Standing beneath a disco ball in the dimly lit swingers' club Trapeze II last week, Kay implored Broward County's purveyors of porn to come out from behind their tinted windows and sequined curtains to take on the moralistic politicians and law-enforcement officers of South Florida.
"[Business operators] are targets because they do nothing," Kay, owner of the Pleasure Zone in Pompano Beach, told the restless crowd of about 75. Some in the crowd slipped off during the event to the backrooms where the mattresses and hot tubs are located, possibly in the hopes of relieving stress created by this ongoing conflict.
Kay is hoping sexual entrepreneurs will be prodded into action by the formation of the National Association of Adult Businesses. The year-old organization's initial project is to petition for the repeal of Broward County's draconian 1993 sex-business ordinance, which prohibits lap dances or any kind of touching in strip clubs and requires doors on adult-video booths, among other restrictions. In other words, no fun for consenting adults.
Judging by the turnout, the N.A.A.B. has a way to go before it convinces porn-shy politicians that coming out in favor of friction dancing and dirty bookstores is a wise move for their political futures. Although Fort Lauderdale and Broward County commissioners, as well as Sheriff Ken Jenne and State Attorney Michael Satz, were invited to the kickoff event, the only politico to show was Fort Lauderdale city commission candidate Bill Salicco.
"You have a friend with Bill Salicco," the neophyte politician, who is running for Jack Latona's District 4 seat, told the crowd. "I'm gonna fight for your First Amendment rights."
As James Benjamin, a Fort Lauderdale lawyer who represents many sex-oriented businesses, told the audience: "He has balls to come in here and say this."
Now we have an inkling of how the Yugoslavians feel.
Our quiet eastern-Fort Lauderdale neighborhood was turned into a war zone over the weekend by the obnoxiously loud and aggravating Air and Sea Show.
An entire section of the city becomes a "Fort," with access to the ocean blocked off and neighborhoods barricaded. But hordes of refugees fleeing from the western suburbs swarm into the area anyway, clogging up traffic and parking anywhere they can.
Dozens of sorties were flown over our house, bombarding our senses with screaming jet engine noise for an entire weekend. Made us feel all patriotic in the sense we wanted to go to war with the promoter. And then we had the pleasure of hearing car alarms go off when some big bomber rumbled over. A giant B-52 built when Eisenhower was in office swooped down, scaring the pets and leaving the air nicely polluted.
Why? Better yet, ask why the city government is putting out $27,000 to help the promoter of this unnerving and militaristic event.
-- as told to Tom Walsh
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