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Saturday 10 October 2009


The Gay Blade

15th March 2008

I Like Bars

Posted by: Michael Stevens

 I like bars. But, you see, I do like a drink and chat. And even with their drawbacks, bars are one of our main social spaces as homos.

There are guys I know from bars and only from bars. We never or very rarely socialise outside them. Yet we know each other, or we know about each other. I think the gay male world is one of the few places where you can know a guy’s intimate details, you know, how big his cock is, whether he likes to top or bottom, what sort of men he goes for, any special kinks, does he like to get pissed on, or get turned on by leather, and still never know his surname, how big his family is, what his living room looks like or what he does for a living. 

But you will know what he drinks.

In fact, you can know all that about another guy without ever having talked to him or even had sex with him. You see, we do tend to talk to each other and about each other.

Every time I see one particular guy walking down the street, I think “There goes Mr Accident” after a friend told me of an unfortunate occurrence with him one night, resulting from a combination of too much lube, too many toys, and not enough douching. Nuff said. And I’ve never even spoken to this guy, and doubt I ever will. I don’t even know his real name. But I know about that unfortunate night.

You know the ones behave like dykes i.e. move their music collection and furniture in by the end of the second date and insist on going to the SPCA and getting a puppy together.

You know their opposite - the masters of the mixed-message : they are all over you, they chase you, they send you suggestive texts at odd hours, then, just as you think things are getting good, they disappear. A few months later they see you, their eyes light up, they explain how busy they’ve been, and then, they’re gone again.

You know the party-boys, the drinkers, the pill-poppers, the p-heads, the bitter cynics, the eternal romantics, the stoners, the predators, the parasites, the drunks, the hookers, the bears, the bores, the twinks, the twink-chasers, the daddy-chasers, the happy couples, the not-so-happy couples, the cock-teases, the sluts and of course the arrogant “I am so hot I wouldn’t let Dan Carter fuck me if he asked” gym-bunnies.

The funny thing with the gym bunnies is so many of them are of the “see Tarzan, hear Jane”  types.  They spend hours at the gym, they are pumped, they are ripped, they make the All Blacks look like the Invercargill RSA Ladies’ Senior Bowling Team. They open their mouths…and sound like they got rejected for Priscilla because they sound too gay. 

And then you see the serious leather guys, dressed in their dead cow, with their cigars and facial hair, piercings and tatts, talking about real-estate, recipes or the opera… I do recall years ago in the old University Club on Collins St in Melbourne, when I was 18 and fresh *wistful sigh* a this really hot guy saying to me once “The more leather and chains they have on, the more invisible lace there is floating in the air behind them”

Yet beyond all this, there are real friendships I have made through the bars. Even at times when I don’t know very much more about these men, I have had long intense and interesting conversations, often over months, taken up again every Saturday night, about life, love, sex, politics, travel etc. Sometimes these even move beyond the bar - that tentative transplant, like lifting a delicate plant and re-potting it, moving the friendship into another social setting. Will we still like each other if we meet in a café, or over a meal? Usually the answer is yes.

And we do tend to look out for each other. I’ve been picked up a few times off the floor when too many different substances in combination have had an undesired effect, and done the same for others too.

The most memorable one was downstairs in the Mineshaft in the 80s in New York. It had been a very long night of partying and sex, and things were winding down, when someone gave me something or other, and the next thing I remember is two huge leathered up muscle boys leaning over me, one fanning my face with his leather cap saying “Oh honey, are you ok? You don’t want to pass out down here!”

Fancy a drink?

Tags: General

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jesse // Mar 16, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    Hey. I thought your article was a fantastic read as I lay in my bed hungover from one of these nights that you describe. I love the relationships we build on the social circle and look forward to my random conversations with these totally random but great people that I meet and have met. Thanks.

  • 2 Michael Stevens // Mar 16, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Hey, thanks a lot. Always great to hear what others think and know if I strike a chord or not.

  • 3 taiphoon69 // Mar 16, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    Thanks for the posts Michael just came across them tonite, read through the lot and thoroughly enjoyed it!! I think you capture in writing what many of us experience and thus resonate with as none other can! Great read - keep ‘em coming!!

  • 4 Michael Stevens // Mar 17, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Hey thanks a lot for the feedback and glad you enjoy the writing.

  • 5 Boy College Straight » I Like Bars // Sep 26, 2009 at 3:12 am

    […] post is by West onWriting, like cigarettes and good sex, can get to be an addictive vice, and I’m a happy […]

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