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Why Is The Albany Area So Conservative When It Comes To Sexuality?

We were riding the rail at an Iced Earth concert in March when Stuart Block told us to hold our fingers up in a “V”. Then he said, “But us guys like to do it like this!” and held up “The Shocker.” And a hush fell over the crowd.

S.B. Davis/flickr

Undeterred, Stu said something like, “Some of us really talented guys break out old Thumbkin, and send her over the edge, eh?”

If it was quiet before, we might as well have been in church, at this point, praying at the alter of “We don’t discuss those dirty things in public, kthxbai.” So, I helped him out and screamed. I know I sure like old Thumbkin. My man takes care of me, and I’m not afraid to let everybody know it.

I expected someone to join me. Thus is usually the way of metal concerts. One person screams, and the entire crowd joins in. If not that, at least a groupie, not to be outdone, will yell something obscene or throw her bra on stage. But not another soul in the audience made a sound, and nary a piece of lingerie grew wings.

No, seriously.

Maybe they had no idea what he was talking about. I like to believe they were just concerned their partners would elbow them in the ribs, or refuse to give them any after the show. No sex after such a phenomenal show would be like no ice cream on apple pie. No gas in your bike on the perfect riding day. No rum for your coke (Why’s the rum always gone?) In short, it would be very, VERY bad.

But that’s not the point. This is:

How is it that I was at a heavy metal concert and I was the only woman comfortable enough to be loud and proud about her sexuality? Was there really not a man in the audience who wanted to tout his sexual prowess in the bedroom in the middle of a bar that had to have some single ladies looking for someone to take them home milling around inside? When did rock and roll stop coming with a side of sex?

Honestly, though? I wasn’t surprised. That’s par for the course in the Capital Region.

What am I talking about? Well, where should we begin? Bear with me. I tried like hell to find sources, but most of it happened too long ago to be readily available in Google, and the rest is being done as quietly as possible because, as it turns out, sizable monetary donations don’t matter when you run a seedy adult shop with spank booths in the back.

It started in Niskayuna. There was this adorable little bed and breakfast there. As most businesses do, it brought a bit of revenue to the town. There was just one problem. The establishment catered to swingers, among other less-than-accepted groups. But was that reason enough to close its doors?

We may never know. Some of the neighbors made complaints. They said the B&B played their music loud to all hours of the night. The patrons, claim the neighbors, were having sex in the front and back yards, and behaved with complete disregard for the families living around them.

I know some of the patrons via the internet. They, of course, say this is a complete fabrication. They claim they were nothing but respectful, and the neighbors are just bothered by their reason for meeting at the B&B.

So, that situation’s a little muddy. Let’s discuss one that’s less so.

There’s a store on Erie Boulevard called Another World. It’s been there for years. The owner of the business owns the property, and has put a lot of money into the city and its various organizations outside of his taxable income. And Schenectady just claimed eminent domain on his property.

They’re not even trying to hide the reason. They’re up front about the fact that they want the space for a more “family friendly” business. They’ve offered the owner of Another World what they’re calling a “comparable property” but it’s off the main drag, which reduces its value dramatically. He’s appealing the decision (or was? I haven’t heard much on the story since news of his appeal.), but as is usually the way, he will probably lose, and he’ll end up much worse off than he would have been had he just sold out the first time they pressed.

Gentlemen’s clubs that have been successful since at least 2000, when I first heard of them, are vanishing one by one. Some towns have outlawed adult stores, or strategically zoned things so that it’s impossible for them to operate within their borders. Hell, even New York City has strict laws preventing adult stores from focusing their stock on porn and other “adult materials,” and most of the world considers “The City,” as we Upstaters are known to call her, one of the most liberal and accepting places in the world when it comes to sexuality.

So many New Yorkers live a wild, flagrant lifestyle, but we hide from it as if it’s something to be ashamed of. Heaven forbid the neighbor on the corner who has never even so much as said hello finds out we actually enjoy sex. God knows what would happen if the lady up the street – who lets her dog poop in everyone’s front yard and never cleans it up – hears that we actually try new things in the bedroom that most people would shy away from.

My neighbors know. You know what happened? They laughed, shook their heads and said something along the lines of “Why am I not surprised?” Then life went on just like life always does.

Cause it’s no big deal! Sexuality is just one more way we, as creatures of nature, interact with the world around us. One more way. As in, we’ve got a whole slew of other ways that we don’t dissect or shy away from the way we do our thoughts and feelings surrounding sex.

There’s a Buckcherry concert coming up in May. I heard Buckcherry concerts can get pretty nasty. This time, you gonna scream with me?

 

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