Aaaaand We're Back! After a necessary hiatus to reassess & realign, The Metro is back in action with some awesome news, new endeavors, & a new direction.
Our Main Site (TheMetroUnderground.com) has been fully updated & our annual build-out is now complete. Clubs, Groups, Resources, as wells as our various Calendars have all been updated. We recognize there were some issues w/ formatting for mobile platforms so these have been fixed as well. The site now offers a better interface for laptop, tablet, & cell phone alike. Social media has also been expanded to offer a more aggressive effort across the spectrum.
In our research, we were a bit surprised by just how much the scene has tangibly shrunk over the past year. The chaos of hate culture seems to have taken its toll on a number of organizations, many who's leaders simply became dissolutioned & decided to step away. Many more ceased efforts for public parties & pulled back to a vetted list for private functions. Across the entire country, larger full scale events have seen a decrease in numbers (still pulling enough for a good event, but down none the less).
However, we seem to be entering into a period of transition. Where chaos once reigned, more tempered attitudes seem to be taking hold. Where event hosts were quickly stepping away, we now see new additions for the local & regional scene. So it seems we've begun a new day as we step onto the path for what lies ahead. Just where that path will take us is entirely up to us. We can continue the rhetoric of hate & division, or we can move in a more positive direction, taking a stand to bring back the sense of community & acceptance that once brought us all together.
In this spirit, The Metro is returning to its roots as we launch new initiatives for something pure. Since its inception, our central focus has always been to create a forum for people of a like mind to come together & connect for something more. In this, we have some major announcements, both for The Metro as well as the scene in general...
Major Announcements from The Metro Underground:
Coming Sun Oct 13th (Columbus Day Weekend): Bringing us back to the National Stage, The DC Fetish Ball & Metro Underground are proud to announce this year's featured performance by international sensation Miss Rubber Doll! We have an incredible show lined up & have pulled together some of the very best talent the scene has to offer. Bringing together some of the scene's very best DJ's, models, fashion, & incredible talent for the play space in one of the city's most lavish venues, The DC Fetish Ball brings back a level of twisted delight worthy of the Nation's Capitol! No doubt, THIS is a night you WON'T want to miss! So please join us for an unforgettable experience & the most opulent night the scene has to offer. Are YOU ready for the ball?
The Metro Launches Happy Hour Socials - Our central focus has always been to bring people of a like mind together & create a forum for people to connect. Our Happy Hours strive to do just that. All too often we converse at affairs with not much more than a sound-bite. So by design our casual socials are NOT a scene-based event. They're offered purely as a chance for people to gather & connect on a deeper level over drinks, good food, & honest conversation. So in addition to our events & parties, we now plan to host about 8 such gatherings per year. Please keep an eye on our "Events Page" for future gatherings.
The Spring Fantasy Expose - Metro Events have always been known for bringing a strong edge w/ active play to the public forum. Indeed, The DC Fetish Ball will continue to do just that! So in 2020 we plan to bring something new to the stage. Focused more on music, entertainment, & fashion we'll offer something a bit more mainstream while keeping 'just' enough of an edge to keep it interesting. Details are coming soon, so please keep an eye out.
Road Trip! Coming Memorial Day Weekend (2020): The Metro Underground takes to the road for an event of epic proportion. We're planning a trip to Ft. Lauderdale for the Fetish Factory 25th Anniversary Weekend. Possibly the biggest, baddest, & most amazing fetish event in North America - The Metro & Friends will be there in force as DC travels to Florida for an unbelievable time not to be missed! 5 days, 9 parties, for an epic all fetish hotel takeover! Tickets are already going fast, so we hope you'll join us for an incredible trip w/ memories to last a lifetime.
Social Media: we’re on it!
Photos Long Overdue: Yes! Believe me, we've heard you... Sometimes life moves in a certain direction & priorities must prevail. So we got horribly behind on posting several galleries from past events. It takes an enormous amount of time to gather, sort, & post our galleries but we've been working to pull it all together. We hope to have all past event pics done & up by this year's Fetball. So please keep an eye out & thank you for your patience.
