By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Central parks? Pah! Pedestrian malls? Fooey! Downtown plazas? Shut up! There's only one genuine indicator of metropolitan health, wealth and general quality of life: its sex district.
Amsterdam's Red Light District. Paris' Moulin Rouge. New York's Times Square before Giuliani—the civilized world's Thailand.
And Orange County's T-Zone.
Yep, that's right: Orange County has its own porn district, its own avenue of red lights and boulevard of titillation. Those of us in the know refer to it as the T-Zone, as it begins at Beach Boulevard just north of Katella, oozes its way south about four miles and then shoots off west and east down Garden Grove Boulevard—an enormous "T," which rhymes with "P," which stands for "Porn."
The T-Zone is enormous, straddling three cities and seven buxom square miles. It's got bookstores, movie arcades, novelty shops, topless clubs, all-nude theaters and lingerie bars.
All of it centered squarely in the bosom of Orange County.
And, sure, we're blowing it completely out of proportion. Yes, parts of Stanton, Garden Grove and Westminster lie in the zone, but we're not exactly living George Bailey's secret fantasy here. Pottersville we ain't. No more than a dozen adult-oriented businesses appear to the naked eye over this stretch, hardly an epicenter of vice. But it's the best we've got.
Which is why we're giving you the very first official tour of Orange County's T-Zone, complete with our own officially notarized, copyrighted, trademarked and patented T-Zone Sex Meter Fun Rating!TJ'S THEATER
10350 Beach Blvd., Stanton
It smells sweet in here, like a candy-cane beer belch. Those are real red lights pulsating, real naked women onstage bending over about three feet in front of curiously expressionless men, real hot-looking, scantily clad young moisties working the crowd and real (covered) crotches and (covered) boobs bumping, grinding and gyrating in men's laps and faces.
We like it here—we really, really like it here. Unlike clubs in Anaheim and other uncivilized communities, Stanton's TJ's is an all-nude dance club light on fantasy but high on contact. Nothing illegal, nothing outrageous. Just real live nakeditity onstage and barely clothed contact during lap dances. All in good, clean fun.
There's also no alcohol and enough security in place to keep overly friendly patrons from clawing at the merchandise. Hell, gentlemen, it's a theater, fer chrissake!
Cover charge, $7; mandatory one-drink surcharge, $4.50 (for alcohol-free drink); lap dances, $10.
T-Zone Sex Meter Fun Rating: 9! (No alcohol, bad. Real contact, good.)EARMARK BOOKS
11442 Beach Blvd., Stanton
This is your typical one-stop porn shop. Books, magazines, toys, all kinds of interesting gadgets in a locked glass display case. Even video-head cleaner; awful thoughtful. It's clean and spacious. Not overly friendly, but you don't feel like you're committing a crime by walking in and poking around.
The best things, sexwise, are the movie arcade booths. Unlike movie arcades elsewhere in the T-Zone, you can have a little privacy in an Earmark cubicle. You can close the door, deposit up to 20 bucks and have a seat, choosing from among 50 movies to view, including: Scenes From the Oral Office, Up Your Ass #13, Fuck a Fatty Funtime #23 and Barrio Chicas #2. There's even a small plastic-lined wastebasket on the ground in which to deposit your spent gum wrappers. Awful thoughtful!
T-Zone Sex Meter Fun Rating: 8! (We do like our privacy.)VENUS
11572 Beach Blvd., Stanton
This is a dance club where the women strip down to bikinis and such and perform. Some of them are really quite excellent dancers. There's a full bar and TVs all over the place, giving Venus a sports-bar-with-dancing-women vibe. On this night, it doesn't have the sweat and heat of TJ's, but the ladies are far nicer, and we like that.
T-Zone Sex Meter Fun Rating: 7! (We'll come back on a busier night.)FRATERNITY HOUSE
8112 Garden Grove Blvd., Garden Grove
Two miles up from Venus, we turn east on Garden Grove Boulevard and pull into the impossibly small parking lot at 4-H, a bar that, those in the know say, is frequented by people of a gay persuasion. Inside, about 20 men, most under 30, mostly Latino, are grooving to a salsa beat. They're having a great time. Everybody smiling. Everybody happy. Gay people really are gay! We order a beer and realize there's nothing in this bar that makes it appear any different from our own watering holes, besides the kind of nude statue in the corner. But wait a minute. This is a gay bar. We're a man. No one's looked at us even twice. Gee, gay people can really hurt your feelings.
T-Zone Sex Meter Fun Rating: 3! (Feelings hurters!)A-Z Adult Books
8192 Garden Grove Blvd., Garden Grove
Next door to the Fraternity House. Lots of man mags—high-quality bondage stuff. There's also a movie arcade area. Unlike Stanton's Earmark, this place affords no privacy—perhaps because its clientele is gay and police really, really want to see what's going on? (Note to self: investigate.) Low walls allow anyone walking through the area to see exactly what you're watching. Rather than an open meet-and-greet invitation, we think the wide-open space has something to do with a rather ominous sign posted: GARDEN GROVE POLICE DEPARTMENT HAS THE RIGHT TO INSPECT PREMISES AT ANY TIME. NO LEWD CONDUCT.