Monday, January 31, 2011

Mirror, Mirror

You sit in the middle of the gay bar. The DJ introduces the next macho dancer. He comes to the stage, in a sando and short shorts. He looks center, then starts to dance slowly to the sappy power ballad. He moves to the right of the stage, while removing his sando. He looks to your area, touches his chest, his abdomen. He flexes his arms to the air. Midway, he goes to the pole and removes his short shorts. It reveals a black underwear. You notice some sweat trickling down from his navel to his undergarment. He walks back to to the center. He kneels, then humps the floor, stands up. He returns centerstage, standing there, gyrating. Both of his hands are on his head. He turns his torso sideways slowly, leaving his head facing your area again. More slithering. Music ends. Exits.

And all that time, while you, and everyone else in the bar, were looking at the dancer's eyes, his lean neck, his well-defined chest, his dark erect nipples, his tight abdomen, his nether regions covered by an opaque black cloth, did you even notice where he was looking at?

At you, you say?

Where were you seated? At the middle of the bar. That's why you're so sure that he was looking at you the whole time.

Turn your head to the back. Right now. What do you see?

A mirror.


What you see behind you was placed there for many reasons.

One, it helps dancers see their own form while dancing. As all eyes are on them, these dancers need to constantly check themselves out for the right posture and movement: Are my arms in an awkward position? Is my head tilted wrong? Is my stare seductive enough? Did the week's bench press improve my arms? Is my foundation too thick? Does my beer belly already show? Did the roll of tissue help my dick seem 6 inches bigger?

Second, it helps them concentrate on their dance. One dancer told me that if he removes his eyesight from the mirror, and glances at the audience, he instantly gets distracted and feels self-conscious. Before going on-stage, they have a semi-set routine already in their heads, so once their concentration is disrupted, they might forget what their next move would be.

Lastly, it gives them something to stare at, making them feel less awkward on stage, especially if they don't know where to look at while dancing. Do they look at the faces in the crowd, directly into their eyes? A shy, embarrassed newbie dancer will feel very awkward at the thought. So why not make them stare at their half-naked bodies instead? That's less awkward than dozens of giggling girls and horny gays stare at them while they're in their tighty whities. Right?

Out of the six or so gay bars I've been to, only about 4 have mirrors at the back wall facing the stage. Two of these don't have full-length mirrors per se, but simply the windows of the VIP Rooms, which act like one-way mirrors (you can find them at "Lord Gay Bar" in QC and "Kingdom Come" in Pasay). One bar in QC has its mirror overhead on the second floor facing the stage, and looks hidden from the audience. Another defunct gay bar (Mr Valentine) has its mirrors hidden behind exit-stage-left, that's why dancers always stay at the back drop and constantly look to that side (Dancers enter the stage from "stage right." Sorry, I dont know the exact terminologies of a theater's stage. I am not a stage mother. Charot!)

In "Home Base", there are no mirrors. That may be a reason why I am more engaged when watching these boys on-stage in this bar. They look at the audience. They search for familiar faces. They acknowledge or smile when they see you. When their regular guests are not present, they entice and seduce the group of bridesmades seated near the stage or the lonely bading in the dark, and hope they table them that night. Without them focusing on themselves, they focus on you.

So when they're on stage, and you see them looking at your vicinity while they're gyrating, think again before assuming he was focusing on seducing you. He might just have been seducing himself.

And you, love-struck you, might just feel you were already the ____ (insert "girl", "boy", "bakla", "tomboy") of his dreams.

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
email:; Follow at twitter: @gbgoer


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Macho Dancer and Hosto Typology

This time last year, when I haven’t had any experience inside a macho dancing bar or gay bar, I had a chat with a gay former officemate. The topic was about gay bars, and I asked if he had been inside one before. He then shared his mostly-exaggerated experiences. But what interested me most were the different types of guys one could find inside these bars.

“You have lots to choose from. Whatever your type is – boy next door, athletic, tall, etc” was his line. I got intrigued to find out more with his quite generic descriptions of these boys.

Now, based on my personal observations of going to gay bars, here are the top 10 most common types of macho dancers or hostos, based on their physical attributes, working in a gay bar:

1. Masculado (Muscle Man)
This is obvious. Why call a bar a “macho dancer bar” if no dancer is at least muscular? Bulging biceps, broad shoulders, well-toned back, 8-pack abs (whew!). They’re blessed with Adonis-like bodies, but not all are blessed with looks. Pati mukha matigas din (Even the face looks hard).  

Synonym: “Er” types, ie. Constuction Work-er

2. Actor look-alike
Their claim to fame is that they resemble someone famous in the local celebrity scene.  Gerald Anderson with the crooked smile of William Martinez. James Yap with bigger nose and wider eyes. Aljur Abrenica with a more-wooden machete face. Hayden Kho with a face lift gone wrong. Roderick Paulate with a muscular build. Oops.

3. “Junjunin”
The name “Junjun” is a common Filipino boy’s nick name, like Nene for girls. A “Junjunin” is the dark slim skinny 18 to 22 year old, who looks too young to be working as a macho dancer. You might mistake him for your neighboor’s teenage child who was instructed to buy vinegar from the nearest sari-sari store, but never came back home, to earn money as a hosto.

4. Korean pop star wannabe
You’ll notice this one as he automatically stands out. He transformed himself to appeal to the filthy rich Korean woman. He looks like he came out of a Korean teen pop fashion magazine – large hair, with long strands dyed blonde. And he dances on-stage to K-pop. It’s obvious who the boy, and the bar, want to extort money from. See related post about Koreanas.

5. The Boylet Next Door
My favorite. Especially chinitos (1st) and mestizos (2nd). You can choose from this wide spectrum of endearing guys -- either the clean-cut gentleman, or the pilyo kid (mischievous kid), or the college-aged out-of-school youth, or the undiscovered next matinee idol. But take this advice – Humanda ka. Marami kang kaagaw! Mahirap kalaban ang bading, lalo na mga tandercats!  (Be prepared. Competition is fierce. Gays, especially old ones, are tough to compete with).

