Friday, December 16, 2011

Gay Bar Advice: Just Say No

"Natatakot akong magpunta sa gay bar kasi hindi ko alam kung ano ang gagawin ko sa loob. Lalo na't kung may hingiin sa akin at hindi ko alam kung paano ako tatanggi. (I am afraid in going to the gay bar because I don't know what to do inside. Especially if something is asked from me and I wouldn't know how to refuse). " 
"Minsan nagpunta ako sa gay bar, at napilitan ako magbigay kasi nahihiya akong magsabi na ayaw ko yun, hindi ko gusto yun. (Once in the gay bar, I was forced into something because I was too reluctant to say that I really didn't want that)."
When I read revelations like these from email senders, I can sense their worries in going to the gay bar. These can be money matters: worried about not having enough money or worried about losing all your money to one guy (parang lang casino, but isn't love just one big gamble? chos). It can also be guy matters: worried about choosing the wrong guy or worried about being thrown out the bar for not tabling a guy (no, this does not happen).  

I started going to the gay bars with the same feeling of being not in control. A stranger would approach me inside the dark bar, and I wouldn't know what to do. As I wonder what the proper response should be in certain situations, I worried I couldn't refuse anything this stranger would offer. Thus, I would always just say yes with anything they pushed me. Looking back, the fear I felt back was actually coming from a feeling of powerlessness.

But a gay bar goer shouldn't feel powerless. On the contrary, he or she has power of what would happen in the bar. It includes the power to say No.

For illustration purpose only, and not misheard lyrics.

So all you single ladies (and bekis), here are some examples of when to decline offers and tips on how to say it.

Read more:
Example 1: Manager coaxing you to table a guy
You went to the gay bar just to see the sights and you did not plan on getting a macho dancer to sit with you. But the makulit (persistent) floor manager continually bugs you to table a macho dancer. You are not prepared with enough money. He sits beside you for the 100th time to ask you, "Who among our gorgeous men will you get?" What to do?

Just say No.

How? Offer a lame excuse, like wanting to see all men dance before choosing someone. Or tell him that you want to just enjoy the view. Or you can be frank with a "No, sorry, I don't fancy anyone (Wala akong type)." Period.

Example 2: A macho dancer sits down beside you, uninvited, and you want him out.
You may have planned to spend some money with a guy, but a bad-looking stranger sits beside you. Your caring heart doesn't want to offend him by shooing him away. This happens regularly in smaller bars (eg. Dreamboyz), and they will plead all they can to ask you for at least one MD drink, while looking at you in the eye and caressing or squeezing your thigh as he pleads. What to do?

Just say No.

How? You have to be honest with them. They will not leave you unless you tell straight to their face that you're not planning to table anyone or you are fancying someone else. In declining, be firm. And remember to say No with a smile.

Unless you still want your thighs to be caressed.

Example 3: Massage guy starts to rub your neck
Dear, you thought that massage is a free service by the bar? Nope. While the massages given by the masseurs or waiters don't have a fixed charge, they require tips. But you're not in the mood for someone else's firm hands on your shoulders. What to do?

Just say No.

How? Once these uniformed guys approach and offer you a massage, you can just shake your head and politely decline with a smile. But keep in mind that turning them down means lost opportunity for their take-home income, may it just be P50 to P200 per client per night (their income is coming mostly from tips, FYI). 

Example 4: Men in the buff approaching you for tips, or "area"
What I very much HATE in the gay bars are NOT the persistent all-the-way men asking me for tips while whispering "Kahit pamasahe lang po (Even just for fare)", despite telling them you're not interested in handing out tips. It's those giggly screaming girls who cover their faces or hide behind the backs of their friends when an all-the-way guy approaches them (Mga malalanding teh, mag hunos dili! Hindi niyo kailangang magsusumigaw! Kala mo kung sinong ni-re-rape na kinikilig). It's obvious that these virginal-kuno women don't want to be approached, but they resort to screaming out loud. What to do when you don't want these men to approach you?

Just say No.

How? When these men are approaching your table, just raise your hand calmly and shake your head (just like the picture above of Beyonce). If that doesn't work, tell them that you're sorry that you don't have any spare change (barya). But be calm and firm. These guys actually love all the attention and brouhaha response they are getting from the wildly screaming giggly women covering their faces. Kala mo aalis sila sa pagtitili mo? Kabaligtaran. Aantayin ka pa nilang maglabas ng wallet. 

But again, these all-the-way rarely-tabled guys are only earning from the tips the customers are given them. If everyone in the bar refuses to give them even a P50 bill, imagine how they will feel going home without anything to bring. Think twice before saying no.

