Sunday, July 31, 2011

This Macho Dancer’s Last Harana

Friday and Saturday nights in the macho dancing gay bar are usually packed, with ladies wanting to be seduced and matronas wanting to fall in love. In the middle of the night, after a series of men dancing naked in their routine moves, the gay bar would feature a series of production numbers.

These production numbers are composed of various acts. They have in-house hired tranny performers doing a cabaret show or lip-synching to impersonate famous divas. Some bars have hiphop dance crews to liven up the show with upbeat dance routines. Some bars even create a full production act with a featured macho dancer, complete with full acting, back-up dancers, sound and musical effects, props, sets, and costumes.

However, out of all the macho dancing gay bars I’ve been, there was only one which had quite a unique performance. No, it wasn’t a live toro show, but something more wholesome. And in this particular gay bar, when all the macho dancers only flaunted their naked bodies on stage, there was only one who flaunted his vocal talent.

And that was before he told me that he decided to stop singing altogether.

This is his story. Our story.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Touched: Part 2

(Continued from Part 1)

The gay bar goer then awaits for the first comfortable breaking of personal space. He has been visually aroused by the performances by the manly eye candy on stage, and is already eager to elevate this with the sense of touch.

But the gay man needs to wait. Especially if with the boy of his choice.

He can start feeling up the dime a dozen (or P100 each) all-the-way dancers as much as he wants to. The bigger gay bars openly release them to the customers who are eager to get close to the rock hard dicks of these less-than-quality men. In the smaller gay bars, these men in the nude go directly beside the customer (an act the bar terms as "area"), where, for a tip, they allow themselves and their rock-hard thingies to be tapped, squeezed, fondled, grasped, and even shockingly stroked repeatedly. But to do that with his preferred macho dancer may take more than a hundred pesos and a one-time visit.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Touched: Part 1

The macho dancing gay bar of Manila has been known to be a very visual place. Patrons go there for the sights of dancing men in various states of undress. "Nude men, right before your eyes" seems to be a catch phrase for the curious wanting to enter the gay bar. Those who frequent the bar even find it as a feast for the lusty eyes.  

What I experienced last weekend in the gay bar got me into thinking though. I got the services of one of the fully dressed masseurs roaming the bar. Not the happy-ending type of massages, mind you (yeah, who would like to get it on with an er-ish oldie male masseur). For a tip of P100, these men try to give a 20-minute less-than-spa-treatment, if not painful, rub on the neck, shoulders, and back. It's a service offered to customers wanting to be relaxed, while watching the entertainment on-stage. 

The massage I got from this particular male masseur opened me up -- his warm hands stroking the grooves of my shoulder, his knuckles forcing the tight knots out of my back muscles, and his thumbs pressing deeply yet carefully into my palms. It was quietly arousing, without intending to be. And then, I thought:

Why can touch become so important in a very visual place?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Early Morning, Sundays

5:00 AM. 

Gay bar house lights open. DJ plays the closing song. The half-naked dancers start to dress up in their casual clothes, usually the same clothes they wore going to the bar. 

Inside the bar, the gay bar addict asks for the bill and pays another enormous sum after a night of partying. The dancers from the dressing room head straight to the cashier to collect their 6-day allowance from working the entire week. After paying, the customer stands from the seats, then heads out the gay bar door. Outside, the night sky lightens to a dark shade of blue-gray.

The customer leaves via riding a taxi or driving his own vehicle. One by one, the cars leave the once-filled parking lot in front of the bar. The remaining motorcycles outside the bar, those owned by the monied macho dancers, leave next. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Beware the Invitation

You go to your favorite macho dancing gay bar, with the intention of spending another P3,000 like you did the previous week. You order your macho dancer espesyal, and while waiting for him to be served, the gay floor manager sits beside you. He chats you up, and mentions the upcoming male pageant search to be held in their bar. You've heard about this before, so you nod in agreement as he asks if you'd be going. 

"Kunin po namin kayong judge ha (We'll get you as a judge)," he tells you with a shy smile.   


Of course, you've now become part of this elite group of very important guests who already has the power and unique skill in determining the top macho dancer in the bar. Fantastic! Imagine a stage filled with semi-nude men trying to get your attention and your vote.