News & Notes from Around the Scene:
Archived postings for each of the following can now be found on Blogspot:
Late Summer & Fall 2019:
It's the end of an era as Bound comes to a close: after 23 years in the scene, Bound finally comes to a close. Celebrating incredible highs & lows for an amazing run as one of the scene's most recognized club nights, Bound finally celebrates a final farewell with its last Summer Masquerade Ball hosted at the DC Eagle. We thank Todd & his crew for over 20 years of memories to last. Life is a moving parade & change is an ever present reality for us all. With the passing of Bound, we celebrate the end of an era for the DC Scene.
After 25 years, DC 80's Night bids a final farewell: after a quarter century in the scene, Neal (The Angel) has decided it was time to reprioritize & move his efforts in a new direction. In this, 80's night has taken its final bow as DC's longest running dance night. We wish him well & hope to see him spin his signature old school sets on occasion around the area.
Elektroschock rebrands & moves to a new venue: after its host venue sold & was closed, the region's last great night for gothic-fusion came to a close & hosted its last night. It was a sad affair for many, & yet again it signaled the end of an era for many. But DJ Neska, Nicholai, & Cerberus have decided to rebrand & launch a new night at Baltimore's Metro Gallery. September 2019 shall see the launch of 'Metroschock' to keep 1st Saturdays alive & well. Please see our Club Listing for links & more.
The West Wing joins forces w/ Del Viking for new initiative: for a number of years, The West Wing offered an incredible venue w/ great parties on Maryland's Eastern Shore. But health issues caused its owner to soon step back from actively hosting such activities. Rather than to call it quits altogether, he joined forces with Del Viking & transferred both equipment & membership to the Viking Castle in Seaford, Delaware. We wish him well, & thank him for all his effort in the scene.
Abberrant rebrands to Spectra DC: a newcomer to DC's circuit of kink oriented happy hours, Abberrant soon found itself embroiled in scandal & beset by internal issues. Previous leadership stepped away & new members stepped up to resurrect the fallen night with new possibility. The previous night was shut down & rebranded to Spectra DC. Currently it hosts happy hours twice monthly at its previous location. See Groups for more.
Saints & Sinners opens in Philadelphia: Lifestyle organization Saints & Sinners provides beautiful hotel accommodations on the boardwalk of Atlantic City. But they have now expanded their operation to include a new club in Philadelphia just north of Fishtown. The club offers beautiful decor & an active calendar throughout the week & month. Indeed, Philly has a highly active swinger scene & we look forward to hearing feedback on what the new club offers. See our listing under 'Clubs' for more.
Distrikt C moves from the DC Eagle: the largest fetish dance night for DC's gay scene has decided to end its relationship with the DC Eagle & move to Karma on Adams Place NE. While we sense there's more going on behind the scenes, the new venue purportedly offers a much better system for lighting & sound taking the night to a whole new level of possibility. The new direction also sees Distrikt expanding beyond DC to include nights in Philadelphia & New York. No doubt, they are growing become a premier night for the gay culture throughout the east coast. We applaud such efforts & wish them well in their new home. See links in the Club section for more.
She Productions gives a final farewell: under the tireless efforts of Wendy Fox & Tauni, one of Baltimore's best dance nights to the lesbian, queer, & gay scene takes a final bow & fades into the distance of clubs no longer. February saw the close to a great night for She Productions.
Glorious Health is set for a Sex Conduct Hearing: As of our writing, Glorious Health Arcade is closed pending a mid-August hearing for a case of sexual conduct. Once home to Code, later Hummer, & a handful of other special events, the club is actually licensed as an art gallery & gym. As was posted to their webpage: upon a recent inspection, a person was witnessed in a towel & the inspector wrote them up for sexual violations as running a bath house which is beyond the scope of their license. We'll have to see what the final outcome is pending the hearing, but for now the club remains temporarily closed.
