Thursday, March 31, 2011

Weak Nights

Last night, my friend Mary was inviting me to come with her to “Home Base”, the gay bar. She intended to go to the bar, and was hoping that I’d join her.  The bar would’ve  gladly been graced by my presence, but I, the GB Goer, had to decline as I had early commitments the next day.

My commitments? Work. She invited me on a Wednesday night.

Just like any night out with friends, gay bar going is often a weekend activity. When friends ask themselves when they’d finally do their macho dancer watching adventure, they’d choose either Friday or Saturday. Or Friday AND Saturday, especially for boy-addicts like us friends. And in those freewheeling nights, the gay bars are expected to be packed.

But who goes on a weekday night?

“Us,” Mary would instantly answer, given the question. True enough, it wouldn’t be my first weekday gay bar adventure if I decided to join her last night. Since I declined the tempting offer, I just asked her to give updates on the events in the bar.

What “events”? Apparently, it happened to be an uneventful night in the bar, typical of weekday nights.

Like last night, as only about three or four tables were occupied, according to Mary. A group of lady office workers looking for an after-work night out. A lonely gay guy, on his 3rd bottle of beer, who didn’t have access to porn. Two mature burly men who look more like undercover policemen or barangay tanod on their day-off. A trio of Caucasian male tourists who were looking for some gay action in Manila.  

Even if there were customers, they’d be mere observers of dancing men. Either they arrive way too early before midnight and just stay for an hour, or they’d come in and stay longer, but without “tabling” a dancer. These customers, termed by the bar as coming from a “Tanawan, Batangas (provincial town translated as ‘viewer’)”, might not want to spend the night with boys, as they might have next-day commitments (just like me), on a tight budget, or simply not interested.

On these slow nights, the macho dancers know that money won’t be flowing in. Out of the thirty or so employed boys, only about five would be lucky enough to be “tabled” on weekday nights. The others would just wait in the dressing room, watch TV, chat, text their lovers or customers, or sleep even if prohibited.

Thus, those who are “bangkay” (corpse / zombie) on consecutive nights would often feel too lazy to come to work. “Wala namang kita, bakit pa ako papasok? (There’s no income, so why come to work?)” would often be the real excuse of not showing up for work on our, the customer’s, work night.  

And to unwind is what we, gay bar patrons going on weekday nights, seek. Wouldn’t it be nice to grab two bottles of beer with a hunky man comforting you (or at least pretending to) after a stressful day?

Besides, there’s less competition on weekday nights. The more popular macho dancers are often “tabled” early by newcomers or their regular guests on packed weekends. So if one fancies a particular boy who was unavailable the first time he or she went to the bar, then maybe a weekday visit might open an opportunity for him or her to solo the boy for an entire night.  

Just how Mary felt last night – sitting relaxed beside her chosen partner, “Cap”, without the preying eyes of GB Goer and our friend Ringo. She could’ve even gotten our often-tabled “Beatty” behind our backs, whom she has been eyeing since we first saw his now-famous pole-dancing routine.

So now, as I am writing this post, I’m getting envious that she experienced being alone with her beloved last night. A simple invitation to go to the nearest gay bar bar can make any MD-addict weak, even on a weekday night. It’s already 9:30 PM on a Thursday night, and I am waiting for her call. But it’s still workday Friday tomorrow, I might debate. Yeah, as if it has never stopped me from going before.

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila

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