You go again to their bar. The gay floor manager chats you up, and shares his excitement about their upcoming outing to this private beach resort. You've heard about this, as casually mentioned by your frequently-tabled macho dancer a few weeks back. You ask the gay floor manager about their overnight trip.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Overheard at the Gay Bar Banyo

One of the benefits of being a gay male in a gay bar is sharing the same comfort room with the male models working there. Wait, that did not sound right. I'm not talking about the peaking that happens between two men standing beside two adjacent urinals. Nor am I talking about an illicit quickie or "song" number done in a locked cubicle. Pervert!

Let me rephrase my first statement: One of the benefits of being a chismoso gay male in a gay bar is sharing the same comfort room with the male models working there.

When I go on bathroom breaks in the gay bar, I get to chance upon one or two dancers on their phones. I don't intend to listen in to their conversations while doing my own business. But because they always seem to shout loudly while on the phone, thinking they're still at the customer area (ever notice how people shout loudly on the phone if the background noise is too loud?), I can't help but hear what they're saying. 

Here, I compiled some oft-mentioned lines, including a few shady ones, that I've heard when a macho dancer is on the phone in the rest room. The chismoso in me can't help but over-analyze what I overhear inside those rooms.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Butterfly: Part 2

(Continued from Part 1)

So in this scenario, on one Saturday night in a bar filled with customers except for a few empty tables, our fictional MD will do what bars call the "butterfly." It simply means a dancer or hosto hopping from one table to another, like a butterfly flying from flower to flower, until he is sent away. 

Our fictional gay customer, Lei, sees their gay manager with his chosen boy in tow. Lei smiles as the gay manager introduces John, who extends a handshake, smiles, and greets with a "nice to see you again." The waiter asks for the boy's order of drink, which he promptly replies with "lights." Lei initiates a conversation, the usual how are yous. Their conversation extends for a few minutes, until the waiter arrives with the boy's drink. The tabled dancer takes a few sips from the bottle. Lei asks if John has already performed that night, which prompted the dancer to excuse himself to take a look in the dressing room. 

Good exit, John thinks to himself. 

He goes to the dressing room, then makes his way through the crowded bar to sit again beside the middle aged woman who was chatting with her friends. She notices John beside her, then jokingly comments how a toilet break can possibly take 15 minutes long. John smiles sheepishly, gives some lame excuse of talking with another MD, then takes a few good sips from his beer. He glances at the other end of the crowded bar if his other customer can see him. No. Good. John intermittently chats up the woman customer and drinks his beer, until the bottle is 3/4 empty. He excuses himself again to go to the toilet, with an explanation of how drinking beer can make someone pee often.

So this table-hopping goes on for the next hour or so: John goes back to Lei, chats loudly with him and with his group, drinks the beer, then tells him he'll be up on stage in the few minutes, so he needs to prepare. John returns to the woman customer, saying some sweet nothings, finishes the beer, orders another one, then excuses himself to go prepare for dance. John then actually dances, glancing secretly at either customer. He returns to Lei right after, still sweaty. John drinks his beer, then to appear close, puts his arms around Lei, which prompts him to react "you're still sweaty." This gives John another excuse to go back to the dressing room. All-fresh, John sits with the woman, then apologizes for taking so long as he had to freshen up after the dance. He then gives another lame excuse about the toilet, leaves, goes to the other customer, lame excuse about a text message or being called by the supervisor, returns to the first, apologize, and so on and so forth.

Messy. Trabaho kung trabaho.

But this butterfly concept does not happen in all bars, depending on their policies. Most bars respect the first-come-first-served rule. They know that allowing this butterfly system may lead to ugly fights, not only among the customers but also among the men. Preventing table-hopping among the men opens up opportunities for the other non-sellable macho dancers to be tabled by customers. 

On the other hand, those other bars who allow this concept want to "spread the joy" among customers who go to the bar specifically for a guy. That's their press release. But in reality, it's also added income not only for the bar, but for the macho dancer who has a daily quota of drinks to achieve himself. 

For the customer's sake, to inform or not to inform them -- that's the tricky part in butterfly. The risk a dancer makes in asking permission from their first customer is being sent back to the dressing room, and possibly losing that customer forever. Unless the customer does not mind or just simply accepts the bar's policies. And that type of understanding customer, I believe, is a rare breed.

So those sly macho dancers, like John, choose to keep their butterflies secret. According to a few hostos and dancers, it takes some skill to execute a butterfly perfectly, without either customer knowing they're being two-timed by their chosen men. They ensure their customers are seated far apart, with the help of the managers or waiters. They seem extra sweet or extra chatty when seated with either customer. By walking from one end of the bar to another, they try to appear as if they're simply roaming around the bar. Our fictional macho dancer, John, actually gives the most common reasons to excuse himself to go to another customer.

