Man’s Country

A first-timer once told me he couldn’t believe where he was. Every time he went in and out of a room he thought he should have to pay more money. He thought it was a whorehouse. With hundreds of guys passing through on a weekend, outsiders might think Man’s Country was just a stranger’s paradise, full of anonymous sex and multiple partners. Not so. The whole crowd broke into sub-groups of regulars. There was the snack bar crowd, the dancers and the fan dancers, the pillow huggers, the leather clubs, the cowboys, the loud talking queens, and the silent ones who never said anything….

In their groups everyone seemed to know each other. Maybe you wouldn’t know everyone’s last name, but you pretty well knew what they did on the outside and kept in touch. But if some government authority or public health official called you and wanted their names, you would not give it to them….At Man’s Country, we knew each other like brothers of a clan. We trusted each other in sex and morals, and didn’t trust that our society would treat us morally.

Windy City Times (1985)