Private Magazine

Tag: Porn

Inside the Boulevard Motel

A couple years ago, a Motel 6 on the outskirts of town – or maybe it was a Super 8 – found itself under investigation. The shabby motel housed an intricate prostitution ring, and plenty of drugs.

The week of the bust, a girl’s dead body was found in one of the rooms. It appeared to be a drug overdose.

This is a peek between the scratchy sheets of one Buffalo motel…one that we decided to investigate on a cold, snowy night.

Boulevard

It’s just after midnight. Maurice and I are driving in search of a seedy motel. We will be conducting undercover research. I’m holding onto a paper bag of take-out tacos, unable to wait much longer before consuming them.

“Look, there! That place looks sketch,” I say, pointing my finger at a bright red, trailer park-esque building on the left.  We pull into the lot, with a single red Camaro parked in it.  There’s a room at the forefront, illuminated against the darkness – the check-in desk. It is outlined with window boxes full of dead flowers, and faces the outside, enclosed behind glass.

Maurice approaches. A man is scuttling around the motel office like a hamster, clad in wrinkled chinos. He asks Maurice to surrender his ID.

“Why do you need to keep my ID?” asks Maurice.

“Oh you know, just in case you end up murdering me in the motel room. Standard practice,” I say, wandering off, swinging the tacos to and fro.

Maurice turns the key in the doorknob of room 103. We are jet-lagged from our journey down Niagara Falls Blvd.  An offer of “Jacuzzi hot tubs” glowed in phosphorescent yellow, but when we enter room 103 it’s clear we’ll enjoy no such luxury.

Narcotics

The room is freezing and dark. Maurice turns on the heater, which rests in the window frame behind wispy curtains. Dust particles stream out of the vent, but the room is toasty in no time. I discard the hideous pumpkin orange and yellow floral comforter that I had wrapped myself in. There’s burn holes in it, leftovers of a former inhabitant’s nocturnal nicotine lust.

Maurice and I are on the run from the law. Earlier this evening, we were making out inside Maurice’s car, which was parked behind the art gallery. Suddenly, bright headlights came streaming into the driver’s side door.

“Police…” Maurice whispered.

“Dammit!” My hands flew up towards my face, pressed against my cheeks. “No!”

“Roll down your window for me, bud?” I could hear the voice of a young cop, coming from inside his police car. “Park’s closed, bud. You can go down the street.”

So we went on an expedition. First, we got tacos. Then, we were on a quest for the motel in which the prostitute was found dead. We didn’t quite make it there, but rather washed up on the shore of this Boulevard Inn. This is step one of our review of Buffalo motels – an undercover inquiry into what could become a tidal wave of sketchy scenes and socially aberrant behavior, if we should be so lucky.

I hang my jacket up on a hanger which can’t be removed from the rod.

“You can’t take the hangers off,” I say. “Probably so we can’t murder each other with them.”

It’s time to inspect the bathroom. I turn on the light. The bathroom is terrifying. Not grimy or dirty, per se, just…stuck in a 1970’s puke green time warp. There’s definitely no Jacuzzi tub…no bathtub at all. The shower is one of the stand alone locker room varieties, with a circular bar of soap lying on the shower floor. It’s so creepy; the showerhead looks like it will emit poison gas. The walls are lined in tiles the color of split pea soup/stomach acid. The bathroom as a whole is narrow and it feels like the walls are closing in. Toilet paper hangs sideways from its holder. Cue Psycho music! Wait…somebody stole the shower curtain.

nude

I emerge from the bathroom, and throw myself on the bed next to Maurice.  I wrap myself in the charred comforter, the horrendous floral pattern like something you’d find in the basement of That 70’s Show. We tear into the tacos, and soon the bed is littered with paper wrappers from Elmwood Taco & Subs. I lean over Maurice to grab our giant fountain beverage. “I’m a filthy whore,” I say. “Filthy!”

The stars are glimmering in the Boulevard sky. I peek between the blinds, and see that a few other cars have parked at the motel. Oh, the horny love birds. The illicit affairs. The closet homosexuals. The girls turning tricks on Backpage.com.  We fall asleep.  Everything is silent at the Hotel Motel Boulevard Inn.

The next morning, I search the internet for reviews of the Boulevard Inn. Besides the horrible bathroom design scheme and weird recluse of a night manager, I don’t really know what else can be said about it.