Think about it, what does a scheming macho dancer really do during a so-called 20-minute toilet break? Poop? Yeah, with bull shit.

But in general, if a dancer decides to butterfly, most are respectful enough to ask first from their customers if they can do table-hopping. If the customer does not allow it, then the guy can opt to "check out" or "out" himself in that table, making himself available for the other customer. In this case, it's the guy's choice if he prefers to sit with whoever got him first or whoever he has a better relationship with or whoever would provide him with a larger tip.

What's a customer to feel when the dancer does a butterfly on him/her? Imagine being two-timed in a bar, while paying for the time with the guy. It's like spending money for a guy who can sit with you and at the same time, canoodle with some other woman or gay man just a few tables away.

So for customers who don't want to share macho dancers or hostos with others, the gay bar provides simple suggestions:
  • First, arrive early. Especially on customer-filled weekend nights. This way, the earlier customer gets the so-called "right of first refusal" to share his or her men. 
  • If not, the customer can text the gay bar managers to reserve the man in advance. This may require some advanced payment or bagsak of drinks though, depending on the bar's policies. 
  • Last, be the macho dancer's regular guest by returning again and again. These men tend to "reserve" themselves or, if seated, "out" themselves from their table, if they find out in advance that their regular guest is arriving that night.
Notice how all the above suggestions benefit the bar. Arriving earlier = More drinks spent. Advanced reservations = Sure drinks spent. Regular guest = frequent drinks spent. Customer is happy. Hunky man is happy. Bar is very happy.

Good thing that our fictional macho dancer, John, gets away with a butterfly done in secret. Middle aged woman satisfied. Gay customer satisfied. With drinks and tips from both. But little does he know that our fictional customer, Lei, has taken notice but chose to keep silent.

Or will he? On that Saturday night, in the bar filled with customers, except for a few empty tables, Lei just decides to blog about it. 

(And no, Lei is not GB Goer, nor is GB Goer this Lei guy).

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
twitter: @gbgoer

*All persons here in this specific post are purely fictional. Any resemblance to real persons or real macho dancers or real hostos, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Photo credits: Painting "Winged spirit buttoning his underpants (1966)"  by Yannis Tsarouchis at–1989/

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Butterfly: Part 1

Saturday night. The bar is filled with customers, except for a few empty tables. The macho dancers and hostos, who have been bangkay in the dressing room for the past few days, are eagerly waiting if tonight would be their lucky night to break their customer-less streak. John, our fictional MD in this scenario, is also hoping that his newly-met customer shows up tonight.

Same Saturday night. The same bar is filled with customers, except for a few empty tables. The group of middle-aged women at the side of the bar have been watching the show since they arrived, but haven't decided on getting anyone yet. Another group of young gay customers arrive, and sits near the door, at the other end of the bar. Lei, our fictional customer in this scenario, has been eager to see his newly-met macho dancer, John, since they first met a few weeks ago.

John peers through the dressing room window, and sees the figure of Lei. Great, he tells himself. I'd be getting some drinks tonight, plus hopefully a bigger tip than the previous encounter. He then brushes his hair with his hand, straightens out his sando, and re-adjusts his boxer brief. He reaches out for his branded cologne that Missy, a former matrona customer, gave him as gift. While he sprays on some on his neck, the gay floor manager arrives at the dressing room door.

"John," called the gay floor manager. "May ipapakilala ako sa iyo. (I'll introduce you to someone)."

Finally, John says. What took him so long?

Lei, after making himself comfortable and ordering his two bottles of "Lights", gets approached by their gay floor manager. After the usual hi and hellos and short talk, the gay manager asks the group of gay friends whom they want to get individually tonight. Lei smiles, thinking of the 23 year-old lean moreno boy that he tabled the last time he was there. He whispers the name to the gay manager, who smiles as well. No one else, Lei says. Then off the gay manager goes.

From the dressing room of this fictional gay bar, John walks behind the gay manager. He's trying to see where Lei is seated in the dark gay bar. There at the far end, near the entrance. He then speeds up his walk but is slowed down by the gay manager. They stop.

"Eto po, ipapakilala ko. Guwapo! Si John (Here's the one I'm going to introduce to you. Handsome, right? His name is John)," tells the gay manager to the customers. John peers at them in the darkness. The middle aged women.