The Baltimore Eagle Closes (again): Amid continued chaos between property ownership & now 2 separate teams of venue management, the Baltimore Eagle has struggled since its initial relaunch in 2018. Unfortunately, such events have unfolded in the wake of several key establishments for the gay community closing in Baltimore. The Eagle now joins a growing list which includes celebrated locations such as Columbia Station, The Hippo, & others. There is a silver lining amid the turmoil though. Current management who has stepped away from the Eagle have plans to open a new leather club in the Canton area. Hopefully the new home will be better suited to serve the community than the previous residence which continues to be haunted by chaos from property ownership. But every story has two sides, so this is yet to be determined.
Metro Reviews You Say? Why Yes! In the beginning we would publish active & unbiased reviews from our travels throughout the scene. Basically, we wanted people to know what they were missing. We pulled away for a while, but have since reinstalled this element under News & Notes. So please check back, this is an occasional forum that is constantly evolving. I hope you check it out & expand your horizons for some new & exciting. The scene has many corners, so we'll keep bringing you some insight as the days & months progress. We look forward to crossing paths sometime soon.
The Dual Nature of Pennsic:
It's a common saying: "There's really nothing like Pennsic. To understand, you just have to come." This may be true, but there are references to it. There are certain festivals such as Burning Man as well as various Fetish, Pagan, or Music Festivals which all have a similar creed. In short, Pennsic is a HUGE festival with the underlying theme of a medieval reenactment. On the surface this lies at its core, but there's a LOT more going on than meets the eye.
Overview & Background:
The name “Pennsic” is a combination of “Punic Wars” (a series of three wars fought between Rome and the Phoenician city of Carthage) & “Pennsylvania” (where the festival is held).
It all began in 1966 with a small get-together in Oakland, California. A group of students gathered for a medieval theme-party. People dressed in period garb, knights fought w/ fake swords, & afternoon revelry ended in a small parade down Telegraph Avenue. This simple beginning soon gave birth to an idea, & in the end an institution was born.
The first official "Pennsic War" was held in 1972. Hosted by the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism), the next 40 years saw slow but steady growth until it finally became one of the nation's largest gatherings for a theme-based festival. Each year it draws around 15,000 in attendance & has become so significant that the festival is given its own temporary zip code while in operation.
Located in Slippery Rock, Pa, it's is held for 2 weeks at the onset August.
In addition to a mind bending array of activities, there are also a few core amenities: merchant vending, a food court, camp store, the battlefield, Cooper's lake, its own medical facility, & a vast array of various camps each with their own flavor & theme (many with lavish accents & accommodations).
A Split Personality:
On the surface, Pennsic may seem like a cross between a fantasy paradise for the kids & ultimate geek vacation for those into the local Renne-Fair. The only problem is the dual nature of things - for there are literally TWO gatherings taking place, each side by side. In short, it comes down to those on what is termed "Top-Side" vs. those in the Lowlands or Swamp.
Life Up Top - The more general aspects of Pennsic take place on what is traditionally known as the Serengeti (primarily because it's a large open field where people tend to bake in the open sun). Most people refer to this as being Top-Side because it's literally up the hill from the rest of us.
This is where most of the hard-core re-enactors tend to dwell. Each day they strap on armor, gather their weapons, & fight. Then in the evening they attend pleasant affairs for would be Lords & Ladies. For the most part, they take the medieval role-play very seriously & tend to adhere to some fairly pronounced rules on the subject. This is the face of Pennsic most people see.
There are those down in what is affectionately termed The Swamp, called this mainly because it’s the lowlands, there's a lake, & the outlaying border is marked by a stream. It also carries a large amount of trees (& thus shade), but there's no actual swamp as the name would suggest. It's also worth noting that people often use the terms Swamp & Bog interchangeably, but they’re actually two separate areas.
