Red Rocks

Nothing but love for Sammy F***in' Hagar, Melanie Moon and the Blanche; plus, we lay bare our soul (and other less metaphysical parts)

Still, we'll wave the freak flag for the building, which is incredible, a vast open space that houses a 300-seat black-box theater, the aforementioned performance hall and an impressive array of fancy dressing rooms and rehearsal areas. The building celebrates its grand opening on September 27 with a performance by tap dancer Savion Glover, who will honor his mentor, the late Gregory Hines, who was originally scheduled for the christening.

Always a Happy Ending

David Olin Tullis, author of the self-published Surrender to the Sensations: The Gentlemen's Guide to the Business and Pleasure of Sensual Massage, believes that God called him to St. Louis. Formerly married and of Little Rock, Arkansas, and now an openly gay man and expert (albeit unlicensed) masseur, Tullis says that it was part of God's divine plan for him to come here and meet people on his massage table.

Since placing his first advertisement for "incomparable full body massage, gentlemen only" in 1992 in the Riverfront Times, Tullis says he has seen thousands of clients, mostly businessmen from out of town who've found his downtown location and low, low price (originally $25 per session, later raised to $50) attractive. Unfortunately, they didn't always feel that way about him.

"I am not a handsome young man, but I never lie when giving my age or description," the 50-year-old Tullis writes in the recently released Surrender. "On more occasions than I like to think about, I have opened my door to new clients only to see a look of disappointment on their faces.

"This story has a happy ending, though. Once people get to know me and experience my massage, my looks simply become unimportant and irrelevant."

Speaking of happy endings, Tullis says nearly all of his gentlemen expect one, though he's quick to add that confusing sensual massage with prostitution does a disservice to practitioners of both professions. Nonetheless, in his book he advises would-be sensual masseurs, "No matter how scantily clad you start out, keep your clothes on unless the client asks you to undress -- or undresses you. It would be highly presumptuous to simply assume that the client wants to see you nude."

Having perused Tullis' tome, Unreal couldn't resist the temptation to surrender to the sensations ourself. Tullis, we can report, works out of his impeccably clean apartment, where, to the strains of Reader's Digest's Most Beautiful Melodies of the Century, he makes ample use of baby oil and exerts a pleasantly light touch -- though we did not go so far as to assay the happy ending or, for that matter, his, um, dexterity at what he calls "the delicate art of prostate massage."

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