Lei sips his light beer while watching the macho men strip dance right after another. He's wondering what's taking their gay manager so long. But he doesn't mind, as he knows their group will be staying in the bar quite long. He's still enjoying the sights parading in front of him.

After five minutes sitting down beside the middle-aged woman, John excuses himself to go to the toilet. He rushes back to the dressing room where he sees inside the gay manager of Lei, as if looking for someone.

"Nandyan ka pala. Nakaupo ka ba? (There you are. Are you seated with someone?)" asks the gay manager to John.

"Oo, sa customer ni [manager] Mommy Una. Paano yan, nandyan yung customer kong bading? (Yes, with the customer of [manager] Mommy Una. But my other gay customer has just arrived)," replied John.

"Sige. Butterfly ka. (Okay. Just do a 'butterfly')," suggests the gay manager. "Huwag mo lang ipahalata. (Just don't be too obvious)."

(to be continued)

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
twitter: @gbgoer

*All persons here in this specific post are purely fictional. Any resemblance to real persons or real macho dancers or real hostos, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Photo credits: Painting "Winged spirit buttoning his underpants (1966)"  by Yannis Tsarouchis at–1989/

Monday, July 4, 2011

Blogging About Macho Dancers and Gay Bars

It's been six months since I first started blogging about my learnings about macho dancers and gay bars. Originally, I didn't have anything planned on the structure and content of the blog. All I wanted to do was write about what I knew and what I experienced in the form of "lessons."

Good thing that the blog has somehow evolved from its beginnings. While it still contains information about the men and the industry I wanted to write about, I have expanded to write about the various gay bar customers, some tricks of the trade, some in-depth personal stories, and even those in the gay bar periphery. It seemed to me like I'm writing for a newspaper or magazine, with my own column. If I'd be writing like a weekly column, then I would've written almost two year's worth of material.

What I didn't expect is to be linked with anything associated with the topic I chose to write. I get requests for gay bar recommendations from curious virgin gay bar goers. I get emails from foreigners asking where to go. I get comments to reveal the real names of the gay bars. I get asked for macho dancers for bridal showers. I even get hits for the blog from Google search queries about "conyo shoes", "virgin gay", "gay strippers", and one of the top hits, "libog." 

Hmmm... what does "libog" have to do with my very conservative blog? Ganun na ba ka-libog mga Pinoy? Hehe.

What I also didn't expect in this short a time is to get featured in another mainstream blog. My friend, Rocky, who owns the Geeky Guide, wanted to do a post on my niche blog, and I happily obliged with an email Q&A. 

You'll get to read here what made me start the blog and what makes me continue doing it. So if I write about the ins and outs of the gay bar scene, then you might read here the ins and outs of the gay bar blog and the gay bar goer.

Here are some excerpts:
Q: Who or What made you decide to create your blog?

...In the months hopping from one bar to another, meeting macho dancers week after week, hearing their unique yet similar-in-essence stories, and heck, even falling in love with a few of them, I felt I had enough knowledge and insight about them and the industry to write about. Good thing that it was at the same time that a couple other blogs of similar nature appeared. So it seemed like we were painting a picture of the gay bar scene...

Q: What one celebrity do you wish would notice your blog?

A: Hmmm... the good-looking moreno actor who was rumored to be a former macho dancer. Yuhh-mee! Kidding aside, I guess other gay bloggers whom I can connect to. And why not, even a book publisher...
As part of blogging about gay bars and macho dancers, I also get to see the various types of gay bar blog readers. In my analytical fashion, I've already classified them into different types. I have briefly mentioned them in the feature in Rocky's blog. But I guess it could be more fun writing about them.... ergo, writing about YOU reading my blog now. Which category will you fall under? Hehe.

To read more, visit my blog feature from Rocky's blog: The Geeky Guide to Nearly Everything.

I thought of the feature as a great way to cap off the midyear, exactly 6 months in existence. But there are more to come. I've just added Twitter; I've yet to add a Facebook account which some readers are asking for. I've only ticked off about less than half of a list I created of possible gay bar topics. I haven't even written about a topic I've been longing to feature... maybe, on post #100 (this article is post #90). There's a lot more to this industry, just as there's a lot more to the macho dancers. So perhaps, this post can be just a sem break, or refresher, in the on-going lesson plan about macho dancers and gay bars in Manila.

Keep on reading and learning with me! :D

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
twitter: @gbgoer