This is the other half of Pennsic. Whereas people up top are more focused on fighting & medieval reenactment, people in the lowlands are more about the party. Up top they rise w/ the morning sun to strap on armor for the day's main battle, where down the hill we party until the sun comes up & tend to sleep late. It's an entirely different mindset & represents a dual personality for the entire event.
But how can one really describe it? In short, if you were to hold a version of Burning Man 500 years ago in the woods of Pennsylvania (sooo much better than the dessert), then you'd have something very close to the Swamp of Pennsic. We host parties well into the morning hours, & most carry a deep slant toward fun debauchery to offer a vacation unlike any other. Other than this, it's true… you just need to come before you can really understand.
So these are two faces to the overall event. You choose your flavor & get the most out of what you're looking for in a festival experience.
Coming & Going (In-&-Out):
Currently Inactive & Recently Deleted:
80's Dance Party - On occasion they promote live acts from the area & ongoing retro nights with resident DJ's Angel & others. After celebrating their 25th Anniversary, Neil (The Angel) made the final decision to focus his efforts in a new direction & gave a final bow to DC's longest running dance night.
Elektroschock - One of Baltimore's very best alternative dance nights.
Bound - Long standing industrial dance night in DC. They maintain 2-3 small affairs each year: The Summer Masquerade (SMB), Hell Ball, & Alice in Wonderland. After 23 years, in August of 2019 Bound held its final event & past into the night.
KUNST UND WAHNSINN - WaxTrax! Industrial at The Windup Space in Baltimore. They seem to have hosted their last event in October of 2018 & have been inactive ever since.
Nu Fusion - Underground Band Showcase hosted by Flock Baltimore. DJ & Live music featured at Club Sonar in Baltimore.
Gorgeous Freaks - Launched in 2011, Gorgeous Freaks covered the full breadth of alternative culture from Goth, Body Art, Fetish, TV/TS, & a wide range of diverse interests. Available in print & electronic formats. Although they hoped to resurrect efforts on the magazine, efforts shifted to their clothing line so this initiative was placed on hiatus never to return.
Steampunk Empire - A fully evolved resource covering all aspects of the Steampunk Culture on a national level. Membership is also available to create a social networking opportunity in addition to a fundamental a scene guide. With the demise of Steampunk World's Fair, the forum soon went inactive & all forums dormant.
Flock Baltimore - Excellent resource & event promoter for alternative music & the underground scene in Baltimore & its surrounding area. Efforts for Flock have been suspended.
Aberrant DC - One of DC's newer groups, Aberrant offers social gatherings on the 1st & 3rd Monday of each month. They also host ocassional play parties, usually held at the Crucible. Check thier Fetlife profile for details.
Phyxios Mystique - Richmond based pansexual organization for people interested in the Alternative, Fetish, & BDSM Lifestyle. Thier website finally went inactive & showed no activity.
The West Wing - Secluded playspace & retreat located in Kent County, Md, Main space is actually the "West Wing" of a 7,000 sq.ft. mansion on a $3.4 million waterfront estate. With a wide range of amenities, visitors have access to the entire estate & surrounding grounds. Available for private play or would be equally perfect for smaller group retreats. Due to health issues, its owner combined his group w/ DelViking in Seaprt Delaware & stepped away from host activities.
FREAK / FREderick Area Kinksters - Covering Frederick County, Western Maryland, West Virginia, & N.Va. Primarily a Fetlife group offering Kink-friendly activities, gatherings, meetings, & munches. Over time the main promoters simply moved in a new direction & the group's core gathering for happy hour soon slipped away.
Latex Capital - Fetish-based group promoting European-style latex in DC. For those in DC who love latex, and want to connect with other in the area. After its main promoter moved out of the area, the core of the group fell apart & soon became inactive.
Black Beat - National organization with a local chapter that host special events, socials, & educational opportunities for the African American Culture interested in BDSM. The founders & board of organizers decided it was time to take a hiatus so as to refocus on life's core priorities. But after 4 years, it can be finally confirmed that said hiatus was indeed the end to Black Beat.