6. “Mama sa Kanto” (Man from the Street Corner)
You’d wonder why the bar hired this guy. Was the bar too desperate to hire anyone, just anyone, from the streets? Fine, he may have the body, but please, the fez (face)! And the guy may be obliging – he gets paid to drink free booze in the bar. At least the bar offers some service to the neighborhood – more jobs, less crime. (Shet, ang sama ko!)

7. Shampoo Commercial boy
Just because of his perfect, long, black shiny hair. Shinampoo lang daw yan. Of course, there are guys which look like the “Before” shot, while the younger ones look like the “After.” I still wonder how shoulder-length hair on a guy can look appealing. Spill-over of the 80s-90s popular look, perhaps.

8. Angas boy (Tough Boy)
Shaved head. Tattooed. Pierced. With or without a goatee. He dances with his dagger eyes looking sharply at you. Either he wants to f*ck the hell out of you on your bed tonight… or make you the following day’s tabloid headlines (Bading, pinatay ng macho dancer). Still, bad boys do have their appeal. Ask Mariel. Or my friend, Mary.

9. Higantes (Giants)
Those 5 foot 10 and above, towering over the Junjunins and the Boylets-Next-Door. Most of them don’t wear boots anymore, as the heeled footwear will give them more unneeded height. I find them both impressive and terrifying at the same time. Just like a gi-normous d*ck about to enter you.

10. Golden Guy
Golden Guy, in homage to the Golden Girls or Home of the Golden Gays. When you look at this guy, you’ll think “Dude, ilang taon ka na nagtatrabaho dito? (How many years have you been working here)” His looks reveal the years he’s been working in the bar – the gut from all the beer, the muscular frame that’s now under layers of fat, the obvious wrinkles on his face and the hairline that’s already receding. All these at the ripe senior age of 30.

Of course, there are the other rarities – those types that are too few to be classified into their own groups. Some examples are the Amboys (Fil-Am boys), the Pasan Ko Ang Mundo boy (emo boy with long bangs hiding his eyes), and the occassional obviously promdi (from the province). Those not classified under the types above are just your regular-looking not-outstanding Pinoy guys whom you can easily find in a mall on a weekend.    

There are also overlaps, with the most common as boylets next door who can also fall under masculados, or a Golden guy higante with long silky smooth hair (I am thinking of one now, who I heard used to work for the now-closed Valentino).

I didn't know way back that there was this huge spectrum of boys to choose from. All along I thought all macho dancers or hostos were one and the same -- good-looking dark-skinned muscled men. I shouldn't have believed all the gay-themed movies I've seen in the 90s. Wait, there was just one.

If you have experiences with any of these kids, boys, guys, men, feel free to share and comment. If not, why not take a trip to your friendly neighborhood gay bar, and take a pic, errr, pick from one of these boys?

Enjoy! Skemper na!

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
email:; Follow at twitter: @gbgoer

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dreamy Derek's Downfall

When I came up with the code name for “Derek” (not his real name), I thought that naming this macho dancer after Dr. Derek Shepherd of Grey’s Anatomy was perfect. Not only did the name had a link with the guy’s real name in the gay bar, but Dr. Shepherd also had a famous nickname among the interns in the hospital -- “McDreamy.”

For me, “Derek” was McDreamy.

Dr. Derek Shepard aka "McDreamy"
played by Patrick Dempsey

At 22, Derek’s looks, height, build, complexion, hair style, skin color, almost everything, reminded me of a young popular Filipino heart throb (Clue: local cheap perfume’s deliciously dark-skinned endorser, with initials J.A.). He was respectful, a good conversationalist, level-headed, and humble. He impressed me that while he’s still new in the macho dancing industry, he’s also managing to study in one of Manila’s farther universities (student by day, stud by night). I could sense the goodness and sincerity in him, even sharing his "words of wisdom", with the few encounters I had with him, in and out of the bar.

Plus, his English was not that bad (which was a sigh of relief after months of receiving “broken English” or jejemon texting via SMS from other boys).

If I wanted to have a steady boyfriend from any gay bar, McDreamy would be it.

I think he was McDreamy not only to me, but to a lot of the bar’s customers, may it be a excitable Koreana, a bored matrona or a horny gay man. Frequently requested by customers to be tabled, he never had a vacant night. Sometimes, there would be two or more guests willing to wait for him while he was occupied with another.

Just like last Saturday, I went to his bar, planning to spend time with him, but had to choose another one as he was tabled by a Koreana. When he danced on stage that night (he did a unique seductive routine that’s shirtless with jeans on), another Koreana stuck P15,000 on his jeans. How can I compete with that? (With my love. Charing! Which I screamed out loud before leaving the bar as it was closing).

I really wanted to get another chance to be with this guy, so on the following night, I sent him a text message on my way to Mall of Asia.
Me: Hi “Derek”, kumusta? (How are you?)
D: Ok lang po. Ikaw? (I am okay. You?)
Me: Oks lang. Papunta MOA. Yayain sana kita kumain. (I’m okay. Going to MOA. Thought of inviting you for dinner)
D: Pwede naman… May TF ba ako? (That’s possible… Do I get some TF?)
TF. Talent Fee. I didn’t believe what I just read. So I called him up to clarify.
Me: Anong ibig mong sabihin sa TF? (What do you mean with TF?)
D: Hingi ako ng fee para makipagkita. (I am asking for a fee to meet up)
Me: Grabe. Magkano naman? (Wow. For how much?)
D: Mga P5,000 lang. Barya lang naman yun sayo diba? (Only P5,000. That’s just loose change to you, right?)
Then he continued to explain how he and the Koreana fought in the bar the previous night because of someone else giving him P15,000, which he returned. So I assumed that he was asking for a TF because he lost that large a tip that night.

I've gone out with lots of dancers and hostos before, for dinner, coffee, shopping, drinks, ktv. As I paid for all our expenses, I was never asked for extra tip or "TF" or bar fine (except for once when I offered one dancer for mot-mot services). But never have I or any of my friends experienced someone asking for a TF up front and at this rate, just to spend time outside.

