As your typical pervert, I walk into the Pussy Palace expecting to see wall-to- wall naked women going at it. But imagine my surprise when I discover a scene similar to any old lesbian bar -- a DJ, women dancing, a grope here and there, some hot necking.
I check my coat along with my fantasy at the door and step into my first lesbian bathhouse.
Started two years ago by women who wanted to know if the female gender could take to the bathhouse experience the way gay men do, the event at Club Toronto on Mutual is the fourth Pussy Palace in two years.
But after an exploration of the sweaty dance floor, the sauna and the "fun room," where a woman lying in a swing is being manually stimulated, and after many fervent wishes that I could crash the private rooms with the SM-friendly signs, I suddenly look up and see five guys making their way through the variously clad women.
Just for a second, I imagine they might be really butch lesbians, but, oh, horrors, they're plain-clothes cops.
The air suddenly feels thick with testosterone, and a wave of urgent whispers rises through the four floors of women: "Make sure you've got your bottoms on!"
Look flustered After a thorough and seemingly satisfactory examination of the organizer's liquor licence, the cops still aren't satisfied.
I watch them go from room to room, trying not to look flustered by the bevy of babes and bare breasts. Several times they whisper to each other and snigger like teenage boys who've suddenly found themselves in the girls' locker room.
When they reach the fourth floor for the umpteenth time, the leader of the pack, inspector David Wilson, clearly thinks he's hit the jackpot when he spots a sign on the wall indicating the "porn/photo room."
He points to it as if it's the devil, and repeatedly grills a rather unassuming volunteer. "What is this? Where is this?"
It turns out to be one room where women can watch porn videos and another where women can have "my night at the bathhouse" souvenir Polaroids taken.
Wilson harrumphs and confiscates the sign as "evidence." A few minutes later, three officers proceed to search private rooms. Finally, organizers tell the scandalized intruders they won't answer any more questions without a lawyer present. The police leave.
"Good, the cops are gone. Now I can shove that broomstick up your ass," Miss Swing Queen jokes. But this isn't the prevailing tone. Things here are more femininely genteel.
A couple of lovely winged creatures are trying to keep the spirit going with the "Cupid board." They paint a number on a woman, and then when she sees someone she likes, she posts both numbers on the board and hopes the other woman sees it and finds her.
"Things are a little slow," a rather dejected Cupid tells me.
Clean linen I can only hope there's plenty of action in the private rooms. But, of course, one doesn't want to be rude and ask.
Manners are definitely part of Pussy Palace etiquette. I can't help but notice women Oops, sorrying and Pardon meing their way from room to room and floor to floor. Plenty of clean linen, safe-sex gear and free pizza added to the hyper-civility of it all.
In fact, it is for some just a little too civil.
"No one's really making any moves," more than one woman complains.
Girls will be girls.