Thursday, April 28, 2011

Russell's Invitation

"Inaantok na ako (I'm getting sleepy)," Russell*, a macho dancer in his mid-20s, said to me earlier this night. He was seated beside me in his gay bar in Pasay, which at that time had only a handful of tables with customers.  

"Inaantok ka, pero ang tagal ng tulog mo kanina? (You're getting sleepy, even if you slept long the whole day?)" I inquired back, as his shaved head was resting on my right shoulder.

That morning, upon waking up, I received a text message from him, the usual hi's and how-are-yous. I wondered why, at 9 in the morning, this tall, baby-faced dancer wasn't asleep yet despite his night-shift in the gay bar that usually ended around 6AM. He couldn't sleep, he said. Maybe it was the heat of the summer, he thought. Or his rewired body clock. After a few text messages back and forth, I agreed to his invitation to a dinner date that night. The set time was ideal for a meet-up with men in his profession -- after my work, before his. My choice of Chinese restaurant, as he was craving for some yang chow fried rice.

"Sobrang busog kasi sa kinain kanina, kaya masarap matulog (I feel so full from our meal, and to sleep it off isn't a bad idea)," he replied. I had an inkling that these men only have a light snack or don't eat at all before going to work. So a full meal before their work hours was already a huge treat.

My dinner. His breakfast.

"Masarap nga matulog pagkatapos kumain ng Chinese food. (It really feels good to sleep after eating Chinese food)," I responded back, while puffing my cigarette and sipping my beer. I myself felt a bit sleepy, as it was past my bed time on a weekday night. I had to wake up early the next day for work.

"Dapat pala, hindi na ako pumasok pagkatapos natin kumain. At natulog na lang ako sa bahay. (I shouldn't have gone to work after our dinner. I should've gone home to sleep)," Russell said, still beside me, but with his left arm now hanging on my shoulders.

"Sabi mo kasi papasok ka e (Well, you told me you intended to go to work after dinner)," I quipped, taking a sip from my post-meal drink. After our meal earlier that night, I offered to bring him to his bar, as it was just a few minutes drive. I was supposed to go straight home after dropping him off, but my body was craving to see some men in the flesh. I decided to enter the bar with him and stay, as a couple bottles of beer after a full meal wouldn't hurt. It was already past midnight.

I hoped I didn't make a wrong decision, sitting beside this tall baby-faced guy instead of resting at home.

He then invited me, nonchalantly, "Sige, next time, kita ulit tayo. Tapos nun, tulog tayo ha. Sabay. (Let's meet again next time. Then afterwards, let's sleep. Together)."

I sipped my beer again. Another puff of my cigarette. Half an hour later, after my second beer, a few more laughs, and after his solo dance, I decided to go home and get some sleep.

Sweet dreams? Let's see where this goes.

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Our Double Lives: Part 2

(continued from Part 1)

It is the same world that allows a macho dancer to be known only for his face, his body, his skill, and not the details of his true identity -- the hometown where he grew up in, the graduation of his younger sister, the place where his estranged father lives, the birth date of his kids. It is the only world that deejays, managers and customers call for his alias or stage name, while his real name is reserved at home for his nanay or ka-tropa who can merely turn their blind eye. It is a world that introduces him as single and un-attached, even if the mother of his one or two kids is waiting for him to arrive at 6AM everyday. It is this second world that forces them to shift their personalities from charming to seductive, from obliging to playful, at the customer's demands. It is the world where everyone in his private life knows he is working only as a waiter or bartender or deejay, but never as someone who markets his face and uncovered body to sex-deprived gays and matrons.

It is this second life of theirs that allows them to earn and support their first lives.

And this is shared also by the bar owner who had a taste of steady income back in the day, but whose expenses for salaries, rent, electricity, and payola to the government or police are now greater than the combined revenues from his bar's once-a-week regular clients. It is shared by the gay floor manager who seems to extort cash from their customers, but also acts as an adoptive parent to their sister's third kid. This is the same for the transvestite impersonator who was not accepted by his father as a kid, but is now dressed up in false eyelashes and fake boa feathers to buy the medicine for his ailing mother in his first life.  

But, with the exception of a few, no one in a macho dancer's, a gay manager's, or a transvestite impersonator's first life knows of what exactly happens in their second lives. Especially so for the customer, whose first life friends and family are not aware of their whereabouts on those nights spent in the second life.

The second life is a secret that can not be revealed to the first life. It is a secret that the first life can not understand, and would refuse to comprehend and accept, especially with its preconceived notions of dark, seedy macho-dancing gay bar. It is a secret that can't be merged with the first life -- like inviting your boyfriend macho dancer to your cousin's wedding, or introducing your matrona lover to your childhood sweetheart, the mother of your kids.

The first with the second can never work. Thus, the second is always kept hidden, in the darkness of the midnight, inside the gay bar.  