Infuriated, I called up my friend, Ringo, who was Derek’s original guest. The three of us had a chance to bond over dinner in Greenbelt some time in December. I even brought Derek home after that dinner. Never did he ask for anything from me or my friend that night.

Apparently, according to Ringo, when he had a text exchange with Derek that same morning, Derek had a similar “off” line to him. The exchange was something like: 
Ringo: Ang dami mong taga-hanga. Grabe yung binigay na pera sayo kagabi. (You have lots of admirers. The money given to you was enormous).
Derek: Oo nga. Kaya mo bang tapatan yun? (Yes. Can you even match that?)
The nerve. Such a turn-off, isn’t it?

Derek may know he’s popular as the current "it"-boy, the star of the bar. His supposed “fame” has gone to his head. The simple, self-effacing, humble working student that I knew a few weeks back is now gone.

In situations like this, I recall what “Cole” (from another bar) told me. Two years ago, Cole was fresh from the province and just entering this industry. He was at the top of the heap – he never had a night without customers. His appeal was his na├»ve-looking rural boy image – puppy dog brown eyes, little nose, strong jaw line, tall, lean, moreno – which made older gays gaga on corrupting him. That was until a few months back, when his boyish looks have faded, leaving him with just the plain provincial look, and gay patrons moving on to other bars and other boys. And that was why I had a chance to table him, because he was one of the few remaining boys in the bar without a customer. If it were a few years back, he said, I might have not gotten to know him that well.

Pana-panahon lang,” as some macho dancers typically say. They can be ranked number five a few weeks after starting in the bar, then go down, back up. Then depending on how he manages his job and customers, he can either stay on top or descend slowly into the bottom of the list, until he loses his job, leaves the bar, and tries to make his fortune in another bar. Then he’ll turn old, with receding hairline and flabby body, and lose his appeal in the bar, at the age of 30.

I wonder what made Derek change in a span of a few weeks. He might have been getting sustenance (sustento) from one of his Koreana customers. Or he might just have a bad day or really just needed the money.

Derek should be wiser and more careful. He won’t always be on top. But the damage has been done. McDreamy isn’t so dreamy after all.

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
email:; Follow at twitter: @gbgoer

Photo Credit: Tom Munro / Management Artists from

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

All the Way: It’s a Hard Life

What you see on stage looks different up close.

Do you know how an all-the-way macho dancer’s dick stays hard for so long? The secret is at the base of their penises. It’s not obvious when they’re on stage, but when you look closely (admit it, you’d like to see a hard dick up close), you’ll find a rubber band tied at the base. These constrict blood flow to the already erect penis, making it stand longer. But before tying their dicks, they’d lather their genitals with lotion first. Without lotion, the rubber would stick to the skin, making it more painful to untie.

“Do these hurt?” I asked the tigas seated beside me last Saturday.

It was the first time ever I tabled an all-the-way boy. His name was “Rogers”, working there as a newbie tigas for two months (which I didn’t believe, because the manager told me he has been working there for almost a year, but had to “rest” for some time). From the stage amidst the deceptive bright lights, he looked twinky-boyish enough to pass as a G.R.O/model. I wondered though why he hasn’t caught my attention yet, having been to the bar numerous times already. Possibly, I was just so focused on the more handsome models and dancers, that I shun the buff-bodied monstrous tigas when they’re on stage.

Monstrous. And I wasn’t even referring to the size of their dicks.

It’s common to see not-so-handsome full-frontal boys in these bars. Maybe I have high standards (yeah as if), or that these more mature buffed-up guys aren’t really my type (I like ‘em chinito young ones). But it seems that the good looking (or at least passable average-looking) guys are reserved to be models or dancers. One manager even remarked, "why make a handsome boy do all-the-way, if he can get tabled with his looks alone." So the ones left to bare everything somehow fail the looks test.

No wonder I hardly notice these boys seated with the customers. No one buys them drinks, hence, no commission. No one tables them, hence, no big tips.

Maybe they get more indecent proposals by D.O.G.s (Dirty Old Gays). Maybe they get requested in private VIP rooms more often. Maybe they get tipped higher with more customers when they roam around the room naked. At least, maybe they get a higher daily budget than their non-exhibitionist co-workers.

Apparently, not so much. Almost the same budget for all, with a difference of P50-P100 per night, with or without clothing. And I originally thought that the superstars of any gay bar, those earning the most, would be those boys exposing their entire bodies.

Come to think of it, who gets higher pay -- Hollywood actors who rarely expose themselves, or full-frontal pornstars doing every imaginable thing in a straight-to-video handbook for gay sex? That's a rough comparison for this industry. But hey, paid boys for entertainment are still paid boys.

Even when they do their rounds among the customers during their "area" (see related post on definition), as they approach the tables with their schlongs hanging out, a few tigas boys would simply plead “tip lang po, para pamasahe lang (Just asking for some tip, for fare)." After weaving through the customers in the "area" they were assigned to get tips, they go back to their dressing room with maybe P300 or P400 per boy; lucky if they get P1000 each. And that’s on a customer-filled Saturday.

So if these all-the-way boys exert much more effort than the others in the bar, then why won’t they switch to being regular models or pa-sexy macho dancers? I never asked. Maybe because I knew the answer. Which is the same reason why I haven’t tabled a tigas for almost a year since I started going to gay bars.

They weren’t just that good looking. Harsh, yes.

Nasanay na kami sa sakit (we got used to the pain),” responded Rogers with my question on tying their dicks with rubber bands.  

He showed me how his was tied when he approached me during their naked dance routine. He stood up in front of me, and let me feel where the rubber touched skin and hair. He teasingly asked for me to remove it, which I declined. I didn’t want to hurt him more, by accidentally breaking the rubber band. I just told him to sit beside me, so he could comfortably remove the rubber band himself. I let him lean on me the entire night, while he was still bare naked with only a piece of cloth covering his assets. Up close, I finally saw what he really looked like.