Bondage Club Baltimore - A forum dedicated specifically to the art & desire of Rope Bondage. Meetings & educational forums are held every 2 weeks w/
a heavy emphasis on Shibari & Kinbaku. Hosted by Lochai, BCB finally slipped away & became all but completely dormant.
Big Bad Nasty - Traveling between Baltimore & DC, they throw private parties w/ a highly explict nature. Currently organized as a Fetlife Group w/ a growing membership. Amid continued scandal, the main promoter finally backed away from hosting full scale parties & moved into a more personal/private avenue of engagement.
B.A.D.A.S.S. - Baltmore And DC Area Suspension Squad. Shibari rope group spanning form Baltimore to DC. This group was pulled due to lack of activity.
SPANK - A short cannon shot east of Gettysburg there sits a great little town that seemed sleepy enough but apparently had a good number of kinksters in it. So the lovely Madam Cassie & her buff beau had the great idea of forming a more local venue for fellow people in the scene to meet, mix, & mingle without the need to always travel so far. Thus was born the Hanover TNG, now SPANK! Initial efforts for smaller play parties & happy hours soon gave way to a major effort involving education & outreach through Touch of Flavor. With the new focus, old efforts were set to the side & allowed to drift away.
BP Events / EPIC - Based out of Dover, they host events, educational forums, & social gatherings for kink aware sex-positive individuals & provide
discussion forums for the Delaware scene. Their membership never really hit a level of sustainable growth & interest soon waned. In time all efforts simply drifted away.
EROS - The main purpose of EROS is to promote fellow leaders in Delaware kink community to unite & help bring a higher sense of influence to the region. As a group, they also host monthly munches in New Castle & Kent County. With a decline in membership, follow through soon lost momentum & the group finally fell dormant.
Fixe Magazine - Based out of New York, Fixe is an online publication that presents Fetish, Pinup, Goth and other alternative features in a mainstream & accessible way. Self-described as, “Like Maxim, but kinky.” Efforts eventually shifted from the magazine & online forum to focus more on events & fashion.
BDSM Events Calendar - Providing Fetish & BDSM Event listings from across the nation. Site is down.
Jane's Guide - also relevant to Swingers - Offering hands-on reviews for damn near everything & anything related to the Adult alternative culture, from clubs & groups (categorized by location), to movies, books, products, websites, & just about anything that you could possibly think of. It's a mainstay for the culture & one of the best resources available anywhere. It's a sad day as one one the scene's best online resources has gone inactive.
Club Fantasies - Offering an intimate low pressure atmosphere, Angelo above all knows the key ingredients to host a fantastic night. On premise play parties are hosted at a private location in the DC area. Each gathering ranges from about 20-40 couples. Club Fantasies rebranded to Catacombs & merged with Citadel of Kink to serve as its host venue. This shifted the more dedicated swinger orientation to kink & fetish for an entirely new direction.
DC Polyamory TNG - A membership network dedicated to providing a forum for "polyamorous, curious, & friendly people 35 & younger of age and under to meet, socialize, & talk about matters of common concern." Formerly known as CPN TNG, (affiliated with the Chesapeake Polyamory Network), CPN stopped sponsoring groups in late 2010 so they went out on their own. However, this organization seems to have faded away & to our knowledge is now inactive.
Chesapeake Polyamory Network - CPN used to be a centralized organization, but when its formal membership began to dwindle it changed its format to more of a community. It remains active in the area, but events now come from the community itself & not a centralized structure. Events & discussion are posted through yahoo groups.
Northern VA Couples - Monthly off premise socials are held for couples & single women in the Fredericksburg area. Current association is about 400 members. All contact information was recently returned as undeliverable.
