Who's the Black Private Dick That's a Sex Machine to All the Chicks?

"Who's here to see some dick?" Chocolate Shake shouts into his cordless mic.

Take a look at the distaff mob clad in Enyce tops and Apple Bottoms jeans and you reach a quick answer: Everybody is here to see some dick. Of course, there are other reasons to be at Sharx on this glacial Saturday evening. The club, located on the westernmost fringe of Fridley, gleams like a beacon for those who'd rather dirty-crunk to Ciara while buzzed on Hyponotiq than settle into the cracked, careworn booths of sleepier Nordeast establishments. Like Gabby's a few miles down on Marshall, Sharx has unexpectedly become an oasis in the Twin Cities' urban nightlife scene.

Normally, if you came here on a Saturday, you'd see couples g'd up in immaculate club gear, roving SBFs swinging designer purses, and packs of guys feigning nonchalance in the VIP lounge. But tonight, with the exception of a few Herculean security guards and the event's hosts, the house is packed exclusively with the female of the species. And as we'll proudly inform you, we're here to see dick.

Tonight's main attraction is "The Chocolate Factory," an all-male black exotic dance troupe whose spokesman promises "guys swinging 10, 11, 12 inches!" (At $20 for admission, that comes out to a reasonable 55 cents per inch.) Sharx hosts male dancers on the first Saturday of every month, but that hasn't dampened anyone's lust for well-hung professionals. The line for entry is lengthier than one might expect. It snakes out the door and into the Sharx parking lot, where impatient club-goers loudly protest any wannabe queue-jumpers. It's all evocative of a Muscovite breadline.

The fact that all of us in the crowd are female doesn't lend any levity to the situation, despite the pervasive belief that women think of male nudity as an amusing distraction. No, most of these gals aren't fooling around. They gaze longingly at the club entrance like teenage boys eyeing the top shelf at a magazine kiosk. Arguably, these women are more starved for eye candy than any of the sloppy Joes flanking the stage at Déjà Vu or Dreamgirls; naked girls are a dime a dozen, but naked men are a rare delicacy.

Inside, throngs of girlfriends scramble for seating, clutching syrupy cocktails in plastic cups and wearing expressions of grim determination. One middle-aged woman claims a stool with a choice view and hoists her drink triumphantly. "I'm here with my bowling league," she says, grinning lasciviously. "There was no way we were going to miss this." She glances furtively around the club, as if a naked man could appear at any moment and vanish like an elusive 10-point buck.

Across the room, a drunk girl wanders through the crowd, grinning like a pageant queen. "I'm an 'entertainer' myself," she volunteers mischievously, clearly pleased to be on the other side of the dollar dance for once.

After some initial tension, the unseen presence of oiled musclemen seems to inspire a degree of camaraderie among the spectators. As a B96 personality teases the crowd from the DJ booth, we become more restless. "We want dick!" a few college students chant in unison, stomping the dance floor with their Tims.

Soon, Chocolate Shake, a dancer with the troupe, emerges in a pristine white suit that glows like radium beneath the black lights. He hypes the crowd expertly, boasting in no uncertain terms about what we're about to witness. The effect is surprisingly and undeniably erotic. Listening to a sexy man describe other sexy men's genitals in graphic detail is almost more than this fervent crowd can bear.

Soon (but not soon enough), Ashanti's latest single rattles the room, the bass groans at bowel-loosening levels, and the Chocolate Factory is in full effect.

Three dancers emerge in colorful pimp suits and James Brown wigs and do a choreographed, fully clothed routine for the duration of the song. They're impressive, but the crowd shifts restlessly. They know what they're here for. Hell, they've expressed it repeatedly and without compunction: Bring on the pork swords!

At long last, a dancer emerges dressed as a ninja and wielding nunchuks. His costume is more than a gimmick. He appears actually to be a skilled martial artist, though he could be a white-belt novice for all these ladies care. Once he peels off his robe and flexes his burnished pectorals, the screams become deafening. Clad only in black pants, he hoists a girl out of the crowd, swings her upside down, and buries his face in her crotch, mimicking oral sex. The crowd roars. A group of admirers bum-rushes the floor and begins joyfully spanking the dancer, who accepts this unsolicited affection like an agreeable family dog.

Once he's maneuvered some breathing room, the dancer lowers his pants teasingly. Ka-ching! His manhood is encased in a purple satin pouch, and swings as frankly as any other appendage might in more polite company. A celebrant throws herself onto the floor in ecstasy, and the dancer lowers himself onto her face.

At this point things reach a fever pitch and the dance floor is barely visible from any vantage point. This is ladies' night in the truest sense of the word. On a typical Saturday at the club, these shrieking female predators would be prey to the male gaze. But judging by the primal screams in the room, the Chocolate Factory experience is more than a cathartic flip-flop. Forget about what you've seen on late-night commercials: These are the real girls gone wild.

 
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