Crisco Disco

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The Crisco Disco was a New York City discotheque notable in the history of modern dance, LGBT and nightclub cultures.

The venue was an important gay club[1] located at 15th Street and 10th Avenue in the "Meatpacking District", a neighborhood in Manhattan that runs roughly from West 14th Street south to Gansevoort Street, and from the Hudson River east to Hudson Street.[2]

It operated from the 1970s to the 1980s during the disco era, and it has been compared in importance to other NYC clubs such as Paradise Garage.[1] In 2015, Michael Musto listed Crisco Disco as one of the eight "...edgiest [NYC venues] that shall never be recaptured."[1] The club had a large DJ booth where DJs would mix records for the dancers. As a DJ booth, the club constructed a giant, mock vintage can of Crisco shortening.[1] According to Drew Sawyer, in the 1970s, cans of Crisco were " synonymous with gay sex [(it was used as a lubricant by gay men who engaged in fisting)] that discos and bars around the world took on the name, such as Crisco Disco in New York City, one of the premiere clubs during the 1970s and early 1980s."[3]

A 1998 book entitled Gay Macho: The Life and Death of the Homosexual Clone states that "many circuit bars, discos, and sex clubs had names that evoked sexual experience", including "Cockring, a popular nonmembership dance club".[4] Bill Brewster's history of DJ culture states that in New York City clubs such as Crisco Disco, Mineshaft and Anvil, "...dancing took second place to sex".[5]

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  1. ^ a b c d Musto, Michael (February 18, 2015). "8 Forgotten Hangouts That Made NYC Special". Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  2. ^ McPherson, Coco (December 24, 2002). "Close-Up on: The Meatpacking District". Village Voice. Archived from the original on 2007-08-08. Retrieved 2008-02-12.
  3. ^ Sawyer, Drew. "Crisco or how to do queer with things". Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  4. ^ Levine, Martin P. Gay Macho: The Life and Death of the Homosexual Clone. NYU Press, 1998. p. 67
  5. ^ Brewster, Bill. Last Night a DJ Saved My Life: The History of the Disc Jockey. Grove Press, 2014. p. 222