That night, I did not exchange cell phone numbers with Roger. I knew I wouldn’t table him again. Not because of his personality, or his dick size, or the fact that he’s a tigas. It was something more superficial.

The reason? What I thought I saw on stage looked different up close. It’s the hard truth.

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
email:; Follow at twitter: @gbgoer

Photo Credits:

Monday, January 24, 2011

All the Way: The Long and Short of It

The macho dancers of any gay bar can be generally and loosely classified into three groups, based on the amount of flesh they bare.

First, there are the models / GROs / hostos -- those who are fully clothed the entire night, and are not allowed to dance on-stage. Then, there are the typical macho dancers, those popularly imitated in television or movies, who would dance seductively in their bare torsos and underwear, but never removing this last piece of clothing on their body (except if there’s another bikini inside it). The last group, which is usually the reason why a gay guy or woman goes into a gay bar in the first place, is the so-called “all the way.”

Before my initiation to the gay bar world of Manila, I had an impression that every single macho dancer showed their private parts. So if I liked a macho dancer who resembled last year’s most popular matinee idol, all I had to do was wait for him to get up the stage and strip.

Apparently, only a select few can apply as a so-called “all the way” boy (ATW; like stripping all the way) or tigas (in English, “hard” = showing hard dick).

All customers expect ATW boys to be uhmmm… well-endowed, just like in porn. But, wait, well-endowed Filipinos? It may sound like an oxymoron, but, yes there are some. Based on what I see, the average tigas had a thick 7 to 9 inch cock. And that’s why only a select few can join this privileged circle.

But even if they got it, not everyone can do it.

I’ve asked some macho dancers why they didn’t choose to be all-the-way strippers. Most said they were nahihiya or shy to reveal all. Another said he didn’t want to lose his dignity, protecting his only remaining “private” part. Some simply just smiled and shook their heads. Kudos to their modesty, or decency.

Once a tigas, always a tigas? Maybe. According to one dancer, an ATW boy applies to be as one. They are not forced nor required by management to expose, except if the boy entered into the biz as such. In one bar, all newbie applicants are asked if they’d be applying as a tigas, where the usual answer is no. This somewhat freaks out some applicants, especially when the only openings in the bar are for full-frontal boys. In another bar, due to their special skill, the ATW boys have a clique group of their own. I won’t be surprised if all ATW boys know each other, after months or years being employed from one bar to another as an “all the way” dancer.

Then I got a chance to meet personally one of these all-the-way, tigas boys. As Ringo said that night, I've already crossed the boundaries -- from a more wholesome macho dancer to the more daring ATW boy. That’s the topic of my next post.

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
email:; Follow at twitter: @gbgoer

Photo Credits: 

Friday, January 21, 2011

The V.I.P. Room (Part 3 of 3)

What usually stops ordinary patrons from getting a VIP room inside a gay bar is the price. Different bars offer differnt hourly price ranges, with various schemes to sell it -- boys dancing privately, quiet time with them, ma-so-solo, kayo na bahala kung ano mangyayari. But despite these come-ons, there's always the fear of becoming cash-drained once stepping inside the mysterious fantasy-filled dark room.

Two hours after Ringo and I entered the VIP Room of Lord Gay Bar, I still wasn’t worried with the amount we would be spending. If we ran out of cash, we were assured by the manager that the bar accepted Visa or Mastercard. I thought I might have just the right amount of cash, but not enough for the boys’ tips though. But I needed to keep count – the number of beers ordered, the drinks given to the boys, and the remaining time left. I didn't want to overspend, just how we usually let go during big nights / big events.

I guess whoever started VIP Rooms in these clubs had in mind those customers with higher disposable incomes but have nothing to spend. The clubs would earn more from them, and in return, allow them to sort of “do as they please.” That’s why the room's door was always kept locked, the one-way window was covered with curtains, waiters always knocked on the door before entering. Maybe, all the rumors surrounding these private rooms make the newbie dancers (and some veterans) become anxious when being requested inside these rooms. My tabled boy, Brian J., after a few bottles of beer, admitted being uncomfortable if it were just the two of us alone inside.

Honestly, I didn't have any naughty intentions. All Ringo and I wanted was privacy, just for us to hear our boys properly, amidst the loud music in the main bar.

After months of going to Home Base, I still haven’t been inside their VIP Room. But by the way that we’ve been treated by all the managers and impersonators, the frequency of visits over the past months, the number of boys we’ve known, and the total amount we’ve spent, I guess we didn’t need a private room after all to be considered "very important." All you need is friendship (charoz)… and money, syempre.

Masarap ngang maging VIP sa isang gay bar. I never realized how far we’ve gone, compared to before, when I was still an ordinary customer seated in one ordinary couch one ordinary night of March, and thinking how it would being one of this bar’s VIP.

Going back to Lord, four hours since we arrived, I still never got the three dances inside the VIP room, as was originally offered. Maybe I'll just get my own room next time.

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
email:; Follow at twitter: @gbgoer

Photo Credit: from

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The V.I.P. Room (Part 2 of 3)

So what's inside the VIP Rooms of gay bars?

Intimate was the best word to describe one of the VIP rooms of "Lord", one of Metro Manila's top gay bars. It's less than half the size of a typical shopping mall's rest room (I-compare ba ang VIP Room sa CR?). Ours had two couches forming an L against the walls, and a low table for our drinks. The room was dimly lit by a single bulb that's enough for you to do something private, but still see a boy's physical features without his obvious flaws. One of the walls also had a supposed one-way mirror -- for you to see what's happening outside without them seeing the happenings inside.

What enticed my friend Ringo and I to get a VIP room was really its privacy. We thought that the hourly price offered by the manager was reasonable enough for three solo dances from the boy and an hour's private moments with him. "Kayo na bahala" was her reply when I asked what else we could expect.

I inquired about this "bahala" with "Jeriko," Ringo's tabled boy. I was just curious, since I already had an idea what "that" might be, but never implying that "that" was the sole thing we wanted. (Hindi naman kasi sex habol namin... Love. Char! Love na may sex. Charing!!!)

His answer: Kung anu-ano. (Literal translation: If what-what. Seriously, it means "whatever").

He then proceeded to tell about his experience with a married couple inside the VIP Room. The husband instructed Jeriko to f*ck his wife while he watched. Of course, that made Jeriko uncomfortable, but it seemed he pushed through with the deed nonetheless. For me that felt like a tall tale. But giving him the benefit of the doubt, I thought it was an exception inside the VIP room rather than the rule.

Like Lord, Home Base also has a VIP room. The only story I've heard about this room was whenever this certain popular gay celebrity and his entourage arrived, they were ushered in to the private room discreetly (from the back room, i mean, back door entrance perhaps). One of his friends would then request for a show up of boys, and select from them. I knew about this because my ex boasted how once he was almost selected as one of the "lucky" boys. But a mix-up occurred among them, so he never knew what deeds or deals happened in that room thereafter.

Before "Lord," my closest experience to a VIP room was in the hosto bar, "Neighborhood."  Unlike macho dancing bars, the rooms here were not designed for intimacy. They were spacious rooms, brightly lit, with huge glass windows and KTV sets. Renting the room wasn't expensive either; my friends would just split the P2000 price, good for four hours stay. The most exciting thing we did and could do in those rooms was just to sing. Very wholesome. (And not that kind of "singing", ala gay language).

My gay friends (without me this time) have already experienced being in a VIP room in "Kingdom Come", the macho dancing bar. I think they got the KTV room for privacy, but they didn't do anything extraordinary except to sing. I guess I didn't miss much. Though I heard that while macho dancer "Tull" was singing during his turn, my friend "Ramon Jr"'s fingers were suspiciously busy underneath the pillow that Tull was holding on his crotch. Kaya pala pumipiyok daw si Tull nung kumakanta. Buti pa si Ramon Jr, naka-chancing na sa macho dancer... yun nga lang, hindi naka-table kay Ramon Jr si Tull, kundi kay RingoAgawan ba ng et-et? Buti walang sampalan at sabunutan na nangyari.

Apparently, not all dancers of Kingdom Come were "open" to the shenanigans (whatever they are) inside the VIP room. Tull was just one of the select few who would gamely play along with customer's wants or requests. Our gay manager even pointed out who among the other dancers were "game na game" inside the VIP room.

So technically, my first real gay bar VIP room experience was in Lord, last weekend. I was never shy with our tabled boys about this. After an hour chatting inside the private room, I was still hoping though to get the promised three private dances.

(to be concluded)

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
email:; Follow at twitter: @gbgoer


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The V.I.P. Room (Part 1 of 3)

I remember being a newbie customer in the macho dancer world, seated in one of the regular couches inside Home Base. On that "initiation" night, I scanned the entire bar, with my eyes wandering from the stage at the center to the other empty tables to the showroom at the far end, and up to the dark second floor. I asked the gay manager seated beside us what was up there.

"It's the VIP room," she said, as she further explained what's inside it and how much to rent it.

"Sarap siguro maging VIP sa bar na ito," (It may be good to be a VIP here in this bar) I thought to myself. I imagined rich gays from the fashion or entertainment world, chatting around, drinking their wine, getting lap danced by the boy of their choice, privately. They'd get the best boys of the bunch, maybe the most handsome, the most macho, or the most well-endowed, and then tipping them with thousand peso bills tucked in their bikinis (I wonder how Jose Abad Santos would feel if his portrait was facing a boy's crotch. I bet Madamme Girl Scout Josefa Llanes Escoda would not mind being in that position).

At that time, I wished I was earning enough to be one of this bar's VIP. But with P2000 in my wallet, I just settled with being an ordinary customer seated on one of the bar's ordinary couches.

Ten months after, last weekend, my friend Ringo and I decided to try out the supposed "Lord" of Manila's gay bars. The place was massive, filled with groups of on-lookers from "Tanauan, Batangas" (Tanauan = Tanawan = Tanaw = ayaw mag-table, gusto sight from afar lang ng hubaderos).

At first, we sat on the ordinary couches at the dark area of the bar. But the place was too massive, too noise. We wanted some privacy with our tabled boys. So we told the manager that we'd get one of their VIP Rooms.

Wow, I thought to myself. I never imagined being inside a VIP Room inside Manila's top gay bar. And it was just our first time there.

(to be continued)

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
email:; Follow at twitter: @gbgoer


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Gay Bar Advice: First Time Conversations with "Tabled" Boys

So you enter the macho dancing or hosto bar for the first time, and decide to table a macho dancer, hosto or model. For sure, you're also prepared to spend for his drinks that night. But wait, with the amount you'll be spending, a thought flashes -- what do you talk about?

My friend Ringo and I went to one of the gay bars in Quezon City, north of Manila, last night. It was our first time there in that bar, actually in any bar in that infamous area. And yes, we decided to table a pair of boys that night.

While going through the rounds of the gay bars in Manila over the past months, I've had numerous first time conversations with various boys already. Time and again, I would repeat the same questions to different boys. Oddly enough, while their specifc answers would differ obviously, they'd respond somewhat similarly, making you think "Parang narinig ko na yan dati."

Here's my usual flow, and their usual answers:
  • Ano pangalan mo - their bar names or alias in the bar
  • Ilang taon ka na - generally in their early to mid 20s (because I like 'em young). You'll get answers of late 20s to 30s when you happen to table the veterans.
  • Gaano ka na katagal nagtatrabaho dito - Their answer to this merits another blog post, as the answer would depend if they'd be honest or lie. But usually, the answer falls in the "not more than a year" category (two months, six months, bago pa lang po, etc). 
  • Gaano ka na katagal nagtatrabaho sa ganito - Haha, another blog post. Being new in that specific bar doesn't mean that he's new in the industry. Again, the common answer is the same as above.
  • Saan ka nagtrabaho bago rito - Common answers are fastfood employee, restaurant waiter, department store sales personnel, hotel staff. Honest ones will answer with the name of another gay bar (if they were not new in the industry).
  • Saan ka nakatira - From Caloocan-Valenzuela area to Pasay-Manila to Sucat-Paranaque. Bulacan and Cavite are also not uncommon. You'll also get answers such as boarding house, or nakikitira sa pinsan or magulang.
How you continue the discussion after these basics is actually up to you, and how deep you want to know your boy. As for me, I usually ask them about their profession. Like, how they feel working there, why they decided to work in that bar (you won't get a straight answer), who their friends / buddy / tropa are in the bar, what time they go to work and go home, how many drinks they need to sell, if they find it difficult to work, nag-aaral ka pa ba, etc.

For more personal stuff, I only ask way into the night. I feel that "may girl friend or asawa ka na?" and "may anak ka na?" is a bit somewhat intrusive already. Thus, when I ask those questions, I immediately prepare myself for the instant answers "wala pa" or "hiniwalayan ko na." Most, I feel, are lying. Most whom I've developed to have a relationship with were not.

Some of the guys may even start to share their "sad" stories. Usually, these will be about how they are breadwinners of the family, or helping out with expenses, or not graduating college, or how they ended up in that bar even if they didn't want to -- most of which are money-related. I just let them talk at this time, giving them the benefit of the doubt that there have no hidden intentions with these stories. I've learned my lesson not to offer anything at this point, unless I want to become that rich gay benefector.

Last note. I've also experienced nervousness, especially during my first times, with conversations filled with long awkward moments of silence. But somehow I realized, sayang yung bote na binabayaran ko kung di kami mag-uusap, so why not make the most out of it?

Keep in mind to just enjoy. You went there to be entertained. Part of the fun, of course, is being entertained with a conversation with these boys.

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
email:; Follow at twitter: @gbgoer

Friday, January 14, 2011

Blushing Bride-to-be Who Kept Count

One of the more frequent guests in a macho dancer bar is the bride-to-be and her entourage. It's a bridal shower, without the need to plan much, except for a few text messages confirming the date and venue.

Home Base was our choice last Thursday night when we decided to treat our blushing bride-to-be officemate, "Jennica." She has never been in any gay bar, and I suppose most brides-to-be haven't yet as well (except if they were part of the entourage of another bride-to-be).

Anyway, Jennica was seated beside me. After about an hour into the show with the usual boxer-brief-clad dancers, one of the tigas or all-the-way (ATW) boys went out, around 11, which was early on a weeknight. He did his routine.

A blushing bride
Jennica shrieked, "OMG! Tatlo na ang nakita kong ets sa buong buhay ko!" (Oh My God! I now have seen three dicks in my entire life!)

I didn't want to ask who the other two were. Buti pa siya. I couldn't even count how many were mine.

Then another ATW boy stepped on stage. He unveiled his ware.

Jennica exclaimed, "Shucks, grabe, ang laki!" (Shucks, it's so huge!)

The ATW boy possibly heard her, as it made him look at her. He went nearer our area, with his stiff wang hanging out. At this point, I observed her. She was speechless, with shifty eyes, looking up, then down, faced slightly left, then looked up again. Once the ATW boy went to the other part of the stage, I disrupted her state of shock.

Jennica: "Ayyy ______!!! (my real name, and she forgot that I used an alias. Thanks for outing my real identity) Tumingin siya sa akin! Di ako makatingin sa kanya. Di ko rin alam saan titingin. Ayoko naman sa ets nya. Kaya sa pole na lang."

I laughed. That was even a bigger phallic symbol.

So I asked, "Ayan, nakailan ka na?" (How many have you got already?)

Jennica replied, "Apat na! Grabe, na-doble na ang nakita kong ets sa buong buhay ko, sa isang gabi lang!" (Four already. Gravitation, the number of dicks I have seen already doubled, in just one night!)

After two sets of more "wholesome" dancers, a pair of ATW guys in bikinis, stepped on-stage. I knew she was in for more surprises.

"Six na! Six!" Jennica said, not only to me, but also to my other officemates.

I was wondering if my officemates were also doing their own counting. Perhaps not anymore, as one was a very much sexperienced gay guy, and another was a very much sexperienced gay woman (babaeng bakla). I also wondered if all the other conservative Catholic-raised Filipina brides-to-be who went to a strip show also kept count.

Jennica and our other gay officemate left at past 12, while the rest of us decided to stay. It's been a long time since I last went to a macho dancing bar (yeah, last Dec 23). Too bad they didn't reach the part where all the ATW boys went on stage with their own routine. That happened around 130 am already. Still too early for us to go home.

So, Jennica's total count as of last Thursday night was 7. Five plus the two she has seen before. Still wondering if her fiancee was one of the two.

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
email:; Follow at twitter: @gbgoer

Photo Credits:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Derek's Advice

One Sunday night before Christmas, as I was driving along EDSA to bring "Derek" home (inuwi sa tinutuluyan niya ha, hindi sa bahay ko. naughty!), I chatted with him on macho dancer-gay guest relationships

At that time, I didn't have any hidden intentions, as "Derek" was the dancer that Ringo, my friend, tabled in "Home Base" a few nights before that. So they had met up that Sunday night for dinner, and after catching up with them briefly, I offered "Derek" a ride as I would be passing by their place to reach my home.

The topic we had during that dinner was the dancer-guest relationship, as Ringo was recovering from a break-up, while I was looking forward to another budding relationship. So in the car, to continue the discussion with just Derek, I asked him if he had a relationship with a gay guy already.

Yes. (Pwede!).

I inquired how they met.

Derek, who originally was from Cebu, narrated how he met a gay guy (GG) from Manila via Facebook in the middle of 2010. The GG supposedly "pursued" Derek online, enough for the Cebuano to move to Manila. As Derek transfered to Manila in late October, things got awry, when he had a falling out with the GG and was left hanging on his own. That pushed him , I think, to work in a macho bar last November.

So I thought, perhaps straight guys do fall for gays? Or perhaps, he may not have been straight in the first place.

With that new-found hope, I asked him how I, a gay guest in a bar, should pursue a macho dancer like him for a relationship (even if he was just be a neophyte in the industry).

