Let it all hang out

Underbear at the Alley
By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  July 8, 2008

A lot of questions drift through your head when you’re at a gay bar in your underwear. Should I have gone with boxers? Are these singles too gross to tip with? Whoa, is that thing real? No. That thing’s not real, is it? Shut up, no it’s not.

You also experience mini-freakouts over the location of your phone, keys, ID, and pants. Oh yes, you reassure yourself, I put them all in a white shopping bag and gave it to that nice daddybear guy in the boxer briefs. That’s where I got this wristband.

There’s a nice sense of security in knowing that your pants are safe in a bag somewhere waiting for you. In fact, despite the host of questions that invariably pop up during the irregularly occurring Underbear evenings at the Alley, there’s a pervasive sense of safety that warms the proceedings (a process aided, I’m sure, by the hundred or so large, hairy, half-naked men in attendance).

Part of this stems from the fact that the Alley is heir apparent to the similarly unmarked and hallowed halls of the late, often sticky, always cruisy 119 Merrimac and thus carries with it not just a weird tapehead-cleaner aroma but a degree of (all too scarce) privacy and seedy excitement that harks back to a time when being gay was more than a checkbox or a perfectly normal neighbor. The other part is that it’s hard to feel too threatened by an IT administrator in SpongeBob boxers sipping a Long Island iced tea through a stir straw.

Indeed, if any force threatens the chummy waistband-snapping and Audubon-esque tentspotting that characterizes Underbear, it’s the ceaseless miasma of heinous trance lobotomies on Journey songs and the Brokeback Mountain theme — they’re so ball-shrinkingly awful, it’s difficult to imagine anything remotely sex-related resulting from prolonged exposure. Fortunately, bears, more so than any subsect in gaydom, with their hirsute pursuit of balls-out (ahem) anti-beauty, are seasoned experts at tuning things out — or taking them off.

Related: Zoe’s Gourmet Chinese’s braised-beef filets and vegetables with hot chili, Mike Doughty, Tashi Delek, More more >
  Topics: Live Reviews , Culture and Lifestyle, Beverages, Food and Cooking,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   FOLK ACT  |  June 26, 2010
    Vikesh Kapoor
  •   BOSTON PRIDE WEEK: OFF THE MAP  |  June 07, 2010
    We may seem a little cranky, but us local gayfolk just love a parade, and we’re actually heartened by this annual influx of brothers and sisters from every state of New England and every letter of our ever-expanding acronym.  
  •   THE NEW GAY BARS  |  June 02, 2010
    If I may channel the late, great Estelle Getty for a moment: picture it, Provincetown, 2009, a dashing young man with no discernible tan and an iffy T-Mobile signal languishes bored upon the sprawling patio of the Boatslip Resort.
    If the gradual polishing of Ariel Pink’s sound — and it’s not all that much more polished — puts his loyalists at odds with his albums, I count that as good news.
  •   MORE THAN HUMAN  |  May 26, 2010
    It’s hard to talk about Janelle Monáe when your jaw’s fallen off.

 See all articles by: MICHAEL BRODEUR