And even this second life of mine is only a secret, which I keep in this blog. A blog which writes about our secret lives -- 

A mother in her 50s by day who becomes a matrona who feels 30 by night.
A manly serious desk manager by day, lusty screaming fag by night.
A doting over-protective uncle by day, a so-called pimp mamasan by night.
A husband by day, a macho dancer by night.

We, in the gay bars, all live double lives.

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Our Double Lives: Part 1

(a personal, reflective post)

I live a double life.

The first is filled with eighty emails a day, cellphone calls from colleagues, powerpoint presentations, sales figures, and the daydream of a future promotion. It is a life where the oblivious aunt asks during another Easter holiday reunion of your conservative family who your girlfriend is and when you plan to get married, despite the fact that you have been gay and in the closet since you were born. It is a life that gets bored by the routine stories of college friends about who transferred to which company or who got happily engaged to her boyfriend of 6 years or who has the update on the latest episode of some juvenile TV show from the US. It is a life which eagerly awaits for the Zara sale, even if you've allocated your salary for the latest Apple gadget or the next condo payment. 

It is a life that funds and pays for the other life.

The other one is filled with text messages of "muzta" or "miz na u", sometimes ending with "jejeje," which you don't get in your first life. It is a life that starts around midnight, with a call from your gal or gay pals, that sort of casts a spell, and transforms your group into mad creatures of the night. It is a life that usually wonders if the bar has newbie talents since you last came, or if the dimpled shy-type guy you've tabled previously is still available that night, or if the hunky half-nude guy you've been eyeing for two weeks is worthy of being "tabled." It is a life that makes you empathic about reaching the sales quota of MD drinks despite a slow week, buying a new attire for the big night event that coming weekend, and calculating if the past week's P500 tip can pay off one's rent or electricity bills. 

It is a life that comes alive at night when the other retires for the day.

And this second life is in a world that's also shared by similar second lives of the others in it.

This world permits gay office workers or businessmen to live out a fantasy of seeing some live nude men dancing in front of him. This world can make a reserved mother live out her queenly gay side amidst boys and other queens. It allows a Koreana matrona to spend time with her boytoy without her husband in her home country knowing. It can even give a bride-to-be her so-called last taste of freedom with other hunky men before being tied down to the man of her dreams.

But, it is not just us, the customers, with seemingly second lives.

(to be continued...)

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila


Friday, April 22, 2011

Songs in a Gay Bar: The R&B Slow Song

Want to feel in-love? Want to feel sexy? Want to feel being seduced by a handsome muscular charmer, half-naked and sweating, dancing to a slow, sensual love song?

Whew, the idea is making me hot, and want to go to the nearest gay bar.

I've written about the Power Ballads as danced by macho dancers in a gay bar -- strong, heavy, full of emotions. Yet, another type of music that's also often danced along in these bars are the R&B ballads and slow songs.

When a macho dancer chooses a slow love song for him to dance along to, his repertoire is often limited to the songs they hear on the radio. And when it comes to love songs especially in the mid-90s to 2000s, the most popular ones are those from R&B singers in these decades. Of course, the choice songs are sung by male R&B stars, as opposed to female ones, as not to appear too feminine.

And I think that these R&B love songs are a good choice at that. Its slow beat and melody can evoke sensuality, and can even be quite sexy even as background music for romantic foreplay. Its lyrics, especially if sung by a smooth male voice, can make one swoon over and melt. And when danced along by a hunky guy, I feel this type of music is a perfect choice to emulate passion, love and sex, all rolled into one song.

So here are some R&B slow songs that I've heard played inside gay bars across Metro Manila. You will probably have heard some of them, and might make you remember a particular dancer. So for other non-gay bar goers, listen to these tracks, and imagine a macho dancer sensually moving his half-naked body to these songs:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Naisip Mo Na Bang Mag-Artista?

Guwapo. Check.
Maganda ang katawan. Check.
May talent, tulad ng pagsayaw. Check.
Hindi mahiyain. Check.
Magaling humarap sa tao. Check.
May potential magkaroon ng fans. Check.

Mga katangian ng isang artistahin? Pwede. Ngunit, sa listahang ito, mas iniisip ko ang mga katangian ng isang magaling na macho dancer. Check.

Kung iisipin, mukhang pareho ang hinahanap sa isang matinee idol material at sa mga MD. Sa guwapo ba nilang yan, syempre hindi ba't maaari silang maging matinee idol o kapareha ng love team o action star? Kaya’t hindi malayong maitanong ko sa mga macho dancers na aking nakakasalamuha: “Naisip mo na bang mag artista?”

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sources of a Macho Dancer's Name

Just a fictional book, of course
There's a little game to find out your screen name when you become a porn star, aka porn star name. It says to use your first name's pet and the name of the first street you lived on. Another variation is to use your middle name and again, the first street's name. So a porn star named "Doug Pennylane" may have had a dog named Doug (how creative) when he was six and lived on Pennylane Street.

