In the last thirty years bouncers have emerged as gatekeepers of contemporary urban cool, exclusivity, and social capital. In this ground-breaking empirical study, George Rigakos looks at the relation between consumption, security, and risk and challenges the idea of nightclubs as places of liberation and personal expression. People go to nightclubs to see and be seen - to view others as aesthetic objects and to present themselves as objects of desire. Rigakos argues that this activity fuses surveillance and aesthetic consumption - it fetishizes bodies and amplifies social capital, producing violence and crises fuelled by alcohol. At closing time, patrons flow out of the insular haze of the nightclub and onto city streets, moving from private spectacle to public nuisance. Bouncers are thus both policing agents in the nighttime economy and the gatekeepers of an urban risk market - a site of circumscribed transgression and consumption that begins at the nightclub door.