pole where things get cheesy and welcoming. Most people say they come to meet other open-minded adults, and have fun in a place where women can feel secure, and guys don't get tricked into paying for it, unless you count the entrance charges. Interestingly enough, most regulars attest that they "never go upstairs," where all the action is.
I made my first visit to the hedonist club last week during the Miss MiamiVelvet.com contest. Can you believe I was asked to be a judge? Five ladies competed in three rounds and were judged on a scale from one to ten. The winner was very original: She came out naked and got dressed instead of the other way around. Then, in answer to the question, "What's your hottest fantasy?" she said, "To be surrounded by four hard cocks and suck them till they come." I couldn't help but yell "Ten!" The next night I returned for the infamous Saturday-night party. This is where it gets good. I came with a gal pal, so I got to go upstairs, wearing only the obligatory towel.
Because I am bound by a desire not to fuck up the vibe at the Velvet, I won't divulge a perfect picture of what goes on upstairs. Let's just say it's very Roman, and absolutely consensual; in fact I never knew people wanted it so bad. But I must share one sordid little moment. I happened to pass the dungeon room. Two shapely women in their late twenties were spanking each other. Finally one had enough, and wanted to smack somebody else's ass for a while. Standing by the open doorway I spoke up: "I'll get up there." The woman and her friend were all too happy to hear that. Sound like I'm making stuff up? Well ... this much is true. Their goofy-looking, German boyfriend sat there and watched the whole thing.
Miami Velvet is located at 3901 NW 77th Ave. Call 305-406-1604.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.