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.

1. I get tired of “playing the game”
    > Call it “playing the game” or “the chase” or “the dance” or "the flirt" – it’s the so-called thrill of eyeing the cutest straight-acting boy-next-door in the club, knowing if he is interested in you, thinking the entire night if he will approach you, or if the other gay guy eyeing you from the dance floor will approach you instead, or at least get any number from those two before going home. I’ve had that in my early 20s already in the most popular gay clubs in Makati and Manila, and grew a bit tired of it. Frustrating at times. “Next adventure naman.”
     On the other hand, there’s no “chase” in a gay bar. The boylets there do the “chasing”, especially when they’re on-stage or walking past by you, hoping that you choose them for the night. With that, you get to be more in control of who you want to spend the night with (Okay, I got control issues, apparently).

2. I can be whoever I want to be.
    > No pretenses. I don’t have to always put my best foot forward when talking with guys. I don’t even have to dress my best from head to foot, prepare for hours just to look attractive to the same sex, like in my early 20s. I can just go to the gay bar in my shirt, shorts and loafers, just “let my hair down,” and can still be treated like a “very important person”. I don’t need to prove anything to the guy I am with.
    And speaking of being whoever I want to be – I even created an alias for myself when going to bars. I can be the straight-acting balbas-sarado silahis for the night, the flamboyant semi-parlorista in another, or a shy closeted 33-year-old-looking businessman, without being judged as too chubby or too effem or too old by whomever I am flirting with. (Screw to those with the "No to chubs, oldies or effems" policies. I have my own lean, young, straight dude.)

3. I don’t get dumped. I dump them.
    > In gay clubs, I risk the chance of being dumped. I get to do that the other way around. Power tripping? Not really.

4. I am treated like “the one” or the VIP
    > In gay clubs, you’ll just be one-in-the-crowd to the most handsome guy there. In gay bars, the most handsome guy there is just one-in-the-crowd for you. When tabled, these guys make you feel as if you are “the one” (at least for that night). Better than forever hoping if “the one” for you is sitting at the bar, or on the dance floor, or near the stairs, or still at home because you’ll meet him the next time in the club.
    > Also, the managers always know beforehand that our group is arriving, and thus, has a reserved table for us when we arrive. All of the staff are overly friendly, from the parking attendants to the receptionist to the waiters and shoulder-masseurs, to the tranny-performers (possibly because all of them know we, the customers, are paying for their wages). I don’t get all that in gay clubs, except if I am the friend of the sister of the owner’s boyfriend.

Don’t get me wrong. I still enjoy going to gay clubs, especially last year in Malate, and I’ve had my share of gay clubbing 4-6 years ago. Believe me, there was a time when I was in these club almosts every weekend, in almost every event, in almost every holiday. And I'm not that fugly-looking to not get a hook-up in a gay club. At least not in this country the past years. (Ang aarte kasi ng mga boy-next-door-ish baklita dito sa Maynila. Kala mo kung sinong biyaya ng diyos sa sangkabaklaan).

The downside though in a gay bar is that the boys here are straight. Almost all of them, at least. But some straight boys can still "love" a gay guy, at least for a while. Why, it may even last up to years, who knows. But the gay customers may get "sawa"; the MDs will eventually find a woman to marry, leaving you to find another boylet to carry. Learning though, marami pang isda sa dagat

I guess, to each his own. I enjoy my paid-time boys... for now. Maybe it's gonna be zsa zsa boys (massage = massage-a padilla = ms. zsa zsa padilla = zsa zsa) in the future.

Going back to dinner last night, my high school gay barkada was supposed to go to the not-so-newly opened gay club in Ortigas after dinner. I would have opted to say no. I was still waiting for my older gay pals to invite me to the very-newly opened gay club along Roxas Boulevard.

Skemper na!

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


  1. Same sentiments here. The cost comes out the same. There is no such thing as free sex.

  2. Hi Skewed. Isn't it cheaper to go to a gay club than a gay bar? And YES, there's no such thing as free sex. I plan to write about it soon (got inspired by the book Im reading now).



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