A night of debauchery at Ron Jeremy’s sex club

How’s that for a catchy title? You’ll note that I said “a night” and not “my night” up there. That’s one of those tricks sen­sa­tion­al­ist writ­ers use, much like the mis­lead­ing or false head­line end­ing in a ques­tion mark (“Obama is an ille­gal space alien?”). You’ll also note that “debauch­ery” is a nice vague word and can mean many things, but when placed near the phrase “sex club,” cer­tain con­no­ta­tions — whether or not they are cor­rect — are implied.

So as you may or may not know, Ron Jeremy owns a swingers club down­town, Club Sesso. There was a lot of hooplah revolv­ing around its pur­chase, remodel, and open­ing. You’d think it was the first sex club in Portland. (It’s not. See also: Angel’s and prob­a­bly lots of other places I’m not cool or hip enough to know about.) Given the uproar, you’d think we lived in a city that didn’t have the high­est num­ber of strip clubs per-capita[1] (that allowed full-nude along­side alco­hol, to boot.)

My plan last night was to head down to First Thursday to check out a num­ber of things (chiefly among them the Dorkbot PDX stuff at ON Gallery because I’m geeky like that), but some­thing else caught my eye yes­ter­day morn­ing. PDX Pipeline had a great arti­cle about an artist, Andrew Kaiser, show­ing at Club Sesso. The pic­ture that caught my eye (and every­one else’s, based on buzz at the club) was a nude on St. John’s bridge:

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The story behind it is that they had to shoot that really early in the morn­ing and wait for the traf­fic lights at both ends of the bridge to syn­chro­nize red, at which point they had about 15 sec­onds to take the pic­ture. Of course the morn­ing light was dim, so it took about 4 sec­onds of expo­sure, leav­ing pre­cious lit­tle time. They had to work quick, quick, quick.

So this Ron Jeremy sex club was open­ing its doors for use as a gallery, in a com­pletely non-sexual way (well, aside from the taste­ful nude pho­tographs them­selves, adorn­ing the walls). There were not going to be any orgies, 3-ways, wife swap­ping, or what­ever else would typ­i­cally go on in there. It was just a build­ing, a gallery space (though I didn’t look too closely for stains on the couches and was a lit­tle sur­prised they left up the “no nudity at the buf­fet table” sign.) So mainly, this was my chance to look at amaz­ing art and be able to say “I’ve been to Ron Jeremy’s sex club.” I don’t think I even stuck around for more than 15 min­utes.

Oh, and that debauch­ery men­tioned in the title? At worst, it might have been some­one hav­ing too much wine, but I was not there long enough to notice.


[1] cita­tion needed — I see this fact par­roted in sev­eral dif­fer­ent forms by just about every­one, but have yet to see evi­dence beyond a rough back-of-the-napkin cal­cu­la­tion. Nevertheless, most peo­ple here seem quite proud of this state­ment, whether true or false. We also have a dizzy­ing num­ber of churches, in case you were won­der­ing.

Posted in: Dear Diary Portland

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