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Boston Insider

A search for the seedy

Email|Print| Text size + By Christopher Muther
Globe Staff / July 25, 2004

Politics or plumbing, the true purpose of any convention is not to cajole a candidate into accepting his party's nomination for president, or to learn about the latest in toilet technology. Nope, the convention is all about exploring a city's seedy side -- sans spouse, of course.

Unfortunately for randy conventioneers, this is Boston, one of the most sexually repressed and frigid cities around. Risque clothing is a parka without the hood, clubs shutter promptly at 2 a.m., and the Lilliputian red-light district is running on a 10-watt bulb. The news is worse for carnivorous ladies on the prowl for beefcake. Chippendales performs at the Roxy nightclub every other week, and, sadly, convention week the gents have off for much-needed electrolysis and tanning sessions. For those not after boy toys, though, enough research, patience, and perseverance can indeed lead to a little slap and tickle even in this uptight hamlet.

The Glass Slipper and Centerfolds

One is a strip joint, the other a gentlemen's club. Centerfolds is an upscale club that charges a $20 cover, while the Glass Slipper is more of a working-class dive that charges no cover, but enforces a one-drink minimum and charges $10 a beer. That's a pricey Heineken for a glimpse of heinie. The breasts are real at the Glass Slipper and the ladies a little rougher around the edges (they chew gum while they dance!). The ladies are classier at Centerfolds, in better shape and surgically enhanced, but the dancers at Glass Slipper have better names. Say hello to Chynna, Fantasy, and Fortune!

The Glass Slipper
15 La Grange St., Boston, 617-338-2290
Centerfolds
11 La Grange St., 617-292-2600. MBTA: Green Line to Boylston.

ManRay

Nothing helps delegates unwind like a snug pair of PVC trousers and a lashing from a cat-o'-nine-tails. Or so goes the thinking with ManRay's Fetish Fridays. Most nights of the week, this club is home to Brit-pop-loving gays and Goths. But on Friday, it turns into a live-action version of Depeche Mode's "Master and Servant." Don't think about sneaking in unless you're wearing leather, rubber, vinyl, or some other material never intended to be fashioned into a halter top.

ManRay
21 Brookline St., Cambridge, 617-864-0400. MBTA: Red Line to Central Square.

Jacques Cabaret

Unlike many cities, Boston doesn't have a family-friendly drag bar, but it has a seedier and much more fun institution known as Jacques. The emphasis is on female transformation rather than female impersonation. The queens may not know all the words to "Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves," but at least you know those dollar bills will help a hormone-enhanced Donald to one day become a full Donna. Most nights of the week, the entertainment takes place on the tiny, gaudy stage. But there's also plenty of unintentional entertainment at the bar and near the pool tables.

Jacques Cabaret
79 Broadway, Bay Village, 617-426-8902. MBTA: Green Line to Arlington.

Hooters of Boston

Visitors from the South and Midwest will no doubt question the inclusion of a restaurant that they equate with Cracker Barrel and Stuckey's, but for Boston, Hooters is seriously risque. In fact, it has become the preferred, PG-13 location for bachelor parties and father-son bonding. No doubt the headlights will be shining brightly here with so many desirous gents so far away from home. The problem, however, is that every lusty liberal will be crowding into Hooters, given its proximity to the FleetCenter. But is the scenery really worth an hour's wait for buffalo wings?

Hooters of Boston
222 Friend St., 617-557-4555

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