After a perusal of Trip Advisor.com, I realize that Maurice and I have been very, very lucky. “Cigarette burns in bed linen, moth eaten curtains,” wrote one reviewer. Ok, no surprise there. It grows worse as I scroll down. “Cob webs and bugs on the floor,” “Room reeked of cat urine,” “RUN AWAY,” wrote others. “Dirty, worn sheets,” said somebody who previously stayed, “The kind of place where you sleep with your clothes on.” I take another shower, then resume my internet search. The best one came last, accompanied by gruesome photographic evidence. “There was a crude smell in our overpriced room,” quoth a former guest from a year ago. “There was a blood stain on the comforter and splattered on the doorknob.”

Purse

Blood stains and crude smells? It looks as though our motel room investigations are just heating up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Craigslist Orgy

mustashe “Didn’t you write about Video Liquidators?”

I look up from my wine glass, eyes landing on a mustachioed guy I sort-of know. It’s 10 p.m. at The Gypsy Parlor, and a hip-hop show is going on.

“Yeah, I did. You read it?”

“I was deeply moved by the article,” this mustached guy, whose name is Eugene, says.

The comments to “Movie Date at the Video Liquidators Theater” have been pouring in. I love it, readers – thank you! “Joe”s confession that he’s “been there alone a few times” moved me… as did his invitation to a potential orgy. I’m sorry I couldn’t come, Joe! (That’s what she said).  It has found readers in Brazil, Australia, Germany… and other awesome countries! I wish “Tom” luck with taking his girlfriend there for the first time. How did it go?

“Oh, ok.” I say, surprised.

“I feel that I am your soulmate to accompany you on your next journalistic expedition.”

“Sure!”

Eugene wanders away and begins pumping his fists to the emcee on stage. He looks attractive.

——————————–

It’s the following Saturday. Eugene and I are drinking wine in Delaware Park. It’s pouring rain.  We each have our own bottle in a brown paper bag.

“So I was thinking we could pretend to be swingers and infiltrate the Buffalo Swingers Scene,” I say. “It would be an undercover investigation.” I take a swig of my Drama Queen Pinot Grigio from Gates Circle Liquor. “I’m talking with an editor who is potentially interested in the idea.”

“Great, awesome!” Eugene raises his brown paper beverage to the rainy sky – an offering to the gods. “Yes, there’s definitely a Buffalo Swingers Scene. I’ve been to a few things.”

Things…?” I ask. But then I decide not to ask too many questions. I kind of have a crush on Eugene. “Yeah, swingers… cool!”

“I can be your research assistant,” Eugene says.  

We are steadily sipping our vino beneath the Casino in Delaware Park, wandering around aimlessly whenever the rain lets up. Eugene strokes his mustache, as rainwater patters down on his arm tattoos, making them glisten.

I slow down to a halt. Screeeeeeeeeech. I do not want to imbibe all of this wine and do stupid things that I’ll later regret. But do I ever regret anything,  I’m thinking to myself? Suddenly, Eugene’s voice breaks my meditative cloud, my foggy wine haze.

“Let’s go to the Video Liquidators Theater!” Eugene yells. It echoes.

“Oh, I was just there,” I say, exasperated. Did I really just say that?  “Yeah, I mean, why not? It could be interesting…But we’ll have to sneak this wine in.”

I look at my miniscule metallic evening clutch. There’s no fitting wine in there.

“How are we going to smuggle wine into Video Liquidators?” Eugene asks, truly perplexed. Raindrops on his face look like tears.

“Why don’t we go back to my bungalow? I’ll transfer everything to my most giant purse, and we’ll be good to go.”

That’s exactly what we do. We travel the short drive in Eugene’s rugged truck.

“This is the largest bag that I own,” I’m rushing over to my shelf of bags, fetching an obnoxiously large, embroidered, boho-chic Lucky Jeans bag. I throw it on my kitchen table.

“Ok. I’ll be in my bathroom.”

I run into my bathroom, grab some Nars lipstick in a shade called Damned, smear it on. I’m spraying myself down with strawberry, coconut oil-based mist when I hear a commotion.  I peek into my apartment, and spot Eugene standing completely naked in the middle of my kitchen.

“Is this the first time someone has decided to take off their clothes in your kitchen for no apparent reason?” he asks.

“Actually, no -” I reply. “My downstairs neighbor Kurt did the same thing last winter.”

Eugene appears hurt and looks at the ground. beiber ——————————————————————-

We hop back into Eugene’s truck and drive to Video Liquidators. I‘m drunker than  Mary Tyler Moore at the corner store in 1964.  We arrive at Video Liquidators, and stagger through the grimy concrete corridor. Familiar fluorescent lights jar me awake; one bulb flickers and my eyelid twitches. It all seems more foggy, more pastel colored, than I remember. .. Bimbos on the covers of smutty mags cast judgmental glares. We wander to the back of the store, looking for the  entrance of the seedy porn theater.

