Tease! SLC: Provoking Sensuality and Love
Salt Lake’s Tease! event was the perfect way to kick off our city’s Pride celebration. Housed at our old beloved Urban Outfitters at the Gateway, Tease! showcased what truly makes Salt Lake City special. A mixture of visual and auditory bliss, this was a night meant to promote what we do best —supporting community and expressing creativity.
Leading up to the event, the Tease! organizers were focused on visually representing the ideas that they wanted to promote. During promotions of the event, local photographer Luca Pearle and a select group of our queer family were photographed displaying their beauty and teasing our senses with excitement, admiration and awe. These photographs would be used to promote the event and would be featured in an art exhibit at the actual event, playing a continuous loop of some of our cute LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters sharing intimate moments together. The promotion of the event highlighted the inclusivity that would be experienced at the Pride celebration. It was a perfect starter to a perfect event that I look forward to experiencing year after year.
When I arrived at the event with my partner, we strolled into the event donning leather, lace and chains. Walking him in on a chain leash, we were immediately welcomed and embraced and I had a time trying to keep track of him all night, as other party-goers were having just as good of a time with his leash as we were. The vibe of the event fit perfectly with our looks and never did I feel over the top—we fit right in. Not only did we receive high praise for our looks, but almost everyone around us was also dressed as their most fabulously queer selves.
“The venue was completely redone and hid any trace of corporate unpleasantness. It only presented an enchanting, magical and gay vibe.”
Tease! partnered with local non-profits Encircle Together and the Utah Pride Center to provide a safe environment for Utah’s diverse LGBTQ+ community to celebrate their love and inclusivity. These organizations work tirelessly to create spaces where both families and youth are provided resources to not only survive, but also thrive here within our community. Partnering with Tease! encouraged our community to come together in love and support and to give back to those organizations, which helps ensure a culturally diverse place for all to feel welcomed and accepted.
The Tease! event itself was stunning. The venue was unrecognizable, the decorations beautiful and the energy palpable. The venue was completely redone and hid any trace of corporate unpleasantness. It only presented an enchanting, magical and gay vibe. Booths surrounded the dance floor encouraging attendees to cover themselves in glitter, courtesy of WARPAINT Makeup Academy, sip on delicious glowing cotton candy and boozy slushies, and interact with very special vendor Wanderlust Sex. Each vendor seemed genuinely happy to be a part of the event, and the eventgoers appeared just as happy with their presence.
Additionally, Tease! featured an art instillation centered on queer love and acceptance. The exhibit displayed a stream of clips of queer members of our Salt Lake community tenderly expressing love, appreciation, infatuation and intimacy with one another. It stood as a strong statement of the vulnerability, confidence and courage that our LGBTQ+ family demonstrates here in Salt Lake. It was such a beautiful and essential element of the Pride celebration to express at the event, and in my opinion, elevated Tease! to another level of festivity.
“This is what I love about our LGBTQ+ community—they are always present, always supportive and always full of love.”
Musically, Tease! brought in the best. Featuring artists Jesse Walker and DJ Flash & Flare—two staples within the LGBTQ+ and electronic music scene. The event was able to flow seamlessly from start to finish. The energy built steadily, maintained a high energy with groovy house music and finished strong promptly at 2 a.m. Never did I feel pressed for space or air, and the crowd which surrounded me always seemed to be keeping an eye out for one another. The entire event felt like an event you would experience in a much bigger club, with a small communal vibe and incredible energy all night.
The audience was so loving and supportive of one another, and neve did I notice anyone who wasn’t fully participating. This is what I love about our LGBTQ+ community—they are always present, always supportive and always full of love. I felt as if I was in a room filled with my friends, while realizing that the majority of those in attendance were actually strangers. We didn’t have to invite all our friends to the event to feel like we were all together.
Tease! SLC was an incredible event, particularly for a first-time experience. It felt as if the event had always been a part of the Salt Lake’s Pride celebrations. Organizers are hoping to continue this event as an annual occurrence, and I look forward to this in the upcoming years. The event was so well put together and so well thought out, it made the night that much more special for all in attendance.
Throughout the event, I felt an overwhelming sense of love and appreciation for my community and all they have done for themselves and this city and am so proud of my LGBTQ+ people. Be sure to check them out next year during the Pride celebrations and if you missed the event, be sure to share some support and love with organizations such as the Utah Pride Center and Encircle Utah. Also, keep an eye on Tease! SLC for future events from these extraordinary humans. Until then, stay safe and take care of each other, my ladies and mens and my non-binary friends. I love you all.