Mid-Atlantic Couples - An on-premise club holding monthly events in various Richmond hotels. Main activities take place in a public forum but open play takes place in select suites within the venue. Gatherings offer an opportunity to have fun while meeting like minded couples & single women in a safe atmosphere with absolutely no pressure. Monthly seminars are also held for those new to the culture. Site was initially moved to Kassidie but all links & information have dissapeared so it seems the group has gone inactive.
SWANTIC Parties - In operation since 2003, Swantic offers sophisticated all inclusive sex positive events that catering to bisexual men & women. Most events are fully inclusive as to sexual orientations - bi, gay, straight, trans, ts/tv, etc. All links have gone dormant & search efforts turned up nothing. Swantic has gone the way of the DoDo.
Heavenly Events - Self-described as a discreet adult swingers group providing a safe, comfortable &sexually open environment for couples who enjoy the
adult life-style. They welcome couples & single ladies (single men must be accompanied by a woman). All parties cater to those that enjoy threesomes & single ladies that are bi-sexual or
bi-curious. Group is based out of Baltimore. All links & means of contact were down & subsequent searches turned up nothing. The group was pulled as a result.
Swizzle Sticks - A diverse group providing weekly Off Premise Meet & Greets each Friday in Middle River, MD (Baltimore). If this group remains active, their website & means of contact are completely unmanageable. As a result they were pulled from the site.
The Society for Human Sexuality - An excellent resource that provides numerous links to topics on human sexuality. Including: books, forums, & organizations; scene relevant events, erotica, & matchmaking; various articles concerning numerous aspects to sexuality & perspectives on a wide range of topics such as Tantra, polyamory, bdsm, anal, oral, sexual positions. This site hadn't been updated since 2007 and was no longer receiving significant numbers of visitors so it was finally retired.
TOWN - Brought to you by the former owners of Nation, TOWN Danceboutique offered one of DC's better venues for the all male club crowd (2009 8th St. NW DC). Nightly drag shows were at 10pm. Town closed in July 2018.
S.H.E. Productions - Event production group in Baltimore specializing in LGBTQ parties for over 6 years. They also produce functions, benefits, & dance nights for various aspects of the alternative cultures throughout the area. "Lights Out" in Feb. 2018 offered a final farewell to a Baltimore Institution for the LGBTQ Community.
Hot Men DC - Local Meet-Up Group for fit men who want to explore their sexuality in the company of like minded men. As of 2017 they carry over 420 members. In 2018 the group went inactive. It's last hosted group was listed in August 2018.
F.I.S.T. / Females Investigating Sexual Terrain - A woman's leather & BDSM organization based in Baltimore. They host monthly play parties every 3rd Saturday in their Playhouse Studio, as well as workshops on every first Sunday. They can also be seen participating in many community events throughout the year. They do have an application process & pledge period to gain full membership. After 25 years in the scene, FIST celebrated their silver anniversary & soon thereafter went dormant.
Marcus - Sex-Positive educator & presenter for the gay, bi, & pansexual communities. Called "a truly engaging educator" - Marcus teaches classes, runs workshops, and even holds interactive sessions with demo tops or bottoms. Having moved to India, he no longer carries efforts in the DC region.
Eroticacy Inc - Hosted by the ever crazy Stormy Vain. Providing Drag Queens, Nude Houseboys, & Dancers. Shows or services are available for any occasion. Site is down & no information is available.
Little Black Dress Club - A social group designed for women (sorry guys, it's an all woman's group) to get together, socialize, have fun, & have the occatsonal 'girls night out'. Link is down & group is inactive across all forums.
Washington Wine Academy - Hosts public & private wine tastings & educational forums (the wine brats have since merged w/ the wine academy). Events
include a wine & Jazz series. This is a great venue for a casual date or an evening w/ friends. One of DC's more active & intriging organizations went inactive back in 2016.
Taste DC - Organizing culinary events throughout DC, prices range from $55-$125. The website is down & online activity has ceased.
And Our Memorial to National Events Now Left to the Memories of Good Times Past:
All Content Copyright 'The Metro Underground.' All Rights Reserved.
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without the express written consent of the author.