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Friday October 11th, 2013

The latest craze to hit Montreal's nightlife isn't for the modest -- pantless partiers have taken the city by storm, which has lead to some heavy hand wringing by social conservatives. "Montreal has become a cesspool of immorality. Every year, the people just get more and more decadent. Decency isn't common anymore, it's uncommon," says Rev. Jacques Lavigne of the Kirkland Baptist Church. "People shouldn't party without their pants on. It's just not right."

Pantless partying owes its popularity to Burning Man's shirtcockers, a tribe of upper class middle aged white men who prowl Black Rock desert every year wearing nothing but t-shirts. "Half naked rich white guys are the heart of Burning Man," says anthropologist Kitty Whales, who has spent the last decade studying the annual festival. "Affluent caucasian males congregate in the desert, in the hopes of escaping a deep seated sense of spiritual desolation. They find this escape by appropriating the cultures of marginalized and oppressed groups, and the results are often very awkward. For example, many of these men make a point of not wearing pants during the festival, because they believe displays of nudism brings them closer to nature, allowing them to tap into a distant, primal past when all mankind was a united brotherhood that lived in the wide open plains of the African savannah."

Several affluent men from Montreal, returning from their Burning Man pilgrimage, found the idea of partying without pants on to be so liberating, that they started throwing pants free parties in the city. "Dancing without pants on is almost a religious experience," says Louis Sartre, a 42 year old actuary and part time Trance DJ. "When I came back from Burning Man, I just wanted to party with my pants off all the time. So I started throwing my own underground Rock Out With Your Cock Out parties. Our first event took place in an abandoned tunnel in St-Henri, and about ninety people showed up. It was a good, mixed gender crowd, the dancing was epic, and yes, there were planty of happy sausages swinging in the breeze. It was a magical night. "

These days, it's hard to find a party in town that doesn't at least tolerate male genitalia dangling for all to see. "It doesn't matter what music you listen to, it could be dubstep, it could be psytrance, it could be grindcore or hip hop, more and more parties are being flooded with shirtcockers," says Bob Goodwin, a happy hardcore party promoter. "It's getting to the point where about twenty percent of all male party goers are naked from the waist down. Montreal is pretty much cock central after 10pm."

Shirtcocking's popularity has inspired a backlash by some partygoers who would rather not have to look at cocks flapping around while they're on the dance floor. "It's annoying. Months ago, I was in the zone, dancing to Skrillex at this party, when all of a sudden some naked guy bumps into me. I don't want random cocks slapping into me at parties," says John Trudeau, a McGill University student and pro-pants activist. "That's why I started PantsOn Patrol, we're a group of fed-up party goers who carry extra pairs of pants with us whenever we party, and gently ask semi-naked men to suit up. And if they don't put on a pair, we kick them in the nuts."

The PantsOn Patrol aren't the only anti-shirtcockers out there. "We're just a small part of the resistance," says John. "There are hundreds of likeminded activist groups taking root in the city. We're not going to let shirtcockers win. For every half naked man you see at party, there's going to be one of us out there with a backpack full of pants for them to wear. This is a war, a pants war, and we're going to win it."
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