Gold Club: Anniversary party shiny but not new

Pub date June 5, 2009
SectionSex Blog

By Molly Freedenberg

Gold Club’s Website cover girl knows what you want (what you really, really want).

It all started with this:

Are you into booze???

What about food??

How do you feel about boobies, then??

Gold Club’s giving ’em all away next Thursday evening…

That was the email from a friend whose expertise – besides playing Magic, drawing octopi, and arguing with me about why Macs aren’t better than PCs – is finding free shit to do. This time? It was free nudity. And there was no way I was missing out.

Thing is, after several years of going to Burning Man – hell, even just of living in San Francisco – seeing naked people isn’t really a big deal. And after spending six years in sexually-progressive Portland, where going to the strip club was as normal as going to the local pub, the idea of seeing nudity in a bar isn’t a big deal either.

But I’ve never been to a strip club in San Francisco. Would it be weird, seedy, and full of mainstream guys ogling surgically-enhanced women, a la Southern California? Would San Francisco culture have seeped inside its walls, meaning tattooed dancers with plug piercings and pink hair? I had no clue what to expect.

Apparently, I wasn’t alone in my curiosity. When we got to the 5th Anniversary party at Gold Club, the line to get in snaked around the block. As per the invite’s instructions, most people had “dressed to impress,” most men in some version of business casual and most women in dresses and heels. There were more men than women, by far, but the ratio was considerably closer for this event than I suspected it normally would be.

Inside, the club felt like Vegas. Carpeted floors, special areas separated by artificial glass walls, their insides rippling with neon bubbles. An ice sculpture of a naked pole dancer slowly melted in front of a glassed-off smoking room (which, itself, was much like a slightly swanky airport smoking area). The one stage was surrounded by heavy-duted scaffolding, which held arena-worthy lights. And on the stage, from the event’s start at 7pm until its finish at 9pm, was a steady rotation of topless dancers.

Though heavier on neon and glass than I’d prefer, the decor of Gold Club is still classy enough for me to consider it a “gentleman’s club,” rather than a mere strip joint.