"Basta maging mabait ka lang," he said. "At huwag mong sasabihin sa kanya na liligawan mo siya."

I wondered why. He elaborated, "Yung lalaki kasi iisipin niyang hinahabol-habol mo siya. Kaya lalaki lang ang ulo niyan. Kung anu-ano na hihingiin. Parang nangyari na sa akin yan. Lumaki ulo ko dahil niligawan ako. Dapat turing kaibigan lang. Parang barkada."

So if I decided to pursue a dancer via this advice, I asked how open are these guys in having a relationship with a gay customer. His answer: "Syempre naghahanap din kami ng mga mag-aalaga sa amin. Masarap din yung ganun -- inaalagan kung mag-isa. Pero ayaw namin na bigla na lang kami iiwan sa ere."

He was talking from experience with a gay guy. And I was agreeing, from experience with a macho dancer as well.

Fast forward a week to today. I am now taking the words of "Derek", named after McDreamy Dr. Derek Shepherd.... and applying these to him.

Let's see what happens with McDreamy. After all, he kissed me on the cheek as he left the car on that one Sunday night before Christmas.

Derek Shepard aka McDreamy, as played by Patrick Dempsey

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
email:; Follow at twitter: @gbgoer

Photo credit:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What is "Bagsak ng Drinks"?

Da Who?: Macho Dancer wants to return to "Home Base" after two weeks of absence. Manager of "Home Base" said he can only return once "mag-bagsak ng" 100 drinks. MD bargained, until drinks required from him were lowered from 100 to 50 to 30. One night, Rich Guest of  MD made "bagsak" 15 drinks, with 15 drinks remaining that MD needs to shoulder. Now MD is having a hard time to pay off the remaining 15 drinks.

"Bagsak" is a term used in macho dancing bars or hosto bars that denotes guarenteed purchase or assurance of payment for a specified number of drinks. The word "bagsak ng drinks" was maybe coined in reference to the many bottles of beer being "dropped" on the table once a customer buys for the boys.

How do macho dancers and hostos use this bagsak system? Bagsak, as used in a sentence and as used in actual bar situations:

1. As Votes for Big Night Competitions: Nanalo si Bantay ng "Mr Hot Body in Outrageous Bikini Design 2010" dahil nag bagsak ang matronang ex-lawyer guest niya ng 150 drinks. Bawat drink kasi ay 1 puntos para sa scores. 
(Bantay won the "Mr Hot Body in Outrageous Bikini Design 2010" competition because his aged-woman ex-lawyer guest guaranteed to pay 150 drinks. One drink is equivalent to 1 point

2. To return working in the bar after long period of absence: Hindi pumapayag si manager Jonnalyn na bumalik si Badong kung hindi siya magbagsak ng 100 drinks. Iniisip kasi ng bar na binahay siya, at gusto lang bumalik dahil natikman na ng baklang guest niya kaya't naghiwalay na.
(Manager Jonnalyn wouldn't allow Badong to return to the bar if he won't guarantee sales of 100 drinks. This is because the bar thinks that Badong was "housed" by his gay guest and now wants to return because his guest has tasted him already and thus, has separated).

3. For the customer to pay for remaining drinks to reach the dancer's quota of the month: Dahil kulang pa si Manoy ng 30 drinks para maabot ang quota, binagsakan siya ng kanyang koreanang guest na si Jung Li Bee ng 30 drinks. Ayan naka-quota na si Manoy. Sa susunod na buwan kaya ulit? 
(Because Manoy was 30 drinks-short to reach the monthly quota, his Koreana guest Jung Li Bee bought him 30 drinks. There, Manoy reached the quota. How about for next month?)

4. The only number of drinks that a customer will pay for that night: Si baklang Felicidad ay ayaw na gumastos nang malaki, kaya sinabi niya sa waiter na 10 drinks na ang ibagsak sa kanyang kasintahang macho dancer na si Dagul.
(Felicidad didn't want to spend that much so he told the waiter that he'll pay for only 10 drinks guaranteed that night, for his lover-dancer Dagul).

So back to the blind item. Da who is this MD? His code name is the last name of a once-famous commercial model whose first name is that of an international educational institution (Oxford? Marshall? Nanyang in Singapore?).

Skemper na!

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
email:; Follow at twitter: @gbgoer

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ai Ai and My Little Secret

I watched this episode of "The Bottomline with Boy Abunda" with Ai Ai delas Alas as guest, last August. I remember laughing so hard on this particular segment on her views about love/relationships. Here's the exceprt:
Boy: What would you rather have -- love or money?
Ai Ai: I think money. Because with money, you can buy love. (laughter)

Ai Ai: Pambakla. You can buy motorcylce and cars. And loads and cellphones! (e, ito rin ang mga ekasktong hinihingi ng mga macho dancers ah)
Boy: Ito'y tanong talaga. Sa tanang ng buhay mo, bumili ka na ba ng pag-ibig?
Ai Ai: Madalas! ... Baklang bakla yung sagot ko! (OMG! Tinamaan ata ako doon ah.)
Yes, she's "soooo bak-la!", as what my friend Ringo would usually say.

And the timing of this episode couldn't have been more perfect -- she nailed what I, the bakla, was going through at that time. It was as if I was feeding Ai Ai with the answers. Kaya pala naging "baklang bakla" yung sagot niya.

Giggle, giggle. I guess Ai ai and I share a little secret.

Watch the full interview 
(For the exact segment above, wait for the 4th video, at around 5:00. I couldn't find this segment on youtube) 

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
email:; Follow at twitter: @gbgoer

Sunday, January 9, 2011

On Why I Prefer Going to a Gay Bar than a Gay Club

This post perhaps is an extension of what my gay high school friends and I discussed during dinner last night. I haven’t seen them for almost the entire year, as I was going to gay bars more, which I have kept secret to them since March. So earlier over dinner, I outed my new past time to them.

For the purpose of this post, I’d like to differentiate the “gay bar” as the bars with macho dancers or male strip clubs – like the ones in Pasay/Manila and Timog QC – and the “gay club” as the night club or disco (does anyone still use this term?) catered to gays – the ones in Nakpil-Orosa, Malate.

[Images from and]

The gay guys in my generation have been “getting it on” in gay clubs, where hooking up is way cheaper. I am the only one in my peer group going to gay bars – there’s no other gay guy in their 20s in these bars. I am as old as, or albeit slightly older than, the boys working in macho dancer bars.

So what enchants me in a gay bar that makes go there week after week, spending my time and moolah with straight boys?

The reasons, after the jump. Feel free and liberated to comment.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

First Time Niyo?

Tuwing pumapasok kami ng gay pals ko sa isang gay bar (o macho dancer bar), medyo naiirita ako kapag tinatanong kami ng mga receptionist ng -- "First time niyo?"

Sa loob-loob ko, "Di niyo kami kilala? Kami ang mga diyosang regular customers ng bar na ito!"

Syempre, hindi na nagmamaganda ang mga vakels at babaeng vakels, at sumasagot na lang ng "hindi, nakapunta na kami dati."

Kung first time kasi ng customer sa isang gay bar, may maliit na seremonyas pang sandaling mangyayari bago makapasok:

1. Itatanong kung may camera o camera phone sa bag. Dapat kasing i-surrender muna ang mga ito sa reception bago makapasok.
    > Syempre, baka kasi may hidden cam na kukuha ng mga videos at ipapalabas sa mga expose at investigative shows. Worse, baka sa youtube pa lumabas. Nangyayari lang ata ito sa isang bar, ngunit hindi ko alam kung may ganitong policy rin sa ibang bar sa QC.

2. Mag-a-assign ang receptionist ng isang bading na floor manager sa grupo ninyo (kadalasang mga tranny sila).
   > Ang floor manager kumbaga ang magiging "mamasan" ninyo sa bar. Siya rin ang kakausapin niyo kung mayroon kayong gustong i-table na lalake. Siya rin ang mangungulit sa iyo buong gabi na kumuha ng isang lalaki.
   > Tip: Alalahanin ang pangalan ng bading na manager. Siya ang "password" mo (o pangalan na iyong i-name drop) sa susunod na punta niyo sa bar.

Siguro, ginagawa itong maliit na seremonyas na ito para sa proteksyon na rin ng mga bar at mga nagtatrabaho rito. Malay mo nga naman, maaaring yung bagong customer na dumating ay grupo pala ng mga pulis na naka in-disguise na nag-ba-bading-badingan, upang makahuli kung may hubarang mangyayari bago sila mag-raid. Pero, dont worry! Sa dalas ng punta namin sa gay bar, wala pang ni-isang raid ang nagaganap. So maliit lang din ang posibilidad na ma-raid ang bar kung pupunta kayo. May mga dahilan kung bakit, pero hindi iyon ang paksa natin ngayon.

So kahit na tinatanong pa rin kami minsan kung first time namin sa bar, buti na lang pala, hindi pa nila kami gaanong namumukaan kahit ilang beses na kaming umikot sa gay bar circuit. Proteksyon na rin sa akin, para sa isang hindi pa gaanong "out" tulad ko (charing, ang patron ng gay bar, hindi pa raw out?).

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
email:; Follow at twitter: @gbgoer

Friday, January 7, 2011

Date with a Macho – 3rd Party Perspective

I’ve been dateless since I don’t know when. Three weeks perhaps. This is quite odd since there was a time I used to go out with a macho dancer or hosto almost once or twice every week.

This past holiday season, I’ve been meeting up with friends, instead of boylets. And in two instances, there was always another table with a sight I am familiar with – the date of a guest with a macho or hosto.

Like right now. One of those said couples is just at another table in front of me. (Ang chismoso! Haha!)

How did I know?

First, the age difference is a dead give-away -- one slightly older gay guy (or woman) and a young, fresh-looking guy or boylet. Especially if the boylet is handsome (or above average in looks, kanto-boy-wise), lean, well-built or buff (at least, not chubby), has well-styled hair (colored hair with streaks or Korean-pop-inspired that may give clues on his "profession"), slim-fit jeans, and of course, white leather pointy shoes (but not applicable every time, because these dancers also wear flip flops outside the bar).

Ooh, the boy just fixed his hair, which looked as if it took forever to comb and gelled that way. Maybe, tell-tale signs of his vanity, as you well know how important it is in his industry to look good? (Again, ano ba paki-alam ko sa kanila?)

Second, the slight awkwardness and distance show that they are not buddies, classmates, officemates or barkada. The couple in front of me looks like they are on their first or second date. They are seated in front of each other. No exchange of witty one-liners, no boisterous laughter, no snickering. Only polite chuckles. Quiet getting-to-know-you conversation. The comfort usually seen among long-time buddies seems to be missing.

A third sign is if the older gay guy instructs the boy to order, and then foots the bill. That’s more difficult to observe where I am seated now. (Usisero!)

But if this set-up took place in a fast food counter, the guest would be the one in-line, standing in front of the cashier, with the boy behind his guest. As the guest informs the cashier of their orders, the boy would just be quiet. After the order, the boy would then offer to carry the food tray or find a table for them. The boy "offers his help", as he is possibly nahihiya to the kind gesture of his guest treating him. 

Well, I’ll just give this couple in front of me the benefit of the doubt. When I go out on dates with my boys, I simply want to adapt to the environment or blend-in, and not appear too different from the boy I am with. If he’ll be in shorts and slippers, I’ll also be wearing the same. I intend to to look as if we’re just barkada. If somehow I'd feel like I'm standing out, I'd feel too self-conscious from being stared-at by other people, who might suspect something fishy as to why a mid-20s gay guy is in the company of a cute straight boylet, (and paying for both meals) thus making me feel awkward just by being with him.

Wait, I seem to have described myself, based on what I am seeing in this couple in front me. It takes one to know one.

Pero, swear. Mukha talagang baklita at hosto/dancer yung magkasama sa harap ko!

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
email:; Follow at twitter: @gbgoer