Bar Exam: Fetish Ball at Area 51 keeps it friendly, with whips confiscated at door
In the film "Horrible Bosses," Jennifer Aniston played a man-eating dentist who often wore revealing scrubs.
She would feel right at home this Saturday night at Salt Lake City nightclub Area 51, where the monthly Fetish Ball is one of the club's most successful ongoing events.
"There's as much people-watching as anything," said Alan Moss, owner of Area 51.
Held on the last Saturday of every month, the Fetish Ball is an institution coming up on its 10th anniversary. This month's theme asks patrons to dress as sexy doctors or nurses. Last month's event invited partygoers to dress in their sexiest Disney garb.
Club employees suggested the event nearly a decade ago after realizing that Halloween was one of the biggest nights of the year. They guessed clubgoers might be interested in dressing up during other months, as well.
At an average Fetish Ball, some 1,000 people crowd into the 12,000-square-foot club, and Moss estimates a third of those dress up in costume. Most who dress up are women.
In fact, getting into the Fetish Ball is cheap if you're a lady. If you print out a Facebook ad for the event, ladies are admitted free before 10 p.m. The event cover charge is usually $10 not counting the price of the garter belts, body stockings and loincloths you might have to buy beforehand for your costume.
Of course, this is Utah. The nudity laws are strict, and besides, Area 51 is a club where those 18 and older are invited. Suffice to say, whipping isn't tolerated.
But if you come as a slightly revealing proctologist, prepare to spend a good night drinking and dancing on one of the three dance floors or three patios until 2 a.m.
"Area 51 is a very accepting place," Moss said about those who might be intimidated by the theme. "People are laid-back and nonjudgmental."
As we all learned from "Horrible Bosses," it's not OK to dress as an aggressively sexual dentist in the workplace. But at Area 51, that's the dress code.
Clubgoers at the monthly Fetish Ball are invited to dress as sexy doctors or nurses.
When • 8 p.m. Saturday, June 29.
Where • 348 W. 500 South, Salt Lake City
Admission • $10; women admitted free before 10 p.m. with a printed Fetish Ball coupon from the club's Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/ClubArea51SLC).
Upcoming • Upcoming costume themes are posted on the club's Facebook.