The Dirty Show Pays Homage to Gay Leather Bars of the ’70s

Kate Opalewski
By | 2017-02-09T09:00:00-04:00 February 9th, 2017|Entertainment|

The leather scene once occupied a very visible part of gay culture, which has been missing from the Dirty Show. In an effort to celebrate leathery goodness and include more gay attributes to the venerable Motor City alt-art event, the Dirty Show invites the leather community to the new Daddyhole, a leather bar to open for four nights only.
“The concept is meant to be a gay interactive art installation and a co-production between the artists creating the atmosphere and the patrons that attend,” said Tim Toy, who will create the Daddyhole inside the Russell Industrial Exhibition Complex in Detroit for freedom-minded individuals to find themselves and their pleasures, including fetishes like S&M, and bondage and discipline.
But also, for leather lovers to dance, enjoy great music, have a drink and relax, as they did back in the day.
“We want to make this experience as authentic as possible,” said Toy. Which is why organizers are asking men to dress in leather, kink, raunchy or shirtless attire (at a minimum), and to “naturally hang out at the bar for a few hours.” By doing so, these leather-clad individuals can participate in this unique event with free entry into the Dirty Show.
The Daddyhole is open Feb. 10-11 and Feb. 17-18 from 10 p.m. – 1 a.m. Toy can be reached on Facebook or by email at to RSVP to coordinate a date and time to attend.
“This kind of expression is needed now more than ever. It’s a way for people to escape and explore other lifestyles and alternative artwork. There’s something satisfying about letting your guard down and experiencing other walks of life,” said Toy, adding, “The Dirty Show has always been an outlet for people of all different kinds of lifestyles. Everybody comes here and feels comfortable and there’s no judgment. It’s like more is more. Everybody accepts everybody.”

The Main Event
The Dirty Show has featured world renown erotic artists many times before, but this year, the special guest artist happens to be one of Europe’s most important sculptors and public artists – David Cerny, who is an agent provocateur of the highest order.
The Dirty Show has always shown the best in erotic painting, sculpture and photography from almost every civilized country in the world. The 18th annual event is no exception with artists including Derek Hess, Niagara, Robert Williams, Molly Harvey, XNO, Olivia, Kevin Kelly and a stunning selection of classic and historic erotic cinema posters from the U.S. and abroad – curated by the founder of the now defunct Royal Oak Detroit CPop Gallery, Rick Manore. International artists include Gernot of Germany, Francois Dubeau of Canada, and the Gao Brothers from China.
The legendary live installations and revues will be back.
“Burlesque, and performance art of the lascivious kind make the Dirty Show not only an exhibition for the visual art, but also the art of the exhibitionist, when real life can blur fantasy and reality with the event itself becoming an immersive and interactive giant, pulsing work of art as a whole,” said Dirty Show founder Jerry Vile, pointing to the main stage where the Chris Harder, Jeez Loueez, The Benson Twins, Ray Gun and the ever popular Schlep Sisters will perform.

The Dirty Show is Feb. 10-11 from 7 p.m. – 2 a.m., Feb. 12 from 1-5 p.m., and Feb. 17-18 from 7 p.m. – 2 a.m. Tickets are $30 on Friday and Saturday (21+), and $20 on Sunday (18+). The Russell Industrial Exhibition Complex is located at 1600 Clay St. in Detroit. For more information, visit the Dirty Show online.

About the Author:

Kate Opalewski
Kate Opalewski is BTL's features editor and has been since 2015. She has covered a variety of topics ranging from art, politics and community outreach. Recently, she was honored by the Detroit Police Department LGBT Advisory Board for her work for the local LGBTQIA community.