Unknown by many gay bar goers, macho dancers in Manila also have screen names. Do you expect that a dancer named "Rayver" is actually using his real name printed on his birth certificate? Rayver Cruz, maybe yes. But the real world could be harsh to these men, thereby protecting at least their real identities with a stage name.

So where or how do these macho dancers get their names? Definitely not their nicknames called by their mommies at home, like "Boy" or "Goyong" or "Dong." And getting one is not as difficult as generating a porn star's name. Here are the common sources:

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Macho Dancer's Solution

Russell*, a macho dancer in one of Pasay's gay bars, asked me if I could help him. He was not earning anymore in his bar due to low sales (which is being experienced generally in most big gay bars in the area nowadays). He was planning to transfer to another gay bar, the "Answer for the Emotionall Needy" (ATEN), which he also heard through the gay bar grapevine is really strong. And to enter the bar, he needed a customer to accompany him.

That's why he texted me: "Musta? Pwede mo ba ako samahan sa ATEN? Apply lang ako... (How are you? Can you accompany me to ATEN? I'll just apply...)"   

This was not the first time I heard that for a macho dancer to apply to that particular bar, he had to bring along a guest with him. Anyone can apply, I think, but it'll be easier to be accepted if the bar is assured of new revenue coming in, in the form of a customer.

Being the "ka-tropa" (a friend from a group or "gang mate") of the macho dancers I have encountered lately, I obliged to his favor. Besides, I was really curious how this unique set-up would work out. I haven't been used as a way to apply to a new bar.

What happened next, after the jump:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Silly Little Favors

"Pare, Txt mo ako 'punta ka dito'. (Dude, Send me a text message 'come here')," texted by Japoy*, a macho dancer in one of Manila's gay bars.

"Ha? Nandito ako sa bar niyo, may kaupo ako. (Huh? I am here in your bar, with someone sitting beside me)." I replied. I thought he wanted me to get him, even though I knew he was seated with someone else.

"Ako rin, meron eh. Sige na, text mo ako. Pakita ko lang sa asawa ko. (I am also seated with someone. Please, text me. I'm just going to show my wife.)"

"Bakit? Sino ba yang customer mo? (Why? Who's that customer with you?)"  

"Sabihin ko mamaya. Daan ako diyan saglit. (I'll tell you later. I'll drop by your area for a while)," Japoy texted. He appeared a few minutes after, leaving his customer quickly, while the one seated with me went to the toilet.

What he told me, after the jump:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Kilig o Libog?

Hindi ako maka-decide kung sino sa dalawang macho dancer ang aking iuupo noong isang gabi.

Inisip kong iupo si Japoy, na kapag nakakakuha ako ng mapaglarong text mula sa kanya ay naalala ko ang pag-ngiti ng kanyang mga chinitong mata sa tuwing kami'y naghahagikhikan. Hindi nga lang sobrang maganda ang katawan nito, at kung sumayaw ay parang naglalakad lang sa mall.

O maaari rin namang si Beatty, dala ng kanyang sobrang senswal na pagsayaw gamit ang katawang moreno't matipuno, na tulo-laway na pinagnanasahan naming magkakaibigan. Ngunit, kapag iupo na, tahimik, lalo na sa simula. Hindi rin masyadong malambing sa katabi.

Yung isa ay masarap makasama sa isang mall habang sa kainitan ng araw, tipong holding-hands kayo habang kumakain o naglalakad. Yung isa naman ay masarap lang sa kama sa kainitan ng gabi, kahit hindi na kayo mag-usap.

Syempre, may budget din ako kaya't hindi puwedeng pareho ang iuupo ko. Siguro puwede namang pagsabayin sila sa ibang okasyon, ngunit hindi sa gabing kung kailan maaga kami uuwi dahil sa may pasok kinabukasan.

Kaya't tinanong ko ang mga kaibigan ko sa gay bar: Kung ikaw ang pagpipiliin, yung lalaking nakaka-kilig o yung lalaking nakaka-libog?

Ipagpatuloy kung ano ang mga sagot ng ilan. Ikaw, ano ang sagot mo?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Those Cock-loving Caucasian Customers

The gay bar in Paranaque was rocked by a group of visitors last Friday night. The group consisted of a gay guy and two women, in their 30s. They were seated right in front of the stage. They were cheering on every dancer who came up on-stage, while about three male dancers were seated (or “tabled”) with them. They seemed to have a good time. They were white foreigners.

On the average, I’ve seen only about one group of Caucasians for every month. White foreigners are not that a common occurrence in Manila’s gay bars as compared to the Koreans in Manila’s gay bars or to the whites in Bangkok’s male go-go bars. But few as they are, these visitors could create a bit of commotion when inside the bar.

What they did, continue reading after the jump: