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

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