“Where’s the theater?” I shriek. “Could’ve sworn it was over here. I was only here once, after all.”

“You’re supposed to be the expert,” Eugene mutters under his breath.

What?” I’m disturbed. I’m a Video Liquidators expert?!

I push open the metal door, and lead Eugene into the depths of darkness. About 20 guys are loafing around inside the grimy theater, which apparently is showing gay porn this evening. I tip-toe down the center aisle, trying not to attract attention…but that is impossible, since the two wine bottles are clanging around in my bag.

“SHHH!” I turn around. Eugene is obscured by the shadows. “Let’s sit over there.”

We sneak down to a vacant aisle and collapse – drunkenly, wearily – into our seats. The wine bottles rattle and clank obnoxiously. I stifle laughter, and uncork my wine…until I look around and realize that some of these guys are staring at me. I slump down low in my seat and hide under my bag, knocking over my wine bottle in the process.

——————————

It’s a cool, crisp night on Eugene’s roof. We just picked up some wine from the bulletproof liquor store on Ontario Street. Eugene’s face is illuminated by the glow of his iPhone, as he scrolls through Casual Encounters on Craigslist.

“What kind of shit can we get into?” Eugene wonders, mustache twitching.

It never really worked out with the swingers. So I thought that Craigslist could provide journalistic inspiration.

“Oh, here’s one,” Eugene stops, tapping the screen on a recent post.  “Sexy young couple looking to set up NHL-theme swingers club.”

For those not familiar with Casual Encounters – reading it is more entertaining than an entire season of The Wire (sometimes). I’m sure the majority of these folks make everything up. I know this because Eugene and I have been sending them e-mails. In the mw4mw section, a couple is “desperately seeking” another couple, for, I don’t know, whatever. It’s never clear. I don’t personally get it,  but thing is – lots of Buffalo people are posting these things up. I’m sure we pass each other on the street, maybe every day. What does it all mean?! What drives such a covert preoccupation? And who the hell is Craig?

“Well, I’ve been involved with these types of things before,” Eugene says.

“You…you have?” What kinds of things? But I decide not to ask too many questions.

——————————————–

I’ve been hanging out with Eugene for a couple of months now. Like I said, I have a crush on Eugene, despite the fact that he went on a drunken diatribe about “relationships being pointless” and “never wanting to be in one, ever.” The only thing he ever wants to do is snoop around the Casual Encounters section. Randomly, when I’m at work, my “research assistant”  forwards me messages/pictures from these Craigslist Creatures.

“OMG – look at this weird guy,” Eugene writes.

“Thug Nigga in2 Spankin House Party. Age 25.”

Only problem is – most of these Craigslist ads are accompanied by completely X-Rated, bad quality photos. One time I accidentally opened one at work and let out a terrified scream. My boss was like, What now? I was like, Nothing.

———————————– condoms2 It never did work out with Eugene. I think he was more into Craigslist orgies than he was into me. But I’ll always have fond memories of the plans that we made, plans which never manifested. I guess he was just my number one fan.

Movie Date at the Video Liquidators Theatre

Vid

My estranged friend and former colleague, Rory from Manitoba, has come for a visit.   We’re trying to decide what to do with our Saturday night. He has crossed the border with grace and elegance, so the least I can do is show him a proper Buffalo Night Out.

“Listen, I had an idea yesterday, for my new blog. It’s kind of sick. Twisted, even.”

“Oh?” Rory replies, with a raised eyebrow.

“There’s a porn store down the street called Video Liquidators. It has a 24-hour porn screening room. What kind of people go there? I need to know.”

Froth from Rory’s Southern Tier has foamed around his beard.

“But! We need to blend in and not draw attention,” I say authoritatively. “We need to be one of them. This is a journalistic expedition.”

“I’ll be discreet!” Rory declares, lacing up his steel-toe boot.

We drive the miniscule distance to Video Liquidators’ Elmwood Ave. location. It can’t really be detected from the street, save for a bland black and white sign. Once you turn into the parking lot, “Video Liquidators” glows lasciviously  in red letters. The building itself is yellow brick. Red and yellow supposedly increase one’s appetite; that’s why McDonald’s employs these colors. It must make those with perv-y predilections salivate for miles around.

