Geez, my feet hurt something shocking right about now.

I blame New Mardi Gras. Whoever decided it was OK to dispense with a dancefloor in the Hordern Pavilion needs a right talking-to.

I also blame DJs Kelly Lynch and Neal Crawford, who had me on my feet for far too long at the arse end of Sleaze night. Bloody Neal Crawford and his thumpin’, jumpin’, block-rockin’ beats -“ when he brought in that remix of Madonna’s Music and I heard those immortal words do you like to boogie-woogie? all I could do was say bloody fuck yeah, oblivious to the fact that my legs were turning into withered stumps. By that stage (it must have been around 7am) I was dancing like a crazy guy, but in no mood to give a shit.

The street-vibe on Sleaze Ball seems pretty positive, all up. Salvos go to that ripper of an opening show, while the closing Priscilla show wasn’t bad either (the ping-pong balls were a nice touch). Brickbats go to the dancefloor-free Hordern, and a few more fancy lights wouldn’t have gone astray.

This year’s Sleaze also saw the return of the heterosexual -“ including a few specimens of that rare creature, the incredibly handsome, incredibly muscular, incredibly smooth-skinned straight man. You know the ones I’m talking about. Not the gross ones who are all steroidal and out to showcase their bodies and skinny PR-chick girlfriends; I’m referring to the ones who are just stupendously gorgeous and lovely-looking. When I see them on the dancefloor, churning the air with those impeccable meathook arms, I really wonder about them. Like, where do they come from? What do they do for a living? And -“ most importantly -“ what’s going on inside their heads at an event like Sleaze Ball? If they really knew the evil erotic thoughts their presence inspires in the minds of gay men like me -“ and I know I’m not alone in thinking like this -“ would they still go?

But thankfully there were several thousand hot gay men in attendance at Sleaze, as well. We keep hearing about how the market for the big dance party experience is getting smaller and smaller, but every time I go to a Mardi Gras dance party, I’m always taken aback by the size and scope of our party-going community. Plenty of people say they love the smaller, more exclusive recovery events -“ the Queer Nations and so forth -“ but I’m not one of them. At those types of events, you tend to get just a few segments of our community; at the big parties, you get the whole sticky melting-pot. You look around on the dancefloor and there they all are -“ freaky-looking poof next to spunky, tits-out dyke, buttressed up to mean-looking leather dude and twinky Mummy’s boy. It’s one of the few times that the oft-discussed diversity of our community actually seems interesting and real.

So now with Sleaze down, I’m waiting for the next party celebration. I just hope my legs recover in time -¦

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