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

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