The venue was nice of course, the outdoor part featuring trees, a pool, lights, and cabanas, and an indoor space housed a roped-off VIP area and a gorgeous wooden bartop. I almost forgot it was a Maxim party at moments, but then I’d remember after seeing a bikini-clad server strut by, dressed like a Vegas showgirl and about to deliver someone’s bottle service. I didn’t expect many real Bitcoin enthusiasts to attend the party, but in that respect I was surprised–I ran into someone from New York who hosts crypto events, and even encountered some NFT collectors I met the previous day at a brunch party thrown by SuperRare and Y.at. Did I mention? Maxim definitely covers crypto. It occurred to me that of course the intersection existed between the rich boys club and Bitcoin lovers–the venn diagram isn’t exactly a circle, but it’s getting close.
By the time we left, I could admit that the novelty of the whole thing charmed me. It was a Robert Crumb comic all dressed up in a suit and black tie, someone doing shots of an expensive aged single malt from his rich daddy’s liquor cabinet. An Ivy League chapter of the Young Republicans. Not camp, but not not camp, either. Camp without self-awareness. Even so, I knew that if I walked into a club and it resembled the Maxim party, I’d leave. And, true to form, we eventually ended up at a snug gay bar bumping club remixes of Madonna. The place wasn’t my usual vibe–a little too Hell’s Kitchen for my tastes, with closely trimmed beards and muscle tees abound–but still more palatable for me than the unnecessary show of cishetero masculinity on display at the Maxim party. I sipped my well drink, then listened to my boots smack against the sticky concrete floor as I walked. A boy, thinking I was a man, stopped me to try and flirt in a classic queer space comedy of errors. There’s a lot of talk in crypto spaces about community, but in that gay bar where I came as a stranger, I belonged. I belonged unequivocally, with no caveats or translation, no price of entry except my experiences. My presence was accepted so easily, because queer bodies understand the cost of taking up space, out there in the world, among the types of people who read Maxim on purpose. I haven’t found anything in the crypto community like that yet, only in specialized spaces for marginalized people who band together because we see the ways Web3 is coming to resemble everything it wanted to crush–ultimately, people are still running the show, and they carry with them lifetimes’ worth of socialization, of feelings, of biases. All anyone can do is try to be better, but that isn’t a strategy at all.
Reposted from: superrare.com