Example 5: Waiter approaching to ask for another MD drink
Oh, the ever tenacious, ever relentless, ever hardworking waiters. You are already sensing that your tabled macho dancer has been gulping their PHP300+ drink quicker than usual. And as your guy finishes off his nth drink, the waiter who's nakabantay near your table asks you if you want to give your tabled guy another one. But you are worried about going over budget. What to do?

Just say No.

How? Simple. Shake your head and raise your hand as if stopping oncoming traffic. But keep in mind that a bottle for your macho dancer is good for 30 minutes to 45 minutes with you, generally. If you've been with your macho dancer for four hours already with only two bottles, and you still refuse to give him another drink, don't be surprised if your macho dancer would suddenly disappear as he is "called by the manager" and won't return anymore.

Example 6. You are not happy or satisfied with the macho dancer beside you.
Boring. Offensive. Too quiet. Too talkative. There are many reasons why the macho dancer you chose isn't worth the money you are paying for, aside from realizing that he's not as good-looking up close as you thought he would be. The waiter asks if you want to give the tabled dancer another drink, or the floor manager approaches if you are happy with your choice. What to do?

Just say No.

How? By all means, send him back. Oh yes, you can do that, kala mo hindi? As you don't want to offend the guy, then tell your manager that you are unhappy with him and want him out. The manager will find a way to send the guy back to the dressing room. 

Example 7: Macho dancer asking for something beyond your means.
No need to explain whatever that something is. Higher tip? Ten bottles for the big night event? A brand new motorcycle? The latest i-phone? What to do?

Just say No.

How? You can always come up with any lie or lame excuse. Just be convincing when you do it. If all things fail, just say "Sorry, hindi talaga pwede. (Sorry, really can not)."

We fear too many things when we are in a situation outside of our comfort zones, especially in a strange other world called the gay bar. We fear being taken advantage by these macho dancers or their managers, especially when it comes to money. We fear to be judged as not being rich enough worthy of a night's fun in the gay bar. We can even fear hurting the feelings of a macho dancer, who, despite their half-naked uniform and stature in life, is really just another feeling and thinking human being. 

But remember that you are the customer, and not just any house guest. Customers are followed and entertained, and not pushed into something he or she doesn't want to. Thus, as in any establishment, you the customer are Ms. Sasha Fierce. Don't be afraid to use it (just do NOT abuse).

Keep in mind that a "No" can be very powerful in a gay bar. Always smile as you do, and don't be iffy saying it. 

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

Photo credits:


  1. This was a really helpful article.

    ...and not just for gay bars. =P

  2. I love these advice GBG. This will help a lot of those virgins to feel more relaxed and amiable in going to Macho Dancing Bars :-)

    I myself had decline some managers who are so persistently encouraging me to table an MD. Kakainis minsan lalo na kapag wala dun ung MD na gusto ko. I table MD because I want to have some conversation and ascertainment pero kapag walang "click" between me and the MD, disaster yun.. Wahahaha! :-)

    BTW, Advanced Mery Christmas GBG :-)


  3. Hi men_wisher, you might want to add some comments on how you decline some managers' persistence. Thanks also for the greeting. Merry Christmas too!

  4. Hi Ms. Chuniverse, thanks. hope you enjoyed. =)

  5. Nice tips. Sana magamit ko na ang mga tips na yan soon. Takot din kasi ako makaranas ng mga ganyang situation eh. Pero at least now I know how to take control of the situation :)

  6. Hi BGB,
    For me just a firm No-like hand gesture will do the trick. For the managers, i try to understand them as much as I could but if they are really persistent, Just tell them "no" in a calm, professional, business-like way :-)

    After all they are doing all of those to keep the MDB business going :-)

  7. hi gbg,
    i have no problem turning down an md's uninvited request to sit down or a floor manager's insistence to table someone but what turns me off is the md's sob stories. i also don't understand when a md says, "actually I am a virgin, never been with a guy before", when invited for a night of lust and sex. possible kayang may mga lalaki na never been touched by a gay and yet end up working in a gaybar?

  8. hi GBG,
    for me i have no problem turning down an md's uninvited request for a drink or to sit down or the floor manager's insistence to table someone. what turns me off are the md's sob stories. when they are invited (for a fee of course)for a night of lust and sex, they say "they are a virgin and never been with a guy before". possible kayang may mga lalaki na never been touched by a gay and yet they end up working in a gaybar? makes me wonder.i am not saying all mds are like this but i did meet more than a couple. ibang md naman gusto yatang magpaligaw. wala akong panahon no.


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