“It’s packed in here tonight!” I shriek, eyeing the half dozen cars in the lot.

It’s dark, cold, and silent in the city tonight. My watch reads 9:30 pm. The fluorescent bulbs inside the store snap me awake. I’m half baked. Some guys scurry around the store’s periphery like bugs; they hide in the corners once we strut in.

I lead the way through aisles of sex toys and suggestive polyester “lingerie” vacuum-sealed in plastic. Navigating around racks of nudie mags, we make our way to the theatre door at the very back. There’s not a big to-do with this theatre; the door could be a closet. A neon sign flickers above. I look around helplessly.

“Hey! You need to pay to go in there!” exclaims a blonde, tie-dye clad woman behind the cash register.

“Oh, how much is it?” I say, walking over to her.

“Well, since you’re a couple, you’re free,” she says to me. “For him, it’s $10 to choose either the Couples Theatre or the Singles Theatre. It’s $15 if you want to switch between both.”

“$15 for both of us, for both rooms?” I’m already taking a twenty from my wallet.

“BUT!” The cashier leans into me, eyes wide. “If he leaves the room, you HAVE to go with him. You CANNOT be left alone, under ANY condition.”

“We’ll stick together.”

Rory and I creep down a concrete hallway. We pass a few empty rooms, each with a TV proclaiming “No Signal,” a bench and a mop bucket. This is it? Then, we see the door marked Theatre #2. We go inside.

It’s pitch black. I tip-toe, inch by terrified inch, leading the way. It’s impossible to know what is inside this room. I could be walking into a closet full of violent offenders, with venomous snakes slithering across the floor. Grabbing Rory’s sweaty palm, finally, a dim glow from the movie screen vaguely lights our way.

The theatre is vacant except for a faceless couple in the last row. I can’t tell anything about them, just that they aren’t naked and aren’t engaged in any, um, activities. I’m relieved. We sit down and start to watch the film. It looks like it’s from the 90’s; a blonde is walking around a house in a modest French maid outfit. In the background she speaks a monologue – “He always was an ass man…So I’d be sure to bend over in my maid outfit…” We watch a fuzzy montage of her walking through a house. The man behind us coughs and groans and sucks down an iced fountain beverage.

“This is a boring movie, let’s hit the singles theatre. There might be more action there.”

We go to Theatre #1. Upon entering, it’s easier to see, there’s graphic sexual acts on the screen, and a room of ten guys. The movie screen is much smaller than your standard theatre variety, but it does the job. Two guys in front of us are having a conversation like this is Kelly’s Korner or something.

“Yeah man, the scene down in Cleveland is really something. There was this Canadian couple that would always be there…”

They must be a part of the Public Porn Scene. I realize that now I can finally cross Watching Porn With a Room Full of Strangers off of my bucket list.

The next movie starts. The actress is very beautiful. Both films fit the theme of POV, or Point of View, porn. The point is to be a professionally-directed porn, made to look like a really well-shot amateur movie. The director is also an actor, a participant. I find it to be artsy and Post Modern.

My eyeballs are starting to water profusely. I realize it’s because I haven’t blinked in about five minutes. This is really riveting stuff. I feel something poke me in the arm. It must be Rory’s hand. But was it? I’ll never be sure.

To my far right, in the aisle across from me, a pudgy guy in a dress shirt and tie is casually whacking it. That’s somebody’s dad, I think to myself. Shit.

After the second film comes to a close, I turn  to Rory and we decide to leave. I need a whiskey, neat, and some ice cream. We go back to my car, and check the time. 11 o’clock. Damn, time really does fly. We decide that it was pretty fun.

When we get back to my apartment, I Google “Video Liquidators cinema.” I want to see if anyone has already written about it. Nothing really comes up. The only item of interest is a message board/forum called CityXGuide, which apparently never got off the ground, but should have. On the site, there’s a public forum called Streetwalker Reports, where Buffalo’s gentleman can tip each other off as to where to find a hooker.

“Oh. My. God. This shit is great,” I say. My face is practically pressed to my laptop screen and my contacts are super dry.

I spot a post from three years ago by “Dariusz” that reads “Best BBBJ I ever had was in Bflo. In the Video Liquidators on Elmwood. They have couples nights on Saturdays and one time this hot 40s girl was there with her
husband. Give me a great BJ.”

BTW, the site is a great place to pick up obscure acronyms. Type in “BBBJCIMNQNS.” It’s a real thing.

There’s no excuse to be bored. Who needs cable at home with the Video Liquidator’s theatre a stone’s throw away?